In this week’s racing wrap Penske are the team to beat as the new IndyCar season begins, an ex-F1 driver steps down to Indy Lights and a new championship supports the Malaysian Grand Prix.
IndyCar round one
Streets of St Petersburg
Juan Pablo Montoya got his second season back in IndyCar off to the best possible start by beating Will Power to victory in St Petersburg. Power was bearing down on his Penske team mate in the closing lap of the race but dropped back after clipping Montoya’s car in a failed overtaking attempt.
Contact was a major theme of the day as the first half of the race saw several caution periods while marshals collected various bits of the new aero kits while fell off as the drivers tangled around the narrow St Petersburg street course.
Indy Lights round one
Streets of St Petersburg
IndyCar’s feeder series was also back in action and had a new winner in the shape of Carlin, who’ve crossed the Atlantic to expand their successful single seater racing operation. The blue cars duly locked out the front row, although Ed Jones out-qualified ex-Marussia driver Max Chilton. Jones went on to win both races while Chilton retired on the opening lap of race one and came home fourth in race two.
Australian V8 Supercars round two
The V8 Supercars powered into Tasmania for the second championship round of 2015. After qualifying on pole, Red Bull Holden driver Craig Lowndes took a commanding victory in race one, and repeated this feat in race two, before seeing team mate Jamie Whincup take the honours for race three, and with it the championship lead heading into the third round, at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.
NASCAR round six
Denny Hamlin managed to take the 25th victory in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career at Martinsville, after holding off last week’s Fontana winner Brad Keselowski in the fifth round of the championship. The eventual winner was hit by Keselowski on the last lap, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Joe Gibbs Racing driver from taking the spoils.
Championship leader Kevin Harvick’s run of top two finishes came to end at eight, as he finished down in eighth place.
TCR International Series round one
The TCR International Series made its debut on the support bill of the Malaysian Grand Prix with a 17-car field featuring cars from Seat, Honda, Audi, Opel and Ford. Stefano Comini had the honour of winning the first TCR race ink his SEAT Leon ahead of Pepe Oriola and Sergei Afanasyev.
The third Bamboo SEAT of Jordi Gene took a lights-to-flag victory in race two, with Oriola taking second once more, and the West Coast Racing Honda of ex-F1 racer Gianni Morbidelli rounding out the podium.
Elsewhere in racing
An accident which claimed the life of a spectator led the opening round of the VLN endurance series at the Nurburgring Nordschleife to be abandoned. Jann Mardenbrough’s Nissan lifted off the ground seemingly of its own accord at the Flugplatz, demolished a barrier and landed in a spectator enclosure. Mardenbrough was unharmed and several other spectators were treated for injuries.
Over to you
Next weekend we have the Long Beach round of the Formula E championship at Long Beach, while Brands Hatch kicks off the new British Touring Car Championship season.
Will you be watching any of these races? And what did you watch last weekend? Have your say in the comments.
Thanks to @Mathers for contributing to this article.
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