Two more days of IndyCar running to occur at Sebring to close 2014

0 Comments

The end of on-track running for the Verizon IndyCar Series occurs at Sebring International Raceway’s short course this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here’s what to look for:

SCHMIDT PETERSON’S NEW ERA

With Simon Pagenaud departed to Team Penske, James Hinchcliffe will have his first running as lead driver for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in the No. 77 car. Meanwhile GP2 veterans Davide Valsecchi, Stefano Coletti and Rodolfo Gonzalez will have a crack in the second car as the team seeks to replace Russian Mikhail Aleshin, who at the moment is not expected back for 2015.

While Valsecchi and Coletti are making their IndyCar test debuts, Gonzalez is already making his third test outing. The Venezuelan has a test apiece for Dale Coyne Racing (Barber Motorsports Park) and SPM (Homestead-Miami road course).

Hinchcliffe’s engineer has not yet been named as Pagenaud’s longtime engineer Ben Bretzman is moving with him to Penske. However expect SPM veteran Allen McDonald to provide the guiding tutelage for this test for all drivers.

SAGE’S CHANCE TO BLOOM

Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan and Charlie Kimball were all confirmed for 2015 last week with Chip Ganassi Racing, which leaves the fourth car the only not-yet-confirmed entry for the CGR powerhouse.

However, it could (and probably should) be imminent immediately after this week’s test, when 2013 Indy Lights champion and CGR development driver Sage Karam has his first couple days back in an IndyCar since his starring debut at the Indianapolis 500.

With young American talent not too widely available within the championship at the moment, a Karam confirmation would go a long way towards building for IndyCar’s future.

BHA’s PAIR OF ROOKIE TESTERS

As written last week, this is a more crucial test for 2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves than it is for BHA’s second tester, Dutch GP2 driver Daniel De Jong. Chaves, in his second test and with other cars on track as a comparative point, will look to demonstrate his value to the wider IndyCar community at large.

Meanwhile De Jong will be looking to gain experience and get his feet wet in his IndyCar testing debut. Per Dutch media, he’s not particularly interested in racing in IndyCar next season and instead will explore another season of GP2 instead.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
0 Comments

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.