Racing roundup 17-19th of march and 24th-26th preview

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by Hammelj, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Hammelj


    A link to it on Reddit is here

    also, I am wondering if there is a way to use markdown for formatting as it took about half an hour extra to make it suitable for here

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

    I am sorry but on Saturday my internet was on and off and While I caught some of it live I missed a lot. Thankfully IMSA has uploaded the race ( part 1 part 2) so I will still cover it, however, I don't think I have time to do a proper proofread so to make up I will link in clips.

    Now that is is out of the way. Cadilac earned a podium clean sweep after most of the rest of the prototype class fell by the wayside with the 85 car 4 laps down on the winner.Wayne Taylor Racing finished ahead of the action express and Whelen cars In Prototype challenge the 38 lead home the 8. In GTLM the top 7 finished on the same lap. Corvette took the win over ford and Ferrari. GTD was won by the 33 mercs ahead of the 63 Ferrari who in tern beat the 75 mercedes.

    On pole was the rebellion crew who edged out the Cadilac Pair of action express cars. The 52 Ligier started just ahead of the 22 ESM. The 3rd Cadilac started in 6th barely ahead of the 85 JDCMiller motorsport car. The 55 lead the 90 reily ahead of the 70 Mazda. The 2 car didn't set a time In PC the BAR1 car was either side of the performance tech car with Starworks a bit off the back.

    GTLM was lead by a pair of fords in qualifying although the 67 had an issue getting started and started last with a penalty. The 4 Corvette qualified in in 3rd but was pushed to the back due to a ride height issue. The 912 Porsche was ahead of the 3 Corvette. The rest of the class was split by the 8 PC car. The 68 ford lead the 911 Porsche then the pair of BMW. Ferrari was last in the class.

    GTD saw the 75 Merc qualify on pole but come race day they had to start from the pits and take a drive through. That meant Audi started on pole with the 29 cars, Lamborghini next for change racing and Lexus taking the next 2 spots. The Stephenson Audi started 6th just ahead of a pair of Riley Mercedes. Grasser Lamborghini, Scuderia Corse Ferrari and Michael Shank Accura rounded out the top 10.
    Off the start Jani got the power down early enough to keep the Cadillacs behind him. In GTLM the top 3 were nose to tail while the 67 and 75 cars came right in for the drive throughs. There was bad luck right away for the 55 which had a puncure. The ESM hit problems quickly, 5 minutes in they were going slowly and by 14 minutes in they had the engine cover off although only for 30 secs or so. 20 minutes in saw the 4 corvette finally past all the GTD cars. 27 minutes in and we had the first spin after the 4th place and 5th Porsche made contact. 5 minutes later saw the 2 ESM Back in again.

    A further minute later saw the top 3 all in the pit and it was a bad stop for the Rebellion as a wheel went into the pitlane which meant they didn't change tyres. The next lap the 22 ESM was in for their stop and while that happened there was this moment. Rebellion then saw things get worse as the were given a drive through moments before the 24 BMW went behind the wall for work. Just after that, the 10 car came in for fuel and tyres 2 full laps after the other 2 Cadillacs stopped. After the stops, Dane Cameron in the 31 car jumped from 3rd to 1st and pulled rapidly away.

    45 minutes in saw both of the GTLM Porsche in which was quite an early one while there was a short battle for 4th as first there was a touch and some off roading and then down the runway they got past. And not long after the GT stops started in earnest and the 24 BMW went back out.

    1 hour 3mins in saw the first caution of the race as one of the Mazdas went into the barriers at the end of the runway after losing the brakes. The prototypes then made their next stops which dropped then in behind the GT field bar a few car such as the 4 corvette, 33 merc and 912 porsche.

    10 hours 41 to go saw the race restarted. 26 minutes later the next development was when the no 4 corvette went behind the wall with a persistent temperature issue. 10:18 from the end saw the top 2 go three wide with a back marker with 3rd place just behind them 9 minutes later and things hadn't changed much except the 13 carmade a move around the outside of the last corner but had to merge back behind. The next lap saw the rebellion come in for a driver change but the car would not get back running. The next lap after that then saw the 2 Cadillac come in. 9:53 saw the lead change. Later the 75 Mercedes was hit by the 24 BMWin to a spin. 9:35 saw caution no 2 after the 31 car went into the back of the 22 and stalled it. The 31 getting stuck in the middle of the last corner. The long wait to get back going saw their chance at the class win disappear .under the subsequent set of pit stops the 90 came in but failed to come out and later went to the garages with the 52 car.

    It took the best part of 20 minutes for the restart. A couple of laps later the Stephenson Audi blocked another Audi that was about to lap it. We next had a spin for the 18 Lamborghini thanks to the 75 which just barely hit the back of them and so the 75 picked up a drive through for it. 9:04 saw the 55 Mazda in again this time going behind the wall. In GTLM the battle for 2nd went the way of the 3 Corvette after this brave move up to turn 10. 1 lap later and the BMW was moved off the podium by a more standard move.

    The start of the 4th hour saw a fight for second as the 85 almost lost the place to the 10 car after being held up by a GTD car. 8:39 saw a couple of incidents, first 2 GTD and a GTLM went 3 wide through turn 1 and into turn 3 the 75 spun the 23. That saw the 75 in shortly after for a drive through. 8:26 saw a lot of cars all grouped together with second and third swapping in both GTD and GTLM

    After that point, things slowed a bit. 7:37 saw the 50 fall out of contention. The wheel was majorly broken. It was limped back to the pits but not quickly at all. Half way through hour 6 the 22 ESM had an engine failure on pit lane. It took 5 minutes for the next event to happen, in this case, a safety car thanks to the 24 BMW going into the wall at turn 1. The race restarted 7 minutes from half way

    4 minutes after reaching the half way spot the 912 came in with a suspension issue. 5:25 saw both ESM cars officially retired. At this point, the only P cars without stops long enough to put them behind GT cars were the 5, 10, 85 and 31. 4:20 saw cars going 4 wide including the leader going into the hairpin. As the race went into the evening about 4 hours from the end the 4th safety car happened as the 14 Lexus came to a stop out of turn 1.

    3:47 saw the race started once again and 6 minutes then saw the 3rd place overall go the the Whelen 31 car from the JBC 85 thanks to a move into the last chicane onto the runway. Around 3:30 the 23 Audi had the front and rear left suspension fail while the GTLM cars had
    this switch around. The Starworks car had a brake fire just coming up to 3 hours to go.
    Half an hour later it was time for the 5th caution, this time the 37 Lamborghini was stopped on track. while the caution was taking place though there was ample opportunity to watch the rocket launch
    . T
    he race restarted a quarter of an hour from 2 hours to go. Around this point, the 3 Corvette started to show a higher pace and moved up to second 10 minutes into the hour.

    An hour and 10 minutes to go saw caution number 6 for the race come out for the GTD Porsche which stopped on track. 50 minutes to saw the
    caution end. 45 to go saw a move by the 33 Merc on the 63 Ferrari up the inside into turn 17. The 911 looked like it could get past the leading Corvette but 33 to go saw them come in for a slow puncture and ran over a hose the meant they were given a penalty. Thereafter not much happened of note until under a minute to go when the GTD 3rd place Lamborghini were going slowly round which elevated the 29 on to the podium which it would not hold as the 75 got past on the last lap. This was mirrored in GTLM where the 62 Ferrari got past the 67 ford.


    Formula 1- Australien GP (round 1 of 20)

    A new era of formula 1 starts this weekend as the cars have undergone a huge redesign. The cars are wider with lower rear wings but importantly are the fastest they have been in a while thanks to more downforce.

    The track is tight but fast and I think one of the nicer looking ones too. Turn 1 and 2 form a chicane at the end of the main straight. Turn 1 is quite tight but 2 is more of a run out on to the second straight which leads to turn 3 which along with turn 1 the best overtaking opportunities both being the end of the DRS zones. 3, 4 and 5 form a technical set of corners. Out of 5 there is a short straight on to a corner that can catch a driver out if they run too wide onto the grass trying to carry the speed. The track snakes on to another run towards a chicane like turn 1 that has a tight 90 right with a fast run out of the second corner. Into the 11 and 12 chicane you slow as little as you can through it to keep the speed up as you keep it flat trough the next kink. We then come to 13 and 14 which are two 90 right handers which lead us towards one of the slowest corners. Turn 16 starts right after it and the aim for it is to stay as flat as you can.

    track map

    I believe it is safe to call Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton favourites. Mercedes were at the top and quite reliable in testing so they are not in a bad place. Hamilton will hope to recover from an unlucky loss in last year’s championship. Thanks to Rosberg’s retirement though Finnish driver Bottas is now in a top team and so will look to topple his teammate.


    Red Bull look like they are set to become 3rd of the front runners from testing but like Mercedes, we don’t know if testing pace will convert. If they do fight for the championship then they have the drivers to do. Riccardo in his 3 years at red bull has shown himself to be one of the fastest guys on track and Verstappen who despite being 19 is simply amazing and a fun driver to watch thanks to his aggression. There are reports that Red Bull will be bringing upgrades too so they are certainly in with a chance.


    Ferrari in testing broke the absolute lap record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. That is a marker if ever I saw one. Ferrari to have a pair of highly capable drivers. 4 consecutive world championships alongside the 1 championship but 2-time runner-up too. Vettel and Raikkonen are a formidable force.


    Next, we come to Force India who on a tiny budget compared to some of their opponents continue to work their way up. They have said their target is 3rd in the championship. I believe that it is a bit of a long shot but not impossible. Sergio Perez has done fantastic work at Force India as his four 3rd places show to great effect. Ocon has had just 9 races in F1 but ending the season with 12th and 13th shows that he is adapting quickly. Ocon will be fast, winning formula 3 in 1 year shows that well.


    Williams has been a bit anonymous pace wise in testing. That may be in part due to Lance Stroll who already has a bit of a reputation who is fast but his biggest issue looks like he will push too far too often, expect crashes. I reckon Massa will be the primary source of points.


    Now we come to Mclaren. As a McLaren fan, all I can say is that testing had better turn out to be an elaborate prank. They have had reliability issues all through the 8 days so much that the fact they were running on track was notable. Before testing I said McLaren needs 5th to show they are still getting better, now I think finishing the race will be an achievement. Alonso and Vandoorne both deserve better.


    Now we come to Toro Rosso, the car looks good and Sainz will be looking to impress once more and looks like the most capable of the pairing. This year they start from the same place so this will be a bit more of an accurate comparison to last year. Kyvat does need to show that he has recovered from last year.


    Hass I think will be an interesting one, though. Last year they finished in 8th but in terms of pace they were closer to 9th than 7th but in a debut year that was still a great result and this year. Magnussen has joined meaning that Grosjean now has a driver closer to his speed to back him up. It will be curious where they go from here.


    Renault had a bad season last year. The team was in a bad state after the cutbacks required in order to keep it afloat after 2015 but they do look like a team on the move. Jolyon Palmer needs to look like a GP2 champion this year rather than just a pay driver while his teammate Hulkenberg I think will be their main hope.


    Finally, we come to Sauber, at the moment at least they look like they are in the same situation as last year, that is back markers looking to get the odd point. The drivers though are I would say the best we could have expected, Wehrlein needs to prove to Mercedes that he is a better prospect than Ocon and Bottas while Ericsson has proven to be more than a pay driver, unfortunately, though not much more. I’m not expecting much but, I would love to be surprised


    Australien Supercars — Australien GP Support race
    This is more to let people know it is a thing. I likely won’t cover it as it is not a championship event, I don’t know where I can watch it and the fact it is in Australia does make that an issue. I hope you do not mind

    MotoGP, Moto 2 and Moto 3 — Qatar GP (round 1 of 18)
    Once again, the Moto GP season starts in the Arabian night. The start finish is over a kilometre and this gives us the highest top speeds of the year. Turn 1 is a good place to get the pass, a long run to slipstream and heavy braking are the cause. Turn 2 is only marginally faster and like turn 1 is 2nd gear. 3 is just a kink leading onto a couple of 90 rights. 6 is the slowest corner at just 78 KPH. 7 is not all that fast. The track snakes to turn 10, just a slight brake in 9. Turn 11 is flat out and the next 2 right handers are not much slower the one after that. 14 and 15 are mid-speed corners. That leads to the last corner, like 1, 2, 4, 5, 7 and 10 it is a second gear corner. Getting a good run through the last corner is key if you want to make a pass.

    Track map[​IMG]

    I’ll go through the riders team by team.

    One thing I will ba paying close attention is Honda. This year Pedrosa need to show his speed. Cal Crutchlow despite an awful start to the year almost beat him in the championship and he chalked up 2 wins. Also looking to potentially move to the factory team is surely be Jack Miller although currently, the only tick in his box is the remarkable win last year. He must be on a mission to prove that is more than a flash in the pan. Tito rabat, his teammate, does need to show that it was just being a rookie that led to him being 21st of 22 full season riders. Of course, I have saved the best for last, last year’s champion Marc Marques has to tools to add championship number 4 and has to be the favourite.

    Ducati are going to be interesting. They look like a team on the move. Last year they made a leap up the field and looked like threats for multiple race wins. Lorenzo is their latest signing and may well help them improve on last year’s pair of wins, but I don’t think they are just yet a world championship threat. Dovizioso will be looking to beat a big name with his teammate to recover some of the reputation lost from being dropped at Honda. Either one of them could get the win, especially given the Ducati’s strength is in a straight line. Petrucci has every chance of another good season given last year he still beat teammate Redding in spite of missing the first 4 rounds. Redding needs to show the pace that got him 2 moto GP podiums and a 125cc class win at 15. He does have it in him to do well but he needs to turn it into results soon. Hector Barbera hasn’t. In his 7 years in moto GP been all that fast but last year, he was 10th thanks to the consistency so he may be best of the satellite bikes but won’t have standout finishes. Don’t expect Loris Baz to do much. Aspar has the pairing of Karel Abraham and Alvaro Bautista. Bautista is one to keep an eye on with some good finishes including 3 podiums although Abraham is less impressive.

    Aprilia has a pair of new riders Lowes from moto 2 and Alexis Espagro from Suzuki, this one will be interesting, Lowes is fast but hugely inconsistent and will be looking to make an impression. Espagro has shown speed many times but last year wasn’t great for him and he is hoping to get back on track.

    KTM has the ex-Tech 3 pairing of Pol Espagaro and Bradly smith. These guys are far from slow especially Pol but KTM are new so they will be towards the back most likely.

    At Suzuki we are, I think. in for a treat with Alex Rins, Moto 2 usually takes a bit of time to get used to it, he was fast instantly. Now we get a chance to see how fast he learns in the top class. He is not here for an easy ride though as he is paired with the hugely aggressive Andrea Iannone who is another rider looking to bounce back.

    Finally, we come to Yamaha, Valentino Rossi looking for 1 more title still, will have trouble in the form of 22-year-old Maverik Vinarlez. Yamaha looks like they once again have a second bullet in their gun shooting for the championship. Tech 3 have a pair of rookies, defending double Moto 2 winner Johan Zarco can’t be ignored at all but Folger can be I think, he wasn’t great in Moto 2, good but not great.

    In the next class down

    In moto 2 I would say the favourite is Thomas Luthi after being runner-up last year but this is his 10th year in the intermediate class. Proverbs his closest rivals for the championship are either of the Italians, Morbedelli or Baldessari but that is not ruling out Hafizh Syahrin or even Nakagami. A very interesting one to watch will be Brad Binder, despite being a rookie he has an outside shot. He dominated moto 3 last year although either of Jorge Navaro or Bagnaia could be fast learners in the famously hard to adapt to Moto 2. Also, it is worth noting that Khairul Idham Pawi made the move up to Moto 2 as well as he is a monster in wet weather winning 2 races but outside them is a bit lacklustre scoring just 12 points in the dry

    And lastly Moto 3 another runner-up is favourite. This time Enea Basitianini but he will face stiff competition from last year’s rookies specifically Mir, Di Giantonio and Bulaga. As always though in this class the pool of potential winners is about 10 riders big as 1 great race can pay dividends.

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