Poor luck for native sons continues in Australia

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It should have been a joyous occasion. Daniel Ricciardo, the new face of Red Bull alongside four-time defending World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel, had qualified and finished second in the season opening Australian Grand Prix.

After more than a decade of Mark Webber’s near misses and frequent bad luck in his home race, Ricciardo delivered the perfect story line switch with a storybook team debut.

Only it was too good.

The Australian was disqualified several hours after the race for exceeding the newly mandated maximum fuel flow rate.

It wiped out what had been an excellent first outing for Ricciardo in the lead Red Bull team after two full years with Toro Rosso.

It also continued a spell of unlucky results for Australians in their home Grand Prix at Melbourne.

Webber was only once able to better his best Australian GP finish set on his Grand Prix debut in 2002 with Minardi, when he finished fifth. A solitary fourth in 2012 didn’t have the same allure or appeal that the fifth with the underdog team did, as it was their first points-scoring finish since the 1999 European Grand Prix.

As it is, with Ricciardo now the sole native son waving the flag in Australia, here’s a rundown of the results since Webber’s 2002 debut.

  • 2014: Ricciardo (Red Bull) DQ
  • 2013: Webber (Red Bull) 6th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) DNF
  • 2012: Webber (Red Bull) 4th, Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 9th
  • 2011: Webber (Red Bull) 5th
  • 2010: Webber (Red Bull) 9th
  • 2009: Webber (Red Bull) 12th
  • 2008: Webber (Red Bull) DNF
  • 2007: Webber (Red Bull) 13th
  • 2006: Webber (Williams) DNF
  • 2005: Webber (Williams) 5th
  • 2004: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
  • 2003: Webber (Jaguar) DNF
  • 2002: Webber (Minardi) 5th

Holmatro, INDYCAR renew partnership in five-year extension

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Holmatro, a long-time partner of INDYCAR and title sponsor of the Holmatro Safety Team, have renewed a long-standing partnership that will see Holmatro and INDYCAR continue their partnership in a five-year contract extension.

“Holmatro has been a trusted partner and supplier in Indy car racing for more than 20 years,” said¬†president of competition and operations Jay Frye. “Holmatro’s growth parallels some of the great strides made in safety for INDYCAR drivers and teams. We’re pleased to see this partnership continue, as it is a great benefit to everyone in the paddock.”

Holmatro’s relationship with INDYCAR dates back to 1991, when they first supplied tools to the safety team of the CART sanctioned PPG IndyCar World Series. Holmatro branding will continue to be featured on the firesuits, vehicles, and transporters of INDYCAR’s safety team throughout the agreement.

“Holmatro is extremely pleased to extend our partnership with INDYCAR for another five years,” said Tony Barboza, general manager for Holmatro. “We’re extremely proud to be affiliated with the premier on-track safety team in the world. Members of the safety team serve on their home fire departments when not at INDYCAR events and, like them, we believe in constant improvement and innovation. When the race is for life, you can count on the INDYCAR Safety Team and Holmatro rescue tools.”

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