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Racing Round Up – Ogier Clinches WRC Championship

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Image Credit: Jose Asensio

It’s Monday and that means it is time for the racing round up, we have all the most important news from the world of motor sport.

WRC

It was a big weekend for the WRC , everyone was quite certain that the championship would be decided over the weekend and they were right. Sabastien Ogier, driving for Volkswagen, has taken home not only his seventh win this season but has clinched the whole championship title, making him only the fourth person to ever retain a WRC championship since 1977. Although VW had already mathematically won the manufacturers title last round, this win means that they have now equalled Citroen’s record for the most wins in a single season with eleven wins total.

Ogiers teammate, Jari-Matti Latvala, did not let him take the victory without a fight though and put in a fantastic days racing. Before the weekend they were both in contention for the championship title and Latvala wanted to take it all the way through to the final round at the Wales Rally GB. Unfortunately for Latvala he lost some time on the Friday which meant that Ogier started with a 27 second lead. Latvala actually won four stages but he was unable to close that gap all the way and Ogier finished with an eleven second lead. Mikko Hirvonen in his Fiesta RS had a really solid weekend and rounded out the podium in third, their first podium this season. Ogier now leads the championship with an insurmountable 31 point lead with only the Wales stage left to go.

WTCC

The WTCC championship title was also wrapped up over the weekend, by an emotional Jose Maria Lopez. The emotion was running high because it has been 57 years since Argentina has seen a WTCC title and many hopeful fans stayed up all night to watch the race and they were not disappointed. When Lopez rolled victoriously into his pits he was greeted by his team wearing the Argentine national football shirts. Lopez really showed his skill level in race one, knowing that this could be a historic moment he managed to keep his cool, launching from pole position he stayed in control from start to finish displaying real composure.

Tom Chilton managed to pilot his Chevrolet into second place while managing to keep Huge Valente in the other Chevvy at bay, who was actually passed by Sebastian Loeb who took third.

Race two saw an interesting podium with some faces that don’t often make an appearance. Gabriel Tarquini in his Honda controlled the entire race from start to finish, using his pole position perfectly. The Honda driver got an excellent start, making no mistakes at all race which left no opportunities for anyone to pass, a textbook race. The race was particularly meaningful for Honda as it meant a home win for them.

Dušan Borković came in second in his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze and Norbert Michelisz completing completed the weekend for Honda with a third place finish.

MotoGP

It really was a great weekend for motor sport and not just the four wheeled variety. MotoGP enjoyed a really fantastic race at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang. Marc Marquez brought home his twelfth victory this season and now equals Mick Doohan’s record for the most premier class victories in a season. Marquez has now sealed the manufacturers’ title for Honda with this most recent win.

It was not plain sailing for the Repsol Honda rider though, despite setting a new lap record in qualifying to achieve pole, he actually ran wide on the first corner and dropped all the way down to ninth. He did not let this set back stop him though, by lap two he had already got himself back up to third with a serious display of skill. He bided his time in third until the tenth lap where he passed Jorge Lorenzo to take second behind Valentino Rossi, just one lap later Marquez had taken the lead. Somehow he managed to keep the pace up, on used tyres, to keep Rossi at bay and finished with a 2.5 second lead.

Dani Pedrosa started well but lost his front end on turn 15, he managed to stay in the race but dropped down to eleventh, unfortunately his bad luck was to continue and he crashed out unharmed later on in the race and stayed out this time. Bradley Smith of Monster Yamaha looked like he was going to finish up in fourth until he ran wide on the very last corner, allowing German rider Stefan Bradl to ride through and snatch the place, leaving Smith in fifth.

All eyes will be on Marquez for the final round in Valencia, if Marquez is victorious it will mean he has been Doohan’s record for the most victories in a season and this is his last opportunity to do it this season. The pressure is really on.

Formula 1

Although there was no F1 racing over the weekend there has been quite a lot of news to come out of the sport. Both Caterham and Marussia have sadly gone into administration and the situation looks bleak for both teams. There have been a lot of complaints about the way the sport is being run recently and the quality of the racing and these new developments don’t do anything to calm the supporters. It is very simply down to the financial side, neither of the teams can afford to continue racing and Caterham in particular are having trouble outside the sport with dwindling profits.

It is looking more and more likely that Bernie Ecclestone’s dream of having the teams field three cars is going to happen. Ecclestone has always said that he wanted three car teams to return to the sport but many are saying that this will be a shame as an element of diversity will leave the sport if only the larger teams like Ferrari are left.

Well that’s all for now folks. Check back next week for your weekly injection of motor sport news.

Missed last weekend’s racing? Well check out the racing round up from last week.

Something different? How about Jame’s brand new blog on Biodiesel! 

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