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Ericsson upbeat as Sauber makes Q2 breakthrough in Singapore

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Marcus Ericsson felt upbeat following qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday after securing his first Q2 berth since the Chinese Grand Prix back in April.

The Sauber Formula 1 Team brought its first raft of upgrades for the C35 car to Singapore after being forced to wait on receiving a financial boost before developing them.

The Swiss operation was taken over by Longbow Finance over the summer, securing the long-term future of the team and allowing it to hire a number of key personnel.

Ericsson put the updates on his car to good use by qualifying 16th on Saturday in Singapore, making it through to Q2 ahead of the Renault pair of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer.

While Ericsson was pleased with the result, he admitted that the team was still struggling for pace in comparison to the midfield runners.

“It is positive that I reached Q2 today,” Ericsson said.

“Overall it has been a difficult weekend for me, as I haven’t been able to get a good feeling for the car during the practice sessions.

“Therefore it makes it even nicer that we managed to make it into the second qualifying session.

“It is a good effort, but we need to keep pushing to close the gap to the midfield.”

Ericsson’s Sauber teammate Felipe Nasr was less pleased after finishing 18th, citing a drop-off in pace following practice.

“It was a disappointing qualifying for me,” Nasr conceded.

“I was surprised by the drop of performance in qualifying, as I felt comfortable in the car during the free practice sessions.

“We went in the right direction in regards to the car’s balance, then in qualifying I struggled with the rear grip on my first try.

“On the second set of tires I felt that my tire temperatures were not in the right working window.

“Anything can happen here in Singapore, so we keep fighting.”

The Singapore Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET on Sunday.

IndyCar entry lists for Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

IndyCar entry lists Indianapolis
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There are 25 drivers on the NTT IndyCar Series entry lists at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a few new yet familiar faces for the Oct. 2-3 race weekend.

Four-time champion Sebastien Bourdais will make his season debut in the No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet (shifting Dalton Kellett to the No. 41) with AJ Foyt Racing, which he is joining full time next season. James Hinchcliffe, who had run three races with Andretti Autosport, will return in place of Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda. Helio Castroneves will drive Arrow McLaren SP’s No. 7 Dallara-Chevy for Oliver Askew, who is out with concussion-like symptoms.

Sage Karam, who has two IndyCar starts this year at IMS (the road course on July 4 and the Indy 500 on Aug. 23), also will return to the series in Dreyer & Reinbold’s No. 24 Dallara-Chevrolet.

HARVEST GP ENTRY LISTS: Friday l Saturday

Friday and Saturday of the Harvest GP presented by GMR will mark the second and third races this season on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. While the July 4 race on the circuit was 80 laps, Friday’s distance is 85 laps, and Saturday will be a 75-lap event.

Championship leader Scott Dixon led 26 of 80 laps to win the July 4 race at the IMS road course. With three races remaining in the series, the five-time series champion enters with a 72-point lead on Josef Newgarden.

Click here to see who’s on the IndyCar entry lists in Race 1 and in Race 2 for the Harvest GP presented by GMR at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.


START TIMES AND TV INFO FOR INDYCAR AT INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY ROAD COURSE (all times ET):

Thursday

IndyCar NTT Series practice: 2:25-3:40 p.m., NBC Sports Gold

IndyCar qualifying, Race 1: 6:20 p.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

Friday

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 1: 3:30 p.m. (green flag, 5 p.m.), USA Network, NBC Sports Gold

Saturday

—IndyCar qualifying: 10:20 a.m. (two groups/12 minutes apiece), NBC Sports Gold

—IndyCar Harvest Grand Prix, Race 2: 2:30 p.m (green flag, 2:31 p.m.)., NBC, NBC Sports Gold