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Draft calendar of 2018 F1 schedule released

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At Monday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting, the first draft of the 2018 Formula 1 schedule was released, with a few notable tweaks.

The return of the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard slots in on June 24, and a week after the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 16-17.

What that race being added does is create a tentative tripleheader with the French, Austrian and British Grands Prix all in successive weeks, a first for F1.

Germany is also back as it’s not on this year’s calendar, scheduled for July 22 at Hockenheim.

Elsewhere Baku moves from its current June slot into the end of April (April 29), while the Russian Grand Prix moves back to September (Sept. 30) after two years in April as the first in a back-to-back with the Japanese Grand Prix.

With Malaysia out, the calendar is at 21 races.

The tentative calendar is below (*subject to commercial rights holder confirmation):

25 March Melbourne Australia
8 April Shanghai* China
15 April Sakhir Bahrain
29 April Baku Azerbaijan
13 May Barcelona Spain
27 May Monaco Monaco
10 June Montreal Canada
24 June Le Castellet France
1 July Spielberg Austria
8 July Silverstone Great Britain
22 July Hockenheim Germany
29 July Budapest Hungary
26 August Spa-Francorchamps Belgium
2 September Monza Italy
16 September Singapore* Singapore
30 September Sochi Russia
7 October Suzuka Japan
21 October Austin USA
28 October Mexico City Mexico
11 November Sao Paulo Brazil
25 November Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

 

Top Fuel driver Austin Prock earns 2019 NHRA top rookie honors

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Having just completed a promising first year in NHRA Top Fuel competition, Austin Prock is on the road to even greater drag racing success in his career.

That’s why it’s not surprising that Prock was named the winner of the 2019 Auto Club Road to the Future Award during Monday night’s annual NHRA Awards dinner at the Ray Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

The Road to the Future Award is NHRA’s version of Rookie of the Year, and Prock was among the brightest young stars on the circuit this past season, including winning his first national event at the Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways in suburban Seattle, the 16th race on the 24-race schedule.

What made that first win all the more sweeter is it came at the same event that his boss, legendary 16-time Funny Car champion John Force, captured his milestone 150th career win.

One month ago, Prock set a personal best run of 3.688 seconds at 334.40 mph over veteran driver Doug Kalitta in the first round of eliminations at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals three weeks ago in Ennis, Texas (suburban Dallas).

“I am proud of the season this Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist team put together,” Prock said in a media release. “My guys worked their asses off all season long to give me the opportunity to win the Auto Club Road the Future Award. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I would have never been here without John Force and Robert Hight (president of John Force Racing). They gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream and I owe the world to them. I hope I made them proud.”

Prock became only the 10th rookie in the history of the NHRA pro ranks to both win a race in their first season and also go on to win the Road to the Future award. He also was the 13th rookie in the sport’s history to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoffs.

Prock becomes the sixth John Force Racing driver to earn the Road to the Future Award, joining Tony Pedregon (1996), Hight (2005), Ashley Force-Hood (2007), Mike Neff (2008), Courtney Force (2012) and Brittany Force (2013).

Austin Prock is the son of veteran crew chief Jimmy Prock, who tuned Hight to his third career NHRA Funny Car championship this past Sunday.

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