Gutierrez enjoys “exciting” first test for Ferrari

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Esteban Gutierrez enjoyed a successful first test for Ferrari in Barcelona on Wednesday by completing over 100 laps behind the wheel of the SF15-T, finishing seventh overall in the final timesheets.

Gutierrez joined Ferrari in a reserve role for the 2015 season after spending two years in Formula 1 with Sauber, but took no part in pre-season testing for the Italian team.

The Mexican has been present at every grand prix so far this season, and finally got his first taste of a Ferrari F1 car on Wednesday in Barcelona following the Spanish Grand Prix.

“Our work was aimed at the upcoming races, looking at various aspects, such as driveability, aerodynamics and set-up,” Gutierrez said.

“We managed to complete a lot of laps and it was definitely a very productive day, even though it was interrupted by a red flag. However, we managed to make up for lost time and complete our planned programme.

“We were looking to validate the new aerodynamic package and we managed that. It was a case of understanding how to improve the car’s set-up to better suit the new solutions we ran in the last race and that’s what we did.

“It was very exciting to drive the SF15-T for the first time and I got a very good feeling from it. It will be very interesting to transfer this data to our work in the simulator, once we are back in Maranello.”

Gutierrez is already being tipped as a possible candidate for a seat at Gene Haas’ new operation, Haas F1 Team, for the 2016 season as part of its technical partnership with Ferrari.

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.

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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.