© GP2 Series

GP2, GP3 titles set to be decided in Abu Dhabi

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While the battle for the Formula 1 drivers’ championship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will take center stage in Abu Dhabi, two other titles are also set to be decided this weekend.

Both the GP2 and GP3 Series, the first and second rungs below F1 on the single-seater ladder, will crown new champions at Yas Marina as their seasons come to a close.

The battle for the GP2 title has been one of the closest in recent years, with Prema Racing teammates Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly set to lock horns at Yas Marina.

Giovinazzi heads into the final round with a seven-point lead over Gasly, with 48 on offer across the Feature and Sprint races at Yas Marina.

Red Bull junior Gasly had been in the running for a seat in F1 with Toro Rosso for 2017, but was passed over in favor of retaining Daniil Kvyat.

The Frenchman is expected to remain part of Red Bull’s plans, with a move into the Japanese Super Formula series being mooted for 2017.

Giovinazzi could become the first rookie since Nico Hulkenberg in 2009 to win the GP2 title, but his future is also unclear. The Italian is not affiliated with any F1 team, although he did recently enjoy a run in Ferrari’s simulator at Maranello. His next move, for now, is hard to predict.

An outsider for the championship is ex-Ferrari junior Raffaele Marciello, but the 39-point gap to Giovinazzi means the odds are stacked well against the Italian.

Both the feature and sprint GP2 races are live on the NBC Sports app this weekend.

GP2 Abu Dhabi – Live Stream Times

FEATURE RACE Saturday 11/26 10:40am ET – LIVE STREAM/NBC Sports app
SPRINT RACE Sunday 11/27 6:20am ET – LIVE STREAM/NBC Sports app

In GP3, Ferrari youngster and Haas development driver Charles Leclerc could wrap up the series title on Saturday thanks to his 29-point advantage heading into the final double-header round.

Leclerc has enjoyed an impressive year spearheading ART Grand Prix’s domination in GP3, taking three wins. His nearest rival is teammate Alexander Albon, while Trident’s Antonio Fuoco also stands a chance of winning the title in Abu Dhabi.

Karam, Daly get IndyCar rides with Carlin for Iowa

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NEWTON, Iowa – Sage Karam returns for the second-straight race and Conor Daly is back for another race with Carlin Racing at this weekend’s Iowa 300 NTT IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway.

For Karam, it’s his third start of the 2019 season and his second straight with Carlin. In his five starts at Iowa Speedway dating back to 2010, Karam has never finished outside of the top three, recording four wins (USF2000 – 2010, Indy Pro 2000 – 2011 and 2012, Indy Lights – 2013) and scoring his first NTT IndyCar Series podium in 2015 with a third-place finish.

“I’m really excited to be back again this weekend with Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for the Iowa 300. Iowa Speedway has always been a good track for me in the past, so I’m really looking forward to getting back to work there,” Karam said. “Coming off of a very productive weekend in Toronto, I’m looking forward to applying everything I’ve learned and continuing to work with the team to get the best results possible. A huge thank you to everyone at Carlin and SmartStop Self Storage for a great opportunity to race at one of my favorite tracks.”

Daly is back in a second Carlin entry. Earlier this year, the popular driver finished 11th for Carlin in the DXC Technology 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on June 8. At Iowa, he will drive the team’s No. 23 Gallagher Chevrolet.

Daly finished 10th in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge for Andretti Autosport.

Daly raced at Iowa in 2016 for Dale Coyne Racing (finishing 21st) and in 2017 for A.J. Foyt Racing (finishing 19th).

The combination gives Carlin two more drivers to gather additional feedback on the car. Max Chilton remains the team’s primary driver but announced recently that he will forego all oval races to concentrate on street and road courses.

That created opportunities for Karam and Daly.

“We were very impressed with Sage’s steady progression throughout the Toronto race weekend and his willingness to learn and adapt,” said Carlin Team Principal Trevor Carlin. “The fact that he hadn’t been on a street course since 2015 and was still able to come right out of the gate confident and constantly improving every session was extremely impressive.

“The SmartStop Self Storage Chevrolet looked great out on track and their group has been a pleasure to work with, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have them back this weekend in Iowa. Sage has done really well in Iowa in the past, so hopefully we can use his experience and our past success at Iowa Speedway to come away with a good result for the team and our partners at SmartStop Self Storage.”

The Iowa 300 at Iowa Speedway will take place on Saturday, July 20th at 7:15 pm ET and will be televised on NBCSN.