Vandoorne hails McLaren’s ‘best day’ of 2017 so far at Bahrain test

McLaren/LAT
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Stoffel Vandoorne was left pleased after McLaren enjoyed its “best day” so far in 2017 at the Bahrain in-season Formula 1 test.

Blighted by numerous problems with its Honda power unit, McLaren has recorded just two classified finishes so far this season and failed to score a single point, leaving the British team at the foot of the constructors’ championship.

The problems limited development driver Oliver Turvey to just 17 laps on Tuesday at the start of the test at the Bahrain International Circuit, frustrating the Briton on his first F1 test day for nearly two years.

Vandoorne enjoyed a better Wednesday, though, completing 81 laps – more than he completed in the Australia, China and Bahrain races combined – and posted the fourth-fastest time.

“Today has probably been our best day this season so far. It’s the first time that we’ve had a day without any big problems, where we could actually get on with our program,” Vandoorne said.

“I think we completed everything we wanted to do today, and we went through a lot of set-up stuff that we didn’t manage to do in Barcelona.

“It’s been a very productive day and I’m very happy that we’ve been able to do so many laps. Especially after a difficult day yesterday and a difficult weekend, it wasn’t looking great, but I’m very pleased.

“For the team, it’s not been an easy week, after a double-header and then coming to the test with so many issues. They’ve been working flat-out, and they’ve done a very good job to get the car back out on track every time.”

Vandoorne once again expressed faith in the McLaren MCL32 chassis, adding that a number of updates will be brought to the upcoming races.

“Today and all weekend I’ve actually felt very comfortable in the car. The chassis is behaving well, and we’ll bring some more new bits to the car over the next few races.

“The key is to be able to have a weekend where everything runs smoothly, which we haven’t been able to do yet. If we can do that, hopefully we can show we are making progress.

“We just need to keep working hard and wait for the moment when everything falls together.”

Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
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This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

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Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.