Welcome to week 43 – three races this weekend, and just three weekends left including this one. F1 moves south within the America’s to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Brazil; MotoGP has their finale in Spain; and NASCAR has their penultimate race at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona. Sebastian has the guide for your picks at https://themotorracinggame.wordpress.com/2014-week-forty-three-guide-and-links/. Picks can be made at: http://www.roadracetracks.com/motorracinggame.shtml.
Scores from week 42:
F1 USA, NASCAR Texas, WEC China:
Lewis Hamilton won the F1 Grand Prix in Austin, his fifth victory in a row, and 32nd win of his career – more than any other British driver. He started behind his team mate, Nico Rosberg, and had to wait until switching to medium compound tires before getting around him and on to win the race. Rosberg finished in a comfortable second, 25s ahead of third place driver, Daniel Ricciardo. The Williams cars of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were fifth and sixth, more than a minute ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel who started from the pit lane.
Jimmie Johnson looked like the strongest driver throughout the NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway, and so deservedly took the win. Jeff Gordon looked like the next strongest, and most likely to take victory other than Johnson, but collided with Brad Keselowski on the first green-white-checker, leaving Gordon in a lowly 29th while Keselowski finished 3rd, just behind Kevin Harvick. Gordon was not happy, although it did not look like the on track incident was Keselowski’s fault, and the two of them got bloodied up in a big pit brawl after the race. Our only pick, Joey Logano had pit problems towards the end of the race, and finished 12th. One more race – at PIR next week – decides which four drivers go into the final race as contenders for the title. After Texas none of the remaining Chase contenders has a win in this current round of the Chase, so right now the top four in points are in the best position to move on, and they are: Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, and Jeff Gordon. But it is close with Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards just one point behind Gordon, and Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick a further five and six point back respectively. So expect another intense battle in Phoenix.
Toyota dominated the WEC race in Shanghai in China – the only two cars to finish on the lead lap – with the # 8 besting the #7. The #14 Porsche battled out the race with the two Audis, with the Porsche taking third spot, and the #2 Audi finishing fourth ahead of the #1 Audi. In sixth was the #20 Porsche, and seventh the #12 Rebellion.
Congratulations to Drewe and his seventh win of the year. Getting the top 6 in F1, and 4 out of the top 5 in WEC, gave Drewe the highest score for a 3-event weekend so far this year. It also makes Drewe a little more comfortable in third place in the standings, but with three weekends still to go anything can happen…