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Felix Rosenqvist, Pierre Gasly enjoy first Super Formula tests in Japan

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Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly and Formula E’s Felix Rosenqvist enjoyed their first official running in Japan’s Super Formula series during a fan thanks day at Suzuka on Sunday.

Gasly won last year’s GP2 Series title with Prema Racing, but missed out on a seat in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso after Red Bull elected to retain Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat for 2017.

Unable to return to GP2 as champion, Gasly was moved into Super Formula by Red Bull, claiming a seat with the Honda-backed Team Mugen.

The Frenchman made his first appearance during Sunday’s test, completing 17 laps and finishing 15th overall, 1.4 seconds off the pace set by P1 finisher and Porsche LMP1 driver Andre Lotterer.

Rosenqvist was only confirmed in a seat with Sunoco Team LeMans four days ago, but immediately set to work by finishing one place ahead of Gasly and getting 13 laps under his belt.

“This is a serious beast – this car is absolutely awesome,” Rosenqvist said.

“Turn 1 is just insane; we pull 4.3 G and it’s glued to the track all the way through. The torque is more extreme than I expected and the acceleration is impressive.

“First impressions are very positive, but it will take time to get used to everything and we’ll try and get as much of that as we can out of the way tomorrow.”

During his visit to Suzuka, Gasly also paid tribute to Jules Bianchi, who died in 2015 from head injuries sustained from an accident at the circuit the year before.

Gasly and Rosenqvist will take part in a two-day test at Suzuka on Monday and Tuesday, with the new season beginning at the circuit on April 23.

WATCH LIVE: IndyCar practice and qualifying at Laguna Seca

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For the first time in 15 years, Indy cars will be racing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and the stakes have never been higher.

Tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Monterey is the final race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season, and with four drivers mathematically eligible for the series championship, there will be plenty of story lines to follow.

Current series points leader Josef Newgarden enters this weekend with a 41-point lead over second-place Alexander Rossi.

A California native, Rossi attended his first IndyCar race with his father as child at Laguna Seca when he was three years old.

He now hopes to win his first IndyCar championship at the track where he fell in love with the sport, but after suffering a broken bolt in practice 1 yesterday, he will need to find speed in P3 and qualifying today in order to put himself in the best position to fight for the title.

Simon Pagenaud and Scott Dixon are also in contention to win the championship this weekend, and another title would only add to their already illustrious IndyCar careers.

Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell will call today’s on-track action from the booth, while Marty Snider, Jon Beekhuis, Kevin Lee and Robin Miller will report from the pits.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

Saturday 9/21, 1 p.m. ET, IndyCar Practice 3, NBC Sports Gold 

Saturday 9/21, 4:30 p.m. ET, IndyCar Qualifying, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold

Saturday 9/21, 6 p.m. ET, Indy Lights Race 1, NBC Sports Gold 

 

For sessions on NBC Sports Gold, be sure to have your username and password handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.