Naoki Yamamoto, Super Formula, Motegi, 2016

Three points covers Super Formula top five

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Japan’s Super Formula championship is incredibly close at its halfway stage with three points covering the top five and newcomer Stoffel Vandoorne just seven points off the leader.

Also last weekend both NASCAR and IndyCar suffered rain delays, the Rally of Germany was suspended after Stephane Lefebvre crashed his Citroen and rain lashed the Moscow Raceway during DTM’s visit.

Super Formula

Race 5 of 9: Twin Ring Motegi

Toyota-powered cars locked out the top five positions at the Honda-owned Twin Ring Motegi as Impul’s Yuhi Sekiguchi won from pole position. Audi WEC driver Andre Lotterer finished six seconds behind under pressure from Hiroaki Ishiura.

The trio occupy the same positions in the championship, Sekiguchi one-and-a-half points clear of Lotterer despite failing to score in the opening two rounds. Yuji Kunimoto and Naoki Yamamoto are also within three points of Sekiguchi

Honda’s top finisher at Motegi was McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne, who came home sixth. Despite being a lowly ninth in the standings he is just seven points adrift of the leader with races at TI Aida, Sugo and the double-header finale at Suzuka to come.

World Rally Championship

Round 9 of 13: Germany

Stephane Lefebvre and his co-driver Gabin Moreau remain in hospital after a heavy crash which interrupted the Rally of Germany. Lefebvre sustained a punctured lung and broken rib while Moreau’s injuries include a broken right foot, fractured right tibia, broken left hand, damaged collarbone and cracked vertebra. He has already undergone surgery on his a leg. The incident (below) began when Lefebvre ran into the course’s notorious Hinkelsteins which spun his car into a tree.

Eric Camilli also crashed out – on stage one – while Hayden Paddon survived a high-speed spin. World champion Sebastien Ogier – for once unhindered by being first on the road – took his first win since Rally Sweden in February. However he faced stiff competition from team mate Andreas Mikkelsen until mid-Saturday. The second Volkswagen eventually slipped to fourth behind Hyundai pair Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville, who were split by just one tenth of a second at the end of the rally.

DTM

Races 11 and 12 of 18: Moscow Raceway

BMW’s Marco Wittmann lost and then regained the DTM championship lead over the course of two races at Moscow Raceway. He failed to score in Saturday’s wet race but converted pole position to victory on Sunday in his 50th DTM start.

Robert Wickens won on Saturday in a race which had to start behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain. Pole sitter Gary Paffett ran wide early on, allowing Wickens through into the lead. Paul di Resta later got by Wickens for second. Maximilian Götz made it four Mercedes in the top four on Saturday but BMW did the same the following day, Wittmann leading home Tom Blomqvist, Bruno Spengler and Augusto Farfus.

NASCAR

Race 23 of 36: Bristol

Haas driver Kevin Harvixk won the 500-lapper at the tight 0.533-mile Bristol oval after a rain delay forced much of the race to be postponed to Sunday. Ricky Stenhouse Jnr finished second, his car carrying a tribute livery in honour of Bryan Clauson, the IndyCar and sprint race driver who died earlier this month.

IndyCar

Race 13 of 16: Pocono

Mikhail Aleshin claimed his first career pole position for the Pocono 500 after Ryan Hunter-Reay, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball all suffered crashes during practice. However for the second time this year an IndyCar race was postponed due to rain.

The race is now scheduled to being at 12:09 local time (17:09 BST) today. The drivers will then reconvene at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday to conclude the rain-delayed race which started there in June.

Also last weekend

Cal Crutchlow became the first British rider to win a Moto GP race in 35 years in a thrilling wet grand prix in Brno. Valentino Rossi followed him home in second despite slipping far down the order early on, while Marc Marquez finished third. With Jorge Lorenzo finishing last after once again struggling in the wet conditions, he now slips 59 points behind leader Marquez with Rossi the Honda riders closest challenger, just 53 points back.

Over to you

What did you make of this weekends racing action? Let us know in the comments below.

Next weekend Formula One returns with action from Spa-Francorchamps, supported once more by GP2 and GP3. Elsewhere there is a variety of tin top action with NASCAR, IMSA, BTCC and Australian V8’s all racing.

Thanks to Robert Mathershaw (@Mathers) for contributing to this article.

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  • 12 comments on “Three points covers Super Formula top five”

    1. MotoGP season keeps getting better and better.

    2. Anther stunning MotoGP race and what a great 2016 season it is turning out to be. I really can’t help but notice how brilliant Marc Marquez has been. I am least bothered about Rossi vs Marquez and who is better and that BS but Marc Marquez is legendary! Just in his 4th season in MotoGP and has wrapped up 2 titles and is leading the current one and the way he rides, overtakes and his ability to drag a machine like Honda which is struggling so bad (just look at other Honda riders), this guy is pure class!

      In years to come, people will talk about Agostini, Rossi, Doohan and Marquez in the same sentence!

      1. So a MotoGP race that was all about tyre degredation and won by extreme tyre saving is “stunning” and when we have it in F1, it is considered by many here (I don’t know about @neelv27) as “crap”. Hmm..

        1. The grass is always greener at the other side.

        2. There wasn’t any tire saving in the race as was evident by Iannone’s front tire. Even if they find themselves on the wrong tires, MotoGP riders will push until the tire gives up as they don’t have the conservative mindset of F1 teams.
          This race was more about strategy and how those who used the hard wets were able to overcome the early deficit to claim podium positions. Having different wet compounds is what really made the race. Unfortunately in F1 teams don’t have the flexibility that they do in MotoGP and as they all do the same math, the F1 teams are usually all on the same strategy and all driving to the same delta times.

          1. I think the point that might be the critical difference here @velocityboy is not about one pushing while the others somehow don’t, but about “they all do the same math” – I think that of how F1 teams have so much information and so many simulation tools at their disposal, makes it incredibly hard to introduce an element of surprise into the racing without making it just artificial punishing to try alternative strategies.

            When there is a clear path to success, and everyone knows this far enough ahead of the event, it would be folly to even try something different, right.

            1. @bascb – True. But in MotoGP the riders don’t have the engineers in their ear saying do this and do that, which to your point means there will be several interpretations of what is the best path to success. Prost knowing when to conserve and when to push is what set him apart from the other drivers. Now every driver knows when to push and when not to because they have the engineers telling them when to do it.
              In both series the participants probably start the event with similar strategies, but once the race starts and new variables are introduced, because MotoGP for the most part leaves the decisions to the riders, there is a greater chance for variety.

            2. Yes they should ban the radio in F1.

            3. I get your point about Prost there @velocityboy, BUT that is not the point – as @rethla mentions the FIA/FOM tried banning the part were drivers were instructed during the race, and it did not really work, nor did it really do much to change the situation.

              Instead, it is far more that teams have tools to predict UP FRONT, so that it would not be just Prost knowing when to conserve and when to push, but in current F1 it is Prost, Senna, Berger, Mansell, down to De Cesaris etc who would ALL know and be carefully briefed when and how much to push and when not to. Because teams are able to predict far more nowadays.
              The degrading tyres were an attempt to upset that with introducing unpredictable tyres. But first of all teams learned how to predict them too quite soon, and then if they were unpredictable, well, the interest to more of the same chaotic races with the same, planned, core issue were also soon getting predictably regular.

        3. that wasn’t the best motogp race, but the excitement was still far better then any f1 races of this era. I recommend watching a replay of Phillip Island 2015 to show you how much better a “racing” series motogp is over f1, it was one of the best races of any racing series ever, and in most moto gp races you cannot predict who will win.

    3. The Super Formula championship is a lot more interesting than the actual races…

      1. Just like the 2010 season was for F1.

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