Sam Bird, Jaime Alguersuari named to Virgin’s Formula E team (VIDEO)

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One driver who missed the F1 call for now and one who is the youngest driver to have ever started an F1 race will race for a team owner who at one point was both a sponsor and a team owner in F1.

That’s Sam Bird, Jaime Alguersuari and Sir Richard Branson, respectively. The three are together with Branson’s new Virgin FIA Formula E team, as the team’s driver lineup for the inaugural all-electric championship was revealed Tuesday.

“Jaime and Sam are young yet experienced drivers and fantastic guys off the racetrack to boot,” Branson said in a statement released by the team. “I’m delighted to welcome them both to the Virgin Racing family. Jamie has demonstrated speed and talent at the very highest level whilst Sam is a proven race winner. I am sure they will be a formidable force on the circuits, let sparks fly!”

Added Bird, “Formula E is going to be a brilliant experience and I can’t wait to get started on what will be an exciting new challenge in my career. I know I’m going to be driving the latest in electric vehicle technology and I’m looking forward to testing myself around the streets of some of the world’s most amazing cities.”

And Alguersuari, “I’m thrilled to be driving for an organisation like Virgin. I’m going to be driving for a great team with a wealth of experience and I can’t wait to get out on the streets and put these cars to the test.”

Recent driving experience for the two of them is a bit varied. Bird has made it into sports cars, racing a PC class ORECA FLM09 for Starworks Motorsport in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and also a GTE-Am class Ferrari F458 Italia for AF Corse in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Alguersuari, meanwhile, has done some Pirelli tire testing but hasn’t been on the F1 grid since 2011.

FE teams are starting to reveal their lineups for the championship that begins in September, and these are two talented shoes for one of the squads. Here’s a video put together by the team of the two drivers meeting each other.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.