Felipe Nasr stars on debut to finish fifth for Sauber

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Sauber F1 Team ended a difficult week in Australia with an outstanding double-points score as Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson finished fifth and eighth respectively in Melbourne on Sunday.

There had been some uncertainty surrounding the team’s entry into this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix due to an ongoing court case with former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde.

On Saturday, a ceasefire was called by the Dutchman in the best interests of the sport, allowing Sauber to focus on its participation in the race on Sunday.

After making a good start in the race, Nasr produced a superb display for Sauber to finish fifth in his very first Formula 1 grand prix ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

“I am very happy with fifth position in my first ever Formula 1 race,” Nasr said. “It is such a big relief for the team and myself that we are able to score points, and I am very pleased about this achievement.

“It was a tough race. Right after the start it was quite messy in turn one, as another driver hit my wheel. I thought the car was damaged a bit, but after a few laps I noticed everything was fine.

“After that, the race went according to plan. There was pressure from behind during the whole race, which was not easy. That was an emotional race for me and everyone in the team.”

Nasr’s result was backed up by Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson, who scored his first ever points in F1 by finishing eighth in Melbourne.

“First of all, the team has done a great job over the winter,” Ericsson said. “It is amazing for everyone in the team here in Melbourne and also back home in the factory to get this result in the first race weekend of the 2015 season.

“We have seen good progress during pre-season testing, and with this achievement I am really happy for everyone. For me as a driver, I have scored my first points in Formula 1, which is a big goal achieved. Now, we can build on this for the next race.”

This double score will come as a huge relief to Sauber, given that the team failed to pick up a single point in the entirety of last season, which went down as its worst in F1.

2015 appears to hold better on-track prospects, and once the legal wranglings with van der Garde are resolved, Sauber can look to push on and continue to improve throughout the season.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

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For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.