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2017 GP2, GP3 calendars released, Jerez to host standalone round

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GP2 and GP3 have confirmed their calendars ahead of the 2017 season, with both series adding a standalone round at Jerez in October.

GP2 and GP3 act as the second and third rungs on the single-seater ladder, with a number of Formula 1’s biggest talents previously plying their trade in the series.

For 2017, GP2 will return to Bahrain for its opening round, having started its 2016 campaign a few weeks later at the Spanish Grand Prix.

GP2 will support F1 at every European round from Spain onwards, as well as at Baku in Azerbaijan. A standalone round is scheduled at Jerez on October 6-8 ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi on November 26.

GP3 will first appear on the undercard for the Spanish Grand Prix in May, but will not return until the Austrian Grand Prix weekend at the end of July. It will then support all of the summer European rounds, as well as featuring at Jerez and in Abu Dhabi.

“We’re delighted to race in Jerez between Monza and Abu Dhabi,” GP2 chief Bruno Michel said.

“We wanted to have the same number of events (including three flyaway rounds in 2017 as in the previous year, but we were mindful of freight costs. This meant not adding a fourth flyaway round and staying in Europe for a standalone event.

“This is also why we decided to hold our final pre-season test session in Bahrain, ahead of the season opener.”

2017 GP2 Series Calendar

1. Sakhir, Bahrain – 14-16 April
2. Barcelona, Spain – 12-14 May
3. Monte Carlo, Monaco – 25-27 May
4. Baku, Azerbaijan – 23-25 June
5. Spielberg, Austria – 7-9 July
6. Silverstone, Great Britain – 14-16 July
7. Budapest, Hungary – 28-30 July
8. Spa, Belgium – 25-27 August
9. Monza, Italy – 1-3 September
10. Jerez, Spain – 6-8 October
11. Abu Dhabi – 24-26 November

2017 GP3 Series Calendar

1. Barcelona, Spain – 12-14 May
2. Spielberg, Austria – 7-9 July
3. Silverstone, Great Britain – 14-16 July
4. Budapest, Hungary – 28-30 July
5. Spa, Belgium – 25-27 August
6. Monza, Italy – 1-3 September
7. Jerez, Spain – 6-8 October
8. Abu Dhabi – 24-26 November

Recapping the proper Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel rivalry (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).

However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.

However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.

Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.

 

Take a look behind the scenes of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 qualifying runs (VIDEO)

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In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth. 

Simulator ride tells what Fernando Alonso can expect in Indianapolis 500 (VIDEO)

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On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.

They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).

Check out the above video.  

Legendary announcer Ken Squier gets you ready for Sunday’s big day of racing (VIDEO)

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Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.

Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).