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Four drivers compete for Mazda MX-5 Cup scholarship

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On Friday, December 7 four drivers will compete for a $100,000 scholarship to race in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup as part of the Road to Indy program.

The four drivers will use Global MX-5 Cup cars and be evaluated by an independent panel of judges for their performance.

Michael Carter arrives at the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout after a strong 2018 season in which he won seven races stood on the podium 18 times in 20 races. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship and the Spec Miata Challenge. That earned him a two-race sponsorship in the 2018 Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup.

Matthew Dirks is the youngest of the finalists at 16-years-of-age. He won the Spec Miata class championship in NASA’s Rocky Mountain Region and was the Teen Mazda champions. Dirks won the pole at the Toyo Tires Classic in a field of 77 cars.

Hannah Grisham finished third in the Teen Mazda Challenge at the Toyo Tires Classic NASA National Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The 18-year-old finished second in the Spec Miata championship in the NASA Southern California region.

Loni Unser – daughter of Johnny Unser – has been competitive during two years of racing in the Spec Miata class of the SCCA Rocky Mountain Region and the World Racing League.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).