RACE CENTRE 9-11 OCTOBER – a star-studded weekend for South African motorsports
A new South African champion at Indy, Perel wins at Monza. Toyota Gazoo Racing victorious as Ross Branch stars in Andalucia. That, all the DTM, WRC F1, Moto GP and the rest of the news awaits on the Auto Race Centre powered by Toyota Gazoo Racing…
RALLY RAID: TOYOTA WINS, BRANCH STARS IN ANDALUCIA
Nasser Al Attiyah’s Gazoo Racing Toyota Hilux won the Andalucia Rally Raid in Spain on Saturday. Botswana rider Ross branch meanwhile ended fifth on the day to cap an excellent motorcycle race on his Monster Energy Yamaha.
Branch won Thursday’s second bike leg, but was slowed by a fuel issue on Friday. South Africa’s Kenny Gilbert finished the race 17th on a privately-entered KTM. Kevin Benavides won the bikes on his Honda from Branch’s Yamaha teammate Adrien van Beveren and Sherco rider Lorenzo Santolino.
In the cars, Carlos Sainz won the final leg in his Mini to claim second overall ahead of the impressive Al Rajhi in another SA-built Hilux. The result of the 900km 4-day Dakar dress rehearsal may well have been different. Al Rajhi was docked ten minutes for speeding in an open section on Friday. Al Attiyah won two car stages, Rajhi one ans Sainz one.
MOTO AMERICA: PETERSEN IS US SUPERSTOCK CHAMPION
South Africa’s Cam Petersen is the 2020 MotoAmerica US Superstock champion. Petersen did it in splendid style too, taking race 1 at Indianapolis Saturday afternoon. It was a poignant victory for the son of SA motorcycle legend Robbie.
Also at Indy, Dominic Doyle ended second and Sam Lochoff fourth in Junior Cup. Double duty Doyle also ended fourth in the Twins Cup. Matthew Scholtz was eliminated from the Superbikes after injuring his ankle. He crashed on debris while fighting for the race 1 lead.
EURO LE MANS: PEREL FERRARI WINS AT MONZA
Meanwhile at Monza, David Perel, shared his Kessel Ferrari 488 with Nicola Cadei and Michael Broniszewski to win GTE European Le Mans Series race. That moves the trio ahead in the class championship with one round left to race in Portimao, Portugal.
WRC ITALIA: SORDO HANGS IN TO WIN AT SARDINIA
Dani Sordo held off Hyndai teammate Thierry Neuville and Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier to seal back-to-back Rally Italia Sardegna wins. The Spaniard came under intense pressure but fended off the duelling duo behind to win the sixth round by 5.1 seconds.
Behind, Neuville demoted Ogier in a dramatic final stage shootout to seal a Hyundai Motorsport 1-2 after the two had fought flat out throughout the rally. Ogier’s Toyota Yaris teammate, Elfyn Evans, ended fourth from Teemu Sunninen’s Ford and Ott Tänak in another Hyundai.
Tanak won the Power Stage to collect five bonus points. Neuville was second from Ogier, Evans and Sordo. Evans retains the championship lead with two rounds remaining. Ogier is now 14 points adrift in a Toyota 1-2. Neuville is a further 10 points behind. Hyundai has a five-point lead on Toyota in the maker’s title race.
DTM: Sheldon, ABO OUT OF LUCK
South Africans driver Sheldon van der Linde and Jonathan Aberdein were out of luck in Sunday’s second Zolder DTM. They came home tenth and eleventh following an ill-timed Safety Car. Van der Linde started race second.
Van der Linde and Aberdein came home sixth and eleventh, respectively in the opening race. Audi driver Rene Rast drove himself back into title contention with a dominant double win over Robin Frijns and Nico Muller’s similar machines in race 1. And Michael Rockenfeller’s Audi and Lukas Auer’s BMW in race 2.
AND IN OTHER NEWS…
Historic Racing South Africa returned to Zwartkops on Saturday. Willie Hepburn’s original Opel Rekord topped a great V8 show in the Universal Saloon Cars. Richard de Roos’s Porsche 911 RSR dominated the Sports & GTs. And two more Porsche men, Wernher Hartzenberg and Wynand du Plessis Sr. took the respective Trophy and Fines cups home in Charlies Super Spar Pursuit races.
Danilo Petrucci won a dramatic, wet French Moto Grand Prix for Ducati on Sunday from Honda rider Aleix Marquez and Pol Espargaro on a KTM. South Africa’s Brad Binder ended in the points in 12th after a frustrating day on his KTM. He started well down after a qualifying tumble. Winner last time out, brother Darryn Binder lost any chance of a back to back Moto3 victory. His KTM broke while fighting for the lead.
And young Mick Schumacher handed his father Michael’s helmet to Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s 91 total grand prix victory record at Sunday’s Eiffel Grand Prix at the Nürburgring for Mercedes. Max Verstappen was second for Red Bull, while Daniel Ricciardo scored Renault’s first podium in nine years in third.
Sergio Perez was fifth for Racing Point from Carlos Sainz’s McLaren, Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. Super Sub Nico Hulkenberg ended in the points in 8th after taking over the ill Lance Stroll’s Racing Point for qualifying, head of Romain Grosjean’s Haas. Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo held off world champions Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari and teammate Kimi Raikkonen for the final point in tenth. Raikkonen broke the record for most F1 starts.