McLaren announces new partnership with Chandon

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McLaren Honda has gone this year without a title sponsor, but has alleviated that a bit with the announcement of Chandon on Wednesday as an official partner.

Chandon, a sparking wine brand under the Moët Hennessy umbrella, will adorn the cars on the side of the chassis behind the front tires and ahead of the sidepods. It takes the place of where Johnnie Walker had been present this year.

It’s been announced as a long-term partnership, as well.

“The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team’s story is characterized by human endeavour, filled with heroic champions who have stood on sport’s global stage. This is a team that seizes the moment and remains open to new challenges,” Christophe Navarre, Chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy, said in a release.

“Chandon couldn’t be happier to partner with the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team. This is a rich new occasion to bring our fans together around the world, and to enjoy the depth of this connection.”

Added Ron Dennis, McLaren Technology Group Chairman and CEO, in the same release: “It is extremely exciting that Moët Hennessy has chosen to join with the McLaren Honda team through Chandon to form a unique, long-term partnership.

“The fit between Chandon and McLaren Honda is a natural one with both sharing a passion to innovate in whatever we do, combined with a unique style and approach. It is a great privilege for everyone at McLaren Honda to partner with Chandon, one of the iconic brands in the prestigious Moët Hennessy portfolio.”

Cynically, one could suggest, this is a way for McLaren to be able to feasibly sip champagne in the midst of one of its worst seasons on record.

The team has scored just 17 points this season and ranks ninth in the Constructor’s Championship, with a best finish of fifth in Hungary.

The team’s last win came in 2012, when Jenson Button won the Brazilian Grand Prix season finale.

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

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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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.