GP2: Marlon Stockinger confirmed at Status Grand Prix

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Status Grand Prix has today confirmed that Marlon Stockinger will race for the team in the 2015 GP2 Series season.

Stockinger, 23, previously raced for Status in GP3 back in 2012, claiming a sprint race win at Monaco that year. He most recently took part in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship, and is a member of Lotus F1 Team’s junior programme.

The Filipino-Swiss racer will now make the move across to GP2 for the 2015 season, with Status today announcing him as the first of its drivers for the year ahead.

“It is really good to come back to Status and I have a lot of happy memories from our time in GP3, especially winning in Monaco,” Stockinged said. “The team are based at Silverstone which is where my European racing career kicked off and it feels very nostalgic and positive. I feel very excited to be back with the team in my first GP2 season.

“My fans are already so excited about what I am doing this season and guessing which team I am with. It is pretty cool that motorsport is growing more popular in the Philippines and I am really thankful to have so much support.”

Team boss Teddy Yip was pleased to welcome Stockinger back to the team for the new season as Status Grand Prix prepares for its GP2 debut after taking over Caterham Racing’s entry.

“We are delighted to welcome Marlon back to the team following a successful GP3 campaign in 2012,” Yip said. “Marlon is a hard-working and dedicated driver and we know he will apply a high level of professionalism to his maiden GP2 season.

“This season will be Status’ first year in GP2 however we have an experienced team of personnel to give Marlon all the tools he needs to succeed in this highly competitive F1 feeder series. We are extremely excited to see him progress.”

GP2 pre-season testing kicks off this weekend in Abu Dhabi, with the first round of the season coming in support of April’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

March 28 in Motorsports History: Adrian Fernandez wins Motegi’s first race

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While auto racing is an international sport, oval racing remains uniquely American. 

That almost always has remained the case since the inception of the sport, but in 1998, the citizens of Japan got their first taste of American oval racing.

Having opened the previous year, Twin Ring Motegi was built by Honda in an effort to bring Indy-style racing to the Land of the Rising Sun. 

Adrian Fernandez was the first driver to win at the facility, taking the checkered flag in CART’s inaugural race after shaking off flu earlier that day.

Fernandez held off a hard-charging Al Unser Jr to win by 1.086 seconds. The victory was the second of his career and his first since Toronto in 1996.

Adrian Fernandez celebrates with Al Unser Jr and Gil de Ferran after winning the inaugural race at Motegi. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

The race was also memorable for a violent crash involving Bobby Rahal.

Running third with 15 laps remaining, Rahal’s right front suspension broke in Turn 2, causing his car to hit the outside wall and flip down the backstretch.

Luckily, Rahal walked away from the accident without a scratch.

“The car was on rails through (turns) 1 and 2, and all of a sudden it just got up into the marbles, and it was gone,” Rahal said. “Thank God we’ve got such safe cars.”

The following season, Fernadez went back-to-back and won again at Motegi. The track remained on the CART schedule until 2002.

In 2003, Honda switched their alliance to the Indy Racing Leauge, and Motegi followed suit.

The track continued to host IndyCar racing until 2011 with the final race being held on the facility’s 2.98-mile road course, as the oval sustained damage in the Tōhoku earthquake earlier that year.

Also on this date:

1976: Clay Regazzoni won the United States Grand Prix – West, Formula One’s first race on the Long Beach street circuit. The Grand Prix would become an IndyCar event following the 1983 edition of the race.

1993: Ayrton Senna won his home race, the Grand Prix of Brazil, for the second and final time of his career. The victory was also the 100th in F1 for McLaren.

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