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ART seals GP3 Series teams’ title with five races to spare

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ART Grand Prix secured its fourth GP3 Series teams’ title in seven years after moving into an unassailable lead following Saturday’s race at Monza in Italy.

ART has dominated GP3 in 2016, with all four of its drivers sitting inside the top 10 of the standings with five races remaining.

Ferrari Driver Academy member Charles Leclerc has led ART’s charge, sitting at the helm of the points rankings heading into the final title run-in.

However, the team effort meant that ART was able to wrap up the title on Saturday at Monza despite not finishing on the podium.

Arden swept to a one-two finish as Jake Dennis picked up his maiden GP3 victory ahead of Jack Aitken, while Jake Hughes finished third to make it an all-British podium.

The quartet of ART drivers crossed the line in formation from P4 to P7, with Leclerc leading Nirei Fukuzumi, Alexander Albon and Nyck de Vries home.

With the teams’ title sewn up, Leclerc and Albon will be turning their attention to their bids for the drivers’ crown, the duo poised to scrap with Antonio Fuoco for top honors until the final weekend in Abu Dhabi.

INDYCAR: Patricio O’Ward turns heads in Carlin debut

Chris Jones / IndyCar
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While the top story coming out of Sunday’s IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas is undoubtedly 18-year-old Colton Herta’s victory in only his third IndyCar start, another teenager made quite some noise during the first IndyCar race at the facility.

19-year-old Patricio O’Ward made an impressive start to his 2019 IndyCar campaign by starting and finishing in eighth position. It was the first of his 13 races this season for Carlin Racing.

“I think it was a pretty good race for us. We ended exactly where we started and didn’t go backwards, so I’d say that was a successful day” O’Ward said. “I know the No. 31 Carlin Chevrolet had a top-five finish in it today and even though we couldn’t make it happen, it’s nice to know that we have the pace and can be fighting up front with the veteran drivers.”

O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champ, made his series debut for Harding Steinbrenner Racing at last year’s season finale at Sonoma Raceway, where he made it to the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying and finished ninth. O’Ward was scheduled to race for the team full-time in 2019, but left in early February to pursue other options due to a lack of sponsorship.

Pato found a new home with Carlin, and despite missing preseason testing, he proved to be competitive from the get go and pressured some of IndyCar’s more tenured drivers, including Graham Rahal.

In what was undoubtedly the most daring move of the race, O’Ward ended a great battle with Rahal by hitting a superb outside pass on Lap 15.

O’Ward may have likely earned a better result on Sunday, if he didn’t have to save fuel in order to make the finish.

But with only two IndyCar starts to his credit, he is already racing like a seasoned veteran. Sunday’s IndyCar Classic may be the first of many successful outings for him this year.

After the race, he tweeted to his team: “Well done gentlemen … This is only the beginning.”

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