LAT

Norris extends F3 points lead with crushing Nurburgring victory

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McLaren Formula 1 youngster Lando Norris extended his points lead at the top of the FIA European Formula 3 standings on Saturday by taking a dominant victory at the Nürburgring.

Norris, 17, moved into the lead of the F3 championship at the last round at Spa, and continued his good form in qualifying by grabbing pole for the opening race of the weekend.

Norris went wire-to-wire in the wet, eventually taking the checkered flag 17.5 seconds clear of compatriot Jake Hughes, pulling out the gap in just 20 laps.

The result saw Norris add to his lead over German rival Maximilian Günther, who by finishing a lowly 13th slipped to 36 points behind the Carlin racer.

“There isn’t too much to say about my race. My start was good, I managed to keep Jake and Callum [Ilott] at bay. After that, I was able to pull clear from the rest of the field and build up an advantage,” Norris said.

“On lap eight, I had a hairy moment when I briefly went off the track and lost a few seconds. Otherwise, everything went well and my car was great, so I can’t complain.”

Hughes and Ilott took pole position for races two and three, set to take place on Sunday, with Norris due to line up third and second in the respective races.

Despite enjoying a successful F1 test with McLaren in Hungary last month, Norris is set to be placed in Formula 2 next year by the British team.

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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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.”