Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull GRC: Sebastian Eriksson, Honda break through in Louisville

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Sebastian Eriksson and Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE are on the board in Red Bull Global Rallycross, following a thrilling battle in today’s second round of the season from Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center.

In a photo finish as he edged Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin by just 0.071 of a second, Eriksson scored his and the Honda Civic Coupe’s first series victories.

WATCH: Full Louisville event replay on NBC

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross driver Scott Speed, an NBCSports.com blogger in 2017, finished third.

The series’ full recap is below:

Photo: Larry Chen/Red Bull Content Pool

Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE driver Sebastian Eriksson nipped Loenbro Motorsports’ Steve Arpin by .071 seconds to win Sunday’s Red Bull Global Rallycross Louisville final at the Kentucky Exposition Center. It was Eriksson’s second career victory and the first for Honda since joining the sport at the beginning of last season.

“It was a great race for us,” said Eriksson. “I was up in the lead for a few laps, but then I fell back to fourth, so it was crazy. But it was so much fun! The team has worked so hard for this over the past year and a half, and finally we’ve been able to win a race. It feels great, but we can’t stop working hard and trying to secure more victories this year.”

Though much of the day saw action take place in dry conditions, the wet weather came just in time for the 10-lap Supercar final. Four drivers—Eriksson, Arpin, and Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross teammates Scott Speed and Tanner Foust—spent much of the final running nose to tail, with the Joker Lap and a slippery dirt surface shuffling the order throughout. Arpin nearly got past Eriksson in the final corner, setting up a drag race to the finish, but wasn’t quite able to make the pass. All told, the top four drivers finished within one second of each other.

In GRC Lites, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing driver Christian Brooks scored his first career main event win, sweeping all of his race sessions on Sunday. Brooks led Olsbergs MSE X Forces driver Cyril Raymond for much of the final, until Raymond clipped a curb and rolled over; he was unhurt in the incident. Memphis winner Conner Martell took second, while Gustavo Yacaman earned third place in his rallycross debut.

Official Supercar final results from Red Bull Global Rallycross Louisville are as follows:

  1. Sebastian Eriksson, #93 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
  2. Steve Arpin, #00 Loenbro Motorsports
  3. Scott Speed, #41 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
  4. Tanner Foust, #34 Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross
  5. Mitchell deJong, #24 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
  6. Austin Dyne, #14 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing*
  7. Oliver Eriksson, #16 Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE
  8. Cabot Bigham, #2 Bryan Herta Rallysport

*Car 14 reinstated to sixth place after technical issue with transponder

The 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season continues on June 3-4 with the first doubleheader of the season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Tickets are available at redbullglobalrallycross.com/tickets. The Supercar finals can be seen on NBC on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4, both airing at 5PM ET.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.