Maldonado: No preference for new teammate in 2016

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Pastor Maldonado has no preference over his new teammate at Lotus in 2016 as the team begins its search for Romain Grosjean’s replacement.

Grosjean confirmed earlier this week that he would be leaving Lotus at the end of the current season to join the newly-formed Haas Formula 1 Team, freeing up a seat at Enstone.

Maldonado has already been confirmed by the team for next year, when it is poised to race under the Renault banner following a pending buy-out. However, he has little preference over who will be joining him for 2016.

“Honestly I have no preference,” the Venezuelan said. “Throughout your career you work with a variety of team-mates so you get used to working with different people.

“Ultimately, everyone is trying to make the car faster and perform as well as it can for an event, so you’re all working to the same objectives.”

On Monday, Renault announced that it had signed a letter of intent ahead of its purchase of Lotus, and although the deal is still not complete, Maldonado is excited about what the future holds for the Enstone-based operation.

“This is positive news and I’m looking forward to things progressing here,” Maldonado said. “I’ve worked with Renault in the past and know that they are real racers.

“I know Enstone always works very hard and we’ve seen what the Enstone and Renault combination has achieved in the past. Let’s hope there are great things ahead.”

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.

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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.