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Racing Legends - Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti is a legendary figure in the world of motorsports, particularly in auto racing. He was born on February 28, 1940, in Montona, Italy (now Motovun, Croatia), and later became a naturalized American citizen. Mario Andretti is considered one of the most versatile and accomplished drivers in motorsport history, with an illustrious career spanning several decades.

Some key highlights of Mario Andretti's career include:

  1. Formula One (F1): Andretti competed in Formula One from 1968 to 1982 and won the World Championship in 1978 driving for the Lotus team. He achieved 12 race victories and 18 pole positions in his F1 career.

  2. Indianapolis 500: Andretti won the prestigious Indianapolis 500 race in 1969, driving for the Andy Granatelli-owned STP team. He had a remarkable performance, leading 116 of the 200 laps and securing his place in history as one of the few drivers to win both the Formula One World Championship and the Indianapolis 500.

  3. IndyCar Racing: Throughout his career, Andretti had immense success in IndyCar racing. He won the USAC National Championship four times (1965, 1966, 1969, 1984) and secured numerous race victories, including wins at iconic races like the Daytona 500 and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

PREVIEW: 2023 FIA European Rallycross Championship – Montalegre, Portugal

The 2023 FIA European Rallycross Championship returns to another rallycross track on 3/4 June. Montalegre, Portugal, plays host to the second round of this exciting championship, with a large portion of the field keen to grab the top spot of the podium.

A staple of the European rallycross scene, and a regular fixture in the FIA World Rallycross Championship as well, Montalegre is known for its beautiful views and hosting spectacular racing. The long start finish straight splits charges into the first hairpin, the former Joker section. The Joker section now follows on from this opening turn. Who can forget the spectacular contact at the Joker merge between current championship leader Janis Baumanis and reigning champion Anton Marklund in 2022? With an excitingly close-fought battle at Nyirád, Hungary, last time out, we could well see similarly spectacular battles this time.

The opening round was an event that defied odds. Baumanis battled to victory despite battling an illness for most of the weekend; Marklund, having described his Ford Fiesta RX as one of the worst he’d ever driver, managed to finish second; and rising star Patrick O’Donovan took his Peugeot 208 RX to third on the podium on only his second Euro RX1 outing.

L-R: Marklund, Baumanis and O’Donovan, the podium at Nyirád. Who will top the podium at Montalegre? Credit: @World / Red Bull Content Pool

Marklund was also involved in a heavy crash with Sivert Svardal in heat three, which many thought would end his weekend – including Marklund. Speaking after the final, Marklund said “To be honest, I still can’t really believe what we did. We decided that we could not continue with the damage after heat three – it shouldn’t have been possible to repair the car in that timeframe – but then there was a moment, where we sat and discussed and everyone stood up to at least try. The guys worked flat-out. I think the team was surprised too that we got out again, but they did it, and this P2 is like a victory for all of us. It was exhausting and a tough couple of days, but we did what we needed to do.“

Despite his disappointing end to the weekend, Svardal also believes he can fight for victory. Reflecting on the possibilities for the second round, Svardal said “We were really happy with the performance of the new car at Nyirád – it’s still not the quickest on the grid, but it’s definitely a step forward and the best feeling I’ve ever had in a rallycross Supercar. I obviously have more experience now too, which gives me the confidence to push harder. If things go well, I honestly believe we can compete with the top guys this year and cause them some trouble. It’s a really strong field in Euro RX1 and the leading four drivers in the championship will all be in Portugal, but my goal is to get through to the final – and from there, anything is possible.”

McLaren’s Ian James Aware ‘Improvements to be Made’ Despite Return to Form

The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team are targeting a strong haul of points this weekend as the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship heads to Indonesia, for the Jakarta E-Prix double-header.

Rounds ten and eleven are likely to be the most physically demanding of the season, with the heat and humidity set to make life difficult for the entire Woking-based team. They at least head to Southeast Asia having returned to form in Monaco, with rookie Jake Hughes having claimed his second pole position of the season. He backed it up with fifth in the race, marking the team’s first top-five since Cape Town.

René Rast wasn’t quite as strong in Monaco, with the German having finished seventeenth. Hughes at least showed that the British team do have a competitive car; however, Team Principal Ian James did admit ahead of this weekend that there are “still improvements to be made” to exploit its full potential.

“It’s great to return to Jakarta after a few weeks since our last race in Monaco. The fans in Indonesia are hugely passionate and I hope we can put on a good show for them. 

“In Monaco, we secured our first pole position since Diriyah, which was a fantastic boost for the team. However, there are still improvements to be made as we aim to convert our qualifying performance into race pace and podium finishes. 

Jake Hughes Targeting ‘Some Silverware’ in Jakarta Double-Header

Rookie Jake Hughes heads into his first Jakarta E-Prix weekend looking to replicate his recent performance in Monaco, where he stormed to his second pole position of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

With this weekend being a double-header, Hughes will have two opportunities to claim a third pole position of the year, whilst he’s also targeting back-to-back top-five finishes. After a challenging few races, the Briton returned to his rapid ways at the Circuit de Monaco, with the aim being to potentially “bring back some silverware” in Southeast Asia.

Whilst he’s never raced in Indonesia, Hughes did attend the race last season with Mercedes-EQ, meaning he at least knows how challenging the conditions will be. The NEOM McLaren Formula E Team driver heads to Jakarta in good spirits and with the aim of making the “team proud”.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Jakarta. I was there last year with the team and it was a really great event, especially seeing how popular Formula E is in that part of the world. The track is really special. I’m looking forward to continuing the positivity we had in Monaco, where our qualifying strength returned and we finished the race in the top five.

“To finish in the top five again is our goal, and if everything goes right, hopefully we can get on the podium. As a double header event, we have two attempts, so I’m hoping we can do the team proud and bring back some silverware.”

Valtteri Bottas: “When you make up four places in Monaco, it’s not a bad result”

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake’s Valtteri Bottas was satisfied with his Monaco Grand Prix performance, gaining four positions from fifteenth to eleventh– narrowly missing out on a points result at a circuit where it is traditionally difficult to make up places.

“We had a solid race and probably got as much as we could out of the day. When you make up four places in Monaco, it’s not a bad result and it’s only a pity we couldn’t get any points from our efforts. 

Bottas said that the team’s decision to pull the trigger on intermediate tyres soon after the rain began was the right one, with him being one of the very first to take to the pits before the conditions became treacherous. 

“The rain helped us a bit by mixing up the race, but we had to take some important decisions and we made all the right calls. It was not easy out there, even on inters, as the track was very wet in places and drier in others, but we chose to play this card before everyone else and we gained ground as a result.”

The update the team brought to the C43 in Monaco was a step forward according to Bottas, and he looks forward to seeing the kind of pace they’ll have at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya next time out. 

Maserati Expecting Jakarta to be ‘Very Physically Demanding on Everyone’

Maserati MSG Racing Team Principal James Rossiter is very much aware that this weekend’s Jakarta E-Prix double-header will be “very physically demanding on everyone”, due to the immense heat and humidity in Southeast Asia.

Edoardo Mortara and Maximilian Günther are going to have to work incredibly hard in the tenth and eleventh rounds of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, with their concentration set to be tested to its absolute limit, given the unbearable conditions.

The Monte-Carlo-based team head to Jakarta having left Monaco without a point, due to Günther having retired late in the race whilst running amongst the top ten, following a collision with Dan Ticktum. Mortara finished eleventh which was actually a very good result, given that he pitted early in the race for a new front wing after hitting Günther.

Maserati’s point-less weekend at the Circuit de Monaco has left them in a real scrap for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, with just four points separating seventh to tenth in the standings. A good weekend though, could see Maserati breakaway from the midfield grip, with Rossiter recognising that whilst the results haven’t always been great the team have boasted “competitive pace”.

“Although Jakarta is one of Formula E’s newest venues we know from our experience last year that the high heat and intense humidity will be very physically demanding on everyone in the team. Since Berlin we’ve been showing good, competitive pace, and although the results haven’t always come to fruition, we know that we’re getting there in terms of performance.

Edoardo Mortara: “Jakarta is the most physically challenging race of the season”

Edoardo Mortara is hoping his fortunes will change this weekend at the Jakarta E-Prix double-header, with the Swiss driver having claimed a podium in Southeast Asia at the inaugural event last season.

Having been a title contender last year, the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship has been massively disappointing for Mortara, who finished eleventh at the recent round in Monaco. Given that he broke his front wing early on following contact with his team-mate, eleventh was a solid result for the Maserati MSG Racing driver, due to the fact he was forced to pit for repairs.

Being twentieth in the Drivers’ Championship certainly isn’t where he wants to be though, with time quickly running out if he wants to salvage a top ten. He has two opportunities to score some good points in Jakarta, with this weekend being the third double-header of the season. With Indonesia being known for incredibly high temperatures, Mortara has admitted that this weekend will be the “most physically challenging” of the season, meaning concentration will be absolutely key.

Mortara is hopeful that he can enjoy a “clean” weekend and claim some points for the team, who are currently in a fight for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

“After a podium finish there last year, I’m looking forward to heading back to Jakarta. Because of its high ambient temperatures and high humidity, Jakarta is the most physically challenging race of the season, and we won’t be racing once, but twice.

Juan Zunino killed in Baja 500 pre-running crash

Juan Zunino died Monday in an accident while pre-running for Saturday’s Baja 500. He was 28.

The single-bike crash occurred near Cohabuzo, where the 132nd mile of the Baja 500 is scheduled to run through. Another pre-runner encountered the scene and alerted Baja Pits, who had a pit area two miles away, but Zunino was pronounced dead at the scene.

Initial reports say he suffered severe head trauma in the accident, though specific injuries have yet to be confirmed by the coroner.

“I had the worst experience of my life today,” wrote Pro Moto Unlimited rider Arturo Salas Jr. “I never thought I would see something so harsh in my sport, more so being there… I hope evervone takes care of themselves in whatever they do, take care prerunning this baja! Blessings to all…”

Zunino was a relative newcomer to the SCORE International World Desert Championship, but already had experience racing for other teams that included finishing third in Pro Moto Unlimited at the 2022 Baja 400 as part of Ignacio Laviosa‘s #32X stable.

The Spanish Grand Prix

The Spanish Grand Prix is a Formula 1 race held annually in Spain as part of the Formula 1 World Championship. Here are some key details about the Spanish Grand Prix:

Location: The Spanish Grand Prix is held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, located in Montmelo, near Barcelona, Spain.

Track Characteristics: The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is known for its mix of fast and slow corners, as well as its long straightaways. It offers a challenging layout for drivers, with a variety of technical sections.

History: The Spanish Grand Prix has a long history, dating back to 1913. Over the years, it has been held at various venues in Spain before settling at its current location, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, in 1991.

Attendance and Atmosphere: The Spanish Grand Prix attracts a significant number of spectators, with fans from around the world coming to witness the race. The atmosphere is electric, with passionate supporters cheering for their favorite teams and drivers.

Porsche’s Florian Modlinger: “Jakarta will be a big challenge for us”

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team head to Jakarta this weekend for an all-important double-header, on the back of having lost the lead of both championships at the Monaco E-Prix three weeks ago.

Even Monaco’s beauty couldn’t make up for what was a dark and gloomy weekend at the Circuit de Monaco for the German manufacturer, with the side having left the ninth round of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship having scored just a single-point. That came thanks to Pascal Wehrlein after António Félix da Costa was forced to pit due to a puncture, adding to the team’s woes.

Their abysmal performance at the legendary venue saw Wehrlein lose the lead of the Drivers’ Championship, whilst Porsche lost the lead of the Constructors’. The Germans now find themselves thirteen points behind Envision Racing ahead of a vital Jakarta E-Prix, where the Stuttgart-based outfit must ensure they don’t allow Envision to build a sizeable advantage.

With this weekend being a double-header the standings could change considerably come the end of Sunday, with Team Principal Florian Modlinger noting that “very little” separates Envision, Porsche and Jaguar TCS Racing.

“The top teams are separated by very little in the championship. The teams are extremely evenly matched, and every tenth of a second counts. Jakarta will be a big challenge for us. We’ll have to combine what we’ve learned in the first nine races of this season and continue to implement that knowledge. At the inaugural E-Prix last year, we adapted well to the extreme conditions.”

Pascal Wehrlein ‘Back on the Attack’ after Losing Championship Lead

This weekend’s Jakarta E-Prix double-header marks a significant moment in the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship for Pascal Wehrlein, after the German lost the lead of the standings three weeks ago in Monaco.

Wehrlein remarkably led the standings from the end of January in Diriyah until the start of May in Monaco, with him having led virtually half of the season so far. A recent run of poor performances has seen him lose a comfortable advantage, with him now suddenly finding himself twenty points behind Nick Cassidy. Wehrlein finished tenth in Monaco and hasn’t finished on the rostrum since he took the lead of the standings in Saudi Arabia, highlighting that he needs to find some considerable pace.

With seven races remaining, Wehrlein isn’t too worried just yet about having lost the championship lead, especially as he’s certain the TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team still have “huge potential” this season.

“Not a huge amount, there are still too many races ahead of us. Monaco was just a snapshot in the middle of a long season. In Formula E, every race is fiercely contested and, as banal as it sounds, it’s only the points standings after the final race that are decisive. We got off to a great start to the season but didn’t score as well in the last races. Still, with the huge potential of the team and the car, we can turn things around very quickly. In Jakarta, we get two chances to do so.”

Wehrlein heads to Southeast Asia this weekend having finished eighth in Jakarta last season, giving him hope that he can replicate his points finish from last year across both races. Rounds ten and eleven will likely be the two most physically demanding of the season for the drivers, with the air and surface temperatures set to be scorching. It could very well be a case of ‘survival of the fittest’ this weekend, and not just in regard to the drivers.

ABT CUPRA Expecting Jakarta to Test ‘Man and Material’

The ABT CUPRA Formula E Team head to this weekend’s Jakarta E-Prix double-header with a real sense of momentum following recent races in Berlin and Monaco, due to having competed on merit amongst the top ten.

Throughout the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, ABT CUPRA have very much been the backmarker on the grid; however, the Germans have shown scintillating progress recently. The side claimed a shock front row lock-out at their home event in Berlin, before Nico Müller finished amongst the top ten in the same race. Müller would’ve claimed back-to-back points finishes in Monaco three weeks ago had he not been hit by Sam Bird on the penultimate lap, forcing him to retire.

Despite the disappointment of what happened in Monaco, ABT CUPRA certainly head to Jakarta for the first time on the right path, something which’ll hopefully push them into the top ten this weekend. It will be a challenging few days for the team, given that ABT CUPRA and Müller have never raced in Jakarta, whilst Robin Frijns could only manage seventeenth last season.

Team Principal Thomas Biermaier is aware that Jakarta is “quite a challenge for man and material”, but believes it gives the outfit a great opportunity to show the progress they’ve made.

“The whole team can hardly wait to finally get back on the track. We drove into the points in Berlin, we were on the way to the points in Monaco – we are continuing this path with concentration. We have heard that this event will be quite a challenge for man and material. All the more reason for us to look forward to presenting our brand to the world at this venue as well.”

Nico Müller Targeting ‘Another Step Forward’ in ‘Very Fluid’ Jakarta

Following a three-week break since the Monaco E-Prix, the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is back this weekend with the Jakarta E-Prix, an event which Nico Müller is expecting to “work up quite a sweat” at.

Müller is incredibly excited for this weekend’s double-header given that he’s never been to Indonesia before, with the nation having made its first appearance on the calendar last year. It’s a physically challenging event for all the drivers, with the air and track temperature likely to be as hot if not even hotter than they were in Hyderabad, with the added challenge of having to race twice.

Things have been looking up for Müller in recent races, with the Swiss driver having come close to scoring back-to-back points at the recent round in Monaco, until he was hit by Sam Bird on the penultimate lap. The collision saw Müller hit the wall and retire from the race, much to his and the team’s agony.

Despite this, he’s hopeful that “another step forward” can be made this weekend, especially with the Jakarta International E-Prix Circuit boasting multiple “overtaking opportunities”.

“I’ve never been to Indonesia before and I’m looking forward to getting to know a new country, a new culture and of course a new racetrack. The circuit in Jakarta looks very fluid, seems to have a good rhythm and also some overtaking opportunities. As far as the temperatures are concerned, we’re sure to work up quite a sweat.

Jaguar’s James Barclay: “We cannot rely on what we did last year”

Jaguar TCS Racing head into this weekend’s Jakarta E-Prix double-header right in the mix for the Constructors’ Championship, with the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship starting to reach the business end of the campaign.

Jaguar head to Southeast Asia on the back of another podium in Monaco three weeks ago after Mitch Evans finished second, whilst Sam Bird finished sixteenth following a five-second time penalty. The result kept Evans right in the fight for the Drivers’ Championship, whilst the Coventry-based team sit third in the Constructors’ Championship – twenty-five points behind Envision Racing.

The British side will be feeling confident ahead of the double-header not only because they’ve claimed five podiums in the last four races, but also because Evans won the inaugural race in the Indonesian capital last season.

Given that Evans’ win in Jakarta last season came whilst driving Gen2 machinery, Team Principal James Barclay has admitted that the team “cannot rely” on how they claimed victory in 2022, with the team boss noting that compared to last season, this weekend is a “reset”.

 “While we’ve had some fantastic races recently – both for Jaguar TCS Racing and our customer team, we are not complacent and our focus is firmly set on having two strong races in Jakarta. It’s a difficult race to manage as it can be physically tough for the drivers, the team and the car with high temperatures and humidity.

Mitch Evans: Recent Strong Performances Giving Jaguar ‘Healthy Momentum’

Mitch Evans heads to the Jakarta E-Prix this weekend right in the title fight, with the Kiwi having claimed three podiums from the last four races ahead of the tenth and eleventh rounds of the 2022/23 ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.

Evans is certainly one of the most in-form drivers on the grid ahead of the race he won last season, something which will likely fill him with confidence ahead of this weekend’s double-header. The Jaguar TCS Racing driver heads to Indonesia having finished second in Monaco once again three weeks ago, with victory at the Circuit de Monaco continuing to elude him.

It was nevertheless another impressive performance by the New Zealander, who moved to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship at the Principality. Evans finds himself twenty-seven points behind Nick Cassidy with seven races remaining this campaign, with the double-header in the Indonesian capital representing a great chance to reduce his fellow native’s advantage.

Looking ahead to the hot and humid weekend in Southeast Asia, Evans recognises that his current form has given Jaguar “some healthy momentum”, with him being keen to keep the team’s spirits high at the “physically challenging” venue.

“The last run of races has been positive for us, and we’ve been able to close the gap in both the teams’ and drivers’ championships. It’s given the team some healthy momentum as we head into the next double-header. Jakarta is a physically challenging race, but I performed well there last season, so we’re feeling positive and we’ll push to bring home some strong points and podiums this weekend.”