Motorsports Update – April 23, 2012
American Le Mans Series
Next race: American Le Mans Monterey, presented by Patron, May 11-12
Next race: Gran Premio bwin de España, Jerez, Spain, April 29
AMA Pro Racing
Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta, Road Atlanta
AMA Pro SuperBike champion Josh Hayes won the Triumph Big Kahuna Atlanta on Sunday at Road Atlanta, a day after a surprising loss to Blake Young. Hayes, riding a Yamaha, beat Young by 5.214 seconds.
On Saturday, leaders Hayes and Young came together in a late-race crash that sent Young sliding down the circuit, bringing out a red flag. Young, forced to grid up at the back for the restart, sliced through the 19-bike field on his Suzuki to claim a 0.293-second victory over Hayes.
GRAND-AM Road Racing
Next race: Grand Prix of Miami, April 27-29
Bahrain Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel completed a wire-to-wire victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Vettel, the two-time defending champion, who had struggled with the pace of his Red Bull car at the start of the season, held off a charging Kimi Raikkonen to secure his first victory of the year in an event that was relatively free of on-track incidents as well. Raikkonen worked his way up from 11th on the grid to finish 3.3 seconds behind for his first podium finish since returning to the sport this season. Raikkonen’s Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean was third, followed by Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Mark Webber.
Next race: Sao Paulo Indy 300, April 29
STP 400, Kansas Motor Speedway
Denny Hamlin held off Martin Truex Jr. for the final 30 laps to win the STP 400, his second victory of the season, his first at the 1.5-mile track and the 19th of his career. Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle. Truex moved into second place in the Sprint Cup Series standings behind Biffle, who leads by 15 points.
“Denny was able to get by me, and once he did, the race was over. The car got better longer in the run, and I was able to get back to him, but I’d get three or four car-lengths from him and pick up the aero push,” said Truex Jr. “I guess if we can be this disappointed with second, it kind of shows how far we’ve come as a race team.”
Next race: O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals, April 27-29
The first race, run over nine wet laps, was won by Sylvain Guintoli from Team Effenbert – Liberty Ducati. His margin of advantage was 2.6 seconds, from a very determined rookie rider Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) and his team-mate Carlos Checa.
Their fight for the podium places was just one of many highlights in the wet race, after the first attempted contest had started out dry, but was halted when several leading riders fell as the rains came down. By regulation a whole new race was declared and the only influence the first leg finishing order had was to determine grid places for the ‘real’ second race.
In fourth place in an all Aprilia racing battle, Max Biaggi beat Eugene Laverty. Early leader Leon Haslam fell and no-scored.
Note: The Effenbert Liberty Racing Team announced that Brett McCormick, following the disastrous crash in race two in Assen, has suffered a trauma to cervical spine, a facial trauma with a hematoma to the eye sockets as well as a fracture of the fifth finger of his right hand. Further updates will be provided by the team as they are available.
Sources: series websites, press releases and various independent motorsports websites