Germany's version of big-bore stock car racing (pictured) is one of the bright spots in SPEED Channel's winter
programming for those of us in North America. The series was at Hockenheim this weekend, with Mercedes scoring a podium
sweep. Bernd Schneider won, ahead of Jamie Green and Gary Paffett. Paffett's third place secured the 2005 series
championship for the British driver.
WRC: This weekend's Rallye de France in Corsica was a clean sweep for 2005 world champion Sebastien Loeb (Citroen), who won all 12 stages, overshadowing fine performances by second place Toni Gardemeister (Ford), and third place Petter Solberg (Subaru).
Jeff Gordon led a Chevy 1,2,3 at Martinsville, marking his seventh victory at the challenging short track. Tony Stewart finished second, ahead of Jimmie Johnson, moving Stewart back into the lead for the Chase, 15 points ahead of Johnson, and 63 points ahead of Ryan Newman.
Rally America: Pat and Nathalie Richard won the Lake Superior Pro Rally this weekend, locking up the 2005 championship in the final event of the season. The Richards? Group N Subaru finished ahead of the sister car of motocross-star-turned-rally-driver Travis Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom. Pastrana is rumored to be looking at a WRC appearance in 2006.
Rally Raid: The Mitsubishi Pajero of Luc Alphand won the cross-country Rally Baja Portalegra, ahead of the Volkswagen Touareg 2s of Jutta Kleinschmidt and WRC legend Carlos Sainz. Sainz launched his Rally Raid career with a win in the opening stage, falling back later with mechanical difficulties.
Champ Car World Series: Sebastien Bourdais won from the outside pole position Sunday to clinch the 2005 series championship in front of a record crowd at Surfer?s Paradise, Australia. RuSport?s AJ Allmendinger was second, with veteran Jimmy Vasser rounding out the podium.
FIA GT: The Longin/Kumpen/Hezemans trio added another country to Corvette?s win record, winning the FIA GT event at Shanghai?s Zhuhai circuit, ahead of the Ferrari 550 of Lamy and Gardel, and the Maserati MC12 of Bartels and Scheider.
MotoGP: The series? first visit to the new Istanbul circuit saw Marco Melandri (Honda) score his first-ever MotoGP win, ahead of Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and American Nicky Hayden (Honda).
A1GP: France?s Alexandre Premat scored a double win this weekend at Estoril, Portugal, starting from pole and scoring the race?s fastest lap in the process. France now leads the series with 50 points, ahead of Brazil with 42 and Switzerland with 34.
NHRA: Tony Schumacher scored a drag racing record $590,000 purse with his Top Fuel victory at Las Vegas this weekend, winning both weekend races, the Budweiser Shootout special event, and clinching the POWERade Drag Racing Series title. That?s what I call a good weekend!