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Lauda cites ‘unfinished business’ in WEC after 2016 title loss

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Aston Martin Racing driver Mathias Lauda says he has “unfinished business” in the FIA World Endurance Championship after missing out on the GTE Am title in 2016.

Alongside Pedro Lamy and Paul Dalla Lana, Lauda won five WEC races last year in the No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE, but the trio could only finish third in the standings for both GTE Am championships.

Retirements in Mexico, Bahrain and – most crucially – the double-points race at Le Mans meant Lauda and co. missed out on the title, with the No. 83 AF Corse entry comprising Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas was able to clinch both crowns.

After also missing out on any WEC title in 2015, Lauda says he has a score to settle ahead of the start of the new endurance season at Silverstone on April 16.

“In WEC, it’s a lot about Le Mans. You need to finish because it’s double points,” Lauda told the official WEC website.

“This was the turning point where we lost the championship, because if you don’t finish Le Mans, you lose 50 points.

“At the end of the day, it was a great year. We had so many wins but we were just a bit unlucky by not finishing three races and couldn’t seal the title, which was really disappointing.

“We have unfinished business. This year, our full focus is on being really consistent, we will give everything not to do any mistakes and full focus to finish all the races.”

Lauda, Lamy and Dalla Lana will team up once again in 2017, racing in a five-car full-season GTE Am class.

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

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ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.