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Around the tracks May 1 2009

A weekly wrap of motorsport from around thew world.

RYAN Briscoe has slipped to second in the IndyCar championship chase after a fourth-place finish behind defending champion Scott Dixon at Kansas Speedway last weekend. Briscoe led for more than 50 laps in his Team Penske racer and managed to improve three spots from his starting position.

CHAD Reed must win the grand final of the AMA and World Supercross series in Las Vegas this weekend to have any chance of beating James Stewart to the crown, after a controversial second-place finish last weekend in Salt Lake City. Reed was badly baulked by Stewart's team mate as they battled for top spot in the second-last round of the series, although the Australian refused to blame the incident for another second-place finish behind Stewart on his Rockstar Suzuki.

CASEY Stoner was only fourth on his Ducati as Jorge Lorenzo took a surprise win for Yamaha at the Japanese MotoGP at Motegi. Lorenzo led home Valentino Rossi and Honda's Dani Pedrosa.

SEBASTIAN Loeb and Daniel Elana stretched their unbeaten run in this year's World Rally Championship to five events when they took an easy victory in Argentina last weekend, with their Citroen C4 team mate Dani Sordo following them home. Loeb's job was made much easier when his only potential title rival, Mikko Hirvonen of Ford, retired with engine trouble.

JAMES Davison finished where he started in the latest race of the Indy Lights series in the USA. He qualified eighth and was in the same slot at the finish of the oval race at Kansas Speedway.

CHRIS Atkinson will be back in a rally car on the weekend of May 8-10 when he drives a Subaru in Rally Queensland. But it's not what the World Rally Championship refugee really wants, as he will only be the course car for his home event in this year's Australian championship, currently led by defending title holder Neal Bates in his Corolla.

WARREN Luff is back with Dick Johnson for this year's V8 Supercar enduro races. The former fulltimer with the Queensland team has been signed to race again for Jim Beam Racing at Phillip Island and Bathurst, with Jonathan Webber filling the final endurance seat for the team alongside James Courtney and Steven Johnson.

JOEY Foster extended his lead in the Australian Formula 3 championship when the Shannons Nationals classes competed at Wakefield Park in NSW last weekend. The latest English raider got the job done despite 2007 champion Tim Macrow taking a race from him, with Garry Holt and Adam Wallis also on the winners' list in the Australian manufacturers championship and the V8 touring car series.

TALENTED young co-driver Rhianon Smyth has earned a big break with a spot in this year's Asia-Pacific rally championship. Smyth, who has done most of her work alongside her brother Brendan Reeves in the Australian series, was chosen by Emma Gilmour as her partner in a Subaru WRX STi for this year's Asia-Pacific series, starting with Rally Queensland next week.