RCR, Germain to enter technical alliance next season

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As part of Germain Racing’s jump to Chevrolet next season, the team – which currently fields the No. 13 Toyota for Casey Mears in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – will form a technical alliance with powerhouse Richard Childress Racing starting next year.

According to an RCR release, the alliance will feature technology sharing, engineering, research and development, and also see the Germain No. 13 use ECR Engines. Germain has fielded a Sprint Cup program since the 2009 campaign, and has earned two Camping World Truck Series championships (2006, 2010) in its history.

“Richard Childress and RCR have an extremely competitive program with a long history of winning races and championships,” Germain Racing team owner Bob Germain, Jr. said in a statement. “They have great people and tremendous resources which will allow us to continue to improve our GEICO team’s performance in 2014 and beyond.”

Mears and Germain have just one Top-10 this season, a ninth-place result in July’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. However, the alliance will allow Mears to get re-acquainted with RCR after he ran for them in 2009; he collected four Top-10s that year in the No. 07 Chevy.

“We are very pleased to have a team like Germain Racing become our partner,” RCR owner Richard Childress said. “Bob and his team have been very committed to this sport and worked hard to improve every year.

“We have worked with Casey before and he’s a very talented driver. We look forward to working with him and his crew chief Bootie Barker.”

Sergio Perez wins rain-delayed race in Singapore over Leclerc; Verstappen seventh

Sergio Perez Singapore
Clive Rose/Getty Images,
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SINGAPORE — Max Verstappen’s Formula One title celebrations were put on hold after the Red Bull driver placed seventh at a chaotic Singapore Grand Prix, won by his teammate Sergio Perez on Sunday.

Perez’s second win of the season saw him finish 7.6 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in third place.

Perez was investigated for a potential safety car infringement but still kept the win after a 5-second time penalty for dropping too far back after being warned.

Verstappen had won the past five races but needed to win here and finish 22 points ahead of Leclerc to be crowned champion for a second straight season. That could happen next weekend at the Japanese GP.

Verstappen made a mistake after the second safety car restart, following AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda’s crash on Lap 36. When Verstappen tried to overtake Lando Norris’ McLaren, he locked his tires and needed to pit again.

Leclerc started from pole position with Verstappen going from eighth after a team blunder in qualifying.

The race start was delayed by more than an hour to clear water off the Marina Bay Circuit track following heavy rainfall. Drivers had to finish the 61-lap race within a two-hour window; 59 laps were completed.

Tricky conditions saw the virtual safety car deployed three times and DRS was allowed with about 30 minutes remaining.

Perez made a good start and jumped past Leclerc while Verstappen dropped several places. The first safety car was on Lap 8 when Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo was cut off by Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.

Perez got away cleanly at the restart, while Verstappen climbed into seventh behind Fernando Alonso – whose 350th F1 race ended disappointingly when his engine failed on Lap 21, bringing out the first VSC.

With the track still damp, drivers decided against changing to quicker tires – apart from Mercedes’ George Russell, who struggled for grip.

Hamilton made a rare mistake on Lap 33 and thudded into the crash barrier. Soon after, the leading drivers changed tires in a flurry of stops. They did so just before the safety car was deployed again following Tsunoda’s error.

Verstappen overtook Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin right at the end for seventh place.