Perez keen on future Rolex 24 at Daytona appearance

Getty Images
0 Comments

Sergio Perez would like to enter the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the future after getting a taste for the sports car event earlier last year when watching his brother race.

Two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso announced on Thursday he would be entering this year’s race at Daytona with United Autosports, acting as his first foray into sports car racing ahead of a possible shot at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the future.

Alonso is one of the most active drivers in F1 engaging with other championships, leading to questions for his peers about possibly wanting to race at Daytona in the future.

Perez said he was keen to appear in the Rolex 24 someday, having attended last year’s race to see his brother, Antonio Perez, on-track.

“I think it’s good experience,” Perez said. “Obviously, Fernando is wanting to experience that route a lot, with Indy, the 24 Hours and probably he might think of Le Mans.

“I think it’s a great, you know. I think it’s a great experience. It’s one of those races that you would like to do at some point.

“I went there actually last year to see my brother. He did the race the 24 Hours in Daytona, and it’s an amazing race and an amazing venue.

“It’s one race that I definitely want to do at some point in my career.”

While no other drivers openly expressed their interest in Daytona, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen said he would consider doing a sports car race someday, but only alongside his father, ex-F1 racer Jos.

“Of course the first priority is to stay as long as possible in F1, but if I like it then maybe I will do it, but I only want to do it with my dad,” Verstappen said.

“I think after F1 to get the same sensation is really hard, so I try to do that as long as possible.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.