Hamil­ton does enough to take cham­pi­onship

THE MO­TOR­SPORT LAP/ This past week­end’s Mex­i­can Grand Prix con­cluded the F1 driv­ers’ ti­tle as Lewis Hamil­ton clinched his fourth tro­phy

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

Go­ing into this past week­end’s Mex­i­can Grand Prix, Lewis Hamil­ton’s (MercedesAMG) chance of clinch­ing this sea­son’s ti­tle was hang­ing in the bal­ance.

Hav­ing qual­i­fied in third spot, his ti­tle arch-ri­val, Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel, started on pole ahead of Red Bull Rac­ing’s Max Ver­stap­pen in sec­ond. As soon as the lights went out, it was a thor­ough jos­tle for po­si­tion into the first few cor­ners where Ver­stap­pen seemed to have the best start, while Hamil­ton also man­aged to catch Vet­tel un­awares.

IN­CI­DENTS

But Vet­tel was then in­volved in a num­ber of in­ci­dents that saw him clip Ver­stap­pen’s rear tyre and then the Fer­rari did the same to Hamil­ton, which saw Hamil­ton pit with a punc­ture.

This dashed Hamil­ton’s hopes of a podium fin­ish and he had to set­tle for ninth but in the end it was enough for him to se­cure the 2017 driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship tro­phy.

It was also the Malaysian leg of the MotoGP cham­pi­onship where An­drea Dovizioso (Du­cati Team) won his class ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Du­cati Team) and Jo­hann Zarco (Mon­ster Yamaha Tech 3).

Mean­while, in the Moto2 class, Red Bull KTM dom­i­nated the pro­ceed­ings with Miguel Oliviera tak­ing vic­tory ahead of team-mate and South African rider Brad Binder. Third podium spot went to Franco Mor­bidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex).

In Moto3, Joan Mir (Leop­ard Rac­ing Honda) came up trumps ahead of Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3 Honda) and Enea Bas­tian­ini (Estrella Gali­cia 0,0 Honda) in third.

In other in­ter­na­tional news, Re­nault has an­nounced it will be ex­it­ing For­mula E come the start of the 2018 sea­son in Hong Kong in De­cem­ber, in favour of its al­liance part­ner, Nis­san. Ac­cord­ing to a com­pany state­ment, the French car maker will let its Ja­panese coun­ter­part take over the ba­ton in For­mula E as it con­cen­trates more on its For­mula One ex­ploits.

The At­las Copco Gold 400, the fi­nal round of the 2017 South African Cross-Coun­try Se­ries, ce­mented Toy­ota’s dom­i­na­tion. Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA’s Giniel de Vil­liers and Den­nis Mur­phy had wrapped up the over­all ti­tle at the pre­vi­ous round, but the fi­nal event saw brothers Jo­han and Werner Horn (Malalane Toy­ota Hilux) wrap up the Class T ti­tle; while the Class S crown went to Jan­nie Visser and his son Chris Jnr (Team Bar­berspan Toy­ota Hilux).

EX­TREME FES­TI­VAL

The Kyalami Grand Prix cir­cuit will host the penul­ti­mate round of this year’s Ex­treme Fes­ti­val this Satur­day, with 14 sep­a­rate rac­ing dis­ci­plines set to pro­duce a mo­tor­sport ex­trav­a­ganza. Th­ese will in­clude the the Sa­sol Global Tour­ing Car (GTC) con­tin­gent, with the cat­e­gory’s two na­tional ti­tle chases still up for grabs. Michael Stephen (En­gen Xtreme Audi A3) and Gen­naro Bon­afede (Sa­sol BMW) will lock horns for the over­all ti­tle lead.

One of the event’s big­gest draw­cards should be the races for G&H Trans­port Ex­treme Su­per­cars, with 32 ex­otic ve­hi­cles to face the start­ing lights.

Head­ing up the en­try will be Toby Ven­ter in his works Porsche 911 GT2R, chal­lenged by Jo­han En­gel­brecht (Jogjoga Porsche 911 GT2R), Craig Jarvis (Maui Mo­torhomes Fer­rari), Mar­cel An­gel (Au­to­haus An­gel Fer­rari 458 GT3) and Charl Aran­g­ies in his new Stradale As­ton Martin Van­tage GT3.

It prom­ises to be a great day of rac­ing at the iconic race­track.

Lewis Hami­ton is sur­rounded by pho­tog­ra­phers as he cel­e­brates his fourth F1 ti­tle.

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