Sergey Sirotkin to visit Sauber headquarters

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17-year-old Sergey Sirotkin is set to make his first visit to Sauber’s headquarters as the young Russian prepares to step up to Formula One next season with the Swiss team.

Sauber had been suffering from some financial difficulties earlier on this season, with rumors suggesting that suppliers and team personnel had not been paid. However, a rescue package was secured with three Russian companies involved, but one of the stipulations was that Sirotkin is to race for the team next season. This sparked outcry from critics of pay drivers, given that Sirotkin has never completed a single lap in an F1 car before and is currently lying 9th in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

However, the deal is rumored to be dependent on Sirotkin gaining the seat, putting extra pressure on Sauber to give him enough track time to secure a superlicense ahead of the 2014 season. As part of his preparation, the young Russian will visit Sauber’s headquarters next week, as confirmed by his management.

“During the visit scheduled for August 20-22, Sergey will get acquainted with the team’s personnel, its technical equipment and F1 car,” the statement reads.

Sirotkin’s manager also tweeted about the visit earlier this week.

Now, it remains to be seen just whether or not Sirotkin becomes the youngest F1 driver of all time next season.

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.