Rain-lashed Petit Le Mans and WRC France

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Road Atlanta played host to the final round of the 2015 United Sportscar Championship with the Petit Le Mans, and saw a shock winner.

Elsewhere Vitor Baptista placed one hand on the 2015 Euroformula Open trophy and torrential rain caused havoc as the World Rally Championship returned to the French island of Corsica for the first time since 2008.

Guest series: United SportsCar Championship

Round 12: Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta

Heavy rain at Road Atlanta disrupted the 18th running of Petit Le Mans, which also served as the United Sports Car Championship finale. The race began in treacherous conditions and was brought to a close just before the eighth hour of a scheduled ten.

Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet shared overall honours for Porsche. Tandy followed up his Le Mans 24 Hours victory with Nico Hulkenberg and Earl Bamber, but instead of a 919 Hybrid LMP1 this victory came in the Porsche 911 RSR in the GTLM class.

This was a rare victory for a production-based car over the prototype classes, which also handed the GTLM class championship to Pilet. In the car during the eighth hour, Tandy overtook the Corvette Daytona Prototype of Eric Curran for the overall lead, then pulled out between three and six seconds each lap. Tandy led the field home to the early chequered flag, ahead of another GTLM car – the #24 BMW of John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann.

Third overall and winners of the ‘top’ class was the #5 Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais, giving them second consecutive USCC title, ahead of the Riley-Ford of Scott Pruett, Joey Hand and Scott Dixon. CORE Autosport took the title in PC, its fifth consecutive win, and the second in a row for drivers Colin Braun and Jon Bennett. With Pilet taking GTLM honours, the GT Daytona class saw Scuderia Corsa taking the title with Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler.

Euroformula Open

Round 7: Monza, Italy

RP Motorsport driver Vitor Baptista took another step towards the title in race one with the win, his sixth of the season. Yu Kanumaru, fresh from his Formula Renault 3.5 debut, took second after starting on pole, while Konstantin Tereschenko finished third having been given a five second penalty for exceeding track limits. The fight for the win was tight between the three, with Baptista and Kanamaru making contact resulting in the Japanese driver suffering minor front wing damage on lap three, though a clean race gave the Brazilian victory.

The second race of the weekend saw a brand new winner, with RP’s Damiano Fioravanti taking the chequered flag ahead of team-mates Baptista and Igor Walilko. Tereschenko took pole position in wet conditions, while Baptista was down in seventh. Fioravanti quickly overtook the Russian polesitter and Walilko followed closely, but when Tereschenko tried to get second place back into the chicane, they collided, resulting in Tereschenko retiring with suspension damage. The result means Baptista extends his championship lead, 32 points ahead of Tereschenko with just 50 remaining.

Next race: Barcelona, Spain (31st October – 1st November)

World Rally Championship

Round 11: France

Torrential rain severely affected the opening day of the Tour de Corse, with Thierry Neuville retiring early on and stage two (which was to be re-run as stage four on Saturday) being cancelled due to damage to the road caused by the weather.

Champion Sebastien Ogier took an early joint lead with former F1 driver Robert Kubica, only for both to come unstuck in the afternoon, Ogier with a puncture – and later a retirement with a gearbox issue. This handed a surprise lead to Elfyn Evans, ahead of the equally surprising Kevin Abbring, with Jari-Matti Latvala in third. Latvala soon overhauled the two in front to take a comfortable win, but Evans held off Mikkelsen to take his best ever result in second. Ogier recovered to take the power stage win – and three points – ahead of Kubica.

Next round: Spain (23rd – 25th October)


Round 29: Dover International Speedway

Six-times NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson was one of the quartet of drivers eliminated from title contention as the first stage of the sprint for the cup came to an end at Dover International Speedway. Johnson, who has won more races than all bar two drivers this year, was prevented from progressing to the next stage of the knockout competition after an axle seal broke on his Chevrolet.

Kevin Harvick’s third win of the season kept him among the 12 remaining contenders as Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer were also left behind.

Next round: Charlotte Motor Speedway (10th – 11th October)

Guest series: NASCAR Camping World Trucks

Round 18: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Title contender Tyler Reddick was involved in the above nasty crash in which he got loose and inadvertently wiped out team mate Austin Theriault, who then endured a hefty impact into the wall. Reddick recovered to finish seventh – ahead of those in front of him in the Championship – but the win went to John Wes Townley.

Next round: Talladega Superspeedway (24th October)

Over to you

Which of these events did you watch over the weekend? Or did something pique your interest that we haven’t covered? Let us know in the comments below.

Next weekend we have the World Endurance Championship, V8 Supercars, NASCAR, and the BTCC title decider from Brands Hatch.

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20 comments on “Rain-lashed Petit Le Mans and WRC France”

  1. Very unlucky rally for Kubica. He had the speed but not the car.

    1. Considering Kubica crashes out 3 out of 4 rallies, luck has very little to do with anything when it comes to Kubica.

      1. Rallying took away his F1 career. The least it could do is stop kicking a man while he’s down.

        Nothing has dulled my interest in getting back into WRC as much as Robert Kubica not being as successful as he was in WRC-2 two years ago. Ogier and Latvala can win ten rallies a year and I’d still be okay if Kubica picked up one of the ones left over.

    2. Kub has mentioned in an interview afterwards that he will consider doing a joint program of rallying with circuit racing next year, seeing as it is for the second season in a row on the top league that he has failed to score any significant breakthroughs.

      I really hope his bad luck stops, it’s been going strong since he first arrived at the WRC as a guest in the 2013 UK rally driving for Citroen.

      1. I miss Kubica so much… Nice to see him rallying but F1 has lost Incontestable, huge racing talent. Wish you well Robert! You allways will have our support.

        1. Hear hear. It makes me sad every time I see a photo with him in :(

  2. Hahaha that Audi sponsor at the beginning of the second video:

    Truth in engineering

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! - @omarr-pepper (@)
      6th October 2015, 16:41

      But they are part of VW, so I don’t see how they can be “true”.

  3. Just an update on Austin Theriault. After the crash he was air-lifted to a Las Vegas hospital and underwent a comprhensive CT scan. They reported that he suffered a 10 percent compression fracture in his back. He has already been released from the hospital.

    The wreck does show how much NASCAR has improved safety over the years. About 15 years NASCAR truck driver Tony Roper was involved in a similar wreck that ended up being fatal.

    1. When will they put SAFER on the all of the inside and outside walls at every track that hosts a Cup, Busch/Nationwide/Xfinity or Truck series race?

  4. Meanwhile in Nick Tandy’s car: “♪I’m singing in the rain! Just singing in the rain!♪”

    This reminds of when the LMP2 Porsche RS Spyder won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2008, and the Viper GTS-R won the 24 Hours od Daytona in 2000.

    1. Oh and the 2003 24 Hours of Daytona won by TRG’s Porsche 911 GT3-RS.

  5. For the first time I watched Euroformula Open. As for the quality of racing it reminded me of AutoGP, but then with a full grid of drivers. Lots of stupid mistakes and stupid crashes. More than one driver missing Ascari, keeping the foot fully planted while cutting through the grass, and then losing it while rejoining at full speed, some ever so nearly crashing into other drivers taking the racing line (and for the rest just crashing into themselves).
    Not-so-great marshalling either. Start of race 1, Tereschenko doesn’t feel like using the chicane all the way so he cuts it (as seen in the first video), takes the lead in doing so, and to my surprise just keeps the lead without anyone doing anything about it. Only after repeated track limits abuse later in the race did the marshals impose a 5 second penalty.

    Entertaining though. :)

    I also watched BRDC F4 at Brands Hatch, which seemed to provide racing of higher quality. Some familiar names winning the three races: two were won by Will Palmer, one by Harri Newey. Palmer took the championship in his second season, while Newey became runner-up in his rookie season. Palmer succeeded in a few very impressive overtaking manoeuvres around the outside going into Paddock Hill Bend. More to come from these two? Given that they should be rather well funded, I’m sure we’ll see them on European level (F3 Euro?) in the near future.

  6. FlyingLobster27
    5th October 2015, 15:19

    SRO Sprint update: Vanthoor has suffered leg fractures in Saturday night’s accident. He won’t be taking part in next week’s finale. Sad news, and his team-mate Robin Frijns will have to become champion without him; he holds an 8-point advantage over Abril/Buhk.

  7. Although I love they let the drivers race in Road Atlanta, and the Porsche win is just sublime, I can’t help but think the race should have been red flagged on many occasions. There were crashes all around, drivers doing very irresponsible things to get back on track etc…

  8. Meanwhile in Misano (BSS), Laurens Vanthoor is forced to miss Zandvoort after collided with HTP Bentley (quite brutal) & have fractured leg & hip.
    And the races itself were awesome.

  9. Saw a comment about F4 above. Anyone know how Mick Schumacher is doing? I remember he broke his thumb earlier this year but not heard much more since.

    1. @eoin16 you can find all results from German F4 here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_ADAC_Formula_4_season

      Mick ended the season in tenth. That’s not bad, but it’s not a fantastic performance either. He did win a race though.

      1. Cheers bud

  10. Sadly I’m not able to view these races and though I’m not a huge fan of dinosaur racing I’d like to remind those of you not in Australia that next weekends V8 supercar race is at mount Panorama, Bathurst, where any race is worth watching.

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