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di Grassi’s stunning ’16 form continues with Spa WEC victory

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SPA – Lucas di Grassi’s impressive run of racing form in 2016 continued on Saturday at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps as he claimed his first FIA World Endurance Championship victory with Audi.

Alongside teammates Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval, di Grassi weathered a race of attrition to give the German marque victory in the 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, going some way to make up for its disqualification from the season-opener at Silverstone.

“What a crazy race! We really didn’t expect this result,” di Grassi said after the race.

“In the end, it was about endurance racing qualities and we were the only driver squad in a hybrid sports car to finish without issues. Following the season opener at Silverstone, Audi provided us with a very reliable car today.

“I’m very happy about my first victory with this team. This is a motivational boost for all of us. Now I’m wishing for us to have a good race at Le Mans.”

The result marked the latest in a string of successes for di Grassi, who splits his focus between WEC and Formula E.

In 2016, di Grassi has taken part in seven races: four Formula E rounds, two in the WEC and a one-off appearance in a Brazilian stock-car event at Curitiba.

He has crossed the line first in four races (losing one due to exclusion from the Mexico City Formula E event), taken one further podium finish and retired when in contention for the win at the WEC Silverstone round.

When looking at the most dominant top-line racing drivers in global motorsport at the moment, di Grassi is certainly in the conversation. The fact he is proving himself across two series – in neither of which he has the fastest car – makes his success all the more impressive.

Besides di Grassi, Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg is obviously in excellent form, having won the last seven grands prix. Simon Pagenaud’s start to the IndyCar season (two wins, two second places) also puts him in the mix.

Di Grassi is unlikely to settle for how he has started 2016, though. In the next two months, he will fight for his first Le Mans victory and his maiden Formula E title, leading the latter’s drivers’ championship with three races remaining. There’s still plenty of time to fit in more victorious in the coming seventh months.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”