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Sauber F1 extends Marcus Ericsson’s contract for 2017 season

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Sauber has confirmed that Marcus Ericsson will remain part of its Formula 1 line-up for the 2017 season after extending the Swedish driver’s contract.

Ericsson, 26, made his F1 debut in 2014 with Caterham before joining Sauber last year, partnering Felipe Nasr.

Ericsson will now remain with Sauber for a third season despite failing to score any points through 2016, amid financial difficulties for the Swiss team earlier in the year prior to its takeover by Longbow Finance.

“The Sauber F1 Team is pleased to announce the extension of the contract with Marcus Ericsson (26),” a short statement from Sauber reads.

“The Swede will go into his third season for the Swiss Team. The 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship will mark the fourth season of his Formula One career.

“The second driver for the Sauber F1 Team will be announced in due course.”

“It is great news that I will be racing for another year for the Sauber F1 Team. I have spent two years with Sauber now, and I really feel at home,” Ericsson said.

“A big thanks to everyone within the team for trusting in me again. From a personal point of view, I have developed a lot as a driver during my time at Sauber. We have had ups and downs, but we always stick together and work as hard as we can.

“Since the new ownership, there has been a positive push in the team, so it will also be exciting to go into this new era. Many motorsport experts are becoming part of Sauber, which is a good sign for the future.

“For 2017 my aim is to build on my performance from the second half of this season, and to continue working hard with the team.

“I cannot wait for the 2017 season, so that we can make our way up to the midfield with the objective to score points on a regular basis.”

With Ericsson’s confirmation, just three seats remain on the F1 grid for 2017: one at Sauber and two at Manor.

Former 5-time ALMS and Le Mans-winning team owner Dave Maraj killed in accident

Photo courtesy Dave Maraj Facebook page
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Well-known sports car team owner and automobile dealership owner Dave Maraj was killed Saturday night in a boating accident in Florida, according to SportsCar365.com.

Maraj’s Champion Racing teams won five consecutive American Le Mans Series championships from 2004 through 2008, and also captured the overall win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, the last American team to do so in the iconic sports car race.

IMSA President Scott Atherton released the following statement mourning Maraj’s passing:

Dave Maraj. Photo courtesy IMSA.

“All of us at IMSA are shocked and saddened by the news of Dave Maraj’s passing. As a team owner in the American Le Mans Series, Dave and his Champion Racing organization were the epitome of professionalism and excellence, as their five series championships and 24 Hours of Le Mans victory will attest.

“Dave was a tremendous competitor and a great friend to all in the paddock throughout his time in our sport. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dave’s family and friends and to all of his associates at Champion Motors.”

Maraj was a very successful automobile dealership owner, most notably Champion Motors and Champion Porsche in Pompano Beach, Florida, the latter considered the No. 1 Porsche dealer in the U.S.

Details of how Maraj died have not been released.

Maraj sold his racing operation after the 2008 season and devoted himself to his Porsche and Audi auto dealerships, as well as competitive sailing.