Brittany Force Wins NHRA Top Fuel Championship, Smashes World Record
Brittany Force has won the Camping World NHRA World Championships — becoming only the second woman in drag racing history to claim multiple Top Fuel titles.
Bringing the fans to their feet at Pomona, California’s famed Auto Club Raceway, Force clinched the title when she and her Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pac Chevrolet dragster qualified in the No. 1 spot, earning 13 bonus points, before winning her opening round matchup versus Steve Chrisman with a 3.701-second quarter mile charge @ 334.90 mph.
But it was Force’s Friday qualifying run that’d put an exclamation point on the championship as she exploded for a blistering, world record 3.641-second pass @ 338.94 mph to open the Top Fuel show at Pomona. Big boost and big momentum for Force… and a statement at that.
“It’s big to grab those points wherever we can, and it’s pretty awesome to run that mph and break the record at my home track where I grew up racing,” she said. “I love this place and that run, we planned to push the car, and it worked out. But it’s going to come down to race day, and we’re going to try to hunt this thing down. This is a great start for our team.”
From there, it only took Force one round of race – the aforementioned Round One win over Chrisman – to clinch the championships.
“I want everyone to remember this day, here in Pomona with this Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac team; David Grubnic, Mac Savage, every single one of my guys,” she added after her victory. “We have been working at this all season long. We never gave up, and then we struggled in the Countdown, but we recovered, and we recovered when we needed to in Vegas and here in Pomona. This just seems unreal; I can’t believe we’re here. I have to thank every single one of my guys, our sponsors, Monster Energy, Flav-R-Pac, Auto Club, Chevy, PEAK, Cornwell Tools, Montana Brand, NK Seeds, Powers Solar, we wouldn’t be here without them today. I’m so proud of everybody. It just seems surreal; I can’t believe it ended up this way. I believed coming into today, I was motivated, pumped, we all were, and we got the job done. Just needed to get past the first round.”
Force joined NHRA Hall of Fame racer Shirley “Cha-Cha” Muldowney as the only women to win multiple premier NHRA Top Fuel championships, and just the fourth woman in history to win any sort of multiple NHRA championship, including the lower support classes.
George Russell and Lewis Hamilton Pull Off Spectacular 1-2 at Sao Paulo Grand Prix
George Russell claimed his first Grand Prix win of his F1 career on Sunday — with teammate Lewis Hamilton right behind him.
In his Mercedes AMG F1 W13 E Performance Siler Arrow, Russell pulled off a phenomenal drive to victory by acing the getaway from pole position, and then mastering two safety car restarts to bash out the win ahead Hamilton. The excellent performances by both Englishmen gave Mercedes its first win of the year, and first one-two finish since 2020.
“This is just the beginning,” Russel emphatically radioed his team immediately after the checkered flag fell. “I’m so proud of all of you. I knew we could do this.”
Furthermore, on Saturday afternoon in Brazil, Russell also won a thrilling showdown with Max Verstappen for victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix sprint. It took Russell and his 1.6-liter V6 motivated Mercedes AMG F1 W13 until lap 12 to get himself into a rhythm to attack for the lead, twice attempting to take Verstappen around the outside of the first turn; but on lap 15 he adjusted his approach with a clean run through the esses, and was rapidly through and past the Red Bull Racing car by the time they hit the brakes for Turn 4, through into the lead, and with his soft tires still alive he was able to build a comfortable 3.9s advantage by the end of the sprint.
“It was incredible,” Russell said afterward. “I wasn’t expecting to have that much pace. It just goes to show all the hard work is paying off.”
The Mercedes duo will now pack everything up and travel to the opulent, jewel-like Yas Marina Circuit for next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Jonathan Rea Podiums Three Times in Indonesia
Monster Energy’s Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) battled strong all weekend at the penultimate 11th round of 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship racing and made the podium on three occasions in the furious pace of Indonesia’s Pertamina Mandalika International Street Circuit.
Rea’s 3rd place run in the opening race, runner-up 2nd in the Superpole and 3rd in Sunday’s final race kept Rea in a solid 3rd place overall position in the WorldSBK standings, with 450 points.
In Saturday’s opening race — the 900th race in WorldSBK competition history — Rea started well and was able to maintain in and around 2nd place early on with leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and a charging Alvaro Bautista (Ducati). With Razgatlioglu all but checked out up front, Bautista would catch Rea for 2nd, pushing Rea to a very close 3rd. The podium finish was Rea’s 240th of his career in WorldSBK competition.
Following a strong 2nd place finish in the Mandalika Superpole, Sunday’s race would be much of the same for Rea; despite leading the field through Lap 6, the six-time world champion was caught by Razgatlioglu, before newly-crowned WorldSBK champion Bautista snuck past him on Lap 7, forcing Rea to ultimately settle for 3rd.
Said Rea, in congratulating Bautista on capturing the championship: “Today’s about Alvaro and Ducati and the World Championship. Big congratulations to them. They’ve really been the benchmark this year and dominated races and it’s a good reference for us to go into the winter and try and improve. He’s had a really good year, been in control and looked at ease with his bike. … These (championships) don’t come cheap so big congratulations.”
Rea’s Monster Energy-backed teammate, Alex Lowes, would move into a respectable 6th overall in the WorldSBK standings with 234 points, four points out front of Ducati’s Axel Bassani. And joining the two Kawasaki pilots in the top ten overall standings was Monster Energy’s Scott Redding (BMW), who brought ‘er home in 8th place (190 points). Lowe’s best finish at Indonesia would be a 4th in the Superpole race, while Redding’s best result would be a 6th in Race 2.
The 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship concludes at Australia’s Phillip Island Circuit, on the picturesque Bass Straight, Victoria, November 18-20.
Eli Tomac Dominates With a 1-2-1 in Paris
Monster Energy’s Eli Tomac (Star Racing/Yamaha) dominated the opening night of supercross racing action at the La Defense Arena — aka the “Paris Supercross” — winning the three-race overall battle over Ken Roczen (Honda) with a convincing 1st/2nd/1st effort.
In the deciding final race, where both Tomac and Roczen entered with equal 1st/2nd “spring” (aka “moto”) finishes, Tomac was able to pull the all-important holeshot on the tight, Arenacross-sized track, with Roczen coming around early back in 5th place. And though Roczen would mount a feverous attack, moving up to 2nd to challenge Tomac late in the contest, Tomac held strong and took the win – and the overall victory on Saturday in Paris.
Alas, Sunday’s action at La Defense Arena would favor Roczen as he pulled a perfect 1-1-1 to Tomac’s 3-2-2, and was crowned King of Bercy, with Tomac placing 2nd.
Robin Larsson Tops the Podium in Phoenix
Monster Energy driver Robin Larsson and his 1,070-hosepower Monster Energy RX Cartel FC1-X race car came up big on Sunday afternoon, winning the 2022-2023 Nitro Rallycross Championship round at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix.
Larsson was running alongside pole sitter Oliver Eriksson early on, but the final was quickly halted after a frightening accident for Monster Energy RX Cartel racer Andreas Bakkerud, which forced him out of the race — luckily uninjured. The Dreyer & Reinbold JC driver was among a group of cars fighting for second when he made contact with Oliver Bennett over the gap jump. That pitched him sideways and into a roll upon landing, transitioning into an end-over-end flip.
Once the wreckage was cleared, Red Bull’s Oliver Eriksson kept the lead until the mid-point of the six-lap race, when Monster Energy ace Larsson snuck up the inside of Turn 2 for the lead. Eriksson, his view now obscured by a lifted hood, couldn’t find a way past Larsson, who comfortably led his Swedish compatriot home.
“We want to share this excellent sport with the fans,” declared winner Larsson after the race was run. “We here at the Monster Energy RX Cartel is here to f**k s**t up and have fun! We did that here in Phoenix today!”
Robin Larsson and the Monster Energy RX Cartel will now look to Quebec, Canada, and their next round of Nitro Rallycross Championship racing on January 21-22.
Justin Dowell and Anthony Jeanjean Share Podium at World Championships in Abu Dhabi; Moto Sasaki Claims Freestyle Flatland Title
Justin Dowell and Anthony Jeanjean brought the heat to the UCI Urban World Championships in Abu Dhabi this weekend, taking silver and bronze in BMX Freestyle Park, while Monster Energy Teammate Moto Sasaki won the BMX Freestyle Flatland outright.
American Dowell, who won in 2018 and had taken 4th place twice, was ready to get back on the podium. And with a score of 91.50 he did just that, finishing the day in second place, with Frenchman Jeanjean’s 91.20 placing just behind him in third.
“The level of riding was unlike anything I’ve seen so I’m really happy to ride away with the silver medal. It’s an honor to be competing amongst these guys,” said Dowell. Added Jeanjean: “I’m so happy to be taking home the bronze medal and becoming the European Champion for the third time in a row, I’m also feeling an immense sense of pride and stoke with my first podium as officially part of the Monster BMX team. Thanks to everyone that has been supporting me on my journey so far.”
In the BMX Flatland discipline, Japan's Moto Sasaki dominated the competition field to take home the Gold medal with mind melting links and combinations, earning the rainbow jersey amongst the stacked field of competitors – and topping what was a Japanese podium sweep.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet that I’m the World Champion,” he said. “I’m still kind of speechless, it’s been the happiest day of my life and I just want to thank everyone who has supported me to get here”.
Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev Declared the Best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Player of the Decade
Earlier this year, ESL Gaming introduced the unique Player of the Decade Award to honor ten years of one of the most popular esports games – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). A panel of the 75 most accomplished CS:GO players voted for who, in their eyes, has achieved the most in the last ten years.
And on Saturday, the winner was crowned: Monster Energy’s Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev. Due to countless achievements, his dedication to constant growth, and his influence on the esports scene – among many other things – the Ukrainian elite pro gamer was named Player of the Decade.
“I feel good about getting the award, although the Major trophy was important for me this time,” said a humble Kostyliev. “And I still think that there is one player that deserved this award as much as I did – dev1ce. I will try my best to achieve the same results as he did. There’s no limit to perfection.”