In the round-up: Mick Schumacher emulates his father in Race of Champions and IndyCar stars win the Daytona 24 Hours sports car race.
Ekstrom defeats Schumacher to be crowned champion of champions
The Race of Champions concluded on the snow and ice of Pite Havsbad in Sweden on Sunday with a showdown between two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom and Mercedes’ new Formula 1 reserve driver Mick Schumacher.
The grand final ran to two heats, with Ekstrom winning both. It was the fourth time Ekstrom has become ROC Champion of Champions, with two of his previous successes having been won in finals against Schumacher’s father Michael.
“We had many battles and I have only great memories with Michael from this event,” said Ekstrom. “I’m super proud because Mick also rode with me on Friday in the Dakar car and we had a nice time. Michael was always humble with me and I can see Mick is also very humble. Mick is such a huge talent and his time is ahead of him, so I look forward to more battles in the future.”
Schumacher knocked out four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel in the semi-finals, and bettered Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich in the quarter-finals based on fastest time countback. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and W Series Jamie Chadwick fell earlier in the competition.
IndyCar stars begin year on a high in Daytona 24 hours
Meyer Shank Racing’s IndyCar driver Helio Catroneves and Simon Pagenaud started their year in style by winning for the team in the Daytona 24 Hours sports car race.
In a GTP class Acura ARX-06 co-entered by Curb-Agajanian and also driven by former Formula E racer Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun, the pair won the race by just 4.19 seconds.
A further 5.44s behind were their IndyCar rivals Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon, with the two champions sharing a Cadillac hypercar.
Colton Herta switched allegiance from Andretti Autosport to race Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s BMW hypercar and finished 15 laps back in sixth, while several of his IndyCar team mates drove in the lower classes.
Team Penske’s “bus bros” Scott McLaughin and Josef Newgarden finished fifth in LMP2, ahead of Andretti’s Devlin DeFrancesco and Haas F1 reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi who were sharing a car.
Romain Grosjean marked his debut as a factory Lamborghini driver with fourth in the GTDPro class, and new Andretti team mate Kyle Kirkwood was fifth in the non-pro class.
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Motor racing links of interest:
Salem’s Sai Sanjay clinches MRF F2000 crown (Madras Motorsports Club)
‘On a day of twists and turns, Sai Sanjay pocketed the title in MRF Formula 2000 as the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship 2022 concluded at the Madras International Circuit on Sunday. While Sanjay gathered enough points this weekend in the three races to seal the championship, Bengaluru’s Sohil Shah, winner of race one yesterday, won both the races today to complete a triple crown.’
Sauber’s new junior one of many talking points at WSK Champions Cup (Formula Scout)
‘The addition of a new driver to Sauber’s young driver development programme and its karting team was one of the big talking points of the WSK Champions Cup weekend. Joining F2 star Theo Pourchaire and GB3 race-winner Roberto Faria in Sauber’s academy is Taym Saleh, a German teenager who is going into his third season of junior karting.’
Penrose beats the drama to take Dan Higgins Trophy (Toyota Gazoo Racing NZ)
‘A guaranteed podium finish after a great drive turned into a feature race win for James Penrose when the leaders clashed in this afternoon’s Dan Higgins Trophy race at Manfeild. The 27-lap race had looked like it would go the way of championship leader Charlie Wurz before a mistake by a chasing Louis Foster put both off track.’
Mazepin named in 99 Racing Team Oreca for Asian Le Mans Series (DailySportscar)
‘The ‘mystery’ package for the 2023 ALMS, set to get underway in two weeks time in the UAE, was the #98 99 Racing Team Oreca 07. The car has now been confirmed as being crewed by 2021 ALMS runner-up Ben Barnicoat, ex-GP2 and WTCC racer Felix Porteiro who returns to racing after more than a decade and, somewhat controversially, ex-Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin.’
Johnson, Rockenfeller, and Button to drive NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans (Racer)
‘An eclectic all-star mix of drivers will pilot the joint Rick Hendrick/Chevrolet NASCAR Garage 56 Project at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Seven-times NASCAR champion and IndyCar driver Jimmie Johnson, 2009 F1 world champion Jenson Button, and sports car ace and 2010 Le Mans 24H winner Mike Rockenfeller will drive the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1 at the centenary event this June.’
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Happy birthday to Sridhar Gopalkrishnan!
On this day in motorsport
- Born on this day in 1917: Paul Frere, who went on to win the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours and finished second in his final grand prix appearance at Spa in 1956. He died in 2008.
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