[Not TiVoSafe] Motorsports Highlights: March 25-26
WRC: Sebastien Loeb made it two in a row, following up his win in Rally Mexico with a victory across the pond in Spain's Catalunya Rally. Loeb (shown at right) finished with 48 seconds in hand over Kronos/Citroen teammate (and local hero) Dani Sordo. Ford's Marcus Gronholm captured the last step on the podium, after charging back from 10th place following engine problems on Friday. Full rally coverage here.
Loeb leads the championship by 9 points over Gronholm.
More weekend highlights after the jump... MotoGP:
Loris Capirossi led wire to wire on his Ducati to capture the opening race of the MotoGP season in Spain. A first turn crash by 2005 champion Valentino Rossi put the Yamaha rider on the sidelines, and Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and American Nicky Hayden came home in second and third. More info at motogp.com.
Kurt Busch used a well-timed application of the chrome horn to bump his way past Matt Kenseth in the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway Sunday to capture his first win for Roger Penske. Busch is now a five-time winner at the Bristol short track. Kevin Harvick followed Busch past Kenseth to finish second, leaving an angry Kenseth to salvage third.
Points leader Jimmie Johnson suffered a disasterous day, cutting a tire in the opening laps and ending the day well off the pace. Matt Kenseth takes over the top of the point standings, only 8 points ahead of Kasey Kahne, and 19 ahead of Johnson. Full results at nascar.com.
Last year's champion opened the season in fine style for his new team, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, capturing the Toyota Indy 300 in a .0147 second victory over Marlboro Team Penske's Helio Castroneves. Castroneves' teammate Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the podium, after leading most of the race until an ill-timed late-race pit stop.
After Paul Dana's fatal accident in pre-race practice, Rahal Letterman Racing withdrew its other two drivers, Danica Patrick and Buddy Rice, from the race. More information at indyracing.com.
Rolex Sports Car Series:
The de facto "Porsche factory team" of Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long beat out the Porsche-powered Crawford of Lucas Luhr and Christian Fittipaldi to give Porsche its first-ever Daytona Prototype victory. Scott Pruett and Luis Diaz claimed third for Ganassi Racing in their Lexus-powered Riley.
The winning Crawford prototype is run by Porsche stalwarts and American Le Mans Series regulars Alex Job Racing (teamed with Emory Motorsports), while the young duo of Rockenfeller and Long are Porsche factory drivers. Race results and pics at grandamerican.com.
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