Formula 3.5 champ Oliver Rowland set for GP2 return with Status GP

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Oliver Rowland will make his return to the GP2 Series for the final two weekends in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, it was announced on Monday.

Rowland, who raced at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps this year with MP Motorsport, will step into Status Grand Prix.

It’s unclear who the 23-year-old, who won the Formula Renault 3.5 series (now Formula 3.5 V8) title this year in dominating fashion, will replace. Marlon Stockinger and Richie Stanaway are the team’s two drivers, and in Stanaway’s case, he’d have a potential clash on the Bahrain weekend due to his FIA World Endurance Championship commitments with Aston Martin Racing. Theoretically, the young Kiwi could do both.

As for Rowland, the Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver, he’s delighted to join the Irish team.

“The RSF felt that driving for Status offered me a good opportunity to gain valuable experience at tracks that I’ve not raced on previously,” Rowland said, via the official GP2 website.

“Needless to say, I’m delighted to be back racing in the series again. The car suits my style of driving, so hopefully I can give a good account of myself.

“As always the target at both rounds will be podium finishes. Naturally, if I could add to the team’s wins at Monaco and Sochi, I’d be over the moon.”

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.