Motorsport: Kiwi drivers show their muscle

By Eric Thompson

Determination puts our drivers on the podium

Richie Stanaway has his single-seater groove back after two years away since his accident at Spa Francorchamps.Picture / Jacob Ebrey
Richie Stanaway has his single-seater groove back after two years away since his accident at Spa Francorchamps.Picture / Jacob Ebrey

Once again it was a bumper weekend for New Zealanders racing overseas with most of the Kiwi drivers standing on the podium.

Evans gets his first GP2 win

New Zealand GP2 driver Mitch Evans continues to build on the momentum he started in Monaco by notching up his first win in the highly competitive category.

After the opening two rounds of the championship the 20-year-old Aucklander was languishing in 16th place with just two points. Monaco was the turning point and the Kiwi has scored points in every race since -- Monaco, Austria and England -- to have jumped to an equal fourth on the table.

His win in the feature race over the weekend at Silverstone proved that when Evans has a good enough car under him he's capable of taking on all comers.

"They're starting to realise more and more what I need from the car and I think that really showed this weekend," Evans said.

"We made some good strides in Austria which didn't really show in the races, but I think we can be consistently on the podium and can hopefully win some more races in the future."

Stanaway continues to impress

Young Kiwi racer Richie Stanaway is well and truly back into the single-seater groove having picked up another win in his GP3 championship.

He and British teammate Nick Yelloly clinched a one-two for Status Grand Prix at Silverstone at the weekend. Stanaway scorched away at the start of the second race of the weekend and drove a consummate race where he was never headed and crossed the line to take his second win of the season.


Richie Stanaway (centre) had good reason to celebrate. Picture / GP3 Media

"It was an awesome day for us, obviously a one-two for the team which is perfect," Stanaway said.

"We have really turned the car around and [are] radically different to where we've been already this year."

Stanaway has been away from open-wheel racing for the past two years since his big accident at Spa Francorchamps and is steadily getting better. He now sits third in the GP3 championship.

In the first race of the weekend Stanaway started seventh and despite his best efforts had to settle for seventh at the end, picking up valuable points along the way. His next race is at Hockenheim Ring, Germany, in a support class for the German Formula One Grand Prix.

Bamber does it again

Top Porsche exponent Kiwi Earl Bamber yet again stood on the podium in a Porsche one-make championship.

He's probably the busiest Porsche driver on the planet at the moment having raced in five different Porsche championships so far this year.

Bamber qualified eighth for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup race as a support for the British F1 Grand Prix but soon made short work of the drivers immediately in front of him.

"That was a great race and I'm very happy with the overall outcome," said Bamber. "We made a good start, and got up to P4 quite early.

"We had a great battle with Connor de Phillippi for third then with Kuba Giermaziak we had a good, clean fight for second and third. This one is for the team as they have put in a lot of work leading up to the event."

Bamber is currently second on the points table behind leader Kuba Giermaziak and his next race is on July 18.

Van Gisbergen makes a move


Shane van Gisbergen is well up the championship ladder.

The Kiwis in the V8 Supercars had a mixed bag of results over the three races with two of them -- Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard -- finishing on the podium.

Best of the bunch was van Gisbergen who finished fifth, fourth and third over the three races to move into fourth in the championship just six points behind Coulthard.

"We had a terrible event in Perth but now we have had two great weekends in Darwin and Townsville," said van Gisbergen. "The team did a great job to give me a fast car and we are looking forward to the next round."

The Lockwood Racing driver is clinging to third in the title race by the skin of his teeth and appears to be struggling at times over a race weekend, but somehow still manages to pick up points.

The third Kiwi racing, Scott McLaughlin, looked good for a win in Townsville but it wasn't to be and he had to settle for a string of top-10 finishes, remaining in seventh in the championship. Craig Lowndes had a horror weekend with penalties and car issues and dropped from second to sixth in the series. "We struggled on and off most of the weekend," McLaughlin said. "Speeding down pit lane didn't help either, but you have to make the most of the bad days and we did."

Meanwhile, Jamie Whincup took full advantage of everyone else's misfortune to storm into second place on the leader board behind Mark Winterbottom. Their next race is at Ipswich on August 1.


Jamie Whincup is now second. Picture / Mark Horsburgh.
Dixon steadies the ship

To a certain degree IndyCar driver Scott Dixon had one of his better race weekends of late, finishing fifth at the Pocono 500.

Despite picking up valuable championship points the Kiwi is still stuck back in eighth in the race for the championship. Dixon is the defending champion and it's looking more and more unlikely that the Target Chip Ganassi Racing driver will be able to haul in the leaders, especially Will Power.

The Kiwi has yet to notch up a win in the 2014 season and is now 159 points out of first place.

After 13 years away from IndyCar racing and struggling in Nascar, Juan Pablo Montoya showed why he was a star in single-seaters by winning the Pocono race, his first since Surfers Paradise in 2000.

King proves age no barrier

New Zealand motocross legend Darryll King rolled back the years and almost picked up another world title in Sweden.

The 45-year-old came very close to winning the Veterans World Motocross championship but was edged out by Czech rider Martin Zerava. King has an impressive 25-year history racing motocross having finished second in the world 500cc championship twice, a multi New Zealand and Australian national champion and a third place at the Motocross of Nations.

- NZ Herald

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