Porsche makes it 17 wins; rain sees Will Power fail to convert pole to victory; Rossi and Lorenzo now a single point apart; Kiwi upstart makes Sebastien Ogier work for it in Italy
PORSCHE has won the Le Mans 24 hours for a record 17th time, breaking Audi’s stronghold on the race. German F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg and co-drivers Nick Tandy and Kiwi Earl Bamber won by more than a lap over fellow Porsche team car of Aussie Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard. The Audi of André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer completed the podium.
Toyota failed to front for the race in terms of speed, finishing well down the field, while there was heartbreak in the GTE-AM class, with the number 98 Aston Martin crashing from its leading position with a mere 45 minutes of racing left, handing victory to the Ferrari 458 of Voctor Shaytar, Anrea Bertolini and Aleksei Basov.
For our Le Mans race report, click here.
Rain provides surprise IndyCar result
Josef Newgarden took a surprise win at the Toronto round of the IndyCar World Series, after a slick pit-stop from his CFH team under yellow flags put the 24-year-old into the lead. Newgarden, who started from 11th on the grid, led home his teammate Luca Filippi by 1.3385sec.
Aussie Penkse driver Will Power started from pole position and led the race until lap 29, when the worsening conditions saw a full-course yellow, where the CFH Racing crew managed to jump the field with both of its cars, Newgarden getting into the pits for a tyre change before pitlane was closed.
Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Will Power finished third and fourth ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in fifth. Juan Pablo Montoya retains the IndyCar points lead with his seventh place, ahead of Power in the standings and Scott Dixon who finished eighth.
Newgarden is a star in the making, having won earlier in the year at Alabama.
MotoGP, Catalunya, Spain: Lorenzo continues his momentum with another win
Spain’s Jorge Lorenzo won his fourth consecutive MotoGP, leading from start to finish. Lorenzo held off a late challenge from Yamaha teammate and championship leader Valentino Rossi, with Lorenzo’s win seeing him a single point behind Rossi’s 138 in the overall standings.
The final podium position was filled by Dani Pedrosa.
Suzuki surprised the paddock by taking out the first two grid spots, with Spaniard Aleix Espargaro setting a fastest-ever time, just ahead of countryman Maverick Vinales. This was Suzuki’s first MotoGP pole since 2007 and Espargaro’s second ever but euphoria needed to be tempered by the Suzuki team’s participation in an open class which allows concessions such as soft tyres.
More significant was Jorge Lorenzo’s golden season continuing with third spot on the front row of the grid for Yamaha, ahead of Marc Marquez, who crashed out of the race.
WRC Rally d'Italia: Kiwi Hayden Paddon takes fight to Ogier
Sebastien Ogier in his Volkswagen Polo R might have won the Rally d’Italia on Sardinia’s car-breaking roads, but he spent the first two days playing catch-up to 28-year-old Kiwi Hayden Paddon in his Hyundai i20. Unfortunately, Paddon had a minor spin on SS17, allowing Ogier back into the lead, but the Kiwi had made his point.
Paddon later experienced transmission issues after hitting a rock, allowing Ogier to widen the gap that eventually stretched to beyond three minutes, with Paddon completing the rally in second place.
Hyundai third when Thierry Neuville overtook Mads Østberg who had a spin late in the event.
Elfyn Evans’ M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC finished 4th ahead of Østberg’s Citroen in 5th and Jari-Matti Latvala 6th in the second VW who was plagued by tyre issues after winning the last event in Portugal. The Super Special Stage was dominated by the three Volkswagen Polos.
While it was Ogier’s fourth win of the season and first since Rally Mexico back in March, it was the performance of Paddon that set tongues wagging.
Senior Isle of Man TT: Red flags again stop race
In a repeat of Sunday’s Superbike race, the Friday Senior TT was red flagged following an accident, this time after only one and a half laps. Spectators held their collective breath at this 60km long circuit where 246 riders have been killed on the public roads that meander through villages and plummet down mountainsides, enabling the leading bikes to reach 320km/h.
Although the accident caused serious injuries to Jamie Hamilton who had a tank-slapper that sent him into a tree, the good news is the 24 year old Ulsterman is expected to recover fully.
Such was the scale of the damage, road sweepers had to be deployed before the race could be restarted. Ian Hutchinson had been leading by 1.7sec over John McGuinness’ Honda but after the restart, 43 year old McGuinness took control of the remaining four laps, breaking the outright lap record on the way to his 7th Senior TT win and 23rd victory around the Isle of Man. He finished 14 seconds ahead of James Hillier while Ian Hutchinson completed the podium.
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