Monthly Archives: July 2017

DTM: Three interesting stories from Moscow Raceway

Maro Engel’s victory on Sunday was a monumental surprise
2017 is Maro Engel’s fifth season in the DTM and up until Sunday his best result was a solitary sixth place back in 2009. He started Sunday’s race from second last after a mistake in qualifying so there was nothing to suggest he would be fighting for victory. However, Engel made a pitstop at the end of lap one and when most of the field was subsequently delayed by the Safety Car he was given a very surprising (and lucky) shot at the win.

Timo Glock and Mattias Ekstrom renewed their feud at the same circuit
Two years ago at Moscow raceway a high-speed collision between Timo Glock and Mattias Ekstrom took both drivers out of the race. Glock had plenty to say at the time, telling Ekstrom on social media to “watch the race from Wehrlein and learn you Idiot! How stupid you need to be to overtake in that corner!”

Fast forward to 2017 at the same circuit and the pair managed to collide again during Saturday’s race. This time it was Eksrtom with some choice words, jokingly telling Motorsport.com “What happened in Turn 3 was just Timo running out of talent and making a mistake… the day when he is championship contender, I will also run out of talent.” He later added “You know, what goes around comes around. I’m not angry with him, everybody here tries to do the best they can, score as many points as they can, but I think, it’s just like I said, what goes around comes around.”

Audi’s tactics drew criticism from BMW and Mercedes
When an early Safety Car hurt Mattias Ekstrom’s chances of victory on Sunday, Audi came up with an alternative strategy to keep him in the hunt. The team had one of their other drivers, Nico Muller, stay out during the pitstop cycle so he could take the lead when everyone else made their mandatory stop. From the lead Muller could back up the field into Ekstrom who was then able to regain 20 seconds in 20 laps.

Despite a long history of team tactics in the DTM, Audi’s rivals weren’t impressed. BMW Motorsport Director, Jens Marquardt, stated “this is not the kind of racing we really want to see, this is nothing for the fans” whilst Ulrich Fritz from Mercedes said “we have to ask the question if we want to play chess or if we want to go racing….I don’t really get it, I have to say.”

Audi claimed a late pitstop had always been their strategy, and Nico Muller himself said “They had DRS, I didn’t and they didn’t manage to get past on such a long straight. They first have to sort their stuff out and then we can talk.”

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Valtteri Bottas was lucky to avoid a jump-start penalty in the Austrian Grand Prix

As this GIF shows, Bottas actually got going before the lights went out, but cars are allowed to move the tiniest amount before the start because they’ll often shake or jolt a little when the drivers select first gear. By pure luck, Valtteri’s early movement was within the tolerance allowed, which the stewards described as “fortuitous”.

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Sunday’s Japanese Super GT race was an absolute thriller

The two hour race at Sportsland Sugo came down to a wheel-banging fight on the very last lap. After a close battle in the dying stages the leader actually ran onto the grass with only two corners remaining. Incredibly, his closest rival followed him off and it all came down to a single moment of high pressure as they rejoined the circuit.

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Sebastien Buemi had to endure a uniquely frustrating weekend

Sebastien Buemi is fighting for both the Formula E AND World Endurance Championships this year, but with the two different series taking place last weekend he could only compete in one. Buemi ended up missing the Formula E round in New York to compete in the German WEC race, but he was out of contention before the race even began with fuel pump failure on the warm up lap. Watching his rivals take easy points away from him in two different championships must’ve been especially hard to take.

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Figure-of-eight racing is amazing

Figure-of-eight racing is a thing, and if you want to see how crazy it can be just skip to the halfway point of this video.

Just in case figure-of-eight circuits on their own weren’t crazy enough, they also turn out to be popular venues for school bus racing. The bingle 3m50s into this video shows how this light-hearted sport can also be just a little bit frightening.

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IndyCar championships are always close but 2017 is particularly special

After 11 races in 2017 there were 9 different winners (which is amazing) so the title fight is still wide open between at least half a dozen drivers.

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It’s always a good time to watch Nick Heidfeld at Goodwood in 1999

The Goodwood Festival of Speed was on earlier this month, so it’s a good excuse to look back at Nick Heidfeld’s appearance in 1999. Rather than mess around with burnouts for the crowd, Heidfeld gunned a modern McLaren F1 car up the Goodwood hill as quickly as possible and his record time still stands to this day. The video is worth it for the sound alone.

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F1: Sebastian Vettel might’ve been lucky to avoid a harsher penalty

In 2015 Dan Ticktum received a 12 month ban for crashing into a rival behind the safety car during a Formula 4 race. Sebastian Vettel might consider himself lucky to get just a 10s stop/go penalty for a similar offence. Drivers crash into each other all the time in motorsport but they rarely do so deliberately when they’re not actually racing. There is a very big difference between a heat-of-the-moment mistake and a conscious decision to drive into someone else when the race has been neutralised. Using your car like that can be considered a blatant professional foul.

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