THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Raikkonen win shows age irrelevant in racing
Hamilton has to wait longer to clinch F1 title, and all-female racing series is a go
Kimi Raikkonen drove flawlessly to win this past weekend’s US Grand Prix in Austin, his first victory after 113 starts dating all the way back to March 2013.
His efforts not only postponed Kimi Raikkonen ’s bid to win a fifth championship, but it also saw Raikkonen becoming Formula One’s (F1’s) second oldest race winner since Britain’s Nigel Mansell triumphed at the age of 41 in Australia in 1994.
"He did a great job today. No mistakes; he had a great start and managed it all the way," said Hamilton of Raikkonen’s drive at the post-race news conference.
"Performance-wise we were definitely off this weekend but I think Kimi’s given me a lot of confidence, so that I can keep getting better," added the 33-year-old Briton. "He’s 38? 39?"
"Next year, 40. I’ll invite you to the party," offered Raikkonen to Hamilton, who has amassed a lead of 70 points over Vettel, with a total of 75 remaining to be won from the last three races. That means even if Vettel wins this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix, the Briton needs finish only seventh to be sure of the title
It may well prove to be Raikkonen’s last win for Ferrari. Come 2019 he is set for a return home to Sauber — the team he started out with in 2001.
"I’m proving (to) people certain things. I might be getting older but it’s not too bad still," said the 2007 world champion.
Seven for Marquez
Spain’s Marc Marquez wrapped up his third straight MotoGP championship with victory at the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, after title rival Andrea Dovizioso crashed out on the penultimate lap.
Dovizioso led for most of the race but Marquez piled on the pressure until he made his move with four laps to go. Dovizioso attempted to move back past Marquez on the penultimate lap but pushed it too far and came off his bike. He recovered but eventually finished 18th.
The 25-year-old Spaniard is now tied with Australian Mick Doohan on five premier class world titles. Only Valentino Rossi (seven) and Giacomo Agostini (eight) have more.
SA’s Brad Binder was fifth in the Moto2 race, and retains third place in the championship. The next stop is the Australian MotoGP this coming weekend.
Series for women
A new all-female racing series has been launched to help women racers reach F1. While no women have competed in F1 since 1976, women have certainly been part of racing.
The only woman said to score a point in F1 is Italian Lella Lombardi, who scored a half point in the shortened 1975 Spanish Grand Prix. She is one of only two who started races since the championship began in 1950. SA’s Desire Wilson is credited with winning a race in the British Aurora F1 series, which was not part of the international F1 calendar.
The organisers of the "W Series" hope to develop skills for more women before taking on the men further up the motorsport ladder.
Scheduled to start in May 2019, the W Series offers $1.5m in prize money and will select 18-20 competitors after tests and appraisals using identical Formula Three cars. Following its inaugural season in Europe, W Series plans to expand to the US, Asia and Australia.
The idea of an all-female series has been criticised by some women racers, who are adamant they want to compete against the men.
Defending an all-women series, former F1 driver and series adviser David Coulthard said: "Women tended to reach a ‘glass ceiling’ at Formula Three level, often due to a lack of funding, and needed help."
Jag Simola hillclimb
When the 2019 Jaguar Simola Hillclimb roars to life from May 2-5, it will mark the 10th edition of this automotive extravaganza.
The event attracts a diverse range of iconic cars and legendary drivers from all eras who compete for glory on the challenging 1.9km Simola Hill course before almost 17,000 spectators. It will be the sixth year with Jaguar as the title sponsor.
Ticket sales to the 2019 event have already opened.
The organisers have made changes to spice up the competition. Classic Car Friday remains unchanged, while King of the Hill classes have been expanded and revised.
The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb remains an invitational event. Online registrations opened on October 1 for competitors hoping to participate in next year’s event, and close on January 31 2019.
Kruger is cup champ
The Engen Polo Cup Championship has never failed to provide action since its inception. As an example of the close racing, after last Saturday morning’s official qualifying session, the times of the top 15 drivers were covered by just one second.
This year’s dramatic title chase was clinched in the 17th of the year’s 18 races by young Jeffrey Kruger of team Universal Health. Kruger sustained season-long pressure from Electric Life Polo’s Tasmin Pepper and Volkswagen Racing’s Jonathan Mogotsi to clinch the title at this past weekend’s Extreme Festival Series at Zwartkops Raceway.
Pepper secured this year’s runner-up title and also clinched the Masters category in the otherwise all-male field.