Welcome to week 13 – five races again this weekend. F1 is in Bahrain; MotoGP goes south to Argentina; NASCAR is in the “bowl” – the super-short ½ mile oval in Bristol, Tennessee; Indycar is at the Long Beach street circuit in California; and USCC joins Indycar in Long Beach. Sebastian has all the links you need to make your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2015-week-thirteen-guide-and-links/. Please make your picks at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 12: F1 China, MotoGP U.S., NASCAR Texas, Indycar Louisiana, WEC Great Britain:
Mercedes is back at the top of F1 with Lewis Hamilton winning and Nico Rosberg second, well ahead of the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikonnen. In fifth and sixth were Felipe Mass and Valtteri Bottas respectively in the Williams. With those three teams being well ahead of the rest of the field, it looks like they are going to dominate the rest of the season. It was not terribly exciting at the front of the field, with pit stop strategy seeming to distinguish Mercedes from Ferrari, with the former getting an advantage by stretching their tires. The mid-pack battles were good though, with Roman Grosjean’s Lotus coming out the best of the rest with a seventh place finish.
Jimmie Johnson took the NASCAR victory at Texas Motor Speedway, ahead of Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The three of them took four tires at the final caution when most other drivers took two tires, and then showed that four was the way to go by driving around the two-tire cars in the final laps. Joey Logano had a bump with Harvick on the final restart, dropping him back a bit in the field, but was still able to get to a fourth place finish.
In the MotoGP in Austin, Texas, Andrea Dovizioso got the lead off the line and it initially looked like it was going to be a good battle between him, Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi, and Jorge Lorenzo. But once Marquez got around Dovizioso and took the lead, he rode away, showing that Qatar a couple of weeks ago was just a blip in his armor. The other three though kept up the battle for second for the entire race, with Dovizioso taking second ahead of Rossi and Lorenzo. Andrea Iannone caught Lorenzo before the end and challenged for the fourth spot, but had to settle for fifth at the checkered flag.
There were lots of cautions in the Indycar race at the NOLA circuit in Louisiana. That meant that the order was frequently mixed, and also caused different teams to pit at different times. Both worked out best for James Hinchcliffe who took the win over Helio Castroneves, James Jakes, and Simona de Silvestro; all four had gone off-cycle in their pit stops. Juan Pablo Montoya was fifth and the best of the field that had stuck with an expected pit strategy. Behind Montoya were Tony Kanaan in sixth and Will Power in seventh. Simon Pagenaud’s day ended late in the race when he, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastian Bourdais got together putting all out of the race; Pagenaud was classified in 20th at the end.
The WEC race at Silverstone in England ended up being a close affair after the winning team, the #7 Audi, had a late pit stop and then a penalty that allowed the second placed #18 Porsche get to within 5 seconds at the finish line. The #1 Toyota was only another 10 seconds back, so it was close for the podium positions. The second Toyota, the #2, finished in fourth place, a lap down; and the #8 Audi was fifth, 4 laps down.
Congratulations to Sebastian and his first win of the year. He was the only one of us to get the top four in both F1 and MotoGP. No changes in the standings …