Indy Lights: Alex Baron leads Belardi 1-2 finish in Toronto

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Belardi Auto Racing’s Alex Baron and points leader Gabby Chaves led the way throughout the Indy Lights’ ninth round of 2014 on the streets of Toronto, with Baron winning from the pole position by 1.2 seconds.

Baron’s inaugural Lights win also brings Belardi’s current winning streak to three races, as Chaves won the preceding two events at Indianapolis (Freedom 100) and Pocono.

“It always feels good to win a race and even better to win in Indy Lights, which is so prestigious as the step before IndyCar,” Baron said. “I’m really honored and thrilled to have achieved this.

“As the pole car, I was just guessing in each corner until I figured it out. In Turn One and Turn Three a couple of times, I didn’t know what to expect, but the track got better and better as the race went on.”

Chaves also extended his lead in the Indy Lights championship to 21 points, 356-335, over Zach Veach, who finished fifth today.

Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian driver Jack Harvey earned the final spot on the Toronto podium over Andretti Autosport teammates Matthew Brabham (fourth) and Veach.

The two Belardi cars stretched out to a sizable lead before Harvey started to gain on the leaders around the halfway point. Harvey continued to close in on Chaves for the runner-up spot, but ultimately finished 1.6 seconds behind him.

Two drivers were unable to make it to the finish. Schmidt driver Luiz Razia suffered contact on the opening lap with another car, and tried to keep going but ultimately shut it down on Lap 7.

Combined with his DNF last time out at Pocono, this may be a lethal blow to his championship hopes. Also bowing out early was Ryan Phinny, who was surely hoping for a better Lights debut today.

The series will resume its 2014 schedule with races on Aug. 2 and 3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.