Kvyat leads Raikkonen in second Singapore GP practice


Daniil Kvyat bounced back from an issue on his car earlier in the day to finish as the fastest driver in the second free practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday night.

Red Bull has struggled to match Mercedes or Ferrari at the front of the field in Formula 1 so far this season, but Kvyat gave the team a boost by topping the timesheets in FP2.

It marked the first time that Red Bull has led a session in 2015, and the team was run close by Ferrari as Mercedes struggled for pace on the super-soft tire.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had swept to another one-two finish for Mercedes earlier in the day on the soft compound tire, but they could not repeat this performance when they switched to the quicker super-soft Pirellis under the lights in FP2.

Kvyat produced a fastest lap of 1:46.142 to edge out Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.039 seconds as Red Bull’s qualifying simulation run proved too quick for the Italian marque to handle.

This pace was underpinned by Daniel Ricciardo in the sister Red Bull car as he finished third fastest, beating Hamilton as the world champion was forced to settle for fourth overall.

Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in the second Ferrari, three-tenths of a second down on Kvyat’s time at the front, while Force India’s Sergio Perez was sixth in the updated B-spec car.

Rosberg failed to match his first-place finish in FP1, ending up seventh overall for Mercedes. Fernando Alonso produced a fine lap in his ailing McLaren-Honda to finish eighth, beating Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen who rounded out the top ten.

Although it is hard to read too much into the FP2 results in Singapore, the early signs are that Mercedes will not have it all its own way in qualifying on Saturday.

Red Bull’s biggest weakness in 2015 has been straight line speed and power, but the chassis remains solid, as proven by the pace of the RB11 around the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Having scored just one podium finish apiece thus far in 2015, Kvyat and Ricciardo will be hoping to translate their good practice form into a strong result in the race on Sunday.

Further down the order, American driver Alexander Rossi only got out for some basic running towards the end of FP2 as Manor spent the majority of the session fixing his car after his shunt earlier in the day. He finished 19th overall ahead of teammate Will Stevens, whose brought out a red flag after hitting the wall early on.

Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 9am ET on Saturday.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.