Porsche profits from Toyota's misery at Le Mans; Rosberg wins in Baku
Another busy racing weekend is behind and here is the recap of the action, with Le Mans 23 Hours and F1 European Grand Prix as the highlights.
Porsche picked up a gift late in the race
Toyota was on the way to finally conquer Le Mans but lost a victory very late in the race. After many unsuccessful tries, the Japanese manufacturer finally was close to winning the race, but in penultimate lap #5 car had a mechanical failure and stopped in front of start/finish line. Porsche car #2 took the opportunity to win the race what was a second straight win for the German team at Circuit de la Sarthe.
Toyota’s car #6 led throughout the night and later battled with Porsche’s #2 while in a meantime reigning World Endurance Championship title winners Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in Porsche’s #1 car retired from the race due to water pump failure.
In the second half of the race, Toyota and Porsche changed at the top many times but the Japanese team with the drivers Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima in the late stage were faster and had opened the way to victory. Celebration in the Toyota’s garage almost started when Nakajima in the penultimate lap complained about the lack of power before stopping the car on the track.
Video – Toyota’s fail at Le Mans
Porsche with the drivers line-up of Romain Dumas, Marc Lieb, and Neel Jani took an opportunity to take a lead and surprisingly take the victory, 19th for the German manufacturer. Toyota Gazoo Racing’s car #6 with Mike Conway, Stephane Sarrazin, and Kamui Kobayashi finished at second place while Audi Sport Team Joest’s car #8, with Oliver Jarvis, Lucas di Grassi and Loic Duval, completed the podium finishing 12 laps behind the winning team.
In LMP2 class, the winner is Signatech Alpine #36 (Gustavo Menezes, Nicolas Lapierre, Stephane Richelmi), LMGTE-Pro class is won by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ford #68 (Joey Hand, Dirk Muller, Sebastien Bourdais) while LMGTE-Am class winner is Scuderia Corsa’s Ferrari 458 Italia #62 (Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal).
Rosberg in dominant way wins inaugural Formula 1 race in Baku
For the first time, Formula 1 race was held at the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. The 2016 European Grand Prix was one of the best races this year so far and ended with the victory of Nico Rosberg. Mercedes’ driver managed to get back on the winning track after a couple of races and scored the fifth victory this season to strengthen his lead.
He led from the start of the race and his lead was never really put under threat. Sebastian Vettel finished second. The Ferrari driver early in the race managed to overtake Daniel Ricciardo but Rosberg was uncatchable for the former champion. The battle for the third position was probably the most interesting in this race. Force India’s Sergio Perez overtook Kimi Raikkonen in the last lap and he absolutely deserved podium as he was excellent throughout the whole weekend.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has started from 10th place and at the end he was fifth. He quickly moved up through the grid but couldn’t go further. Valtteri Bottas was sixth in Baku while remaining points were scored by Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa.
Nico Rosberg tops overall standings with 141 points, Hamilton and Vettel are sharing second place with 96 while Raikkonen is 15 points behind them in fourth place. Next race is Austrian Grand Prix at Red Bull Rin, on 3rd of July.
Hornish Jr. Surprises at Iowa Speedway, teenager Byron continues winning streak
Iowa Speedway was the host of two NASCAR racing events. In the center of attention was Xfinity Series race which was won by Sam Hornish Jr. After almost seven months of absence, he managed to win American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen race. Hornish Jr was called by Joe Gibbs Racing last week to replace injured Matt Tifft and scored fourth Xfinity Series victory in his career. Ty Dillon finished second while Brad Keselowski took third place.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Iowa Speedway was won by William Byron what is his second consecutive win in the series. Driving the No. 9 Liberty University Toyota Tundra,teenager rookie in a two-lap shootout fended off challengers Cole Custer and Cameron Hayley for his third career victory from only nine starts.
Homola and Oriola triumphant at Oschersleben
The sixth round of TCR International Series was held at Oschersleben in Germany. After two exciting races, the situation at the top of the standings became quite interesting as Pepe Oriola and James Nash are sharing leading position with 145 points, only four ahead of Mato Homola.
Dusan Borkovic had pole position at Oschersleben, but he couldn’t grab his maiden win in the series. In the first race, he made a couple of mistakes to allow his teammate Mato Homola to take a lead and clinch first win in 2016. Borkovic had to settle with second after overtaking James Nash on the last lap, so the Brit was third.
Second race has won Pepe Oriola who returned on the winning track after a couple of months. The Spaniard earned his third win this year while Borkovic and Nash encored their results from the first race.
V8 Supercars: Thrilling races in Darwin, Holdsworth injured in crash
The sixth round of the International V8 Supercars Championship was held at the Hidden Valley Raceway. Michael Caruso won the first race and scored the third victory in his V8 Supercars career. Nissan Motorsport’s driver was faster than championship leader Jamie Whincup while Chaz Mostert finished at third place in the first race.
The second race in Darwin was a bit chaotic. Many cars were involved in the accidents during the first lap of the race and were forced to retire while Holden driver Lee Holdsworth was sent to the hospital after fracturing his pelvis and will be sidelined for a long. At the end, Shane van Gisbergen won the race in front of Tim Slade and Craig Lowndes.
After 13 races of the 2016 campaign, Whincup leads the overall standings with 1275 points. Lowndes is second with 1245 while Scott McLaughlin stands at third place with 1220 points. Next round of V8 International Supercars Championship will go on July 9-10 at Townsville Street Circuit.
BTCC: Wins for Turkington, Collard and Sutton at Croft
The first half of the British Touring Car Championship is completed with a three races of the fifth round at Croft circuit. Again we had three different race winners so the second half of the season should be very interesting.
Colin Turkington won the first race at Croft while Jason Plato completed maiden Subaru’s 1-2. Rookie Ashley Sutton of MG Racing finished at the third position. The winner of the second race is Robert Collard what is his second victory in 2016. He was 2.341s faster than Plato who again finished at the second place while Turkington took the third position.
Finally, in race 3 Sutton managed to score his maiden BTCC win, beating the championship leader Sam Tordoff by 1.337s while Tom Ingram completed the podium.
Double joy for Giovinazzi
Prema Racing’s driver Antonio Giovinazzi had a perfect weekend in Baku after he has won both GP2 Series races. The Italian rookie has won both races and moved up to third in the overall classification, behind Artem Markelov and Norman Nato.
In the feature race, Giovinazzi was faster than Sergey Sirotkin (ART Grand Prix) while Raffaele Marciello (Russian Time) finished third. In the sprint race, Giovinazzi finished first, 2.3s ahead of his teammate Pierre Gasly while Sirotkin was third and finally he has confirmed why he was considered as one of the title favorites before the start of the season.
Next round of GP2 Series is scheduled for July 2-3 at Red Bull Ring.
Puglisi triumphs in overture for Le Mans 24h
Ferrari Challenge Europe’s caravan arrived at Circuit de la Sarthe as a support for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Racing enthusiasts gave their best to the crowd before the world’s most prestigious racing event.
Marcello Puglisi won the action-packed first race on Saturday, securing his maiden triumph in the Trofeo Pirelli. Bjorn Grossman finished second in the class while Alessandro Vezzoni was third after David Gostner was penalized and dropped back to fourth. Sam Smeeth won the Pirelli-Am class while Vladimir Hladik was the fastest in the Copa Shell.