GP2: Haryanto claims third sprint race win of season

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Rio Haryanto claimed his third sprint race victory of the 2015 GP2 Series season on Sunday at Silverstone with a dominant display.

Starting from reverse grid pole, the Indonesian driver went wire-to-wire to win the race by 1.9 seconds. Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello finished second, with Red Bull youngster Pierre Gasly third.

“It was everything in the first lap,” Haryanto said after the race. “I knew I had to make a good gap, and I did a really good start and was able to pull away quite a lot in the first two laps, and tried to build as much of a gap as possible because this year DRS means the car behind you might have an advantage.

“I was able to maintain that, to pull the gap from the beginning, and to also look after my tires: it was not that easy, because I had some front graining, but in the end it feels really nice when you cross the line! Third win of the season, and so far it’s been a really good year for me.”

American driver Alexander Rossi enjoyed something of an eventful race, fighting from seventh place on the grid to finish fourth at the flag despite being hit with a time penalty.

After passing a slow-starting Nick Yelloly for fifth place, Rossi swept around the outside of Alex Lynn at Copse with a brave overtake.

However, given that he had put all four wheels over the white line when taking the position, Rossi was hit with a five second time penalty that would be added to his finishing time.

The fight for fifth place raged on until the end of the race between Yelloly, Lynn, Oliver Rowland and Saturday winner Sergey Sirotkin, who ultimately finished in that order. As a result, Rossi kept P4 in spite of his penalty.

For the first time in 2015, championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne failed to score any points as he finished ninth overall. The Belgian driver’s advantage over Rossi at the top of the standings has been cut to 65 points as a result ahead of the next round in Hungary.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”