Hooniverse Motorsport News for January 17th, 2016

1452943713 Last week I decided that it was time to bring back my old-faithful “Motorsport Monday” recap posts. My very first post for Hooniverse was a motorsport recap post, so it is sort of a return to form. There’s been a lack of motorsport content here lately, so the time was right. Besides, it’s something I’m passionate about, and they always tell you to write what you know. This weekend was a bit on the slow side, with just the biggest international off-road race, Dakar, ending and the first of many 24 Hour endurance races for sports cars, the 24 hours of Dubai going on. Not much news, but some crazy good racing. Just be aware of the fact that this post is filled with spoilers. Giant carbon-fiber, multi-element, DRS-equipped, Gurney-flapped, Spoilers! This week:

  • Dubai Endurance Race Sees Sports Cars And Camels
  • Competitors On The Dakar Rally Finish Their Trip To Not Dakar
  • Toyota TS050 Endurance Prototype Makes Test Debut
  • Creventic Issues One-Race Ban For Scuderia Praha
  • Stir Up A Delicious Bowl of Chili
  • Black Falcon Mercedes Suffers Crashes On Debut Of Both New AMG GT Racers
  • Tony Stewart Heckled, Doesn’t Like It

Dubai 24 12471635_760579340741845_2371881015385555601_o Creventic’s season-opening Dubai 24 hour was as exciting as it has ever been, featuring a number of lead changes, several close battles, and lots more attrition than we’re used to seeing in GT3-style racing these days. Audi’s new R8 proved last year to already be a formidable weapon on track, and continued to show that this weekend by dominating the Dubai endurance race. There were other strong showings from Ferrari and Mercedes as well, but it was an Audi 1-3 that ended the race weekend. The winning team, #19 Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, overcame a one lap deficit to take the victory. The team lost more than 3 minutes during a refueling stop in which they were forced to wait in line to refuel. Creventic races do not allow refueling in the pit stalls, and instead the cars must be filled from a “community” fuel pump that looks surprisingly like a petrol pump you’d fill your own street car with. The team started 3rd, and took the lead of the race at the end of the 15th hour of the race, then ran that position until the finish. Congratulations to drivers Oliver Webb, Oliver Morley, Adam Christodoulou, and Frankie Montecalvo for their overall win. 12492013_760097130790066_4046692802151191232_o Black Falcon’s AMG GT3 race cars showed pace early, and in fact the #2 car was in second position putting pressure on the leader. Unfortunately both of the brand new chassis were involved in separate crash incidents, with the #2 crashing out of the race on lap 119 while attempting to pass slower traffic, and the #3 car suffering a similar fate on lap 154. Hopefully both cars will be rebuilt and back on track shortly. It is worth noting that Black Falcon ran some older SLS AMG GT3s as well, and one of them finished second overall, and another pair went 1-2 in the Am class. 11950310_760144167452029_7740529893829685707_o Scuderia Praha and their impressively potent 458 GT3 has been issued a one-race ban by the management of the Creventic endurance series for causing “avoidable contact” during the Dubai 24 on Friday. Team driver Matteo Cressoni was leading the race during hour 10 when he contacted the Primus Racing Ginetta G50 GT4 driven by Thomas Martinsson, effectively taking both cars out of the race. Praha was hoping to debut their new 488 GT3 during the next round at the Mugello 12 Hour race in March, but instead will be forced to wait until the series’ Zandvoort race a couple of months later. Dakar Rally 1452951593 Stephane Peterhansel has been a steady wave beating upon the shore during the second week of the Dakar Rally, running out to almost an hour lead over the rest of the field. Early leaders (and Peterhansel’s Peugeot teammates) Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz suffered hellacious dramas throughout this week, allowing Peterhansel to drive very conservatively and still maintain a wide gap back to second. Loeb dominated week one, but suffered a lengthy loss with a crash early this week, and then further trials during the dunes-sections of the race, eventually finishing 9th overall. Sainz suffered a stage retirement on Wednesday after inheriting Loeb’s lead, apparently due to a drivetrain issue. Peterhansel’s victory was ultimately a 34 minute 58 second gap to Nasser Al-Attiyah’s X-Raid MINI. Toyota TS050 Toyota’s new WEC prototype racer has made its debut in testing at the Aragon circuit in Spain, near Alcañiz. Toyota chose to test their three talented drivers in the form of Stephane Sarrazin, Sebastien Buemi, and Mike Conway. The test was conducted alongside one of last year’s TS040 models. The TS040 featured a 3.7 liter naturally aspirated V8, a super-capacitor energy storage system (which has been in place at Toyota for three seasons). This year, it would seem, Toyota has decided to crib a bit from Porsche’s 919 Hybrid LMP1 racer, and the TS050 will be powered by a Porsche-aping 2.0 liter turbo V4 engine and traditional Lithium Ion battery stacks for energy storage. Toyota seems to already be behind the 8-ball, as Audi started testing their new R18 e-tron Quattro at Paul Ricard in November, while Porsche was running at least some of the components of their updated 919 at Aragon back in December. Here’s hoping that all three teams come to the table at Silverstone with cars that are fast immediately out of the box, and we see a full season of great endurance prototype racing. Chili Bowl phpThumb_generated_thumbnailjpg Rico Abreu became only the second driver in history to score consecutive Chili Bowl victories on Saturday Night. Abreu started the race in 4th, and fell back a bit to 7th before getting into the groove and starting a march through the field. On lap 41 Abreu moved past Zach Daum for second position and then began plotting his attack on Bryan Clauson. Clauson held on tight to the lead, but was eventually worn down and forced to settle for second ahead of Daum in third. Abreu beat a record 335 entries in the tiered event, and will be moving into NASCAR’s Truck Series this year with ThorSport. I don’t know much about midget racing (not a joke about Abreu’s stature), but I know that Rico is the real deal in this circle. I hope his talents extend into Trucks. Tony Stewart In a strange turn of events, Tony Stewart came to a contretemps with a spectator in the stands at Saturday’s Chili Bowl race. Stewart was not participating in the event, but rather helping and participating in track preparation for the race. Apparently the spectator flipped Tony the bird and began shouting at him. Being the kind of person that he is, Tony jumped into the stands and found the heckler (apparently an off-duty sheriff). Tony was then seen putting his hands on the man and engaging him verbally, before a security person pushed the heckler down into his seat. Stewart continued his derision of the seated man by leaning in and extending his shouting session. Video can be seen on Racer.com. [Images Sourced From Racer.com and 24HSeries.com]

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