Motorsports Update – June 11, 2012

Next race:
British Grand Prix, Silverstone, June 17

AMA Pro Racing
Next race:
Triumph SuperBike Classic, Barber Motorsports Park, June 22-24

GRAND-AM Road Racing
EMCO Gears Classic, Mid-Ohio Sports Car CourseE
Richard Westbrook held off Scott Pruett’s late charge to win Saturday’s race.

Pruett and Memo Rojas finished second, .236 seconds back, matching the best finish of the season for the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley. The defending DP champs also regained the points lead.

David Donohue and Terry Borcheller took third in the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP. Starworks Motorsport took fourth and fifth, with Alex Popow and Lucas Luhr fourth in the No. 2 Soloson Ford/Riley and Enzo Potolicchio and Ryan Dalziel fifth in the No. 8 Duncan Ford/Riley.

GT also came down to the wire, with Bill Auberlen holding off Jeff Segal by .952 seconds. It was the first victory of the year for Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana in the No. 94 BMW M3, while Segal and Emil Assentato maintained the GT points lead in the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD Ferrari.

Robin Liddell finished third in the No. 57 Stevenson Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro started from the pole by John Edwards, .952 seconds back, followed by the No. 70 Mazdaspeed/Modspace/Castrol Mazda RX-8 of Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito, and the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3 of John Potter and Andy Lally.

American Le Mans Series
Next race:
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, July 6-7

Formula 1
Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada, Montreal
Seven races. Seven different winners. Lewis Hamilton is back on top after a victory at the Canadian Grand Prix. He made McLaren’s two-stop strategy work as he hunted down and overcame Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the closing laps.

Romain Grosjean was second, Sergio Perez third, Sebastian Vettel fourth and Fernando Alonso fifth.

Firestone 550, Texas Motor Speedway
After all the talk about racing at Texas Motor Speedway, the return of IndyCar to a high-banked oval ended up as a safe, sound event with an exciting finish and surprising winner in Justin Wilson. The race had drama, too.

First-year race director Beaux Barfield penalized points leader Will Power for blocking, then Graham Rahal coughed up his first win in nearly five years by brushing the wall with just over two laps remaining. It opened the door for Wilson to grab his first victory since 2009.

More important, the race Saturday night went off without a hitch, which was what IndyCar needed in its first trip to a 1.5-mile banked speedway since Dan Wheldon’s fatal accident last October at Las Vegas.

Pocano 400 presented by #NASCAR
Joey Logano brushed past mentor Mark Martin on the 157th lap and stayed in front the rest of the way for his second career victory and first win since a victory in New Hampshire in June 2009.

Logano’s win came at the end of an interesting, if not somewhat confusing day at Pocono where a repaved surface and a reduction in race length was expected to provide some changes.

The biggest problem was on pit road where 22 penalties were issued for some kind of speeding violation.

There were also seven cautions for 35 laps, the most significant being for three laps for debris on Turn 2 from Laps 150-152.

That reset for the field one last time with under 10 laps to go and Logano was able to catch up to Martin, bump him on the front straightaway and then pass him entering Turn 1.

Next race:
Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol Dragway, Bristol TN, June 15-17

World Superbike
Misano Adriatico, San Marino
Max Biaggi extended his lead in the Superbike World Championship with a victory in Race Two at Misano, completing the double.

Biaggi was a man on a mission and was third by the end of the first lap. From there he hunted down Jonathan Rea, taking second before attacking Tom Sykes for the lead.

Eight laps into the race Biaggi had a lead of over five seconds while Sykes, Rea, Haslam, Ayrton Badovini, Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty were engaged in an intense battle for second.

The six riders swapped positions on several occasions with mistakes also coming into the mix as they ran wide or were forced to sit up slightly as passing moves failed to reap rewards.
Halfway through the race Biaggi’s lead was up to seven seconds, Rea and Leon Haslam were in a battle of their own, while Marco Melandri and Ayrton Badovini fought over fourth place having dropped Sykes and Michel Fabrizio.

Biaggi went on to claim the double at Misano by five seconds over Rea who held off Haslam. Melandri was fourth ahead of Badovini, Fabrizio, Sykes and Loris Baz.

Sources: series websites, press releases and various independent motorsports websites