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F2, GP3 2018 schedules released

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Both the FIA Formula 2 and GP3 schedules for their 2018 seasons have been revealed on Monday, largely mirroring the Formula 1 calendars.

The F2 schedule expands by one weekend from 11 to 12 compared to 2017, and GP3 expands by one weekend as well from eight to nine.

Both championships are added to the weekend slate at Paul Ricard in France and Sochi in Russia. The standalone round at Jerez this season, where both Charles Leclerc (F2) and George Russell (GP3) clinched their championships, drop off.

Also notable is the lack of inclusion for a German round at Hockenheim, as that country returns to the F1 calendar next season.

Bruno Michel, CEO of both F2 and GP3, had this to offer about the respective schedules:

“I am pleased to announce that next year’s calendar will hold twelve events alongside Formula One. One of our mission statements is to prepare young drivers to the next step: F1. Having all of our race weekends take place with F1 will help our drivers to learn as many F1 tracks as possible, but also to prove their race crafts directly in front of the F1 paddock.

“The 2018 calendar includes two new venues: Le Castellet and Sochi. It features one more event compared to this year, and is a good balance between racing on F1 circuits in Europe and overseas,” he said of F2.

As for GP3, Michel said,  “I am pleased to confirm that we have expanded the 2018 calendar to include a ninth round for the new season, with all of the race weekends taking place alongside Formula One. We are delighted to race for the first time in Le Castellet and to return to Sochi once again, balancing the need to control costs and to provide a full season for our teams and drivers, and to create more entertainment for the fans.

“This campaign will bring new challenges for the teams with the addition of the new circuits, and for the drivers in mastering the DRS to our third generation GP3 car. I am convinced that there will be many opportunities for our drivers to showcase their talent in front of the F1 paddock and the fans.”

The full calendars are below.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship Calendar*

Date

Venue

06-08 April

Sakhir, Bahrain

27-29 April

Baku, Azerbaijan

11-13 May

Barcelona, Spain

24-26 May

Monte Carlo, Monaco

22-24 June

Le Castellet, France

29 June – 01 July

Spielberg, Austria

06-08 July

Silverstone, Great Britain

27-29 July

Budapest, Hungary

24-26 August

Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

31 August – 02 September

Monza, Italy

28-30 September

Sochi, Russia

23-25 November

Yas Marina, UAE


*Subject to final approval by the FIA WMSC

2018 GP3 Series Calendar

Date Venue
11-13 May Barcelona, Spain
22-24 June Le Castellet, France
29 June – 1 July Spielberg, Austria
6-8 July Silverstone, Great-Britain
27-29 July Budapest, Hungary
24-26 August Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
31 August – 2 September Monza, Italy
28-30 September Sochi, Russia
23-25 November Yas Marina, UAE

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

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Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”