Aussies Abroad: Hughes wins on Road America USF2000 weekend
Lochie Hughes – USF2000
Lochie Hughes scored a pole position ahead of the weekend with a flying lap of 2:07.8964s, creating a new lap record by more than two seconds from the previous 2018 record set by Rasmus Lindh.
The Australian’s opening race did not go as planned, an incident on the opening lap at Turn 6 saw him tumble down the order to finish 10th and a post race five-second penalty for blocking sent him to 12th.
Race 2 saw Hughes capitalised on multiple race cautions, sending it into the lead on the first corner of Lap 8 past Mac Clark. He leaves this weekend with a slim lead on the championship, just three points ahead of Simon Sikes.
“It was a pretty good race. I was able to jump up to second at the start before the safety cars,” said Hughes.
“I got a great restart and just sent it around the outside of Mac. I wasn’t sure how much grip there would be with the resurface but I thought stuff it, go for it.”
Cooper Webster – GB4 Championship
Snetterton was a weekend to remember for the Australian who won two out of the three weekend races in dominant fashion.
Cooper Webster took a double pole with two flying laps around the track, leaving him with the fastest time of 1:45.875s.
He backed up this success with a lights-to-flag display in Race 1, edging clear of his competitors by over three seconds.
In Race 2, Webster lost out at Wilsons Hairpin at Oulton Park, handing the victory to Kevin Mills Racing’s Tom Mills. He prevailed to hold on to second place.
The reverse grid Race 3 where Webster started from 11th, he gained eight places by Lap 4 and mounted his challenge for the lead of the race.
He gained first place on Lap 8 and pulled a gap of 2.5s to the pack. He leaves the weekend second in the GB4 Championship standings, only 78 points behind Mills.
Oscar Piastri – Formula 1
Oscar Piastri crashed out in the closing stages of Qualifying 3 at Turn 7 on the Canadian Grand Prix weekend after the session became a wet weather qualifying.
After bringing out the red flag, Piastri finished the session in 10th but was promoted to start Sunday’s Grand Prix in eighth after penalties were applied to Yuki Tsunoda, Nico Hulkenburg, Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz.
Liam Lawson – Super Formula
Current championship leader Liam Lawson ended up not in the fight for pole for the Sugo Super Formula weekend, his time of 1:05.842s leaving him in sixth place for Sunday’s race.
He then was overtaken in the standings by Rimoto Miyata who scored his second victory of the 2023 season at Sugo and now leads going into Fuji by 12 points.
Lawson had a fifth place finish after a late pit stop strategy backfired and saw the Kiwi lose hope of a front running position.
Will Power, Scott Dixon, Scott McLaughlin, Marcus Armstrong – IndyCar
Scott Dixon finished in fourth place in the Road America IndyCar race after starting in 23rd place and battling to the front, Arrow McLaren driver Pato O’Ward barely holding on to his podium place ahead of the Kiwi.
2016 Road America winner Will Power finished in 13th place while Scott McLaughlin came home in eighth place after starting from 18th.
Marcus Armstrong finished in 24th place, being lapped by his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Alex Palou who eventually won the race.
Power and Dixon were involved in a practice collision the day before as they brought out the second red flag of the session when the two collided on the way to Billy Mitchell bend.
Dixon moved back on track after an incident with Romain Grosjean and hit the Aussie, wrecking both cars before the race on Sunday.
Hunter McElrea – Indy NXT
Scoring his first podium of the year, Hunter McElrea finished third in the Firestone Grand Prix at Road America after starting from 13th place on the grid.
The Kiwi was also fastest in Practice 2 on Saturday morning, leading Andretti Autosport with a 1-2 with his team-mate Louis Foster.
McElrea scored a lap time of 1:48.8556s that was three seconds under the categories previous track record but the record was broken again by Kyffin Simpson in his pole qualifying effort.
Jack Miller – Moto GP
Jack Miller started his weekend by qualifying in third place for the Sachsenring Sprint race and the front-row qualifying allowed the Australian to battle for the race lead but ultimately, he finished where he started in the last podium place.
In Sunday’s race, Miller dropped back to come home in sixth place after a mistake on Lap 1 at Turn 11, causing his great start to the lead to end with a top six finish.
Triple Eight Engineering – GT World Challenge Asia
Triple Eight Engineering’s #88 Mercedes-AMG, driven at the helm by Prince Abu Bakar Ibrahim and Luca Stolz, a spot usually filled by Supercars driver Broc Feeney, was promoted to victory in Race 2 at Fuji Speedway.
Provisionally classed 14th in the grid, the 13 cars ahead of them all picked up a 30 second penalty due to not heeding Race Control’s instruction to avoid an incident on the start-finish straight by passing through the pit lane during the third Safety Car period.
In Race 1, the #88 car finished the race in the same position, 14th place.
The teams #888 car driven by Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Richie Stanaway completed their weekend with results of seventh in Race 1 and 13th in Race 2.
Patrick Heuzenroeder, Noah Lisle, James Piszcyk – British Formula 4
In British Formula 4, Patrick Heuzenroeder, Noah Lisle and James Piszcyk finished seventh, eighth and 10th respectively in a red flagged Race 1 when Gabriel Stilp was sent into the barriers at Turn 1 at Oulton Park.
In Race 2, Heuzenroeder and Piszcyk finished just behind fifth placed Gustav Jonsson whilst Lisle dropped back in the field to come home in 12th.
In Race 3, Heuzenroeder hit the barriers with speed as he exited Druids, leaving the race to finish with three minutes on the clock as he exited the car.
With a red flag called to fix the damage on track, this meant the Carlin driver of Lisle had to settle for eighth and Piszcyk 15th as they could not battle for positions in the closing stages of the weekend.
Taylor Gill – FIA Rally Star
Taylor Gill and his co-driver Dan Brkic took victory in the first FIA Rally Star event at the Rally San Marino, finishing 10th outright in a field of 45 competitors.
With the next Rally Star drivers in 20th, the 19-year-old from Newcastle topped the Rally3 table on Day 1 and the two scored their victory with a comfortable margin of 4:13.7s.
Max Walton – FIA Karting Academy Trophy
Max Walton finished runner-up in Denmark in Round 2 of the FIA Karting Academy Trophy after starting on the front row of the grid.
After contact midway through the race that sent the teenager from the Gold Coast to 9th place, he fought his way back to the podium to finish second. He now leaves the weekend on top of the standings, 15 points ahead.
“The weekend had lots of ups and downs,” said Walton.
“The racing was very tough especially for the final because it’s very hard to keep your position on track as there is lots of passing opportunities and everyone wanted to pass every corner and not work together.”