Juncos confirms two-car Indy Lights program, including Pro Mazda champ Spencer Pigot

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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field continues to grow with news Juncos Racing is back in the championship for a second go-’round, this time with a full-season two-car effort. The team ran a partial season in 2012.

Pro Mazda champion Spencer Pigot will move up with Juncos and be joined by his Pro Mazda teammate Kyle Kaiser. They’ll drive the No. 12 and 18 entries, respectively, of the new Dallara IL15 chassis.

“I’m very happy to rejoin Juncos Racing for the 2015 season,” Pigot said in a release. “We worked really well together last year and were able to achieve a lot of success so I hope we can build on that in 2015. It’s a very exciting time to be moving up to Indy Lights with the new car. It looks great and I can’t wait to drive it. It will be my third season as a Mazda scholarship driver and I can’t thank everyone at Mazda enough for this opportunity along with my other supporters. The first test is coming up soon so we’ll be working hard in the shop to make sure we hit the ground running.”

Added Kaiser, “I am thrilled to be moving up to Indy Lights and be among the first Mazda Road to Indy drivers to test and race the new Dallara IL-15. This is a unique opportunity to be learning all the nuances of the new car at the same time as the other teams, which will be a true test of our feedback and setup skills. Juncos is like a second home, so it’s fantastic that we were able to keep the same synergy within the team for the Indy Lights series.”

The pair are the third and fourth drivers announced for next year’s Indy Lights series; Felix Serralles (Belardi) and Ethan Ringel (Schmidt Peterson) have also been confirmed.

F1: Lewis Hamilton qualifies No. 1 for U.S. Grand Prix, on verge of winning 5th title

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Lewis Hamilton took a big step toward earning his fifth Formula One championship on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 for Sunday’s U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Hamilton and his Mercedes have won five of the previous six U.S. Grand Prix’s held at COTA, including the last four races there.

The Great Britain native comes into Sunday’s race leading the F1 point standings and is seeking to tie Juan Manuel Fangio for second-most F1 career championships. Michael Schumacher has the most with seven crowns.

Sebastian Vettel is Hamilton’s sole remaining challenger for the title, trailing Hamilton by 67 points with four races to go, including Sunday’s race.

Vettel must win Sunday’s race or finish within seven points of Hamilton to prevent the latter from winning the title and pushing a possible clinching scenario to next week in Mexico.

Vettel qualified second Saturday, but due to a red-flag three-position grid penalty sustained during Friday’s morning practice, will start fifth on Sunday’s grid.

As a result of Vettel’s penalty, Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Hamilton on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate, Vallteri Bottas, will start third, while Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Here’s how qualifying played out:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.130 1:33.480 1:32.237 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.569 1:33.079 1:32.298 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.703 1:32.884 1:32.307 15
4 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.518 1:33.702 1:32.616 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.755 1:34.185 1:33.494 14
6 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.876 1:34.522 1:34.145 18
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.932 1:34.564 1:34.215 18
8 8 RomainGrosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:34.892 1:34.419 1:34.250 17
9 16 Charles Leclerc SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.069 1:34.255 1:34.420 17
10 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.193 1:34.525 1:34.594 17
11 55 Carlos Sainz RENAULT 1:34.891 1:34.566 12
12 20 KevinMagnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.972 1:34.732 12
13 10 Pierre Gasly SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:34.850 DNS 13
14 28 Brendon Hartley SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA 1:35.206 DNS 13
15 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.766 4
16 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.294 6
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.362 6
18 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.480 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:35.536 8
20 2 StoffelVandoorne MCLAREN RENAULT 1:35.735 6

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