Gasly heads up Prema GP2 front-row lock-out at Monza

© GP2 Series
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Pierre Gasly kicked off Prema Racing’s first home race weekend in the GP2 Series by heading up a front-row lock-out for the Italian team at Monza on Friday afternoon.

Red Bull junior driver Gasly arrived in Italy leading the GP2 standings by 17 points from teammate Antonio Giovinazzi with three rounds remaining.

Gasly and Giovinazzi entered battle in qualifying at Monza on Saturday, separated by just one-tenth of a second following their initial efforts.

Gasly opened the gap up to three-tenths with a fast lap, but was unable to improve on his final run, opening the door for Giovinazzi.

A slow middle sector proved costly for Giovinazzi as he missed out on a home pole position by just 0.054 seconds, handing P1 and four precious bonus points to Gasly.

Artem Markelov impressed en route to third place for Russian Time ahead of Arthur Pic and Mitch Evans, while Jordan King qualified sixth for Racing Engineering.

Williams youngster Alex Lynn was seventh-fastest ahead of Nabil Jeffri, while Sergey Sirotkin’s title aspirations took another hit as he could only finish ninth. Norman Nato rounded out the top 10.

Ganassi announces multiyear sponsorship extension with American Legion for No. 10

Chip Ganassi American Legion
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Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).

It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).

Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.

The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.

“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”

“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”