Ferrari, Ducati dominate Week 16 F1, MotoGP, WSBK & MotoAmerica
Italian eyes are smiling after this past Gazoo Toyota Racing Week 16 of 2022. Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari grand slam pole, fastest lap and every lap led Australian Grand Prix victory was just the tip of the iceberg. Ducati similarly swept MotoGP, World Superbikes and MotoAmerica on what proved a scarlet red weekend.
LECLERC DOMINATED AUSTRALIAN GP
Leclerc dominated for Ferrari in Australia after teammate Carlos Sainz spun out early and Max Verstappen retired from second. The Ferrari man had easily handled Verstappen through two Safety Car restarts before the Red Bull’s smoky demise. That left his teammate Sergio Perez to finish second from Mercedes duo, new championship second man George Russell. And Lewis Hamilton, and Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo’s McLarens. And Leclerc and Ferrari in a dominant early championship position.
Moving across to Austin, Texas, Enea Bastianini’s ’21 Ducati passed Jack Miller’s ’22 machine late in the race to win a thrilling Grand Prix of the Americas. Alex Rins stole second from Miller on the final turn for Suzuki. Marc Marquez starred in sixth after dropping to last. Brad Binder was easily best of the KTMs in 12th. Brother Darryn stopped late in the race but was classified 20th. Tony Arbolino took a wild maiden Moto2 win. Jaume Masia snatched his first Moto3 win of the season for KTM.
Also at Austin, MotoGP and Dakar refugee Danilo Petrucci took both the weekend’s MotoAmerica wins. On debut for Ducati from South African Yamaha duo Mathew Scholtz and Cameron Petersen in race 1. Scholtz was second in race 2, Petersen fourth. Over in Spain meanwhile, Jonathan Rea’s Kawasaki beat Alvaro Bautista’s Ducati and Toprak Razgatlioglu’s Yamaha to the opening Aragon WSBK win. Before Bautista romped to a double win from Rea and Razgatlioglu each time in the Superpole and second races.
BIRD’S JAGUAR FORMULA EE DOUBLE
Elsewhere, while Formula 1 played out to a record Melbourne crowd, Jaguar driver Mitch Evans scored a Rome E-Prix double. He beat Robin Frijns’ Virgin and Stoffel Vandoorne’s Mercedes in race 1. And Jean-Eric Vergne’s Techeetah and Frijns in race 2. Back in the US, Josef Newgarden took his second IndyCar win on the trot at Long Beach. Over Romain Grosjean and Alex Palou. In Japan, Tomoki Nojiri and Rio Hirakawa shared Fuji Super Formula wins.
Also at Long Beach, Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande led a Cadillac IMSA SportsCar 1-2. Ross Gunn and Alex Riberas’ Aston Martin won GTD Pro and Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow’s BMW M4 GTD. William Byron’s Chevy held Joey Logano’s Ford to win NASCAR Cup Martinsville. And Chaz Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen each won two of the four Aussie V8 Supercar races at Melbourne.
Two South Africans raced in British Formula Ford races over the weekend. Ian Schofield ended second overall as he won his class at Oulton Park. SA Investchem Formula 1600 champion Andrew Rackstraw endued a baptism of fire at Knockhill in Scotland. He was helped off the track and out of the first heat. Before bouncing back from the back to sixth in the second race.
REGIONAL RACING THRILLS BACK HOME
Several regional races entertained closer to home. At Killarney, Jurie Swart beat race 1 winner Marco Busi to overall Alert GTi Challenge victory. Kyle Wiltshire and Tate Bishop took the Class B wins, but Eden Thompson won the day. Class C lad Dylan van Eden scored a debut victory before Alfie van Zyl took race 2. Shane du Toit’s Citi Golf held Joshua Dolinschek’s BMW off in both Clubmans races. Charles Arton’s Datsun 240Z won Classics Cars from Franco Donadio’s Escort and Dave Kopke’s Mazda R100.
Marcel Angel fought back to beat race 1 winner Fabio Tafani overall in V8 Masters, Andrew Moffitt won Supercars and Michael Reynolds’ BMW Fine Cars. Francis Carruthers’ Pilbeam beat Gary Kieswetter’s Porsche in the 45-minute Sports & GT race and Byron Mitchell took Formula Libre from Dee-Jay Booysen. On two wheels, Malcolm Rapson’s Kawasaki beat Trevor Westman’s Suzuki in the Superbikes, Matthew van Niekerk’s Kawasaki took Breakfast Run and Tristin Pienaar’s KTM the singles races.
Jannie van Rooyen’s Scirocco took a double Historic victory from Gavin Lundin’s Datsun and Andre Dannhauser’s Toyota at a sodden Dezzi KZN Historic Tour. Johan Smith’s Skyline and Werner Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916 shared the Pursuit wins, Jeffrey Kruger beat Thomas Falkiner in Lotus Challenge and Kruger’s Plymouth took V8 glory from Stiaan Kriel’s Studebaker. Devin Robertson did the Legends triple, Joss Chaiken won Monoposto and Meredith Willis beat Rory Nossiter in Midvaal Historics.
SCRIBANTE STARS IN PE
Moving over to PE’s regional racing round, Celso Scribante’s Lamborghini beat Gordon Nicholson’s Nissan GT-R and Wade Wright to an EP Modified triple. Jeandre Marais’ Nardini beat Patrick Hanly’s Lotus and Ryno Taljaard in Open Tops, Marais won the 45 minute race in an S2000 and Shaun Rudolph led Darryn Vice and Neil van Eyk to a Ford Coastal Challenge 1-2-3. On two wheels, Graigen Nel took EP Motorcycle, Ashton Heidemann CBR150 and Dylan Grobler NSF100 honours.
Big fields and multiple winners highlighted Zwartkops’ Week 16 Gauteng Rotax Max karting regional. Jamie Smith beat Cristiano Morgado two DD2 wins to one, Nicholas Verheul took Masters and Philippe Chapat DD2 Vets. Karabo Malemela, Moosa Kajee and Olerato Sekudu all won in Senior Max and KC Ensor-Smith shared Junior wins with Roshaan Goodman. Caleb Odendaal and Spice Mailula won in Mini; Rafael Da Silva and Emma Dowling in Micro Max, and Noah Cronje won two Bambino races to Brodi Dowling’s one.