Welcome to the Hooniverse Motorsport News. This weekend, almost all of the excitement took place on home soil with a pair of exciting events on opposite ends of the country. Â The 6 hours of the Glen ran in Watkins Glen, New York, while X-Games Rallycross took place in Los Angeles, CA. Â Formula 1 had the weekend off, and who cares about NASCAR, but DTM did have a good run at the Norisring. Â This report is aimed at telling you what you missed, and what you will miss in the near future.Â This round of Motorsport News will be filled with more spoilers than a time attack competitor.
X-Games Rallycross gives rally a bad name
- Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft goes North
Grand Am conquers the Glen, 6 hours at a time.
- A few for the road…
X-Games Rallycross in L.A.
Sebastian Loeb managed to win again, but this time in a rallycross car in the United States. Â On his first trip to X-Games, Loeb just had the jump on the rest of the competition. Â Getting the great start in his heat and winning by a large margin, he received the best start position in the final. Â Once the final came around, he just repeated more of his signature smoothness and executed a perfect start and stretched his lead. Â Ken Block got the Silver medal running the final few laps with a missing rear tire, running directly on the rim. Â The Bronze medal went to last year’s winner Brian Deegan.
DTM at the Norisring
Jamie Green overtook Martin Tomczyk at the final corner to snatch a stunning last-gasp DTM victory in changing conditions at the Norisring Yesterday. Â The HWA Mercedes hot-shoe was in third with only three laps remaining, but put a wheel in on Bruno Spengler’s BMW at Turn 4 and then negated the 1.9-second deficit to pass the reigning champion’s BMW with the chequered flag in sight.
Green had started from the front row in wet conditions, but found himself in a bit of a schemozzle with polesitting team-mate Gary Paffett at the first turn. Â A chain reaction further back caused Augusto Farfus to lock up and nudge Mattias Ekstrom into Green.
He ran fourth for much of the race, moving up to third when his team-mate Ralf Schumacher retired with electrical issues. Â During the rainy period of the race, Green had difficulty staying within sight of the BMWs, but as soon as it started to subside, his C-Klasse became the quickest by a decent margin.
The 30th Running of the Watkins Glen 6 Hour
My favorite Grand Am team (Sorry, Kamil, it’s not Turner), and Rolex 24 winners, Magnus Racing, had an unfortunate event in New York this season. Â They have had some pretty poor luck lately, and this is their second DNF in an 8 day period. Â Last weekend in Wisconsin, they had an engine explode, this week, it was an electrical fire. Â Interestingly, there is in car video of the event transpiring.
Elsewhere, with just under an hour to go, Claudio Burtin’s Foametix car also had a fire that was not engine related. Â Martin Ragginger was forced to put the majority of the fire out himself, getting a bottle from a corner worker and extinguishing much of the fire before the safety crew truck pulled up.
As with most endurance races, the victory came down to fuel strategy and keeping your nose clean. Â The 2011 victors, Brumos Porsche did keep their noses clean, but their fuel strategy was flawed. Â Being caught out on a late race caution cost the team the race.
Another disappointment this week was the fourth straight DNF for the Suntrust racing boys. Â Ricky Taylor had a dumb mistake, hitting the wall exiting pit lane in Detroit. Â At Mid Ohio, a late race accident took any chance of recovery away from Max Angilelli. Â At Road America, Taylor wrecked again with a spin into the wall while attempting to warm his tires. Â This week in New York, an early side-to-side contact fatigued an upper wishbone, and once the team found out about the suspension damage, they decided to retire rather than risk the drivers.
Troubles for Ganassi showed themselves in the form of a leaky radiator. Â The team, luckily, had developed a dry break system and were able to swap radiators in just under 3 minutes, where any other team would have required upwards of 15. Â While they did lose a lap at the time, they brought it back and challenged for the lead late in the race.
With just under 10 minutes remaining, there were 7 Daytona Prototypes on the lead lap, and all were separated by a mere 10 seconds. Â Joao Barbosa’s late race pass on Alex Gurney was masterful, using traffic to pip by. Â Sebastian Bourdais drove a great race for Le Mans LMP2 victors, Starworks Motorsports.
At the end of the 6 hours, Barbosa would take the checkered flag by .25 seconds over Alex Gurney, Corvette over Corvette. Â In GT, Robin Liddell would take the Stevenson Camaro to victory over the Turner BMW with Auberlen at the wheel.
A Few For The Road…
1. Earlier this week, fires raged in Colorado. Â While our thoughts are with the residents of the area, and we do not want to cheapen the experience of watching all of your worldlyÂ possessionsÂ burn to theÂ ground, we do have to lament the loss of the 2012 Pikes Peak Climb to the Clouds. The smoke and fire in the area has canned the event that was supposed to begin this Wednesday. Â While it has been mentioned that the event promoters are attempting to find a replacement date for the event, it currently seems unlikely that the event will return. Â In the event that they do return, it will certainly not be to the same level.
2. For the second week in a row, I am going to climb aboard a soap box. Â ESPN’s X-Games have, in the past, done many good things in the name of rally. This year, however, like the event two years prior, can be described as nothing other than an absolute clusterfuck. Â
First, in practice, was the Toomas Heikkinen crash that has been seen hundreds of thousands of times. Â It was a brutal impact, and thanks to cellphone cameras, can be seen here. Â For those that don’t know, stuff like this doesn’t normally happen in rally.
After that gut-wrenching incident, the officials filled in the gap in the jump as a reactionary move. Â It made the racing less visually exciting, yet infinitely safer. Â Even still, there was evidently a lightpole directly on the apex of the corner directly after the jump, and this happened to Marcus Gronholm.
Then there was the start to qualification heat 4… Â
I have met Travis several times back when I was interning at Rally America during the height of the Travis and Ken show. Â I have NEVER known him to be one to swear so heavily, so even I was slightly startled by his reaction. Â I cannot blame him, but it is a good thing the censors are so quick with the button, as Pastrana threw up his hands and yelled “FUCK! Â Are you fucking kidding me?” Â In a later interview, he apologized to his mother for “cussing so much”. Â It was pretty poor that such a quick driver was taken out so soon, he had a great start, and surely could have won his heat handily.
Then there was an event in the actual final which had me absolutely fumed. Â The 6 lap race was red flagged midway through the first lap as Isachsen wrecked his Subaru. Â Tanner Foust had gotten an amazing start and came from the second row up into second place behind WRC Champion Sebastian Loeb during that first lap. Â Rather than restart the existing race, they restarted the event and put Faust back to his second row position. Â A couple jumped starts later, the actual race started. Â Watch it unfold here.
A mess. Â Exciting, but a mess, nonetheless.