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Tristan Vautier’s raced more sports car events than you realize

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – French driver Tristan Vautier has made a name for himself in North America in open-wheel, having won the Star Mazda (now Pro Mazda) and Indy Lights titles back-to-back in 2011 and 2012 before jumping into the Verizon IndyCar Series and winning the rookie-of-the-year title in 2013.

That said, to dismiss the 26-year-old Frenchman as merely an open-wheel ace would ignore the history he’s done elsewhere in GT racing, as he prepares for this weekend’s outing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, as part of Stevenson Motorsport’s lineup.

Vautier ran a full season in the French GT championship in 2009, where he won once in eight starts.

He’s also made appearances in the Blancpain GT Series, V de V, and two different Prototype classes in IMSA, the Prototype (Mazda Motorsports) and Prototype Challenge (JDC/Miller Motorsports) over the last few years.

Now he’ll share the SunEnergy1-backed No. 9 Audi R8 LMS with Boris Said, Kenny Habul and Dion von Moltke to create one of the more eclectic lineups not just in the GT Daytona class, but the Rolex 24 as a whole.

Vautier ran 11 races last year in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Dale Coyne Racing, and posted a best finish of fourth in Detroit race two.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.