GP2: Line-up for pre-season test in Abu Dhabi confirmed

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The full entry list for the upcoming GP2 Series pre-season test in Abu Dhabi has been confirmed as teams begin their final preparations before the start of the new racing year.

Formula 1 may resume racing next weekend in Australia, but its premier feeder series won’t be back in action until the middle of April in support of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

However, the GP2 drivers and teams will get their first taste of on-track action in 2015 at the Yas Marina Circuit on Monday, with the first of two pre-season tests getting underway.

The majority of the teams have confirmed their drivers for the season, but a handful will get a chance to impress in Abu Dhabi and make a last-ditch bid to secure one of the remaining seats.

MP Motorsport will run with Italian driver Vittorio Ghirelli in Abu Dhabi alongside Daniel De Jong, with the latter being firmed up for a second season with the Dutch team.

As reported on Saturday, Status Grand Prix will field Richie Stanaway for all three days of testing in Abu Dhabi as he bids to graduate from GP3 in 2015. Swiss driver Zoel Amberg is also hoping to impress for Lazarus GP with the seat vacated by American driver Conor Daly up for grabs.

The only team that is yet to confirm either of its drivers for 2015, Hilmer Motorsport, runs two former GP2 drivers in this first pre-season test: Sergio Canamasas and Axcil Jefferies.

Following this three-day test, the teams will meet once again in Bahrain from April 1-3 for the final running before the season opener at the Bahrain International Circuit on April 18.

GP2 Pre-Season Test Abu Dhabi – Entry List

CAR
DRIVER
COUNTRY
TEAM
01
Pierre Gasly
FRA
DAMS
02
Alex Lynn
GBR
DAMS
03
Julian Leal
COL
Carlin
04
Marco Sorensen
DEN
Carlin
05
Stoffel Vandoorne
BEL
ART Grand Prix
06
Nobuharu Matsushita
JAP
ART Grand Prix
07
Jordan King
GBR
Racing Engineering
08
Alexander Rossi
USA
Racing Engineering
09
Mitch Evans
NZL
RUSSIAN TIME
10
Artem Markelov
RUS
RUSSIAN TIME
11
Raffaele Marciello
ITA
Trident
12
Rene Binder
AUT
Trident
14
Arthur Pic
FRA
Campos Racing
15
Rio Haryanto
INA
Campos Racing
16
Vittorio Ghirelli
ITA
MP Motorsport
17
Daniel De Jong
NED
MP Motorsport
18
Sergey Sirotkin
RUS
Rapax
19
Robert Visoiu
ROU
Rapax
20
André Negrao
BRA
Arden International
21
Norman Nato
FRA
Arden International
22
Marlon Stockinger
PHI
Status Grand Prix
23
Richie Stanaway
NZL
Status Grand Prix
24
Sergio Canamasas
ESP
Hilmer Motorsport
25
Axcil Jefferies
ZIM
Hilmer Motorsport
26
Nathanaël Berthon
FRA
Lazarus
27
Zoel Amberg
SUI
Lazarus

 

Here are the starting times for 2020 NTT IndyCar Series action on NBC and NBCSN

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Another important tidbit for NTT IndyCar Series fans is out as INDYCAR and NBC announced starting times for the 2020 season. The full television schedule is also included.

There are different starting times at four races in 2020 from 2019. Those include the March 15 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, the AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of the Americas on April 26, a later starting time for the Saturday night race at Iowa Speedway on July 18 on NBCSN

INDYCAR released the green flag times today for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season that features starting time shifts at four races – St. Petersburg, Circuit of The Americas, Iowa and Mid-Ohio – and the anticipated evening return to Richmond Raceway.

Those four returning races represent the only significant green flag start time changes from a year ago in the 17-race 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, beginning with the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg scheduled for Sunday, March 15.

The August 16 Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be moved to an earlier starting time and will be broadcast on NBC. Previously, the race was scheduled for 4:05 p.m., but has been changed to a 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time green flag.

INDYCAR’s return to Richmond Raceway on Saturday, June 27 will begin at 8:15 p.m. ET. That is the only new event on the schedule.

Detailed broadcast information for the entire season will be announced at a later date.

Here are the notable changes to the starting times on the schedule:

The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which began at 1:40 p.m. ET this past season, will now have a 3:30 p.m. green flag. The race on the downtown streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., will be celebrating its 10thanniversary as the series’ season opener and be televised on NBC Sports Network.

The AutoNation INDYCAR Challenge at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, April 26, will have a similar shift, moving from a 1:43 p.m. ET green flag this past season to 4:10 p.m. (3:10 p.m. local) in 2020. The permanent road course in Austin, Texas, will play host to the fourth race of the season and be broadcast on NBCSN.

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway, set for Saturday, July 18, on NBCSN, will be better accommodated for an evening race under the lights with the green flag moving from 7:15 p.m. ET to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. local).

“The return of a night race for INDYCAR at Iowa Speedway is exciting news for our race fans, sponsors, and the entire region,” Iowa Speedway President David Hyatt said. “The cars look great under the lights, and the competition should be even more fierce given what should be cooler conditions. Our track provides some of the best racing you’ll see anywhere, which will be good for attendance. This will be a can’t-miss weekend for all race fans.”

The return to a true night race at Iowa was the result of fans requesting it. The race will begin at 8:00 p.m. CT on NBCSN and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network. And for fans and drivers, it is nostalgic, hearkening back to the first race many of them experienced … a night race on a short track.

The series hasn’t held a race that began after dusk at Iowa Speedway since 2015, and drivers and fans are welcoming it. Not only does it look more vibrant — and create sparks as cars bottom out — it also makes for better racing. Tires grip better when the track is cooler. Fans also avoid sweltering conditions during summer afternoons.

The Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday, Aug. 16, will be the only race among the four that moves to an earlier start time. The race, which had a 4:05 p.m. ET start this past season, will shift to a 12:45 p.m. green flag in 2020 and be televised on NBC.

The NTT IndyCar Series heads to Richmond Raceway – the only new addition on the 2020 schedule – for the 11th race of the season on Saturday, June 27. The field will take the green flag at 8:15 ET for the start of the first Indy car race at the .75-mile oval since 2009. The race will be broadcast on NBCSN.