Alexander Rossi confirms return to GP2 in 2015 with Racing Engineering

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American racer Alexander Rossi has confirmed today that he will return to the GP2 Series in 2015, joining Spanish outfit Racing Engineering alongside Britain’s Jordan King.

Rossi was the Rookie of the Year in GP2 in 2013, claiming a feature race win for Caterham Racing in Abu Dhabi as he balanced his commitments with a reserve role at Caterham F1 Team.

However, the team’s financial woes meant that Rossi was dropped after just five rounds of the season, and despite taking part in one further round for Campos Racing, he did not race in the second half of the year.

The Californian did secure a reserve role at Marussia F1 Team for the rest of the season, and despite coming close to making his F1 debut on five occasions, he failed to line up on the grid due to the team’s financial collapse following the Russian Grand Prix.

Rossi will now return to GP2 for 2015, confirming today that he has joined Racing Engineering.

“After several years of discussions, at last Racing Engineering and I have found a way to work together,” Rossi said in a statement. “Racing Engineering is a multiple championship-winning GP2 team, and their passion and commitment to excellence reflects throughout the organization, where winning and performance is the sole focus.

“After my 2014 season as the official reserve driver at the Caterham and Marussia F1 Teams, it is public knowledge that I have been carefully looking over several options for 2015, both in Europe and the States. I’ve spent the majority of my career racing in Europe, building my racing foundation and have strong relationships there. My ultimate goal has never wavered, and still remains F1.

“The GP2 Championship with Racing Engineering is the perfect alignment for these career objectives. The team and I have a strong mutual belief in each other and believe we have the assets and the combination to win the championship this year.”

Rossi will make his debut for the team at the first GP2 pre-season test, taking place in Abu Dhabi in two weeks’ time.

Christopher Bell survives caution-filled Chili Bowl Prelim

TeeJay Crawford
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Christopher Bell survived the most caution-filled Feature of the week to win Thursday’s preliminary night at the 33rd Annual Chili Bowl. His ability to hold the lead on restarts helped lock Bell into his seventh Saturday A-Feature since 2013.

“I pretty much suck on restarts. I do better when I get into a rhythm,” said Christopher Bell on twitter.

Bell started the feature in third place behind Danny Stratton and Jerry Coons Jr. He took the lead on the first official lap of the race, but not until after two Lap 1 cautions.

The Oklahoma native held the lead through the remaining 24 laps and eight cautions until being challenged by Shane Golobic and CJ Leary on the final laps. Golobic briefly made it past him though Turns 3 and 4 of the final lap. Bell regained control in 1 and 2 to claim the checkers.

“It was a lot busier than what I wanted them to be. Shane definitely made a race out of it and I hope the last four laps were a good show. It was a lot of fun … well it was fun because I won but if I hadn’t won it wouldn’t have been much fun,” Bell said regarding the final laps.

Golobic earned the second transfer into Saturday’s A-Main after starting to the outside of Bell.

Leary completed the podium with the pole sitter Stratton finished fourth.

Josh Most battled through the B after a hard crash in his heat. He rebounded to transfer to the A and drove from 22nd to fifth.

With the throng of cautions at the start and finish of the race, the goal quickly became survival. Only 15 of 24 entries completed the full feature. Notable DNF’s included Ryan Bernal who started fifth, Coons, who started on the front row and Thomas Meseraull in 15th.

NASCAR’s Justin Allgaier finished 13th and will have a long day ahead of him on Saturday.

Friday Jan. 18 will be the final Qualifying night for the 33rd annual Chili Bowl Nationals.

Thursday’s Results

1. Christopher Bell
2. Shane Golobic
3. CJ Leary
4. Danny Stratton
5. Josh Most
6. Austin Brown
7. Tracy Hines
8. Casey Shuman
9. Kyle Cummins
10. Andrew Felker
11. Austin O’Dell
12. Seth Carlson
13. Justin Allgaier
14. Chase Johnson
15. Johnny Herrera
16. Ryan Bernal
17. Jerry Coons Jr.
18. Matt Sherrell
19. Thomas Meseraull
20. Jake Morgan
21. Andrew Deal
22. Kevin Bayer
23. Kaleb Currie
24. Joe B. Miller