Reports: Maldonado working with Pirelli to develop 2017 F1 tires

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Ex-Williams and Lotus Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado is working with Pirelli to develop its new specification tires for the 2017 season, according to reports.

Both Autosport and motorsport.com reported earlier this week that Maldonado had agreed to work with Pirelli, and has already tested the new tires on a GP2 car at Mugello in Italy.

Maldonado was left without an F1 seat after his financial backing from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA fell through over the winter, ending his five-season stint in the series.

However, he now appears to be back in action, with Autosport also reporting that he is working alongside former Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde to develop the new tires using a GP2 car.

Van der Garde is balancing this role with his racing commitments in the European Le Mans Series and select rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship with Jota Sport.

Maldonado is still without a race seat, but this testing will help to keep him sharp as he continues to pursue new racing opportunities.

After gaining approval for increased testing in 2016 to design its new tires for next season earlier this month, Pirelli completed a private test with Jean-Eric Vergne and Ferrari on Tuesday at Fiorano.

The test was undertaken using a 2014 Ferrari car, meaning that it does not cut into the 25 days of testing Pirelli secured with current-year racers at the meeting with the teams and the FIA.

Supercross reveals 2023 Daytona track designed by Ricky Carmichael for 16th time

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For the 16th consecutive year, Ricky Carmichael has designed a signature course for the Daytona Supercross race, which will be March 4, 2023.

Eli Tomac took advantage of a last lap mistake by Cooper Webb last year to win a record setting sixth Daytona race – and with that win, he broke out of a tie Carmichael.

Construction on the course will begin two days after the completion of the 65th running of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 when haulers start to unload 7,200 tons of dirt onto the grassy infield in order to create a course 3,300 feet long.

“Ricky has designed yet another incredible course for this year’s Daytona Supercross,” said Daytona International Speedway President Frank Kelleher in a press release. “We’re thrilled to unveil it to the fans, and we can’t wait for them to come out to the track and see it in person.”

MORE: Designs for SuperMotocross finals at zMax Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway

Carmichael’s Daytona course will take center stage for Round 8 of the 17-race Supercross season and the 31-race SuperMotocross season.

The Supercross race coincides with Daytona’s Bike Week, which runs from March 3-12 and includes races from the American Flat Track series and the legendary Daytona 200 speedway race that is contested on the infield road course.

Last year’s course was reported to have 57 obstacles including the return of an over-under bridge. For 2023 the number of obstacles listed in 42, but that will not keep this from being one of the toughest tracks on which the Monster Energy Supercross series will race.

Many of the same elements from last year will be present including sharp turns, vaulted jumps, sand sections and a finish line that aligns with the oval tracks’ start/finish line.

“This year’s Daytona Supercross design is one of the best,” Carmichael said. “It races great for the riders – it’s safe yet challenging and it’s very similar to last year with the split lanes. Daytona is the toughest, gnarliest race on the Supercross circuit, but it’s the most special to win.

“This track is going to produce great racing and I think the riders are going to put on a fantastic display for all our fans.”

While Tomac has dominated this race during his career, Daytona has also been the site of some other dramatic victories. In 2021 Aaron Plessinger scored his first career Supercross podium in 35 starts with a win there and reversed a three-year streak of bad luck on the track.

The Daytona Supercross race is the first of two the series will contest on speedway infield courses. A little more than one month later, Atlanta Motor Speedway will enter their third season as a supercross venue. These two courses will serve as an early test for the SuperMotocross three-race finale that begins September 9, 2023 at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three playoff races will each be held on courses that contain elements of Supercross and Motocross, much like Daytona and Atlanta.