NEWS
Thursday, May 16 03:52pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Keeping up with the Kiwis, your guide to the action: May 17-20

It’s a weekend of single seaters and saloons that’ll keep you relatively busy. Just three events, albeit big ones, are on the cards. Scott Dixon will qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 while Nick Cassidy will look to continue his form in SUPER FORMULA. Kiwi duo Chris Pither and Andre Heimgartner tackle the first round of the TCR Australia Series as well. 

  TCR

Chris Pither & Andre Heimgartner

What: TCR Australia Series

Where: Sydney Motorsport Park, Australia

When: Q SAT 12:55, R1 SAT 4:15, R2 SUN 15:15, R3 SUN 16:20

How to follow: Shannons Nationals Live Stream or Live Timing

 

A 17-car grid will line up for the opening round of the inaugural TCR Australia Series at Sydney Motorsport Park.

 

Chris Pither and Andre Heimgartner will fly the Kiwi flag for Garry Rogers Motorsport and Kelly Racing respectively across the three-day event.

 

The pair go into the first event arguably as season favourites. Pither enters the seven-round championship off the back of a maiden Super2 Series title last year, which he won with Eggleston Motorsport. Heimgartner comes with form too having recently taken his first solo podium in the Supercars Championship.

 

However, it’ll be a different ball game come round one when they swap rear-wheel drive V8s for front-wheel driver four-cylinder turbo terrors.

 

Jason Bright will be one of the 17 drivers debuting in the series. His Team Engstler cars come with some pedigree having won over in Asia.

 

Ones to watch will definitely include Tony D’Alberto, Will Brown, Jimmy Vernon, and Dylan O’Keeffe.

 

Cassidy

Nick Cassidy

What: SUPER FORMULA

Where: Suzuka Circuit, Japan

When: Q SAT 18:00, R SUN 17:00

How to follow: Let’s Go Racing Live Stream or Live Timing

 

A win in the opening round of Japan’s highly regarded SUPER FORMULA seemed an unlikely prospect for Nick Cassidy.

 

Troubles in practice left the Kiwi wanting more from his TOMS Racing-run Dallara SF19, which struggled with aerodynamic balance.

 

Despite the early weekend dramas he managed to overcome all odds, qualify inside the top 10, and ace his strategy to win the opening round. With that he became the first driver to win in the new SF19 chassis.

 

After winning round one at Suzuk Circuit, the series heads to Autopolis, a circuit that he should’ve won at last year. After qualifying third for the race it was cancelled due to inclement weather.

 

Rival Naoki Yamamoto qualified down the order, and had the race run and they finished where they were set to start, it could’ve been the difference between Cassidy winning the title and not. Ultimately he finished the season one point away from Yamamoto.

 

This weekend will be one of strategy again no doubt. With rain forecast for the region the result could go any way.

 

F3

Liam Lawson

What: Euroformula Open Championship

Where: Pauville, France

When: Q SAT 21:10, R1 SUN 2:15, R2 SUN 20:15, R3 MON 01:20

How to follow: Euroformula Open Live Stream 

 

A full grid of Euroformula Open cars will head to Pau in France this weekend to fight over not only the third and fourth races of the 2019 season, but the 78th edition of the Grand Prix de Pau.

 

This is the first time that the Euroformula Open has the honour to headline this legendary event that traces back to 1930 in its current form and through the various eras has been part of the history of Formula 1, Formula 2, F3000 and Formula 3.

 

Together with Monaco and Macau, the 2.760km-long Circuit de Pau forms a triptych of legendary urban tracks that have managed to survive into the modern era of formula racing.

 

Formula 3’s affinity with the town in the French Pyrenees, renowned for its Belle-Epoque architecture, started in 1964 and kept almost perfect continuity up to our days, despite the varying fortunes of the category.

 

Over the decades, the Grand Prix de Pau has been ran as part of different European series and cups, but also as an event of the French, British or German series.

 

Leading the championship heading into the second round of the season is Red Bull junior Liam Lawson, who had a dramatic weekend at the Paul Ricard season opener that included a victory and a clash with his fellow Red Bull-backed Motopark team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.

 

Their team-mate Marino Sato won the other race at Paul Ricard, and will be one of the favourites at Pau this weekend having raced Formula 3 cars there for the last two years. The fourth Motopark car of Julian Hanses also has experience of the French street circuit.

 

Dixon

Scott Dixon 

What: NTT IndyCar Series

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, United States

When: Q MON 04:00, R SUN 07:30

How to follow: SKY Sports (Qualifying Only) or Live Timing

 

The Month of May continues at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

 

Qualifying for the Great Race begins on Sunday morning (NZST) to set the provisional order. Monday will see the last row determined and the Firestone Fast Nine take place.

 

It’ll be an interesting weekend for Dixon. With the order already fairly mixed in the opening two practice sessions he’s been at the forefront with the tow.

 

It remains unclear at this point what his speed is like without the aerodynamic advantage of following another car. Qualifying will be telling from the perspective.

 

Practice continues throughout the week leading up to next weekend’s big one, the 500-mile race. The ninth and final practice will take place next Saturday (NZST). 

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