James Calado thankful for test opportunity

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British youngster James Calado has thanked Force India for giving him a chance to test at Silverstone this week following two strong days of running.

The GP2 driver finished in 6th place today, but he has admitted that it was a big step up from his regular series which supports some of the rounds on the F1 calendar.

“It has been fantastic to get an opportunity to drive this week,” Calado said in a team statement. “It’s another world compared to what I am used to with so much to learn and so many names to remember!

“Yesterday was more about getting comfortable with the car and today I was able to do a bigger programme with some aero work. The team also gave me the chance to try some pit stop practice, which was good experience.”

Calado also explained how proud he was to drive a Formula One car at Silverstone, with the track being focal for British interest in the sport ever since 1950.

“As a British driver it has been amazing to drive a Formula One car at my home track – it’s certainly a memory that will stay with me,” he explained. “The car is just phenomenal – the high speed grip, the brakes and the g-forces. I’m really happy with how things have gone and I hope the work we’ve done will help the race drivers in Hungary.”

Calado will return to his duties with ART Grand Prix in the GP2 championship at the Hungaroring, currently lying 5th in the championship.

Sage Karam, Tony Kanaan fastest in Monday’s practice for Indy 500

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In the second-to-last practice session of the week, Sage Karam paced the 33 drivers qualified for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 on Monday.

Karam had a field-best speed of 226.461 mph, followed by Tony Kanan (225.123 mph), Ryan Hunter-Reay (224.820), Charlie Kimball (224.582) and Alexander Rossi (224.507).

Sixth through 10th fastest were Will Power (224.445), Helio Castroneves (224.368), Marco Andretti (224.148) and rookie Zachary Claman Demelo (224.91) and Scott Dixon (223.966).

Power and Castroneves ran the most laps of all drivers at 120 and 118, respectively.

Two other Team Penske drivers struggled to get speed out of their cars. Defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden was 28th-fastest (221.982 mph) and Simon Pagenaud, who was the slowest (220.902 mph) of the 33 cars on-track.

Pole sitter Ed Carpenter was 14th-fastest with a best speed of 223.573 mph in a 100-lap effort.

Most drivers were in race trim or were testing things for Sunday’s Greatest Spectacle In Racing such as fuel mileage, chassis setup and more.

Rookie Matheus Leist missed most of the session with an apparent electrical problem that kept him to just 19 laps.

There was one incident of note during the 3 ½ hour session: IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens crashed coming out of Turn 2 during the first hour of practice.

Wickens appeared to skim the outside SAFER Barrier, went left and then violently turned hard back into the outside retaining wall.

MORE: Wickens wrecks during Indy 500 practice

The Honda-powered machine for the Canadian driver suffered heavy damage to the right side, particularly the right front tire and the right side of the front end.

There will be no further on-track activity for the Indy cars until Friday’s final practice to fine tune things for Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

We’ll have the full practice speed chart, as well as What Drivers Said, shortly. Please check back soon.

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