Formula E

Track layout unveiled for inaugural Santiago Formula E race

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The track layout for Formula E’s first visit to Santiago, Chile has been confirmed ahead of its addition to the calendar for the all-electric series’ fourth season.

Santiago was confirmed as the latest new city to welcome Formula E earlier this year when the provisional season four calendar was released, taking up a date slot of February 3 as the fourth round of the season.

At an event on Thursday in Santiago, the circuit layout was formally confirmed and driven by ex-Formula 1 and IndyCar racer Eliseo Salazar, a native of the Chilean capital, while prime minister Michelle Bachelet was on hand to give the race her blessing.

“It’s an honor to join President Bachelet for the first appearance of Formula E on the streets of Santiago. For the people of Chile, it’s the first time they’ve seen and heard the fully-electric car in their home city,” deputy CEO of Formula E Alberto Longo said.

“The racing and competition this year is going to be closer than ever and we can’t wait to see the drivers battle it out around this new and challenging circuit in February.

“South America is steeped in motorsport history and tradition, and Formula E will make its own history in Chile for many years to come, starting this coming season.”

Pablo Squella, Chile’s minister of sport, added: “Formula E in Chile is undoubtedly the materialization of an effort by the Government of President Michelle Bachelet that demonstrates the commitment we have to sports, supporting this worldwide event.

“We need Chilean citizens to be motivated to practice sport and do physical activity, and what better way than bringing world-class shows, and the best drivers in the world, to Santiago.

“We invite everyone to join this party to start learning about Formula E and electric cars, because in February we want a motivated Santiago, a city that welcomes everyone with great enthusiasm.

“We will be a great host country and we will make the fourth round of Formula E, into a new sporting tradition for our country.”

The new Formula E season gets underway in Hong Kong on December 2.

Female racer makes history with record finishes in dirt national midget events

Photo courtesy Toyota Racing
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Holly Shelton is riding high after setting a milestone for a female driver in a national midget series feature event on dirt this past weekend.

The Sacramento, California-area resident recorded the highest finish ever for a female dirt national midget series driver with a runner-up finish last Friday at the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League double-header weekend at Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Missouri.

Shelton broke her own national record for top finish by a woman in a national dirt event – she finished third in a USAC race at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, last year.

One night after setting her new national record, Shelton and her Keith Kunz Motorsports Toyota roared back Saturday to finish third (started on the outside pole) in the second half of the weekend double-header, making her the first female dirt driver ever on the national midget circuit to earn back-to-back podium finishes.

“It’s cool making history as a female, but my number one thing is I just want to win,” said Shelton, who will be graduating from Cal-State Sacramento with a B.A. in Criminal Justice this fall. “Truthfully, on the track I don’t even remember that I’m a girl. I’m just racing all the guys with the same goal they have – to win.”

Only one other woman has finished second in either a USAC or POWRi midget feature – Sarah McCune at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in 1999 – but that was on pavement, not dirt.

The record-setting weekend was great consolation for Shelton, who missed three races earlier this season due to surgery and then sat out three other races last month after suffering a race-related concussion.

“It felt good,” she said of her back-to-back podium finishes. “It builds up my confidence. The car is fast and we keep getting better and we want to build on it.”

Shelton was one of four women that competed in midget competition this weekend. The others were 19-year-old Maria Cofer and 16-year-olds Holley Hollan and Presley Truedson.

“It’s awesome seeing all the little girls come up to me excited to see me at the track,” Shelton said. “Hopefully, it encourages them to pursue their dreams as well and, as the years go on, more girls will get into it.”

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