INTERNATIONAL WRAP: SPA 24 HOUR & AUSSIES OVERSEAS
SPA 24 HOUR – BLANCPAIN GT SERIES
Audi took out the win in the Spa 24 Hours over the weekend, over Bentley and Mercedes.
The No. 25 Audi of Christopher Haase, Jules Gounon and Markus Winkelhock cross the line with a comfortable eleven second margin over the No. 8 Bentley of Maxime Soulet, Vincent Abril and Andy Soucek.
Mercedes AMG had been contention for the win in the in the final hours of the race with the No. 90 of Edoardo Mortara, Michael Meadows and Raffaele Marciello leading, but a strategic blunder saw them stuck in the pits with a length stop, due to maximum driver times, dropping them down to third.
Ferrari lead the 63 car field from the start of the race with the No. 55 entry of Giancarlo Fisichella, Marco Cioci and James Calado battling with the No. 63 Lamborghini of Mirko Bortolotti, Christian Engelhart and Andrea Caldarelli for the lead past the halfway point of the race.
The No. 55 Ferrari then crashed out after contact with No. 90 Mercedes 14 hours into the race. Shortly after the No. 63 Lamborghini suffered a similar fate, crashing out after brake issues.
The race featured several other big crashes. The first of which was the No. 50. Ferrari of Pasin Lathouras, Michele Rugolo and Alessandro Pier Guidi, crashing out in spectacular fashion at the top of the Raidillon, Thai driver Lathouras who was behind the wheel at the time, walked away from the incident.
The same could not be said for the crash between the No. 77 Lamborghini and the No. 11 Ferrari when they collided at Stavelot corner. The Lamborghini burst into flames and Adrian Amstutz, who was behind the wheel of the Huracan at the time was taken to hospital and treated for second-degree burns and a broken rib. The Ferrari driver, Matteo Cressoni, was also transferred to hospital for a check-up.
Aussie Matt Simmons kept out of trouble to bring his Nissan NISMO GT3 (that he shared with Matt Parry and Struan Moore) home in 30th place outright.
WRC – RALLY FINLAND – ROUND 9
Esapekka Lappi took his first WRC win in Finland over the weekend.
The Toyota driver put on a stunning performance topping 9 of the 25 stages, while the championship leaders struggled, to claim the win with a 36 second lead over M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans.
Championship leader Sebastien Ogier crashed out of the opening day of the rally. Even though the car was able to be repaired, Ogier’s co-driver Julien Ingrassia was shaken up by the accident and didn’t feel well enough to continue.
Early day two rally leader, Jari-Matti Latvala was swapping stage wins with Lappi until he suffered electrical issues with his Toyota, dropping him out of contention.
Ott Tanak, who was also in contention early, lost a lot of time due to a puncture. Dropping over a minute to put him behind Hyundai’s championship contender Thierry Neuville, who struggled all weekend.
Kiwi, Hayden Paddon struck a rock early in the event. The rock damaged his suspension, ruining his chance of result, before further issues took him out of the rally.
Ogier and Neuville now sit equal on 160 points to lead the championship. Tanak trails by 41 points.
INDYCAR – MID OHIO – ROUND 13
Josef Newgarden has taken back to back wins, dominating this mornings race at Mid Ohio.
The Team Penske driver led 73 of the 90 laps to take out the win ahead of teammate, Will Power. The win moved Newgarden into the championship lead, with championship leaders Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon struggling and finishing seventh and ninth.
Aussie, Power, started the race from pole and lead the first 13 laps, before Newgarden pulled off a daring pass to steal the lead, the two continued to swap the lead a couple time during the pit stop cycles.
The race had one caution interruption when Ed Jones spun on lap 67.
FORMULA E – MONTREAL – ROUND 11 & 12
Championship Victory celebrations for Lucas di Grassi, after Round 12.
NASCAR – POCONO – ROUND 21
Kyle Busch ended his year long win-less streak to claim the victory at the famous tri-oval, Pocono.
Busch benefited from great call by his crew chief on the final stop to charge through the field in the closing stages of the race. Crossing the line 6 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick.
“We didn’t really outsmart anyone today. We just kind of played our race and our own strategy and thought about it a little differently than others, and it worked out for us.” said Busch in victory lane.
Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.
Warwick’s (Queensland), Matt Campbell’s had tough weekend at the Hungaroring, in support of the F1 Grand Prix. Due to start from fifth, the young Aussie had to pull into the pits with a clutch issue on the warm up lap. He did start the race, from pitlane, and charged his way from the back of the field to finish 19th.
SUZUKA 8 HOUR
Josh Hook lead home a strong contingent of Aussies in the Suzuka 8 Hour over the weekend. Hook took out a the final spot on the outright podium ahead of Aussie MotoGP star Jack Miller who was fourth. Both riders racing on Honda bikes.
Broc Parkes (Yamaha) finished fifth, Josh Brookes (Suzuki) 7th, Josh Waters 9th, Jason Mark O’Halloran and Jamie Stauffer 10th, Alex Cudlin 23rd, Damian Cudlin 42nd, Mark Aitchison 46th, Anthony West 51st (6th in class).
EUROPEAN FORMULA 3
Sydney’s, Joey Mawson, notched up a fifth and two tenth place in the three European Formula 3 races at Spa-Francorchamps.
The opening race saw Mawson push his way up from 11th on the grid to claim 5th place. The next two races were a little more challenging for Mawson, lengthy battles with Mick Schumacher and Harrison Newey held up his progress up the order to finish 10th in both.
Kalgoolie’s (WA) Anthony Martin won two of the three Pro Mazda races at Mid Ohio. A Commanding performance across the weekend saw him lead all three races, however lost the lead of the second race to Victor Franzoni, who challenged the young Aussie all weekend. The win see’s Martin now lead the Pro Mazda series by four points over Franzoni.
James Winslow, along with Mathias Beche took out the opening race win in the FRD LMP3 round at Shanghai Circuit in China. The two backed up that performance with a second place in the main race.
The other Aussies in the field had a mixed weekend. Greg Taylor earned a fourth and fifth in the two races. Josh Burdon a sixth and third. Garnet Patterson two 7th place finishes. Tim Macrow 8th in the opening race before improving to fourth in the second race.
Melbourne’s Oscar Piastri won two of the three F4 races at Snetterton Circuit. Piastri kicked off the weekend with a dominate performance in qualifying to claim two pole positions (Races 1 and 3). He then went on to continue that domination with convincing lights to flag wins in races 1 and 3.
Race two, the reverse grid race, wasn’t as easy for the you Aussie. While he climbed up a few places in the race, a lenghty safety car interruption halted his progress to finish seventh.
CIK-FIA EUROPPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Jack Doohan claimed the win in the final round of the CIK-FIA European Championship in Sweden over the weekend. Doohan took out three of his four qualifying heats to start the final from pole position. He then went on to lead all 21 laps of the final on a wet track to claim the win.
The victory elevated Doohan to third overall in the final Championship standings.
For a more detailed analysis of the weekends international motorsport, pick up the next issue of Auto Action Magazine, on sale Thursday. In the mean time make sure you follow Auto Action on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest updates.
Date posted: July 31, 2017