Speed racing around the world

Fast cars, bikes and boats. Racing tidbits from around the world.

     Print Edition: August 22, 2010

A tough call

The Tour de France isn't the only major cycling tournament this year, with the Tour de Suisse going on, and the Vuelta a Espana due to begin on August 28 in Sevilla. Interestingly, the controversial German cyclist Stefan Schumacher is trying to make it for the Vuelta under some unique circumstances. He was suspended for two years in 2008 for testing positive twice for the substance EPO-CERA during the Tour de France that year. His ban ends on August 27, a day before the race begins. He's hopeful of finding a team by then but the odds seem to be stacked against him. If he does miss it, he will be able to race only in 2011. A new chapter in his interesting career beckons.

Tiny warriors

Across between the unique and the bizarre, a moth boat is not your average sailing boat. In fact you could call it a dinghy, or more accurately, a fast sailing hydrofoil dinghy. This personal favourite of sailors around the world is going to hold its annual European Championships from August 15 to 21.

These unique boats, which feature striking wing-like foils mounted under their hulls, will test the waters of the beautiful Lake Silvaplana in the Swiss Alps. Only 11 feet long, these boats need a strong wind to sail well, and the Silvaplana is perfect due to its fabled high winds. On last count, participants from upto 18 countries had registered, with more to follow before the race kicks off in earnest in August.

Off To The Races

The all-conquering Audi cars make a return to the Le Mans Series with the night race at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest over August 21-22. The four cars, which include two Audi R15s, and two Audi R10 TDIs sat out of the third round of the endurance series, held at Algrave in July.

The cars will compete in the 1,000 km night race before the final round which will be held at Silverstone in England. Among Audi's competitors are Peugeot who were practically handed a clear advantage for the Algrave race. But Audi having secured a perfect 1-2-3 podium finish at the Spa Francorchamps in Belgium has high hopes. The Hungaroring circuit is also called the 'Turnstile' because of its narrow and winding track, will test the mettle of Audi's celebrated cars!

Grand Finale

Three nail biting equestrian races will decide the outcome of the Fédération Equestre Internationale World Cup this month. The $50,000 (Rs 23.6 lakh) award and trophy will be decided after the races in Malmo in Sweden (August 13-15) and in Haras du Pin in France (August 18-22). The final race will be held on August 29 in Schenefeld in Germany.

Rossi Returns

MotoGP is headed for a delicious race in the Czech Republic on August 15. Jorge Lorenzo, the Catalunyan favourite to win this year's race, seems to be in unstoppable form, and the championship is turning into a one-horse race. However, the big draw of the Czech Grand Prix will be the return to the racetrack for last year's champion and Yamaha driver Valentino Rossi. Rossi withdrew from this year's championship following his crash at a practice session before the Italian Grand Prix earlier this year. Yamaha's 41-year-old test driver Wataru Yoshikawa had stood in for Rossi in the last race in Catalunya.

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