World Series Formula V8 3.5

World Series Formula V8 3.5 scrapped for 2018 season

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The World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship, formerly known as Formula Renault 3.5, has been scrapped for 2018 due to a lack of interest to enter from drivers and teams.

After starting life as World Series by Nissan, Formula Renault 3.5 established itself as a rival to GP2 as Formula 1’s premier feeder championship, acting as a stepping stone in the careers of drivers such as Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Renault withdrew its factory support at the end of the 2015 season, but the series continued under new management through 2016 with the Formula V8 3.5 moniker.

Only 13 different drivers have raced in the championship this year, with a 10-car grid set for the season finale in Bahrain on Saturday where it supports the FIA World Endurance Championship.

In a statement issued by the series on Friday, it was confirmed that the championship would not be going ahead next year.

“The continuous and alarming drop in the number of driver entries in the main European single-seater series has forced World Series Formula V8 3.5 to withdraw from the 2018 season racing calendar,” the statement reads.

“However, and according to the figures achieved so far, we at RPM-MKTG are very proud of being the promoters of the most successful single-seater series in the last 20 years.

“Starting with the brand-new Formula Nissan in 1998, our commitment and goals went much bigger as Formula Renault 3.5 Series was created in 2005.

“As a result, 25 drivers have reached the pinnacle of motorsport – that is, Formula 1 – in this era. Stars such as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo are some of them.

“This huge success has been achieved thanks to the emotional spirit of a single concept: ‘the power of dreams’.

“Since 1998 we have shared our dreams with hundreds of friends, team owners, engineers, mechanics, racing drivers and, above all, with the drivers’ relatives. They have made the careers of all those young talents possible by means of their unlimited sacrifice.

“RPM’s original idea was helping parents and relatives build driver careers by providing the best possible single-seater at the lowest cost.

“In the recent years no other series nor championship in any continent has been able to match the unbeatable cost/performance ratio of World Series Formula V8 3.5.

“Unfortunately, neither World Series Formula V8 3.5 nor any other top single-seater series in the world have reached the ideal number of participating drivers in 2017.

“Nevertheless, RPM-MKTG wants to announce that will keep track of evolution of all European-based single-seater series, their associated costs and participation figures.

“Should teams, drivers and sponsors scenarios change in the near future, a World Series Formula V8 3.5 comeback is not to be dismissed.”

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
IMSA
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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.”