GP2: Matsushita claims maiden victory in Hungary

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Nobuharu Matsushita claimed his maiden victory in the GP2 Series on Sunday by going lights-to-flag to win the sprint race in Hungary.

Starting from pole position, Matsushita controlled the race from the front to lead home ART Grand Prix teammate and championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne by 1.9 seconds.

Vandoorne made up for his difficult feature race on Saturday by jumping Raffaele Marciello for second place off the line, and was followed through by Sergey Sirotkin who remained on the Belgian’s tail for much of the race.

Tire management was a key concern for all of the drivers out on track, but Matsushita was able to keep his Pirellis in check and slowly eke out a lead over Vandoorne before crossing the line to claim his first win in GP2.

“The car was just amazing from the beginning until the end,” Matsushita said. “On Friday, I made a big mistake in qualifying. I had a flat stop so I couldn’t attack. That’s why I qualified P21.

“It was my worst qualifying result of the year. But yesterday, I made a great recovery and today I could start from P1.

“The car was just amazing. I made a good start and after that I only had to control everything until the end.”

The Honda-backed Japanese youngster only made his GP2 debut at the beginning of the season, but has proved to be a useful teammate to Vandoorne in his title bid.

Despite finishing second, Vandoorne extended his lead at the top of the drivers’ championship to 85 points as Alexander Rossi failed to score once again, dropping down to third in the standings behind Rio Haryanto.

Like F1, GP2 now embarks on its summer break, and will return in support of the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of August.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.