LEWIS BACK ON THE TOP STEP
Lewis Hamilton returned to the top step of the podium for the second time this season at Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
The night race provided its fair share of excitement but Mark Webber was to see his championship aspirations, and indeed gold star challenge, fade away following a retirement caused by brake failure. Jenson Button, following a strong start to the race, was the net beneficiary of the safety car period and critically increased his lead in the driver’s World Championship by a point from championship rival and teammate as well as Honorary BRDC Member Rubens Barrichello. The other Honorary Member in the race, Fernando Alonso enjoyed a more worthwhile evening securing third place.
The other key motor sport event was the Petite Le Mans Sports car endurance race, which forms part of the American Le Mans Series. Although only in its 11th year this race is already being talked about as a classic that ranks alongside the Sebring 12 hour. Despite being beaten to third place by a dominant assault by Peugeot, Allan McNish was upbeat about the potential for the R15TDi Audi, in which he has enjoyed considerably less race time than in recent years. In LMP2 Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda finally secured class victory after several unsuccessful attempts in the previous years with team regular Dario Franchitti enjoying the victory having put the car on pole position for the team.
Guy Smith was in the other Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda running in the invitation class. Although he was not eligible for a class award due to using the new BP fuel blend of gasoline, ethanol and biobutanol, Guy showed the considerable potential of the Dyson Racing Lola-Mazda when running this configuration.
Full members Paul Drayson, Jonny Cocker and Rob Bell showed considerable pace in the brand new Drayson racing LMP1 Judd Powered Lola coupe running as high as fourth place until the left-front wheel separated from the car. The race was eventually red-flagged due to heavy rain and the team stood 10th in the LMP1 standings.