Finishing over 17 seconds into the fifth round on Friday night, Robin Larsson led the third lap of the Nitro Rallycross Round 6 at Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona and extended his points lead with his second time-of-the-year victory.
Oliver Eriksson led the first two laps with Larsson on the rear bumper. Larsson made an aggressive pass the next time on the track when Eriksson missed the corner a bit.. However, light contact between the leaders was not enough to penalize the stewards and after Eriksson collided with Larsson’s back on the next straight, they both raced in step.
Larsson won his heat, which meant he sat on the sidelines while the semi-finals, Last Chance Qualification (LCQ) and support classes took place. Larsson has had plenty of time to think about four winless rounds since he last took part in the opening Nitro Rallycross race at Lydden Hills in the United Kingdom.
Larsson’s fifth in the fifth round was the first time this season that he had finished under second.
“I’ve been waiting since the first race, about three hours,” Larsson told Peacock.tv after the race. “I have been so nervous for the last two hours. This one felt pretty good. It’s been a tough Friday, so back now to show the pace [feels good]. I knew it would be hard outside.”
Contact with Larsson damaged the nose of Eriksson’s car, but he held on and finished second, his hood blowing in the wind.
“Of course it was hard.” Ericsson said. “When [hard-packed] a blue groove came out, I tried to hold it tight, but I did not loosen my grip. Obviously [Larsson] did. i tried to get [the lead] back and he brake checked me. I ran right into his back.”
Although Eriksson wasn’t happy with the abrupt maneuver that damaged his hood, he had nothing bad to say about the pass.
“I ran past and he got to my front wheel,” Eriksson replied. “I don’t think there’s more to say.
On Friday night, the space jump was at the center of the action. It didn’t take long to repeat the carnage as Andreas Bakkerud got sideways in a four-way jump on the first lap. It landed in disarray and rolled over violently, triggering a red flag. Bakkerud got out of the car and waved to the crowd as the remaining seven cars made their way back to the starting grid.
Bakkerud’s misfortune was a turning point for Chris Meek. He also had an accident on the first lap and was spun around after pinching a tire barrier, but a full restart allowed him to overcome his lost track position. Miquet’s third place was his first podium finish of the season and the first time he covered the distance this year.
Friday night winner Travis Pastrana finished sixth.
Chase Elliott and Austin Sindrik didn’t make it to Maine but showed improvement as the round progressed. Sindrik briefly ran Heat 1 through the Joker’s lap sequence.
Elliott was luckier. He got a holeshot in the LCQ and was able to advance towards the main until Oliver Bennett knocked him out by entering Joker’s lane. The contact was enough to damage Elliott’s car and send him back two laps.
— Nitro Rallycross (@NitroRallycross) November 14, 2022
SAN PAULO — When members of the Haas F1 team gathered in the Interlagos paddock Friday night to celebrate Kevin Magnussen’s surprise pole position in the next day’s sprint race, teammate Mick Schumacher may not have been in the mood for partying because of the uncertain future.
23-year-old Schumacher may soon not appear in the paddock at parties at all.
Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, qualified last. He did better in Saturday’s sprint race and started the Brazilian Grand Prix 12th before finishing 13th on Sunday.
Schumacher, whose contract expires at the end of the season, says he doesn’t know what the future holds for him as he has only scored 12 points in one race this year.
“We must be patient. I hope everything works out before the end of the season, and then we’ll see,” Schumacher said on Saturday after a 15-minute conversation with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel at Interlagos.
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 13, 2022
Schumacher says Aston Martin’s Vettel, who will retire at the end of the season, is one of his few advisers on what to do to keep his seat.
“I won’t tell you what he says to me,” Schumacher replied when asked about the content of their frequent conversations.
Haas team boss Gunther Steiner hopes to announce a decision on Schumacher next week.
“I’m a slow thinker,” Steiner said Friday. “I have to think about the future of Haas and that takes time. It’s not just about one race.”
So far, no other Formula 1 team has shown open interest in signing a contract with Schumacher. His last race for Haas could be the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend to close out the season.
“I do what I love and I want to keep doing it,” Schumacher said on Saturday. “I’m working to make it happen.”