Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What happened to.....

Yes, yes, there's some racing I'd previewed but haven't commented on, so time for a catch-up session. Story of last weekend was rain, as it affected racing at Mondello, Brands Hatch and Infineon Raceway...

British Superbike: Rained out at Mondello Park. Enough said.

V8 Supercars: The Barbagallo round 10 days ago was nowhere near the crash-fest I predicted, as Steven Richards took the round win with strong showings by Mark Skaife, Mark Winterbottom and Garth Tander. My favourite driver, Greg Murphy, had another shocker of a weekend and now sits 19th (!!!) in the points.

WRC: Despite being the fastest out of the box, Marcus Gronholm once again retired, this time with an oil leak caused by a hidden rock. I firmly believe that in addition to being supremely talented, Seb Loeb is the luckiest man in racing. He hit the VERY SAME ROCK that Marcus hit, yet went on to win in Sardinia.

MotoGP: My prediction came true: Valentino Rossi was back on top at Le Mans. However, an engine failure forced him out of the race after he dominated all weekend. The top five places were filled by the top five in the championship: Hayden, Melandri, Capirossi, Stoner and Pedrosa.

US Rally Championship: A great run by American WRC entrant Wyeth Gubelmann bagged him the win in Washington. The event was said to be well-run with great roads and close competition.

World Touring Cars: Brands Hatch was absolutely SODDEN, in the wettest WTCC race yet. SEAT looked very dominant with sneaky Frenchman Yvan Muller getting the win in Race 1. Good strategy by BMW's Andy Priaulx put him on pole for race 2, and I was all set to write a post about how good he is until he threw it all away on cold tyres during a restart. As a result, Chevrolet got their first ever win in an FIA event with calm Swiss driver Alain Menu behind the wheel. Very entertaining stuff.

British Touring Cars: This was another event from two weekends back, and one that I didn't get a chance to see. Scottish madman Gordon Shedden managed to avoid taking himself or anyone else out (for a change) as he secured a win. Team-mate and defending champ Matt Neal got another one. Vauxhall's new guy and former multiple ETCC champ Fabrizio Giovanardi has started to show some pace too.

ALMS: Congrats to Porsche as they took their first official prototype win since the days of the 962 (technically the win at Le Mans in 1997 was under the Joest banner.) They also took second overall, and although questions remain as to reliability, as well as performance on faster tracks, it was great to see a new contender being successful in ALMS.

No comments: