Senna, Kobayashi go 1-2 in class in WEC debuts

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It’s been several years that the words “Senna wins” could be typed for a race report. Bruno Senna brought those legendary words back to print on Sunday afternoon in the FIA World Endurance Championship opener at Silverstone.

The ex-Williams Formula One driver, Senna drove a flawless race with co-drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mucke to deliver a GTE Pro class victory for Aston Martin Racing in the team’s No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage.

“I’m really happy to start my GT career with a win,” Senna told the official WEC website. “It’s been great joining Aston Martin Racing and to get a pole position and win and go home from our first WEC race of the year with so many points for the championship is unbelievable. It was a tough race; we had to push hard while avoiding accidents, but my team did a great job. We must now keep pushing hard; the competition here is very, very strong.”

Incidentally, Senna’s last win came at Silverstone, but on the old course layout in the 2008 GP2 sprint race there. He finished second in that year’s championship to Giorgio Pantano, and moved to LMP1 sports cars in 2009 before making his F1 debut in 2010 with HRT.

The other ex-F1 pilot from 2012 now racing in WEC, Kamui Kobayashi, also starred. The ex-Sauber man co-drove the No. 71 AF Corse-entered Ferrari F458 Italia with Toni Vilander and finished second in class behind the Aston Martin.

A bevy of ex-F1 drivers compete in the series and Allan McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro, LMP1) and Antonio Pizzonia (G-Drive by Delta-ADR Oreca 03 Nissan, LMP2) also won their classes. McNish’s lone season in F1 was in 2002 with Toyota, while Pizzonia raced parts of 2003 through 2005 with Jaguar (now Red Bull) and Williams.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

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For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.