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Dave Ryan joins Manor as racing director

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Manor Marussia Formula 1 Team has confirmed the arrival of Dave Ryan in the role of racing director.

Ryan, 61, returns to F1 after six years away from the sport. He was sacked from McLaren in 2009 after telling Lewis Hamilton to lie to the stewards in a bid to gain a position in the Australian Grand Prix.

Ryan had worked in the sport for 34 years, and joins Manor with immediate effect ahead of the departures of sporting director Graeme Lowdon and team principal John Booth at the end of the season.

“As Racing Director, Dave will oversee race team operations during an exciting period of development for the Manor Marussia F1 Team,” a statement from the team read.

“2015 has largely been a rebuilding year, but looking ahead to 2016, equipped with class-leading Mercedes-Benz Hybrid power, the team expects to be competing for championship points and position.”

Manor owner Stephen Fitzpatrick was pleased to welcome Ryan on board before formally confirming the departures of Booth and Lowdon.

“I’m delighted to announce Dave’s appointment in the newly created position of Racing Director,” Fitzpatrick said. “He needs no introduction, of course, having spent 34 years within the sport contributing to an incredible tally of race and championship wins.

“Along with our new Mercedes Benz power unit, technical partnership with Williams and recent additions to the design and technical team, Dave’s arrival is another important step towards our goal of creating a truly competitive racing team.

“I am also able to confirm that John Booth and Graeme Lowdon will be leaving the team at the end of the current season.

“I have the utmost respect for them as individuals and for all they have achieved, both with this team and in their long careers in motorsport, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hard work and dedication during this season in particular.

“Like every great story, there comes a time to start a new chapter.”

Ryan was well aware of the challenge faced by Manor as it continues to rebuild following its collapse at the end of last year, but is relishing the opportunity to return to F1.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Manor Marussia F1 Team at a pivotal time in their development,” Ryan said.

“Having spent time with Stephen, and understood his vision for the future, it is clear he has ensured there is a strong platform from which the team can make big steps forward in the seasons ahead.

“Manor has all the hallmarks of a fiercely competitive racing team, but having grown up in a much more contemporary Formula 1 era, it is a very lean operation with a collaborative culture, which leaves it well placed to contend with the sport’s future direction.

“There is clearly a big challenge ahead and a lot of work to do, but I can’t wait to meet the wider team and get down to business.”

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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