Ricciardo climbs to fifth at Monza, beating Vettel once again

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Daniel Ricciardo was one of the stand-out drivers in today’s Italian Grand Prix, fighting back from a poor qualifying and start to finish in fifth place ahead of Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian driver was never really in contention to claim a third straight win this weekend, but he did manage to strengthen his grip on third place in the drivers’ championship as nearest rival Fernando Alonso was forced to retire from the race.

Starting ninth, Ricciardo made a poor start to drop outside of the top ten, but came into contention following his pit stop for fresh tires after a long first stint. He duly picked off Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen before sweeping past his teammate to claim fifth place at the flag.

An early pit stop appeared to compromise Vettel’s strategy, meaning that he was powerless to stop Ricciardo from getting past with five laps to go. The German driver did make a good defensive move, only to be duped by his teammate heading into the second chicane.

Red Bull will now be focusing on the Singapore Grand Prix in two weeks’ time at a track that should play to the strengths of the RB10 car.

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

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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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.