Pro Motocross cancels Washougal; moves second round location

Pro Motocross Washougal canceled
ProMotocross.com/Matt Rice
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The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship has canceled the Washougal National and moved the Aug. 22 round to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, which will play host to the 2020 season opener Saturday.

Race and series organizers decided after meeting to move the location of the season’s second of nine races.

The event had been approved on the local and state level, but Roy Janson, director of competition at MX Sports Pro Racing said “circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 can change dramatically in a matter of hours.

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“We did not reach this decision lightly and the circumstances are entirely out of Ryan’s control. We look forward to bringing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship back to Washougal for the 2021 season.

Here’s the release from Pro Motocross:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 14, 2020) – With hours before the start of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, series organizers MX Sports Pro Racing have announced the cancelation of the MotoSport.com Washougal National, presented by Peterson CAT, originally scheduled to serve as the second round of the amended 2020 season. Following a meeting between the Race Leadership Team (RLT) and the series’ OEM partners a collective decision was made to move the location of Round 2, on Saturday, August 22, to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, the site of this weekend’s season-opening event.

The Washougal National had been previously approved for 2020 at both the local and state level in Washington, based on the COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan that had been submitted by the organizers several months ago to the necessary regulatory agencies. Continuing approval of the event had been reiterated from Clark County, within which Washougal MX Park is located, as recently as this morning, August 14. However, based on newly imposed restrictions within the state of Washington as it relates to COVID-19 infections, the RLT, in consultation with the sport’s OEM partners, have collectively decided that in the best interest of series participants, the event will be canceled.

“The decision by the Race Leadership Team and our OEM partners to cancel the Washougal National is both unexpected and disappointing,” said Roy Janson, Director of Competition at MX Sports Pro Racing in a statement. “The comprehensive Health and Safety Plan, prepared specifically to address COVID-19 issues and related prevention and mitigation efforts, submitted and approved both at the local and state level, provided extensive directives designed to address every concern raised by these officials. The Health and Safety Plan, which is based on state policies currently in place under orders by the governor, is fully compliant with all CDC, state, and county health department guidelines, and provided for pre-admission screening of all pro athletes and their crew members, including non-contact temperature testing prior to being allowed to access the venue.

“Ryan Huffman, the event organizer of the Washougal National, did everything within his power to organize a safe event for both professional and amateur competitors,” added Janson. “We commend him for the extensive efforts and sacrifices made to make the 2020 Washougal National a reality. Unfortunately, as we have become increasingly aware, circumstances surrounding the spread of COVID-19 can change dramatically in a matter of hours. We did not reach this decision lightly and the circumstances are entirely out of Ryan’s control. We look forward to bringing the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship back to Washougal for the 2021 season. In the meantime, out of convenience to our teams and competitors, the logical decision was to return to Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in one week’s time.”

Tickets for Round 2 at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch will go on sale tomorrow and will remain limited to 5,000 spectators. It will be a single-day event featuring professional racing only, with no amateur support competition.

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

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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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.