Quite a weekend! Ferrari returns, a new Nextel Cup points leader, a wild sports car race, a ton of motorcycle road racing, and some fence-climbing in Japan.
At the front of the field, the San Marino Grand Prix was a mirror-image of last year's race, this time with Michael Schumacher holding off Fernando Alonso instead of the other way around. Schumacher's victory capped a great weekend for the tifosi, with Felipe Massa redeeming himself for his miscues in previous races with a fourth place finish, and Michael qualfying on the pole. Alonso continued to build his championship lead with his second-place finish, and Juan Pablo Montoya brought his McLaren home in third. Full weekend coverage here. [Photo courtesy of Ferrari]
More after the jump.
Kevin Harvick had one heck of a weekend, capturing both the Busch and Nextel Cup races at the Phoenix International Raceway 1-mile oval. Harvick's late-race charge through the Nextel Cup field was aided by fuel mileage issues, as many other cars ran out of fuel in the closing laps. Tony Stewart started last but finished second, and third-place Matt Kenseth now moves into the points lead, nine up on Jimmie Johnson.
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Rolex Sports Car Series:
Porsche's Daytona Prototype effort continued to build up steam, with Mike Rockenfeller and Patrick Long winning the VIR 400 for the Alex Job Racing/Emory Motorsports team. Rockenfeller put the Porsche Crawford into the lead with only 3 turns to go, as Max "the axe" Angelleli banged fenders with Scott Pruett, leaving room for Rockenfeller to squeeze by. Angelleli hung on for second, with Pruett rounding out the podium trio. The full race report is here.
Troy Bayliss and Troy Corser dominated the two races in Valencia this weekend, but it was Bayliss who enjoyed the view from the top of the podium, scoring the first double win of the 2006 season. Bayliss now leads the championship by 22 points over Corser. More info here.
Another doubleheader motorcycle weekend was recorded on the western side of the Atlantic, with Suzuki rider Ben Spies sweeping the AMA Superbike weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, duplicating last year's feat by fellow Suzuki pilot Mat Mladin. The full story on all the Barber action is here.
Helio Castroneves got to climb the fence at Twin Ring Motegi, starting on pole and dominating the race from start to finish. Dan Wheldon was second, followed by Tony Kanaan. The win puts Castroneves 42 points ahead of Wheldon. Catch all the highlights here.