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Classic Velocity Blog

Motorsports Roundup September 2011

Classic Velocity

Motorsports posts have not made it into the blog much this year due to a lot of riding and driving. A good thing. However, that does not mean that we have not been following the action closely. So let's start with Formula 1. 
Sebastian Vettel has been on pole 11 times this season and has won 9 of the 13 races. The Renault powered Red Bull with Vettel at the wheel is consistently a half second per lap or more faster than anything else. Ferrari with Fernando Alonso at the wheel and McLaren with Button and Hamilton are the nearest competitors, but when I say near, I mean far. Vettel has all but clinched the driver's championship, and Red Bull has all but clinched the Constructor's championship. It is reminiscent of another driver/constructor combination that seemed unstoppable; Schumacher and Ferrari of just a few years ago. Speaking of Schumacher, his return to F1 has not been kind. Just driving these cars competitively at 40 is impressive, but he has been consistently beaten by his younger team mate Rosberg. In some ways the more interesting racing is among the rookies toward the rear of the field. It has been interesting to watch Diresta, Peres, Maldonado, and now Senna put on some interesting drives.
In Moto GP, Honda holds 3 of the 5 top points positions. Australian Casey Stoner is on top after impressive performances. 2010 world champion Jorge Lorenzo is not far behind on his Yamaha. Rossi and Hayden on the Ducatis are down in 6th and 7th. They are obviously fighting a bike that is not at the top tier yet. As usual, Rossi has put in some inspired rides. One Ducati that is working well, is the one belonging to Carlos Checa in World Superbikes. He is well ahead of Marcus Melandri on points in that championship. The top BMW is Leon Haslam in 5th, but the non-factory BMW Italia team is doing surprisingly well with Ayrton Badovini in 9th.
The WRC is always great racing to watch, and this year is producing a cliff-hanger again. Sebastian Loeb is leading the championship, but this is no runaway as in past years. Loeb and his Citroen lead by a mere 15 points over Mikko Hirvonen and his Ford. Only 14 points back from Hirvonen is the other Citroen of Sebastian Ogier. All this with just three rallies to go. The championship is truly up for grabs. Independent Petter Solberg is the best of the non-works teams in 5th place in the championship, which is pretty impressive. Sitting in 10th is the Mini of Dani Sordo, which has only entered a few races, so we look forward to a full campaign next year.