WATKINS GLEN, New York (Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017) – Alexander Rossi completed a dream weekend with a win in the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen. Josef Newgarden endured a nightmare incident in the race that leaves the Verizon IndyCar Series championship battle wide open for the 12th straight year heading to the season finale.
Rossi won the 60-lap race at iconic Watkins Glen International from the pole position on the same weekend it was announced he would return to Andretti Autosport next season in a multiyear deal along with sponsor NAPA Auto Parts. The 25-year-old Californian led a race-high 32 laps and drove the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda across the finish line 0.9514 of a second ahead of four-time Watkins Glen winner Scott Dixon.
Points leader Josef Newgarden finished 18th after his car sustained damage in a collision leaving the pits. The Team Penske driver saw his championship lead slip to three points over Dixon with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, offering double race points on Sept. 17, remaining. Seven drivers are still mathematically alive in the title hunt. The Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been determined in the season’s final race every year dating to 2006.
Rossi overcame a malfunctioning fuel probe on his second pit stop that left him short of Sunoco E85 ethanol and forced an earlier third stop than scheduled. From there, Rossi laid down laps at near-qualifying pace, regaining the lead on Lap 29 and building an advantage of more than 12 seconds. The full-course caution for Newgarden’s incident on Lap 46 bunched the field, but Rossi kept Dixon, in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, at bay over the 11-lap dash to the finish.
The victory was the second for Rossi in the Verizon IndyCar Series and first since his memorable triumph as a rookie in the 2016 Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.
“An amazing job by the whole team today,” Rossi said. “We had an issue in the beginning with the fuel thing, but whatever. It doesn’t matter, the team recovered. We had the pace to do it, but it’s pretty amazing.
WATKINS GLEN, New York (Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017) – Alexander Rossi’s weekend of great news continued today when he won the Verizon P1 Award in qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen.
A day after it was announced he would return to Andretti Autosport next season in a multiyear deal along with sponsor NAPA Auto Parts, Rossi clocked a dramatic last lap of 1 minute, 22.4639 seconds (147.119 mph) on Watkins Glen International’s high-risk, high-reward permanent road course. It was the fastest lap in the Firestone Fast Six, the third and final round of knockout qualifying, to earn Rossi the first pole position in his 32-race Verizon IndyCar Series career.
“It was a big lap we needed,” said Rossi, the 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and driver of the No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda. “The lap before was pretty good, but they came on the radio and said, ‘You need at least a tenth (of a second quicker),’ so we went for it.
“It’s amazing to finally accomplish this, especially on the back of the announcement on Friday. I think it’s been a long time coming, so it’s just nice to finally get that. The whole team has been working so hard and they deserve this.”
Rossi was the last of the Firestone Fast Six drivers on the 3.37-mile, 11-turn circuit at the session’s end, crossing the timing line to win the pole as the others were in pit lane. The 25-year-old Californian’s best previous qualifying effort was third on two occasions, both on ovals this season at Indianapolis and Texas.
Rossi will lead the 21-car field to the green flag in Sunday’s 60-lap race (1 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network). In winning the pole, he denied Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon the chance to edge closer to championship leader Josef Newgarden in the point standings.
LCH leads from start to finish, recording a comfortable victory and moving to the top of the drivers’ championship for the first time this season; Valtteri Bottas was second and Sebastian Vettel third
Vettel limited the damage to his title hopes as much as was possible in the circumstances, passing team-mate Kimi Raikkonen around the outside into the first Lesmo on lap three, Stroll a couple of laps later before picking off Ocon into Turn One on lap eight.
The German, though, was no match for the Mercedes at Ferrari’s home race – generally dropping at least half a second a lap – and his focus in the second part of the race became holding off Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
The Australian, who qualified third but started 16th after being given a grid penalty for using too many engine parts this season, put in a brilliant recovery from his lowly grid position.
He picked his way through the slower cars in the first part of the race, pulling off a series of his trademark aggressive overtaking moves, and ran a long first stint to give himself fresher tyres for the final stint than the Ferraris ahead of him.
F1WEEKLY FRIEND MATCHES SENNA’S NUMBER OF WINS AND TAKES BRITISH F3 TITLE
Enaam Ahmed, 17-year-old British racing sensation, started the season like Nico Rosberg last year, winning the first four races of the season. And will finish off the season in September having already matched Senna’s number of wins in this prestigious championship.
Next stop; Donington. Next target; Jan Magnussen’s record of 14 wins from the 1994 British F3 season.
Enaam was fifth in the championship in 2016 and, after winning the Autumn Trophy towards the end of last year, was one of the pre-season favorites to lift the 2017 title. What he did not expect, nor did the competition, was the dominating trend he established right from the moment the lights went out for the season opener at Oulton Park in mid-April.
The winning momentum continued into round 2 at the Rockingham ‘roval’ where Enaam won the opening race of the weekend. American racer Cameron Das scored his maiden win in Race 2 and local lad Ben Hingeley did likewise in Race 3. Enaam was 8th in both and left Rockingham with a 15-point lead in the championship over his Carlin teammate Das.
Round 3 was in beautiful Norfolk, Lotus-country, on Memorial Day weekend. F1Weekly was in full force with Mr Peter Brazier, now at the wheel of his new European e-support vehicle, a mighty fine and electrifying Tesla and Dr Mark Farrington joining yours truly for some high performance and pappadums at Jonathan Palmer-owned Snetterton circuit. The high banks around the track offer an excellent view of most of the racing action. We were all delighted to see Enaam’s car – now proudly displaying F1W logo on the rear wing – take two wins and a sixth to stretch his lead over Das to 44 points.
Silverstone – Home of British Motorsports – was the scene of Round 4 in June. Toby Sowery, like Enaam in his second year in the series, almost did a triple play; winning two races and finishing second to his Fortec teammate, Hingeley, in the other.
This has been the only weekend so far this season where Enaam did not score a victory, but two podium finishes and a fifth saw him extend his lead in the championship to 58 points.
James Pull, also part of the Carlin brigade, now assumed second place in the title race after finishing all three races at the ‘Stone on podium.
The championship traveled outside jolly olde England in July for battle in the Ardennes Forest at the majestic Spa-Francorchamps.
Enaam came close to his second triple play of the season, missing out on victory to Hingeley in the opening race of the weekend by just over 1s. He then stamped his authority by winning the remaining two races and establishing a comfortable 82-point cushion over the new second man in the standings, Toby Sowery.
Round 6 of the series took competitors to the Brands hatch Grand Prix circuit, located in beautiful Kent countryside. This is the circuit where “our Nige” scored his first long awaited Formula 1 victory way back in 1985.
Race 1 was a case of rain and reign. Enaam started from pole and led the race with fellow front-row starter James Paul staying in close contact in second place. Raindrops on the track slowed the field down while some skidded off the track. Heavy downpour brought the red flag and the race was declared over after eight laps, giving Enaam 9 wins and counting.
After claiming third in the second race, normal service was resumed and he was back on top step of the podium in the third and final race of the weekend. Cruising home to London town Enaam enjoyed a substantial lead of 106 points over James Pull in second, and felt confident his first motor racing championship was coming his way before the final round at Donington in late September.
Enaam sealed the deal at Snetterton last Sunday, doing double the pleasure by winning the opening and final race of the weekend, plus fifth in Race 2. Title secured, job well done.
F1Weekly extends our congratulations to the new 2017 BRDC British F3 Champion and to the entire Trevor Carlin crew.
E words: “I’ve been in this championship for two years, and it means a lot to me to win the title. It’s been a great Championship, everyone at MSV (Motor Sport Vision) and the BRDC (British Racing Drivers Club) and everyone involved has done a really good job with the series….and specially to do with Carlin as they’re such a prestigious team. it wouldn’t have been possible without the people around me; my mum and dad, my coach Roberto, Andy from AW and so many other people. I’m really thankful and now I move on to the next challenge, it’s pretty amazing to be an F3 champion alongside some of the greatest names of Motorsport.”
It was success in the British F3 that launched the careers of Fittipaldi, Piquet, Senna and Hakkinen into the Formula 1 orbit.
CLARK AND NASIR SHARE SOME BELGIAN WAFFLES WHILST DISCUSSING THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX AND OF COURSE CONTINUE TO PONDER THE FERNANDO QUESTION! SPEAKING OF EL MACHISMO HERE IS ALONSO’S MONZA PREVIEW…
FERNANDO ALONSO “Like Spa, Monza is one of those legendary tracks where everybody loves watching cars going racing. With the new wider, faster cars this year, it will definitely be another circuit where we’ll see a new fastest lap and some incredibly high speeds on the straights.
“It’s the fastest circuit on the calendar in terms of outright speed, and for a driver it’s an incredible feeling racing down those iconic straights punctuated by the tight chicanes and big, fast corners that require a huge amount of commitment. We’ve always said this circuit wouldn’t suit our package, and we expect a tough challenge. Although it’s power-hungry like Spa, it’s also different in many ways. Spa is a long race; the Monza circuit is short and sharp and the race always feels like it’s over very quickly.
“The thing I love most about Monza is the fans. Even when you’re not dressed in tifosi red, the fans come out in force and they’re all super passionate about racing and motorsport. The Italian Grand Prix is a favourite for many people and it really deserves its legendary reputation as a magic circuit for race fans.”
LCH celebrated his 200th Formula One race by reducing Sebastian Vettel’s lead to seven points at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Twenty-four hours after Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole position record, the Briton led virtually every lap here in the Ardennes to hold off a late challenge from Vettel, who crossed the line 2.3 seconds behind his title rival.
Hamilton’s victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit takes him to within seven points of Vettel ahead of next week’s Italian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo completed the podium for Red Bull, while Fernando Alonso’s miserable season took yet another miserable twist following his seventh retirement of the year.
Hamilton secured his 68th career pole with a blistering lap around this famous 4.3-mile circuit on Saturday and looked on course for a straightforward win following an equally blistering start.
But after dominating the vast majority of the race, the 12th round of this see-saw championship nearly turned on its head on lap 29 when the Force India team-mates of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon collided for the second time in their last five outings.
Perez moved across to cover Ocon’s move on the run-up to Eau Rouge, and in doing so provoked a collision which saw him sustain a right-rear puncture, and his team-mate a damaged front wing.
“Guys, what the f—?,” an incandescent Ocon yelled over the radio. “Honestly. Idiot.”
As the Force India duo limped back to the pits, the safety car was deployed to clear the debris.