Weekend round up – 24th June 2012

This weekend has seen plenty of action around with the big leagues featuring #NASCAR from Sonoma, #IndyCar in short track mode over in Iowa, and #F1 from Valencia. The #Rolex sports car teams were at Watkins Glen #WGI  #F2 at Spa and the #BTCC at Croft in England’s North East.

So starting with #NASCAR on the west coast at Sonoma we had Marcus Ambrose on pole for the second week In a row, but he could not turn qualifying pace into race pace and slipped back into the lower reaches of the top 10. Clint Bowyer won it for MWR controlling the race from the front after getting there before half way. Last year’s winner Ugly Snr was back in the car after being benched and would have had at least second had he not driven into the scenery towards the end and bent the car enough to lose a spot to Smoke. Ugly Jnr drove into someone else; he’s good at it and it looked like his engine might have lasted this week so he needed an excuse for another DNF.

Nelson Piquet Jnr was a dominant winner in the Nationwide race at Road America and Danica Patrick was going well until some has been Canadian ex F1 driver shoved her off towards the end. Always felt he was no gentleman from  the way he dressed.

#IndyCar tried out a good old system of qualifying heats to determine the grid for the feature race and the format seemed basically popular with the drivers. With a couple of tweaks it should work well and we welcome it for the future. Dario picked up the win in heat three to take pole for the final with neither of the Aussies being able to emulate their NASCAR compatriot.

In the race Ryan Hunter-Reay won again with another good finish for @TonyKanaan in third. Will Power ended his evening in the wall after a tangle with Viso that looked like one of those 50:50 calls. WP still leads the points, just, from Hunter-Reay.

In #F1 Mark Webber lost a chance to nail another Aussie pole for the weekend when his DRS went AWOL in Q1 and he was out in the first cut. Both Ferraris went out in Q2 and then Vettel produced another of those mega qualifying laps in Q3 to get pole. How does he do it? On another note he equalled the record shared by Jim Clark and Alain Prost, but there is no real comparison when you look at Clark having less than half the opportunities per season compared with Prost and Vettel getting almost half as many chances a year as the latter. The guy has talent, but numerical comparisons are meaningless.

In a bizarre race, Alonso won at home at last from the Ice Man and Schumi with Webbo a good fourth after a battling race. Fernando now leads the points from @AussieGrit. Vettel and Grosjean lost what should have been first and second when they retired within a few laps of each other with similar altenator faults on the Renault motors and Lewis got himself into an unnecessary punch up with Pastor and was another one to retire with a bent car. Caterham were also unlucky with HK getting savaged whilst minding his own business and VP looked like he might even get a point, but he, too, became another pit visitor for a new front wing.

Various penalties were considered; Schumi reputedly using DRS under yellow, but judged to have slowed enough, Fernando stopping on the cool down lap twice; once to collect a flag and then with “a problem” seems to have slipped by without a mention (people wanted to get out of the country alive?), and various others for assorted contact or getting in the way, notably Pastor get a post-race drive through to cost him 10th spot.

 

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