The Motor Racing Game

October 18, 2015

2015 Week 40

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 11:12 pm

Welcome to week 40 – four races this weekend. F1 is in the U.S. at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA); MotoGP has their final race of their Pacific Rim tour, this time in Sepang, Malaysia; WRC has a mixed-surface event in Rally Catalunya in Spain; NASCAR has their last race of their “Contender” round, at the big restrictor plate track of Talladega, after which four more drivers will no longer be in the Chase for the Cup. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 39:

Moto GP Australia, NASCAR Kansas City:

Week39Rslts

The MotoGP race on Phillip Island has been described in the press as “one of the greatest grand prix motorcycle races of the past decade” (Roar.com), largely because the four top protagonists battled side-by-side and nose-to-tail for the entire race, with other riders also in the mix in the early laps. It was in the last lap when Marc Marquez moved from fourth into the lead and crossed the line the winner, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo. Andrea Iannone similarly passed Valentino Rossi on the last lap to take the final podium position. Behind them the next three also had a grand scrap, with Daniel Pedrosa finishing in fifth ahead of Maverick Vinales and Cal Crutchlow. Our two other picks simply didn’t have a good race, with Bradley Smith finishing 10th, and Andrea Dovizioso finishing 13th.

In the NASCAR race at Kansas Speedway, it was race 2 of the “Contender” round, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth both had to win to get a pass into the next round. Neither did. In fact Earnhardt Jr. had another poor race, finishing 21st, which leaves him second to last place amongst the contenders and only a win next week will get him through to the next round. Kenseth on the other hand had a great shot at winning, leading the race with only a handful of laps to go. But last week’s winner, Joey Logano, was looking strong again, and was pressuring Kenseth when they come upon traffic to lap. With aerodynamics on Kenseth’s car degraded by the slower cars, he was forced to try and block Logano. But that didn’t turn out so well with Logano protesting the blocks by turning Kenseth around, and going on to take the win. Kenseth at least saved the car from the wall, and with a green-white-checker finish, was able to hold on to the lead lap and finish 14th. But that is not enough, and he will again need to seek the win at Talladega next week. Two other contender drivers finished behind Kenseth – Martin Truex Jr. in 15th, and Kevin Harvick in 16th. They are now on the bubble for elimination without a good result next week, along with Kyle Busch who finished 5th, Brad Keselowski who finished 9th, Jeff Gordon who finished 10th, and Ryan Newman who finished 11th. Besides the winner Logano, 2nd place finisher Denny Hamlin, 6th place Kurt Busch, and 8th place Carl Edwards are now positioned at the top of the Chase leaderboard, so would need a poor result at Talladega to miss out on the next round.

Week39PickRslts

Drewe and I tied on points, but because we had different picks I win on count-back with two 2nd place picks versus Drewe’s one. But I think Drewe’s picks were slightly more impressive as I loaded up with the usually consistent Moto GP, and Drewe split his picks to include five in the volatile NASCAR series. No changes in the standings …

Week39Standings

October 13, 2015

2015 Week 39

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 3:05 am

Welcome to week 39 – two races this weekend. Moto GP are in the middle race of their 3 week Pacific Basin tour with a visit to Phillip Island in Australia; NASCAR has race 2 of their “Contender” round for the Chase to the Cup at the Kansas intermediate oval. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 38:

F1 Russia, Moto GP Japan, NASCAR Charlotte, WEC Japan:

Week38Rslts

Lewis Hamilton took an easy win in the Russian F1 GP after his teammate, Nico Rosberg had to retire following throttle problems (he was classified in 18th place). Sebastian Vettel also had an easy time in the Ferrari to finish second. Third place was much more exciting with three cars battling it out through the last lap. In the end Kimi Raikkonen punted Valtteri Bottas off the track giving third to Sergio Perez. Not in that battle, but inheriting fourth was Felipe Massa, which was an impressive result considering he started 15th. Raikkonen recovered from the incident to initially take fifth, but was then demoted to eighth after the stewards ruled that the punting was avoidable.

Wet, then drying conditions at the Motegi circuit in Japan proved decisive in the Moto GP. As the track dried tires started going off. It was Dani Pedrosa that managed his tires the best – as the track dried he started climbing up through the field, and eventually passed Valentino Rossi then Jorge Lorenzo to take his first win this year. It looked like Rossi managed his tires better than his teammate, because he too started to eat into Lorenzo’s lead as the track dried, and eventually passed him to finish second, with Lorenzo holding on to third. Marc Marquez never challenged for a podium, but wasn’t challenged from behind either, so finished fourth. Our other pick, Andrea Iannone had engine problems with his Ducati and retired from the race classified in 25th. Alex de Angelis who took a bad fall in practice remains in hospital in serious condition (brain hemorrhage, lung contusion, multiple fractured ribs, and multiple fractured vertebrae), but is reported to be improving. Let’s hope for a full recovery.

At the NASCAR race in Charlotte, the remaining 12 drivers in the Chase for the Cup entered the three-race Contender round, after which four more drivers will be eliminated. Joey Logano won the rain delayed race, which gives him a free-pass into the next Eliminator round. Two “contenders” who struggled outside of the top 20 and will have to do very well in the next two weeks, or win, were Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 28th after hitting the wall, and Matt Kenseth who is in real trouble after finishing down in 42nd place following a crash that forced him to retire.

Team orders were on the menu for the WEC event at the Mt. Fuji circuit in Japan. The two Porsches finished a lap ahead of the two Audis, but the #18 Porsche that led most the race had to allow the #17 Porsche past in order for the trio of drivers in the #17 to take over the top spot in the driver’s championship, over the #7 Audi drivers. Similarly the two Audis swapped position, giving the #7 third, and the #8 fourth, to keep the championship as tight as possible. And to keep the teams in unison, the two Toyotas were fifth and sixth, with the #1 finishing ahead of the #2.

Week38PickRslts

Only three of us played this week, and the only difference in our picks was Sebastian’s Andrea Iannone over Drewe and my pick of Marc Marquez. And with Iannone’s bike engine failing, it handed the joint win to Drewe and me. With Greased Lightning missing the week, third place toggles again, back into Drewe’s favor …

Week38Standings

October 5, 2015

2015 Week 38

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:38 pm

Welcome to week 38 – four races this weekend. F1 goes to the Sochi Autodrom in Russia; Moto GP is at Motegi in Japan; NASCAR starts their “Contender” round at the intermediate oval in Charlotte, with 12 drivers remaining in the Chase for the Cup (I have narrowed the pick list to these 12); WEC is at the Mt. Fuji circuit in Japan. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 37:

WRC Corsica, NASCAR Dover, USCC Road Atlanta:

Week37Rslts

Torrential rain in Corsica caused the cancellation of two stages in the WRC Tour de Corse due to flooding and mud-slides, and provided tricky conditions which led to many drivers being ultra-cautious. Along with gearbox failure on Friday for Sebastien Ogier, it left Elfin Evans as the surprise leader at the end of Friday. But Evans’ performance was no fluke. While he was unable to hold off Jari-Matti Latvala, who went on to win the event, he did manage to hold off the charging Andreas Mikkelsen, enabling Evans to take second and his best result in the WRC. Kris Meeke drove cautiously for the entire event, enabling him to secure fourth place. Haddon Paddon was racing on tarmac for the first time in WRC, so surprised everyone with a solid fifth place. Dani Sordo was the early pace setter (after two stages) until he had to change a wheel mid-stage after a puncture, which dropped him well down the order – he recovered to sixth. With Ogier’s gearbox failure, he had to return on Saturday under Rally 2 with a 10-minute penalty; he recovered to 15th by setting a number of fastest stage times. Thierry Neuville was a victim of the slippery conditions when he hit a bridge and broke the car’s suspension just a few corners into the event. He also restarted on Saturday under Rally 2, but could progress no further than 23rd.

Reigning NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick was going to be out of the race for the Cup without a win at Dover. The reason he is reigning champion and the best driver so far this year was clearly shown when he did indeed win the Dover race – an ominous sign for the rest of the drivers still in contention. So he moves on to the “Contender” round with 11 other drivers. Not so for the four drivers eliminated: Jimmie Johnson who suffered from a broken rear-axle seal that left him with a 41st place finish; Clint Bowyer whose 14th place finish was not enough; Paul Menard who finished 25th; and Jamie McMurray who finished 4th behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., whom he had to beat to stay in. Kyle Busch also needed a high-placed finish to stay in the Chase, and second place was good enough. Matt Kenseth’s place in the next round was already secure with his win at New Hampshire – he finished 7th this week at Dover. Brad Keselowski finished 16th, but by staying out of trouble in the previous two rounds, and with reasonably decent results, he also stays in the Chase. So, the full list of drivers still in the Chase are: Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kevin Harvick.

The USCC had their final race of the year at Road Atlanta – the Petit LeMans. The flooding from torrential rain in the south-east of the U.S. was decisive in the race. The track was so water-logged that the race had to be cut short by two hours. It also meant that all the cars suffered from aquaplaning, except apparently the GTLM #911 Porsche, which seemed to be able to drive away from the rest of the field with ease, and ended up beating all of the Prototype cars to win the race. The #24 GTLM BMW also mastered the conditions, and when the #31 Action Express Corvette came into the pits for a routine stop just before the race was prematurely ended, the #24 inherited second place, which became the final result. The pit stop by the #31 proved costly, as the lost positions while in the pits – dropping them to 5th – meant that the championship went to the 3rd place finishing #5 Action Express Corvette. The #01 Ganassi Ford finished 4th. There was another GTLM car that finished on the lead lap – the #4 Corvette Racing car – and ahead of the #10 Wayne Taylor prototype Corvette in 7th. The #90 Visit Florida Corvette had a spin in the poor conditions that put them 2 laps down, and a 12th place finish.

Week37PickRslts

Congratulations to Greased Lighting and his eighth win of the year with one tie. His pick of Kyle Busch seemed to make the difference, and it also puts him back ahead of Drewe in the season-long standings. With USCC wrapping up their season, it was me who ended up the best at picking USCC cars.

Week37Standings2

September 28, 2015

2015 Week 37

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 1:53 am

Welcome to week 37 – three races this weekend. WRC visits the island of Corsica for the Tour de Corse, the substitute for the French round of the WRC that ran into financial problems; NASCAR has its last round of the Chase “Challenger” races at Dover in Delaware, which means four drivers will be dropped from the Chase at the conclusion of the race; USCC is at Road Atlanta in Georgia for their final race of the year, the “Petit Le Mans”. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 36:

F1 Japan, Moto GP Spain, NASCAR New Hampshire:

Week36Rslts

With engine troubles behind them, Mercedes got back to dominant form with Lewis Hamilton winning the F1 race in Japan by almost 19s over his teammate Nico Rosberg. The only challenge to Hamilton came in the first few corners when his teammate tried to take advantage, but it led not only to Hamilton getting the lead, but Rosberg running wide and being passed by Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams. Rosberg got back to second with pit stop strategy and some decisive moves. Similarly, Kimi Raikkonen used pit stop strategy to get by Bottas for fourth place. Felipe Massa’s chance of a good finish ended right at the start when he and Daniel Ricciardo got together at the start, forcing both to the pits for new tires and a new front wing for Massa. Massa finished in 17th place, two laps down.

The flip-flopping between the two teammates and main contenders for the Moto GP title continued at Aragon in Spain with Jorge Lorenzo taking the win, and Valentino Rossi finishing third. Rossi lost out to Daniel Pedrosa in an incredible finish in which they constantly swapped positions, and ultimately Pedrosa got across the line ahead of Rossi by just 0.09s. The outsider for the championship, and current champion Marc Marquez all but took himself out of contention by crashing (again), leaving him classified 25th and last. Andrea Iannone had an impressive race considering he was riding with a dislocated shoulder sustained in a practice crash; he grabbed second at the start, and although fell behind Pedrosa and Rossi in the race, still managed a fourth place finish. Andrea Dovizioso, Aleix Espargaro, Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith, and Pol Espargaro all had a great battle for the middle positions (5th through 9th), finishing in that order.

Reigning NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick needed a solid weekend at the Louden race in New Hampshire to stay in the Chase after finishing last last week. It was looking good as he dominated 99% of the race, keeping Matt Kenseth five car lengths back in the closing laps. But with two to go he ran out of gas, leaving him with a 21st place finish. But the drama wasn’t over as Kenseth also looked to run out of fuel coming out of turn three on the final lap; but he had enough to get across the line for the win and the automatic pass into the next round. For Harvick he’ll likely have to win next week in Dover to stay in the Chase. Other drivers who are now on the outside looking in with just Dover to go before the Chase field is cut by four are: Clint Bowyer, Paul Menard, and Kyle Busch, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the bubble. Busch’s poor finish in 37th place was a result of a heavy crash just past the halfway point. Brad Keselowski was looking strong in the race until he jumped a restart late in the race, forcing him to the pits to serve a penalty, and leaving him 12th place at the end.

Week36PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my thirteenth win of the year, with one tie. It was a simple case of avoiding NASCAR. After many weeks of chasing, Drewe finally passed Greased Lightning for third place in the season-long standings, on the strength of his pick of Brad Keselowski over Greased Lightning’s pick of Kyle Busch; now it’s Greased Lightning’s turn to make a comeback?

Week36Standings

September 21, 2015

2015 Week 36

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:00 am

Welcome to week 36 – three races this weekend. F1 remains in Asia visiting the Suzuka circuit in Japan; Moto GP is at Aragon in Spain; NASCAR has their second race of the “Challenger” round of the Chase for the Cup in Loudon, New Hampshire, another intermediate oval like Chicago. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 35:

F1 Singapore, NASCAR Chicagoland, WEC and USCC Circuit of the Americas:

Week35Rslts

Sebastian Vettel followed up with his deserved second place at F1’s last race in Italy, with a win in Singapore. His teammate, Kimi Raikkonen also had a good race in the Ferrari by finished third. Sandwiched between them was the Red Bull Renault of Daniel Ricciardo. For championship leader Lewis Hamilton the engine failure that had struck his teammate in Italy struck him in Singapore, leaving him classified down in 16th place. That was a big boost for Nico Rosberg’s championship hopes as he managed a fourth place finish.

At the first race of the NASCAR “playoffs” at Chicagoland Raceway the race started with a first lap incident and caution flag that immediately put Chase contender Kevin Harvick a lap down, from which he couldn’t recover. But then the race went an almost record-setting 116 laps of green-flag racing. A series of smaller incidents followed that put another couple of contenders in trouble, and by the end it was Denny Hamlin that took the win and the automatic pass into the next round with two races in the current round still to go.

At the WEC race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the Porsches followed up with their dominance in the last race, by dominating this race too. For the #17 that meant that they won the race by more than a minute, despite receiving a one minute stop and go penalty for a pit lane violation during the race. That violation had given their teammates in the #18 Porsche the lead, but with just 35 minutes to go they suffered an electrical problem that dropped them to 12th at the finish. That put the two Audis on the podium with the #7 ahead of the #8.

USCC was also at the Circuit of the Americas and was won by the #01 Chip Ganassi Ford by nearly 17 seconds over the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette. A further 27 seconds behind, and close to each other, were the #90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette and the #60 Michael Shank Racing Honda Ligier. The #31 Action Express Racing Corvette was in fifth place more than a minute behind the winning Porche. The #5 Action Express Corvette finished a lowly 10th.

Week35PickRslts

Congratulations to Drewe and his fifth win of the year. It was a close affair between all of us, with only 11 drivers/cars total picked. The difference between Drewe and Sebastian which gave Drewe the win was picking the #8 Audi in WEC versus Sebastian’s pick of #31 Action Express in USCC. No changes in the standings, but Drewe moves to just 8 measly points behind Greased Lightning for third …

Week35Standings

September 14, 2015

2015 Week 35

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:42 am

Welcome to week 35 – four races this weekend. F1 is at the street circuit of Marina Bay in Singapore; NASCAR starts their “Chase” for the cup at Chicago Land’s intermediate oval; WEC and USCC are together at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. For NASCAR I have reduced the picks to the 16 drivers who start in the chase for the Sprint Cup. After this week at Chicago Land, next week in New Hampshire, and in two weeks in Dover, 8 of these 16 drivers will be eliminated. The three (or fewer) drivers who win these three races are guaranteed to stay in the Chase, so there will be plenty of pressure to win. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 34:

WRC Australia, Moto GP Italy, NASCAR Richmond:

Week34Rslts

During the first two days of racing at Rally Australia the championship leading Volkswagens had to run first and sweep the roads of the loose gravel. This seemed to nullify their power and handling advantage since there were a few different leaders, and mid-way through Saturday the top 5 were still only separated by less than 10 seconds. But Saturday afternoon’s repeat of stages, on now swept roads, handed the advantage back to the VWs, with Sebastian Ogier grabbing the top spot at the end of the day, followed by Jari-Matti Latvala. Kris Meeke in the Citroen was the VW spoiler, managing to stay ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen. Sunday was a short day, so unsurprisingly there were no further changes in the order by the end of the event. It gave Ogier and VW the World Championship titles with three races still to go. Hyundai had taken a chance on Haddon Paddon by promoting him to the lead team to try and gain some extra points, demoting Dani Sordo to the number two squad. With Sordo leading the event after three stages, it looked like it might have been a bad decision, but Paddon proved himself to be quick by staying in touch with the top four all the way through to the end and a fifth place finish, while Sordo faded to 8th with mechanical problems. Ott Tanak was the next best, finishing sixth, but with a lackluster opening day, he finished the event more than 40 seconds adrift of Paddon. As was blogged late last week but before the deadline, Mads Osberg did not race due to cracking two ribs in a recce accident, so no points for picking him.

Moto GP was in Italy and a mid-race heavy rain shower mixed things up considerably. Most riders went in for a new bike with wet tires, and after the shower had gone and the track started to dry, they had to come in again to go back to the slicks. The combination of good rain riding and the timing of the bike swaps proved to be key, with Marc Marquez doing both better than anyone and winning the race. Bradley Smith, Scott Redding, and Loriz Baz also excelled at both tasks, and duly took the next three positions. Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo left their second bike change too late, and rejoined the racing behind the top four. While Rossi then held fifth through the end, Lorenzo took a tumble on his first lap back on slicks, and that left him classified 23rd. Danilo Petrucci had a great ride on his non-factory Ducati to finish just behind Rossi and ahead of the next three factory riders who all suffered from bad timing of their bike swaps: Andrea Iannone in 7th, Andrea Dovizioso in 8th, and Daniel Pedrosa in 9th.

NASCAR had their final “regular” race of the year at Richmond. While there was some chance that some of the top 16 coming into the race would lose a spot to an “outsider”, all the drivers held firm and did enough to take a Chase spot. That made the event a bit of a sleeper, more so because Matt Kenseth looked like the dominant driver all night, and duly won. His teammate Kyle Busch finished second, and Joey Logano who started on pole, rounded out the top three. Brad Keselowski finished 8th, and Kevin Harvick had a poor race finishing 14th and a lap down.

Week34PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my twelfth win of the year with one tie. Solid picks in the WRC while the usually consistent Moto GP was thrown into chaos with the rain in Italy, made the difference. No changes in the standings, but Drewe took more points out of greased lightning with a combination of a strong result – missing out on the win by just 5 points – and greased lightning’s unfortunate pick of Mads Osberg, which he could not remedy in time …

Week34Standings

September 7, 2015

2015 Week 34

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:16 pm

Welcome to week 34 – three races this weekend. WRC is in Australia; Moto GP is at Misano in Italy; NASCAR has their final race before the “Chase” at the short track of Richmond in Virginia. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 33:

F1 Italy, NASCAR Darlington:

Week33Rslts

Lewis Hamilton won his 40th race as an F1 driver by winning in Monza, Italy, and he led from start to finish. There was initially some puzzle at the end when he was instructed by Mercedes to run as hard as possible, which he duly did, and so won by 25s. It then turned out that he started with under-inflated tires, possibly in violation of the rules, hence Mercedes fear he’d get a time penalty, and so should finish with as big a margin as possible. But in the end no penalty was incurred. His rival for the championship, teammate Nico Rosberg blew his engine with a few laps to go, so finished classified 17th. Sebastian Vettel was ahead of Rosberg at the time, so took a deserved second. Felipe Massa took the final podium spot. Kimi Raikkonen finished an impressive fourth, considering that he stalled his car at the start, and so had to recover from the back of the field. Sergio Perez in the Force India Mercedes also did a good job with a fifth place finish, and the only other driver to finish on the same lap as Hamilton. A lap behind, Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest, finishing 7th ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Marcus Ericsson, and Daniil Kvyat.

There were lots of wrecks at the NASCAR race at Darlington, but most were solo-car spins, and none were big wrecks. But it did make it a stop-and-start kind of race. Carl Edwards had the best car at the end, driving to a fairly easy win in the closing laps, after the final caution left eight laps to go under green. We had quite a wide variety of picks, but similar to the last time we were forced to pick NASCAR drivers, we were unexpectedly successful with Brad Keselowski 2nd, Deny Hamlin 3rd, Joey Logano 4th, Kevin Harvick 5th, and Kyle Busch 7th (behind brother Kurt). Only Jimmie Johnson in 19th and Matt Kenseth in 21st failed to deliver, with the former having a spin from which he didn’t recover, and the latter actually recovering from hitting the wall early in the race.

Week33PickRslts

Congratulations to Drewe and his fourth win of the year, and in dominant fashion – by a 30 point margin. Clearly it was his NASCAR picks of Edwards and Keselowki that made the difference. No change in the standings, but Greased Lightning’s hold on third gets cut significantly. I failed to note last week, but with Indycar finishing their season, congratulations to Greased Lightning who was the season-long winner of picking drivers from that series. Current standings …

Week33Standings

September 2, 2015

2015 Week 33

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 1:29 pm

Welcome to week 33 – two races this weekend. F1 is in Ferrari’s home country of Italy, at Monza; NASCAR is at Darlington for their penultimate regular season race before the Chase for the Cup. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 32:

Moto GP England, Indycar Sonoma, WEC Germany:

Week32Rslts

The British weather made a last minute appearance just before the start of the Moto GP race at Silverstone by raining during the warm up lap. With all the bikes coming in for wet weather tires, the start was delayed so that the grid could reform for a proper start. Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez showed themselves to be the masters of the rain by riding away from the rest of field, but when Marquez crashed (finishing classified in 21st) Rossi slowed and was almost caught by the best of the rest, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso, who battled all race long and finished second and third respectively behind Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo could only manage fourth place, ceding his lead in the championship back to Rossi. Dani Pedrosa was a lonely fifth. Our other pick, Andrea Iannone finished 8th.

At the Indycar finale in Sonoma Scott Dixon pretty much needed to win the race to stand any chance of taking the title, and even then he’d need Juan Pablo Montoya to do no better than sixth. Both happened. Dixon had such a good race that he finished more than six seconds clear of second place Ryan Hunter-Reay. For Montoya he was thwarted by an incident when teammate Will Power closed the door on Montoya’s passing attempt, causing damage to both cars, requiring an off cycle pit stop for both. From there Montoya could do no better than sixth, which was not good enough to win the championship. Power finished behind him in seventh. But it was a subdued victory for Dixon and the rest of the drivers, who remembered and celebrated in their press interviews the life of Justin Wilson which was sadly lost in the accident of last week.

At the Nurburgring the home team Porsche took a one-two victory in the WEC 6-hour race. The #17 driven by Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley, finished a lap clear of their teammate the #18 Porsche driven by Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas. For the #18 it was a closer finish over the next two cars, the two Audis, with the #7 (Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer) ahead of the #8 (Lucas Di Grassi, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis), with both finishing on the same lap as the Porsche. And keeping the two-by-two order intact, in fifth and sixth place where the two Toyotas, albeit more laps down, with the #1 (Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima) finishing ahead of the #2 (Alexander Wurz, Stephane Sarrazin, Mike Conway).

Week32PickRslts

Congratulations to me and my eleventh outright win of the year, with one tie, and breaking Sebastian’s string of three wins in a row. Avoiding Will Power seemed to make the difference. No changes in the standings, although Drewe continued to close the gap on Greased Lightning who made a welcome return to the game …

Week32Standings

August 24, 2015

2015 Week 32

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 4:00 am

Welcome to week 32 – three races this weekend. Moto GP visits Donington Park in the U.K.; Indycar is on the road course in Sonoma – formerly Sears Point; WEC is in Germany at the famous Nurburgring. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 31:

F1 Belgium, WRC Germany, NASCAR Bristol, Indycar Pocono, USCC VIR:

Week31Rslts

Mercedes got back to their winning ways at Spa-Francorchamps, after the hiccup of Hungary. Lewis Hamilton easily beating his teammate Nico Rosberg, after Rosberg had a poor start that saw him drop to fifth, from where he needed most of the rest of the race to get back to second. Sebastien Vettel looked like he’d take third place, thanks to a one pit-stop strategy, but that strategy proved too much for his tires, and he suffered tire failure right at the end of the race, resulting in a 12th place finish. That gave third place to Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen started well down the order – in 16th place, so did quite well to climb to 7th by the end.

For Volkswagen, their home round of the WRC, in Germany, was the only round they hadn’t won since entering the WRC. They corrected that blemish in style by sweeping the podium with Sebastien Ogier taking a comfortable win over his teammates, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen. As usual it was only Latvala that mounted any kind of threat to Ogier. As was the case last year, the Hyundais were strong, with Dani Sordo coming out ahead (in 4th) of his teammate Thierry Neuville (5th) in a close battle that went back and forth through to the end of the rally. Kris Meeke, as usual, crashed his Citroen, losing him lots of time and a 12th place finish. It is hard to see how Citroen will continue with him next year, since he doesn’t seem to be able to figure out how to avoid the crashes when striving for a top pace.

The NASCAR race at Bristol was a surprisingly timid affair, with very few crashes, somewhat unexpected on the tight and short track. The lead did change hands quite a few times as the teams managed to tweak their cars and find a bit of an edge for some portion of the race. Joey Logano was one of the most consistent from start to end, and that seems to have led to the payoff of the win. Kevin Harvick did get very close (literally) to Logano in the closing laps, which made for the most excitement of the evening, but ultimately could not claim the top spot, and had to settle for second.

It was an awful Indycar race at Pocono with many crashes and mechanical failures, leaving just 11 of the 24 cars that started, running at the end. The worst was when Sage Karam crashed and part of his car hit Justin Wilson. Wilson is critically injured and in a coma – let’s all hope for the best. Ryan Hunter-Reay won the event over Josef Newgarden, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Will Power.

It was just the GTLM and GTD cars at the USCC event at VIR, and Porsche took the first two spots with the #911 beating their teammate the #912. In third was the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari, which held second place for much the race, but lost out to the #912 Porsche after the last round of pit stops. The two BMWs finished 4th and 5th, with the #24 coming out ahead of the #25. They had different pit strategies, with three stops for the #24 versus two spots for the #25, but at the end it didn’t seem to make any difference. In sixth place, and the only other car to finish on the same lap as the winner, was the #3 Corvette Racing car.

Week31PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian and his seventh win of the year, and three in a row. As I was calculating the scores, in the order of the events shown above, Drewe was holding a commanding lead – until Sebastian’s USCC picks came through to trump both Drewe and iomracer; and overcome his WRC deficit caused by picking last year’s dominate car (Hyundai) over this year’s (VW).

Week31Standings

August 17, 2015

2015 Week 31

Filed under: Uncategorized — iomracer @ 2:04 am

Welcome to week 31 – five races this weekend. F1 visits Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium; WRC has one of their two asphalt events with Rally Deutschland; NASCAR is on the short-track at Bristol, Tennessee; Indycar is on the big oval of Pocono in Pennsylvania; USCC is at VIR in Virginia, but only the GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) cars. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.

Scores from week 30:

MotoGP Czech Republic, NASCAR Michigan:

Week30Rslts

Jorge Lorenzo won in easy fashion at the Moto GP event in Brno. That ties him with Valentino Rossi for the championship lead, after Rossi could do no better that third after a poor start. Between them was Marc Marquez which keeps his hopes for another championship alive. Rounding out the top five was Andrea Iannone and Danni Pedrosa. Unlike Rossi, Bradley Smith had a great start off the line, grabbing third place, but he couldn’t keep the others at bay, dropping to 7th at the end, just ahead of his teammate Pol Espargaro. The Aprilia’s of Alvero Bautista and Stefan Bradl did not have the pace of the other factory machines, leaving Bradl 14th just behind his teammate. Cal Crutchlow was in the top 10 when he crashed, leaving him classified 23rd.

NASCAR was at the big oval of Michigan where Matt Kenseth dominated the race, beating Kevin Harvick despite a late caution closing things up towards the end. Almost all our picks did well by NASCAR standards with Carl Edwards coming in 6th, Joey Logano 7th, Brad Keselowski 9th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10th, and Kyle Bush just outside the top 10 in 11th. Jimmie Johnson was the only one to languish down the order after a flat tire early on, an overshoot during a routine pit stop, and a late spin; he finished 39th.

Week30PickRslts

Congratulations to Sebastian, his 6th win of the year, two in a row, and the highest 2-event week score so far this year. He got 7 of the top 8 Moto GP riders, and did well in NASCAR too. That takes him back ahead of Greased Lightning who missed the week …

Week30Standings

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