Alex Brundle has joined G-Drive Racing for the remainder of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship season.
Brundle, 25, has raced in a wide variety of sportscar championships throughout his career, making three appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and most recently winning the opening two rounds of the European Le Mans Series season in the LMP3 class.
The Briton will now return to the FIA WEC with G-Drive for the rest of the 2016 season, having last raced in the series back in 2013.
G-Drive drafted in regular Manor driver Will Stevens for Le Mans following the departure of Nathanael Berthon, but with the ex-Formula 1 racer returning to Manor the next event at the Nurburgring, Brundle has now joined the No. 26 crew.
“I’m delighted to be driving for G-Drive Racing in the final six races of the FIA WEC, especially with the incredibly strong package that the team has put together for this season,” Brundle said.
“The Nürburgring event can’t come soon enough and it’s fantastic to be re-joining this global series, representing my long term sponsors Richard Mille.
“It will be a real privilege to work with the team, who have proven it to be one of the best endurance outfits worldwide. With the massive experience of Rene [Rast] and the pace of Roman [Rusinov] I think we will make a potent combination, to deliver strong results for the remainder of the season.”
The 6 Hours of Nurburgring takes place on July 24.
Both Garett Grist and James French delivered solid debut weekends in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires at Road America, even if both drivers felt they left a bit on the table in the two races.
Grist stepped up from the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires ranks, and took over the No. 3 Team Pelfrey Dallara IL-15 Mazda that had been driven by Scott Hargrove, while French stepped into the renumbered No. 45 Belardi Auto Racing entry usually driven by Felix Rosenqvist.
Grist, the 22-year-old Canadian, had never been to the 4.014-mile permanent road course before and the Gary Neal-led team hadn’t tested, which made it a case where Grist’s eighth place qualifying effort driving the Buy Gap Guard/Lander Property Management/Mac Tools entry in the 14-car field on Friday was particularly impressive.
French hadn’t run an Indy Lights car since a test at Circuit of The Americas in November; however, track experience for the 23-year-old Sheboygan native undoubtedly paid dividends throughout the weekend.
Combined they had four out of a possible four top-10 finishes. Grist was seventh and 10th, with French eighth in both races.
“I ran into the back of the guy ahead of me. I was just so much faster that I didn’t think they’d brake that early,” Grist told NBC Sports Sunday after making a mistake when he damaged his front wing going into Turn 14.
“We were the fastest car on rain tires. (Ed) Jones and (Dean) Stoneman went to dries and then they were first and second quickest. But other than that, I was consistently the fastest car on the track by a lot. I did my best lap without push-to-pass and we were the quickest on wets. So it was just a bad mistake on my part.
“We definitely had a podium car there for sure, coming from eighth, but a silly rookie mistake that I shouldn’t make at this point.
“But I’m really happy with my first weekend. We had so much pace, we were so fast, so that’s a positive. As a first weekend, it was a learning weekend, and I’ll take it.”
French was more methodical in both races and blamed himself for not readjusting the engine mapping on his car back from wet to dry conditions in Sunday’s second races. Otherwise, he said he “had a blast.”
“When it was consistent, I felt pretty comfortable,” French told NBC Sports. “I knew what to expect from the rain at least, but when it transitioned to dry, I found myself a little lost. I made the mistake of not going back to the dry fuel map, so I lost a little bit of time there.
“It was definitely a big learning curve, but I learned so much throughout the experience. Managing tires I kind of struggled with, when they’re not looking so good. That was definitely the difficult part. In full dry conditions I knew what to do. But finding somewhere in between and following the grip, I kinda struggled. Overall though, I had a blast.”
Grist’s next start will be on home soil in Toronto, as he wasn’t scheduled to race the Iowa Speedway oval.
French hopes to return for at least one and perhaps two more race weekends later this year. Brian Belardi told IndyCar Radio’s Rob Howden this weekend he expects Rosenqvist back for Toronto.
French has race weekends three and four of eight in a row the next two weeks, back in his usual Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 Prototype Challenge class at Watkins Glen International, then at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
LONDON, UK – Simona de Silvestro is open to a move into another racing series after admitting that she is unsure about her future in Formula E.
De Silvestro joined Andretti Autosport after her deal with Sauber in Formula 1 fell through at the end of 2014, racing in three IndyCar events last season before making her Formula E debut in London.
The Swiss driver was given a full-time seat with Andretti for the second Formula E season, but has only finished in the top 10 on two occasions, scoring just four points. Teammate Robin Frijns has 45 to his name this season.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Formula E season finale in London, de Silvestro conceded that she was unsure what future she had in the series and with Andretti.
“I don’t know. There are a lot of things going on here but also in different series,” de Silvestro said.
“Right now, kind of having our ear a little bit open and see what the future holds for me. We’ll see what happens.
“There are different ways, different series. For me, I have to look at what’s the best opportunity for me, and yeah we’ll see what happens.
“For sure I’d like to be in Formula E, but there are also different series to go racing in.”
De Silvestro spoke warmly of her time with Andretti when asked to sum up racing for the team if London proves to be her final appearance in its colors.
“It was good, especially the time in IndyCar was pretty good. Also this season, I think the end of the season started to go much better,” de Silvestro said.
“I just struggled a bit in the beginning. It was pretty good, but for sure it would have been nice to have some better results throughout the whole year.”
Team boss Michael Andretti said that the team is yet to make a firm decision about its drivers for season two, but said that de Silvestro had struggled to get to grips with the Formula E car.
“These cars are different. You either have the knack for them or you don’t,” Andretti said.
“She was really good in IndyCar, but she’s struggled a little bit on these. I think it’s been a bit frustrating for her, and obviously for us. But it’s great having her on the programme. It was really good having her with the IndyCar programme as well.
“But that’s not to say we wouldn’t do something. We haven’t made our decision 100%. She could end up somewhere else [within the Andretti programme]. It’s always possible.”