Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Midweek preview time

Formula 1 visits France sans Juan Pablo Montoya, so Pedro de la Rosa gets another go. I hope he enjoys it because in two weeks time we should expect to see either Lewis Hamilton or Gary Paffett in that seat. That would be great for British motor racing, and might convince me to watch another F1 race. After the string of Alonso victories I'm just too bored to watch anymore.

For the final MotoGP race before we get to see them in the flesh at Laguna Seca, the circus visits the Sachsenring in Germany. It's such an odd circuit, but makes for some tasty racing (think back to Sete Gibernau's last corner pass on Valentino back in 2003). If all goes according to plan, Colin Edwards will get his first MotoGP win, and Nicky Hayden will gather more points than Dani Pedrosa. What would suck would be another Colin Edwards 9th place run, Nicky Hayden crashing out and Rossi, Pedrosa and Melandri on the podium. Whatever happens, Nicky is guaranteed to arrive at Laguna with the championship lead, which can't be bad.

Both Le Mans series are racing this weekend, at Nurburgring in Germany and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The LMS is certainly the more wide-open series, despite the relative dominance of the Pescarolo team thus far. An added bonus is that the Zytek will be running with some top-shelf drivers, Stefan Johanssen and Hideki Noda, and although it probably won't challenge for the win, should be good for another podium. In GT1, we'll see whether the Oreca Saleens will continue to be dominant - if so, they can expect handicapping, similar to what happened to Zakspeed Saleen in FIA GT.

Over here, the ALMS continues to suffer with smallish grids. Despite a couple of new arrivals this time, the accident between the BK Mazda and one of the Risi Ferraris at Lime Rock has prevented both cars from racing at Miller. It looks like we can only really expect decent grids at Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca (which isn't too bad for those of us living near either track!).

Back in the homeland, the British Superbikes and British Touring Cars are both racing this weekend. What this means is that I need to get my ass in gear and watch the last round of the BTCC. In BSB, despite an air of dominance from Greg Lavilla, it's still tremendously close racing, and there's no doubt that these guys are really, really serious. For me, Leon Haslam has to be the star. In the tradition of Chris Walker, he's a Brit who is visibly aggressive on the bike and never, ever gives up. He deserves a win, and hopefully he'll get it this weekend.

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