FIA Formula E/LAT

Di Grassi takes Montreal Formula E win as pressure tolls for Buemi

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MONTREAL, Canada – Lucas di Grassi moved into the lead of the Formula E drivers’ championship for the first time this season by going wire-to-wire in Montreal on Saturday as the pressure tolled on rival Sebastien Buemi.

Di Grassi delivered a near-perfect weekend, taking pole and leading every lap en route to victory to pull six points clear of Buemi in the standings.

Buemi was forced to start 12th on the grid after a battery change triggered a penalty, and fell back to 17th off the start.

The Swiss driver rose back up the order through the race, although not without getting caught up in incidents with Robin Frijns, Daniel Abt and Stephane Sarrazin, the latter fending him off to complete the podium.

Di Grassi faced late pressure from Jean-Eric Vergne after a safety car period bunched the pack, but was able to hold on and pick up his second victory of the season, hailing it as the best race of his Formula E career.

Di Grassi moved on to 175 points for the season with victory, leaving Buemi six points back on 169 with 29 up for grabs in Sunday’s championship finale.

Abt finished close behind Buemi in fifth ahead of Sam Bird, who battled his way from 18th on the grid to take sixth place for DS Virgin Racing.

Nicolas Prost wound up seventh for Renault e.dams ahead of Jaguar’s Mitch Evans, while Frijns survived his fracas with Buemi to take ninth. Felix Rosenqvist picked up the final point on offer in P10, having dropped back when running fourth due to damage on his car.

IndyCar’s Vasser-Sullivan expand into IMSA for 2019

James Sullivan and Jimmy Vasser. Photo IndyCar
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Not even one year after returning to the IndyCar ranks, Vasser-Sullivan Racing is taking AIM at the IMSA world, you might say.

While team co-owners Jimmy Vasser and James “Sulli” Sullivan will continue to partner with Dale Coyne Racing on the IndyCar side, they expanded their holdings Tuesday, announcing a partnership with AIM Autosport to campaign a new two-car Lexus-backed RC F GT3 effort in IMSA’s GT Daytona class.

The new team – named AIM Vasser-Sullivan – will replace 3GT Racing, which was part of Lexus’ sports car program launch in 2016. It will announce its two drivers in the coming weeks, the team said.

“Sulli and I are excited and looking forward to entering a new chapter in our racing careers,” Vasser said in a media release. “I have driven sports cars before, but my career was pretty much limited to the 24 Hours of Daytona, including a ‘class’ win in 1992 and second overall in 2008.

“The AIM Vasser Sullivan team, with the support of Lexus and our sponsors, has the tools to get the job done and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

Lexus has made significant progress in its first two seasons in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition, having earned a combined two race wins, five poles and finished third in the 2018 GTD Manufacturer point standings.

Vasser and Sullivan were part of the ownership group of KVSH Racing in IndyCar from 2011 through 2016 before the organization folded.

They also owned Tony Kanaan’s 2013 Indianapolis 500-winning car.

After sitting out the 2017 season, Vasser, a former CART champion, and Sullivan rejoined forces this past February, just before the start of the 2018 IndyCar season, partnering with Coyne to form a satellite team led by driver Sebastien Bourdais, who previously drove for KVSH.

Bourdais kicked off the new team’s effort with a win in the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He finished seventh in the overall season standings.

AIM Vasser Sullivan will have two home bases for its IMSA program: AIM’s current facility in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, as well as a new U.S. shop in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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