Rossi: GP2 victory in Belgium “perfect timing”

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Alexander Rossi believes that his victory in last Sunday’s GP2 race at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps came at a perfect time as he heads into the final stages of the 2015 season.

Rossi dominated the GP2 sprint race in support of the Belgian Grand Prix, taking the lead on the first lap before leading all the way to the checkered flag, leading home teammate Jordan King for a Racing Engineering one-two.

The result saw Rossi return to second place in the drivers’ championship, and has given the American great hope ahead of the final four double-header rounds of the 2015 season.

“This win was the perfect timing for myself and gives momentum for the team leading into the last eight races,” Rossi said.

“We had a good start which enabled me to challenge for the lead into turn one in both races. Today I could see the fight for the lead was going to be turn five and not turn one; Jordan and I fought hard under braking, but I had the better line into the chicane and was able to overtake.

“From there it was about not only managing the tires and the gap to the car behind, but also being aware of the pressure on me from the other competitors with use of DRS. Jordan would close on me in sector one, which meant I needed to open up a bit of gap each lap in sector two, which in turn took a bit more from my tires.

“It gives us that additional confidence going into Monza and final eight races. We just need to win more races and keep focused on scoring as many points as possible in the remaining rounds.

“I am very proud of the team. We had a bit of a slow start to the weekend, but everyone bounced back perfectly to the situation around us.”

The gap to championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne remains a daunting 105 points, giving Rossi little hope of mounting a serious challenge for the title.

However, this victory will undoubtedly have been brought to the attention of NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas, who is set to join the F1 grid with Haas F1 Team in 2016.

Rossi is known to be a candidate for one of the two available seats, but does lack the prior F1 experience that the team is craving for its debut next April.

In an interview with AUTOSPORT after his victory, Rossi confirmed he was still in talks with the team, but that he is also looking at other options for 2016.

“We’re talking, but I wouldn’t say advanced talks yet,” he said.

“Obviously I have my hopes, but at the same time I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket because we are talking to other teams and looking at different options, with Formula 1 still being the main objective.”

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”