THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Tickets go on sale for Cape Town WRX
Killarney to again host final round of exciting tar-gravel world championship
Tickets have gone on sale for the FIA World Rallycross (WRX) Championship round to be held in Cape Town on November 24-25 at the Killarney International raceway.
Following 2017’s successful inaugural event that attracted more than 27,000 spectators, the Gumtree-sponsored round will again conclude the World RX season, as the only international motor racing event to take place on local soil in 2018.
One of the world’s most exciting forms of motorsport, WRX sees competitors racing on a combined tar and gravel course with jumps. The rally-style cars reputedly accelerate from 0-100km/h, even faster than Formula One cars, and the short sprint-style events produce intense close-quarters racing with plenty of contact.
The 12-round championship mostly takes place in Europe but also has two races in North America, while the Cape Town event is the sole African round.
WRX superstars will be hunting victory at Killarney with defending champion Johan Kristoffersson along with motorsport legends Sebastien Loeb, Petter Solberg and Mattias Ekstrom headlining an entry list brimming with rallycross talent.
Tickets are R220-R750 and can be purchased from www.ticketpros.co.za
Dovi Dazzles in Misano
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso moved into second place in this year’s MotoGP standings by winning the San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano circuit on Sunday. Although home favourite Valentino Rossi only managed a disappointing seventh on a track that didn’t suit his Yamaha, and lost second place in the championship, the Italian fans celebrated an Italian rider winning on an Italian machine.
After qualifying fourth Dovizioso took an early lead and opened a small gap while his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo sparred with reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Honda) in an exciting duel.
It was Dovi’s first win at Misano, his third victory of the season, and Ducati’s third in a row.
Lorenzo crashed out of second place on the penultimate lap and rejoined to cross the line 17th. That left Marquez to cross the line second to extend his championship lead to 221 points over Dovisiozo (154) and Rossi (151), with six races left. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow (Honda) took the final podium slot.
There was controversy in the Moto2 class when Italy’s Romano Fenati was banned for two races — and subsequently fired by his team — after grabbing the brake lever on rival Stefano Manzi’s bike following an earlier clash. Italy’s Francesco Bagnaia won the race, with SA’s Brad Binder in eighth place.
Kimi makes a move
Kimi Räikkönen will move from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 from 2019, it was announced on Tuesday ahead of this weekend’s Singapore round.
Ending months of speculation about the Finn’s future, the 2007 Formula One world champion has signed a two-year deal with the team where he began his career in 2001.
In a straight swop, Ferrari has confirmed 20-year old rookie Charles Leclerc, currently with Alfa Romeo Sauber, as Räikkönen’s replacement alongside four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel next season.
Räikkönen won the 2017 world championship with Ferrari and has secured 20 Grands Prix wins and 100 podiums to date. The Finn is also a fan favourite and more than 70,000 Räikkönen fans recently signed an online petition urging Ferrari to keep the driver for another year rather than replace him with Leclerc.
Raikkonen, at 38, is the oldest driver in the sport and remains the last Ferrari driver to have won a title. At Monza, Ferrari’s home track in Italy, a fortnight ago he started on pole and finished second to world champion Lewis Hamilton to record his 100th career podium.
"Signing Räikkönen as our driver represents an important pillar of our project, and brings us closer to our target of making significant progress as a team in the near future," said Frédéric Vasseur, CEO of Sauber Motorsport and Team Principal of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
"Kimi’s talent and immense experience will contribute not only to the development of our car, but accelerate the growth and development of our team."