Motorsport: Flames and Lames Tue Jul 26

By Dale Budge

Chris Pither celebrates after taking pole position at the V8 Supercars Ipswich Supersprint. Photo / Getty Images
Chris Pither celebrates after taking pole position at the V8 Supercars Ipswich Supersprint. Photo / Getty Images


Chris Pither
The Super Black Racing driver scored a maiden pole position on Saturday's race after blitzling the field with a superb time. While he got knocked around a wee bit on the opening laps of the race, the Kiwi showed consistently fast times all weekend and recorded a well-deserved top 10 finish. The achievement became all the more meaningful when news broke yesterday of the passing of team owner and founder Tony Lentino after a battle with cancer. Lentino was well respected in the paddock and he will be sorely missed.

Craig Lowndes
The veteran V8s star has fashioned an incredible record at Ipswich over the years and he demonstrated once more an ability to get the best out of his car at the venue. He was a chance at a race win on Saturday but an incredible drive from Kiwi Shane Van Gisbergen put an end to that. Lowndes' performance on Sunday however was a vintage one, easing away from the field to claim victory and boost his championship hopes. Anyone thinking the title was a two-horse race between Red Bull Racing teammates Van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup might want to think again after Lowndes' showing in Ipswich.

Lewis Hamilton
The Brit Formula 1 star and defending world champion won the Hungarian Grand Prix on Monday to take the lead in the world championship for the first time in 2016. He trailed Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 43 points at one stage but his class and outright speed has seen him claw back that gap and take a lead of his own. Whether Rosberg can regroup and mount a serious charge of his own remains to be seen but Hamilton has delivered a stunning and comprehensive blow in recent weeks and another title now looks likely.


Mitch Evans
The Kiwi GP2 driver continues to struggle for pace out of his ** car. There is little doubt he possesses the ability to be a title contender at this level but the team has struggled to provide him with a competitive car all season. That frustration grew at Hungary - a venue Evans has enjoyed success at before - over the weekend. Qualifying a lowly 14th for the feature race on Sunday morning Evans was able to salvage 10th place in the race. He secured a solid fifth in the sprint race on Monday but is starting to lose touch with the leaders in the title race.

Karl Kostecki
The teenager has been given the job of filling in for the injured Lee Holdsworth in the past two rounds of the V8 Supercars championship and he made a rookie error during Sunday's qualifying that could have had huge championship implications. Late in the session Kostecki had bailed out of a serious lap and was allowing other drivers to pass but he pulled up almost right at the apex of a fast corner just as defending series champ Mark Winterbottom arrived flat out. Winterbottom narrowly avoided making contact - at that speed it would have resulted in a major accident. Winterbottom and his Pro Drive Racing team were livid at Kostecki and questioned whether someone with such little experience should be allowed to compete at this level.

Tulloch Motorsport
The Camaro driving pair of John McIntyre and Simon Gilbertson seemed headed for the North Island Endurance title heading into the weekend's final round of the championship at Manfeild Raceway. McIntyre was involved in an incident with Simon Evans' Smeg Holden, which saw the Camaro damaged enough that they had to pit and lose five laps. In doing so it ruined their title chances.

- NZ Herald

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