Motorsport Monday

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Updated: March 31, 2014

It’s Monday again, and that means it’s time for Motorsport Monday! It was a busy weekend, with the opening round of IndyCar and BTCC and of course, the Malaysian GP.

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton won a rather lacklustre Malaysian Grand Prix in convincing fashion, with his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg finishing in 2nd. Sebastian Vettel finished rounded off the podium. Whilst many expected a wet race, the majority of the rain came during qualifying, with the race remaining completely dry.

Unlike Australia there were no significant first lap incidents to speak of, with the only real incident happening between Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi. Coming into turn 4 Pastor cut across the front of Jules’ Marussia, putting his Lotus into a spin. He would retire a few laps later.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo suffered a disastrous turn of events late in the race. He was running 4th until a botched stop resulted in him nearly losing his front right wheel. The pit crew pushed him back to his box but by that time he was already a lap down. A lap after he finally came out of the pits his front wing fell off, and with that Red Bull decided to call it a day. It would seem the curse of the number 2 seat at Red Bull Racing is alive and well.

The only other point of interest was a late race battle between the Williams cars. Early in the race Massa was told that if he could not get past Jenson Button, he’d let his team mate have a go later on. Unfortunately, despite a rather awkward choice of words –Valtteri is faster than you- he did not obey the order to let Valtteri through and finished the race ahead. No doubt many choice words were spoken after the race.

BTCC

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Andrew Jordan kicked his British Touring Car Championship defence in style on Sunday, winning the first 2 races of the day at Brands Hatch. But a lowly 13th place in race 3 meant that he is only leading the championship by 2 points, ahead of Matt Neal and Jason Plato.

Race 1 nearly ended at the first corner for Jordan, as he got his Pirtek Honda Civic completely sideways through Paddock Hill bend. He was able to safe it though, and led the rest of the race, his only real competition coming in the form of Jason Plato, and his MG. Returning champion Alain Menu was not so lucky though, as he was unable to save his big sideways moment, and spun off the track. He did finish the race, but a dreary 3 laps down.

Race 2 started a little easier for Andrew, as Jason bogged down massively at the start, and lost several places. This allowed Honda Yuasa driver Gordon Sheddon to slip into second. A welcome result for the team, who are running Honda’s new estate model of the Civic, and performance of the car was still a bit of a mystery come race day.

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Owing to the reverse grid rules in race 3, the eBay Motors BMW’s started 1st, 2nd and 4th. By the end of lap 1 though it was a BMW 1-2-3, which I imagined looked great for publicity! Unfortunately it was

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broken a few laps later when Nick Foster was given a drive through penalty for jumping the start, and Rob Collard found his BMW severely lacking in pace. 2009 champion Colin Turkington remained strong all race, and came home first, in front of Matt Neal and Jason Plato. That result meant that Honda Yuasa, despite their concerns, managed to get one of their cars on the podium in all 3 races.

IndyCar

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A.J. Foyt driver Takuma Sato took his 4th career pole position in IndyCar at St. Petersburg, nearly 0.3 seconds faster than Tony Kanaan. Sato led the race for 30 laps of the 110 lap race, but lost out to a fast moving Will Power. Whilst Sato would eventually finish the race 7th, Power did well to keep the lead after a late race caution. IndyCar has a new restart procedure this year, and just like in the V8 Supercars, not all drivers remembered. The restart confusion caused a concertina in the middle of the pack, with Marco Andretti spearing off sideways, taking Jack Hawksworth with him.

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