What an action packed weekend this was, with the only inactive major motorsport series being Formula 1. Here’s a look back at who had memorable weekends – and who had days to forget.
What a weekend it was! The MotoGP at Le Mans is always a terrific watch. The practice let in for a fantastic qualifying session, with the likes of KTM showing pace, even managing getting into the second qualifying session for the first time this season.
There was one rider that stood above the rest, Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha. Pole position for the Spanish rider, once more out-qualifying his team mate, ‘The Doctor’ Valentino Rossi. Rossi has improved his qualifying as of late, and with Frenchman Johann Zarco made it an all Yamaha front row.
Maverick started well, but countryman Zarco made the crowd erupt taking the lead. The Spaniard was happy to wait to take the lead. Championship rivals Rossi & Marc Marquez were hot on his tail, Rossi managed to overtake Zarco and began to close in.
Marquez fell and was out on the spot, and on the last lap Vinales battled hard with Rossi. Rossi led, reminders of Rossi & Lorenzo came flashing back. Vinales got the better of Rossi before the Italian legend fell at the final hurdle.
Vinales won, and both main title contenders failed to score, and heading towards Mugello is Maverick heading towards his first title?
The ‘king’ of Formula E, Sebastien Buemi took another Formula ePrix victory around the streets of Paris. Few incidents stuttered his victory, and no driver really got anywhere near him. Vergne and Lopez pushed him but Buemi had answers to both.
The safety car took away the 7 second gap he had, and home fans had expectation that Lopez could try for victory. Buemi had different thoughts, easily produced a gap to manage to coast home, taking another victory.
Confidence must be on a high, the overall championship leader and also the fan favourite, having received the most ‘fanboost’ rewards in the series. Can only think dominance can continue, especially with rivals struggling.
The thrill and hype of the 101st running of the Indy 500 cannot be any greater especially with one of the ‘rookies’ being Fernando Alonso, as global interest has been higher, spare a thought though for another race driver who has done Formula 1 & Indycar, Sebastien Bourdais.
Bourdais was flying on Saturday, day one of the qualifying for next weekend’s event, averaging at 1mph quicker than anyone else. Bourdais on the second corner of his third lap then found trouble, crashing at 230mph. Bourdais was awake and alert, cameras saw his hands & head moving which resulted in the world breathing a huge sigh of relief and the safety crew at Indianapolis took only 11 seconds to be at his side. Bourdais suffered multiple fractures to his pelvis and dislocated his right hip, and underwent successful surgery. He won the first race at St. Petersburg and up until the previous few races was leading the championship, still a very competitive driver.
For the forseeable future the series has lost a former champion, wish him a speedy recovery. We just hope that this doesn’t force Sebastien into an early retirement as happened to Dario Franchitti three years ago.
Lucas Di Grassi
When it rains, it pours, a phrase that could pretty much summarise Lucas’ weekend. A poor qualifying once more was not the best start to his Formula E weekend, sure he won in Mexico from near enough the back of the grid but still extreme circumstances and pinch of luck was on his side. Qualifying near the back would line him up to having a torrid time.
Di Grassi got off the line clean and early on found out with the vote he will receive the ‘Fan Boost’ in the second car. Antonio Felix Da Costa would be a thorn in his side, Di Grassi got very impatient as he lap after lap failed to overtake the Portuguese driver.
He tried an almighty lunge that looked from the outset it wasn’t going to work, thus resulting in a collision, albeit his car miraculously being undamaged. It brought a full course yellow out and decided to pit, the team and himself then put further problems by the time of the pitstop being extremely inaccurate under the minimum time. Di Grassi served a drive through due to this and tried as being out of contention for the fastest lap. Pushing hard he crashed, ruining any chances in doing so, he fell even further behind championship leader Buemi.
Has he ended any hopes to win the championship due to this weekend?
Tom headed into the next round of the British Touring Car Championship with high hopes and at the top of the standings. He had to carry the full ballast into the race due to being Championship leader which resulted in poor qualifying.
As a team they went for the softer compound of tyre in race one to try and gain advantage to move up the grid. On the first lap disaster struck as he got tangled in a collision, dropping him near enough to the bottom of the field. It went from bad to worse as technical gremlins and contact resulted in early Race One retirement.
For Race Two, Ingram started in a lowly 31st position, and his awful weekend continued. Tom had a short race, on lap eight upon an incident involving two other drivers at the Island Hairpin ended any chances of a decent points finish and a chance for a reverse grid pole for Race Three. Gordon Shedden as a result managed to get the lead of the championship to a strong finish.
In Race Three things got a little bit better, albeit Shedden managed to increase his lead and Robert Collard managed to overtake into second in the driver championship. Tom Ingram managed to get the fastest lap on the final race, showing his true pace but he finished outside the points once more. Shedden won the final race, further increasing the gap.
Tom Ingram dropped to third in the standings, previous champions Colin Turkington and Matt Neal getting closer. Will he bounce back at Croft next time out?