Hulkenberg apologizes after hitting teammate

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Nico Hulkenberg has apologized to Force India and Sergio Perez after hitting his teammate during yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German driver attempted an overtake on Perez heading into the final corner, but instead made contact with him. Hulkenberg did come off worse, though, losing his front wing in the process and retiring from a race for the first time this season.

“It was not the best day in the office and I’m feeling very disappointed,” Hulkenberg admitted. “The track was drying out and I was quite close behind Checo when I made contact with him at the final corner. The previous lap he had taken a much wider line so I tried to overtake on the inside, but he took a tighter line and I couldn’t back out of the move.

“I made contact with his car, lost my front wing and went straight on into the barrier. It was my mistake and I’ve apologised to the team.

“It’s especially frustrating because there was a lot of potential in this race, but I guess it was one of those days when things didn’t go our way.”

Hulkenberg had scored points in every race so far this season until Hungary, but this incident sees him enter the summer break on something of a sour note.

Perez did manage to continue after the incident, but he too finished the race in the wall after a huge crash on the exit of the final corner.

“It’s a very disappointing end to our weekend, just when it looked like we could have scored some big points,” Perez said. “I went a little wide on the exit kerb of the final corner, lost the rear and that was it – I was in the wall. It was a very unfortunate end to our race and I feel sorry for the team because they deserved some points today.”

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.