MRTI: Harvey sweeps; title battle shift during Mid-Ohio 7-race weekend

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Here’s  a quick roundup of the results from the weekend for the Mazda Road to Indy at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course:


English rookie Jack Harvey delivered his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires win on Saturday in dominant fashion and completed the weekend sweep on Sunday with another win, this time by “only” 12.180 seconds compared to 17-plus on Saturday. In both races he started from pole and set the fastest lap.

Additionally and suddenly, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian driver is in title contention with three races to go.

Points leader Gabby Chaves posted finishes of second (race 1) and third (race 2) with Zach Veach ending fourth (race 1) and second (race 2). It leaves Chaves now 18 points ahead of Harvey (431-413) with Veach now third, his lowest position of the season, on 407 points, with just three races remaining.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2


A pair of abnormal winners came through to win the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races at Mid-Ohio. Nicolas Costa of Brazil scored an overdue first win for Team Pelfrey on Saturday, and his team manager Nigel Tuckey and resident Pelfrey mentor/adviser/goofball Anders Krohn jumped in the pond outside the Mid-Ohio media center to celebrate. Garett Grist won Sunday’s race two for Andretti Autosport.

Despite tough weekends, Spencer Pigot held onto the points lead over Scott Hargrove. The Canadian closed to within 14 points of the Rising Star Racing American driver with three races to go.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2


Each of the three title contenders in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda bagged a win in the Mid-Ohio triple header weekend, with things now murkier exiting the weekend than they were going in. In order, RC Enerson, Jake Eidson and Florian Latorre grabbed the victories – Eidson’s in race two the most fortuitous following an incident between Enerson and Victor Franzoni at Turn 4 in a green/white/checkered finish on a damp and drying track.

The points standings leaving the weekend: Latorre now leads Eidson by 30 with Enerson third, a further three points behind Eidson. Just two races remain for USF2000.

RESULTS: Race 1, Race 2, Race 3

Status targets 2016 GP2 title after GP3 exit

2015 GP2 Series Round 8.
Autodromo di Monza, Italy.
Sunday 6 September 2015.
Marlon Stockinger (PHL, Status Grand Prix) 
Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Series Media Service.
ref: Digital Image _G7C2088
© GP2 Series
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Status Grand Prix has set its sights on winning the 2016 GP2 Series championship following its decision to close down its GP3 team at the end of the current season.

Earlier this week, GP3 issued a statement confirming its team roster for the next three seasons that featured new entries from DAMS and Virtuosi Racing.

However, both Carlin and Status did not appear on the list, signalling that both had opted to leave GP3 at the end of 2015.

Status first entered GP3 back in 2010, but only set up a GP2 team in 2015 after taking over the old Caterham Racing operation.

This will now become the main focus for the Irish outfit, though, as explained by team boss Teddy Yip Jr. earlier this week.

“Status Grand Prix has not renewed entry into the GP3 Series from 2016 onwards in order to maximize focus on our GP2 campaign,” Yip said.

“Having finished second in the team championship in the inaugural GP3 Series, we have enjoyed six successful years in the category collecting nine race wins, 26 podium finishes and vying for numerous team and driver titles.

“We are very proud to have given opportunities and achieved success with drivers such as Robert Wickens, Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims and our current GP2 race winner, Richie Stanaway.

“We now look forward to finishing the 2015 GP2 and GP3 seasons on a high before mounting a robust GP2 title campaign in 2016.”

Both GP2 and GP3 return from a one-month break next weekend in support of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.

Hakkinen: Verstappen is already “a real pro”

during a media interview at the Shanghai Grand Theatre prior to the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards on April 15, 2015 in Shanghai, China.
© Getty Images
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Two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has heaped praise upon Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen, supporting his decision to ignore team orders during last month’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Verstappen only turned 18 on Wednesday, but has already made a big impression on the F1 world during his first 14 races with his aggressive driving style and mature approach to racing.

In Singapore, Verstappen was told by Toro Rosso to let faster teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. go past, but refused to give up his position and eventually beat the Spaniard to finish eighth.

Writing in his Hermes blog, Hakkinen backed Verstappen’s decision to stay ahead and praised the Dutchman for his performances so far this season.

“A driver must be alert and keep track of what is happening around him at all times,” Hakkinen wrote. “That’s what Verstappen is. He does not simply let anyone pass if it’s not for the world championship, but only a few championship points.

“Verstappen is 18 years old, but the guy’s already a real pro. Young people are developing incredibly fast nowadays, and by that I don’t mean just drivers.”

Despite having more than half a season of F1 racing under his belt, Verstappen only gained his road driver’s license on his 18th birthday, having previously been under the age limit to drive a regular car in public.