Welcome to week 14 – three races this week. WRC resumes after a 6-week break with Rally Argentina; NASCAR is at another short-track, this time Richmond in Virginia; and Indycar goes to Alabama and the Barber road course. Sebastian has the links you need to make your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2015-week-fourteen-guide-and-links/. Please make your picks at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 13:
F1 Bahrain, MotoGP Argentina, NASCAR Bristol, Indycar Long Beach, USCC Long Beach:
Lewis Hamilton started on pole and got to turn one first and never looked back on his way to the F1 win in Bahrain. The rest of the positions were more interesting. The two Ferraris squeezed Nico Rosberg out of the top three at the first corner, immediately putting him at a disadvantage, although he eventually got around them both. Pit stops then made a big difference. The two Ferraris opted for different strategies, with Raikkonen’s working out best as he made the most of his tires while on track. With some minor errors by Rosberg, Raikkenen was finally rewarded with a deserved second place at the end, just ahead of Rosberg. Sebastian Vettal had a number of minor issues, including damaging his front wing which resulted in an additional pit stop and demoted him to a fifth place finish behind Valterri Bottas.
Marc Marquez took off from the pole in the MotoGP in Argentina and dominated most of the race. But he was helped by taking hard tires versus the super-hard tires that the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo took. Marquez’s softer tires let him get a big lead, but then the tires started to wear, and badly, and Rossi started catching him. With two laps to go Rossi was on his back tire, and within a few corners was trying to get around. Marquez was aggressive trying to hold off Rossi and they touched, and then Marquez basically ran into Rossi back tire and down he went. It gave Rossi the comfortable win over Andrea Doviziosi. Cal Crutchlow made a final corner pass around Andrea Ionnone to grab the final podium spot. Jorge Lorenzo finished fifth. Marquez’s retirement classified him in a 24th place finish.
Matt Kenseth won a nearly 9 hour NASCAR race at Bristol. Rain delays were the main cause for the long event but there were also lots of cautions. At the end, which included back-to-back cautions leading into a green-white-checkered, which itself was again delayed by a rain shower, Kenseth held the number one spot for the win over Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Joey Logano fininshed 40th place after being collected by his teammate Brad Keselowski early in the race, and just before the first of the rain delays came.
A surprisingly timid street race around Long Beach for the Indycars, with Scott Dixon taking a seemingly easy victory over Helio Castroneves. Third place was a little more exciting with Juan Pablo Montoya getting the final podium position over Simon Pagenaud. Will Power’s chances were doomed in the pit lane – Luca Filippi stalled at the pit entry, and then Power stalled too while trying to get around him. That dropped Power well down the order and a 20th place finish.
It was a close race at the USCC event around the streets of Long Beach, perhaps not surprising considering it was a short “endurance” race at just 1 hour 40 minutes. The #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette led most the race and crossed the line 3 seconds ahead of the #01 Ganassi Racing Ford Riley. A bit further back the #90 Visit Florida Corvette finished 3 seconds ahead of the fourth place #31 Action Express Corvette. The #5 Action Express Corvette, in 5th place, was the final car on the same lap as the winner.
Congratulations to me and my third win of the year. Staying away from Indycar and NASCAR looked to be the way to go, with me getting the edge over Sebastian with my #90 VisitFlorida USCC pick. Sebastian’s second place moves him ahead of Drewe and into third place in the standings …