Baku City Circuit releases new video ahead of European GP (VIDEO)

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The promoters of the Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan have released a new 3D video rendering of a flying lap ahead of the upcoming European Grand Prix.

Formula 1 will make its first visit to Azerbaijan for the race on June 19 as the European Grand Prix rejoins the calendar for the first time since 2012, when it was held in Valencia, Spain.

You can watch the video of what the track will look like above.

Earlier this week, FIA race director Charlie Whiting made his latest visit to the track, declaring that everything was on-track for it to be ready in time for the race.

“The circuit will be ready. You can see the quality of all the installations wherever you look,” Whiting said.

“My next trip to Baku will be at the beginning of June and I’m expecting to be able to say it will be ready then. It will be a fascinating F1 race. Turns 8 to 12 will probably be the most interesting but so will the run from Turn 12 to 15, where the approach to Turn 15 in particular will be quite spectacular.

“The very long run from Turn 16 to 20 which is going to be flat out will also be amazing to watch! If I had to compare one circuit to this one, it would be Singapore, but the speed here will be much higher.”

Race promotor Arif Rahimov welcomed Whiting’s comments: “We are delighted by Mr. Whiting’s positive findings during his visit to Baku City Circuit today.

“We were confident that FIA would be impressed by the progress we have made so far and to have this confirmed today is a source of great pride for all of our team.

“Now it is up to us to ensure that we see this job through to the finish line and guarantee that upon his next visit in early June, he will be able to declare the Baku City Circuit fully ready to host a Formula 1 race.

“We know this will be the case and we will continue to work hard to make this a truly unforgettable and spectacular event for all fans watching from our grandstands and on television at home.”

Meyer Shank Racing wins second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona to begin GTP era

Rolex 24 Meyer Shank
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Grand Touring Prototype era began just as the previous one ended as Meyer Shank Racing’s Acura captured its second consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona with star Tom Blomqvist emphatically starting and finishing the race.

The No. 60 ARX-06 won the 24-hour endurance classic at Daytona International Speedway by 4.190 seconds over Filipe Albuquerque of Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, giving Acura a sweep of the top two spots.

The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-LMDh cars took the next two spots with Renger van der Zande (the No. 01) and Earl Bamber (No. 02) as four of the nine new GTP cars finished on the lead lap within 12 seconds of each other – quashing the prerace hand-wringing of mass failures for the highly technical cars in the debut of the hybrid prototype premier category.

There were major problems for the manufacturer newcomers Porsche Penske Motorsport and BMW M Team RLL, whose two pairs of cars all finished at least a dozen laps down or more because of major mechanical problems in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season opener.

Just as he capped the 2022 season by winning the Petit Le Mans season finale in the No. 60 Acura to clinch the final championship of the DPi division for MSR, Blomqvist was behind the wheel again for his third overall victory in IMSA.

“That was crazy,” Blomqvist told NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee. “I knew we had a fantastic car. I’ve been working hard. Unbelievable. Massive, well done, everyone being part of this project and worked together on this project. What a car we’ve built.

“I was just a bit nervous. The 10 was definitely second fastest car, but we held them off

It was the second consecutive Rolex 24 victory for MSR’s trio of Blomqvist and IndyCar teammates and Indy 500 winners Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves. They were joined this year by Colin Braun, who won his first Rolex 24 overall.

Castroneves joined select company in winning the Rolex 24 in three consecutive years. His first win was with Wayne Taylor Racing in 2021.

“Can you believe that?” Castroneves told Lee. “Big props to everyone. Everyone did an amazing job. Everybody worked so hard together. We got it! Another one. I can’t believe it. This is absolutely a dream come true.”

The four-time Indy 500 winner led the team in his signature fence-climbing celebration afterward.

“It’s always fun to climb the fence with Helio,” said Pagenaud, who drove the second-to-last stint before Blomqvist closed it out: “The competition as amazing. It was tough out there. So much fun. Hope you had as much fun as we had. I’m going to savor this one.”

Winners in other classes were the No. 55 ORECA 07 of Proton Competition (which triumphed on a last-lap pass by James Allen on Ben Hanley), WeatherTech Racing’s No. 79 Mercedes in GTD Pro, Heart of Racing’s No. 27 Aston Martin in GTD and AWA’s No. 17 in LMP3.