It’s not easy to uncork success at Sonoma (VIDEO)

1 Comment

Nestled in the heart of the California wine country, Sonoma Raceway is definitely contending for the title of “most beautiful setting” in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

But for the drivers, there will be no time to admire the surroundings in Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN), as they navigate a circuit that is highly technical with multiple elevation changes and sharp corners.

Conditions tend to change quickly at Sonoma, and adding to the difficulty is the track’s low-grip surface. Taking care of this weekend’s batch of Firestone tires – the same ones that were used back in April at Barber Motorsports Park – could be the biggest factor of all in the end.

Judging from Scott Dixon’s comments earlier today, these tires may not last too long at peak performance before falling off considerably over a stint.

As far as passing zones are concerned, this year will be the second running on a course that received some tweaks for the IndyCars last season. If you may recall, Turn 7 got modified into a hairpin, Turn 9 was widened, and Turn 11 was extended.

They seemed to work well enough, but Sonoma’s winding layout – which doesn’t feature a particularly long straightaway – still puts emphasis on getting and keeping track position.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
Leave a comment

SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.