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WORLD WRAP: McElrea takes first USF2000 race win

Monday 24th June, 2019 - 1:26pm

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Hunter McElrea pic: Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship

USF2000 Championship

Hunter McElrea has won in USF2000 for the first time in the sixth race of the season, at Road America.

Pole-sitter Colin Kaminsky and Pabst team-mate McElrea enjoyed an early margin over the field due to a first-corner incident, before McElrea got a better run off the final corner on Lap 2 and made the decisive move at the other end of the main straight.

The Kiwi put 3.5s between himself and Kaminsky in the remaining 10 laps, while Australian Cameron Shields (Newman Wachs Racing) prevailed in a three-car contest for third.

Cape Motorsport’s Braden Eves won Sunday’s 12-lapper after passing McElrea at the start of Lap 2.

McElrea emerged second from a four-car stoush which raged for much of the race before he lost another spot to Darren Keane (Cape) and ultimately came home third, while Shields was ninth.

Eves’ advantage over McElrea is 41 points with the next two races supporting IndyCar in Toronto on July 12-14.

Jack Doohan

F3 Asian Championship

Jack Doohan claimed two victories at Suzuka, first heading team-mate Ukyo Sasahara to the line in Race 7 of the season.

Doohan was six tenths clear of his Hitech GP team-mate at the finish, with Petr Ptacek third at nearly 10 seconds behind.

Sasahara qualified on pole but lost out at the start to Doohan, before the emergence of a Safety Car.

The race then ran under Safety Car control for much of it, the field only released with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Doohan controlled the restart, defending Sasahara to hold on to win the 11 lap encounter.

In Race 8, a short battle with Sasahara in the opening stages saw Doohan emerge out front, only for the Aussie to roll to a halt late in the race.

Sasahara won, while Doohan got going again to finish 10th.

Contact between Sasahara and Ptacek in the final race of the weekend bumped the latter down to last.

Ptacek was then handed a drive-through for a jump start while race Sasahara collected the same penalty for the early contact.

It dropped Sasahara out of contention, allowing Doohan to take victory.

On debut in the series, Australian Jackson Walls finished seventh in the weekend’s opening race.

He then climbed to third in the second race, and banked another seventh in the weekend’s finale.

In championship terms, Doohan sits just eight points behind Sasahara in the championship, which heads next to Shanghai on September 7-8.

Nick Cassidy pic: Nick Cassidy Twitter

Super Formula

New Zealander Nick Cassidy finished fourth as championship leader Naoki Yamamoto won Round 3 at Sugo.

Yamamoto (Dandelion Racing) started on the soft compound of tyres and still led by 10 seconds after pitting at the end of Lap 52.

He managed two late Safety Car periods, the first when Tomoki Nojiri (Team Mugen) spun himself into the kitty litter from third position while attacking Lucas Auer (B-Max Racing).

Yamamoto went on to win by three seconds from Kamui Kobayashi (KCMG) and Auer.

A position further back was Team TOM’S driver Cassidy, all the way from 14th on the grid with a strategy of not refuelling.

He remains second in the standings ahead of Round 4 at Fuji on July 13-14.

Alex Peroni pic: Dutch Photo Agency

FIA Formula 3

Alex Peroni banked his first points of the season with eighth in the opening FIA Formula 3 Championship race of the weekend in Paul Ricard.

The Australian started 10th before moving up to eighth at the flag, the race won by Jehan Daruvala.

By finishing eighth, Peroni started Race 2 from pole position and led the opening 10 laps of the 20-lap encounter.

He then slipped to 14th by the flag, Robert Shwartzman taking the victory from Pedro Piquet and Race 1 winner Daruvala.

Armstrong came home eighth, having a time penalty added mid-race reversed.

The Kiwi was penalised for contact with David Beckmann, though new evidence produced post-race saw the five second penalty revoked.

It’s a short turnaround for Formula 3 which is next in action in support of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring this weekend, June 28-30.

Nyck de Vries

Formula 2

Nyck de Vries and Anthoine Hubert both claimed victories at Paul Ricard in the latest round of the Formula 2 championship.

In the weekend’s opening race, de Vries moved from fourth to take an 8.4s win over Sergio Sette Camara with Renault reserve driver Jack Aitken in third.

The race was interrupted by an early red flag when Sean Gelael and Mick Schumacher came together at Turn 3.

The clash account for a quarter of the field, initially drawing the Virtual Safety Car before the race was red flagged.

Race 2 saw Hubert claim victory, 2.2s clear of Joaquin Correa and Guanyu Zhou in third.

Indonesian driver Mahaveer Raghunathan was caught breaking Virtual Safety Car procedures three times, accruing enough penalty points to rule him out of the following event in Austria.

Formula 2 moves to Austria for the sixth round of 2019 on June 28-30.

Jonathan Rea pic: Graeme Brown/Geebee Images/2SNAP

Superbike World Championship

Jonathan Rea is back in the hunt in WorldSBK after championship leader Alvaro Bautista crashed out of a race lead for the second round in a row, in Misano.

Four-time champion Rea had a fall of his own in the Superpole Race but scored a second win of the weekend after Bautista dropped his Aruba.it Ducati on Lap 2 of Race 2.

Rea tailed Toprak Razgatlioglu for much of that encounter before taking his factory Kawasaki past the Puccetti Kawasaki on Lap 18, and seeing off a final lap challenge from the Turk.

Leon Haslam, who had inherited first position from Bautista, took third on the second Kawasaki Racing Team entry, while Bautista salvaged two points in 14th.

Rea also claimed a rain-affected opener after Alex Lowes crashed his Pata Yamaha out of the lead around the halfway mark, with Bautista finishing third.

Bautista won the Superpole Race, in which Rea finished fifth having remounted following a strange crash at Turn 10.

They are separated by 16 championship points ahead of Round 8 at Donington on July 5-7.

Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia

Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia

Tanart Sathienthirakul and Philip Hamprecht claimed the first Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia race at Suzuka.

The pair steered their Porsche 911 GT3 R to a 6.2s win over Yuan Bo and Leo Ye Hongli in an Absolute Racing 1-2.

The final podium position went to Yuta Kamimura and Hiroaki Nagai making for an all-Porsche podium.

Andre Heimgartner got to the line in fourth with co-driver Yuya Sakamoto in the HubAuto Corsa Ferrari.

The Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Shane van Gisbergen and Abdul Rahman Ibrahim came home 13th, while Kiwi Chris van der Drift was 15th in the Porsche he shares with Li Chao.

Australians Andrew Macpherson and Ben Porter were 21st, Mark Williamson was 25th in a GT4 Audi, and Alan Yeo 27th.

Race 2 saw a narrow win for Jeffrey Lee and Alessio Picarello aboard a Mercedes-AMG GT3.

Lee crossed the line less than half a second clear of the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Vutthikorn Inthraphuvasak and Marco Holzer.

Heimgartner was again fourth to the flag, while the Triple Eight entry fell to 18th, one place in front of the Macpherson/Porter Lamborghini.

The van der Drift and Li Chao entry came home eighth, with Williamson 22nd and Yeo 24th.

The next round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia series heads to Fuji Speedway on July 6-7.

Benjamin Leuchter wins Race 3 pic: FIA WTCR/Oscaro Facebook

FIA World Touring Car Cup

Norbert Michelisz, Johan Kristoffersson, and Benjamin Leuchter each won a race in the fifth WTCR event of 2019 at the Nurburgring.

Michelisz (Hyundai) beat pole-sitter and championship leader Esteban Guerrieri (Honda) at the Race 1 start and they ran alone in first and second respectively for the majority of the three-lap affair.

Kristoffersson (Volkswagen) saw off an early challenge to take a maiden win in Race 2, while Guerrieri and Michelisz ended up sixth and seventh respectively.

Leuchter (Volkswagen) survived an intense challenge from Guerrieri in particular to prevail in Race 3, with Frederic Vervisch (Audi) splitting that pair at the finish.

Vile Real in Portugal is the next stop on July 5-7.

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