Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, Buriram, WTCC, 2015

WTCC, WEC and Euroformula titles decided

Weekend Racing Wrap

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The World Touring Car Championship and Euroformula Open drivers’ titles were clinched last weekend while the World Endurance Championship for constructors was also decided.

Meanwhile in NASCAR Joey Logano’s run of victories was ended when one of his championship rivals took him out.

World Touring Car Championship

Round 11: Chang, Thailand

Jose Maria Lopez’s race one victory at the new Buriram circuit in Thailand saw him reclaim his 2014 crown after team mate Yvan Muller was eliminated in a chaotic opening lap. Tom Coronel, Nicky Catsburg and Nicolas Lapierre collided at turn one, then further around the lap Muller and Hugo Valente made contact.

The second race came to a less than satisfactory conclusion when it was stopped ahead of time due to fading light and the first driver on the road, Honda’s Tiago Monteiro, was stripped of victory when his car was found to be running too low. Sebastien Loeb therefore inherited the win and moved up to second in the points as Muller retired again, this time after contact with Ma Qinghua and Mehdi Bennani on lap one.

Next race: Losail, Qatar (season finale)

World Endurance Championship

Round 7: Shanghai, China

Porsche collected yet another win and one-two result in the Six Hours of Shanghai as they eased to the manufacturers title with one race to go.

The race was run in mainly wet and then drying conditions, and despite a strong challenge from Audi the 919 Hybrid took its fourth win in a row thanks to Mark Webber, Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley.

Next race: Sakhir, Bahrain (season finale)

Euroformula Open

Round 8: Circuit de Catalunya, Spain

Vitor Baptista clinched the Euroformula Open title by two points despite rival Konstantin Tereschenko taking a pair of wins at the Circuit de Catalunya. Baptista took the flag third behind Yu Kanumaru in race one, leaving him needing only points for eighth place. He duly came home fifth, and with two drivers ahead of him not eligible for points, Baptista was duly crowned.

The field was bolstered by one-off entries including those preparing for the Macau Grand Prix. They included Daniel Juncadella, who reached the podium in the last race, and Sam MacLeod, who was out of the top ten in both races. Ferdinand Habsburg, who survived Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup’s biggest crash of the year at Silverstone, impressed with fourth place in his second start in an F3 car.

NASCAR

Round 33: Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway

Joey Logano, winner of the last three NASCAR races in a row, was leading again in Martinsville yesterday when he was taken out by title rival Matt Kenseth, who was several laps down. NASCAR barred Kenseth from continuing in the race and may announce further penalties against him tomorrow.

Jeff Gordon kept his title hopes alive by winning while fellow Chase for the Cup contenders Brad Keselowski and Kurt Bursch collided.

Next race: Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth

Also last weekend

Nico Rosberg led a comfortable Mercedes one-two from team mate Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas completing the podium in Mexico, while Ferrari suffered a double retirement.

Over to you

Which of these races did you see over the weekend, and what do you make of the series’ respective champions? Let us know in the comments.

Next week the Japanese Super Formula championship – where Stoffel Vandoorne is rumoured to be heading for 2016 – will be decided with a double-header at Suzuka. Formula E heads to Putrajaya for its second race and the V8 Supercars and NASCAR series continue.

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  • 20 comments on “WTCC, WEC and Euroformula titles decided”

    1. NASCAR is getting out of control, if they don’t suspend kenseth the rest of the season, all hell will break loose the coming races. Gratz to Gordon though, after a bad start of the season he did very well at the last part.

      1. We should waiting until Texas.

    2. FlyingLobster27
      2nd November 2015, 11:01

      Didn’t feel like following “multi 17-18” versus “multi 7-8” in Shanghai, so I didn’t. The result suggests I hardly missed anything. It’s incredible that a season that I felt had everything going for it, starting off so unpredictably between Audi and Porsche, peaking with a classic 24 Hours and amazingly fast cars, has managed to turn me off completely. On top of the optimising games, we’re seeing the same problems with spec-locking in P1 as in F1. Still, congrats to Porsche on building the best machine, that’s a clearly deserved Manufacturers’ title.
      I watched Super GT instead, and it was Nissan v Nissan in the penultimate round. And yes, it actually was a race between the two. This series has not disappointed me since Nismo TV started showing it to viewers outside Japan, so I recommend people check out the season finale on the 15th November.

      For a site that editorially goes against gimmickry, I hope NASCAR is dropped from WRW in 2016. Just stop hurting yourselves! XD

      1. Yeah I understand where you’re coming from about NASCAR! But on balance I’d rather be informed about what’s going on in the USA’s most popular motor sport, even if it’s really my taste in racing. It is very interesting when you take into account the lengths they’ve gone to optimise things ‘for the show’ and how based on spectator audiences at the tracks it doesn’t appear to be working.

        1. I usually watch NASCAR races and I have to say, for all the issues revolving around the Chase and the so-called ‘invisible’ cautions when they don’t show debris that ‘miraculously’ made it onto the track during a period of ‘dull’ laps, the racing is pretty darn good. There’s always a great deal of strategy involved around stops with no artificial restrictions on tyre use, so options such as fuel only and two-tyre change also allowed beside the usual four-tyre, tyre wear driving pace as often as the fuel effect (so there are both mid-2000 F1-style and Pirelli era F1-style strategies), handling having a major importance with overpowered cars and the races themselves throw up pretty good side-by-side battles rather often.

          Also, based on the races that I saw, it’s not the attendance figures that are suffering badly (because the overall package with the sights and smells and additional programmes is still pretty awesome), but the viewership figures. That’s what is declining seemingly uncontrollably. There’s so much trouble with viewership nowadays in almost all series (I sense BTCC being, perhaps, a curious exception) that I tend to think there is a major common factor driving all these declines in all categories and that is that for the latest generation, motorsport is simply not as new and exciting as it was for those two overlapping generations (parents and kids) that got their first glimpses of it when TV feeds became directly available worldwide in the 1970s and 1980s.

          I think NASCAR, along with most of the series, is fighting a battle here that seems to be lost on the (very) long run and even stagnating viewership figures can be considered a success here (not that NASCAR is achieving even the latter at the moment).

          @keithcollantine

        2. @keithcollantine, And the success of Nascar in the 80s was Bernies inspiration for re-fueling in the 90s and all the subsequent gimmicks to “improve” the show.

          1. So NASCAR is responsible for this crap too? Geez.

      2. If the P1 class isn’t doing it for you anymore, there’s still the P2 class and the two GTE classes ;)

        1. @raceprouk, unfortunately, the ACO seems to be determined to ruin the P2 class by turning it into a standard specification class – 2016 will be the last year with relative freedom of development, as the ACO is banning new entrants from 2017 and kicking out the majority of the current entrants in that class.

          As for the GTE category, to be honest, it has been soured a little due to Aston Martin’s constant politicking over the Balance of Performance – they are continuing to protest over the size of their air restrictors and the weight of the Porsche 911, despite being given an increase in restrictor size and the Porsche having its weight reduction halved from 10kg to 5kg.

          1. Oh yeah… forgot the ACO are screwing the life out of P2…

      3. I feel the same about the WEC for different reasons. This year I went to Silverstone, watched Spa all the way through and tried to stay up through Le Mans, but haven’t seen a race. I can tolerate single-manufacture dominance (the WEC never seems to have a competitive championship fight anyway) but I think the scheduling ruins everything for me. The first half of this season consisted of four of motorsport’s most iconic venues, the second half consists of Tilkedromes. Not to mention that ridiculous gap after Le Mans. I’d like to see the championship kick off in Fuji around April, then have Spa and Le Mans as usual, with Silverstone in July, Nurburgring shortly afterwards before winding down in the Americas, ideally with Montreal, COTA, Mexico City and Sao Paulo.

        1. **haven’t seen a race since.

        2. They won’t put the Silverstone round in July; too close to the F1 GP. And I actually quite like it being the season opener; it’s the post-Le Mans gap that needs closing. Personally, I’d add Australia and South Africa to the list, assuming suitable tracks; the southern hemisphere is grossly under-represented.

    3. I think the inevitability of a #17, #18, #7 result fails to undermine the attraction of a series that can get by on sheer spectacle alone. Even in the bleak, washed-out conditions of Shanghai, the WEC is able to provide a nearly incomparable visual spectacle.

      1. FlyingLobster27
        2nd November 2015, 12:14

        Looking at the highlights, there obviously were some good moments and Porsche’s 1-2 was harder earned than the result’s predictability suggested. But I would have followed the intra-team interactions with too much bitterness and cynicism after Fuji, so I chose not to put myself through that. I might listen in to Bahrain, as it’s the championship decider and orders are fair enough when the stage is truly set, but I’m more looking forward to the points reset.

    4. I know most here will probably talk about the Kenseth/Logano incident and how NASCAR is becoming a joke and everything. (Although I do believe a similar situation came up in the WEC event at Fuji.) Let it not overshadow the fact Jeff Gordon’s win will allow to him to race for the championship in his final season. He only has three races left in his career and yesterday may have been his final ever win in NASCAR. Rightfully so it took center stage in NBC’s post race coverage. They stayed on Jeff from the final restart all the way through the Victory lane celebrations. This is a good 45 minutes and not once did NBC break away for a commercial or an interview with any other driver.

    5. Damn, I miss Winston Cup era..(Chase has been implemented since Nextel became the main sponsor)

    6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC8bFgtI6Fw

      Nissan took their second 1-2 sweep of Super GT’s two classes in Autopolis this weekend, led by the Motul GT-R of Matsuda/Quintarelli in GT500 and the B-Max NDDP GT-R of Hoshino/Takaboshi in GT300.

      In GT300, Andre Couto has clinched the Drivers’ Championship for Gainer, which he dedicated to his team, and to his late son Afonso, who died of leukemia five years ago. It is Couto’s first championship in Super GT in thirteen seasons, and he had the help of BES/Bathurst 12h champ Katsumasa Chiyo and rookie Ryuichiro Tomita as his co-drivers.

      The final race is on 15 November in Motegi, where six teams are eligible to win the GT500 championship, and three drivers can potentially make history as the series’ first four-time GT500 Drivers’ Champion.

    7. The nascar ‘fans’ in the stands cheering the accident was almost as embarrassing as the way the officials constantly let drivers get away with causing these intentional wrecks.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn5uBJXKtm0

      anyone wrecking somebody intentionally should be parked for a few races, it should not be tolerated under any circumstances as we have seen a few years back how letting stuff like that go leads to stuff like this.
      https://youtu.be/F8LVhTlDQIs?t=38s

      on a side note i remember when the stands at nascar races were always jam packed, seems there’s always big parts of the grandstands that are empty nowadays. i saw some stuff from one of the races at bristol earlier in the year & the place looked almost empty, thought it was from the support class but it was the cup series.

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