WTCC Argentina, WRC Mexico and NASCAR Las Vegas

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Catch up on the weekend’s racing action from major international racing series.

World Touring Car Championship round one

Termas di Rio Hondo, Argentina

The WTCC might as well be renamed the World Touring Citroen Championship. At a scorching Termas di Rio Hondo in Argentina, where the track temperature reached 64C, reigning champion and home favourite Jose Maria Lopez lead a clean sweep of the podium for the C-Elysees in race one.

Yvan Muller, second in race one after being edged wide by Lopez at the start, tangled with Mehdi Bennani in the second race, earning a five-place grid penalty for the next round in Morocco. So it was Sebastien Loeb who broke through to win ahead of Lopez, with Tiago Monteiro bringing some consolation for Honda with third place.

The second race should have been ex-HRT tester Ma Qing Hua’s chance to shine. The fourth Citroen factory driver stalled at the start of race one and finished seventh, but after hitting the front in race two he went off the track and eventually finished seventh again.

World Rally Championship round three

Rally of Mexico

The World Rally Championship is a one-sided affair at the moment as well. Sebastien Ogier made it three from three at the start of the season with another victory in his Volkswagen Polo in the Rally of Mexico. Mads Ostberg was well over a minute behind in second place, pipping Ogier’s team mate Andreas Mikkelsen.

But the big story of the event was Ott Tanak’s plunge into a lake on stage three. The car was submerged for nine hours, but once it was returned to the service area his M-Sport team took just three hours to repair it and he was able to finish the rally.

NASCAR Cup round three

Las Vegas

Defending champion Kevin Harvick took a straightforward win for Stewart-Haas in the third race of the season at Las Vegas.

Harvick passed Jimmie Johnson for the lead early in the race when the six-times champion suffered the first of a series of tyre problems:

Jeff Gordon qualified on pole for second time this year but was sent to the back of the 43-car grid after his car was damaged in a practice crash with Danica Patrick. He finished 18th.

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “WTCC Argentina, WRC Mexico and NASCAR Las Vegas”

  1. I had hoped for a bit more excitement in the WTCC after last years regular borefests. Glad Loeb won a race but I guess it’ll be a second title for Lopez though. Almost as predictable as F1.

    1. @xtwl You have to wonder how long Honda will stick around to make Citroen look good. They are absolutely nowhere.

      1. @keithcollantine Honestly, I am surprised Lada still pumps money in this program. Meanwhile I don’t understand why guys like Huff and Chilton don’t go look for a spot in the BTCC which is more competetive and arguably fun to drive in. Except for a few the WTCC isn’t really filled with racing talent either.

      2. @keithcollantine I’m surprised WTCC is stil going to be honest. 18 cars to travel around the world, with one team dominating so much in a series that needs competitive fields to really shine is quite a waste of time IMO. It’s not F1 that gets the attention everywhere it goes…

        But… if the reports are true, @xtwl , you might have a serious battle if Matias Rossi (massive touring car champion here in Argentina, as young as Lopez and arguably better than him) finally gets a ride in one of the cars.

    2. Let’s introduce DRS and Fanboost!

  2. I never thought I would say this, but Loeb please come back…
    Seb2 is just too good for these Chiltons of the WRC (there are a few exceptions ofc)

    1. @nickf12013 I wish Neuville was in a VW, seems he is the only one who could challenge Ogier at the moment. Possibly a little bias as I’m a Belgian myself.

      Loeb won his third WTCC race and he is enjoying himself. What is there left to prove in WRC? Besides the Citroëns aren’t really that competetive as their WTCC couterparts.

      1. Same here for Neuville :)

      2. The DS3 IS competitive and CAN be a match for the Polos. But only if the driver’s first name is Sebastian and the last name Loeb. Think about it, it could be some great PR for Citroen if Loeb could come back and beat those mighty VWs.

      3. i also think that Robert Kubica will be a threat in a year or 2. even though he is on a steep learning curve, the speed is there and getting better and better. he has won 6 stages this year in his privateer m-sport fiesta (the works m-sport drivers have won zero), and word is volkswagon refused to sell him a car preseason, probably because they know his speed is getting right up their now. he won the longest hardest mote carlo stage by miles(ahead of Loeb too). Kubica has bought excitement to Rallying, and bought new fans. so many Polish flags at rallies now, and his car for this year just won a poll on for best livery (about50,000 votes), getting 51% of the vote. i dont mind seeing Ogier win, the rest just have to lift their game! sure their is a car advantage, but the others are not as consistent as him, you can see that in the other 2 VW drivers. only 3 drivers have won a stage in each of the first 3 rallies this year and Kubica is one of them. Ive followed every WRC since Kubica entered (didnt follow wrc before), and now i love Rallying, and even though Kubica is out of F1, i think one day he will still achieve his goal of being World Champion.

    2. @nickf12013 He’s in the best car in WTCC and not winning tons of races so I’m sure he’s content at the moment

    3. @nickf12013 here’s hoping that the arrival of Toyota brings new life for WRC. VW alone is boring the heck out of me, just like Citroen during the Loeb era.

      Those tight championships in the late 90¡s and early 2000’s were so great…

      1. The battle of Tommi, McRae, Sainz, Burns, Gronholm, Solberg is totally gold.

  3. FlyingLobster27
    9th March 2015, 12:15

    Kind of makes F1 fans feel less alone in the “we’ll watch it, but the Constructors’ Championship was decided in January” department, doesn’t it?

  4. I like this idea, Keith. Are you planning on keeping the Weekend Racing Wrap going all year?

  5. Excellent Keith! Are we going to have a wrap like this every week ;) ?

  6. Very nice idea Keith. It can be sometimes very difficult to keep up with every single major series but a weekly roundup like this would be fantastic :)

    1. @keithcollantine fantastic idea for someone like me that can’t catch up with everything that happens and often miss races.. specially the American series!

    2. pastaman (@)
      9th March 2015, 16:18

      Yes, I like this

    3. Very nice Keith, its lovely to get a wrap up (i tend to miss at least one or 2 things just about any weekend).

      Also quite a bit to show that while Bernie is doing his best to keep F1 footage out of the internet (apart from the clips in the official race footage available at least a week and often more afterwards) other series try and get footage out almost immediately.

      1. Well that’s an interesting point @bascb, it really does spotlight how pig-headed FOM’s attitude to internet broadcasting really is.
        Maybe, just maybe one of Bernie’s elves will dare to show him how much good publicity can be gained from releasing race clips to You Tube et al.

        1. @bascb , @timothykatz – Definitely the perfect example of anti-marketing by Bernie compared to so many other racing series. Getting quality video out there generates interest, is free marketing, and it increases value and exposure for sponsors and your series. This is not a difficult concept to grasp for most. Meanwhile Bernie is busy hiding his light under a bushel.

    4. Great! Thanks!

    5. I’d add V8 Supercars series. Great, close racing with some brilliant drivers.

    6. Love this race wrap up from different series! Please include Global Rally Cross if enough people are interested. I’ve been to a couple of events and they are awesome! I am a big fan of Tanner Foust, and Ken Block. Even Scott Speed is doing well in the series.

    7. Great idea and execution on the WRW (Weekend Racing Wrap) @keithcollantine

      Harvick hails from my hometown and I’ve watched NASCAR/Stock Cars on and off most of my life. Was even involved with a lower rung NASCAR team as web designer/photographer. Got to hang out in the pits and everywhere for several years. Racing on any level in any series really is a lot of fun.

      Great job as always, Keith, and congratulations on the anniversary too!

    8. Excellent – a great addition to the site!

  7. Not a single start-and-park in the Cup field, and 48 cars attempted to qualify for 43 spots. Even the teams running 5 laps off the pace have sponsorship and pay their drivers…

    1. The Start and parks are still active in the Xfinity and Truck Series, but the Cup series hasn’t had that problem for a couple of years now. The 2013 Brickyard 400 at Indy saw all 43 drivers still running at the end of the race.

  8. Maybe I prefer to catch Yokohama Private Trophy than Citroen-dominated Trophy.

  9. Although the round up is interesting, I don’t appreciate the spoilers in the article description on the homepage! If you had revealed an Indycar race result I wouldn’t be very happy. I think it’s a great idea to have a roundup of news, but given that all these races were held in a late timezone for the UK audience I hadn’t had a chance to catch up on seeing the races. I’d be interested in reading further articles like this, but a bland article description would be better. Don’t worry, I’m not upset!

    1. @georgeod @kelsier The whole ‘spoiler’ thing drives me up the wall so I’ll try not to be too scathing on this point!

      As far as I’m concerned if a person is trying to not find something out that’s their responsibility. It seems to me the sensible thing to do to ensure it would be to stay off the internet entirely. Other forms of motor racing have always been featured on F1 Fanatic, such as in the round-up, so I would say it has always been a risk to visit this site if you were trying to do this.

      I also don’t like confusing the idea of sports news with film spoilers. With a film, not everyone will necessarily see it at the same time, so it’s reasonable to expect people not to give the plot away. A sporting event happens live, so I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people not to discuss it for an unspecified length of time afterwards while the rest catch up. Or, as in this case, for me to make the headline and introduction of the article less compelling and effective.

      Glad you’re not upset though!

      1. It’s just that I’ve never seen you “spoil” the results of anything except F1 before in the descriptions on the front page. Of cause its a risk I take and WRC results aren’t a big deal to me. And yeah It’s live sport events but I’m sure a large portion of the audience for WRC, Indycar and WEC watch it delayed.

        But if this is they way you and other readers here want it then I’ll be more careful to stay away from your part of the internet after all sporting events I’m planing to watch.

        1. @kelsier You don’t have to worry about those which don’t involve engines. I mean, I’m told such activities exist, but I don’t trouble myself with them :-)

    2. Wouldn’t really be a round up if you can’t mention any result? As @keithcollantine says, don’t go on a site like this in an article ‘weekend round-up’…

      1. The point was not that the results where included in the roundup but that they where in the description that you see before you decide if you want to read it or not.

  10. I don’t often watch a huge amount of motorsport, bar the BTCC and F1, occasionally the WTCC or odd V8SC race (such as Bathurst), but I must admit I was genuinely impressed with the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. I took quite a bit of interest in it due to Jeff Gordon as he is my favourite NASCAR driver, but seeing them going often 3, sometimes 4 wide at 190/200 mph with such precision is hugely impressive. As one sided as the race was, it is refreshing to see 3 different drivers take 3 different race wins in the first 3 races this year, showing how much closer NASCAR is compared to the likes of other series such as the WTCC. Not only has there been 3 different winners, but also two different manufacturers.
    However, the WTCC was sadly everything it was last year, along with clumsy passes and boring 1 at a time racing.

    Fair to say I’m going to give NASCAR a go this year – great job Keith!

  11. Hey Keith, Ilike this idea but please don’t post spoilers on the startpage.

  12. CausticCorner
    10th March 2015, 10:26

    Simple, check your Rolex to see whether the race is over and, if so, avoid any online venues that are likely to mention the outcome. You do have a Rolex, right?

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