Photo courtesy Haas F1 Team

Pietro Fittipaldi confirmed as test driver for Haas F1 team

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SAO PAULO (AP) — Pietro Fittipaldi will be the test driver for Formula One team Haas starting right after the season-ending grand prix in Abu Dhabi this month.

Fittipaldi said on Friday at his home Brazilian Grand Prix that he aims to race or take part in official practices next season.

“I was offered the position last month to test the 2019 season Pirelli tires in Abu Dhabi and also to be their test driver throughout the next season,” Pietro said. “Two days ago, I told him it was a done deal, he was very emotional. It is a dream for me to drive an F1 car this year already.”

This year, Pietro Fittipaldi raced six times for IndyCar team Dale Coyne, finishing 26th overall.

In May, Fittipaldi underwent surgery on his left leg and right ankle after crashing in Belgium at the opening of the world endurance championship.

He said at Interlagos he had recovered.

The 22-year-old Pietro, a grandchild of former F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi, will be the second Brazilian test driver in the series, alongside McLaren’s Sergio Sette Camara.

For the first time since 1970, there will be no Brazilian driver on the Sao Paulo grid on Sunday.

American team Haas was in fifth position in the constructors’ championship, 22 points ahead of McLaren.

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.”