GP2: Richie Stanaway and Status secure maiden victory

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Richie Stanaway and Status Grand Prix celebrated their maiden victories in the GP2 Series in Monaco after the New Zealander dominated proceedings in Saturday’s sprint race.

Starting from second place on the reverse grid, Stanaway made a clean start to pass Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello into the first corner and take the lead of the race.

From there, he put in a controlled drive to go lights-to-flag and claim his first GP2 victory in just his sixth races in the series.

“It feels quite surreal to win here in Monaco today and of all the places to win your first GP2 race, this has to be the best,” Stanaway said. “GP2 is still so new to me and with this just being my third race weekend it really is a fantastic feeling.

“The tough thing is the mental concentration around here, you just need to stay focussed and get into a rhythm. The best way for me to do this was to keep pushing and it worked.”

The result also marked Status Grand Prix’s first victory in GP2 since taking over the old Caterham Racing operation for the 2015 season.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to be Monaco race-winners with Richie in our first year of GP2,” team principal Teddy Yip Jr said. “Richie has driven phenomenally all weekend, giving us a little scare on the final corner but he says he was just messing around – heart in mouth moment, so thanks for that Richie!”

Stanaway was followed home by Marciello and ex-Sauber reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin, who scored his first podium finish in GP2 on Sunday with third place.

American driver Alexander Rossi scored his worst result of the season to date, starting and finishing seventh, whilst championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne was resigned to a similar fate as he went from eighth on the grid to eighth at the checkered flag.

The GP2 Series resumes in support of the Austrian Grand Prix in one month’s time, and will be rejoined by GP3 for the weekend.

Three in position to capture World Rally Championship title at Rally Australia

Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Defending champion Sebastien Ogier goes into this weekend’s Rally Australia with a chance to clinch his sixth World Rally Championship in a row. Thierry Neuville, a runner-up four times but never a champion, hopes to change the world order.

Neuville led the series for much of the season but Ogier’s win in Britain and a second place in Spain has given the Frenchman 204 points, three ahead of Neuville, heading into the final rally of the championship.

“We are not the best friends but we are rivals and respect each other for our performances,” Neuville said Wednesday. “I’ve been second many times in the championship now, we are so close to the main goal.”

“If we need to take more risks because we need to pass Sebastien we’re going to try,” the Belgian driver added, “we’ll take the maximum risks.”

Ogier says the feeling is mutual when it comes to his main rival.

“We are different, definitely, but most important we’re in a great fight together and respect each other for that,” Ogier said. “It’s about trying to beat each other and do it with respect.”

Ott Tanak of Estonia sits 23 points behind and with 30 points for a win in Australia, and other results going his way, he could also capture the world title.

Ogier will be hoping for some Friday morning rain to settle the dust and gravel before he sets off first on what will be more than 300 kilometers (180 miles) of timed racing through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast, about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.

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