Champs face off at World Speedway GP
Three-time World Speedway Motorcycle Champion, Queenslander Jason Crump (pictured), and 10-time Australian Champion Chris Holder, from Sydney, are sitting in equal second place in the World Speedway GP.
Reigning champion and current series leader Greg Hancock, from California, has 87 points with Crump and Holder each nine points behind going into this weekend’s round seven, the Croatian Speedway GP at Speedway Stadium Milenium at Donji Kraujevic in Croatia.
With a possible 21 points on offer in Croatia, it is a distinct possibility that the Australians could be sitting in first and second place following the final. However, with any one of the top 10 riders capable of winning, the Aussies will need to be at the top of their game this weekend.
Podium finish in Canada
Though he didn’t win, Queensland’s Will Power said his third-place finish on Edmonton’s City Centre Airport road circuit in Canada, in Round 11 of the IRL Championship, was one of his best drives.
After qualifying seventh, Power started from 17th on the grid, his Penske Team deciding to change engines and accept a 10-place penalty on the starting grid.
Following a stellar drive he was delighted to claim a place on the podium. Power now sits third in the championship, 26 points behind leader Ryan Hunter Reay, and only three points behind his Penske teammate, Helio Castroneves. Regarding Castroneves driving style, former Indianapolis 500 and IRL Champion, now team owner, Bobby Rahal (whose son Graham is carrying on the family tradition in Indy cars) quipped, “Helio Castroneves is tough (to pass), he starts blocking (other drivers in the race) when he picks up his rental car at the airport”.
German GP gets tricky
After qualifying a fine third in the German Formula One GP at Hockenheim in mostly wet conditions, Australia’s Mark Webber was penalised five grid positions for a gearbox change after qualifying.
“It was an intense, tricky session for drivers, engineers and decisions,” Webber said afterwards.
“There was extremely heavy aquaplaning so when the cars are having wheelspin at 280km/h, it certainly gets your attention.”
Though it was a dry race both Webber and his teammate Sebastien Vettel suffered from lack of engine power which was traced to the electronic engine mapping. Vettel finished fifth and Webber started and finished in eighth. Despite a less than pleasing event, Webber is second in the championship, 34 points adrift of winner Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), with Vettel 10 points behind Webber.
Webber has signed with Red Bull Renault for 2013 and expects to finish his F1 career with Red Bull.
NASCAR tough going
Though he has had some reasonable results in the NASCAR Sprint Cup in his Richard Petty Motorsport Ford Fusion, former V8 Supercar Champion Marcus Ambrose sits in 18th place after 19 of 36 rounds.
While some may criticise Ambrose’s performance, it should be remembered that there are 43 cars in every race on ovals.
Ambrose scored his only NASCAR Sprint Cup win on a road course and freely admits that just to finish an oval race with cars sometimes three-wide and bumper-to-bumper at 300km/h is an achievement in itself.
Red Bull has eye on V8
In breaking V8 Supercar news it seems almost certain that Red Bull will replace Vodafone as 888 Racing’s major sponsor.
However it will not be the beverage arm of Red Bull but rather Red Bull Mobile, the international mobile phone network that will be the major sponsor.888 driver Craig Lowndes has made it very clear that he hasn’t won a Touring Car or V8 Supercar Championship for many years, and though his teammate Jamie Whincup is the driver to beat in 2012, Lowndes’ goal is to claim another championship before he retires.