Iranian government planning to build Formula 1 circuit


The Iranian government has announced a plan to build a Formula 1-spec circuit on Qeshm Island in the south of the country.

The head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Masoud Soltanifar, announced in a visit to the region earlier this week that plans were being formulated to build a circuit and create “the world’s most beautiful Formula 1 destination”.

“Iran has so many young people with an increasing tendency for driving,” Soltanifar is quoted as saying by IRNA. “Formula 1 has a great future in Iran.”

According to IRNA, Iran has previously planned to build a circuit on the outskirts of the nation’s capital, Tehran. However, its focus appears to have now shifted to the island in the Persian Gulf.

Qeshm Island is a duty free zone with a population of 100,000 people, and has some tourism history with an ancient Portuguese fort and mosques being points of interests for those visiting the area.

The Middle East has proven to be a popular region for F1 over the past ten years. Successful races have been held in Bahrain (pictured) and Abu Dhabi, whilst Qatar is also known to be chasing a race in the region.

This news follows a report by Forbes that suggests the sport may have received approval to expand its calendar to as many as 25 races, paving the way for more events to be held in the future.

2016 is poised to be the busiest season to date, with 21 races scheduled following the return of German and the addition of the Grand Prix of Europe in Azerbaijan.

Qatar is one of a number of nations also bidding to host a race, whilst a second grand prix in the United States continues to be proposed at a variety of venues.

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.