Oral-B USA 500 - Practice

Vickers: Last 2 races will be “a battle” for drivers not locked in Chase

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Down 73 points in the Chase standings and without a win, Brian Vickers knows that the pressure is on for him and several other Chase hopefuls to get a victory in the final two races of the Sprint Cup regular season.

“It’s gonna be a battle,” Vickers acknowledged today at Atlanta Motor Speedway before qualifying for Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500.

“It’s gonna be intense these next two races knowing that it’s not just about the guys on the cusp for points, it’s about anyone that can win. The intensity’s gonna kick in.

“But to be honest, it’s been there all year. Every week you show up, you’re goal is to win and you’re gonna do everything you can to try and get that win.”

Vickers has been steady in recent years at Atlanta with six Top-10 finishes in his last eight starts there. But another result like that will be of little help to him as he looks for a last minute break-through.

Not helping Vickers is Toyota’s overall power deficit behind its rivals, particularly those with Hendrick motors such as Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing, and Chip Ganassi Racing.

When asked where his Michael Waltrip Racing team stood on horsepower compared to the Hendrick camp, Vickers would only say that Hendrick had them beat in that regard “by a lot.”

“They’re strong right now, and it’s tough,” Vickers conceded. “But hopefully, one day, we’ll be on the other side of that cycle and they’ll be chasing us. But right now, for whatever reason, they’ve definitely got everyone beat in the engine department.”

Unfortunately for Vickers, time is running out on his post-season hopes, and he can’t wait for Toyota to come up with a performance boost.

Formula E adds Hong Kong race for October 2016

Photo: FIA Formula E
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The FIA Formula E Championship will add Hong Kong to its calendar for its third season, 2016-2017.

The race will take place on October 9, 2016 – exactly one year from now – around the city’s Central district. The 2km circuit will run between Lung Wo Road and the Star Ferry, with cars reaching speeds of up to 225kph (140mph).

The launch event today featured the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable CY Leung; Mr. Gregory So, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Mr. Alejandro Agag, CEO, Formula E Holdings; Mr. Lawrence Yu Kam-Kee, President of the Hong Kong Automobile Association; and reigining FE champion Nelson Piquet Jr.

“The Hong Kong ePrix will be one of the highlights on the FIA Formula E Championship calendar,” Agag said in a release. “As one of the most innovative, cutting-edge and fun-loving cities in the world, Hong Kong and Formula E share many of the same qualities. We look forward to bringing all the fun and entertainment of Formula E to this amazing city, and international motorsport back to Hong Kong.”

The track map is linked below.

Hong Kong track map

Prema Powerteam to race in GP2 next season

MACAU, MACAO - NOVEMBER 16:  Prema Powerteam driver Esteban Ocon of France in action during the Formula 3 event as part of the 60th Macau Grand Prix on November 16, 2013 in Macau, Macau.  (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)
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Prema Powerteam has confirmed that it will enter GP2 for the first time in 2016, taking over the entry of Team Lazarus.

Prema has established itself as one of the most formidable teams in junior motorsport over the past 30 years, winning countless championships – including the last five FIA F3 titles – and helping to launch the careers of Ryan Briscoe, Roberto Merhi and Esteban Ocon (pictured).

In 2016, it will enter GP2 – Formula 1’s feeder series – for the very first time, taking over Lazarus’ entry as its four-year association with the series comes to an end.

“We are delighted to line-up for this exciting new adventure in the GP2 Series,” Prema manager Rene Rosin said. “Prema always followed the evolution of the GP2 concept as an interested spectator, and it is now finally time to join the game in first person.

“The move to the GP2 Series is a logical step for Prema, following the successful experiences in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and in the Italian and the German Formula 4 Championships, which will continue with the same level of commitment.”

Series CEO Bruno Michel was pleased to welcome Prema to GP2, and believes that it will adapt quickly to life in the championship thanks to its impressive racing record.

“I am very pleased to welcome Prema to the GP2 Series,” Michel said. “Their remarkable track record makes me believe that they should be able to adapt quickly to our category.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank [Lazarus team principal] Tancredi Pagiaro and his team for their hard work and dedication for the past four seasons. I wish them the best for the future.”