NHRA

NHRA makes slight change to 2019 Countdown playoff schedule

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While there will be no changes in race track facilities, the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule will have a slight adjustment, according to the sanctioning body.

The change involves the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff lineup.

While Maple Grove Racetrack near Reading, Pennsylvania, and Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis will remain the kickoff races to the Countdown, the order of the venues of the following two races will change.

Texas Motorplex has historically been the third race of the Countdown and zMAX Dragway near Charlotte, North Carolina, has been the fourth race. But the 2019 schedule will see those two venues swapped.

In other words, Carolina will be Race No. 3 of the Countdown going forward, while the remaining three races of the playoffs moving from east to west, with Texas (Oct. 17-20, 2019) followed by Las Vegas (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) and the season finale at Pomona, California (Nov. 14-17).

According to a NHRA media release, “The schedule refinement moves the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals to take place after the NHRA Carolina Nationals in order to streamline travel across the country during the Countdown To The Championship.”

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Simona de Silvestro to become Venturi Formula E test driver

Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
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Simona de Silvestro will become a test driver for the Venturi Formula E team for 2018/2019 season.In addition

De Silvestro previously raced limited events in the series during the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons.

I’m delighted to make my return to Formula E as a test driver for Venturi Formula E Team and I’m grateful to Susie (Wolff, team principal) and Gildo (Pastor, team president) for the opportunity,” de Silvestro said on SpeedCafe.com.

“Since competing in Season 2, I’ve kept a close eye on the Formula E championship and followed its development with interest,” de Silvestro continued. “The arrival of the new Gen2 car represents a huge milestone for the series and I am very happy to be back in an active role at this exciting and important time.”

De Silvestro has raced in Australian Supercars since 2017. She will continue to race in that series with Kelly Racing as she balances her time with Venturi.

The bulk of de Silvestro’s testing will be done in its simulator in Monaco.

“The next 12 months will be really busy for me with both Formula E and my Australian Supercars commitments but I’m ready for the challenge and it’s a joy to be working with such a well connected and committed team as Venturi,” de Silvestro said.

“Simona is a real team player and a driver I was keen to work with,” said team principal Wolff. “She has a very positive attitude and no-nonsense approach to her work which will fit in well with the team.”