Photo: Team AKKA-ASP

Vautier, Rosenqvist add sports cars to their plate in 2016

Leave a comment

Tristan Vautier and Felix Rosenqvist – one driver who hopes to have some sort of Verizon IndyCar Series presence this year and another driver who was confirmed earlier this week for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season – will add sports cars to their plate in 2016.

The two will share the pro class entry Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the Team AKKA-ASP squad in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup, as part of the Jerome Policand-led team’s three-car effort.

“The new element will be our pro crew, which will bring together two top drivers. Tristan Vautier, well-known to the team as he has raced with us in the Blancpain on a few occasions, will be joined by the reigning FIA European Formula 3 Champion, Felix Rosenqvist,” Policand said in a team release.

“These two drivers, both with brilliant single-seater careers, will face a heavy challenge up against the GT specialists. Tristan Vautier, an Indy Lights Champion and an IndyCar driver, has never hid his pleasure at racing in GT, and is already delighted to pick up this new challenge.

“His team-mate, Felix Rosenqvist, has an impressive single-seater career record at the age of just 24. He is the only driver to have won the major F3 events, namely the Macau Grand Prix (twice), the F3 Masters in Zandvoort (twice) and the Pau Grand Prix. These two young wolves should have great potential together.”

Vautier will have the month of May available for any Indianapolis 500 opportunities, should it arise. Last year, he was due to miss the race for a Blancpain GT commitment with AKKA-ASP, but wound up qualifying one Dale Coyne Racing car and racing another one.

For Rosenqvist, it will make for a particularly busy year, and fortunately for him there are no Indy Lights conflicts.

The 24-year-old Swede will have the full season with Belardi Auto Racing in Indy Lights – an 18-race campaign – and then the five-round Blancpain GT Series commitment, plus the testing and reserve role with Mercedes’ DTM program.

Rosenqvist is just off an Indy Lights test at Phoenix yesterday. Here was his initial comments:

Here’s the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup schedule:

  • April 8-10: Misano, Italy
  • May 7-8: Brands Hatch, England
  • July 1-3: Nürburgring, Germany
  • August 26-28: Budapest, Hungary
  • October 1-2: Barcelona, Spain

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
Leave a comment

The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”