This weekend there wasn’t really that much racing to shout about, but enough to discuss. Also, NASCAR raced in the rain! Personally, I was out at Laguna Seca attending the Monterey Motorsport Pre-Reunion, which is essentially a test day for next weekend’s real deal big show. It was a good time, as I got to hang out with our own Jason Connor and the guys from the Driving While Awesome podcast. There were some pretty spectacular cars there, and it was a good time. Unfortunately that means I missed watching most of the racing that was actually going on this weekend. I missed PWC from Utah. I missed the NASCAR XFinity race from Mid Ohio. I missed Moto GP. I missed Micra Cup. I’m sad about it, but not too sad.
Read along to see what good stuff happened this weekend. Summer is winding down a bit, and the racing is running to the end of the championships, so we’ll do our best to help keep your finger on the pulse. Just be aware of the fact that this post is filled with spoilers. Giant carbon-fiber, multi-element, DRS-equipped, Gurney-flapped, Spoilers! Oh, and in case you missed it, I am also hosting a new motorsport podcast these days…
Wealthy Vintage Car Owners Pre-Reunite At Mazda Raceway.
Pirelli World Challenge – A Miller Motorsports Park By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet?
NASCAR XFinity – Fancy Lexington Ohio Welcomes Stock Cars
MotoGP – Spielberg Gives You Wings!
BTCC – Knock Knock Knockhill on Heaven’s Door
Nissan Micra Cup – Three Rivers
Stuff you should read
Stuff you should watch
Stuff You Should Buy
Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion
Here’s some cool stuff. We were camping at Turn 6 and had great views.
Then at night we sneaked onto the track and sat my ass right on the Corkscrew to watch the stars. Obviously it was dark, but this is the best I could do with my tiny flashlight.
Jason took this rad photo. #NextLevelShit Follow him on Instagram @TerminatorConn
I see this sign every time I leave the track, and every time it gets just a little bit more sad. Poor Toyota…
NASCAR XFinity – Mid Ohio
A ‘road course ringer’ came in to Mid Ohio and won the race outright after a bunch of rain came down and bungled everything up for a lot of the runners. Justin Marks hit all of his marks (pun intended) on the way to victory, and didn’t let the weather get him down.
Marks on his win speaking in victory lane:
“These are as tough conditions as you can put drivers in. It’s just really hard on everybody when it’s dry and wet and you don’t really know what to do, so strategy plays a big role in it. You know, my specialty is road racing in the rain in these stock cars and I don’t get much of an opportunity to do it so when that opportunity presents itself, you have to really take advantage of it and I about threw it away today.
I knew if the race ended in the rain that we would have a real shot at winning it. I wish my family was here. I’m just really happy.”
Pirelli World Challenge – Utah Motorsports Campus
Bryan Heitkotter has been close to the front most of this season, and finally was able to make something happen at the Utah Motorsports Campus, grabbing his first victory. At the start, there was an immediate caution. On lap two when the restart took place, there was major contact between Pole-sitter Alvaro Parente’s McLaren and Michael Cooper’s Cadillac. Parente was forced into a retirement with the contact, and Cooper served a drive-through penalty for the move, netting him a 15th place finish, and really scuppering points scores for both drivers.
Heitkotter’s win was also first for Nissan and AIM Autosport on the season.
Bryan followed up his Saturday victory with a second win on Sunday in race 2. Race 2 went completely caution free, and Heitkotter managed to get the jump on polesitter Michael Lewis, and then checked out. He finished the race more than 3 seconds ahead of Adderly Fong’s Bentley, sweeping the weekend.
In GTA, Frankie Montecalvo won race 1 while Martin Fuentes took his 9th class win in race 2.
In GT Cup, Sloan Urry won race 1 and Alec Udell motored to the race 2 victory.
Here are a bunch of killer photos from the weekend.
Moto GP – Red Bull Ring
Andrea Iannone won the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend by keeping his Ducati teammate Dovizioso challenge him for the lead. This was Ducati’s first MotoGP victory since 2010, and their first 1-2 finish in nearly a decade. Iannone passed Dovizioso for the lead with 8 laps left, and two Ducatis pulled away from the rest of the pack, making a 1-2 battle for the ages. Jorge Lorenzo finished third with Vale Rossi in 4th. Iannone is already contracted to move to Suzuki in 2017, so this win is important for him and Ducati.
British Touring Car Championship – Knockhill
Jason Plato, who started his 500th race in the BTCC, took his Subaru Levorg to victory after starting from pole. The race was pockmarked by issues, as is usually the case, but when the race finally resumed, Plato held station and ran to the flag for the win. Jack Goff (Yes, I know, I laughed too) came in second in his BMW, while Colin Turkington made it a Subaru 1-3 finish to round out the podium.
Honda’s Storming driver Matt Neal managed to fight through to the victory with just 3 laps remaining. Throughout the race, Plato, Sam Tordoff, Turkington, and Goff were all shuffling together ahead of Neal for most of the race, and he managed to use their tussle as a pick and slid through all four of them in rapid succession to take the victory. Good driving Mr. Neal.
Ford’s Mat Jackson took the initial pole position, and managed to fight off Rob Collard and Sam Tordoff to win the final Knockhill race. The race started with a reversed top-6 grid, and Jackson used his track position to his advantage to keep his lead. Collard was in second fighting for the lead until lap 8 when he was punted from behind by Turkington. From then on, it was check out for Jackson.
Nissan Micra Cup – Trois Riviers
The season is coming down to the wire, and it looks like it’ll be Coupal with the win after CTMP and Mont-Tremblant rounds in September. After a decent points haul in Trois Riviers, Xavier Coupal has a 29 point lead over Olivier Bedard.
Coupal was the first across the line in race 1, but was later handed a penalty for exceeding track limits during his pass for the lead, which dropped him to 7th. This penalty handed the win to Stefan Rzadzinski with Kevin King in second and Bedard in third.
Undeterred by the penalty, Coupal led away from pole in race 2, set in the fastest lap of the race, and went on to win over Bedard in second and King in third. Coupal definitely had the speed this weekend.
Stuff You Should Read
Motorsport.com has compiled a contentious “Top 50 most iconic liveries” list. I’m sure you will disagree.
JD Davison was punished for contact at Mid Ohio by receiving a one-race suspension. Marshall Pruett gives his reasoning on why this is the best decision.
Rio Haryanto has been replaced with Esteban Ocon. Mercedes is using Manor to groom Wehrlein and Ocon for a post-Lewis/Nico era, which could be coming soon.
Deltawing driver, Rayhall, runs Winged Sprints.
Ben Keating working on Viper replacement for 2017 season.
What various teams have to say about the 2017 PWC format shift.
More Acura NSX GT3 testing program news.
Stuff You Should Watch
Continental Tire Challenge Race From Road America!
Micra Cup Onboards!
Porsche did this video thing…
Red Bull Long Jumps A Pro 2 Truck!
Formula E Stats!
Ed Carpenter On The IMS Tire Test
Stuff You Should Buy
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