Lance Stroll scores first points at home in Canada

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Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll has endured a baptism by fire of sorts in his debut season in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. With three DNFs in the first three races of the season, and a season-best 11th at the Russian Grand Prix, Stroll has been vastly overshadowed by veteran teammate Felipe Massa, who has two sixth-place finishes and two ninth-place finishes to his credit.

However, Stroll’s home race at the Canadian Grand Prix marked a drastic turn in fortune for the 18-year-old Canadian. Despite qualifying 17th, Stroll drove a calculated and solid race to emerge in ninth at the checkered flag to score two points, the first points of his Formula 1 career.

“I wish it came a bit earlier but it happened!” an elated Stroll told NBCSN’s Will Buxton. “It’s been possible for a long time, things falling into place and getting everything to work. No technical issues, no contact; just clean air and knowing how to do what we need to do.”

MONTREAL, QC – JUNE 10: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Williams Martini Racing Williams FW40 Mercedes on track during qualifying for the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 10, 2017 in Montreal, Canada. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

In coming from 17th, Stroll knew he needed a car with strong balance and straight-line speed in order move his way forward. And, as he further explained to Buxton, the Williams Mercedes was more than up to the task. “The balance was good all race. I knew we had good straight line speed. I chose my overtakes at the right time. I stayed patient. My engineer gave good communication. Took it to the end here which was great.”

Stroll finished by emphasizing his joy in securing his first career points in his home race. “It means the world to me. To finish the race, see the fans and the Canadian flags up the air. It’s very special.”

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Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”