Hammelj's Racing Roundup 10th-12th and 17th-20th of march

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Hammelj, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Hammelj


    This is purely done as a hobby and a recent one at that so I am looking for feedback.

    WRC and INDYCAR both had rounds this weekend. The WRC from Mexico saw Kris Meeke get his first win of the year despite a dramatic end to the rally. In St Petersburg, Florida Sebastian Bourdais led home a French 1-2 ahead of Simon Pagenaud. Next weekend sees us stay in America for the second race of the endurance triple crown. The Sebring 12 hours is well worth the watch. The Prototype class will hopefully see the BOP adjusted but even then, it is still really tight with the race decided by under a second. However, that is a long way from GTLM who had four makes in the top 4 and 7 cars on the same lap. GTD was very similar.


    Indycar-St Petersberg (race 1 of 17)

    Sebastian Bourdais managed an impressive win from last on the grid after a great drive and pit stops fell kindly for him and Pagenaud. Dixon after starting second had his stop work out less kindly but fought back to third. Hunter-Reay and Sato rounded out the top 5.

    There was a bit of a shock. Most people coming into the weekend were discounting the Honda-engined cars entirely. Also, many were expecting Penske domination, myself included. However, that was proven very much to be wrong. All three practice sessions had Hondas finishing top and in qualifying Dixon lead every session except the one that mattered. Will Power beat him to the pole position after a great lap in the fast 6. James Hinchcliffe slotted in behind the pair of them. Newgarden was the only other Chevrolet in the top 10. Sato started 5th in a departure from last year’s awful year for him and Foyt. The eventual race winner Bourdais didn’t set a time after he brought out the red flag in his first run.

    Off the line, James Hinchcliffe Jumped Dixon into second but Power went unchallenged. Turn 3 had proven to be a problem on the starts all weekend and this was not any exception. Kimball and Rahal made contact, spinning Rahal who stalled and breaking the front right on Kimball. Kimball ended up in the wall on the outside, unfortunately, collecting Carlos Munoz. Munoz returned to the pits and failed to finish due to later issues while Rahal and Kimball finished 2 and 5 laps down. This also brought out a full course caution until lap 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay came into the pits with an issue from the start but thanks to the safety car he didn’t lose a lap which was a massive help for his run to 4th.

    On the restart, James Hinchcliffe went around the outside of Power into turn 1 and looked as if he would dominate. For Will Power, things got worse fast. On lap 17, he came in for an early stop, a move that had he not copped a penalty for running over his air gun looks likely to have put him back in the lead. His weekend ended later with an engine issue though rounding off an unfortunate race for him.

    Lap 26 saw the second and final safety car midway through the stops, the entire top 7 lost out including Hinchcliffe, Dixon and Rossi who were all dropped back into traffic which some cleared better than others. The new leader was Pagenaud who after rising through the pack to 9th inherited the lead as the top 7 needed to stop. Another couple of winners from the yellow were Bourdais who rose to second Andretti and the sole rookie Ed Jones. The yellow came out due to debris. Kanaan’s rear having been tagged by the front wing of Aleshin.

    On the restart, Bourdais duelled with Pagenaud for first and while that happened Jones reached 3rd on lap 37. Bourdais made a move up the inside of turn 1 to take first, a position he would not relinquish for the rest of the race. Neither of the top 2 looked close to under threat for the rest of the race. From then on positions was largely decided by the stops which saw Scott Dixon rise to 3rd over 20 seconds off the lead pair. Hunter-Reay had a wonderful drive to 4th after having to pit on the start. Hinchcliffe despite his early pace only got back to 9th just ahead of Ed Jones.

    Get full results here

    WRC- Mexico (round 3 of 13)

    Kris Meeke earned his first win of the year in strong form. Ogier regained the championship lead with second and Neuville rounded out the podium. Tanak was over a minute behind ahead of Paddon. Latvala came home just ahead of team-mate Hanninen.

    The Friday morning run was cancelled after the cars were delayed getting back from Mexico city. In the afternoon Jari-Matti Latvala was first out. The run wasn’t that great as he had worse conditions to run on, an overheating engine and brake issues and never recovered. Hayden Paddon ran well initially getting up to 3rd but his engine also hit overheating problems and that dropped him out of contention. Meeke finished day 1 about 20 seconds ahead of Ogier

    On Saturday Neuville was driving safely, Ogier was pushing harder winning the opening stage but the next 2 went Meeke’s way meaning there was very little in terms of change. In the afternoon Dani Sordo suffered a puncture and the boot not being closed. Neuville also dropped time, he put on soft tyres expecting rain that never came. Ogier also made a mistake with a late spin in stage 13 meaning Meeke went into Sunday with a 30-second advantage.

    On Sunday, the rally ended dramatically. Meeke had a 37-second advantage but just about in sight of the end, he ran off the road. He had to wave around the car park to get back but made it to the line with 13 seconds to spare.

    Full results are here


    WeatherTech SportsCar Championship-12 hours of Sebring (round 2 of 12)

    We once again return to the ex-airport at Sebring. The track begins on one of the runways. Down the runway, we head to turn 1. It is not too hard on the brakes and is massively fast. Turn 2 is nothing more than a kink. Turn 3 is the first big braking zone, 4 and 5 don’t allow for much in terms of speed. 4 is another kink but 5 being a left-hand corner to lead on to 6. Big Bend, which leads you on to a not too long of a run to the hairpin which is likely to see a large part of the overtaking action. 8-13 make up a reasonably flowing section for the north edge of the track. Next up is a 90^o

    turn leading to a run down from the north to the south, ending at the le mans chicane which leads us back to the runways and for the far south edge, we have a 900-meter straight. At the end of that is a kink on to sunset bend which takes the track round 180^o

    to the pit straight. The track is a tricky one. It appears flat but the bumps make it far from it and they can unsettle any car.

    The cars to watch in the prototype class are

    • The winner in Daytona was the no 10 Wayne Taylor Racing car with the Cadillac engine does look like the team to beat. They have however dropped Jeff Gordon and Max Angelelli in favour of ex GP2 driver Alex Lynn
    • Mustang Sampling racing lost out by under a second and their crew is unchanged so watch out as they have a lot of speed
    • The number 90 was just 1 lap down but with a small amount of BOP balancing they could be right up there or even just some bad luck from the Cadillacs
    • the Tequila Patron pair can’t be discounted having won here last year but they need a good BOP to be in with a big chance.
    • The 13 car is bursting with talent, both from the ex LMP1 engineer side and the drivers of WEC and Le Mans winner Neel Jani, Formula-e champion Sebastien Buemi and Multi F1 podium winner Nick Heidfeld. It is only a question of if they can convert it into results.
    • The 70 and 55 Mazdas both have good lineups and with factory backing do have something going for them but at the moment it looks like they need a lot of luck to be up there
    • The 3rd Cadillac of Whelen racing is in with a good shot. They had some bad luck but did take an early lead before that and looked like the fastest car there.
    In Prototype Challenge class there are just 4 cars and the lack of reliability the cars means that it is anyone’s race.

    GTLM is always one of the most entertaining classes as the racing is so close

    • Ford appears to have continued their form since Le Mans last year. The sole Chip Ganassi UK car seems to be the weakest though. The 66 continues with the same crew as ever and that should put them as favourites.
    • The Porsche 911 is, like the fords, packed with talent so absolutely able to win.
    • Risi only have the 62 car and are the sole team running ferries in GTLM. The car will be driven by Vilander, Calardo and Fisichella who are more than capable. Their biggest worry must be that if there is a problem for them then Ferrari are out.
    • Corvette is a great as are some of their drivers the car is slightly older than some of their competitors but that doesn’t make it slow by a long way.
    • BMW was a bit off the pace. I would say that the BMWs are the only car that I don’t think can win.
    We finally arrive at GTD which is effectively a GT3 class. With that comes the range of cars all of whom are nearly identical on pace.

    • Alegra Motorsports are hoping their 911 will let the double up on wins.
    • The sister make of Audi has 23, 29 and 57 cars With names including Townsend Bell, Christopher Mies and Christopher Mies onboard they are not going to go down without a fight.
    • Mercedes had one of the fastest GT3 cars last year and this year it looks as if we will see a repeat of that the 33 and 50 cars look to be their best shots.
    • Accura were a bit of a surprise for me in Daytona and despite being in the first year in GTD, they are fast. They could absolutely take the GTD win.
    • The 46 EBIMOTORS car is a well-filled car and the best of Lamborghini but the 11 and 48 cars are close behind.
    • Scuderia Corse are right up there Nielsen. Balzan and Cressoni make a formidable opposition in a car that Bathurst shows Ferraris are good machines.
    • Lexus and team 3GT I personally don't think are in a position o run at the front but I would like to be proven wrong
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