© GP2 Series

Albon tops second day of Abu Dhabi GP2 test, Lorandi leads in GP3

Leave a comment

Alexander Albon continued to impress during his first GP2 test by topping the timesheets on the second day of running in Abu Dhabi.

Albon, 20, finished runner-up to Charles Leclerc in this year’s GP3 Series, losing out at the final round of the year in Abu Dhabi last weekend.

The Thai-British racer enjoyed his first taste of a GP2 car on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, linking up with ART Grand Prix for the test.

Albon shot to the top of the timesheets in the evening session at the Yas Marina Circuit on Thursday, posting a fastest time of 1:49.062 to edge out GP2 veteran Raffaele Marciello and rival Leclerc at the top of the timesheets.

Marciello still holds the fastest time of the collective test so far, recording a lap of 1:48.937 on Wednesday ahead of the final five hours of running on Friday.

In GP3, 18-year-old Alessio Lorandi set the pace on the second day of running in Abu Dhabi, posting a fastest lap of 1:55.734 for Jenzer Motorsport.

American youngster Santino Ferrucci finished an impressive second for Trident, beating the time he set with DAMS on Wednesday by four-tenths of a second, while Steijn Schothorst finished third-fastest.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
Leave a comment

As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”