IndyCar

Jordan King to make Indy 500 debut in 2019 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan

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Jordan King will make his IndyCar oval debut next year in the biggest races of his career. Rahal Letterman Lanigan (RLL) Racing announced on Wednesday that King will drive a Honda-powered car in the 2019 Indy 500.

King drove in the 11 road and street course races last year with Ed Carpenter Racing, scoring a best of 11th at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“I’m really happy and excited to announce that I’ll be driving in the 2019 Indy 500 with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said King in a press release “This race is one that I have been working towards and a race I have always dreamt of racing in as it’s the jewel in the crown of IndyCar. I was at the race last year and I really enjoyed the whole weekend and knew straight away it was something that I had to be a part of so to be able to go there next year is definitely a huge moment in my career.”

King won the prestigious British Formula 3 title in 2013 on his way up the open wheel ladder. He scored seven podium finishes in the European F3 series in 2014, which helped secure a ride in GP2 competition the following year when he scored his first podium at Spa-Francorchamps. Two more seasons in GP2/Formula 2 saw him secure two wins and six podiums.

Jordan certainly impressed me last year with his pace at a number of races,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of RLL Racing. “Of course those were all road and street courses but he quickly came to grips with the Dallara and it was apparent that he has the potential to do well. While this will be his first oval race, I think that given the amount of track time, he will get up to speed and come to grips with the challenges of oval racing just as quickly. Of course it always helps to have two strong teammates and a strong team behind you to shorten the learning curve and we feel we provide that. We look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

King was immediately comfortable in IndyCar. He set a new lap record in his debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida this spring before qualifying fourth. King led five laps in that race, but faded to 21st at the checkers.

King has some experience at Indy as well. He qualified fifth for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

“Heading into next year, we went from not being able to find a full-time drive for the season through to securing a seat at one of the biggest races in the world which is a huge relief to be able to get sorted,” King added. “A huge thanks to RLL for the opportunity and I hope I can repay their faith in me with a good result. The race will be my first-ever on a superspeedway so it should be an exciting experience every time I get behind the wheel. The aim for the 500 is to prove myself as an oval racer. I already competed in the road and street courses this year so now I’ll be looking to impress and expand my (curriculum vitae) to push towards a full-time drive.”

F1’s Valtteri Bottas to compete in first-ever rally race in his native Finland

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Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.

More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.

Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.

He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.

“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.

“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”

Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”

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