Ferrari Very Strong in Spain – Can anyone unseat the F2008? Can anyone beat Kimi Raikkonen? The red cars did it again and Kimi claimed another checkered flag at the track where the pole-sitter has won eight years running. It was a pretty uneventful race for the leaders, save for a high speed skid-out for Heikki Kovalainen after a brief turn at the lead. He had tire failure at turn nine after the first set of pit stops and flew into the gravel and tire barrier, but he seems to have avoided serious injury. The crash led to only 13 cars finishing the race.
Felipe Massa came in second with the sophomore sensation, Lewis Hamilton, rounding out the top three. It seems that Ferrari are finally clicking like the pre-season hype had promised, and it looks like the only thing that can stop them is themselves, although Hamilton is running very well now also. Raikkonen jumped out to a good lead from the start and although it was not wire-to-wire, it was an extremely comfortable win with leads stretching from 2 to 4 seconds. He sped to victory with a 3.2 second margin over his teammate Massa. Raikkonen has a 9-point lead on Lewis Hamilton’s 20 points. Kubica is third with 19, Massa has 18, Heidfeld 16, and Kovalainen with 14 to complete the top six.
Although Kimi has a 9-point lead on Hamilton, he can’t let up because Lewis seems to have hit a decent stride. He was error-free this race and if he keeps it up he should be poised to advance should Raikkonen suffer any mis-steps. That being said, the championship looks like it is Kimi’s to lose with only 14 races left and the red cars running like thoroughbreds. There is a pretty good battle between the drivers behind him so at least we could see some drama there, but for Ferrari there doesn’t seem to be any serious challengers.
Wheldon Wins in Kansas – Dan Wheldon won the IndyCar Series race leading into the month of May at Indianapolis for the second year in a row.
The 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner and series champion held off Andretti Green Racing’s Tony Kanaan in Sunday’s Road Runner Turbo Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway. It was his first win since this race last year. Wheldon crashed late in last year’s 500 with Marco Andretti.
Wheldon wasn’t Sunday’s most dominant driver, as that designation belonged to Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon. But Dixon got caught on the wrong side of a yellow flag for a crash.
Dixon was on pit road when the caution came out for Buddy Rice’s crash. That gave the advance to Wheldon, who went farther on the next-to-last fuel stint because he was able to save fuel running behind Dixon. Dixon led 145 laps.
Wheldon’s advantage over Kanaan at the finish was 2.177 seconds. It would have been smaller but Kanaan was held up on lap 199 by the lapped Vision Racing car of Ed Carpenter.
Dixon finished third with Penske Racing’s Helio Castroneves fourth, AGR’s Marco Andretti fifth, AGR rookie Hideki Mutoh sixth and Penske’s Ryan Briscoe seventh.
There were two notable incidents on pit road. Marty Roth drove into Tomas Scheckter’s right front tire changer, Simon Morley, who miraculously escaped injury. Later, Milka Duno spun harmlessly.
The Indy 500 opens next weekend with the rookie orientation program. Full practice begins May 6.