Welcome to week 4. Two events this coming weekend: the Swedish WRC Rally; and the opening event for NASCAR, the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday at Daytona. In NASCAR the field for the Sprint Unlimited is set, so I have limited the picks in the website to help try and avoid any heartburn by picking a driver who wasn’t racing (which could still happen for unforeseen reasons). Please make your picks at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
February 9, 2016
February 1, 2016
Welcome to week 3. No racing this week weekend – just one of two times we have a weekend pass – the other one is toward the end of March.
Scores from week 2:
USCC 24-Hours of Daytona:
The Honda Ligier cars were the class of the field at the USCC 24-hour of Daytona race. For more than 9 hours the #60 Michael Shank car looked the strongest, but in the 10th hour their engine failed and that was that, a 50th place (non-scoring) finishing position. So it was the #2 Tequila Patron ESM Honda Ligier Prototype that ended up in victory lane, showing their speed by overtaking the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette with just under an hour and a half to go, and then holding the lead to win by 26s. The #90 Visit Florida Corvette was third and also finished on the same lap as the winner, so it was a good close race through to the end. Outside of the top-10, in 13th place, the defending champions in the #02 Ganassi Ford Riley had brake issues around half distance, and then suffered damage in a crash in the 21st hour. The #0 Delta Wing was notable for leading for 27 laps with Katherine Legge driving and becoming the first woman to lead the 24-hour race.
Congratulations to Sebastian for winning the week. Ok, he was the only entry, but since I had intended to (coincidently) pick the same lineup, it would have been another tie, so forgetting to post makes Sebastian’s win deserved.
January 25, 2016
Welcome to week 2 – just the USCC’s famous 24-hours of Daytona this weekend (originally mis-scheduled for week 1).
Scores from week 1:
WRC Monte Carlo:
Right from the onset it was a two horse race between reigning champion Sebastian Ogier and Abu-Dhabi Citroen driver Kris Meeke. They swapped the top place a number of times between the stages of Thursday night and into Saturday. But then bad luck struck Meeke when he hit a rock sticking out of the dirt, right in his cut-line, and he ripped off the gearbox guard and damaged the gearbox beyond repair. Jari-Matti Latvala went off the road in the same stage and damaged the suspension beyond repair, so he too was done. With no Rally 2 return between Saturday and Sunday, both were out, and no points for picking either. That left it an easy win for Ogier, by almost 2 minutes ahead of Volkswagen teammate Andreas Mikkelsen. Thierry Neuville gave Hyundai the final podium spot in their new for 2016 5-door Hyundai.
The Daytona 24-hour race was mis-scheduled for week 1, so none of the picks counted, hence the tie based on just the WRC results.
January 18, 2016
The 2016 Motor Racing Season is upon us!
First up, the WRC has the Monte Carlo Rally and the USCC has the Daytona 24-hour race.
I hope everyone can play this year, and I hope we get a chance to welcome new players.
Please make your picks at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
November 29, 2015
Thanks for playing the 2015 edition of “The Motor Racing Game”. Results below. Please mark your calendars for the start of the 2016 season – the WRC Monte Carlo Rally that starts on January 22nd, 2016 (picks due Thursday, January 21st).
Please visit any one of our pages for all the year’s results and stats:
The original, WordPress: https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/
The “picks” site: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml
Scores from week 45:
F1 Abu Dhabi:
Nico Rosberg made it three wins in a row when he won the F1 finale in Abu Dhabi. As with the prior two races, he led from start to finish with Lewis Hamilton following him across the line in the runner-up’s spot. The Ferraris were again the best of the rest, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettal. The Force India Mercedes also had a good race, with Sergio Perez taking fifth place and Nico Hulkenberg seventh, with Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull Renault between them. Felipe Massa was the top Williams Mercedes, finishing eighth, followed by the Lotus Mercedes of Romain Grosjean. The other Red Bull, driven by Daniil Kvyat was tenth. Valtteri Bottas was involved in a pit accident in which he came out of his pit box and hit Jenson Button. Bottas received a five second penalty for the incident, leaving him with a 13th place finish.
Congratulations to Sebastian and Drewe who tied for the win, giving Sebastian 9½ wins for the season, and Drewe 8 wins (7 outright wins and 2 ties). Their score of 224 was the highest this season for a single event weekend. Congratulations to me for winning the overall season, and getting the most points out of F1 for the year. Final standings…
November 24, 2015
Welcome to week 45 – just one race this weekend – the finale of F1 in Abu Dhabi – and the final week of the TheMotorRacingGame for this year. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 44:
NASCAR Homestead, WEC Bahrain:
The dream end to Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR career didn’t materialize as many had hoped, when a sixth place finish at Homestead left him behind two of the other Chase contenders. Those two finished first and second, but it wasn’t as close during the final seven-lap stint as the results make it appear. After the final caution, and with seven laps to run, Kyle Busch make a great restart and wasn’t challenged as he crossed the line, winner of the race, and winner of the Championship. Finishing second was contender Kevin Harvick, but he had to move a couple places through the field to get second, so never threatened Busch. The other Chase contender was Martin Truex Jr. who never really had the speed, and had to settle for 12th. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson filled the positions between Harvick and Gordon, with Keselowski leading much of the race, but having a poor restart at the end. Jimmie Johnson finished ninth after being penalized with a couple of pit pass-throughs for his jackman running into the car. That sounds strange, but apparently NASCAR warned the teams before the event that they would be penalizing that kind of action, after they determined that it could be a tactic to change the side-aerodynamics of the car to the driver’s advantage. Carl Edwards finished the race just ahead of Truex, in eleventh place. Dale Earnhardt Jr. got caught up in a multi-car wreck and finished down in 40th place.
The WEC had their finale in Bahrain. It was won by the #18 Porsche in a close finish over the #7 Audi, both finishing on the same lap after six hours of racing. The two Toyotas took the next two positions, 3 laps behind the leading cars, with the #2 taking third ahead of the #1. Fifth was the #17 Porsche, nine laps down, but a great result considering they needed multiple garage trips to resolve hybrid and engine problems, and it was enough for the drivers, Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley, to win the championship. The #8 Audi also had mechanical problems, with brake failure, leaving them 11 laps down in sixth place. The #26 G-Drive Nissan was the winning LMP2 car, finishing 7th overall.
Congratulations to Drewe and his seventh win of the year with one tie. NASCAR picks of Busch and Keselowski did the trick. Drewe also took overall honors in NASCAR picks through the season. And in a sweep this week, Drewe also finished as best at picking WEC results. No changes in the standings…
November 16, 2015
Welcome to week 44 – two races this weekend, and just two weekends left including this one. NASCAR has their finale at Homestead in Miami; the WEC has their finale in Bahrain. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 43:
F1 Brazil, WRC Wales, NASCAR Arizona:
Nico Rosberg again beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the F1 Grand Prix in Brazil, with Hamilton making it seem like he’s lost interest in employing aggressive tactics to win now he’s World Champion. The Ferrari’s were the only other cars that could stay on the same lap as the Mercedes, with Sebastian Vettel finishing ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Valtteri Bottas had received a grid penalty which meant he started 7th, but on the start he immediately jumped to 5th, and stayed there through the end of the race. Felipe Massa cross the finishing line in 8th, but after the race F1 excluded him from the results due to one of his tires being too warm in pre-start checks, so no points if you picked him. It also promoted Daniel Ricciardo to an 11th place finish.
The finale of the WRC season in Wales was a rainy and muddy affair which threw some drivers off track, notable Jari-Matti Latvala who crashed out on Stage 2, then on Saturday broke a driveshaft to end that day. He came back on Sunday with multiple stage wins, but that was only good enough for a 51st place finish (no points). No problems for Sebastien Ogier though, who led from start to finish. In the championship there was a manufacturer’s battle for second between Citroen and Hyundai. Kris Meeke led the way to that second place for Citroen by finding the right balance of speed and protecting the second place he inherited from Latvala, and keeping it to the end. Andreas Mikkelsen saw his slim opportunity to take second in the driver’s championship have merit with Latvala’s problems, but a third place finish wasn’t enough, although a good result. The Hyundais of Dani Sordo and Haddon Paddon finished fourth and fifth respectively, which put the pressure on Mads Ostberg to finish well to seal second place for Citroen among the manufacturers. And Ostberg did enough for Citroen by finishing seventh behind Welshman Elfin Evans.
The NASCAR race in Phoenix was delayed from a Sunday afternoon race to a night race due to rain. It ran about two-thirds distance when the rain came again. There was some disagreement as to how long it was going to rain and if they’d be able to restart, but it was soon apparent that it was settled in, so Dale Earnhardt Jr. was declared the winner while the cars where lined up in the pit lane under the red flag. For two of the drivers it was a tough break. Joey Logano needed a win and was third in the lineup, with a strong performing car, when the race was called. Carl Edwards needed to get seven places ahead of Martin Truex Jr. to get into the Chase instead of him, but was only two places ahead when the race was ended. Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski also needed a win, but lying 7th and 9th respectively when the rain came, they didn’t look like they had the goods. So that leaves Kevin Harvick (2nd in the race), Kyle Busch (4th), Jeff Gordon (6th), and Martin Truex Jr. (14th) as the four that will contend for the Cup at Homestead next week.
Congratulations to me and my fifteenth win of the year with two ties. Solid picks in WRC was the difference. And congratulations to me for the highest score in WRC picks, although that’s “my” sport, so I had made a lot of picks there. No changes in the standings …
November 9, 2015
Welcome to week 43 – three races this weekend, and just three weekends left including this one. F1 moves south within the Americas to San Paulo in Brazil; WRC has their finale in the forests of Wales; and NASCAR has their penultimate race at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona, in which the final four will be decided for the Chase for the Cup in the finale the following week. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 42:
Moto GP Spain, NASCAR Texas:
As expected the harsh penalty given to Valentino Rossi two weeks ago for aggressive riding against Mark Marquez, was too much for the Italian to overcome at the Moto GP race in Spain. He made a go at it, starting at the back of the field and passing all but the top three by the finish. But with Jorge Lorenzo leading the race from start to finish, fourth for Rossi wasn’t enough, and Lorenzo was essentially given the championship by the officials and their penalty decision with Rossi. Behind Lorenzo the two Honda riders were the other two podium finishers, with Marquez taking second ahead of his teammate Daniel Pedrosa in third. Behind Rossi the two Tech 3 Yamahas of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith took fifth and sixth. Next was the first of the Ducatis with Andrea Dovizioso taking seventh. Andrea Iannone crashed early in the race while ninth, and was classified 26th and last at the end.
Eight drivers are left in the NASCAR Chase for the Cup, with seven of them battling for the win at Texas and a ticket into the final four. Jeff Gordon already is in that final four with a win last week, and so he only needed to cruise in Texas, and indeed stayed out of trouble and came home 9th. Six others finished in the top 10, but none of them could beat winner Jimmie Johnson, who is not a Chase contender. Brad Keselowski had the best shot at victory, and in leading 312 of 334 laps he looked mighty tough to beat. But Johnson came strong at the right time – at the end of the race – and with Keselowski hampered by having to hold the car in gear, he could not hold off Johnson, and so had to settle for second. With most of the rest of the contenders doing well, Keselowski is still in a hole and either needs to win next week, or see two other drivers perform badly for him to make it into the final four. For the same reason, despite Kurt Busch finishing seventh, he too will need a win next week, or lots of help from three drivers. Joey Logano is in the deepest hole after having a tire let go early in the race, and could do no better than a 40th place finish. After being crashed out of the race lead last week by Matt Kenseth, he now has no choice but to win next week in Phoenix to keep his title hopes alive. Beside Gordon, the other three at the top of the order are Kevin Harvick who finished third, Kyle Busch who finished fourth, and Martin Truex Jr. who finished eighth. Carl Edwards finished fifth and is fifth in points, so needs a good race himself next week, and one of those three to have a bad race in Phoenix (and not see Keselowski, Kurt Busch or Logano win) to get into the final four. Sandwiched among the Chase contenders was Dale Earnhardt Jr. who had a great race to come back from a lap down after a spin, and finish sixth.
Congratulations to Drewe and his sixth outright win of the year with one tie, and the highest score (335) for a two-race weekend so far this year. Getting a NASCAR one-two was what squeezed him ahead of Sebastian for the week win. With Moto GP over, congratulations to Sebastian who wound up the series pick-winner. No changes in the standings …
November 2, 2015
Welcome to week 42 – two races this weekend. Moto GP have their finale at Valencia in Spain, and the title will be decided between team mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo; NASCAR goes to the Intermediate track of Texas Motor Speedway for the second of the three races in the Eliminator round that will decide the four drivers who will vie for the Cup in the final race. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 41:
F1 Mexico, NASCAR Martinsville, WEC China:
After a season of fighting mostly against his teammate, Mercedes driver and World Champion Lewis Hamilton seemed more laid back, and did not fight to as hard in the first lap as he’d done in past races to take the lead, leaving Nico Rosberg to lead the race from start to finish, ahead of Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas managed to finish third despite being clobbered by Kimi Raikkonen, who broke his suspension in the impact and finished classified in 19th. Raikkonen’s Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel similarly had a coming together with another driver – Daniel Ricciardo – in the first lap which resulted in a puncture for Vettal; Vettel went on to have a spin, and then crashed out, finishing classified 18th. Ricciardo didn’t suffer too badly, and finished in fifth behind Daniil Kvat who at one point looked like he might have picked up third place but got passed by Bottas after the Vettal crash. Behind Ricciardo, Felipe Massa finished sixth.
NASCAR was at the short track in Martinsville and as usual there, there were lots of cautions from lots of minor wrecks, and controversy when Matt Kenseth seemed to deliberately crash out race leader Joey Logano while being lapped. There was some “history” between them, but it was a surprising move by Kenseth, and with Logano classified with a 37th place finish, he has an uphill battle to get into the final race as one of the final four. Jeff Gordon was up near the front all race, and once Logano was dispensed of, Gordon looked like the one to beat, but no one could, and Gordon gets the free pass into the final Cup race in Homestead in three weeks. Of the other Chase contenders, four others had good races, Carl Edwards had a so-so race finishing 14th, and two others had almost as bad a day as Logano. Those who had a good race included, Kyle Busch who finished 5th, Martin Truex Jr. who finished 6th, and Kevin Harvick who finished 8th. Those who had a bad race included, Brad Keselowski who came together with Kenseth earlier in the race and finished 32nd, and Kurt Busch who got ran into that same incident dooming him to a 34th place finish. Jimmie Johnson finished 12th.
The WEC has one more race to run, but Porsche secured the manufacturer’s title in Shanghai in conditions that started wet, and dried as the 6-hour event progressed. The #17 Porsche won the event ahead of their teammates in the #18. The two Audis also finished on the lead lap with the #7 finishing ahead of the #8. The two Toyotas were fifth and six but the #2 was four laps down, and the #1 finished 5 laps down.
Congratulations to Sebastian and his ninth win of the year. A clean sweep of WEC plus Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR were the winning picks. No changes in the standings …
Note: Sebastian’s score is +35 points due to his week 39 pick of Jimmie Johnson, which he made via WordPress comments (Johnson was not available in the picks-website dropdown choices), finishing 3rd. That entry was missed by the automated scoring system, and since Sebastian posted it prior to the deadline for that week, the pick and score has been manually added in this week.
October 26, 2015
Welcome to week 41 – three races this weekend. F1 is in Mexico City; NASCAR is at the short track in Martinsville, Virginia, for the first of the three races in the Eliminator round that will decide the four drivers who will vie for the Cup in the final race; WEC has their penultimate race of their season in Shanghai, China. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 40:
F1 Circuit of the Americas, WRC Spain, Moto GP Malaysia, NASCAR Talladega:
Still three rounds to go in F1, but victory at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas by Lewis Hamilton was enough to secure him the World Championship title. It wasn’t a slam-dunk for Hamilton though, with the lead swapping a number of times, primarily between Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, and Daniel Ricciardo. The final decisive move came late in the race when Rosberg ran wide while in the lead, and essentially gifted the lead and eventually the win to Hamilton. Rosberg held on to second, less than a second ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Ricciardo eventually got side-swiped by Nico Hilkenberg, which required a virtual safety car, and left Ricciardo down in 10th at the end of the race. Valtteri Botas had suspension issues and could not complete more than 5 laps, leaving him classified in 19th.
WRC was in Catalunya, Spain, for a mixed surface event. There were a number of different leaders and front-runners early on, including Robert Kubica who had the lead for a while, Ott Tanak who won a number of early stages, Jari-Matti Latvala, and of course Sebastien Ogier. But a slew of spins, crashes, and mechanical problems eventually sorted the top four as Ogier, Latvala, Andreas Mikkelsen, and Dani Sordo, with Ogier having a healthy lead of almost a minute over Latvala. But Mikkelsen wasn’t done and got ahead of Latvala for second and held a slim 1.6s advantage going into the final stage. Latvala was the third-to-last driver down that stage and set a blistering pace – 3.5s faster than Kris Meeke who had set the benchmark to that point. Next was Mikkelsen who went even faster, enabling him to hold on to second – at least that’s what he thought. Then while being interviewed at the finish line, the news came in that Ogier had crashed 4km from the end, and Mikkelsen had won his first WRC event in 64 tries. Ogier’s demise promoted Latvala into second, and Dani Sordo into third.
Dani Pedrosa won the Moto GP event in Malaysia over Jorge Lorenzo. But all the news was about Valentino Rossi, who finished third, and Marc Marquez. They were in a tight battle for third place early in the race, and after a series of back-and-forth passes between them, Rossi got to the inside of Marquez and then ran into him, causing him to crash and finish classified in 22nd. The race stewards investigated and handed Rossi a severe penalty for the final race of the year in Valencia – he is to start from the back of the field. With only 7 points between Rossi and Lorenzo in the championship, Rossi must finish no worse than on Lorenzo’s rear-tire to claim the title, and that now looks like a tall order. Back to Sepang, and Bradley Smith had a great race, coming from ninth on the grid to finish fourth behind Rossi. In fifth was Cal Crutchlow, and sixth Danilo Petrucci. The next two had a very close finish, with Aleix Espargaro seventh, just 0.146s ahead of Maverick Vinales. Our other pick, Andrea Iannone, had mechanical problems and retired, classified in 24th.
In NASCAR four more drivers were eliminated from the Chase leaving eight. Joey Logano won the Talladega event, sweeping the Contender round and leaving the other 11 to scramble for the 7 remaining spots on points. For Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr., their misfortunes in the earlier two races of the round meant they had to win at Talladega to advance. Dale almost did, finishing alongside, but just behind Logano when the race was called due to a pile-up just as the last lap started. Kenseth had no chance, being caught up in that final wreck, and hence finishing a lowly 26th. Ryan Newman was on the bubble going into this event, and a 12th place finish was not good enough to keep him from being eliminated. Denny Hamlin looked secure in the top third of the Chase order going into Talladega, but the seemingly silly problem of a flapping roof vent that couldn’t be secured, meant multiple trips to the pits, and he ended up 4 laps down in 37th place, and out of the Chase. So the eight drivers left in the Chase are: Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch.
Congratulations to Sebastian and his eighth win of the year. Clearly the key picks were Mikkelsen in WRC and Pedrosa in Moto GP. No changes in the standings…