Paffett ends losing streak
Gary Paffett ended a 2 year win drought with victory at the Lausitzring today. The Englishman led home team mate Bruno Spengler and top Audi driver Mattias Ekstrom thanks to an ideal pit strategy. Paul di Resta came home 4th ahead of reigning champion Timo Scheider, who takes the lead of the standings with 12 points on the board. Jamie Green picked up 3 more points as he proved that he should be in a current car instead of Ralf Schumacher, who failed to score again. Hockenheim winner Tom Kristensen had a wild day at the office and also didn’t score.
Elsewhere, Matt Neal just held on to the lead of the BTCC despite a double win from 2nd placed Colin Turkington. The WSR driver won the first 2 races of the day but didn’t score in the final race after being pipped at the line by Arena’s Alan Morrison. That final race was won by James Thompson of Team Dynamics, who took his 3rd win in the 6 races he has competed in so far after replacing Gordon Shedden at the former champion team. Neal finished on the podium in 3rd, just ahead of Rob Collard who, despite a disastrous day, climbed from 20th on the grid to 4th – and without a safety car to help him as well.
The WTCC wins at Valencia were shared between Yvan Muller and Augusto Farfus Jr, the latter finally picking up BMW’s first win of the season and his 10th career WTCC win, becoming the 4th driver to do so in the championship’s 5 year history – for the record, the other 3 are Jorg Muller, Andy Priaulx and Alain Menu, who reached the milestone last time out at Pau. Priaulx is now the highest placed Brit in this year’s championship in 4th, just missing out on a podium thanks to a tremendous defensive drive by Gabriele Tarquini. Rob Huff had a pointless day as Chevrolet struggled badly, whilst Alex Zanardi picked up a 5th place finish in race 2 to move himself up to 13th in the standings.
In the F3 series, Nick Tandy couldn’t repeat his race 1 success due to an opening lap crash, as victory went to Marcus Ericsson. The young Swede, returning to the series as a guest driver with Raikkonen Robertson after missing the start of the year, picked up his first win in the series after leader Riki Christodoulou of Fortec was black-flagged for ignoring a drive-through penalty for not lining up on the grid correctly. It was also Double R’s first win for a year. In the Euroseries, the victories were shared between ART’s Jules Bianchi and Mucke’s Christian Vietoris. Bianchi now leads what is turning out to be a very close championship with 4 winners from 4 races.
In MotoGP, Casey Stoner ended Valentino Rossi’s winning streak at Mugello in what was apparently a classic, although I wouldn’t know because I didn’t watch it. Stoner has now taken the lead of the championship from Jorge Lorenzo, who finished 2nd, with Rossi 3rd. Briton Bradley Smith took the 125cc win again whilst Mattia Pasini won in the 250cc race on home turf from fellow countryman Marco Simoncelli.
Updated standings can be found on the 2009 Standings page. IndyCar from the Milwaukee Mile and NASCAR Sprint Cup from Dover come later.