This Weekend In Motorsport: Edwards-Keselowski II

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


    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!

Source: Autosport (1) (2) (3) (4)| NASCAR Photo Credit: ESPN (1) (2) (3)| WRC Photo Credit: ESPN

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