GP2: Nasr and Cecotto star on a tough weekend for US drivers

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Felipe Nasr and Johnny Cecotto Jr. have been the stars of the second GP2 weekend of the season in Spain as both claimed one win at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

However, it was a disappointing weekend for American drivers Conor Daly and Alexander Rossi, who both failed to score any points once again due to a number of problems.

Qualifying saw Stephane Richelmi secure his first pole position in the series for DAMS, but he stalled on the grid, handing the advantage to teammate Jolyon Palmer, who had qualified in second place for the feature race. Palmer made an early stop to change onto the hard tire, and this proved to be costly as Cecotto – who had started way back down in 16th place – went deep into the race before stopping for a set of softs. This allowed him to clinch his third GP2 victory, and answer a number of critics who dislike his aggressive driving style.

The feature race saw Alexander Rossi retire with an engine problem, whilst Conor Daly could only come home in 17th place as he struggled on the soft tire.

For the sprint race on Sunday, the top eight finishers were reversed to form the grid, handing pole to Arden driver Tom Dillman who was stepping in for the injured Andre Negrao. The Frenchman performed admirably on his return to the series and eventually finished in third place.

The star of Sunday was unquestionably Felipe Nasr, who claimed his first ever GP2 win after recording 10 podium finishes over the past two years. He finished ahead of Palmer, who, with his fourth podium in as many races, has stormed into the lead of the championship.

Daly’s race ended prematurely when he was caught up in an incident between Simon Trummer and Artem Markelov. Rossi endured a quiet race to cross the line down in 14th.

GP2 now has a two week break before the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, but its own support series – GP3 – will not return until Austria. Red Bull junior Alex Lynn leads the championship after completing a grand chelem – pole, fastest lap, win, lead every lap – on Saturday, whilst Dean Stoneman won the sprint race on Sunday.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.