Photo: Sonoma Raceway

Sonoma Raceway ‘not at immediate risk’ from North Bay fires

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Unconfirmed reports circulated this morning on social media that Sonoma Raceway might be directly affected by significant fires overnight in Napa and Sonoma counties appear to be wide of the mark.

Sonoma Raceway released an update Monday morning confirming it is “not at immediate risk.”

A statement from from Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page as of 9:30 a.m. PT on Monday morning is below, with the track confirming additional updates will be shared as needed.

“All of us at Sonoma Raceway extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to those who have been touched by the devastating North Bay fires.  Our facilities team and a number of local fire companies have been battling grassland fires on Cougar Mountain and elsewhere around our property, and at this point it does not appear any of the raceway’s structures or other facilities are at immediate risk.  We appreciate all of the good wishes that have flooded in from friends around the state and country.”

Napa, Santa Rosa and Petaluma appear to be some of the areas significantly affected. Highway 121 just outside the track located on Arnold Dr. also was mentioned. More information is here via SFGate.com.

Sonoma Raceway hosts a round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and Verizon IndyCar Series each year and in 2018 will also host the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in October.

Further south of Sonoma this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., SRO hosts the California 8 Hours, a round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, on a weekend that also features Mazda Motorsports’ Global MX-5 Challenge. Pirelli World Challenge’s Touring Car classes season finale, and the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA.

Sonoma sent through a few photos, below.

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.