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.

Robert Wickens in the Indy 500? Bryan Herta making plans to field a car for next year

Robert Wickens Indy 500
Brett Farmer/LAT Images/IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Bryan Herta wants to enter Robert Wickens in the Indy 500 as early as 2024 – a year longer than preferred as work continues on the hand controls needed for the paralyzed driver.

Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono Raceway in his 2018 IndyCar rookie season. He’s worked as a driver coach for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team since, but last year with Bryan Herta Autosport and Hyundai returned to racing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The 33-year-old Canadian won a pair of races (including the season opener at Daytona) driving a Hyundai Elantra N-TCR that is fitted for Wickens to race strictly through hand controls. Herta said Thursday that perfecting that technology for an Indy car in the biggest race in the world has slowed the project he’s determined to do with Wickens.

‘I’M AS HUNGRY AS EVER’: Robert Wickens’ return to racing

“I’d love to take Robbie back to Indy because I know he could do that, and I think that would be a next step for him in his journey,” Herta told The Associated Press. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at the logistical side of things, hand controls, and I think we have solutions for that.”

Herta said Honda has been supportive of the process, which Herta called “one of the most important things we’ve done in racing” last year.

“We actually looked at doing it this year, but the logistics of it, the timing, it just wasn’t enough,” Herta said. “That’s not something you can rush. There’s some things that we have to work very closely with IndyCar on, and things we just have to get right. It’s a process, but I can see a path to it.”

Wickens, when told his boss was openly discussing the Indy 500, grinned widely. Herta as a team owner won the Indianapolis 500 with Dan Wheldon and Alexander Rossi.

“That’d be fun,” he said of running the Indy 500.

But like Herta, Wickens said the effort has to be both done correctly and be competitive.

“We’d like to do it right. If we started right now, can we get a car ready for the open test in April? Probably,” Wickens told The AP. “But I don’t know where the systems would be and I want to get on proper simulators to make sure its correct.

“We all want to do a proper, professional effort,” he added. “I don’t want to do it for a marketing campaign. I want to do it for a chance to win.”

Wickens later tweeted about the possibility of racing the Indy 500 and said his goal was “always to get back to the top level of motorsport” whether it’s IndyCar or IMSA.

Wickens in 2021 did a demonstration in Canada that marketed advancements for paralyzed drivers and gave him a chance to again drive. His entire life had been upended 14 races into his rookie IndyCar season, just three months after winning top rookie honors at the Indianapolis 500.

Wickens has since married, returned to racing last year and welcomed the birth of his first child, an son named Wesley whom is infatuated with both race cars and the trip to Disney he took this week during the off days at Daytona International Speedway.

Wickens, who uses a wheelchair but can stand with some support, marks a full year back racing on Friday in the season-opening IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Despite success last season, Herta made changes to his lineups and Wickens this year will be teamed with Harry Gottsacker.