2013 GP2 champion Fabio Leimer loses Super Formula seat

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2013 GP3 Series champion Fabio Leimer will no longer be racing in the Japanese Super Formula series this season after parting company with Team Infinite Mugen.

Leimer had been due to race in the premier Japanese single seater championship in 2015, having spent the last year working with Pirelli as a test driver and racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship for Rebellion Racing.

However, it was announced on Friday that the Swiss racer would no longer be taking part in Super Formula this season due to financial problems.

“This season, Fabio Leimer had been scheduled to compete in the Super Formula series for Team Infinite,” a statement from the team reads. “[As he is] unable to fulfil the contract terms that had been entered into, we have with regret decided to cancel the driver contract with Mr. Leimer.”

Leimer issued his own statement, and said that the deal fell through due to an issue with his representative in Japan.

“Of course I am extremely disappointed,” Leimer said. “We went for the Japan adventure after we had found a representative in Japan.

“We signaled from the beginning that any budget had to be secured by him. Unfortunately, his promises and the trust placed in him were not tenable.”

“However, we are already working on solutions for the coming season, which we can finance ourselves. I wish the Mugen team every success and apologize for the circumstances which have arisen through us.”

Leimer has no other confirmed plans for the new season, but is a potential candidate for the available seat at Manor Marussia F1 Team, given that he does hold a valid FIA super licence from his GP2 title win.

In other Super Formula news, British youngster William Buller has confirmed his participation in this year’s championship, joining Kondo Racing alongside compatriot James Rossiter.

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.

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.