Aussies Abroad: Le Mans LMP2 win for Allen
Scott Dixon, Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber, Ryan Briscoe and James Allen – 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 100th Anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race was a chaotic affair with wet weather conditions catching out many competitors as each of the five manufacturers led the race at one stage.
In the LMP2 field, James Allen alongside George Kurtz and Colin Braun in the #45 Algarve Pro Racing entry came home in 20th outright in the field, but scored first in the LMP2 Pro/Am class, standing on the top step of the podium.
But it was Ferrari who snatched the outright and Hypercar win from the #8 Toyota entry with Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Ryo Hirakawa in second.
The two fought it out at the 11th hour and pit stops shared the lead but with about an hour to go, the #8, manned by Hirakawa, lost control under braking at Arnage causing damage and handing the win to the #51 entry driven by Alessandro Pier Guidi, Antonio Giovinazzi and James Calado.
The #2 Chip Ganassi entry driven by Earl Bamber, Alex Lynn and Richard Westbrook had a relatively trouble-free podium run to finish third for Cadillac.
Its sister entry was another victim of a rear-end collision with Sebastien Bourdais at the helm, the Kiwi Scott Dixon was caught out by a sudden deluge at the Porsche Curves in the closing stages of the race.
They were able to climb back to finish behind their Cadillac stable-mates in fourth.
Ryan Briscoe in the #708 Glickenhaus entry led ahead of its sister entry but saw damage with a moment in Arnage which led to a garage visit and finished sixth.
Jack Miller – MotoGP
Red Bull KTM’s Jack Miller was best of the rest in the Sprint race in Mugello, finishing in sixth place behind an all-Ducati top five.
The Australian beat out Marc Marquez after an early-race contact.
In Sunday’s race, Miller launched off the second row into the lead before being overtaken by Bagnaia at the second corner.
He then fell down the order to finish in seventh place whilst leader Bagnaia led for 23 laps.
Sebestain Eskandari-Marandi and William Calleja – WSK Super Cup Mini
10-year-old Brisbane karter Sebastian Eskandari-Marandi took home the WSK Super Cup Mini victory at La Conca, Italy.
Eskandari-Marandi was the first Australian to win in the Mini class with his team Tony Kart since Supercars driver James Courtney raced decades ago.
Another Australian, William Calleja scored a fifth-place victory in Mini’s Final B of the weekend.
Brendon Leitch – Le Mans Cup
Brendon Leitch and his team-mate Gerhard Watzinger competed in the GT3 category of the 2023 Le Mans Cup, scoring a 12th place and fifth place finish in the two races to leave the weekend seventh in the Championship standings.
“In the second race, Gerhard started the car 15th on the grid and worked his way up to 12th, staying out of trouble and keeping with the main pack,” said Leitch.
“I then got in and battled up to fifth which gave us some good points for the overall championship as a couple of cars that finished ahead were ineligible for championship points as they were just competing at Le Mans.”
Jett and Hunter Lawrence – Pro Motocross Championship
Brothers Jett and Hunter Lawrence dominated the 450 and 250 Moto classes at Thunder Valley Motocross Park, remaining unbeaten with their third victory of the year.
Lawrence on the #18 Team Honda HRC bike commanded the first race of the weekend in the 450 class, winning by over 31.6s ahead of the pack below and led every lap of the second race, rewriting history books in his rookie campaign.
The older brother of the two scored a second place and a victory in his weekend, leaving on top of the 250 class Championship standings.
“I didn’t want to run [Cooper] over [after the crash], so I tried to go around him,” said Lawrence.
“After that I just rode my own race. Definitely made life a lot easier getting a good start. I’m stoked.”