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Provisional entry list out for post-season FIA WEC rookie test

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The provisional entry list for the end-of-season FIA World Endurance Championship rookie test has been issued ahead of the running in Bahrain later this month.

On November 20, one day after the last race of the year in Bahrain, 15 cars will stay on at the Bahrain International Circuit to complete test running.

It was announced last month that the series promoter had selected GP2 driver Antonio Giovinazzi to join up-and-coming WEC stars Pipo Derani and Gustavo Menezes in testing an LMP1 car in Bahrain.

Today’s entry list confirms that American racer Menezes will test the Porsche 919 Hybrid, while Derani is set to test with Toyota, but Giovinazzi’s name is absent after the Italian chose to prioritize his preparation for the GP2 title decider in Abu Dhabi on November 27.

Despite announcing last week that it would be withdrawing from WEC at the end of the year, Audi will take part in the test as planned, with Paul-Loup Chatin stepping in for Giovinazzi at the German marque.

In LMP2, Indy Lights driver Felix Serralles will test with G-Drive Racing alongside British racer Tom Jackson, while Pro Mazda Championship entrants Patricio O’Ward and William Owen will test for RGR Sport by Morand.

Aston Martin is the only team in GTE Pro to have confirmed its plans for the test. GP2 drivers Alex Lynn and Jordan King will get time behind the wheel of the Vantage V8 car, as will GP3’s Matt Parry and British GT driver Ross Gunn.

You can see the full entry list by clicking here.

Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew ready for IndyCar ride

Road to Indy
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Provisional Indy Lights champion Oliver Askew has done nothing but dominate the 2019 season, winning seven of the 16 races run so far and finishing on the podium in all but two of those events.

Now all the 22-year-old Floridian needs to do to formally clinch the 2019 title is simply start the final two races of the season, both of which will be held this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For Askew, his maiden Indy Lights season will likely be one he’ll never forget. 

“It’s been a dream come true,” Askew told NBC Sports. “Being with the championship-winning team from last year, we had a really good shot at winning it again for Andretti Autosport. It’s very rare that we show up to a track and struggle to find speed. 

“That’s a fantastic feeling, especially as a driver. That gave me a lot of confidence and hopes of holding the million dollar check at the end of the year. That was the goal going into it.”

This weekend, Askew will accomplish said goal. The championship will not only bring him a sense of pride, but also the opportunity of a lifetime. 

As an award for being crowned the Indy Lights champion, Askew will be awarded a scholarship that guarantees him entry into a minimum of three NTT IndyCar Series events next year – including the 104th running of the Indianapolis 500. 

Time will only tell which team Askew will race for in IndyCar next season, and whether or not Askew’s rookie campaign will be a full-time or part-time affair, but Askew’s performance during the last few seasons in the Road to Indy system has certainly drawn attention of IndyCar’s top team owners.

In August, Askew had the chance to drive an Indy car for the first time in his career during a test session at Portland International Raceway, driving the No. 9 PNC Bank Honda usually piloted by Scott Dixon.

“It was an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing that I was very fortunate to have,” Askew said. “I think with my experience in the past couple of years with Cape Motorsports and this year with Andretti Autosport, going into that test was very helpful.

“Going into the test, it was more of trying to treat it as just another day at the racetrack, when it really wasn’t. It was a fantastic opportunity for me – a great experience – and I hope I can take that into my rookie season next year in IndyCar.” 

The final two races of the 2019 Indy Lights season will take place this weekend on Saturday, September 21 at 6 p.m. ET and Sunday, September 22 at 12:05 p.m. ET. Both races will air live on NBC Sports Gold.

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