Niki Lauda’s son preps for season in NASCAR Euro Series

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Mathias Lauda, the son of three-time Formula One World Champion Niki Lauda, has done a little bit of everything in his driving career from open-wheel (GP2 and A1GP) to touring cars (DTM) and sports cars.

Now, the 33-year-old will try his luck in NASCAR-sanctioned competition. Lauda will drive for the two-car, Austria-based DF1 Racing team in this year’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series alongside former 24 Hours of Le Mans champ Christophe Bouchut.

Lauda got to sample the NASCAR Euro machine recently on the “Indy” course at England’s legendary Brands Hatch, where his father won the British Grand Prix three times in his stellar F1 career.

“It’s totally different,” Lauda said about the car in a release from Motorsport Vision. “The DTM car has so much downforce and carbon brakes, and this car is like going back 20 years. But it’s really fun because it’s a proper driver’s car and only by driving can you make the difference.

“You have to rethink your whole driving style and watch the tires, watch the brakes – it’s so easy to lock up and you have to shift down not too early, so as not to over-rev the car. I think that it’s like when you start racing a little bit, but it’s a lot of fun and I enjoyed it a lot, so I can’t wait until the season starts.”

Lauda isn’t a complete novice with stock cars, however. In 2008, he competed in the now-defunct Speedcar Series, a Middle East-based stock car series, in addition to running in DTM.

This year’s NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season begins with a pair of races in Valencia, Spain on April 12 and 13. The series will then make its way to Brands Hatch for its third and fourth events of 2014 on June 7 and 8.

Malcolm Stewart sidelined by knee surgery for ‘extended duration’

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The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.

“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.

“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”

Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.

He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.

The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.

“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.

“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”

Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.

A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.