Austin Cindric’s whirlwind 2015 takes him back to PWC at Mid-Ohio, now in a Lamborghini

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When you’ve been as versatile – and busy – as Austin Cindric has in 2015, why not add another race weekend in another badass GT3 car to your schedule?

Cindric, 16, will make his return to the Pirelli World Challenge series in this weekend’s doubleheader round at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

He’ll drive the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo Extenso R-EX in the GTA class. Nick Catsburg and Tomas Enge have driven the car thus far this year.

He made his series debut last year, running in a GTS class Ford Mustang Boss 302S and running for charity.

In a four-week period, Cindric will have won the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the first win for the new Ford Shelby GT350R-C, raced in ARCA at Iowa Speedway, finishing a frustrated fourth (he told me afterwards he felt a win on debut was possible), split the Ford and GRC Lites duties at Lime Rock Park and Detroit, and now uses another weekend to make his second start in a GT3 car, after also driving a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February.

All this, again, for the 16-year-old who lives in Charlotte and only just finished his sophomore year of high school.

“After my outing in the 12 Hours of Bathurst, I was eager to gather more experience in GT3,” Cindric said in a release. “Reiter Engineering and Blancpain Racing is a proven team with great cars and I’m really excited as this came up at just the right time as it is one of the few weekends that doesn’t conflict with something else on my schedule.”

Miguel Oliveira wins MotoGP Thai Grand Prix, Bagnaia closes to two points in championship

MotoGP Thai Grand Prix
Mirco Lazzari / Getty Images
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Miguel Oliveira mastered mixed conditions on the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand to win the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix. Oliveira showed the adaptability as he navigated a race that began in wet conditions and turned dry over the course of the race. Oliveira won the Indonesian GP in similar conditions.

“It was a long race, but I can’t complain,” Oliveira said on CNBC. “Every time we get to ride in the wet, I’m always super-fast. When it started raining, I had flashbacks of Indonesia. I tried to keep my feet on the ground, make a good start and not make mistakes and carry the bike to the end.”

All eyes were on the championship, however. Francesco Bagnaia got a great start to slot into second in Turn 1.

Meanwhile Fabio Quartararo had a disastrous first lap. He lost five positions in the first couple of turns and then rode over the rumble strips and fell back to 17th. At the end of the first lap, Bagnaia had the points’ lead by two. A win would have added to the gain and for a moment, it appeared Bagnaia might assume the lead.

Early leader Marco Bezzecchi was penalized for exceeding track limits, but before that happened, Jack Miller got around Bagnaia and pushed him back to third. Oliveira was not far behind.

After throwing away ninth-place and seven points on the last lap of the Japanese GP last week, Bagnaia did not allow the competition to press him into a mistake. He fell back as far as fourth before retaking the final position on the podium.

“It’s like a win for me, this podium,” Bagnaia. “My first podium in the wet and then there was a mix of conditions, so I’m very happy. I want to thank Jack Miller. Before the race, he gave me a motivational chat.”

Miller led the first half of the Thai Grand Prix before giving up the top spot to Oliveira and then held on to finish second. Coupled with his Japanese GP win, Miller is now fully in the MotoGP championship battle with a 40-point deficit, but he will need a string of results like Bagnaia has put together in recent weeks – and he needs Bagnaia to lose momentum.

Miller’s home Grand Prix in Australia is next up on the calendar in two weeks.

Bagnaia entered the race 18 points behind Quartararo after he failed to score any in Japan. The balance of power has rapidly shifted, however, with Quartararo now failing to earn points in two of the last three rounds. Bagnaia won four consecutive races and finished second in the five races leading up to Japan. His third-place finish in Thailand is now his sixth MotoGP podium in the last seven rounds.

Aleix Espargaro entered the race third in the standings with a 25-point deficit to Quartararo, but was able to close the gap by only five after getting hit with a long-lap penalty for aggressive riding when he pushed Darryn Binder off course during a pass for position. Espargaro finished 11th.

Rain mixed up the Moto2 running order in the MotoGP Thai Grand Prix as well. Starting on a wet track, Somkiat Chantra led the opening lap in his home Grand Prix. He could not hold onto it and crashed one circuit later, but still gave his countrymen a moment of pride by winning the pole.

Half points were awarded as the race went only eight laps before Tony Arbolino crossed under the checkers first with Filip Salac and Aron Canet rounding out the podium.

American Joe Roberts earned another top-10 in eighth with Sean Dylan Kelly finishing just outside the top 10 in 11th.