Williams Martini Racing became the second team to reveal their car for the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season on Thursday.
The car, dubbed the FW41, was officially revealed during a team launch in London, which featured deputy team principal Claire Williams and chief technical officer Paddy Lowe, along with drivers Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin, and Robert Kubica – Kubica being the team’s reverse driver.
“I am thrilled to be back and launching our new car, for a new season, with a new, exciting driver line-up,” said Claire Williams during the launch. “For many months, the team have put a tremendous amount of effort into the FW41 and I’m eager to see both Lance and Sergey take to the track later this month.”
Technical officer Paddy Lowe discussed the car’s development and revealed that it has very different aerodynamics from last year’s FW40.
“The car has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance,” Lowe detailed. “All Formula One cars are an evolution of what has gone before to some extent, but the FW41 does involve a number of departures from the directions that have been pursued in the past. Overall, the philosophy we are starting to see emerge is a new approach to the collaboration between aerodynamics and design to achieve the optimum working result.”
The Williams team will look to improve upon their 2017 season, in which they finished fifth in the constructor’s championship and achieved a best race result of third, with Lance Stroll, at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The record winning streak of Kyle Larson in the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions came to a jarring halt Sunday night with a wild crash in a heat race.
On the third lap of the second heat race at Huset Speedway in Brandon, South Dakota, Larson got high entering Turn 1 and slammed the wall. His No. 57, which had won the past seven races in the ASCOC (and its previous eight starts in the series), flipped multiple times before coming to a stop upside down on the dirt.
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Larson reportedly was OK after the crash, but his car was too damaged to continue, causing the driver to miss the main event. Cory Eliason scored his first ASCOC victory this season (and $20,000) by winning the 35-lap A main over Kerry Madsen before a capacity crowd.
The crash came while Kyle Larson was running last. He had rejoined the heat race after suffering a flat right rear tire a few minutes earlier in contact with the frontstretch wall on the second lap.
It was a disappointing end to a night that started with promise for Larson, who had set the fastest lap in time trials. It also snapped a run in which he was unbeaten from July 10 through Aug. 1 in the 410 winged sprint car circuit owned by Tony Stewart that started in 1970. Larson had 23 victories in his previous 37 starts on dirt since the beginning of June in sprint cars and USAC midget events.
He will have to wait a while to start his next streak in the ASCOC, which will take two weeks off before returning Aug. 21 at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan.
The dirt racing world will spend the next two weekends at Knoxville Raceway, which postponed its annual Knoxville Nationals but still will be playing host to a 360 Nationals event Aug. 6-8 from World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Series on Aug. 13-15.