Gasly wins Abu Dhabi GP2 feature race, retakes series lead

© GP2 Series
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Pierre Gasly moved back into the lead of the GP2 drivers’ standings by taking a dominant victory in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, setting up a title showdown with Prema Racing teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Giovinazzi entered the weekend leading the championship by seven points, only to see his lead whittled down to three after Gasly picked up pole at Yas Marina on Saturday.

Gasly made a clean getaway from pole before perfecting his strategy to romp to his fourth victory of the season, finishing over five seconds clear of Nobuharu Matsushita in second place.

Giovinazzi struggled in the early part of the race, suffering with severe tire wear as cars on the medium compound streamed past, but ultimately crossed the line fifth following a penalty for Norman Nato.

Artem Markelov finished third ahead of Sergey Sirotkin, with Nato eventually being classified sixth behind Giovinazzi. Johnny Cecotto Jr. was seventh ahead of Alex Lynn and Nicholas Latifi, while Raffaele Marciello rounded out the top 10.

Lynn will start Sunday’s feature race from reverse grid pole, with Giovinazzi third and Gasly eighth. Gasly enters the final race holding a 12-point advantage, with just 17 on offer.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.