Ericsson completes final test ahead of F1 debut

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Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson has completed his final test ahead of his Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, completing more milage than any other driver in Bahrain today.

Ericsson, who is set to become the first Swedish driver to start a grand prix since Stefan Johansson at the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix, finished in eighth place on Saturday with a fastest lap of 1:38.083 and completed 117 laps with no problems. Given the engine issues that have blighted much of the Renault-powered teams’ best efforts this winter, it was an impressive display from the Swedish youngster.

“I’m very pleased we finished off my pre-season tests with so many laps and I want to thank the team for working so hard last night to fix the car after the problems we had yesterday,” Ericsson said.

“The day went exactly to plan – we started with a few short runs to go through some setup options, and then ran very nearly a whole race simulation, including stops, which was just what we wanted to do today.”

With Kamui Kobayashi returning to the wheel of the CT-05 car tomorrow in Bahrain, Ericsson’s next track time will come during practice for the Australian Grand Prix. However, he feels well prepared and pleased with what he has achieved over the winter.

“I’m back in the factory next week for more sim sessions, and we have more new parts coming for Australia so we have lots to look forward to.

“Overall I’m happy, for the team and for me, and I’m more excited than ever about starting the race season properly in Australia.”

After four years in GP2, Ericsson will be hoping to make a good impression on his Formula 1 debut later this month. With reliability set to be a big problem during the first few races of the season, there is a chance that Caterham could be on track to score their first ever points in the sport, and Ericsson will be keen on being the man to achieve that feat.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup