New Jersey and Mexico set to be scratched
A second race in the United States in New Jersey and a return to Mexico for the first time since 1992 are set to be crossed off the 2014 Formula One calendar. Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 commercial rights owner, said on Sunday that there was little likelihood of either race happening. Both were included in an original 22-event calendar released earlier in the year. Of New Jersey, which had been scheduled for June 1, Ecclestone told Reuters: “I would doubt whether it’s going to happen. It’s not definite that it will or won’t, but I doubt that it does.” Of Mexico, which was tentatively set for November 16, he initially said “definitely not” before changing to a “probably not”. The sixth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is listed for October 26. The calendar will be confirmed by FIA, the sport’s ruling body, next month.
Calado wins GP2 race
James Calado completed a busy weekend at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by winning Sunday’s GP2 race. The Briton began the weekend by driving for F1 team Force India in the first practice before turning his attention to GP2. Having finished sixth in Saturday’s feature race, the ART Grand Prix team driver took the lead from third on the grid at the start of the sprint race on Sunday. He led throughout the 22-lap event, despite two safety-car periods for incidents further back, and came home 0.7 seconds ahead of Dani Clos. Fabio Leimer, who sealed the championship on Saturday, finished down in third place.
Tearful Thiim remembers rival
A tearful Nicki Thiim became Porsche Supercup champion on Sunday after making it two wins in as many attempts at Yas Marina Circuit. Sean Edwards had been the championship leader coming to Abu Dhabi, but the Briton was killed in a crash in Australia two weeks before the event. Thiim’s two wins saw him leapfrog Edwards to take the title. An emotional Thiim pointed to the black armband he was wearing to remember his rival when he got out of his car. He finished the race ahead of Attempto Racing teammate Kevin Estre. Clemens Schmid, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East champion, was eliminated in a first-lap collision.
Ellinas takes GP3 chequered flag
The final round of the GP3 season produced some symmetry on Sunday. Tio Ellinas won the first race of the year, in Spain in May, and he won the last one, too, for his second win of the season. The Cypriot led throughout the 14-lap race after immediately taking the lead from second place on the grid. Dean Stoneman whittled a four-second Ellinas lead to just 0.2 seconds behind at the finish. Conor Daly was third, while Daniil Kvyat, who had clinched the title on Saturday, finished fifth in his final race in the series before he moves up to F1 next season with Toro Rosso.
Stoneman’s return to Yas was an emotional one. The Briton, 23, took part in the Formula One Young Drivers’ Test in November 2010 with the Williams team, but his career was put on hold after the discovery of testicular cancer. This weekend was his first ride in a single-seater after racing in the British Porsche Carrera Cup earlier this year. He said: “Last time I was here was in a Formula One car … and unfortunately I was knocked back three seasons, but I am back on the podium now. It was great to be with such a fantastic team this weekend and to be able to do a good job.”
* Graham Caygill