Piquet wins in Long Beach: the weekend motorsport roundup

It has been an uncomfortably quiet weekend on the motorsport front, with all major world series taking a break from the action for the Easter Weekend. With that said, there were at least three highlights on the global motorsport calendar.

Firstly, Formula E held its second event (and second event in a row) in America at Long Beach, GP2 testing finally came to an end in time for Formula 1’s Middle East/European leg and lastly, the BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) finally got underway at Brands Hatch.

1. Formula E: Nelson Piquet Jr. claims historic win in Long Beach

In the headline act of the weekend, the former disgraced Formula 1 star, Nelson Piquet Jr. has won his first Formula E race in Long Beach, California this weekend, after a massive tussle with his competition and his car.

Granted the FanBoost privilege this weekend, the son of Brazilian Formula 1 legend Nelson Piquet Sr. decided not to use the additional boost, and save his car from impending technical issues.

It’s a historic win too, with his father taking his first Formula 1 GP win nearly 35 years ago on the same track. It also went a long way to burying Piquet Jr.’s torrid Formula 1 past with Renault.

Jean-Eric Vergne finished second while Lucas di Grassi finished third. The latter now leads Piquet Jr. in the Championship by one point.

2. GP2: Gasly’s ends GP2 testing as one to watch this year, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne, Alex Lynn

In a fitting end to the GP2 preseason, Pierre Gasly — arguably the most promising Red Bull young driver in the field — ended Bahrain’s morning testing top of the standings, leaving many of his compatriots in his wake. He finished fourth in the final session.

McLaren youngster, Stoffel Vandoorne finished a not too distant 0.014 back.

Gasly will get his chance in Formula 1 later in the year when the Frenchman tests the Toro Rosso.

Lynn ended both sessions in sixth place, showing his consistency.

3. BTCC: Rob Collard, Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal win at Brands Hatch opener

The world’s most interesting (and arguably, competitive) touring car series got underway at Brands Hatch this weekend, with three big winners on the weekend, and Honda taking two of those wins.

Matt Neal, having won the final and main race, is now leading the Championship. But the weekend didn’t all go his own way.

4. IndyCar Series: Chevrolet loses to the rule book after St. Pete domination

How is the possible? Well, if you receive points deductions during the season opener, there’s a good chance you’ll walk away from that race even worse off than before. This is what Chevrolet discovered after the St. Pete weekend.

The reigning Constructors Champion, although locking out the top six, decided to tinker with 11 of its 12 engine, and thus incured a 220-point penalty (20 for each engine). Hilariously, Honda now leads Chevrolet (after scoring less points than the American manufacturer) by 162 points.

Feature image: FIA Formula E

Andy Walker, former editor


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