Raikkonen tops second practice at Canadian GP

Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen moved Scuderia Ferrari to the fore in second practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the first 1:12 lap of the weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Raikkonen’s best time of 1:12.935 occurred in the opening half of the 90-minute session, and wasn’t supplanted after teams switched from qualifying runs to race simulations.

A Raikkonen and Ferrari win at the track would end respective droughts dating to 2005 (Raikkonen) and 2004 (Ferrari), respectively. Of course this is only second practice and even if Raikkonen was to take pole, as he did last race in Monaco, he’d need to back it up in the race.

The Ferrari man that is ahead in the championship, Raikkonen’s teammate Sebastian Vettel, was third this session, 0.265 of a second back.

After Mercedes AMG Petronas was 1-3 in the morning session, it was Ferrari 1-3 this afternoon with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton splitting them in second. Hamilton was just 0.215 of a second back.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth but had a ragged sesssion with a couple lockups and a spin through Turns 1 and 2.

Max Verstappen had an even worse session when his Red Bull TAG Heuer slowed with a lack of power after Turn 7 and stopped on course, which brought out a red flag. Coupled with Daniel Ricciardo being stuck in the garage most of the session as well, it was a day to forget for Red Bull Racing.

Williams’ Felipe Massa was sixth with Esteban Ocon (Force India), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Romain Grosjean (Haas) completing the top 10. All of the best times were set on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound.

Grosjean was particularly frustrated during the session, with radio transmissions catching him saying “I’m starting to get a bit fed up” after several spins. Grosjean, who’s had persistent brake issues at Haas, may be in for a long weekend at the brake-heavy circuit that features so many straights and long braking zones.

After a hydraulic issue sidelined Fernando Alonso in the first practice session, the McLaren Honda did make it back out in free practice two. Alonso got within 1.310 seconds in the session on the ultrasofts, which was good for seventh right at the end of the session.

Lance Stroll was 17th for Williams to complete his first day as the first Canadian driver in the Canadian Grand Prix in 11 years.

Third free practice is live Saturday morning at 10 a.m. ET, streaming online and on the NBC Sports App.

Qualifying coverage is live Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on CNBC.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images

Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.