Getty Images

Vettel tops Hungary day two test as Norris, Kubica star

Leave a comment

Perhaps unfortunately for Sebastian Vettel, his leading the timesheets on Wednesday in the second day of the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test wasn’t the biggest story of the day.

The Formula 1 points leader, Hungary winner and Scuderia Ferrari driver ended with a best time of 1:17.124 after 40 laps of running.

He and teammate Kimi Raikkonen split duties – Raikkonen did 60 laps – in the day after Charles Leclerc led the timesheets aboard the same SF-17 chassis.

Behind Vettel it was the first of two other stars on the day who was next up. British teenager Lando Norris took like a duck to water to the McLaren Honda chassis and in 91 laps, ended second with a best time of 1:17.385.

The McLaren was well suited to the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest and Norris made sure to maximize his opportunity in his first proper day of Formula 1 running.

Probably the biggest headline generating driver of the day was Robert Kubica, the Pole back in a modern Formula 1 car for the first time since his rally accident nearly cost him not just his career, but his life in 2011.

Driving the Renault R.S.17, Kubica completed 142 laps and ended fourth with a best time of 1:18.572. The lap count was second only to Luca Ghiotto of Williams, the Italian driver having run 161 laps.

Elsewhere Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat split running at Toro Rosso, youngsters Lucas Auer and Nikita Mazepin did the same at Force India, Ghiotto ran for Williams, Nobuharo Matsushita took over at Sauber, Pierre Gasly ran for Red Bull and George Russell (Mercedes) and Santino Ferrucci (Haas) continued with their teams for a second day.

Times are below, and with this test in the books, the F1 summer break finally begins.

PWC confirms 2018 season finale at Watkins Glen

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Pirelli World Challenge will end its 2018 season at Watkins Glen International, the series confirmed Friday.

The exciting finale will feature traditional 50-minute sprints for GT and GTS classes and 40-minute features for Touring Car classes.

The last PWC event at Watkins Glen was held in 2010 with sports car greats Ron Fellows (GT) and Peter Cunningham (GTS) winning the top two events and Robert Stout claiming the Touring Car race. The Pirelli World Challenge series premiered at Watkins Glen International in 1992 and has featured eight PWC years (1992, 1996-1998, 2007-2010) at the famed New York road racing facility.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Pirelli World Challenge competitors, officials, leadership, and fans to Watkins Glen International in 2018,” said Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International President. “This series features fantastic wheel-to-wheel racing across a wide spectrum of sportscar classes and our fans are in for a treat on Labor Day weekend next year.”

In addition to the Watkins Glen season finale, the Pirelli World Challenge also announced its race lineup for 2018 with the GT/GTA/GT Cup divisions again being split into five GT Sprint (50 minutes) and five GT SprintX (60 minutes, two drivers) races. The GTS events, featuring GT4 machinery, will remain nine-weekends with a total of 18 50-minute Sprint rounds while Touring Car divisions will contest 40-minute Sprints in the class’ 12-race, six-weekend campaign.

The GT Sprint championships will be contested in the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Long Beach, Calif., as well as at the permanent road circuits of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Watkins Glen. The GT SprintX championship will be campaigned at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), VIRginia International Raceway, Lime Rock Park, Portland International Raceway and Utah Motorsports Campus.

Details on the 2018 race regulations for GT Sprint and GT SprintX events will be announced in the near future, including the new pit stop requirements and other amendments to competition rules.

Featuring the GT3 and GT4 categories, the second annual SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours is set to return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Oct. 26-28.

2018 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule

Date, Track (Classes)

March 9-11, Streets of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla. (GT Sprint and GTS)
March 23-25, Circuit Of The Americas (COTA), Austin, Texas (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
April 13-15, Streets of Long Beach Long Beach, Calif. (GT Sprint)
April 28-30, VIRginia International Raceway Alton, Va., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
May 18-20, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Bowmanville, Ont., CAN, (GT Sprint and GTS)
May 25-26 -28, Lime Rock Park Lakeville, Conn., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
June 22-24 Road America Elkhart Lake, Wis., (GT Sprint and GTS)
July 13-15, Portland International Raceway Portland, Ore., (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
August 10-12, Utah Motorsports Campus Grantsville, Utah, (GT SprintX, GTS and Touring Car)
Aug. 31-Sept. 1-2 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, N.Y., (GT Sprint, GTS and Touring Car)

Special Event

SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge, California 8 Hours
October 26-28, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Salinas, Calif.