I spent a lot of time in front of my computer screen watching racing this weekend for you folks. I mean, I enjoyed it too, but it was mostly to benefit you. There was so much good on-track action this weekend that it would be impossible for anyone but me to bring you all of the action recaps. I do it because I care. The international racing scene is insane right now, in 20 years we’ll all be shouting about how it “Yoostabee” in Dah Goodole Days! So many talented drivers in so many capable and professional teams, it absolutely boggles my mind.
This weekend alone we say NASCAR, F1, IMSA’s various series, Aussie Supercars, Aussie GT, IndyCar, World Superbikes, Le Mans Classics, and a bunch more cool stuff. Sadly we lost Carl Haas this week, that guy was a visionary, and had his hands in so many awesome efforts in his lifetime. Read along to see what good stuff happened this weekend. We’ve got it all. Summer is in full swing, and the racing will only continue to get hotter from here, 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!
Formula One With A British Accent
NASCAR Goes To ‘Tuckey
IMSA WTSCC North Of The Border
IMSA CTSCC Also North Of The Border
Nissan Micra Cup CTMP
Supercars In Townsville (does that sound like a fake place to anyone else?)
Aussie GT In FakeTown Too
IndyCar Goes Corn Crazy In Iowa
WSBK At MRLS
Le Mans Classic Is Awesome
Remembering Carl Haas
Did You See That NSX GT3? DID YOU?
Other News, Press Releases, and Other Stuff You Should See
Formula 1 – Silverstone
In a rain-fraught race, it was again a Mercedes dominated affair with Lewis Hamilton coming home in the lead and about 7 seconds back was Nico Rosberg making it a Merc 1-2. Yawn. Max Verstappen did try to make things interesting as he had split the two Mercedes drivers for much of the race, but ultimately couldn’t make anything stick and had to settle for third. Well, that is until a penalty was applied to Rosberg post-race.
Rosberg ran into some late race gearbox issues. The radio lit up and he was told to avoid using 7th gear, and was told to make a few setting adjustments. New for this year is some dumb rule called Article 27.1 which states “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”. This rule violation means that Rosberg was given a 10 second penalty and demoted to third behind Verstappen (who had finished just 1.339 seconds back from Rosberg). I am of the opinion that this rule is absolute crockery, and should be stricken from the books immediately. If the team has information that can keep the driver on track and keep them from retiring should be relayed without a second thought. Dumb rules are dumb, fight me FIA.
Oh, also this happened during practice.
Ericsson did make the race, but he was forced to start from the pit lane. Ultimately he retired on lap 11, however.
NASCAR – Kentucky Speedway
In a race that came down to managing fuel strategy, Brad Keselowski won the this weekend’s Kentucky race, becoming the first driver to win a place in the “Chase” in doing so. This was his fourth race victory of the season, and second in a row.
Keselowski led 75 laps of the 267, ultimately leading the final lap, the one that matters. On lap 172, a caution came out that made the race a fuel event. On the penultimate lap, Keselowski thought he’d run out of fuel, but found just enough in the tank to inch across the finish line ahead of Carl Edwards. Edwards had been conserving fuel longer than anyone else, and threatened to steal the victory from Brad, but came up just short. Meanwhile other top ten cars were falling off the track to pit for splash and dash.
IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
The IMSA race in Canada this weekend was exceptionally good. There were highs and low for nearly every team on the grid, and IMSA finally figured out their BoP formulas (for the most part), and a lot of teams ran great strategies to win. The race ended under caution as the Deltawing crashed with just 4 minutes remaining.
The Mazda team started out on the pole in P, and pulled out a huge lead at the front running fast lap after fast lap in open air, but bungled their first pit stop badly with a failed air jack system. From then on, the car just couldn’t hang, and ultimately suffered an engine failure. The team car was mired in traffic the whole race and couldn’t really make passes on the torque-ier Daytona Prototypes. Meanwhile, the Mike Shank LMP2 suffered from slow laps at the hands of John Pew, and once Oz Negri stepped aboard they were awarded a penalty that dropped them well out of contention. At the end of the race, it was the Action Express Chevy Corvette Daytona Prototypes at the front for a 1-2 led by Dane Cameron and Eric Curran.
CORE Autosport won their LMPC race from pole, running a stellar worry free race. Braun put the car on pole, but then elected to start from pit lane by changing starting drivers and having Jon Bennett run from the green. Bennett kept the car on the island and moved up quite a few positions during his stint. Once Braun got back in the car, however, the team came alive and fast laps started knocking down. Though Stephen Simpson was running quickly in the JDC/Church car, Braun was able to leapfrog him during the final round of pit stops. Great drive, well deserved win from Braun/Bennett.
The cheaty Fords were a bit less cheaty this week, and while they managed to win their fourth race in a row, this might be the most honest victory for them. Corvette was on pole, while the Fords started 2-3. At the end of the 2 hours 45 minutes, it was a strategy battle between the #4 Corvette and the 67 Ford. Heading into the final round of stops, Ryan Briscoe was at the front of the pack in his 67 GT. He stayed out a few laps longer than everyone else and pounded out a few quick laps to build the gap back to the field, then pitted for fuel only. By not changing drivers and not changing tires, his stop was much quicker and rejoined in the lead. The #4 took four tires and a driver change on their final stop, and managed to close within a second and a half of the Ford at the line. Obviously they were running much faster lap times at the end with fresh rubber. Richard Westbrook, sharing the car with Briscoe, celebrated his birthday on Sunday with a win, so that’s cool.
The Turner Motorsport BMW’s Jens Klingmann and Bret Curtis came home victorious on Sunday, becoming the 5th different manufacturer to win in GTD this season. Klingmann took over the car from Curtis at the first stop, and then just had speed and consistency to make time on the rest of the field. He ultimately won by almost 8 seconds over the Stephenson Audi R8. Great Race.
Jens Klingmann on his win –
“I’m f*cking proud of us. Thanks to the team and BMW.”
IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
This was an interesting race, mostly in ST, even though the grid numbers were a bit lower than normal. Tire strategy was important, and there was some excellent wheel-t0-wheel action. So much fun to watch, when it launches on YouTube, you really need to catch this race. At the very least the last ten laps.
Grand Sport –
GS had it’s least subscribed entry list ever with only four cars, two Cayman GT4s and two Mustang GT350R-C. It would be really sad if it weren’t for the excellent racing that those four cars put on. The track favored the Mustangs for the first time in a while, as they were put up on pole with the Caymans not really that far behind. The BodyMotion Cayman that has won the last two races was knocked out of contention with a drive through penalty for ‘improper assistance by a crewman’. The CJ Wilson Racing Cayman fought hard in the latter stages of the race, but couldn’t make up the gap to the lead and settled for second.
Street Tuner –
The lead was still being fought in the final minutes of the race, and it was ultimately Owen Trinkler who took the win in the 5 year old Pink Nissan Altima that he shares with Sarah Cattaneo. Chad Gilsinger and Ryan Eversley had put their HART Civic Si on pole, and maintained the lead for a long time, setting the pace from the front. During the pit stops, the front drive cars all took just front tires, giving them an advantage on pit stop times. That said, with four fresh tires, the 2.7 Cayman of Spencer Pumpelly was hard charging from mid-pack at about a second a lap clear of everyone else.
In the final minutes, Eversley led over Pumpelly with Trinkler behind. There was a train of about 6 ST cars that were dicing pretty heavily. It was pretty obvious that Eversley’s tires had gone completely, and Pumpelly was in a similar position, having pushed really hard for his entire stint. Eversley went wide at Moss Corner allowing Pumpelly into the lead and Trinkler into second. His Honda would stay there to finish third. In a long sweeper corner, Pumpelly was absolutely on edge and lost grip with a huge wiggle that he was able to collect and went wide. Trinkler took the opportunity to move into the lead. Pumpelly fought for an additional lap and a half, but couldn’t get back by the Nissan. Best race of the weekend, IMHO.
Nissan Micra Cup – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
The Micra Cup drivers joined IMSA at CTMP this weekend for a double header packed with action. Here’s the race action as written by Nissan PR.
Race 1 –
During the first race, Kevin King started in pole position, but was passed on the first turn by Xavier Coupal, while 2015 champion Olivier Bédard followed by only a few one-hundredths of a second. This trio of drivers was followed very closely behind by Albertan Stefan Rzadzinski, American Nic Hammann of the Nismo GT Academy Team, and Valérie Limoges who was once again consistent near the front of the pack.
These six drivers hit the mid-way point of the race separated by less than half a second, and behind them, a second group of six drivers led by Marc-Antoine Demers and Canadian Touring Car champion Karl Wittmer, who made his Nissan Micra Cup debut this weekend, provided another intense battle. Top ranked Ontarian, Brian Makse, also performed well in the first race, leading a group of five drivers who were fighting in the middle of the pack.
In the end, Kevin King crossed the finish line first but received a penalty from the officials for putting all four of his wheels off the track as he passed Coupal on the last lap. Xavier Coupal was therefore declared the winner, ahead of his teammate Olivier Bédard and Stefan Rzadzinski. Nic Hammann and Valérie Limoges completed the top five.
Race 2 –
Once again under a blaring sun, the second race, on Sunday afternoon, was just as exciting. At the front of the pack, a quick battle developed between King, Coupal, and Bédard. Qualifying in pole position, Olivier Bédard was passed by Kevin King on the first lap but Bédard eventually reclaimed the lead to take his second win of the season. King and Coupal finished on his heels, as Marc-Antoine Demers won another heated battle for fourth place in front of Nicolas Hammann and Stefan Rzadzinski.
Virgin Supercars – Townsville
Race 1 –
Saturday’s race came down to a two-lap dash to the flag with a late race short caution period. Jamie Whincup had a stellar car, and was really hooked up at the front. Prior to the caution, Whincup had stretched out a mega lead. He got away from the restart well enough to hold on to his lead and took the win. For most of the race a battle for second raged between Shane Van Gisbergen, Chaz Mostert, and Mark Winterbottom. Ultimately it was Shane second, Frosty third, and Mostert fourth.
Race 2 –
I stayed up late on Saturday night to watch this race unfold, and I am so glad I did. Vindication came for Shane Van Gisbergen when he managed to take a strong victory on Sunday. Early in the race, SvG had a huge lockup that nearly derailed his entire race, ultimately switching strategies and pitting on lap 11 for fresh rubber and a fuel top up. Getting back out and setting some quick laps, he managed to move up into second as everyone else filtered through their pit stops, just behind Winterbottom’s Bottle-O car.
On lap 32, a Safety Car period was called and everyone pitted, putting the field on even footing. Following the restart, Van Gisbergen hounded Frosty for the lead, and managed to slide by him on the final corner of that lap. He stayed up at the front, fending off Frosty’s advances from then on. With 8 laps to go another quick safety car was called giving the majority of the field an opportunity to pit for fresh tires in the sprint to the flag. The top 5 stayed out on old tires and braved the coming storm. With a five lap sprint, James Courtney drove his heart out, moving up on fresh tires to ultimately pass Winterbottom in a drag race out of the final corner on the last lap to come second by four hundredths of a second. So good.
Australian GT – Townsville
Here’s the race call by Aussie GT PR –
Tony Walls has claimed his second win of the 2016 CAMS Australian GT Championship following a dramatic finale around the streets of Townsville.
Walls took control of the race following the pit stop sequence, holding the lead until two corners from home when a hard-charging Klark Quinn managed to find a way by the Objective Racing McLaren
A strong start to the race saw Quinn open a small but comfortable lead in the opening phase of the race, before a stunning charge through the field in the final stanza set up a nail-biting finale.
Walls, in the Objective Racing entry, held a 5.4 second lead at lap 40 over a determined Quinn, who edged his way closer until he was in the wheel tracks of Walls’ McLaren on the final lap.
A yellow flag at turn 11 for Simon Ellingham’s Fastway Audi R8 LMS limited Quinn’s passing opportunities, the Darrell Lea driver tucking back in behind Walls car as they approached the yellow flag zone.
Walls ran deep into the turn, leaving Quinn to take the racing line and move into the race lead.
However, in the heat of battle Quinn had made his move too early and had 25-seconds added to his race time to finish seventh, leaving Wall to claim a stunning second Australian GT race win.
IndyCar – Iowa Speedway
It’s difficult to say anything other than “Newgarden DOMINATED this race”. Josef started second on the grid, and managed to lead 282 laps on his way to victory in Kentucky. There really isn’t much else to say. Only 5 cars finished on the lead lap, that’s how fast he was. Will Power finished second, netting a few extra points over Pagenaud.
Newgarden on his win, to Racer.com –
“Not to sound cocky but I kind of impressed myself, because this place is super physical. But my car made this race so much easier to drive and I was surprised I could hold on.
My game plan was to ease up if I couldn’t hold on but my car was so good I would have felt like an idiot if I didn’t get to the end for my guys. But I don’t feel like I did some crazy feat – my hand is sore and I’m little more uncomfortable than usual, but it’s not that big a deal.”
World Superbike – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
I know almost nothing about WSBK, but they were at my favorite track, so they can’t be all bad, right?
Tom Sykes took his 5th victory of the season this weekend at Laguna Seca in a race that saw some red-flag action. Sykes started on pole and led the first couple of laps, but lost out to Davide Giugliano just prior to the red flag stoppage.
At the restart, Sykes regained the lead of the bike race, but lost it again a few corners later. Both Giugliano and Sykes were passed with a brave move by Jonathan Rea at the Corkscrew. Rea later went wide and ended up in the gravel, but managed to return to the circuit. Sykes and Giugliano spent the rest of the race dicing for the lead. In the last five laps, Chaz Davies joined the lead pair to fight. Davies made it to the tail end, but couldn’t pass Giugliano, but couldn’t quite make it past Sykes at the finish.
Le Mans Classic – Le Mans, duh…
Here’s an amazing photo gallery of the Le Mans Classic event over on Motorsport.com. Go check it out, it’s awesome.
Carl Haas Passes Away at 86
Carl will be missed. I have watched his teams run for as long as I can remember, and I was a huge fan of the NHL McDonalds car in Champ Car with Bourdais at the wheel. He always ran a clean ship, and usually near the front. Sports cars, NASCAR, open wheel, and most recently Formula 1, Carl did the racing world a lot of good. I did not know him nearly as well as Robin Miller did, so here is his take on the guy.
Carl Acura Shows Off New NSX GT3
Acura sent us a presser on this car, you can read our take on the thing here on Hooniverse.com.
I just really hope that RealTime Racing runs one in a throwback livery. Like this.
Things You Should Read
Gooding & Co. is selling what is probably the coolest sports car ever at their Pebble Beach sale this year. This Porsche 935 won the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Daytona, and took a class win at Le Mans with Paul Newman at the wheel. As far as we can tell, only one other car has ever won at Sebring/Daytona/Le Mans before, and that’s a C5-generation Corvette. This is cooler. I promise.
IMSA comments on Balance of Performance adjustments prior to the CTMP race.
Benoit Treluyer Suffers Spinal Injury (bicycle accident) and Will Miss Nurburgring 6 Hours WEC Race In Two Weeks.
Linkin Park Is Sponsoring A Mercedes AMG GT In The 24 Hours of Spa. Yes, THAT Linkin Park.
Speaking of the Spa 24, here’s the full entry list. Brace yourself, it’s pretty epic.
Here’s what a Cayman GT4 Pit Stop Looks Like.
Riley and Viper Exchange have requested an entry for the 6 hour race at COTA.
Things You Should Watch
This is a Ferrari GTO Onboard Video. Why wouldn’t you watch this?
I promise this is the last Goodwood post. Maybe.
Here’s a lap of CTMP with Cooper MacNeil’s Porsche GT3R.
Here is a video of Lucas Ordonez being a badass.