[Not TiVoSafe] Motorsports Highlights: March 18-19
As we reported earlier, Audi's debut of its R10 turbodiesel at the 12 Hours of Sebring was a qualified success, with the victory of Allan McNish, Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen marred only by the failure of the second R10 to finish the race.
Porsche's rapid RS Spyders didn't fare as well, with neither car finishing the race - the LMP2 pole-sitting car of Lucas Luhr, Sascha Maassen and Emmanuel Collard dropping out with only 45 minutes remaining when a drive-shaft broke, to end the race in second place. The two Porsches were stunningly quick, with the car of Luhr et al falling to 32nd place after an early race stop to replace an alternator and battery, only to climb back to the LMP2 class lead and 2nd overall before its final failure. The Intersport Racing Lola of Jon and Clint Field and LIz Halliday ultimately won in LMP2, continuing their 2005 championship-winning ways.
Corvette won its GT1 showdown with Aston Martin, with the C6R of Gavin, Magnussen and Beretta securing the class win with over a lap in hand over the runner-up Aston Martin DBR9.
The best race was in GT2, where the Panoz of Bourdais, Brabham and Maxwell beat the Flying Lizard Porsche of van Overbeek, Fogarty and Lieb by only 33 seconds. The Risi Competizione Ferrari F430GT was very quick in its ALMS debut, fighting with the Panoz for the class lead through much of the race, before wheel-changing problems took the car out of contention. More details here.
Lots more motorsports after the jump. Formula 1:
The Malaysian Grand Prix story was dominated by V8 problems, with several of the quicker cars (including both Ferraris) relegated to the back of the grid due to pre-race engine changes, and several spectacular engine failures during the race for cars whose engines were on their second race.
Untroubled by engine problems, the Renault team motored to a dominating one-two finish, with Giancarlo Fisichella leading from pole to finish ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was hampered early on by a qualifying mixup which left him with a huge fuel load at the start of the race. Jenson Button brought his Honda home in third, but was never able to match the pace of the Renaults. This is the first time Renault has chalked up a on-two finish since 1982, when Fernando Alonso had yet to celebrate his first birthday!
McLaren had a tough day, with Kimi Raikkonen falling victim to a first lap run-in with Red Bull's Christian Klien, and Montoya unable to hold off Button, eventually finishing in 4th.
The re-engined Ferraris finished in 5th and 6th, well off the pace. Ferrari suffered some behind the scenes drama as well, with the other top teams objecting to Ferrari's "floating" front wing, after previously accusing the team of having an illegally flexible rear wing. Ferrari have promised to field new wings for the next race in Melbourne.
Detailed coverage here.
Three women made it to the Gatornationals finals on Sunday, but only Angelle Sampey was able to get it done, winning Pro Stock Motorcycle. Top Fuel championship leader Melanie Troxel fell victim to Dave Grubnic, while Tom Martino bested Erica Enders in Pro Stock. In the all-male Funny Car final, Ron Capps beat John Force. Force had three daughters competing in Florida, with the best finish by Ashley, who won Top Alcohol Dragster. Full results at nhra.com.
The Nextel Cup Golden Corral 500 was rained out in Atlanta Sunday, but the left-turn only crowd were able to get the race off on Monday, with Kasey Kahne bringing his Dodge home in first place. Rounding out the top five were Mark Martin (Ford), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Chevy), Jeff Gordon (Chevy) and Tony Stewart (Chevy). Points leader Jimmie Johnson came home in 6th.
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