Leeds, Kari, Camara join Red Bull Junior Team

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Red Bull has announced the addition of three new drivers to its junior programme ahead of the 2016 racing season.

In 2015, the junior programme comprised of GP2 drivers Pierre Gasly and Dean Stoneman, and Formula 3 racer Callum Ilott, and although the final line-up for 2016 is still to be confirmed, another three drivers have now been drafted in.

Luis Leeds, 15, will race in the British MSA Formula series with Arden in 2016 following a season in Formula 4 in his native Australia, and is excited about the prospect of working with Red Bull.

“To think that I am now part of the Red Bull Junior Team is just incredible and I can’t wait for the MSA Formula season to start in Britain,” Leeds said.

“I know that the level of competition will be much higher but at least the cars will be the same so I can take what I have learnt here and make use of it.”

Niko Kari, 16, established himself as one of the brightest talents on the European junior racing scene after dominating the SMP F4 series in 2015 by taking seven wins and 19 podiums in 21 races.

“It was a great year and the series had some really good drivers so it wasn’t easy,” said the Finn, who will race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship next year.

“I believe that if you do your work well you can achieve your aims and shouldn’t be worried about it. That’s the way I am looking at next season, of course I will have a lot to learn in F3 but I will work hard to make the best of this big opportunity.

“It’s a great feeling to be invited to be part of the Red Bull Junior Team. I think it will be a fantastic year, I can’t wait to see Pau, that will be my first street circuit and to go to Spa, that is my favourite, I have already tested there a few times in a Formula Renault and F3 car.”

Kari will be joined at the Motopark team by Brazil’s Sergio Sette Camara, 17, who has also joined the Red Bull junior programme after taking two podiums in his debut season in FIA F3.

“My first season in single seater didn’t start that well for me but the podium in Spa came at the right time and from there things improved a lot and specially the second part of the season with the podium in Red Bull Ring and the 3rd in the Zandvoort Masters gave me a lot of confidence,” Camara said.

“I am very proud to join Red Bull family and it is a great opportunity to be part of it, I am very grateful for it. I am very confident for this coming season and really looking forward to start competing again. I am sure that, together with the team and working on the same direction as we are, we will get our objectives.”

The Red Bull Junior Team has operated since 2001 with the goal of supporting young talent in motorsport and nurturing drivers for its Formula 1 teams.

Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. all worked their way into F1 through the Red Bull junior programme, while others such as Jaime Alguersuari, Jean-Eric Vergne and Scott Speed also enjoyed backing from the energy drinks giant.

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans