Toro Rosso confirm Renault engine deal for 2014

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Scuderia Toro Rosso has confirmed that it has signed a deal with Renault for their engine supply from 2014.

The Faenza-based team has enjoyed a partnership with Ferrari since 2007, but, as part of an extensive shake-up of the F1 engine market, the team has opted to switch to Renault power units for next season to coincide with the new regulations.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement to use Renault power units from the 2014 season onwards, when the new regulations will present interesting challenges,” team principal Franz Tost said in a team statement. “It is particularly important that we have managed to finalise our plans early, so that we can be as well prepared as possible for next year.

“While looking forward to working with Renault, I would also like to thank Ferrari, our engine supplier since 2007. They have provided us with an extremely effective and reliable engine and an excellent service.”

An additional motive for the change is to bring Toro Rosso closer to its sister team, Red Bull Racing, who are thought to be considering a rebrand of their Renault power units to incorporate the Infiniti brand name.

“Strategically for Red Bull and Renault, it makes perfect sense for Scuderia Toro Rosso to use the same power unit as Infiniti Red Bull Racing from the 2014 season, which enables synergies between Red Bull and Renault to continue to grow,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner stated.

This move sees Ferrari lose one of its customer contracts for 2014, but rumors suggest that they are set to sign a deal with Marussia in the coming weeks.

Hunter McElrea wins Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 Scholarship

IndyCar.com
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Hunter McElrea bested 18 competitors to win the third annual Road to Indy USF2000 $200,000 Scholarship Shootout on Sunday at Bondurant Racing School in Chandler, Ariz.

The two-day contest featured on-track competition in Formula Mazda cars as well as interview sessions and assessment from a panel of judges.

“I can’t believe it,” McElrea said at IndyCar.com. “This is definitely the most exciting opportunity that I have had in my racing career. I cannot thank Mazda and everyone enough for making this possible for me. The fact that I am going to be on the grid next year thanks to them is a dream come true.

“They have given me the opportunity to prove myself in such a high level that I never even thought I would be able to reach. I have to thank Andersen Promotions, Cooper tires, all of the judges, everyone from Mazda, the Bondurant Racing School and the other competitors, who literally pushed me to the limit.

“I am just so happy. It is still sinking in, but I just can’t wait to get next year started, and I’ll be representing Mazda in that nice Soul Red USF2000 car.”

MORE: Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 shootout

The 19-year-old McElrea was born in California, but reared in Australia.

As a result of winning the award, McElrea will compete in the 2019 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, the first rung of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder.

McElrea won the Australian Formula Ford Championship this year on the strength of 13 victories in 21 races.

Early competition resulted in a final field of six drivers that included Jake Craig, Michael Eastwell, Braden Eves, Flinn Lazier and Ross Martin. They competed in a qualification session and 30-minute simulated race. McElrea won that race.

“Today was an incredible day,” said Tom Long, Mazda Motorsports factory driver and one of the judges. “There was so much talent here for the shootout. Hunter McElrea just rose to the top when it was time to shine, but our decision was very, very difficult.

“In the end, given all of the circumstances, we were able to make a pretty good decision and we are really, really proud of not only Hunter but our whole team here with Mazda to be able to grant this $200,000 scholarship for his opportunity in USF2000 next year.”