Spares Box Auto Parts Presents: The Weekend Motorsport Wrap Up – Chaos in Europe, Townsville gets Frosty, and a Fashion Black Flag.
A relatively quiet weekend in motorsport saw the World Touring Car Championship hit Portugal, while the F3 European Championship descended on the Netherlands’ Zandvoort circuit. Locally, the V8 Supercars arrived in North Queensland for the Townsville 400.
In what proved to be a weekend of eye-raising victories at both events, China’s Ma Quing Hua (famed for being the first Chinese driver to win an FIA World Championship race), stormed home to take out the second race of the WTCC Race of Portugal.
France’s Yvan Muller finished runner-up to keep his name in the title picture, while Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini rounded out the podium. Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez consolidated his spot at the top of the table with a respectable fifth-place finish. The race was to be a chaotic one, as LADA driver Nicky Catsburg crashed heavily towards the end of the race, resulting in an early stoppage while Catsburg was taken to a medical centre for precautionary checks. Honda’s Tiago Monteiro also met an ugly end when he tried squeezing through the LADAs of teammates Catsburg and Jaap Van Lagen, only to take both himself and Van Lagen out in the process.
Despite the carnage, the weekend’s results have done very little to quell the frustrations of many fans, who are claiming Citroen’s dominance in the championship is starting to become boring. With rumours that they Citroen are set to leave either the WTCC or World Rally Championship at the end of 2016, time will tell how this pans out.
Meanwhile, Markus Pommer claimed both his first podium and his first victory in the course of two races at Zandvoort, hopefully putting his name in contention for that promotion up into the rarefied atmosphere of top-tier motorsport. Pommer led from start to finish in what proved to be a chaotic race, which saw the safety car deployed on three separate occations. It was also the maiden F3 victory for Pommer’s team Motopark, while Antonio Giovinazzi regained his championship lead by finishing runner-up, despite starting the race in pole position.
Townsville delivered considerably less surprises, seeing Ford’s Mark Winterbottom dominate the weekend from start to finish. ‘Frosty’, who now leads Craig Lowndes by over 200 points, won both races, overtaking his Prodrive teammate David Reynolds with 20 laps to go in Sunday’s feature race. The weekend proved to be a difficult one for Holden, who saw their HRT works drivers forced to power through the pack to fight for the podium, while the Triple-Eight Racing Holden of Lowndes was consigned to a 9th-place finish.
And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for:
Our crash of the week comes in a different manner, as Lewis Hamilton crashed and burned when attempting to enter the Royal Box to watch Sunday’s Wimbledon’s men’s final. The box, which also hosted Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and a variety of other corkingly British elite, states their dress code as, “smart, suits/jacket and tie, etc…”. Hamilton clearly opted for “etc.”, and was promptly turned away.