BMW scotches talk of F1 comeback

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BMW says there is no substance to comments made by Bernie Ecclestone suggesting they could be about to return to Formula One.

“I think they could come in… it makes sense for them to return,” said Ecclestone yesterday.

But BMW motorsport director Jens Marquardt told Autosport: “I don’t know with whom Bernie spoke.”

He said the company was focused on racing in touring car and sports car series in which their race cars closely resemble the road going models:

“We orientated ourselves around that which our customers recognize as being BMW,” explained Marquardt. “There is no reason to alter this concept. It is currently running very well.”

Ecclestone drew a comparison between BMW and Honda, who have been attracted back to Formula One by the new engine regulations which come into force next year.

But Marquardt said they do not interest BMW at present. “There are always good timing points at which to enter something.”

“For example, we chose the right moment to make our entry into DTM because new regulations were on their way.”

“Now F1 has new engine regulations. That suits Honda and has been noted. However, we have not reacted further.”

BMW left Formula One at the end of the 2009 season in which it finished sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.