In the round-up: Another major series is likely to race at the Circuit of the Americas in 2024.
COTA teases return of a big series for 2024
Circuit of the Americas CEO Bobby Epstein has indicated the venue of Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix could be hosting another major racing series in 2024.
Alongside F1, COTA features on the Moto GP and NASCAR Cup calendars. During the 2010s it hosted IndyCar, IMSA and the World Endurance Championship. Epstein was asked whether those may return to COTA during a call with media including RaceFans.
“I’d like to see that,” he said. “What that would mean? Right. I’m a venue. I’m the theatre. So to see everyone back here racing would mean that those [championships] have succeeded in building a fanbase that will buy tickets. Because that’s not our job. We don’t get the budget and we don’t get the TV revenue. We don’t build sports, right? We put on events.
“If you see all those back here, it’s because they’re selling enough tickets for the promoter to make it worthwhile, or because they they value the competition that COTA creates on the track.”
He added: “I think you will see another one of the [series] names that you mentioned back here in the next year. But from our standpoint, we need the fans to show up and right now there’s no question that F1 and NASCAR and Moto GP dominate.”
Frijns returns to Abt Cupra seat in FE
A wrist-breaking crash at the season-opening Mexico City E-Prix ruled Frijns out of action for two months. He made his racing return last weekend in the Sebring 1000 Miles as he is also racing in the World Endurance Championship this year.
Kelvin van der Linde stood in for Frijns in the FE events he was absent from, although he also missed a race as Abt had to withdraw their cars from last month’s Cape Town EPrix over safety concerns.
“It feels insanely good to be preparing for a race again with Nico [Muller, team mate] and the whole team – it’s so good to be back”, said Frijns. “The past two months have felt like an eternity. Many thanks to the team, the FIA, all the doctors and physios, and the whole FE paddock, who have been patient with me despite me being so impatient.
“My hand feels good, racing in Sebring went smoothly, I’m fit for Sao Paulo. I was in contact with the team the whole time, was involved in everything and am up to date with all the procedures – the race weekend can start.”
Alpine reserve Doohan on podium but lacking confidence in F2
Alpine’s Formula 1 reserve driver Jack Doohan was relieved to come away from the Jeddah round with a second place finish after struggling for pace in qualifying again.
He qualified 17th at the Bahrain season opener and failed to score in either race, then was 0.784 seconds off the pace in Jeddah qualifying. However he was able to end that weekend with a second place finish. He admitted feeling “mixed emotions at the end of the weekend.”
“I’m not completely content but happy to get 20 points on the board,” said Doohan. “We were missing pace a little bit in the feature race and I’m still not completely comfortable in the car, there are a few things we need to work on to make sure that we can get everything back to where it needs to be.
“On a positive note, to finish second and to be fighting up there for the win in circumstances like we are in now shows that when we can get our package together and when we can get more comfortable, we should be very strong.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 20 years ago today Kimi Raikkonen scored the first win of his Formula 1 career in Malaysia for McLaren, out-running pole-winner Fernando Alonso