Hello everyone! Welcome to a brand new segment of The Blog of Cars known as This Weekend in Motorsport. I’ll be covering various forms of motorsport races each week until December. This first segment is a bit late due to some technical issues we encountered along the way, sorry about that.
Let’s get started south of the border. This weekend saw the WRC head down to Mexico for the 2nd round of the championship. This was the rally in which we saw the debut of Mr. Ken Block, who I’m sure most of you reading this will be familiar with. If not, check this out.
Anyhow, the rally began Friday with the rebirth of Petter Solberg. Solberg held the lead for all of the first day, holding off a strong charge from French youngster, Sebastien Ogier. However, on day two, the rally then took an almost predictable turn nowadays, with Sebastien Loeb taking the lead, and keeping it for the rest of the day. On the final day of Rally Mexico, it was evident that Ogier and Solberg weren’t going to stop fighting because Loeb had taken away the lead. But at the end of the day, Solberg defeated Ogier by just over 1 second to clinch 2nd place. Here are the point-scoring results for the rally. (Credit to Autosport)
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 3h42m41.7s 2. Petter Solberg Citroen + 24.2s 3. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 25.3s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 1m47.5s 5. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 2m15.1s 6. Henning Solberg Ford + 2m48.0s 7. Federico Villagra Ford + 10m13.4s 8. Xevi Pons Ford + 18m44.4s 9. Martin Prokop Ford + 19m02.0s 10. Armindo Araujo Mitsubishi + 21m32.5s
Other notable results, Matthew Wilson and Ken Block both crashed out on the same stage on Saturday. Block was surprised at the pace of his Ford Fiesta and often matched Wilson’s times before the two crashed out. Kimi Raikkonen failed to complete the rally again after suffering a bent steering arm on the 1st stage, then had to stop again for a problem with the fuel system, before crashing out 5 stages later. Moving on now to the opening round of the World Touring Car Championship which took place in Curitiba, Brazil. The first race began with 2 safety car laps because of a downpour of rain that occurred a half-hour before the event began. After this though, the race went underway. The wet conditions certainly made it tough, but Frenchman Yvan Muller pulled out the 1st race victory followed by teammates Rob Huff and Alain Menu in the Team Chevrolet Cruze’s. Full results courtesy of Autosport.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 26m57.181s 2. Rob Huff Chevrolet +1.053 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet +5.582 4. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT +7.136 5. Andy Priaulx BMW +11.625 6. Augusto Farfus BMW +12.098 7. Jordi Gene SEAT +14.379 8. Tom Coronel SEAT +14.647 9. Fredy Barth SEAT +18.773 10. Norbert Michelisz SEAT +20.359 11. Tiago Monteiro SEAT +21.691 12. Michel Nykjaer SEAT +22.645 13. Sergio Hernandez BMW +34.973 14. Franz Engstler BMW +38.092 15. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet +44.692 16. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet +50.005 17. Stefano D'Aste BMW +50.742 18. Mehdi Bennani BMW 1:20.825 Retirements Andrey Romanov BMW 5 laps Fastest lap, Huff 1m33.904s
For the 2nd race, Dutchman Tom Coronel was on pole, but was taken out due to some contact from Rob Huff. This allowed Jordi Gene to sneak by into the lead. Andy Priaulx also crashed out on the first lap due to contact from reigning WTCC Driver’s Champion, Gabriele Tarquini. The two SEATs of Tarquini and Gene were to pull out a commanding lead on the field. At the end of the day, Tarquini finished first with Gene coming in 2nd only by about a second, while Alain Menu came in 3rd after about another 5 seconds.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 20m13.311s 2. Jordi Gene SEAT +1.276 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet +5.407 4. Yvan Muller Chevrolet +5.985 5. Rob Huff Chevrolet +8.295 6. Augusto Farfus BMW +8.596 7. Tiago Monteiro SEAT +10.419 8. Michel Nykjaer SEAT +11.808 9. Norbert Michelisz SEAT +17.576 10. Sergio Hernandez BMW +24.244 11. Franz Engstler BMW +24.643 12. Mehdi Bennani BMW +30.072 13. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet +30.923 14. Fredy Barth SEAT +39.780 15. Stefano D'Aste BMW +40.328 16. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet +40.481 Not classified Tom Coronel SEAT 1 lap Andy Priaulx BMW 0 laps Andrei Romanov BMW DNS Fastest lap, Tarquini 1m25.803s
It’s now time to cover everyone’s favourite oval racing series, (Okay, maybe not everyone) NASCAR! The guys were down in Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500. The race started with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on pole position for the race. That would only be the start of the headlines though. Toward the end of the race, Dodge driver Brad Keselowski was in the top ten. Keselowski passed Carl Edwards, who was multiple laps down. On the front straight, Carl Edwards intentionally hit the Dodge on the left rear, sending the car into a spin. This spin then became very dangerous, as the car flipped over into the air, nearly colliding with the fence, before coming down and rolling again off of the wall. You can see video of the incident here.
“It could have killed somebody in the grandstands,” Keselowski said about the incident. “I know that’s a little ironic that it’s got me saying that, but at least I didn’t do it intentionally when it happened. It will be interesting to see how NASCAR reacts to it. They have the ball. If they’re going to allow people to intentionally wreck each other at tracks this fast, we will hurt someone either in the cars or in the grandstands.”
Last year, Keselowski won his first Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway due to a controversial finish involving Edwards. Keselowski hit Edwards on the final straight, sending Edwards airborne and causing him to crash into the fence, injuring someone in the grandstands. Later on after this incident, Carl Edwards openly admitted he intentionally crashed Keselowski. After the event and having talked with NASCAR officials, Edwards commented his reasoning for the accident on his Facebook page.
“My options,” he wrote. “Considering that Brad wrecks me with no regard for anyone’s safety or hard work, should I: A) Keep letting him wreck me? B) Confront him after the race? C) Wait till Bristol and collect other cars? or D) Take care of it now?
“I want to be clear that I was surprised at his flight and very relieved when he walked away. Every person has to decide what code they want to live by and hopefully this explains mine.”
Oh yeah, this was a race! Kurt Busch was the winner of the Kobalt Tools 500 despite seemingly getting no attention due to Edwards-Keselowski II, as I shall now call it.
Pos Driver Car Laps 1. Kurt Busch Dodge 341 2. Matt Kenseth Ford 341 3. Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet 341 4. Kasey Kahne Ford 341 5. Paul Menard Ford 341 6. AJ Allmendinger Ford 341 7. Brian Vickers Toyota 341 8. Greg Biffle Ford 341 9. Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 341 10. Scott Speed Toyota 341 11. Marcos Ambrose Toyota 341 12. Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 341 13. Tony Stewart Chevrolet 341 14. Regan Smith Chevrolet 341 15. Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 341 16. Bill Elliott Ford 341 17. Ryan Newman Chevrolet 341 18. Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 341 19. Elliott Sadler Ford 341 20. Jeff Burton Chevrolet 341 21. Denny Hamlin Toyota 341 22. Bobby Labonte Chevrolet 341 23. Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 341 24. Mike Bliss Chevrolet 341 25. Kyle Busch Toyota 341 26. David Gilliland Ford 341 27. Martin Truex Jr Toyota 341 28. Sam Hornish Jr Dodge 340 29. Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 340 30. Travis Kvapil Ford 339 31. Kevin Conway Ford 334 32. Boris Said Ford 333 33. Mark Martin Chevrolet 331 34. Max Papis Toyota 329 35. Joey Logano Toyota 323 36. Brad Keselowski Dodge 322 37. David Ragan Ford 211 38. Joe Nemechek Toyota 175 39. Carl Edwards Ford 170 40. David Reutimann Toyota 167 41. Dave Blaney Toyota 48 42. Michael McDowell Toyota 37 43. Robby Gordon Toyota 3
Well that wraps one hectic weekend of racing. I’ll see you guys next week to cover the first Formula 1 Grand Prix of the season!