Welcome to week 36 – two races this weekend. Moto GP is at Aragon in Spain, and 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, Indycar Sonoma, WEC and USCC Circuit of the Americas:
Nico Rosberg lead from start to finish at the F1 race in Singapore, but it was a close one at the end. With problems with the brake temperatures on Rosberg’s Mercedes and wearing tires, Daniel Ricciardo who was well behind going into the last third of the race, started closing on Rosberg rapidly. But he ran out of laps, finishing just 0.4s behind when the checkered flag flew. Lewis Hamilton had the same brake issues on his car, which meant that Kimi Raikkonen was able to launch a serious challenge for third; but wearing tires on Raikkonen’s Ferrari meant that he couldn’t keep up the pressure so had to settle for fourth behind Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel won the award for hard-charger when he finished fifth after starting at the very back of the grid.
The first race of the NASCAR “playoffs” at Chicagoland Raceway was won by Martin Truex Jr. All of the Chase contenders finished in the top 20 with the exception of Chris Buescher who was 28th. That means the Chase is still wide open after the first of three “Challenger” races.
The Indycar race at Sonoma (Sears Point) was the finale for the series with only Will Power and Simon Pagenaud in contention for the championship. Power was out of it before they got to half-way, when he suffered with a gearbox problem (he finished in 20th place). But Pagenaud made no doubt of the Championship outcome by winning the race and hence the title. Grahal Rahal was the only one close to Pagenaud at the end – 3.3s adrift in second place. Juan Pablo Montoya, who hasn’t secured a drive for next year yet, took the final podium position.
At the WEC race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the three major manufacturer teams all took a place on the podium. On the first step was the #1 Porsche who finished with a 23.6s gap over the #8 Audi, who in turn were 2.5s ahead of the third place #6 Toyota. They were the only three cars to finish on the lead lap. The team cars of those top three took the next three positions with the #2 Porsche one lap down in fourth place, the #5 Toyota two laps down in fifth place, and the #7 Audi six laps down in sixth place. The #13 Rebellion was the first of the non-manufacturer cars, 12 laps down in seventh place.
USCC was also at the Circuit of the Americas and was won by the #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette by a skinny 1.4s (after 2 hours 40 minutes of racing) over the #31 Action Express Corvette. The #5 Action Express finished third, and the #70 Mazda was the only other finisher on the lead lap, in fourth place.
Congratulations to Sebastian with the biggest weekly score of the year so far, and his sixteenth win of the year. Iomracer’s pick of Will Power was a significant hit, and closed the gap a bit in the season-long standings …