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GP Week : Issue 172
w BRIEFLY » BBC F1 presenter and former Formula One driver David Coulthard racing in the DTM series for the last time yesterday.” I will stop racing in the DTM to concentrate on my developing off-track businesses and of course my family,” announced Coulthard. “I have enjoyed the last three years and I wish the organizers and competitors in DTM continued growth and success with the championship.” Since retiring from F1 at the end of the 2008 season, Coulthard has spent three years competing in the DTM championship for Mücke Motorsport, combining his driving duties with his television work. » Sauber this week confirmed that Esteban Gutierrez and Robin Frijns would be taking turns behind the wheel of the C31 in the Abu Dhabi Young Driver’s test next month. Frijns will do the honours on 6 November, the opening day of the test, while reserve driver Gutierrez will have his turn on the remaining two days. It will be Gutierrez’ fourth test with Sauber since starting work with the team in late 2009, while Frijns will be making his F1 debut at the Yas Marina Circuit. Gutierrez is a strong contender for a full-time seat with Sauber in 2013, although the Swiss team’s line-up has yet to be decided. » Reuters (US) is reporting rumours out of the US that the Teacher Retirement System of Texas will buy a 3 percent stake in Formula 1 from the collapsed Lehman Brothers' estate in a deal worth about US$200 million. The sale of the stake will be the first reduction in the Lehman Brothers' holding in Formula 1 since the bank collapsed four years ago, leaving it with a 12 percent shareholding. While Red Bull called dibs on a first lap of the New Jersey circuit – and the Red Bull showcar has already made a trip to Austin – Lotus this weekend became the first Formula One team to take to the track at the Circuit of the Americas. As part of COTA’s Official Opening Ceremony on Sunday, American racing legend Mario Andretti, Lotus F1 reser ve driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio, and actor Patrick Dempsey all took part in a series of demonstration runs using the R30, the Enstone-based team’s 2010 race car. Andretti is the Official Ambassador of COTA, and on Sunday the man with wins in Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, sprint cars, sports cars, dirt track cars, and drag racing – to name but a few – cut the ribbon to officially open Formula One’s first purpose-built U.S. home. “Formula One’s return to the United States is so exciting for racing fans, especially at a purpose-built facility,” Andretti said. “Circuit of the Americas has a strong team behind it that is working day in and day out to prepare for the first race. They have made significant progress in a short amount of time. The track design has really come together, and it’s clear that this will be a phenomenal venue for a variety of premium motorsports.” With the circuit officially opened, it was up to Andretti to take to the wheel of the R30 and christen the circuit by laying down some Pirelli rubber. Andretti became F1 world champion in 1978 at the wheel of a similar-looking black and gold Lotus. The multi-talented racer was showing Dempsey how it was done before the Grey’s Anatomy star took to the track behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time. Dempsey is no motorsport novice, however – a keen fan, he has also taken part in the world famous 24 Heures du Mans endurance race. Last to show off his skills was third driver D’Ambrosio, who raced in this year’s Italian Grand Prix when he stood in for Romain Grosjean. AMERICANS IN AUSTIN: ANDRETTI AND DEMPSEY DEMO THE R30 F1 >>> NEWS 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: