Last Weekend brought us lots of racing, lots of action. Brought us interresting stories, maybe some surprise, controversial stuff and a lot more. Lets recap in a few paragraphs.
F1 - 2nd Round - GP Bahrain
What to say. For some fans victoriuous and thrilling, for some boring, for some misery. Ferrari and Vettel manage PP and win once more in-front-of Mercedes duo. He was able to manage destroyed tires and made 39 laps stint on soft compound. Bottas was trying to get as close as he could and made some thrill until very end of the race. Lewis did not make it after huge and long discussions with team engineers and main strategists. Driver of the day was Pierre Gasly with Honda, and I think that is well deserved. He finished 4th, starting 5th, did not make almost any mistake, had steady pace and for such young lad very tight nerves. Honda in second race with STR scored the best position since returning to F1. Also Sauber with two points were something very nice to see. So far the pros. Cons or dissapointments or struggles. There were a few big ones. Kimi Raikkonen and his pit stop, or should I say the man behind the lights. It was unbelievable and unaccetable. And Kimi had the pace for all the weekend, so at least he would be on podium I guess and would bring valuable points for Scuderia. McLaren and their qualyfing performance, which is way below expectations. And last I have kept disastrous Sunday for RBR. Ricciardo with windows blue-screen, car completly turned-off, and Verstappen crashing into Hamilton ( yes I think it was his fault, he just closed the door very soon and very quickly ) caused RBR no points and their GP lasts for three laps. China GP is knocking on the door already, more in preview article.
Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup - 1st Round in Zolder
Last years Zolder was triumph place for Audis and this year looked very similar with a Lamborghini trying to infiltrate Belgian dominance of four-circles. In first race Lambo was huted by four Audis, but manage to win with 3s difference. Great start for current GT Champions. Main theme of second race was penalties for action in pits. Lambo #63 unsafety release when a mechanic was still in the car area, cause them first place or at least a podium and came 7th. Audi #2 of Vanthoor and Stevens same story, just they went out with a cone and got penalty of drive through. This opened doors for #88 Mercedes for second place just behind Attempto #66 Audi and in-front-of second green Lambo #19. To say who is strong and not it is very hard to say from track as a Zolder. McLaren, BMW and Bentley were practically invisible throughout the race, I think their time will come during endurance rounds. Ferrari also did not challenge Audis and Lambo that much. Next round is held as endurance 3hrs of Monza.
FIA WEC - Prologue Paul Ricard
So what brought the first look and touch with SuperSeason of WEC. Some cars made gigantic portion of kilometers and laps. #95 new Aston 852 laps, Toyota LMP1 #7 with 839 laps or 682 laps by #82 BMW M8 also new one. Souvereign of both GT classes was Porsche. Quickest in GTE-PRO and the same in GTE-AM and quicker than a few GTE-PRO cars. Followed by Ford GT duo. Newbies BMW and Aston was best at two seconds behind 911RSR. Quickest LMP2 was #31 Oreca 07 from Dragonspeed team. They were only 0.9 of a second behind slowest LMP1 privateer. Looks like LMP2 is once more brutally quick. And one of the main questions was Toyota vs the others. #8 four and #7 two seconds ahead of best LMP1 privateer which is BR-Engineering #11 from SMP Racing team. Question is what will ACO and FIA do with this situation. Is there will to put some BoP for Toyota so there might be possible racing between them and rest of the field. Or is Toyota Hybrid on some "do-not-touch" list and there will be no change ? Looking forward. Still these are only times on one lap, and during 6hrs race can happen anything. Also there is different size of tank in the hybrid and non-hybrids, so the question is how often they would need to pit.
MotoGP - 2nd Round - GP Argentina
Argentina showed the unpredictability of the weather. Firstly during qualyfing, when Miller took chances and with risky move secured PP, and in the beginning of the race when start had to be postponed due to safety risk. All drivers except Miller went into pits and after a minute came out once more. Best pick of before start stuff was Marquez and his "pre-start routine" trying to unstall the engine, moving out from his place in front and than back again to his starting place. Honored with drive through penalty. And then the race was about looking what is doing front four ( Miller, Zarco, Crutchlow, Rins ) which was racing at it best, overtaking almost every second corner, and the second show was far behind them with main protagonist Marquez. Everybody was happy and eager to watch his sprint race to the top. But Marc suddenly forgot that MotoGP is not really a car, and it might be dangerous sometimes. He hit Espargaro hard, then Redding and finally Rossi who also fell but manage to continue. He was trying to appologize with raising hand right after the overtaking, but with three-in-a-row, it is not really necessary because they will not believe it. So finally Marquez received 30 seconds penalization after the race, so he could be kept out of the points. Some were calling for immediate black flag, or at least warning with black and white, some are saying that he is only agressive and quick. Let audience decide. We saw also one not nice crash of Dani Pedrosa who ended with bone-crush with 8-10 weeks of reconvalescence - early getting well wishes. And the winner ? Cal Crutchlow with French wonder-boy Zarco and third Rins. This race put Honda Repsol team to 7th place and Yamaha to third. Pack is lead by Honda priveteers LCR and by Crutchlow in three points battle with Dovizioso on Ducati.
FIA WTCR - 1-3rd Round - Morocco
Old guns led the pack as Tarquini took PP from second qualyfing and won first and third race for which there is five points more. Second race was taken by Jean-Karl Vernay after two huge crashes and followed by two Safety Cars. Overtaking in concrete-ring is almost impossible, however some brave ones tried and success so during three races we saw a lot, taking in consideration track profile. Still, most successful was Hyundai mark. Might be that some was waiting for more performance by VW. Second old gun Morbidelli on Alfa is way behind, and the question is how long will he be taking this. Tom Coronel another face of former WTCC also ended-up only with one point. Many fans and journalist thought that this could be year of Rob Huff, well Rob took only 24 points and Norbi Michelisz got even less - 22. So next round will VW and Honda raise the bar and fight Hyundai back ?
GT4 European Series - 1st Round - Zolder ( 2 races )
First season with Blancpain GT Series saw 44 field in Zolder a few minutes after bigger brothers. Podium was taken by McLaren, Ginetta and Audi. Last two shared wins from frist and second round. The racing field is very diverse, but still Audi managed to be one of the top contenders. This is very similar to GT3s...there is something about Audi and Zolder correlation. Anyway winning cars was a bit far in front, Ginetta full 20 seconds ahead of second team.
IndyCar - 2nd Round - GP Phoeinx ( 250 Laps )
Phoenix held second round for IndyCar and the first one in terms of oval racing. The question was whether Chevrolet engine can fight back with Hondas, and yes they could and in the best possible scenario when Newgarden won with Chevy in-front of Hondas led by Wickens and Rossi. But it was also a pit strategy. After waving for caution at the near end time at about 22 laps to go, Newgarden change to fresh tires and came back on sixth as Wickens tried to gamble with old ones. Lap 243 was restart and four laps later he took first place from Wickens and comfortambly won the GP. As in another open-wheeler series F1, there was also a pit incident. And again in top places. Sebastien Bourdais clipped mechanic working on left-front wheel change. He was uninjured and managed to finish the change, but Sebastien was given drive-through penalty which puts him a lap behind leader.
WRC - 4th Round - Tour de Corse ( FRA )
Domination by Ogier and his Ford Fiesta. That is first thing in my mind when thinking about last WRC stop in Tour de Corse. He led from start to finish and make his lead difference to 17 points to second Neuville. Citroen went disastrous this weekend as Loeb manage to crash in early first day and with Meeke following the other day. Meekes crash was interresting due to factor, as his co-driver Nagle made an uncharacteristic mistake with a pace note, calling a fifth-gear left-hand corner instead of the correct third-gear left-hand bend. That was the end for Citroens hunt for second place. Toyota and Ott Tanak took second place followed by two Hyundais Neuville & Sordo, keeping Hyundai in the first place in the manufacturers championships.
SuperGT - 1st Round - Okayama 300Km ( 82 Laps )
SuperGT first round was full of promises of very nice race, started with wet qualyfing where NSX-GT was superior in GT500. And that was the case of the race. In GT500 Keihin Real Racing with #17 NXS-GT takes no risks and won start-finish. In GT300 two Toyotas GT86 and between them DStation Porsche on second place. GT300 has had nice moments, such as fight between Prius and R8LMS ( very nic to watch indeed ).
In folder 2018 Season I have kept for the time being TimeTable file from last week. But this was updated and renamed to RacingSchedule_2018. Changes in upgaded file from last weekend : added motorsport calendar with major series to first sheet / updated result-point tables for ended races ( GTs still to be updated ) / added SuperBikes, DTM and WRX sheets with entry list / updated TimeTable for this weekend. Hope it will be handy :-)