Monday Motorsport wrap: thick fog & girl power
Feel-good winners on home soil, while overseas stars struggle
You win some and you lose some; something for Kiwi race fans to consider on weekend's like this one. But, there were a few silver linings from the weekend; mainly consisting of those scoring success on our own turf.
Detroit deals Dixon a cruel hand
Photo / Ganassi Racing
Reigning IndyCar champion Scott Dixon might still sit second in the points standings of this year's series, but Simon Pagenaud's lead is starting to look like quite a challenging target to topple.
Once again, Dixon had pace to burn, but luck deserted him in both races on the Belle Isle street circuit. Mechanical issues killed his race one hopes while staring at a comfortable top five. Then, after qualifying on the second row for race two, Dixon was involved in a clash with Juan Pablo Montoya — though he was still able to recover to finish fifth.
Winners are grinners, and grinning at the end of the weekend was race-one winner Sebastien Bourdais and race-two winner Will Power.
Safety cars lead the most laps at Taupo enduro
Photo / Matthew Hansen
Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park turned on the weird for race fans, for the opening round of the Mahindra North Island Endurance Series.
The one-hour race went smoothly enough — International Motorsport and Mat Whittaker taking a straightforward victory — but the three-hour will go down in Kiwi folklore as one of the strangest races ever.
Terrible fog marred proceedings, forcing the majority of the race to take place under safety car, with only a small portion of racing taking place late in the piece.
John McIntyre and Simon Gilbertson eventually took the win, after charging through to the front of the field during the brief period of racing, before the fog rolled back in. Inky would've watched on with pride.
Photo / BMW Motorsport
Tom's near unbreakable consistency he's shown this year had to eventually end, and it chose to end at the Lausitzring. Struggling for pace, he ended the weekend with a 22nd-place finish in race one and an 11th in race two.
The silver lining though for New Zealand motorsport was the breakout success in race two of Lucas Auer. A former Toyota Racing Series driver, Auer controlled the race from green light to chequered flag in a performance fit for a pro. Race one was taken by Miguel Molina.
The weekend's results drop Blomqvist from sixth in the standings to ninth, while Canadian Robert Wickens takes the lead ahead of Marco Wittman and Mattias Ekstrom.
Emma Gilmour takes emphatic maiden NZ Rally Championship rally win
Photo / Geoff Ridder
We've known for a while that she could do it, but there have been signs this season that 2016 might be something special for Emma Gilmour and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin. The pair finished on the podium at the International Rally of Whangarei, before going two steps better yesterday at the Rally of Canterbury.
Many of her rivals faltered with crashes and dramas, but that can't take away from Gilmour's rally dominance — only once failing to set a stage time in the top two of the field over the course of the day.
It's the first time a woman has won a round of the domestic series; a slice of history plenty are no doubt happy has been clinched by Gilmour and her Swift Maxi.
Weirdness rules 'Mad Mike' out of contention at Orlando
'Mad Mike' Whiddett, pictured at Florida. Photo / sourced
Sometimes it doesn't matter whether all your ducks are in a row and you're at your peak; if it's not your day it's not your day.
And Saturday was not 'Mad Mike' Whiddett's day.
After showing promise through qualifying, Whiddett continued to show promise in his opening battle against Ken Gushi at Orlando, for round three of the Formula Drift Pro season.
But, following a tightly packed chase run, one of Whiddett's tyres de-beaded. Drifting normally allows for a brief period to make running repairs to cars between runs, but that period doesn't cover tyres. So, then and there, Whiddett had to end his Orlando campaign.
Fredric Aasbo eventually took the win — controversially, according to fans — after beating Kristaps Bluss in the final.
Read more about Scott Dixon and IndyCar: Race one / race two
Read more about the Mahindra North Island Endurance Series
Read more about DTM at the Lausitzring: Race one / race two
Read more about the New Zealand Rally Championship event in Canterbury
Read more about Formula Drift at Orlando