Red Bull signs Dean Stoneman, Callum Ilott to junior team


Red Bull has confirmed the signings of British drivers Dean Stoneman (pictured) and Callum Ilott to its junior team for the 2015 racing season.

Following Carlos Sainz Jr’s move up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso for 2015 and GP3 champion Alex Lynn’s move away to Williams, Stoneman and Ilott have been drafted in as replacements and will receive backing from the energy drink brand for the next twelve months.

Stoneman, 24, broke onto the racing scene back in 2010 by winning the now-defunct FIA Formula 2 championship, earning himself a Formula 1 test with Williams.

However, his motorsport hopes were put on hold when he diagnosed with testicular cancer, preventing him from moving up to Formula Renault 3.5 where he would have been Daniel Ricciardo’s teammate.

After lengthy treatment, Stoneman returned to racing in the British Porsche Carerra Cup and finished fifth in the 2013 championship before racing in the final GP3 round of the season in Abu Dhabi.

For 2014, Stoneman stayed in GP3 with Marussia Manor before moving to Koiranen for the final four races of the year. With five wins, the Briton finished as runner-up to former Red Bull junior Lynn.

Now, he will move across to Formula Renault 3.5 for the 2015 season with DAMS, and was delighted to have finally announced the news.

“To be part of the Red Bull Junior Team has been one of my life goals and it is fantastic to be given the chance,” Stoneman said.

“You just have to look at the names that have gone before to see that only the best drivers get into the programme. I’m thrilled about the year ahead, to be in the DAMS team in World Series is a perfect opportunity.”

16-year-old Callum Ilott will also enjoy Red Bull backing for the new season following his European karting championship victory in 2014. He will move up to the FIA F3 European Championship for his first season in single-seaters, having spent some time out in New Zealand over the past few months racing in the Toyota Winter Series.

“Being in the Red Bull Junior Team is a privilege,” Ilott said. “You just have to look at the history of the drivers that have gone before.

“Last season was very good for me so I was hoping for a good start in cars but I didn’t imagine that I would get this opportunity. I want to make a good impression this year, show my speed early and keep improving.”

Stoneman and Ilott will join Pierre Gasly on the junior programme for 2015, with the Frenchman enjoying his place with the team for a second year after finishing second in last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 championship. Gasly will race in GP2 this year for DAMS alongside Alex Lynn.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”