Webber relishing return to the Nurburgring

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Mark Webber may have confirmed last week that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season, but it is important to remember where his career really began to take off.

In 2009, Red Bull scored their first GP victory at the Chinese Grand Prix through Sebastian Vettel, leaving Webber winless as the season wore on. At the German Grand Prix, he made a good start but was given a drive-through penalty, appearing to scupper all hopes of the Aussie winning for the first time. He rallied though, producing an astounding performance to still win the race, causing a rather memorable radio celebration afterwards.

Ever since, the circuit has remained a favorite of Webber’s, and he is relishing a return to the Nurburgring.

When asked what his favorite memory at the track was, Webber said: “My first Formula One win there in 2009. That’s got to be my best memory from that circuit by far and one of the best of my whole career.

“It was such a special day and to win it in the style that we did that day was incredible.”

It did require a titanic effort from Webber and the entire team at Red Bull to claw their way back into the race, with the dominant Brawns struggling on the Bridgestone tires.

Webber is also happier to be racing at the Nurburgring than at Hockenheim, with the two circuits alternating as hosts for the German Grand Prix.

“I prefer the Nurburgring to Hockenheim; it’s got a bit of character about it, with some old school camber changes and old kerbs. The best part is turns 5 and 6, the fast left which goes into the tight right.”

The circuit is certainly a favorite among fans and drivers, and if the last two races there are anything to go by, we are set for a thrilling race on Sunday.

INDYCAR: Josef Newgarden quickest again in second practice at Road America

IndyCar
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Josef Newgarden continued to be quickest around Road America, first this morning and again this afternoon in the second practice session for Sunday’s KOHLER Grand Prix.

Newgarden had a best lap in the second session of 1:42.6279, followed by rookie Robert Wickens (1:42.9025), Sebastien Bourdais (1:43.0020), Will Power (1:43.0545) and teammate Simon Pagenaud (1:43.1599).

Sixth through 10th were Graham Rahal (1:43.1995), Scott Dixon (1:43.4212), Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:43.4755), Takuma Sato (1:43.5410) and Marco Andretti (1:43.6221).

One significant incident of note occurred during the session when Alfonso Celis Jr., making his IndyCar debut this weekend, lost control coming out of a turn and slammed into the tire wall, causing damage to his suspension.

The third and final practice session of the weekend will be Saturday at Noon E.T., followed by qualifying later in the afternoon.

The race will take the green flag on Sunday shortly after 1 p.m. ET. It will be televised live on NBCSN.

Follow @JerryBonkowski