Magnussen scores points on mixed day for McLaren in Austria


McLaren’s difficult 2014 campaign continued at the Austrian Grand Prix yesterday as Kevin Magnussen brought home the team’s only points in seventh place.

The Danish driver had qualified sixth, but simply did not have the pace to move up the field and fight for the bigger points. Instead, he was forced to settle for P7 come the checkered flag after being passed by Sergio Perez late on.

“I really thought we were going to finish sixth today, but Checo just had too much pace at the end of the race,” Magnussen explained after the race. “That wasn’t great, but it’s positive that we’re making improvements.

“We’ve made progress this weekend, but we still need to keep pushing: we still need to find good, efficient downforce.”

Despite the result, the rookie believes that he could not have done anything more in the race.

“Still, I think we got everything out of our package this weekend. It’s tough racing in the midfield pack, like we did today, but we’re going to get there.

“It’s maybe difficult to see it from the outside, but, believe me, we’re making improvements all the time.”

Jenson Button was less fortunate, crossing the line in 11th place. After qualifying down in 12th, he failed to make his reverse strategy work and missed out to Kimi Raikkonen at the line.

“I’d hoped we could make up some places today, but it’s never easy to overtake around here,” he explained. “We went for a different strategy – starting on primes – but it didn’t really work for us. I’m now really looking forward to Silverstone.”

The poor result, combined with Williams’ charge to third and fourth place at the Red Bull Ring, means that McLaren drops to sixth place in the constructors’, and is now the lowest ranked team to be powered by Mercedes.

IndyCar: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports expands mentoring program for tech school students

Photos: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
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IndyCar team Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced today that it is extending and widening a unique sponsorship and mentoring program that began last season with students from Lincoln Technical Institute.

The program began last year, with students from several Lincoln Tech branches attending select IndyCar events for an entire weekend.

The students, primarily from auto and diesel training programs, got an insiders experience with the team, taking part in team meetings, watching team workers prepare and service the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Honda of driver James Hinchcliffe, sat on pit boxes during practices, qualifying and, of course races.

The overall experience was to get students more interested and involved in potential careers in the IndyCar field.

“We said at the beginning of last season that we knew our students would benefit and learn from the professionalism and drive of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team,” Lincoln Tech President and CEO Scott Shaw said. “But the experience they received working with the entire pit crew team and in particular crew member Cole Jagger – a Lincoln Tech graduate himself – went beyond even our own expectations.

“We were grateful for the time they spent mentoring our students, and we are thrilled to once again be part of the racing legacy of team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson.”

Lincoln Tech will once again serve as an associate sponsor on Hinchcliffe’s car for the entire 2018 IndyCar season. In addition, it is expanding its Mentor Program to select students to attend a minimum of nine IndyCar races from six last season.

Students are selected based upon their grade point average, attendance, conduct and overall commitment to becoming outstanding automotive technicians. An interest in IndyCar and a desire to work in the industry is also considered.

One student that took part last season, Tyler Crist of Lincoln Tech’s Denver campus, joined the team at the IndyCar race in Long Beach last April, watching as Hinchcliffe won the event.

“It was the best weekend of my life,” Crist said after the event. “It reminded me of why I joined this field in the first place and to never give up on my dreams.”

Jagger will oversee the expanded mentoring program this season. For Jagger, being involved especially hits home, as he is a graduate of Lincoln Tech’s Indianapolis campus.

“I totally enjoyed working with the Lincoln Tech students that participated in the Mentor Program last year and look forward to meeting this year’s group,” Jagger said. “Being a Lincoln Tech grad, I hope the students realize that if you have a passion for cars, a career in racing is something that’s not out of reach. If I can be an example for them to follow, that makes it even more rewarding.”

In addition to the at-track activities of the mentoring program, several Lincoln Tech branches across the country will utilize CNC computerized machining and manufacturing tools to assist in creating car parts for SPM.

“Through this unique partnership, we’re able to hopefully find the next class of talent that could one day be part of our organization,” SPM president Jon Flack said. “We’re looking forward to another year of the mentorship program and having their students be ‘boots on the ground’ gaining real-life experience with our team.”

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