Formula One – Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka: The entire Formula One landscape shook up over the weekend, as Sebastien Vettel won his second consecutive race to bring him within just four points of standings leader Fernando Alonso, who crashed out at the very first turn. Vettel used his trademark precision to dominate the physical and demanding Suzuka road course, winning from pole and putting himself in prime position for a third straight title run. Alonso will have something to say about that, but the Spaniard took a big step backward after losing control of his Ferrari on the first right-hander and falling off course, unable to restart the car. His teammate Felipe Massa, though, drove a fantastic race and secured his seat for next season with a second place finish to salvage the day for the team. Hometown hero Kamui Kobayashi thrilled the crowd with a third place finish, battling McLaren-Mercedes driver Jenson Button down to the wire. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes bound next season, finished fifth and sits fourth in the standings while Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen finished sixth and sits in third. With five races remaining, a furious rally is building and anything can happen in one of the most unpredictable seasons in F1 history. Check out these highlights from the thrilling race in Japan:
V8 Supercars – Bathurst 1000: In one of the most exciting and often terrifying events in the entire world of motorsports, Jamie Whincup wrestled the victory away from David Reynolds by just 0.3 seconds to win the fourth Bathurst 1000 of his career in the Australian racing series. More than 200,000 fans turned out for the fiftieth running of the race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup – Good Sam Road Assistance 500 at Talladega: NASCAR, everybody. Whether you love it or not, it has its own style and it was on full display at Talladega on Sunday. With Tony Stewart leading the final lap and the field bunched up after a late yellow, but as the traffic jam plunged into Turn 3 Stewart got under Michael Waltrip and spun sideways, flipping his car into the entire field behind him and chaos ensued. Only a few cars escaped the mayhem, with Ford driver Matt Kenseth cruising across the finish line for his second win of the season. Jeff Gordon and his Chevrolet took second and the Toyota of Kyle Busch came in third. Despite the crash, the top three points leaders in the Chase stayed put with Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin still maintaining control. There is always opportunity for a finish like this when such a large field is drafting so closely, with relatively little threat of injury or penalty. Some people love it, others don’t consider it racing. But whatever you think, get ready for your jaw to drop at this video:
World Rally Championship – Rallye de France: With still two races remaining in the 2012 season, Sebastien Loeb and his Citroen team secured the championship title with a victory in their final season together. Loeb will scale back his rallying duties next year after the most decorated WRC career in history, putting an exclamation point at the end with a dominating win in France by 15.5 seconds over the Ford of Jari-Matta Latvala. It’s perfectly fitting for motorsports royalty such as Loeb to go out with a cherry on top, but the talk of the weekend was this incredible crash by Peter Solberg. Perhaps he just wanted to have a fireworks send-off for Loeb:
Formula One - Official Site
V8 Supercars - Official Site
NASCAR Sprint Cup - Official Site
WRC - Official Site