Rast to decide on pursuing long-term Formula E deal after debut


BERLIN, Germany – Seasoned sportscar racer Rene Rast will wait until after his debut Formula E race in Berlin before making a decision on pursuing a full-time drive in the series.

Rast has been drafted in by Team Aguri as a replacement for Antonio Felix da Costa, who is tied up with a prior commitment in the DTM this weekend in Austria.

Rast has not raced in a single-seater since 2004 when he was in the German Formula BMW championship, but has been in contact with Aguri for a while regarding a possible opportunity.

“I was in contact with the team already like beginning of the year because we knew there was a conflict with DTM for da Costa in Berlin,” Rast said.

“Last week the team called me and said ‘there might be trouble with Adam, could you jump in?’ I said ‘of course! I would love to!’ and then we made it happen.

“Of course it was not easy because the e-licence requires quite a lot of experience in formula cars. I just did two years in formula cars and this was 12 years ago. It was not easy to get the licence but we managed it and now I’m here and looking forward to it.”

Rast refused to make any firm predictions for the weekend, but knows from the results achieved by da Costa that a good points finish is in reach.

“Maybe ask me after first free practice again, because I have no idea to be honest,” Rast said when asked about his expectations.

“I don’t know how the car will handle. I don’t know how strong we will be here. Expectations are high. I saw what Antonio was doing in the past races.

“I would love to finish in the points, but I know it’s going to be difficult as energy management is a key to success. Also the qualifying. I think points would be very nice.”

Looking ahead to the future, Rast said he will wait and see how his debut weekend goes before making a decision on whether or not to pursue a full-time drive in the series.

“I need to see how the weekend goes,” Rast told NBC Sports.

“Afterwards, maybe the car doesn’t suit me at all, I’m last by five seconds, we can forget about the future and Formula E.

“But of course if I do a good job, it would be nice to join someone. So let’s see.”

Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan after controversial block pass at Detroit


Media and fan attention focused on a controversial run-in between Haiden Deegan and his Monster Energy Yamaha Star Racing teammate Jordon Smith during Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross race at Detroit, after which the 250 East points’ Hunter Lawrence defends the young rider in the postrace news conference.

Deegan took the early lead in Heat 1 of the round, but the mood swiftly changed when he became embroiled in a spirited battle with teammate Smith.

On Lap 3, Smith caught Deegan with a fast pass through the whoops. Smith briefly held the lead heading into a bowl turn but Deegan had the inside line and threw a block pass. In the next few turns, the action heated up until Smith eventually ran into the back of Deegan’s Yamaha and crashed.

One of the highlights of the battle seemed to include a moment when Deegan waited on Smith in order to throw a second block pass, adding fuel to the controversy.

After his initial crash, Smith fell to seventh on the next lap. He would crash twice more during the event, ultimately finishing four laps off the pace in 20th.

The topic was inevitably part of the postrace news conference.

“It was good racing; it was fun,” Deegan said at about the 27-minute mark in the video above. “I just had some fun doing it.”

Smith had more trouble in the Last Chance Qualifier. He stalled his bike in heavy traffic, worked his way into a battle for fourth with the checkers in sight, but crashed a few yards shy of the finish line and was credited with seventh. Smith earned zero points and fell to sixth in the standings.

Lawrence defends Deegan
Jordon Smith failed to make the Detroit Supercross Main and fell to sixth in the points. – Feld Motor Sports

“I think he’s like fifth in points,” Deegan said. “He’s a little out of it. Beside that it was good, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention.”

Deegan jokingly deflected an earlier question with the response that he wasn’t paying attention during the incident.

“He’s my teammate, but he’s a veteran, he’s been in this sport for a while,” Deegan said. “I was up there just battling. I want to win as much as everybody else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a heat race or a main; I just want to win. I was just trying to push that.”

As Deegan and Smith battled, Jeremy Martin took the lead. Deegan finished second in the heat and backed up his performance with a solid third-place showing in the main, which was his second podium finish in a short six-race career. Deegan’s first podium was earned at Daytona, just two rounds ago.

But as Deegan struggled to find something meaningful to say, unsurprisingly for a 17-year-old rider who was not scheduled to run the full 250 schedule this year, it was the championship leader Lawrence who came to his defense.

Lawrence defends Deegan
A block pass by Haiden Deegan led to a series of events that eventually led to Jordon Smith failing to make the Main. – Feld Motor Sports

“I just want to point something out, which kind of amazes me,” Lawrence said during the conference. “So many of the people on social media, where everyone puts their expertise in, are saying the racing back in the ’80s, the early 90s, when me were men. They’re always talking about how gnarly it was and then anytime a block pass or something happens now, everyone cries about it.

“That’s just a little bit interesting. Pick one. You want the gnarly block passes from 10 years ago and then you get it, everyone makes a big song and dance about it.”

Pressed further, Lawrence defended not only the pass but the decision-making process that gets employed lap after lap in a Supercross race.

“It’s easy to point the finger,” Lawrence said. “We’re out there making decisions in a split millisecond. People have all month to pay their phone bill and they still can’t do that on time.

“We’re making decisions at such a fast reaction [time with] adrenaline. … I’m not just saying it for me or Haiden. I speak for all the guys. No one is perfect and we’re under a microscope out there. The media is really quick to point a finger when someone makes a mistake.”

The media is required to hold athletes accountable for their actions. They are also required to tell the complete story.