GP2 gets set for race #200 this weekend in Germany

0 Comments

As well as celebrating its tenth season in 2014, GP2 is now preparing for race #200 to take place on Saturday in support of the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Introduced in 2005 as a replacement for the International F3000 series, GP2 has since grown into one of the most senior and competitive single seater series around. Ordinarily, it supports half of the Formula 1 grands prix across the course of a season, mainly those in Europe. You can find out more about the series by reading our primer here.

Over the years, GP2 has produced a number of top Formula 1 drivers. 25 have made the jump up in total, including 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton (2006 GP2 champion), his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg (2005), grand prix winner Pastor Maldonado (2010), Lotus driver Romain Grosjean (2011), and the likes of Jules Bianchi, Esteban Gutierrez, Nico Hulkenberg and Kamui Kobayashi. Even American driver Scott Speed came through GP2 before entering F1.

Currently, the championship battle appears to be between Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr. Both have plenty of experience in the series, but as we have seen over the past couple of years, winning the title does not necessarily guarantee a seat in Formula 1.

GP2 also plays host to the two American drivers that are closest to making the jump to Formula 1. Alexander Rossi had been a member of Caterham F1 Team’s academy, but parted company with the team earlier this week. He is now racing with Campos, and still has sights on a seat with Haas in 2016.

Conor Daly is the other young American racing in GP2, currently for Venezuelan GP Lazarus. We caught up with him at Silverstone where he spoke about the challenges facing young drivers trying to make their way up the ladder.

GP2 has provided us with many memorable moments over the years and some highly entertaining racing. Congratulations to all involved for reaching such a great milestone, and here’s to the next 200.

You can watch highlights of GP2 from Hockenheim this Sunday at 7pm ET on NBCSN.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
0 Comments

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III