Ricciardo relishing Red Bull’s home grand prix in Austria

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Daniel Ricciardo is hoping to keep the momentum that he gained in Canada going at next weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver claimed a shock victory in Montreal after capitalizing on problems for both Mercedes cars. Race leader Nico Rosberg hit trouble at two-thirds distance, allowing the pack to close. Ricciardo managed to make the move for a lead with three laps remaining, and secured his maiden victory in the sport.

Heading to his team’s home race in Austria, Ricciardo is hoping that he can keep things going in the right direction despite having little experience at the Red Bull Ring.

“It’s great to be going to Red Bull’s home race after an awesome weekend in Canada,” Ricciardo said. “I’ve only driven the Red Bull Ring on filming days, essentially a handful of laps without the out-and-out aggression that you’ll see at the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. It’s a tidy circuit, not the longest and not many corners, but what is there is good.

“It’s very odd going to what, essentially, is a new race but in a place where the racing history is firmly established. It sounds as though there will be a massive crowd up in the mountains and I’m sure the return of the Austrian Grand Prix will get off to a really good start.”

The Austrian Grand Prix’s return has been brokered by Red Bull supremo Dietrich Mateschitz, who also owns the circuit in Spielberg. It will be Red Bull’s first ever home grand prix since debuting back in 2005, and both Ricciardo and teammate Sebastian Vettel will be hoping to make it a weekend to remember.

SMP Racing unveils BR1 LMP1 car in Bahrain ahead of WEC entry

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SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.

SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.

Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.

The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.

SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.

Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.