It was a largely quiet weekend in the motor racing world, with many series enjoying their summer holidays. Oh, all hell broke loose during Indycar’s visit to New Hampshire, with cars spinning like tops and a double-one-fingered salute from Will Power to the race officials, but apart from that we’ve been snoozing in hammocks and re-arranging our F1 books by author’s surname (rather than by size) to fill the time before Spa…
Beginning with the chaos at New Hampshire with IndyCar, as restarts littered the race as a whole, with 6 in total. In was all about two them though; the first eliminated the champion Dario Franchitti from what was an almost guaranteed win when Takuma Sato got a little bit too chummy and clipped him into a wall, and out of the race. Up until that point, Dario had been the fastest man on the track for the whole weekend – first in practice, on pole position and was comfortably out front when Taku struck. The other restart decided the race; with rain falling and the whole field on slicks, the green flag fell with only 9 laps to go. It was a baffling decision – many expected it to finish under the safety car – and when part-time model Danica Patrick spun out of fifth, she took a number of cars with her.
With the race stopped, and Oriol Servia jumping Ryan Hunter-Reay at the restart, there was confusion all round. Just take a look – we highly recommend holding on for Will Power’s protest to the marshals.
With the race red-flagged, the decision was made to count back to the previous lap, demoting Servia to second and bumping Hunter-Reay back up to take his first win of the season. Power, at one point looking to be not classified in the confusion, eventually secured fifth place, cutting the points lead Franchitti has over him to 50 points.
Things were much calmer in the supporting Indy Lights race where championship leader Josef Newgarden put in a dominant performance. The American led every lap from pole position, recorded the fastest time of the race and finished a full lap clear of second place man Jorge Goncalvez.
A great day for Newgarden then, who now leads team-mate Esteban Guerrieri by a comfortable 68 points. For Goncalvez and third place man second Duarte Ferreira there was also reason to celebrate: both men scored their best Lights results at Loudon..
The rain fell at NASCAR‘s latest foray into circuit racing, this time delaying the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. Yep folks, that’s the name of the race at Watkins Glen, we didn’t believe it either. Thankfully, NASCAR has plenty of entertainment to keep the fans happy.
The race finally got underway early Monday morning and it was Marcus Ambrose, the former SuperV8 driver, who finally recorded his maiden Sprint Cup Victory after 105 attempts. Ambrose had taken the lead off of Kyle Busch on the 92nd of 93 laps, with last week’s winner Brad Keselowski – still with a broken ankle don’t forget – also squeezing past. Ambrose took the flag, but there were accident galore in the melee behind him.
Tony Stewart locked up coming in to the final chicane, spinning into oncoming traffice, while David Ragan was nudged into the wall further back, spearing back onto the track and collecting an unfortunate David Reutimann, who nearly flipped onto his roof in the resulting accident. Luckily, both men walked away with nothing more than bruised egos.
The F3 Masters at Zandvoort saw its lowest attendance since its inception in1991, with just 16 cars lining up at the Dutch venue.
But that won’t dampen the spirits of Mucke Motorsport’s Felix Rosenqvist, who triumphed in the annual blue riband event to add his name to a list of victors that includes Lewis Hamilton, David Coulthard and Paul di Resta. Oh, and Pedro Lamy.
Rosenqvist’s path to victory was paved at the start when the front-row-starting Prema cars of Roberto Mehri and Daniel Juncadella collided. The latter was forced out whilst Mehri came home ninth and was subsequently disqualified. Rosenquvist now led and put the hammer down to build a comfortable gap to Marco Wittmann. The Swede eventually won by five seconds with Wittmann second and Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen third.
Mehri meanwhile took some consolation: he has won the inaugural F3 Trophy thanks to Wittmann’s failure to win the race.
Also in attendance at Zandvoort was the British Formula Ford championship, which was sharing its grid with the category’s Eurocup entrants. Scott Malvern won races one and two outright before taking fourth overall in the third, which equated to yet another win in the British championship. Scott has thus wrapped up the Euocup and extends his winning streak in his native series to 12 on the bounce. The Essex-born racer is having a stormer
Casey Stoner strengthened his grip on the Moto GP title win victory at Czech circuit Brno. Stoner was handed the lead when team-mate Dani Pedrosa crashed out of the lead early on and quickly worked to stretch his advantage. He won from team-mate Andrea Dovizioso with Marco Simoncelli finally taking his maiden podium position in third. The mad-haired Italian has shown flashes of stunning pace this year but all too often become involved in controversial on-track incidents. Hopefully this result will calm him a touch whilst not costing him his pace.
Meanwhile title contender Jorge Lorenzo was only fourth as a wrong tyre choice left him struggling in the race. He now sits 32 in arrears of Stoner, who has won six of this year’s 12 grands prix.