Vettel paces third practice at Canadian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel made it three different leaders in as many practice sessions for the Canadian Grand Prix, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver posting a best time of 1:12.572 on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compounds in the 60-minute third practice session. Live qualifying comes later today, 1 p.m. ET, on CNBC.

The Ferrari driver follows teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who led second practice, and Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton, who led opening practice.

Vettel and Raikkonen both dipped into the 1:12 bracket with about 20 minutes to go in the session, at 1:12.704 and 1:12.864, respectively, before Vettel went even quicker by a tenth and a half to his ultimate pacesetting time.

The Mercedes pair were initially out on the supersoft tires before making their runs on ultrasofts, but coming up short of the Ferrari duo, who locked out the front row in Monaco. Hamilton made it to third, a 1:12.926, in his run on ultrasofts, not quite four tenths of a second behind (0.354 of a second)

Max Verstappen got within 0.393 of a second in fourth for Red Bull, with Valtteri Bottas in fifth in the second Mercedes.

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Felipe Massa (Williams), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Esteban Ocon (Force India) and Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso) completed the top 10.

After a heavy day of spins on Friday there was little to be said in terms of off-course excursions this session, although Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) both had a couple moments from which they escaped without damage.

Again, qualifying for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix takes place 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
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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.

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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.