Sam Bird, Jaime Alguersuari named to Virgin’s Formula E team (VIDEO)

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One driver who missed the F1 call for now and one who is the youngest driver to have ever started an F1 race will race for a team owner who at one point was both a sponsor and a team owner in F1.

That’s Sam Bird, Jaime Alguersuari and Sir Richard Branson, respectively. The three are together with Branson’s new Virgin FIA Formula E team, as the team’s driver lineup for the inaugural all-electric championship was revealed Tuesday.

“Jaime and Sam are young yet experienced drivers and fantastic guys off the racetrack to boot,” Branson said in a statement released by the team. “I’m delighted to welcome them both to the Virgin Racing family. Jamie has demonstrated speed and talent at the very highest level whilst Sam is a proven race winner. I am sure they will be a formidable force on the circuits, let sparks fly!”

Added Bird, “Formula E is going to be a brilliant experience and I can’t wait to get started on what will be an exciting new challenge in my career. I know I’m going to be driving the latest in electric vehicle technology and I’m looking forward to testing myself around the streets of some of the world’s most amazing cities.”

And Alguersuari, “I’m thrilled to be driving for an organisation like Virgin. I’m going to be driving for a great team with a wealth of experience and I can’t wait to get out on the streets and put these cars to the test.”

Recent driving experience for the two of them is a bit varied. Bird has made it into sports cars, racing a PC class ORECA FLM09 for Starworks Motorsport in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, and also a GTE-Am class Ferrari F458 Italia for AF Corse in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Alguersuari, meanwhile, has done some Pirelli tire testing but hasn’t been on the F1 grid since 2011.

FE teams are starting to reveal their lineups for the championship that begins in September, and these are two talented shoes for one of the squads. Here’s a video put together by the team of the two drivers meeting each other.

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.