Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Weekend Wrap-Up

The first weekend in May featured a lot of racing across the globe. NASCAR had a surprise 1-2 at Talladega, Sébastien Loeb continued his retirement from full-time rallying in style, BMW had a stellar opening DTM race and lots of others series took to the track.

Front Row Takes The Front Row at Talladega
Eight years ago, a Bob Jenkins-owned car made it's first race at Bristol with Stanton Barrett. He finished 41st. Front Row Motorsports hadn't had much to brag about before last Sunday but David Ragan and David Gilliland changed that as the little team that could went 1-2, defeating the big boys of Roush, Hendrick and Gibbs. Ragan won his second career race, his first since Daytona in July 2011. The 1-2 was the 5th and 6th top ten finish for Front Row Motorsports, 3rd and 4th top five and of course the first win for the team. All six top tens for Front Row Motorsports has come on restrictor plate races, five coming at Talladega.

NASCAR races next Saturday at Darlington Speedway.

Retired Loeb Wins Again
He maybe retired from full-time rallying but Sébastien Loeb continues to win. He won his second rally of the 2013 World Rally Championship at Argentina, his eighth win in the last nine Rally Argentinas. He beat teammate, points leader and fellow Frenchman Sébastien Ogier by 55 seconds. Ogier leads the points by 54 points over Loeb, who has only competed in three of five rallies. Ogier is 65 points ahead of the next full-time competitor Mikko Hirvonen.

World Rally's next stop is Greece for the Acropolis Rally May 31st-June 2nd.

Farfus and BMW win at Hockenheim
Augusto Farfus won his second career DTM race this past Sunday at Hockenheim and leads the points for the first time in the Brazilian's DTM career. He held off fellow BMW driver Dirk Werner and Mercedes driver Christian Vietoris for the victory. This were the first career DTM podiums for both Werner and Vietoris. 2005 DTM champion Gary Paffett finished 4th while defending DTM champion Canadian Bruno Spengler finished 5th. Pole sitter and two-time DTM champion Timo Scheider finished 6th, American Joey Hand finished a career-best 7th, the Audis of Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Wittmann were 8th and 9th and Roberto Merhi rounded out the top ten. Wittmann scored points on debut and Merhi also picked up his first career point in DTM. 

The German-based series makes it's first stop international stop in a fortnight at Brands Hatch.

Spaniards dominate the Spanish Grand Prix
Dani Pedrosa won his first race of the 2013 MotoGP season at Jerez while fellow Spaniards Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo took the final two steps on the podium. Márquez out muscled the defending champion Lorenzo for the second in the final corner and in doing so the rookie took the points lead. Márquez leads Honda-teammate Pedrosa by three and Lorenzo by four points. Valentino Rossi finished fourth and is fourth in the standings, 18 markers back. Cal Crutchlow was fifth ahead of Álvaro Bautistia, Nicky Hayden, Andrea Dovizioso, Alex Espargaró and Bradley Smith.

MotoGP heads to Le Mans in a fortnight.

Audi Sweeps Spa
Audi went 1-2-3 at Spa, all a lap ahead of top finishing Toyota. André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Trêluyer took the win ahead of the senior line-up of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval. Marc Gené, Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Jarvis finished third. The #8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Stéphane Sarrazin and Sébastien Buemi finished 4th with the #7 Toyota retiring after 99 of 168 laps. 

LMP2 was won by Pecom Racing's team of Luiz Pérez Companc, Pierre Kaffer and Nicolas Minassian. GTE Pro was won by the AF Corse Ferrari of Gianmaria Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella. GTE Am was won the Ferrari of the American 8Star Motorsports of Enzo Potolicchio, Rui Águas and Philipp Peter.

Next race for the FIA World Endurance Championship is the 81st 24 Hours of Le Mans June 22nd-23rd.

Other Results
Jaime Whincup won two of three races at the V8 SuperCars weekend at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth, Australia and leads the points by 45 markers over Will Davison. V8 SuperCars will make it's first stop every stop to the United States and Circuit of the Americas in a fortnight.

Yvan Muller and Robert Huff won the World Touring Car Championship races at the Hungaroring. Muller leads the points at the WTCC heads to Salzburgring in Austria in a fortnight.