2015 Pro Mazda runner-up Alberico joins Carlin for Indy Lights

(Photo: Rising Star Racing)
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Last year’s Pro Mazda Championship runner-up Neil Alberico will move up to the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires circuit and drive for upstart team Carlin this season.

“Carlin came to the U.S. and immediately proved they could win races,” the 23-year-old Alberico said in a team media release. “They have a winning formula for success, so of course I am happy to be part of that for 2016.

“There will be challenges to adapt to as I learn the nuances of the new car, but driving alongside a pair of experienced teammates will help accelerate the learning process.”

Carlin enters its second season in Indy Lights.

“Neil was a driver who immediately caught our eye least season,” team principal Trevor Carlin said in the release. “From the outset, he looked like one of the drivers to beat and throughout the year he handled himself very well both in and out of the car.”

Alberico, who will team with Ed Jones and Felix Serralles with Carlin, recorded four wins and two poles last season in the Pro Mazda circuit.

“Neil has impressed us already in the small amount of testing he has done with the team,” Carlin said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing him race alongside Ed and Felix in what we believe is a very strong driver line-up.”

Like last season, Alberico – a native of Los Gatos, California – will once again be supported by Rising Star Racing.

“I’m very proud of Neil (Alberico) for taking this next step in his career, and the RSR mission certainly receives a lift when we can work with talented individuals like him,” said Rising Star principal Art Wilmes. “At the end of the day, however, it is our sponsors that make it all happen. Without their interest in motorsports, our drivers would be sitting on the sidelines.”

Alberico and his new teammates will test Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.