Welcome to week 22 – two races this weekend: F1 is in Baku City in Azerbaijan; and WEC hosts the 24 hours of Le Mans. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 21:
F1 Montreal, WRC Italy, NASCAR Michigan, Indycar Texas:
In the F1 race around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel by employing a one-stop pit strategy versus Vettel’s two-stop strategy. Third place finisher Valtteri Bottas also went with one stop. At the start of the race Vettel got around both Mercedes to lead the race into turn 1. Hamilton followed him on the inside of the track while Nico Rosberg tried an outside move which, upon contact with Hamilton, pushed him out into the grass, losing lots of places. The best he could do then was to spend the rest if the race scrambling to make up positions, eventually finishing 5th behind Max Verstappen. Kimi Raikkonen was also using the clearly inferior two-stop pit strategy, so finished 6th, and only just on the lead lap. Behind him, Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver to finish on the lead lap, in 7th.
As usual with the WRC Rally Italy, some big names had a disastrous event due to the tough conditions. Haddon Paddon was the first of the big names out, when he left the road at high speed and crushed the back of the car beyond repair. Mads Ostberg was doing quite well going into the last day, and even winning stage 12 on Saturday, but on Sunday he hit a rock and broke his suspension, and was out. No points for picking either driver. Andreas Mikkelsen also hit a rock and broke part of his suspension on Sunday, but he managed to struggle through to the finish and 13th place. At the pointy-end of the leaderboard, Thierry Neuville and Jari-Matti Latvala were in a class of their own. Neuville had the lead going into Saturday and didn’t relinquish it through Sunday, winning his 2nd ever WRC event, 25s ahead of Latvala. Sebastien Ogier was more than a minute further behind having spent the event sweeping the roads, but he was well ahead of Dani Sordo in 4th.
The NASCAR race in Michigan was won by Joey Logano, who also led the most laps in the race. As expected with a restrictor-plate race, it was a close finish with Chase Elliott less than a 1s behind in second, and Kyle Larson in third.
The Indycar race in Texas was washed out after rain on both the scheduled race day of Saturday, and then again on Sunday. It has been rescheduled for the week between the Pocono and Boston races (week 32 of TMRG). The cars did manage to get 71 of 248 laps in, and will resume with lap 72 on that late-August weekend in the order they stood when the red-flag came out: James Hinchcliffe in the lead, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mikhail Aleshin, Will Power, and Ed Carpenter. Scott Dixon was in 14th place, and Josef Newgarden was 22nd and last after a massive crash which resulted in him going to the hospital with a broken collarbone and a fracture in his right hand. Conor Daly was also involved in the crash, but walked away without injury. Newgarden will be allowed to resume at the race in August, but will start 35-laps down, which was how he was listed on the leaderboard at the stoppage. For TMRG, zero points will be scored this week (per rule 5i). Rule 5i provides a cancelled race as an example of a result not declared, but this is only an example, and postponement to a different week seems to be equally applicable as a “result is not declared” for this week. The resumed race in August will be added as an additional event for TMRG, and new picks may be made then, if desired.
Congratulations to iomracer and his eighth win of the year. Both players picked a non-scoring driver in WRC, and with no scores in Indycar, the winning pick came down to Bottas in F1 versus Latvala in WRC, with Latvala giving iomracer the win by finishing 2nd. No changes in positions in the year-long standings …