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Around the tracks August 7 2009

A weekly wrap of motorsport from around the world.

SIMON and Sue Evans won back the Australian Rally Championship crown with a double success in Adelaide last weekend. The former Toyota team members lost out to Corolla driver Neal Bates in 2008, but turned the tables this year driving a privately-entered Mitsubishi Lancer which they used to dominate the title decider in Adelaide and claim a third national crown.

TEAM Red is opening the doors at its Clayton race base for the first time with the inaugural Toll Holden Racing Team family day on September 20. The event, from 10am to 3pm, will give fans access to the four race cars from Walkinshaw Racing, as well as displays of Holden concept cars, interactive displays and autograph sessions with Garth Tander, Will Davison, Paul Dumbrell and David Reynolds.

RYAN Briscoe began his push towards the Indy Racing League championship with a nail-biting victory under lights at Kentucky on the weekend. He beat Ed Carpenter by only 0.016s to score his second victory of the season for Team Penske as the championship moves into its final half-dozen races, with Briscoe holding a narrow points lead.

Jay Marmont repeated as Australian motocross champion when he took the final round of the Pro Open class championship on the Sunshine Coast last weekend on his Yamaha YZ450F. Luke Styke also took the under-19 championship, Tori Dare dominated in the women's championship and Darryll King completed a clean sweep of the veteran's series. 

KIM Jane celebrated his 150th start as a V8 Ute racer in the best possible way, winning at Sandown on Sunday in the third of three starts for the Aussie fan favourites. Jane is now fifth in the ute championship, as Jack Elsegood leads from defending champion Layton Crambrook and Gary Baxter.

MIKKO Hirvonen was the predictable winner of his home event, Rally Finland, with a victory which extends his points lead over five-time champion Sebastian Loeb in the race to the 2009 World Rally Championship. Hirvonen drove his Ford Focus to first place with a solid margin over Loeb's Citroen, with his Finnish team mate Jari- Matti Latvala third in another Ford.

AUDI swept the latest leg of the German Touring Car Championship with a 1-2-3 result headed by defending champion Timo Scheider. The best of the Mercedes runners was Paul di Resta.

BLAKE 'Bilko' Williams took a gold and silver from the freestyle motocross events at X-Games 15 in Los Angeles. After taking the runner- up spot in the Best Trick competition with a '360 Indian air' and no- hands landing he got to the top in the Moto-X Freestyle competition, taking a one-point win after three runs.

CITROEN has extended its involvement in the World Rally Championship until at least the end of 2011, even though its lead driver Sebastian Loeb could soon be headed to Formula One with the Toro Rosso team.

There is no news yet on the technical regulations beyond 2010, with a major change planned but rival camps pressing either for simpler and cheaper S2000 cars or a switched to turbocharged 1.6-litre engines in existing World Rally Cars.

A re-run of the 1970 Repco Reliability Trial begins today (Aug 8) when 40 rally cars built before 1980 leave the Melbourne Showgrounds on the way to Kingoonya. Several of the special stages from '79 will be used on an eight-day course set by the Historic Rally Association.


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