Motorsport weekend wrap: Verstappen in high-intense finish as Formula racing returns to Imola; Logano creates record in NASCAR

There was plenty of motorsport action happening around the world from May 18-20.

Published : May 21, 2024 15:37 IST , Chennai - 4 MINS READ

Max Verstappen driving the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.
Max Verstappen driving the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Max Verstappen driving the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 leads Lando Norris driving the McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

There was plenty of motorsport action happening around the world from May 18-20. While Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won his fifth race of the 2024 Formula One season in a high-intense finish with Lando Norris of McLaren, the NASCAR race saw Joey Logano claim his second win after leading a record of 199 out of 200 laps in North Wilkesboro.

Formula racing returns to Imola

After the 2023 edition of the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was cancelled due to flooding, Formula racing returned to Imola this year. As it made its first stop in Italy in the 2024 calendar, it was race number seven for F1, four for F2 and three for F3 at Imola.

The Emilia-Romagna GP takes place on the 4.909-kilometre Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, commonly known as Imola, which was the former home of the San Marino GP.

With the weather playing sport this time around, the weekend went on as per schedule and witnessed some impressive racing with the Formula fraternity paying tribute to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger.

F3: Safety Car stars in Imola Sprint, Noel Leon wins

The F3 Imola Sprint race was eventful as the Safety Car (SC) found itself leading the grid quite often. In the 18-lap race, the F3 cars were met by the SC four times:

Even before the first lap could be completed, SC was brought out after Campos Racing’s Mari Boya found himself in the gravel.

A collision between Callum Voisin (Rodin Motorsport) and Charlie Wurz (Jenzer Motorsport) on lap 5 caused the SC to gather the pack up once again.

Moments after the restart, the SC was back on lap 8 after the Trident of Sami Meguetounif, the Feature race winner, went spinning into the gravel further back in the grid.

On lap 13, the SC was deployed for the final time but it was quickly withdrawn.

However, it was the brief Virtual Safety Car (VSC) that caused a dramatic last-lap finish. Despite Campos Racing’s Oliver Goethe pivotal move to take the lead from Van Amersfoort Racing’s Noel Leon, a five-second time penalty from a prior SC infringement put Leon back on top to win the Sprint.

F2: A final lap overtake for Colaptino’s maiden F2 win

MP Motorsport’s Franco Colapinto claimed his first win, producing a last-lap overtake on Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Paul Aron. The Argentine survived losing a place at the start and came through from P3 to take the win.

From P3, Aron got off to a quick start, pulling ahead of Colapinto and teammate Amaury Cordeel. But by lap 9, Colapinto was starting to get close to Aron. On the penultimate lap, he closed in on the leader once more before making a last lap move..

Colapinto made his F2 debut in 2023, when he replaced MP’s Jehan Daruvala for the season’s final race at Yas Marina. The 20-year-old was announced as the full driver for the 2024 season.

F1: Could Max Verstappen have a new challenger in Lando Norris?

Red Bull’s Verstappen, in his RB-20, took the chequered flag after a hard-fought battle with the McLaren of Lando Norris who finished less than a second behind. (0.725s)

Following Norris’ first race victory at the Miami GP which came after a staggering 110 races, the Briton unlocked some hidden pace towards the closing stages. While Verstappen maintained his position advantage over Norris, the latter began putting the pressure on the defending champion in the last few laps, but in vain.

The improved performance meant that the upgraded Mclaren could be a reason of concern for Red Bull which has not secured a solid lead like the previous seasons. The Red Bull driver faced set-up issues but topped the timesheet at Imola on Saturday’s qualifying to equal Ayrton Senna’s record of eight consecutive pole positions.

NASCAR: While Logano wins big with new record, Larson draws more attention

Joey Logano, driver of the Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.
Joey Logano, driver of the Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race. | Photo Credit: Getty Images
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Joey Logano, driver of the Shell Pennzoil Ford, during the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

Creating a new All-Star Race record by leading 199 of 200 laps, pole winner Logano kept Denny Hamlin at bay on Sunday night to win the top prize.

Driving to a second win and fifth for Team Penske, Logano beat Hamlin to the finish line by 0.636 seconds at the redone North Wilkesboro Speedway. However, it was fourth-placed Kyle Larson who found himself attracting quite a bit of attention.

Larson, who is winless this season, was seen shuttling from the Speedway to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he will be taking part in next week’s Indy 500, and qualified fifth for next Sunday’s race.

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