Ricciardo in good spirits despite grid penalty

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Daniel Ricciardo is pleased with his performance in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix today despite knowing that he will drop 10 places on the grid due to a penalty from the last race, and therefore start in 13th place.

A mistake by the Red Bull mechanics in the pits in Malaysia meant that Ricciardo left his box with his front left tire loose on his car. Following a number of incidents over the past few years involving errant wheels, the FIA has clamped down on such errors, and slapped the team with a 10 place grid penalty for Ricciardo, who endured a luckless weekend at Sepang.

After qualifying in third place today though, he has proven that he has the pace to fight at the front and was in good spirits on Saturday night.

“Today was nice, tomorrow will be less nice with the ten place penalty, but I was really happy with qualifying,” he explained. “I think through all the runs and on both tires I was happy with my performance.

“We may have saved one set of tyres compared to the others, so that’s good, hopefully I’m going to need it tomorrow for coming through the pack. Hopefully it will help us.”

For the second time in three races, Ricciardo outqualified illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel as the German driver languished down in 11th place on Saturday evening. Following the penalty, Vettel will gain a place and start 10th on the grid tomorrow.

“I did the best I could today,” Ricciardo said. “So for that I’m pleased. I think Seb and I will both be charging hard tomorrow and will aim to put on a good race.”

After suffering from such poor luck so far this season, Ricciardo will be hoping to have a trouble-free race in Bahrain tomorrow and score his first points of the season.

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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