This week round the Globe

 Only one major motor sport event this week involving Aussie drivers. Having retired from the previous week’s event at Edmonton, Will Powers Champ Car race at San Jose didn’t begin much better. After being baulked badly in qualifying Power began the race back in 12th place, but due to the clumsiness of others, Dan Clarke in particular made a clot of himself by plowing up the back of Wilson under yellow flags, was up to sixth after just a few laps. This became fifth with a fine pass on Bourdais and then fourth after Rahal suffered from rottenpitstopitis. Although never having true front running pace Power intelligently, and some of the other noted “stars” of Champ Car could take a lesson here, ran just quick enough while saving fuel to hold off those behind. All those but Doornbos that is, and since he drives for Paul Stoddart’s Minardi USA team, we will include him here. After a dozy first corner bingle that left his nose cone attached to the top of another car, he drove an absolute blinder to, with the aid of some fine pit strategy, take out a comfortable victory. So, Australian owned cars first, fourth and tenth (Pagenaud) and Power finishing ahead of title leader Bourdais and thus reducing the points gap, all made for a good day in San Jose. All for but dim Dan Clarke in the second Minardi USA car who removed two nose cones in less than two laps of green flag running and retired because there were no more spares.

Aussies had mixed results in the lower categories. In Formula Renault, Daniel Ricciardo finished in 12th place in both heats of the Italian championship race at Misano. Daniel quailed in 19th place for the opener and 17th for the second and may have made it into the top 10 if not for a blistered rear tyre. Meanwhile at Assen, Nathan Caratti came home a fine ninth in the first race in the Northern European Cup round but could only manage a distant 20th in the second race.

Swinging down to Indonesia now for round three of the Formula V6 Asia championship at Sentul where James Winslow finished third in race two, his third podium finish in the last four races. James started race one from eighth on the grid and moved up to finish fifth and had a fine drive in race two to take that final step on the podium, just in front of another Australian, Adil Saryaguna Hermanto in fourth. All this means that Winslow and Hermanto now lie second and third in the championship.

Also at Sentul in round three of the Carrera Cup Asia, Christian Jones had his best finish for a while coming home in third place in race one, and taking victory in race two after the leaders took each other out. An even better day was had by Peter Boylan who took out both race victories in class B.

All in all, not a bad weekend. Next week we will see if Webber’s Red Bull can survive two race weekends in a row, whether Bayliss, Corser et al can come back at James Toseland in the Superbikes and if Chris Atkinson’s luck will finally change as the WRC heads to Finland for the 1000 Lakes Rally. Should be fun.

Sam Snape