There may not have been a grand prix this weekend but there was a whole host of other motorsport taking place across the globe. Here we’re rounding up the results and the action in our (non-F1) weekend digest.
On the American scene NASCAR ran at its ninth championship round of 2011, with former Williams and McLaren man Juan Pablo Montoya landing pole for the Richmond Raceway event. However JPM wasn’t in contention come the race, leading for the opening 25 laps but struggling with his car thereafter. He was subsequently involved in contact with Ryan Newman and ended up well down the order. Out front Kyle Busch beat Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamiln to the win, his second of the 2011 campaign. Carl Edwards leads the standings with five-time champ Jimmie Johnson second and Busch now third.
Meanwhile IndyCar was making its first overseas trip of the year as it ran on the streets of Sao Paulo, but biblical rain storms made racing impossible and after several aborted starts the event was postponed until today (Monday). Poleman Will Power led the early running and will head the field for this afternoon’s restart, whilst former F1 racer Takuma Sato will take the green flag in third after making up several positions and – miraculously – keeping his car pointing the right way.
Making a rare switch to two wheels, Badger can report that pocket-sized injury magnet Dani Pedrosa scored a crucial win in Estoril’s Moto GP event, passing reigning champ Jorge Lorenzo four laps from the flag after stalking the Yamaha all race long. Dani’s team-mate Casey Stoner joined them on the podium, whilst fellow Honda rider Andrea Dovizioso passed Valentino Rossi across the line to nick fourth. Gresni Honda’s Marco Simoncelli had been the star of practice and qualifying but his race ended almost immediately as he crashed out on lap one. Lorenzo continues to lead the standings, but Pedrosa has now closed the gap to just four points.
In the manic world of Australia’s V8 Supercar championship two-time title-winner Jamie Whincup scored two races wins from the three up for grabs at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway. The Triple-Eight driver beat team-mate Craig Lowndes to victory in race one before narrowly holding off race two winner Jason Bright in the third run. Bright’s win was the first for his Brad Jones motorsport team, and came in a race that was initially stopped after this spectacular startline shunt between Karl Reindler and Steve Owen. Thankfully, both escaped serious injury.
Sticking with touring cars, there were three winners from three races as the BTCC visited Thruxton, with poleman Gordon Shedden scoring victory in the first. Matt Neal finished that as runner-up but would go one better in the second race, passing the success ballasted Shedden six laps in to eventually win from Andrew Jordan. Reigning champion Jason Plato then took victory in the final race of the weekend, beating poleman Tom Boardman off the line and holding his lead to the flag. Neal now leads the standings as the series begins a five week break.
In Formula Renault 3.5 – a championship second only to GP2 on the F1 feeder series ladder – British squad Carlin proved utterly dominant, with potential grand prix drivers Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne taking a pole and race victory apiece at Spa-Francochamps. There was less joy for Toro Rosso third driver Daniel Ricciardo however, the Aussie claiming just three points from the weekend and now sitting a whopping 68 shy of championship leader Wickens after four of the 17 races that will decide the title. In the supporting Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup the wins were shared by two Red Bull-backed drivers, with Carlos Sainz Jr. triumphing in the first run and Russian Daniil Kvyat in the second.
Bruno Spengler entered the final round of last year’s DTM championship leading the standings but a poor weekend saw him leapfrogged by both eventual champion Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett. The Canadian is utterly determined to finally land the title in 2011 and kicked that mission off in the best possible manner, taking pole, the race win and fastest lap at the Hockenheim opener. Second went to Audi’s Mattias Ekstrom with former F1 racer Ralf Schumacher scoring amaiden series podium in third. Read more here.
Finally, the ever-decreasing Formula Three Euro Series field raced in support of the DTM and was dominated by Italian squad Prema Powerteam. Their Spanish duo of Roberto Mehri and Daniel Juncadella were the men to beat at the German circuit, with Mehri triumphing in both races one and three and Juncadella in the second. These two now top the drivers’ standings, with 20-year-old Mehri 19 points clear of his team-mate.
Have we missed anything you think deserves a mention? Let us know and we may include it in future editions.