Notebook: Pagenaud, Rossi earn nominations for Autosport Awards


Verizon IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud and Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi are among the international racing stars nominated for prestigious Autosport Awards.

Pagenaud, who claimed five wins en route to his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship, is nominated in International Racing Driver of Year Category, while Rossi is nominated for Autosport Rookie of the Year.

"“It's an honor just to be nominated for this special award,” Pagenaud said. “I want to thank Autosport for this nomination as International Racing Driver of the Year. This is really a credit to all the hard work by the No. 22 Chevrolet team and all that we accomplished together this year in the Verizon IndyCar Series."

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg join Red Bull Racing teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen and 2016 Formula E champion Sebastien Buemi as the other nominees for International Racing Driver of Year, given to the reader’s choice of top driver competing at an international level. Hamilton, a four-time winner of the award, has won the last two awards in the category.

Rossi is nominated for the award given to the top first-year competitor along with F1 rookies Pascal Wehrlein, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon, GP2 points leader Antonio Giovinazzi and GP3 point leader Charles Leclerc. Verstappen won the award in 2015.

"It's an honor to be nominated for the Autosport Rookie of the Year,” Rossi said. “Autosport is one of the most influential publications in motorsport and to be nominated representing the Verizon IndyCar series shows how significant our series globally. 

“I've been nominated amongst some of the best rookies in auto racing and it's up to the Autosport subscribers to vote and choose their Rookie of the Year. I think it would be amazing to win this not only for myself but for the entire INDYCAR program."

The awards in 12 categories – eight voted on by Autosport subscribers online and four selected by magazine staff and competition judges -- will be presented Dec. 4 during an international motorsports gala in London. The Autosport Awards have been presented since 1982.

Rossi joins Race of Champions field

Rossi is the latest Verizon IndyCar Series star to join the field of drivers who will compete at the first Race Of Champions on American soil – inside Miami’s Marlins Park on Jan. 21-22.

“I’m honored to be invited to race in this year’s Race Of Champions,” Rossi said. “ROC is so well respected in motor sport, bringing together the best drivers from around the world and across every series. This international event is always ultra-competitive and I’m looking forward to the competition and the very first US race venue in Miami. It will also be great to race with my Andretti Autosport teammate, Ryan Hunter-Reay. I can assure you, neither of us will be holding back.”

Rossi is the fourth Verizon IndyCar Series driver who has signed up to participate in the annual contest which brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines and has them race head-to-head in identical machinery.

Other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers slated to compete are: Indy car and Indianapolis 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Tony Kanaan, four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel, retiring F1 driver Felipe Massa, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen action sports legend Travis Pastrana, NASCAR champion Kurt Busch, Red Bull Global Rallycross Champion Scott Speed and double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg.

Renew tickets for Watkins Glen events

Renewal season is about to begin at Watkins Glen International. Account holders will receive their renewal forms by mid-November, giving The Glen’s loyal fans the opportunity to save up to $36 per ticket, in addition to the option of relocating their seats and/or campsites prior to tickets going on sale to the general public.

“We’re coming off of another great year at Watkins Glen International,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “With IMSA, NASCAR, and INDYCAR all making returns to this beautiful area of upstate New York, there is a lot to look forward to in 2017.”

Renewals can be accomplished by calling 866.461.RACE or visiting The INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Glen will be held Sept. 3 at the famed road course located in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Team USA Scholarship drivers shine in wet Walter Hayes Trophy Final

Oliver Askew and Kyle KirkwoodTeam USA Scholarship drivers Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood put on impressive performances on Finals Day of the 16th annual Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford 1600 event at Silverstone, finishing second and fourth behind dominant Irishman Niall Murray.

Askew, 19, won his semi-final with a daring last-lap pass and started from the front row, but couldn’t challenge Murray, while the 18-year-old Kirkwood, who had to work his way from the progression race, through the last-chance qualifier and semi-final rounds to make the grand final, drove from deep in the field to hold third on the final lap.

“These have been the best three weeks of my life,” said Askew after being presented his trophy by three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart. “I’m so thankful for the opportunity and what Jeremy Shaw stands for – that being the support of young American drivers who work extremely hard to work their way to the top.

“With five podiums out of six races here in England, I am definitely going home with a smile on my face. “I hope to use this experience for the future and I hope to keep progressing in the world of motorsport.”

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