Grosjean hoping for birthday to remember in China

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Romain Grosjean will celebrate his 28th birthday in five days’ time ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, and he is hoping that he can do so in style by securing Lotus’ first points finish of the 2014 season.

A difficult winter marred by financial problems left Lotus on the back foot, and the E22 car was behind schedule thus causing the team to miss the first test in Jerez. At the first round of the season in Australia, completing just over 40 laps was seen as an achievement, but now the team is on the cusp of breaking into the points, and Grosjean hopes that he can do so next weekend.

“Shanghai is not my favourite race of the year, but I will be spending my 28th birthday there so let’s make it good!” he said in Lotus’ GP preview. “It’s quite a particular circuit where it is not always easy to find the right setup and the temperature can also be cold. You never know what to expect, except that there will be a monster traffic jam to get to the circuit!

“I scored my first Formula 1 points at Shanghai in 2012 and scored points again last year when Kimi finished second for the team. So let’s hope that’s a good omen and we can add to the good memories next weekend.”

The Frenchman enjoyed a good race in Malaysia three weeks ago where he finished in 11th place and very nearly picked up a point, but in Bahrain the team once again hit trouble as he finished 12th following a late safety car period.

Although it is a far cry from the regular podium finishes of 2013, reaching the top 10 will be an important achievement for all at Lotus after such a difficult period in the history of the Enstone team.

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