Welcome to week 16 – 3 races this weekend. Moto GP is at Le Mans in France; NASCAR is in Kansas; and WEC is at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 15:
F1 Russia, NASCAR Talladega, USCC Laguna Seca:
For the third race in a row, Nico Rosberg dominated the F1 event in Sochi, Russia. Lewis Hamilton had a good race to finish second, having started 10th on the grid after he was unable to take part in the final qualifying shoot-out, after an ERS system issue. Hamilton was helped by the exit of Sebastian Vettel, who was hit twice by Daniil Kvyat, with the second collision ending Vettel’s race against the wall, and a 20th place classification. Kvyat suffered enough damage to send him to the pits for a new front wing, so 15th was as good as it was going to get as a finishing position for him. In that first collision, Vettel bounced off into Daniel Ricciardo sending him to the pits too. So 11th was the best Ricciardo could do by the finish. All of this mess at the start cleared the way for Kimi Raikkonen to claim the final podium spot, although he also needed to use a well-timed pit stop to get ahead of 4th place finisher Valtteri Bottas.
NASCAR was at Talladega and there were three big crashes, all coming in the latter part of the race. Emerging from the final wreck that happened just before the checkered flag finish, was Brad Keselowski, who took his second win of the year. Two cars went airborne in crashes – Chris Buescher, who barrel-rolled after a collision, and Matt Kenseth who turned upside down and into the inside wall in a crash – both incidents that will surely re-raise the discussion of how to keep the cars on the ground. But Dale Earnhardt Jr. probably had the worst day of anyone, crashing twice, with the second crash taking him out of the race for good; but in addition, his steering wheel came off at one point in the race, requiring him to steer with the steering column before he managed to get the steering wheel back in place. That incident produced a really unique in-car video. His calmness in handling the problem, is awesome.
The #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda/Ligier won the 2-hour USCC race at Laguna Seca – their first victory in USCC for four years. Good pit stops and good speed at the end of the race put them 30 seconds ahead of the Corvettes of the #90 Visit Florida car, and the #31 Action Express car that was right behind them. Both the Corvettes benefited from trouble that the favored Mazdas encountered. A mechanical failure put the #70 Mazda out of the race, and their teammate, the #55 Mazda had two incidents that at the end left them a minute adrift of the winning car, and a fourth place finish. The #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette got collected by the #5 Action Express Corvette in an incident only 30 minutes into the race. The #10 got stuck in the gravel, and lost two laps before they got going again, resulting in an 8th place finish. The #5 Action Express similarly got stuck, but it took 5 laps to extract them, resulting in a 17th place finish.
Congratulations to iomracer and his third win of the year. The #55 Mazda pick was the better one than Sebastian’s Daniil Kvyat pick. No changes in the standings’ positions …