Motorsport Monday

By
Updated: April 21, 2014

It’s been a while, but Motorsport Monday is back! And good timing as well, because it has been a good weekend in the world of motorsport.

Formula 1

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The 10th anniversary of the Chinese GP was a rather quieter affair than Bahrain’s 10th anniversary, but it was by no means dull. Naturally the race was won by Lewis Hamilton, but Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo all had a weekend to be happy with as well.

At the start of the race Rosberg who had started 4th bogged down, dropping him the 6th. Meanwhile Felipe Massa had another lightning start, shooting past the floundering Mercedes. He sneaked up the inside of Daniel Ricciardo, before lunging across to the left in an attempt to squeeze through. Clearly taken by surprise by Massa’s quick moves, Alonso move across to the right, and the Williams and Ferraris made contact. Massa’s Williams bounced a good few feet up and to the side and it was a fantastic miracle that neither car had suspension damage.

Whilst this was happening the other Williams of Valtteri Bottas was in the wars. Rosberg took a wide line through turn 1, and clattered into the side of Bottas. The Williams bounced sideways and as it came back down the was a bright flash as the floor scraped the tarmac. Again both cars were reasonably ok, but the incident did knock out Bottas’ telemetry.

On the first lap Alonso was in maximum

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attack mode, dragging the Ferrari into second place, with the Red Bulls just behind. From this point on the action was mostly focussed on the Red Bulls and Nico Rosberg. Having dropped to 6th on the opening lap, Nico had a point to prove. He somewhat easily disposed of the Red Bull cars, whose Renault engines were lacking in power, and set about catching Alonso. Unfortunately the Ferrari didn’t have much to offer in the way of a defence from the Mercedes, and Alonso was relegated to 3rd. But behind him a rather too familiar occurrence was happening. Vettel (on a 2 stop strategy) was much slower than Ricciardo (on a 3 stop strategy) and was ordered to let him through. After enquiring what tyres Daniel was on, he decided to not obey the order, saying “tough luck” over the radio. This had a touch of Multi 21 about it. But it was merely an administrative error on Sebastian’s part, as he thought they were on the same strategy. He let him though into turn 1 (though this writer thinks he made a mistake and ran wide) and the situation was resolved.

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The race itself was bizarrely called 2 laps before it was scheduled to, on lap 54 not 56. This was because the Chinese dignitary who was waving the chequered flag got a little trigger happy, and accidentally waved it prematurely, much to the confusion of Lewis Hamilton. Everybody kept racing for those 2 laps, and the finishing procedure carried on as normal, but shortly after the race had ended, the result was amended. There were no significant effects of the loss of those 2 laps, apart from for Kamui Kobayashi. He had overtaken Jules Bianchi’s Marussia for 17th place on the last lap, but of course, the move was annulled.

So the final result was Lewis Hamilton, from Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso.

BTCC

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The British Touring Cars were at somewhat wet Donnington Park for rounds 4, 5 and 6 of the championship.

Jason Plato took his 83rd career BTCC victory in race 1, ahead of his MG team mate Sam Tordoff and reigning champion Andrew Jordan.

The race started in greasy conditions, with everyone starting on the wet tyre on a drying track. Colin Turkington shot off the line in his WSR BMW, straight into 2nd place, but he couldn’t hold onto that position, and was soon repassed by Tordoff. Despite the slippery conditions only 2 cars failed to finish, with Warren Scott and Hunter Abott coming together at the old hairpin. Rob Austin was the only driver to try out the slick tyres, and whilst setting some fast laps, the risk didn’t pay off and he finished 2 laps down in last.

In the end there was less than a second between Plato and Tordoff, showing that they were the class of the field. Andrew Jordan finished 6 seconds down in third, despite having 45kg of success ballast on board.

Roles were reversed in race 2, with Sam Tordoff beating Jason Plato to first in a chaotic wet race.

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There was an early safety car, as both seasoned veteran Alain Menu and relative newcomer James Cole spun off in the treacherous conditions. The restart was short lived, as a multi car pileup at Redgate brought out the safety car again, for even longer this time, as one of the Protons kept stopping on track.

After that it was relative plain sailing for Tordoff, as he held of Plato for his first win of 2014 ahead of Honda Yuasa driver Gordon Shedden, who had profited from the chaos to move up to third. No cars were lapped this time out, but the list of retirements was as long as your arm.

The usually exciting race 3 was as good as one might expect, with Gordon Shedden pipping pole sitter Colin Turkington for 1st at the final corner, to take the win.

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Turkington looked in control the entire race, despite a safety car hampering his efforts, but in the end he couldn’t hold back a charging Flash Gordon. Shedden had been running 6th for a good portion of the race, before slowly working his way up through the front runners. Main rivals Plato and Jordan struggled in the race, finishing 6th and 5th respectably.

So Gordon Shedden won from Colin Turkington, with Gordon’s Honda Yuasa team mate Matt Neal finishing the podium in third.

World Endurance Championship

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As Let’s Talk Sport’s resident motorsport enthusiast, I think it’s only fair that I look at new and different racing series’. So today I’m looking at Mark Webber’s new home, the WEC.

The Toyotas more or less dominated the 6 hours of Silverstone event, finishing 1st and 2nd, with Porsche, as driven by Mark Webber, finishing a good 3rd. A result they’ll be happy with, after not competing in the sport since 1998. Not at the top anyway. It wasn’t all smiles though, as the second Porsche retired on lap 30 when it’s wheel fell off.

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It was a weekend to forget meanwhile for Audi, as both cars failed to reach the chequered flag. The heavy rain caught both cars out, with one retiring in the pits with suspension damage, and the other beaching itself in a gravel trap

 

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