Briscoe completes first test for Ganassi since December signing

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Ryan Briscoe didn’t get to test for his new employers in 2013, so on Friday, he was finally able to step back into a Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar for the first time as one of their full-time drivers since 2005.

Briscoe raced CGR’s fourth car at last year’s Indianapolis 500, finishing 12th, before racing selected events with Panther Racing the rest of the year. He entered IndyCar as a rookie with CGR in 2005, in the team’s third car. Two years of excelling in part-time opportunities in 2006-’07 led to his full-time seat with Team Penske, which he held from 2008 through 2012.

Now, he will be back full-time in IndyCar after a fractured 2013 that saw him split his time between open-wheel and sports cars. Briscoe expressed a great sense of appreciation for the stability after completing his first laps at Sebring last Friday in the No. 8 NTT Data Chevrolet.

“It feels great.  It feels so good to be back doing a test knowing that it’s preparation for an entire season and with a team that we are hoping that is going to be extremely competitive,” Briscoe said, via a Chevrolet manufacturer release.

The quartet of CGR cars were on hand as part of a 10-car Chevrolet manufacturer test, so Briscoe had the opportunity to test alongside teammates Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball. Briscoe will work with Eric Cowdin, who was his engineer for a period at Penske, while Kanaan shifts to the Chris Simmons-engineered No. 10 Target Chevrolet.

“I’m excited. I had a really good first day here in Sebring, got through some set-up items and basic just tuning to understand my driving style to what they have developed already,” Briscoe explained. “Just trying to understand those kinds of things and it was a good day.  We come out of the day knowing a lot more than we did going in.  It’s a good start to the year.”

Briscoe will be among a host of IndyCar drivers in action at next week’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Jan. 25-26. He’ll co-drive with Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R in the GTLM class of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Briscoe has past experience at the Rolex in Daytona Prototypes, but this will be his first race in the factory Corvette program.

Formula 1: Ricciardo on Monaco pole, Verstappen to start last

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Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has dominated all weekend long at the Monaco Grand Prix, leading every single practice session prior to qualifying.

And qualifying was more of the same for the Australian driver, whose quick lap in Q3 came in at 1:10.810, a new track record, to take the pole by more than two tenths of a second over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen endured a much more difficult day, which started with a hard crash in FP3.

Verstappen’s Red Bull RB14 suffered extensive damage to the right side, and even more damage was later found in the car’s gearbox. Such repairs ultimately proved too time consuming, and Verstappen will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix from last.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton filled out the top three by qualifying third, with Ferrari and Mercedes also taking the fourth and fifth spots on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas in fifth.

Force India’s Esteban Ocon, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. take up spots six, seven, and eight on the grid. Sergio Perez made it two Force Indias in Q3, qualifying ninth, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified tenth.

Full qualifying results are below. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix kicks off at 9:00 a.m. ET.

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