Thumbs-up for Russia’s grand prix track

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FIA race director and safety delegate Charlie Whiting has praised the plans for the circuit which will hold Russia’s first Formula One race next year.

Whiting was quoted by AutoWeek as telling local media: “I’m really impressed by the configuration of this track,” after conducting an inspection of the facility.

“The scale of the whole project is truly impressive,” he added.

The track in Sochi, on the Black Sea, will be completed after the region hosts next year’s Winter Olympics in February. The race on roads around the Olympic facility is expected to take place near the end of next year’s F1 season.

Sebastian Vettel visited the proposed 3.7-mile course in April as part of a publicity event for sponsor Infiniti. He said it looked “very interesting and challenging” with “some fast corners and hopefully plenty of places to overtake”.

The chances of Russia having a home driver on the grid for its first race have risen recently as Sauber is considering promoting Sergey Sirotkin to its race team.

The calendar for 2014 is looking increasingly congested following yesterday’s news the Austrian Grand Prix is set to return and with a second race in the USA planned in New Jersey.

Pagenaud leads no-tow times in Sunday practice

Photo: IndyCar
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Sunday practice ahead of Day 2 of qualifying for the 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 was split into two groups – one for the drivers who ended Saturday qualifying in positions 10-33, and one for the drivers who made the Fast Nine Shootout for the Pole.

In the combined times, Ryan Hunter-Reay was fastest overall. But, Simon Pagenaud topped the all-important no-tow speeds with a lap of 229.409 mph.

Pagenaud’s Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, and Will Power were second, third, and fourth on the no-tow chart – and they were also the only four drivers from the Top 9 who went out for practice.

Of the drivers who qualifying between positions 10 through 33, Alexander Rossi had the quickest no-tow speed of 227.779 mph.

Combined results are below. Qualifying begins at 2:30 p.m. ET.

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