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“Being back in the points today is an amazing feeling” Says Zhou After Italian Grand Prix

The middle of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season has been rather unfortunate for Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN‘s rookie, Guanyu Zhou. However, his fortunes may be changing as a tenth place finish at the Italian Grand Prix would mark the Chinese driver’s first points in seven races.

The number twenty-four driver explained that he is ‘really happy’ with the result, after a late-race scrap with Nick De Vries before the Safety Car was deployed:

“I am really happy with today’s result and with the work that has been done in the past few weeks; it’s been a tough journey since Montreal, because we were very strong at the beginning of the season and then our performances had a dip; but being back in the points today is an amazing feeling, a great result both for the team and for Alfa Romeo.

“We knew we had a chance today, our pace was good and it allowed us to be in the fight with the other teams. We have a couple of weeks off now, which will give us time to rest after the triple-header and, above all, to analyze what worked this weekend and what went wrong in the previous races, to come prepared and motivated ahead of the next ones.

As Formula 1 prepares to race in Singapore and Japan, Zhou says that he is looking forward to the seeing his fans.

Nicholas Latifi disappointed after “a very tough race”

Nicholas Latifi now appears to be under even more pressure after another disappointing result at the Italian Grand Prix, after enduring a difficult afternoon at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.

The Canadian driver has failed to score a single point this season and sits twenty-first in the standings, behind Nyck de Vries, who finished in ninth on his Formula 1 debut in place of Alex Albon.

The pressure seems to be ever increasing on Latifi and he looks to have a tough challenge on his hands to keep his seat next season. Latifi started tenth on Sunday, but immediately dropped to fifteenth within a few laps, while his inexperienced interim team-mate was running in the top ten.

The Canadian will be hoping to rejuvenate his 2023 hopes in Singapore, but time looks to be running out.

“A very tough race. I was compromised at the start being sandwiched between a few cars and trying to avoid damage. A lot of cars cut the first corner without any penalties. Unfortunately, we had a slow pit-stop which left us with very little to play for in the race.

Nyck de Vries: “Hopefully I will get a shot next year”

Williams Racing finished with a rare points finish thanks to Nyck de Vries in round sixteen of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, at the Italian Grand Prix.

Alex Albon was diagnosed with appendicitis on the day of qualifying, meaning that the former Formula 2 and Formula E World Champion had to finish the race weekend at very short notice.

De Vries out-qualified his team-mate and made it through to the second part of qualifying, but he started in the top ten due to grid penalties. Expectations were not too high pre-race given that it was his debut, but his performance has definitely helped him in his mission to secure a full-time Formula 1 racing seat.

The young driver found himself in a DRS train for most of the race, showing a great display of confidence and composure to finish the race in a point scoring position. At the end of the Grand Prix, the Dutchman was voted ‘Driver Of The Day after equalling Williams’ best finish of the season.

“I’m feeling really good about today and think it was crucial to get the start right and a clean run into lap one. I got into a DRS train which helped to stick with the pack, however I think the pace was really good and we made a good call on strategy and tyre management.

PREVIEW: 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship – Baja 400

The Baja 400, the youngest leg on the SCORE International World Desert Championship with just two previous editions, will kick off the run to the Baja 1000. Scheduled for Saturday, 17 September, the results from the 400 will set the starting grid for the 1000.

The Course

Like in previous years, the 393.82-mi (633.79-km) course will be a loop that starts and ends in Ensenada’s Costero Boulevard next to the Riviera del Pacifico Cultural Center. Teams will have nineteen hours each to complete the race, an hour less than the slightly longer Baja 500 in June.

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the course concerns the weather. Hurricane Kay made landfall in Baja California in early September, resulting in significant flooding and turning parts of the course into mud rivers. SCORE imposed a two-day moratorium on pre-running on 9/10 September to wait until the storms subsided, though many still found themselves traversing large rivers of mud once it was lifted. The storm also resulted in the cancellation of the Campeonato Estatal Off Road Baja Sur Series’ Loreto 400, which had been scheduled for the same weekend as the Baja 400.

While the race is the first since the crime wave by area drug cartels in mid-August, which prompted the United States Consulate in Tijuana to warn against travelling to the region, SCORE stressed that such incidents have decreased in the weeks since and security had been strengthened with police and military assistance.

The Grid

182 entries make up the field prior to late on-site registration beginning on Tuesday. Qualifying will take place the following day for Trophy Truck, Trophy Truck Legends and Spec, and Class 1, while the order to head out for the session was set based on registration date.


AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost: “We now need to keep this momentum”

It was a positive day for Scuderia AlphaTauri, as they gained four more points in the fight with Haas F1 Team for seventh in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship Constructors’ Standing.

Pierre Gasly scored only his second points in eight races, finishing in eighth position after being held up by eventual retiree Daniel Ricciardo for most of the race. Gasly started in fifth-place, but struggled to maintain that position with quicker cars coming from behind driven by the likes of Lewis Hamilton. The Frenchman pitted early to try and undercut the Australian but the McLaren F1 Team responded by pitting their driver, leaving Gasly with the challenge to overtake Ricciardo, a lack of pace made that difficult.

Yuki Tsunoda started from the back of the grid after a series of reprimands. The Japanese driver made up a few spots from the start and got as high as twelfth. His race was an underwhelming one as he struggled on the Hard tyres, which meant he was stuck behind Esteban Ocon for much of the stint before being overtaken by Valtteri Bottas and Mick Schumacher.

AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost, was pleased with the overall weekend, with the team moving to just one point behind Haas in the standings.

“The fans, and the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of this historic track, didn’t deserve the race to finish the way it did today, as it would’ve been fantastic to see a fight on the last few laps, but unfortunately, as Ricciardo stopped so late, in accordance with the regulations we had to finish the race behind the Safety Car.

Drugovich Recruited by Aston Martin in New Driver Development Programme

2022 FIA Formula 2 champion, Felipe Drugovich, has become the first member of the newly set-up Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team Driver Development Programme.

The Brazilian clinched the 2022 Formula 2 title with MP Motorsport last weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, wrapping it up with three races remaining having taken five victories this year, four of them in Feature races.

Aston Martin have not had a young driver programme up to now, with the team relying on the young drivers of other teams to run as their reserve driver, should they have needed one.  They ran another former Formula 2 champion, Nyck de Vries, in first practice in Italy as the first of their two mandatory sessions for young drivers.

But Drugovich has become the first recruit of their new programme, which is aimed at helping drivers get through junior formulae and reach the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in the future.

“I am hugely proud to have inaugurated the AMF1 Driver Development Programme: I am a big believer in rewarding young talent, and this is a fantastic way to help develop the next generation of racing drivers,” said Aston Martin Executive Chairman, Lawrence Stroll.

Daruvala Secures First Victory of 2022 in Formula 2 Feature Race at Monza

Jehan Daruvala survived first lap contact, a safety car, and a red flag to take his first FIA Formula 2 victory of the season in the feature race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Sunday.

The Prema Racing driver has endured a tough 2022 season in a year where he was expected to challenge for the title, but that elusive first victory had time and again escaped him.  However, it would all finally fall into place on Sunday, even though any thoughts of taking the title had long since disappeared.

The race started in chaotic circumstances, with six drivers finding themselves eliminated in two separate incidents at the first two chicanes, with the clear up requiring the safety car to be deployed.

Charouz Racing System’s Tatiana Calderón did not take the start after suffering a hand injury in Saturday’s Sprint race, meaning only twenty-one drivers took to the starting grid, but this number was dwindled further by the second chicane.

Firstly, Campos Racing’s Ralph Boschung cut across the chicane and re-joined alongside ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire only for the two drivers to tangle, with both crashing out as a result.  In the melee, both Olli Caldwell (Campos Racing) and Luca Ghiotto (DAMS) were caught up in the crash, with all four drivers out on the spot.

Pierre Gasly: “Our overall performance was competitive”

Pierre Gasly made a welcome return to the points at Autodromo Nazionale di Monza this weekend in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with this weekend being only his second top ten finish in eight races. The Frenchman has struggled this season, mostly down to the Scuderia AlphaTauri being less competitive than in previous years, but he’ll be hoping to end the season competitively.

Monza was the track where Gasly won his first and only Grand Prix in 2020, so it was pleasing for the team to see him performing well at the team’s home race. The twenty-six-year-old qualified in the top ten, which is rare given the struggles for AlphaTauri.

Gasly spent most of the race stuck behind eight-time race winner Daniel Ricciardo ,both at the start and after he tried to undercut the Australian. However, he moved up a place after the McLaren F1 Team driver had an issue and had to pull over to the side of the track, causing the race to finish under the Safety Car.

“Looking at the result, finishing behind the top three teams is the best we could have done, and I am very happy to be collecting points again.

“It was a slightly frustrating race, I think I’ll have nightmares about Ricciardo’s rear wing for the next few nights, we tried a few different things to try and pass him and our overall performance was competitive, but we just didn’t have the pace to get past the Mclarens today.

Victor Martins wins Formula 3 title, as Zane Maloney takes feature race victory in Monza

Aleksandr Smolyar started the final race of the FIA Formula 3 season on pole, but as the race got underway, he was put under pressure by Zane Maloney who took the lead from Smolyar on lap one.

The safety car was then deployed as David Vidales and Rafael Villagomez collided at turn six and they found themselves in the gravel.

Drama unfolded in the battle for first off the restart, as Aleksandr Smolyar managed to reclaim the race lead from Maloney in turns one and two, until championship leader Victor Martins pounced on a mistake from Smolyar to take the lead, leaving Smolyar second and Maloney third.

On lap nine, Maloney managed to regain the lead of the race as the slipstream helped him through at the first chicane.

Further down the field, championship hunters Arthur Leclerc and Roman Stanek tangled, sending them down to seventh and eighth.

Nick Cassidy takes a surprise first DTM win at Spa, as championship leader Sheldon Van der Linde extends his advantage.

A slow pitstop from second-placed man, Sheldon Van der Linde, and a stout defensive drive from Nick Cassidy handed the New Zealander his maiden DTM win in race two at Spa. As three-time series champion, René Rast, lost ground in the title fight.

Normal service was resumed in Sunday’s qualifying session, as championship rivals René Rast and Sheldon Van der Linde locked out the front row. After rain led to tricky conditions and a mixed-up grid for Saturday’s race a day prior.

Nick Cassidy was impressive in the session, qualifying third after setting the benchmark in the early stages. Finishing just 0.052 secs off pole position. While Mirko Bortolotti again struggled, only managing twenty-second on the grid.

As the lights went out, Van der Linde and Rast headed into La Source side by side, with the three-time champion Rast on the inside and this year’s championship favourite Van der Linde on the outside. It was the South African who emerged from the corner in front, taking the advantage for good on the run down to Eau Rouge.

Behind the front three, eventual podium finisher, Thomas Preining, was progressing nicely through the field. At the expense of reigning champion Maximilian Götz, the Küs Team Bernhard driver bravely forced his way past in what was the move of the day. Capping off a miserable couple of corners for the German, in which he lost three places one after the other.

McLaren’s Andreas Seidl: “Mixed feelings today in Monza”

Despite being able to claw back the deficit between themselves and BWT Alpine F1 Team for fourth in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship Constructors’ Standings at the Italian Grand Prix, Team Principal of the McLaren F1 Team Andreas Seidl, has admitted he leaves Monza with ‘mixed feelings’ as a double points finish was cruelly taken away from the team late on.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris started from the second row of the grid as a number of grid penalties ahead had seen both McLaren drivers pushed towards the front end of the starting grid. Anti-stall at the race-start saw Norris tumble down the order, while Ricciardo was able to move into the podium places on the opening lap.

Ricciardo’s time running in the podium places would be short-lived, as Max Verstappen was able to past his former team-mate on the second lap into Turn One.

McLaren opted for a one-stop strategy for both drivers around the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, with Norris undertaking an aggressive Medium-Soft strategy while Ricciardo opted for a shorter opening stint on the Medium tyres, before attempting to finish the race on a set of Hard compound tyres.

Ricciardo was running inside the points in eighth-place before an oil leak on lap forty-five would bring an untimely end to the Australian’s race. Norris, who was running in sixth when Ricciardo pulled to the side of the track, elected to pit for another set of Soft tyres during the Safety Car that ensued from Ricciardo’s MCL36 being parked on the side of the track.

Franco Colapinto takes his second Formula 3 win of the season in Monza sprint race

At the end of qualifying yesterday, it looked like Franco Colapinto had narrowly missed out on reverse grid pole in the sprint race, however after Juan Manuel Correa was handed a penalty for offences under yellow flag, the Argentinian would line up first for the final FIA Formula 3 sprint race of the season.

Colapinto got a good enough start off the line, managing to keep his Van Amersfoort car in first position.

Championship rivals Victor Martins and Arthur Leclerc tangled on lap one, and Martins found himself in the gravel, but he managed to get his ART back on track.

On lap four, the safety car was deployed as Carlin’s Zak O’Sullivan locked up into turn one and found himself in the barriers.

As the safety car pulled into the pits, Colapinto led with Caio Collet in second, followed by Josep Maria Marti. Oliver Bearman was the lead title contender as he had made his way up to fifth.

Lando Norris: “Very happy with the result in the end”

After a seventh-place finish at the Italian Grand Prix, Lando Norris has reflected on what he has described as a ‘good day’ around the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Norris’ seventh-place finish combined with BWT Alpine F1 Team’s point-less showing has allowed the McLaren F1 Team to reduce the gap to fourth-place in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship Constructors’ Standings.

Having originally qualified in seventh, Norris was bumped up to the second row of the grid and started third as a result of a number of grid penalties ahead of him. The gift of a second row start was undone from the beginning as a poor start by the British driver saw him fall back to sixth-place on the opening lap.

McLaren, like the majority of the field, had opted for a one stop strategy, with Norris undertaking a thirty-four lap stint on the Medium tyres before attempting to see out the remainder of the Grand Prix on a new set of Soft tyres.

The late Safety Car that ensued because of Daniel Ricciardo’s untimely retirement, saw McLaren bring Norris in for another set of Soft tyres, in doing so Norris fell back one position to seventh as Sergio Pérez would overtake the McLaren driver during his second pit-stop of the race.

With the Grand Prix finishing under the Safety Car, Norris never had a chance to claim back sixth-place from Pérez and would come home to claim a seventh-place finish, adding a potentially valuable six points to McLaren’s total.

Drama strikes late to ensure Tillbrook and Clutton remain in the fight for the championship

Sam Neary and the Team Abba Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 retired from the lead on the penultimate lap of the race, allowing Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton to inherit the lead from second position. It’s now a four-way fight for the championship as we head to the final round at Donington in October. Ian Loggie remains favourite, but the #4 2 Seas Motorsport of Lewis Williamson and James Cottingham, the #77 Enduro Motorsport McLaren and the #72 Barwell Lamborghini of Sandy Mitchell and Adam Balon are all still in contention.

Matt Topham and Darren Turner extended their GT4 championship lead after winning this afternoon with Richard Williams and Sennan Fielding finishing a close second in the Steller Motorsport Audi R8.

GT3

Richard and Sam Neary were well on course to secure their second Intelligent Money British GT Championship victory at Brands Hatch before the fuel pump failed on the second to last lap. As a result, the Enduro Motorsport McLaren of Morgan Tillbrook and Marcus Clutton took the lead with 90 seconds to run and now move on to the Donnington Decider with an outside chance of the championship.

The first stint of the race was heavily interrupted by Safety Cars which stopped the #4 2 Seas Motorsport Mercedes from building a gap to minimise the impact of the 15-second Success Penalty they would have to serve in the pits. With 3 separate Safety Car periods, the 2 Seas car ended up pitting just in front of the Enduro Motorsport McLaren and the Team Abba Mercedes. Team Abba took the lead on exiting the pits and with Sam Neary now at the wheel, all he had to do was hold on until the end of the race.

Team Abba and Enduro Motorsport ran nose to tail for the final 50 minutes of the race, Clutton tried on numerous attempts to make a move stick, but Sam Neary handled the pressure extremely well and maintained a good pace to hold off the McLaren. Unfortunately for Neary, the fuel pump failed as he rounded out of Clearways on to the Start/Finish straight for the penultimate lap. With Ian Loggie down in seventh place, Clutton and Tillbrook needed the win to keep the championship alive. Clutton completed the final two laps with one eye on the charging Sandy Mitchell who was unable to close the gap enough to challenge by the end.


Bubba Wallace slays 2022 demons, completes 23XI Kansas sweep

2022 had been a season of near-misses and heartbreak for Bubba Wallace, who stepped up his performance from the previous year but was frequently plagued by misfortunes on pit road or simply coming up short. After missing the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs and moving to injured team-mate Kurt Busch‘s #45 car for the postseason, he finally found his way to Victory Lane.

Wallace took the lead on lap 225 of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway and led the remaining forty-three laps to finally win in 2022 and for the second time in his career. Besides advancing the #45 to the next round of the owner’s playoffs, the victory makes non-playoff drivers two-for-two so far after Erik Jones‘ Darlington triumph; Wallace’s maiden win at the 2021 YellaWood 500 was also as a playoff spoiler. While that win was shortened by rain, Kansas saw him win entirely on pace after holding off his 23XI Racing boss Denny Hamlin.

“I get excited, and I get let down a lot when I’m excited, so it’s better to come into it ho-hum and be relieved with the win at the end of it,” said Wallace. “It’s really, really cool. I think you never know when it’s over. You had Denny behind us that was coming pretty hard, but it was going to take a really big mistake for him to get to me. So I was really focused on that. I didn’t have time to think about anything else.”

He had enjoyed great success at the first Kansas race in May but a late pit penalty doomed his chances of winning that, though Busch would take the victory. As such, the #45 is one of a small handful of a Cup car that has won multiple races in a season with different drivers, with the latest instance being in 2002 with Sterling Marlin and Jamie McMurray in the #40 for Chip Ganassi Racing; the #45 joins the #21 of Wood Brothers Racing in achieving the feat at the same track as WBR’s A.J. Foyt and David Pearson both won with the #21 at Daytona in 1972.

“We are winners again,” Busch tweeted. “Proud of @BubbaWallace and @23XIRacing for getting it done today.”


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