Five F1 races to feature earlier start times this season

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As it turns out, the Russian Grand Prix isn’t the only Formula One race on the 2015 calendar with an earlier start time than last year.

In addition to that event, the Grands Prix for Australia, Malaysia, China, and Japan have also been listed with a local start time that’s one hour earlier than its 2014 events.

This new information comes from a document released by Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management group.

It bears noting that after Jules Bianchi’s horrific crash in last October’s rainy Japanese Grand Prix, the FIA recommended in its panel report on the accident that all events (outside of night races) have their start times “not be less than four hours before either sunset or dusk.”

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15 now shifts to a 4 p.m. local start time (1 a.m. ET in the United States), while the Malaysian Grand Prix has received the 3 p.m. local time (3 a.m. ET, U.S.) it had sought for its March 29 event.

The Chinese Grand Prix on April 12 goes to a 2 p.m. local time (2 a.m. ET, U.S.), and the Japanese (Sept. 27; Midnight ET, U.S.) and Russian (Oct. 11; 6 a.m. ET, U.S.) events will also move to that same local time. Russian GP promoters had already confirmed their event’s move last week.

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

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images

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.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

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.