This weekend, MotoGP celebrated it’s 800th premier class grand prix, going all the way back to 1949. For Photo of the Week enjoy this gorgeous shot of Marquez celebrating his 20th pole position.
Team Penske announced Sept. 29 that Pagenaud has signed a multi-year contract will drive the No. 22 Chevrolet-powered car for the 2014 series championship-winning team.
Power won his first Indy car title at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30, outdistancing Castroneves by 62 points over the 18 races. Juan Pablo Montoya, who won at Pocono Raceway and posted eight top-five finishes in his return to Indy car racing after 13 years, finished fourth in the standings for Team Penske.
The addition of Pagenaud, who won four races over the past three seasons with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports and placed fifth in the 2014 championship, gives Team Penske a formidable lineup for the first season of aero kits. Combined, the four drivers delivered seven victories and 30 top-five finishes this season.
“Simon Pagenaud is a very talented, focused and determined driver,” said team owner Roger Penske, who this season won his first entrant championship since 2006. “We know how tough he has been to compete with over the last few seasons and we are very happy to welcome him to Team Penske starting in 2015. With Simon coming on board to join Will, Helio and Juan, we feel we have four drivers very capable of winning on any given weekend and four guys who are legitimate championship contenders.”
Pagenaud, 30, of France, won the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 10 and added a victory in the back end of the Houston street course doubleheader June 29. A day earlier, earned his first series pole. Overall, he posted eight top-five finishes (average finish of 8.8) and had an average starting position of 8.6.
“Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is almost like a dream to me,” said Pagenaud, who has placed fifth, third and fifth in the standings the past three seasons. “I have always admired the team and everything that Roger Penske has accomplished in racing. I am so excited to become a part of Team Penske and I can’t wait for the 2015 season to start.”
Penske Racing president Tim Cindric said sponsorship and a race engineer are yet to be decided.
Pagenaud rejoins Power, a former teammate in Champ Car. Their rivalry was a story line in the first half of the season, which was accentuated by their cars making contact in the Long Beach and Detroit 1 races. Pagenaud finished 22nd in the Detroit race — his only DNF of the season. Pagenaud said he doesn’t expect any issues arising between the competitors.
“Yes, we’ve had our contacts on track and all that, but we enjoyed very much working together at the time and it’s going to be our job to make it work for Team Penske,” Pagenaud said. “I don’t see any reason it work well. Actually, it is going to work well.”
Pagenaud won the Champ Car Atlantic Series title as a rookie in 2006 and produced four wins en route to the American Le Mans Series LMP1 title in 2010. He competed in three Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2011 and joined Schmidt Peterson Hamilton for the 2012 season (six top-five finishes, including four podiums, in 15 races) during which he was named the Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
In 2013, Pagenaud won on the Belle Isle and Baltimore street circuits and added three other top-five finishes. The 2015 opener on March 29 — the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg — will be Pagenaud’s 70th Verizon IndyCar Series start.
At the time of the announcement, the Schmidt Peterson team was auditioning drivers Gabby Chaves — the reigning Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion — Rocky Moran and Rodolfo Gonzalez at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Originally on IndyCar.com
“The Flying Finn in front from Scotland!”
After a successful weekend at the Circuit of the Americas where his team grabbed overall victory, Audi Sport Team Joest driver Andre Lotterer admitted that he wants to see more races on the World Endurance Championship schedule. There are a collection of prestigious tracks that remained untouched by some of the premier series in all of motorsports, with only 8 races currently on the WEC calendar. Though the series visits places like Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps, other historic tracks like Sebring and Monza are left off.
“I’m a bit more of an old school guy so I’d like to see a race at Monza, maybe even Sebring or Road Atlanta.” - Andre Lotterer
The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans champion talked briefly about what things he would like to see changed and brought to the World Endurance Championship.
“It definitely would be nice to have more races. It’s too much of a break between Le Mans to now at Circuit of the Americas. I’m a bit more of an old school guy so I’d like to see a race at Monza, maybe even Sebring or Road Atlanta. There is the 1000k of Nurburgring, which is also big classic. It’s a bit more like of going back to the past, but in the spirit of Le Mans it would be nice, bring new things to it, go places maybe that these cars have never been. Even if it isn’t these races, it would be nice to at least have ten races.”
Next up for the premier endurance racing series is the 6 Hours of Fuji on October 12th.
Joey Barnes – Tribute Racing
GP2 and Formula E racer Daniel Abt and ex-Formula 1 test driver Rodolfo Gonzalez are both exploring IndyCar moves.
Gonzalez ran with Dale Coyne Racing earlier this week, while Abt is scheduled to test with Andretti Autosport for the first time next month.
The 21-year-old German is slated to spend a day in the team’s Dallara-Honda at Barber Motorsports Park on October 27.
Abt, who was GP3 Series runner-up to Mitch Evans in 2012, made his first visit to an IndyCar paddock at last month’s season-finale at Fontana, and admitted at the time that a move to the US could be on the horizon.
“It’s an option in my mind, but before I can really make a decision I need to get a feeling for the sport,” he said.
“Formula 1 was always my dream and that’s why I always did GP3, GP2, Formula 3, whatever, but it’s [Max] Verstappen at 16 taking those places [in F1 teams] and I’m starting to think that maybe it’s not what I want to do.
“You can always bring some money and drive a Caterham, but is it worth it just to be called an ‘F1 driver’? I don’t think so.
“I’m 21 now and I’m at a point where I need to look at what makes sense.”
Abt was a team-mate to 2014 IndyCar rookie of the year Carlos Munoz at Signature during the 2011 Formula 3 Euro Series season.
Gonzalez (pictured right), who was Marussia’s F1 reserve last year, drove for Coyne at Barber on Monday this week.
The 28-year-old Venezuelan was a long-time stalwart of European junior categories, although his four seasons in GP2 never produced a final championship position inside the top 20.
He made his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this year in a Murphy Prototypes ORECA-Nissan LMP2 car alongside Nathanael Berthon and Karun Chandhok, and is also contesting the European Le Mans Series with the squad.
Originally on Autosport.com
With the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka quickly approaching, let’s take a trip back to nine years ago and relive one of the greatest victories in modern Formula One history, Kimi Raikkonen’s astounding 17th to 1st comeback. Here are two clips, the first Kimi’s famous overtake on Fisichella to take the lead, the second an unusually emotional Ron Dennis on his drivers best ever race.
After the race I had a chance to catch up with lead Audi drivers Lucas di Grassi and Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen to chat about their race this evening and their impressions of COTA.
Tribute Racing: How was the race for you today, how did you’re experience come into play to help you guys pull through that chaos?
Tom Kristensen: I think it was, I mean, what a race! Of course yesterday for us was a disaster in qualifying, but as the race turned out when this heavy downpour suddenly arrived turned out to put us into the positions to where we are. Nevertheless it was a very hard race, there was a lot of decisions to be made, we chose to be aggressive, we wanted to go from the wets directly onto the slicks, and that backfired so we had to, even though we had lost a lot of time on the slicks we had to go to the intermediates as the circuit dried slower than we expected. But, in all, experience or not when you are in the race it’s all about what you do today and that’s what shows. We had a 2-1 victory as our car would call it, but eh it was nevertheless a great performance for us as well as the whole team. We would have loved to see the Porsche in third position, as the leading Toyota has the championship lead now, however second place after a tough comeback.
TR: What are your thoughts on COTA, do you like the track?
TK: It’s Fantastic! But you never expect Texas to get this suddenly heavy downpour!
TR: Still, great race today.
TK: Thank you very much.
TR: If you could, describe how the race went for you personally.
Lucas Di Grassi: Yeah, it was good. When I jumped into the car I managed to get second place, after something I didn’t expect. So yeah it wasn’t too far out, you talk of the championship now for the contstructor it isn’t too far out of reach.
TR: How did the rain effect the team?
LD: I think in the end, the rain played in our favor. We managed to keep the cars on track, you do what you have to do. That was not lucky at all, what was unlucky was contact from drivers of different cars on track and that’s it.
TR: Good recovery, well done.
LD: Thank you.
“And that just shows you how important the car is in Formula One racing!”
Lewis Hamilton claimed the lead of the Formula 1 world championship by dominating the Singapore Grand Prix, as Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg retired with technical problems.
Rosberg led Hamilton by 22 points coming into the 14th round of the 2014 F1 season, but now trails his rival by three after a disastrous race.
After Rosberg narrowly missed out on pole to Hamilton by just 0.007 seconds in qualifying, the expectation was for another close fight between the Mercedes duo.
But Rosberg’s problems began before the start, when his team discovered a glitch on the W05 and was forced to swap its steering wheel.
The German then had to start the race from the pitlane when he found he could not pull away from the grid for the formation lap unaided.
Hamilton sprinted into an immediate lead from pole, chased by Sebastian Vettel (who passed Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo into Turn 1) and Fernando Alonso.
The Ferrari briefly rose to second but Alonso outbraked himself into Turn 1, used the runoff area, and handed the place back to Vettel.
Rosberg made little progress during the first stint, failing even to pass Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham as he battled problems that were affecting his DRS, energy recovery systems and his gearbox, and eventually retired at his first pitstop on lap 13 – after another steering wheel change – when the car refused to re-engage first gear.
With his main rival removed from the race, Hamilton looked set for a comfortable win, but his superiority came under threat when the safety car was deployed for debris following the collapse of the front wing on Sergio Perez’s Force India, following a brush with Adrian Sutil’s Sauber, at the midway point of the race.
Mercedes decided not to pit Hamilton (yet to run the soft compound tyre) under the safety car, requiring him to stop again under racing conditions, so the 2008 world champion began hammering in fastest laps following the restart on lap 38 of 61, in order to open a big enough gap to the chasing pack to get in and out of the pits with his lead intact.
However, the chasing Red Bulls of Vettel and Ricciardo were attempting to make their first set of soft tyres last to the end of the race, easing the pressure on the leader.
Hamilton stretched out more than 25s over Vettel before making his final pitstop with nine of the scheduled laps to run, but this was not enough to keep him ahead.
Hamilton just fended off Ricciardo into Turn 3 as Vettel claimed the lead, but with far fresher tyres Hamilton easily retook the place and drove on to win by a comfortable 13.5s margin as the race ran past the two-hour limit with a lap of the scheduled 61 to run.
Having jumped Vettel at the second round of stops, Alonso conceded track position to both Red Bulls by pitting under the safety car.
The double world champion sat behind Ricciardo waiting for his rivals’ tyres to fall apart, but the Red Bulls held on to score their first double podium finish of the season, with Vettel bagging his best result of a difficult year in second spot.
Felipe Massa’s Williams repassed the fast-starting Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen for fifth at the first round of stops and raced on to a lonely finish, while Jean-Eric Vergne (twice penalised five seconds for exceeding track limits) scored a season’s best sixth after gambling on a third pitstop after the safety car and using his fresher soft tyres to pass a train of cars in the closing stages with some bold late-braking moves.
Perez recovered from his wing breakage to execute a similar strategy to Vergne and finish seventh as the tyres on the cars around him gave up the ghost towards the end.
Raikkonen paid dearly for his earlier loss of track position, and trailed home eighth despite pitting for fresh tyres under the safety car.
Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10, as the tyres on Valtteri Bottas’s Williams – which ran as high as sixth at one point – gave up on him. The Finn trailed home a pointless 11th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button also looked on course to score points, after a fine start and good strategy carried him from 11th on the grid to seventh, but the 2009 world champion’s car broke down seven laps from the finish.
RESULTS – 60 LAPS/TWO HOURS:
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||13.534s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||14.273s|
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||56.801s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||59.038s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m01.661s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m12.008s|
|17||Max Chilton||Marussia/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|-||Adrian Sutil||Sauber/Ferrari||Water leak|
|-||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||Steering wheel|
|-||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham/Renault||Not started|
Originally on Autosport.com