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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

October 20, 2008

Bob Sr.'s Weekend Racing Highlights

Editor's Note: Bob Sr. is my dad. He has been racing cars for almost 50 years. If he's not racing on the weekend you'll find him watching auto racing on TV. Every Monday he'll post an update with highlights and the inside scoop on the previous weekend’s big races.

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American LeMans Series
Laguna Seca, Monterey, California

Audi takes the LMP1 Overall Championship once again! Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr took a first overall victory for Audi Sport North America making it a perfect 1-2 with Emanuele Pirro in 2nd. Werner passed Pirro in the dark with just 26 minutes left after a restart.

Tony Kanaan in the Andretti-Green LMP2 Acura had led overall briefly several times but the superior torque of the Audi was not to be denied. Kanaan finished  3rd overall and first in the LMP2 class just ahead of Simon Pagenaud in another Acura. They had a great race passing each other several times in the last 15 minutes. Though Acura won  the final race of the series the Porsche team of Timo Bernard and Romain Dumas were able to take the LMP2 title for Penske Racing by just one point by finishing 3rd in class.

In the GT1 class the Corvette Racing team took honors once again, this time with Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin over Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen, but Johnny and Jan won the season championship. All season long it was the two Corvette C6 teams fighting each other, no competition from the Aston Martins this year.

Mueller and Farnbacher took the GT2 victory for the fourth time this year in their Ferrari 430 GT but the championship was already won at Road Atlanta in the last race by the Flying Lizard Porsche Team of Jorg Burgmeister and Wolf Henzler. Finishing a series 2nd to Porsche in just their first year makes Ferrari look very strong for next year.

The 2009 ALMS season starts this March at the 57th running of  the 12 Hours of Sebring. That will be the 100th race of the very successful Le Mans series. I'll be there, only 90 minutes from my digs!

Formula One
Shanghai, China

This is the penultimate F1 race. It was no surprise when Hamilton took the pole and did all but take the title staying well ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd and Massa in 3rd. Late in the race Kimi gave way (a beau gest) to allow Massa to garner 2nd place points and remain in the championship hunt. Massa has 87 points with Hamilton at 94.

Kimi stayed ahead of Alonso who drove hard again to 4th putting Poland's Robert Kubica out of the hunt with 75 points.

After Hamilton's hi-jinks in the last race it seemed everybody was on his case, the press calling him arrogant, other drivers deriding his driving style, even saying they'd help the popular Massa take the title.

So what does the kid do? He takes the pole by a wide margin, does fastest race lap and romps to an easy win. Lets face it, he is a phenomenon, and if he isn’t the youngest F1 champion after the next go around in Brazil I'll be much surprised, although with Massa being from Rio the fans will be out of their minds as always. This could snap Massa out of his doldrums, Brazil is always interesting.
Ferrari still leads the Constructor's Championship standings 156 points to McClaren's 145.

NASCAR Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA

Jimmy Johnson won again, wow, what a surprise (not). Does he look good for the title or what? Four races remain and he has 149 points over Biffle and 152 over Jeff Burton. I suppose it's not a lock but looking very comfortable for him anyway.

Earnhardt Jr.drove hard to a 2nd place finish, Carl Edwards was 3rd and Jeff Gordon 4th.

This leaves ....
Bowyer 5th in points, back 185
Harvick 6th.........................207
Tony Stewart......................228
Jeff Gordon........................245
Kyle Busch,(season leader)..326         
Earnhardt Jr 10th................354

Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead remain.
Who knows?

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