AHAMILTON TRIUMPH IN HUNGARY
AUSSIE FLAVOUR IN RALLY FINLAND
USTRALIA’S Casey Stoner dominated the Moto GP round in the US GP at Laguna Seca, winning ahead of archrival Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) and Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa.
However, Lorenzo still leads the championship on 205 points followed by Pedrosa on 182 and Stoner nine points behind Pedrosa.
Still on two wheels and our Australian Speedway GP stars, Jason Crump and Chris Holder, failed to make the final at the Croatian GP in Gorican last weekend. Though Crump scored two wins, a second and a third, he failed to score in his final heat. His nine points saw him qualify in the second semi-final in which he finished last.
Holder was looking good with a win, a second and third in his first three heats. However, in a freak mechanical failure, his primary chain broke, locking up the drivetrain and sending him over the handlebars into the fence. He suffered chest injuries and was unable to continue.
Former world champion Nikki Pedersen won the final and is now only six points behind championship leader and threetime world champion Greg Hancock with Crump a further 10 points behind Hancock and Holder three points behind Crump. The next round is the Italian GP at Terenzano. LEWIS Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) claimed his second win in the 2012 Formula One Championship in the Hungarian GP. Comeback man and former world champion Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus Renault) was second.
While not in a position to win, Australia’s Mark Webber and his Red Bull teammate Sebastien Vettel appeared set to finish fourth and fifth prior to making costly third pit-stops in the final 15 laps of the race. Webber, who had been struggling with a differential issue, crossed the line in eighth place and Vettel took fourth. Fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo finished 15th, and most importantly, continued to beat his teammate.
It has been widely tipped that Ricciardo will replace Webber at Red Bull Renault when he hangs up his helmet. Championship leader Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) finished fifth and still leads the championship with 164 points.
Despite Webber’s mediocre result, he is still a distant second, 40 points behind Alonso, with Vettel a further two points behind Webber. QUEENSLAND’S Chris Atkinson, who has not competed on a regular basis in the World Rally Championship since Subaru’s withdrawal, is delighted to be having a one-off drive with Citroen in Rally Finland this weekend. With the Olympic Games coinciding with Rally Finland, Atkinson’s Citroen livery features a distinctly Australian flavor. Though it is one of the toughest events in the WRC, it has been a happy hunting ground for Atkinson in the past and he is looking to finish on the podium to enhance his chances of further drives in the WRC, possibly with Skoda.
Atkinson has also signed as a brand ambassador with the company whose Australian director Matthew Wiese said: “Chris Atkinson has proven himself as a young Australian racing talent in recent years and certainly is one to watch over the next few years.”
After seven of 13 rounds, Citroen factory driver Sebastian Loeb, who has won five of the seven rounds so far, leads on 145 points, with Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen second on 107, while crowd favourite Petter Solberg is third with 90 points.
REACHING A LEGENDARY MILESTONE
KNOWN as “The Enforcer” for his sometimes forceful but fair driving style, veteran Touring Car and V8 Supercar driver Russell Ingall will draw level with Peter Brock in this weekend’s Ipswich 300 V8 Supercar round at Queensland Raceway.
He will make his 212th Touring Car/Supercar event start, elevating himself to equal third with the legendary Brock on the all-time most starts list. Only John Bowe (225) and Mark Skaife (220) have scored more points than Ingall.
“To have my name mentioned in the same breath as Peter Brock is an honour. It’s fantastic to still be racing V8 Supercars and, most importantly, still be competitive. I never dreamt of racing as long as Peter,” said a humble Ingall, who has 490 race starts, 27 wins, and 90 top-three finishes. However 2005 was his only V8 Supercar Championship win.