American driver Conor Daly loses GP2 ride with Venezuela GP Lazarus

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A lack of funding has put American GP2 driver Conor Daly on the sidelines ahead of this weekend’s race at Monza.

Daly confirmed the tough news via his Twitter account earlier today:

He has since added additional comments in a release: “I’m naturally disappointed but thankful for the opportunity that Venezuela GP Lazarus provided me this season. Lazarus is a great team of people who race because of their love of the sport and I wish them every success in the future.”

“Europe for the past four years has been a an invaluable experience for me. It was a sacrifice well worth making because I know today that I am a better driver because of it. I’m ready for my future, whatever it may be.”

After finishing third in the GP3 championship last season, Daly moved up to GP2 for 2014 with Venezuela GP Lazarus. His best finish has been a seventh in Race 2 at the Hungaroring in July.

Daly’s dropping makes him the second American to leave the GP2 grid this season. In July, Alexander Rossi left Caterham, where he served as not only a reserve for its F1 side but also as a race driver for its GP2 squad.

As for where Daly goes from here, the release made note of his recent appearance at last weekend’s Verizon IndyCar Series championship finale at Auto Club Speedway.

On that subject, Daly says: “I want to be a professional race car driver and be in a position to take advantage of any opportunity that might come my way.”

Daly made his IndyCar debut in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 for A.J. Foyt Racing.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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