The Weekend Motorsport Wrap Up: Porsche glory, Carnage in Toronto and boredom everywhere else
It’s been a big weekend in motorsport for drivers of pretty much everything apart from F1. Headlining the show was, of course, the Le Mans 24 Hours race, which saw the recent dominance of Audi come to an end.
Porsche power is back in full force, as morning light on Sunday saw the #19 Porsche take the chequered flag. Piloted by New Zealander Earl Bamber, Britain’s Nick Tandy and Force India F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, it was joined on the top two podium stops by its twin car, the team of which included Mark Webber. The two Audis of Team Joest, previously dominant in the race, came home third and fourth.
The LMP2 class, largely seen as the most hotly-competed class of the race, saw the Nissan of Hong Kong’s KCMG Racing romp home to victory, while the Corvette Racing C7 entry took out the LMPGTE Pro Class. Rounding up the day’s results, the Amateur GTE class saw the Ferrari 458 of SMP Racing claim the spoils.
The overall victory once again reiterated to F1 fans the talent of Hulkenberg, and reignited calls to give him a drive in a more competitive car. The nature of the penalty awarded to the second-placed Porsche is still being hotly debated, although the team insists that it had no impact on the outcome of the race.
The 2015 race generated far more hype around it than had been seen in previous years, and fans are increasingly turning away from F1 fandom to pursue an interest in the WEC. Interestingly enough, the race appears to have prompted a number of comments from the Formula 1 paddock over the weekend as well. I can only assume the drivers had more time than usual on their hands.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who is suffering through a wretched season and has been a vocal critic of the state of F1 cars at the moment, took the chance to voice his opinion that Le Mans cars look far more attractive to drive than current F1 cars. Kimi Raikkonen also stated that he’d like for F1 to go back to being “a little more dangerous”, while Red Bull team Principal Christian Horner called for a return to an F1 where the cars were allowed to go flat out for the entire race. It remains to be seen how the proposed rule changes will go towards fixing a lot of the things F1 seem to be incessantly moaning about.
Elsewhere, the World Rally Championship left Sardinia with a very happy Sebastian Ogier as its victor, with New Zealand’s Hayden Patton, who led for most of the weekend, claiming second place just four minutes behind. The victory seemed almost too easy for Ogier, reinforcing his place at the top of the driver standings in dominant fashion.
Now it’s time for the crash of the week!
This weeks’ Crash of the Week comes from the American Indy lights series, involving poor RC Enerson at this weekend’s GP of Toronto.