Welcome to week 32 – four races this weekend. F1 is at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium; NASCAR is on the big track in Michigan; Indycar is on the oval of Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas; and the USCC (GTLM and GTD classes only) is at VIR in Virginia. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml. Note that choices are not available for the Indycar race since this event is a continuation of the race that was abandoned in Week 21, and points will be awarded retroactively based on the picks back then and the final results in this part-2 race.
Scores from week 31:
WRC Germany, Moto GP Czech Republic, NASCAR Bristol, Indycar Pocono:
With no road-sweeping, the tarmac/asphalt roads of the German round of the WRC was Sebastian Ogier’s chance to finally get another win under his belt. And he duly delivered, setting blistering times in the challenging Baumholder military stages to open up an unassailable lead, and following through with the victory. While his was an easy win, the next four places were hotly contested through to the last stage, with Dani Sordo coming through from a shaky start of the rally to take second place, by just 0.1s from his teammate, Thierry Neuville. Andreas Mikkelsen was in contention for a podium, but a seemingly poor tire choice on the last day, left him just outside in fourth place. Haddon Paddon was on an unfamiliar surface for him, and was more than 3 minutes down on Mikkelsen, but still took fifth place after the other WRC cars of Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tanak, and Eric Camilli all hit problems. For Latvala it was a failed gearbox on day one that left him down in 48th place.
Back-to-back first time winners in Moto GP, this week with Cal Crutchlow taking his LCR Honda to victory in the Czech Republic. Undoubtedly it was his gamble with tires on a wet track that gave him the victory. He was the only rider to go out with two hard tires, and although he struggled at the beginning, being as low as 14th place at one point, the hard tires came into their own as the race progressed, and Crutchlow just got faster and faster until he took the lead and never looked back. Valentino Rossi also took a risk with tires with a hard tire on the back, but he had a soft tire on the front, and it couldn’t survive the way Crutchlow’s tires did, but second place nevertheless for Rossi. Marc Marquez was the best of the rest, finishing in third place. Maverick Vinales finished ninth. Jorge Lorenzo started on the same tire combination as Rossi, but twice went to the pits for a change, and twice the resulting stop was a mess, to leave Lorenzo a lap down and in 17th place at the end.
The NASCAR race at Bristol was delayed from its original Saturday night event to a Sunday race when rain spoiled the primetime plans. Rain further delayed then interrupted Sunday’s race, so it was into the evening before they got all 500 laps in, with Kevin Harvick taking the win.
The Indycar race at Pocono came down to a four car race between Will Power, Mikhail Aleshin, Josef Newgarden, and Ryan Hunter-Reay, and it was Power that took victory in a close finish against Aleshin. Hunter-Raey took third ahead of Newgarden. Sebastien Bourdais and Scott Dixon both closed up behind Newgarden at the end, with less than a second separating the three, and Bourdais ahead of Dixon for fifth and sixth place respectively. Next up was Carlos Munoz who finished ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya – seventh and eight respectively. Championship leader Simon Pagenaud crashed out close to the end of the race, finishing 18th and losing a lot of points to his closest rival Power.
Congratulations to iomracer and his fourteenth win of the year with one tie. Iomracer and Sebastian are now tied with fourteen wins apiece in the season. No changes in positions in the standings …