A busy weekend at Houston and Watkins Glen beyond headliners

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The racing at Houston (Verizon IndyCar Series) and Watkins Glen (TUDOR United SportsCar Championship) was not limited to the headline series. Here’s who else was racing at those two circuits this weekend:

HOUSTON

  • Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires: Series title rivals Scott Hargrove (Saturday) and Spencer Pigot (Sunday) split the victories in the Pro Mazda ranks, and Pigot now leads Hargrove by 17 points (225-208) as the series heads for Mid-Ohio next in August.
  • Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup: A weekend sweep for Kenton Koch in the Mazda MX-5 ranks netted the young Californian that series points lead over John Dean.

WATKINS GLEN

  • Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: GS winners Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell became the first two-time winners this season aboard their No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R, with Liddell doing well to hold off a last lap charge from BJ Zacharias’ Doran Racing Nissan 370Z. Meanwhile in ST, Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley (pictured) delivered Compass360 Racing its first win in CTSC since 2011 in their No. 75 Honda Civic Si, with Eversley masterfully executing a fuel save job in the dying stages to hang on. The win is Eversley’s third and Gimple’s first in the series.
  • IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup: A pair of last lap passes netted Colin Thompson his first two wins in the series. Here’s video of his race one pass of Angel Benitez Jr. at the final corner.
  • IMSA Cooper Tire Prototype Lites: Mikhail Goikhberg swept the weekend and now has five wins in six races this season.
  • Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo: John Farano and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year Kevin Conway split the race wins.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”