Rosberg rallies to tenth pole position of 2014 in Brazil


Nico Rosberg has continued his dominant form at the Brazilian Grand Prix by claiming his tenth pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season at Interlagos today.

After finishing quickest in all three practice sessions, Rosberg managed to find more time when it counted to edge out Mercedes teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton by just 0.033 seconds at the end of Q3 on Saturday.

Williams did appear to be in the running for pole, but Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas ultimately had to settle for P3 and P4 in the final standings as Mercedes’ pace proved to be too much once again in Brazil.

Qualifying began in overcast but dry conditions, allowing the drivers to head out on the soft compound tire early on to post their first lap times. Both of the Mercedes drivers opted against taking on the prime tire, with Rosberg and Hamilton exchanging blows on the softs at the top of the timesheets to pull over a full second clear of the rest of the field at one point. Ultimately, it was Rosberg who had the bragging rights at the end of Q1, finishing fastest by one-tenth of a second.

Having initially braved the medium tire, Williams and McLaren soon made the switch to the softs to ensure that they got through to the second session. Felipe Massa managed to run the Mercedes drivers close at the top of the standings with his final lap, but the Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were less fortunate as both drivers dropped out in Q1.

Jean-Eric Vergne was eliminated in the first session for the second week in a row, while Sergio Perez’s lack of Friday running showed as he could qualifying just 17th. He will drop to the back of the grid due to his penalty for the incident with Adrian Sutil in Austin last weekend.

Yet again, Q2 was a session that looked set to be dominated by the Mercedes drivers as both Rosberg and Hamilton headed out on fresh soft tires early on, immediately laying down an impressive pace. Continuing his dominance of the sessions, Rosberg soon established a 0.4 second gap to Hamilton, leaving the Briton with plenty to do ahead of Q3.

Both Mercedes drivers opted not to run for a second time in Q2, allowing Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas to split the Silver Arrows in second and third place respectively, throwing Williams’ hat into the ring for the pole position fight. Despite leaving their running late, both Red Bull drivers managed to get into the top ten, leaving Esteban Gutierrez, Nico Hulkenberg, Adrian Sutil and Daniil Kvyat in the dropzone at the end of the session.

At the beginning of Q3 in Brazil, Hamilton and Rosberg were the first two drivers to head out on track and post their first lap times in a bid for pole position. Hamilton managed to produce his fastest lap of the race weekend with his first run, only for Rosberg to go just 0.029 seconds faster, giving the German driver provisional pole.

However, Williams refused to go down quietly. With his first lap, Massa moved to within one-tenth of a second of Rosberg, and with Bottas in fourth place, less than 0.14 seconds separated the top four drivers after the first runs in Q3.

Hamilton looked to have snatched pole position away from his teammate when he went one-tenth of a second faster than Rosberg as the checkered flag fell, only for Rosberg to find an extra 0.033 seconds to take his tenth pole position of the season.

Having both had slow laps, Massa and Bottas opted to pit on their final flyers, leaving them third and fourth for Williams ahead of Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel. Kevin Magnussen qualified seventh, with Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen completing the top ten.

With pole position, Rosberg clinched the FIA Pole Trophy for 2014 and also broke Rubens Barrichello’s record for the fastest pole position lap at Interlagos. However, with the smallest of margins separating him and Hamilton, the stage is set for another thrilling fight between the Silver Arrows in Brazil this weekend.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series triples to 34 races in 2023

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023
Xtreme Outlaw Series

After hosting 10 rounds in 2022, the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series 2023 schedule will more than triple to 34 races. The 2022 season featured seven different winners in the first seven races, a female racer in Jade Avedisian as the only repeat winner and Zach Daum as the champion.

“Dirt Midget racing is a growing entity in American motorsports, and the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series presented by Toyota is proud to drive further into the growth of the division with both a diverse and lucrative schedule for 2023,” newly appointed Series Director Tyler Bachman said in a press release. “From the kickoff at our first indoor event, to each of the new tracks we’re set to visit next year, it’s a lineup we know both our teams and fans will enjoy.”

The championship purse fund has also more than double with an increase of $42,000 to $80,000 in 2023. The champion will win $25,000. Last year, Daum pocketed $10,000.

In addition, the series will offer tow money to the top 12 in points. Six drivers attempted to qualify for all 10 races in 2022 with 89 drivers attending.

The series will begin on March 10 at Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin, Ill. and end the same place it did in 2022 at I-44 Riverside Speedway in Oklahoma City on October 15.

During the season, they will visit 21 tracks in 10 states.

Some highlights of the season include the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pairing up with the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars in 2023 at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. in April for the Outlaw Showdown and again in August for the Ironman 55 weekend, as well as the creation of a five-day Midget Speedweek.

The Midget Speedweek will immediately follow the Ironman 55 with a swing through Pennsylvania and New York.

Xtreme Outlaw Midget 2023 Schedule

Friday, March 10 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Saturday, March 11 | Southern Illinois Center | Du Quoin, Ill.
Friday, March 31 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.

Saturday, April 1 | Farmer City Raceway | Farmer City, Ill.
Friday, April 14 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Saturday, April 15 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.

Friday, May 5 | Humboldt Speedway | Humboldt, Kan.
Saturday, May 6 | 81 Speedway | Park City, Kan.
Tuesday, May 23 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.
Wednesday, May 24 | Millbridge Speedway | Salisbury, N.C.

Thursday, June 1 | Tri-City Speedway | Pontoon Beach, Ill.
Friday, June 2 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.
Saturday, June 3 | Wayne County Speedway | Wayne City, Ill.

Friday, July 21 | TBA
Saturday, July 22 | Southern Illinois Raceway | Marion, Ill.
Friday, July 28 | TBA
Saturday, July 29 | Atomic Speedway | Chillicothe, Ohio
Sunday, July 30 | Brushcreek Motorsports Complex | Peebles, Ohio

Friday, August 4 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Sat, August 5 | Federated AP Raceway at I-55 | Pevely, Mo.
Tuesday, August 8 | Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway | Newmanstown, Pa.
Wednesday, August 9 | Action Track USA | Kutztown, Pa.
Thursday, August 10 | Linda’s Speedway | Jonestown, Pa.
Friday, August 11 | TBA
Saturday, August 12 | Bridgeport Motorsports Park | Swedesboro, N.J.
Friday, August 25 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa
Saturday, August 26 | Davenport Speedway | Davenport, Iowa

Friday, September 1 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Saturday, September 2 | Paragon Speedway | Paragon, Ind.
Friday, September 15 | Jacksonville Speedway | Jacksonville, Ill.
Saturday, September 16 | Red Hill Raceway | Sumner, Ill.

Friday, October 13 | Port City Raceway | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, October 14 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sunday, October 15 | I-44 Riverside Speedway | Oklahoma City, Okla.

* Co-sanctioned with POWRi