HONDA RACING NEWS

IndyCar Series 2012 – Round 15: Fontana – September 15, 2012

Franchitti Finishes Second in California Season Finale

Dario Franchitti

A thrilling conclusion to the IZOD IndyCar Series season-ending event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, saw a closing-lap duel between Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dario Franchitti and Ed Carpenter.

Franchitti and Carpenter traded the lead several times over the last six laps, a repeat of their closing-lap battle for victory at Kentucky Speedway last year – a race also won by Carpenter in a photo finish.

In addition to Franchitti, his Target Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani all had extended runs at the front of the 26-car starting field. As the race approached Lap 200, Honda-powered drivers were running first through fourth, led by Dixon; and at the Lap 125 mid-point in the 500-mile run, Tagliani, Sato and Franchitti were 1-2-3 for Honda.

A crash by Tony Kanaan on Lap 240 set up the wild finish. Race officials briefly halted the race to clear the track and then restarted on Lap 244 with a six-lap dash to the checkers. When the green flag waved for the final time, Franchitti was in front, with Carpenter and Ryan Hunter-Reay – who needed to finish fifth or better to claim the IZOD IndyCar Series drivers’ championship – rounding out the top three. Sato, in fourth, Dixon and a charging Helio Castroneves rounded out the potential race winners.

Franchitti and Carpenter quickly pulled out an advantage of several car lengths over the rest of the front-runners, who staged their own equally fierce battle for third through sixth. At the start of the final lap, Carpenter made one final pass on Franchitti as the pair exited Turn 2 and, just an instant later, Sato spun and crashed without injury to end the race. As a result, Dixon grabbed third, while fourth place was just enough for Hunter-Reay to edge Will Power for the series title.

This race concluded the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay claiming his first IndyCar drivers championship. Honda-powered Simon Pagenaud is the 2012 IndyCar Rookie of the Year and Honda finished second in the Manufacturers’ Championship.

Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon

IndyCar Series

Round 15: Fontana

Rank Driver (Team)

1

Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing)

2

Dario Franchitti (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)

3

Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing)

4

Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport)

5

Helio Castroneves (Team Penske)

6

Graham Rahal (Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing)

7

Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan)

8

Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport)

9

Katherine Legge-R (Dragon Racing)

10

Charlie Kimball (Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing)

12

James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing)

14

Wade Cunningham-R (A.J. Foyt Racing)

15

Simon Pagenaud-R (Schmidt Hamilton Racing)

16

Josef Newgarden-R (Sarah Fisher Hartman)

20

Alex Tagliani (Barracuda Racing)

 

 

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix 2012 – Round 13: San Marino – September 16

Bautista On The Podium, Pedrosa Out of Luck

Alvaro Bautista

The World Championship hopes of Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) received a huge blow at the Misano Grand Prix, where the Spaniard was taken out by another rider on the very first lap.

But there was joy for Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) who scored his first-premier class podium with a stirring ride to third place behind local hero Valentino Rossi (Ducati) and winner Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha).

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP RC213V) enjoyed another impressive ride, the young German spending much of the race chasing Rossi before slipping back to sixth place with grip issues. Jonathan Rea (Repsol Honda RC213V) – substituting for injured champ Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) – had an excellent MotoGP debut, finishing in eighth spot.

Stefan Bradl

Expectations of another great duel between title rivals Pedrosa and Lorenzo were high as Pedrosa lined up on pole position, with just 13 points between him and the championship leader. But the start was aborted when Karel Abraham (Ducati) stalled his machine on the grid. During the preparations for the delayed start, Pedrosa’s front wheel became locked, and when the 1-minute board was shown his mechanics had to move the machine to pit lane to fix the problem. He was then told he had to start the race from the back row of the grid.

Already charging through the pack after his usual strong getaway from the grid, Pedrosa was hit by Hector Barbera (Ducati) at the Quercia hairpin. Neither rider was injured in the collision. However, Pedrosa’s title hopes sustained significant damage. With five rounds remaining he now sits 38 points behind Lorenzo.

Bautista’s first MotoGP podium – at his team’s home circuit – followed some crucial set-up tweaks to his RC213V, as well as a suspension upgrade from Showa. These changes allowed the Spaniard to get back to his usual all-attack riding style. Seventh at the end of the first lap, he picked off his rivals one by one, taking third place from Bradl on lap 19 of 27. On the last lap Bautista came under attack from Andrea Dovizioso (Yamaha) who dived inside at the final turn, then ran wide. The pair raced towards the finish line side by side, the difference just 0.003s.

MotoGP rookie Bradl rode another terrific race, riding in Rossi’s wheel tracks lap after lap, looking good for his first premier-class podium. In the closing stages he had Bautista and Dovizioso closing in on him and was unable to defend his position because he had run out of front-end grip.

Rea had a promising MotoGP debut, complicated by the miserable weather that dominated the three ‘free’ practice sessions. The Ten Kate World Superbike rider needed dry track time more than anyone, but on/off drizzle made sure that the circuit was not fully dry until the final qualifying session. In the difficult circumstances Rea kept his head and rode an intelligent race, learning plenty for his next MotoGP outing at Aragon in two weeks time.

Jonathan Rea

Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR-Honda) completed an excellent day for Fausto Gresini’s squad, finishing in tenth place. He was the second CRT machine to cross the line.

Moto2
Magnificent Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol-Suter) once again came out on top of another thrilling race in the Honda-powered Moto2 World Championship.

Marquez and rival Pol Espargaro (Pons 40 HP Tuenti-Kalex) swapped the lead no less than five times during the last lap, Marquez finally making it stick at the turn 14 hairpin, with just two corners to go. The Spanish pair crossed the line separated by 0.359s. Italian Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up) finished third, a further 1.2s down, after leading more than half of the race.

Marquez was brilliant as ever. He had been pushed back to fourth at one point during the early stages, but planned his race perfectly, working his way back towards the front and taking the lead from his compatriot as they attacked turn eight for the final time. Espargaro got back in front twice after that – briefly at turn ten and again at turn 13 – but whatever he did, Marquez always had the answer.

The shortened race – stopped and restarted after Gino Rea (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2-Suter) struck trouble and dropped oil on the track – gave Marquez his seventh victory of 2012 and his first hat-trick of the year. He now leads Espargaro by 53 points with five races remaining.

Iannone led the first ten laps, but in the closing stages he did not have the pace to hold off the Spaniards, so he had to be content with his fifth podium of the year.

As usual, the competition further back was just as intense, with the next six riders separated by less than 2.5 seconds. Finnish star Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) led the battling group from Esteve Rabat (Pons 40 HP Tuenti – Kalex), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team-Kalex), Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing – Tech 3) and Thomas Luthi (Interwetten-Paddock-Suter).

Moto3
Romano Fenati (Team Italian FMI – FTR- Honda) finished third in a breathtaking Moto3 race that ended with the first seven riders covered by just 1.3s. No one had the speed to escape from the leading pack, so the result was in doubt throughout. Only in the last half lap did Sandro Cortese (KTM) gain a gap when the riders right behind him slowed themselves up in their efforts to get to the front.

After leading much of the race, Fenati dropped a few positions, then grabbed third place at the very end, getting past Maverick Vinales (Blusens Avintia – FTR Honda) and Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda). The Italian teenager crossed the line right behind runner-up Luis Salom (KTM) and 0.037s ahead of Rins who rode superbly, bravely taking second place from Salom on several occasions and setting the fastest lap along the way.

Title-challenger Vinales rode a fantastic race, fighting through the pack after starting from the third row of the grid. On the final lap it looked like the Spaniard might even score his sixth victory of the season, but in the end Cortese had too much speed and then Vinales lost three places in the final few corners. The Spanish teenager still holds second place in the championship, but 46 points behind Cortese.

Efren Vazquez (JHK T-Shirt Laglisse – FTR Honda) was also in the lead group throughout, eventually finishing a close-run seventh. Niccolo Antonelli (San Carlo Gresini – FTR Honda) went with the front-runners in the early stages, but slipped back to take eighth place, a fraction ahead of Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0.0 – Suter Honda).

MotoGP World Championship Grand Prix
 – Round 13: San Marino

MotoGP

Alvaro Bautista on the Podium

Rank Rider (Team)

1

Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha Factory Racing)

2

Valentino ROSSI (Ducati Team)

3

Alvaro BAUTISTA (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

4

Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)

5

Ben SPIES (Yamaha Factory Racing)

6

Stefan BRADL (LCR Honda MotoGP)

7

Nicky HAYDEN (Ducati Team)

8

Jonathan REA (Repsol Honda Team)

9

Randy DE PUNIET (Power Electronics Aspar)

10

Michele PIRRO (San Carlo Honda Gresini)

11

Colin EDWARDS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)

12

Yonny HERNANDEZ (Avintia Blusens)

13

James ELLISON (Paul Bird Motorsport)

14

Danilo PETRUCCI (Came IodaRacing Project)

15

David SALOM (Avintia Blusens)

Moto2

Rank Rider (Team)

1

Marc MARQUEZ (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol)

2

Pol ESPARGARO (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)

3

Andrea IANNONE (Speed Master)

4

Mika KALLIO (Marc VDS Racing Team)

5

Esteve RABAT (Pons 40 HP Tuenti)

6

Dominique AEGERTER (Technomag-CIP)

7

Scott REDDING (Marc VDS Racing Team)

8

Bradley SMITH (Tech 3 Racing)

9

Thomas LUTHI (Interwetten-Paddock)

10

Johann ZARCO (JIR Moto2)

11

Takaaki NAKAGAMI (Italtrans Racing Team)

12

Julian SIMON (Blusens Avintia)

13

Alex DE ANGELIS (NGM Mobile Forward Racing)

14

Claudio CORTI (Italtrans Racing Team)

15

Nicolas TEROL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2)

Moto3

Rank Rider (Team)

1

Sandro CORTESE (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

2

Luis SALOM (RW Racing GP)

3

Romano FENATI (Team Italia FMI)

4

Alex RINS (Estrella Galicia 0,0)

5

Maverick VINALES (Blusens Avintia)

6

Jonas FOLGER (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)

7

Efren VAZQUEZ (JHK t-shirt Laglisse)

8

Niccolo` ANTONELLI (San Carlo Gresini Moto3)

9

Miguel OLIVEIRA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)

10

Arthur SISSIS (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

11

Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN (AirAsia-Sic-Ajo)

12

Danny KENT (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

13

Hector FAUBEL (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3)

14

Alberto MONCAYO (Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse)

15

Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox-Ongetta-Centro Seta)

 

 

 

BTCC – British Touring Cars –ROUND 8 – Rockingham – September 23

Shedden leads championship after second Rockingham victory

Gordon Shedden in the wet

Gordon Shedden (Honda Civic) has taken the lead in the championship with 2 more wins at Rockingham – his eighth of the season.

Adam Morgan (Toyota Avensis) started from the reverse grid pole but lost the lead on the opening lap 
- Shedden (Honda Civic) then took the lead from teammate Neal (Honda Civic) before going on to win.

The rain had been non-stop, making the track extremely slippery and to further mix things up, the reverse grid had put Speedworks driver Adam Morgan on pole, with Ollie Jackson (VW Golf) alongside him on the front row.

Morgan held onto the lead through the first few corners, only to run off the track at Chapman Curve and hand first place to Mat Jackson (Ford Focus ST). However, Jackson’s run at the front was short-lived as he also slid off at Pif-Paf.

Aron Smith (Ford Focus ST) was the new leader after his Redstone Racing teammate’s demise, with Matt Neal in second and Rob Collard (BMW 320si) third.

Smith opened up a small lead at the front, only for it to be eradicated by the safety car. Pirtek Racing’s Jeff Smith made heavy contact with the wall at Turn one, which brought the safety car on to the track.

Start of the race

Aron Smith held on to the lead at the restart, but soon had Matt Neal chasing him. Neal eventually took the lead on lap 11, making the move at Tarzan. Shedden followed through almost immediately into second.

It was then a battle between the two Hondas for the win, with Shedden emerging on top. The Scot passed his teammate coming out of the final corner and the pair ran side-by-side into the Deene hairpin, before Shedden eventually claimed the front spot.

Jason Plato (MG6 GT) moved up to third ahead of Aron Smith and challenged Neal for second in the closing stages.

At the chequered flag, it was a second win of the day for Shedden, with Neal second and Plato third. Andrew Jordan took fourth, ahead of Aron Smith in fifth. Mat Jackson finished sixth, Onslow-Cole seventh and Ollie Jackson eighth. Nick Foster and Rob Austin completed the top ten.

Race winner Gordon Shedden said, “I’m relieved. I had the biggest moment at Turn 1. Somehow it stayed out of the wall though. The car was fantastic again, so it’s another great result for the team.”

Shedden wins...

Honda is currently lying 1st and 2nd in the championship standings with Shedden on 336 points, ahead of Neal on 333 and Plato on 304.

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