Brazil GP promoters at Interlagos sign five-year contract with Formula One

Brazil Grand Prix contract
Charles Coates/Getty Images
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PARIS — The Brazil Grand Prix will remain at its traditional Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo until 2025 after promoters signed a five-year contract, Formula One said on Wednesday.

F1 said in a statement that the race will take place on Nov. 14 next year.

The announcement scuttles any plans to move to a new circuit in Rio de Janeiro. Seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton previously voiced environmental concerns that an area of forest would have to be cut down to build that venue.

“It is a great joy to be able to announce that Interlagos will continue to host one of the most important events in world motorsports. We made a tremendous effort to keep the race in our city,” Sao Paulo mayor Bruno Covas said. “We believe that hosting the Grand Prix, in addition to promoting our city to the world, will continue to bring important contributions such as job creation and income generation.”

Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi won the first F1 race held at Interlagos in 1973, but the race was among several canceled in North and South America this year (including Mexico, Canada and the United States) because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

New race promoter Brasil Motorsport is a company owned by investment entities controlled by Mubadala, a global investment company from Abu Dhabi.

F1 is planning a record 23 races in 2021, including one in Saudi Arabia set for Nov. 28 in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The Dutch Grand Prix will return for the first time since 1985, after being canceled this year and is scheduled for Sept. 5.

The calendar is largely a retread of the original 2020 schedule, meaning no return for the various one-off races at European tracks such as Mugello, Portimao and Imola, which were added as replacements and generally were popular with drivers and fans.

The season will start with the Australian Grand Prix on March 28. The race in Melbourne was canceled hours before Friday practice was to begin this year after a positive coronavirus test for a crew member. The finale will remain in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 5.

The 2020 calendar originally had 22 races before being slashed to 17, including the iconic Monaco GP called off for the first time in 66 years.

Justin Grant prevails over Kyle Larson in the Turkey Night Grand Prix

Grant Larson Turkey Night
USACRacing.com / DB3 Inc.
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On the heels of his Hangtown 100 victory, Justin Grant worked his way from 13th in the Turkey Night Grand Prix to beat three-time event winner Kyle Larson by 1.367 seconds. The 81st annual event was run at Ventura (Calif.) Raceway for the sixth time.

“My dad used to take me to Irwindale Speedway, and we’d watch Turkey Night there every year,” Grant said in a series press release. “This is one of the races I fell in love with. I didn’t think I’d ever get a chance to run in it, never thought I’d make a show and certainly never thought I’d be able to win one.”

With its genesis in 1934 at Gilmore Stadium, a quarter-mile dirt track in Los Angeles, the race is steeped in history with winners that include AJ Foyt, Parnelli Jones, Gary Bettenhausen and Johnnie Parsons. Tony Stewart won it in 2000. Kyle Larson won his first of three Turkey Night Grands Prix in 2012. Christopher Bell earned his first of three in 2014, so Grant’s enthusiasm was well deserved.

So was the skepticism that he would win. He failed to crack the top five in three previous attempts, although he came close last year with a sixth-place result. When he lined up for the feature 13th in the crowded 28-car field, winning seemed like a longshot.

Grant watched as serious challengers fell by the wayside. Mitchel Moles flipped on Lap 10 of the feature. Michael “Buddy” Kofoid took a tumble on Lap 68 and World of Outlaws Sprint car driver Carson Macedo flipped on Lap 79. Grant saw the carnage ahead of him and held a steady wheel as he passed Tanner Thorson for the lead with 15 laps remaining and stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the event.

“It’s a dream come true to win the Turkey Night Grand Prix,” Grant said.


Kyle Larson follows Justin Grant to the front on Turkey Night

The 2012, 2016 and 2019 winner, Larson was not scheduled to run the event. His wife Katelyn is expecting their third child shortly, but after a couple of glasses of wine with Thanksgiving dinner and while watching some replays of the event, Larson texted car owner Chad Boat to see if he had a spare car lying around. He did.

“We weren’t great but just hung around and it seemed like anybody who got to the lead crashed and collected some people,” Larson said. “We made some passes throughout; in the mid-portion, we weren’t very good but then we got better at the end.

“I just ran really, really hard there, and knew I was running out of time, so I had to go. I made some pretty crazy and dumb moves, but I got to second and was hoping we could get a caution to get racing with Justin there. He was sliding himself at both ends and thought that maybe we could get a run and just out-angle him into [Turn] 1 and get clear off [Turn] 2 if we got a caution, but it just didn’t work out.”

Larson padded one of the most impressive stats in the history of this race, however. In 10 starts, he’s won three times, finished second four times, was third once and fourth twice.

Bryant Wiedeman took the final spot on the podium.

As Grant and Larson began to pick their way through the field, Kofoid took the lead early from the outside of the front row and led the first 44 laps of the race before handing it over to Cannon McIntosh, who bicycled on Lap 71 before landing on all fours. While Macedo and Thorson tussled for the lead with McIntosh, Grant closed in.

Thorson finished 19th with McIntosh 20th. Macedo recovered from his incident to finish ninth. Kofoid’s hard tumble relegated him to 23rd.

Jake Andreotti in fourth and Kevin Thomas, Jr. rounded out the top five.

1. Justin Grant (started 13)
2. Kyle Larson (22)
3. Bryant Wiedeman (4)
4. Jake Andreotti (9)
5. Kevin Thomas Jr. (1)
6. Logan Seavey (8)
7. Alex Bright (27)
8. Emerson Axsom (24)
9. Carson Macedo (7)
10. Jason McDougal (18)
11. Jake Swanson (16)
12. Chase Johnson (6)
13. Jacob Denney (26)
14. Ryan Timms (23)
15. Chance Crum (28)
16. Brenham Crouch (17)
17. Jonathan Beason (19)
18. Cade Lewis (14)
19. Tanner Thorson (11)
20. Cannon McIntosh (3)
21. Thomas Meseraull (15)
22. Tyler Courtney (21)
23. Buddy Kofoid (2)
24. Brody Fuson (5)
25. Mitchel Moles (20)
26. Daniel Whitley (10)
27. Kaylee Bryson (12)
28. Spencer Bayston (25)