FeaturesThe Week That Was

The Week That Was: Impressive Performances in Oakland, Daytona, and More

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Wayne Taylor Racing (1); Supercross (2); Jason Swoboda (3)

We’re still waiting on many of action motorsports’ top series to kick off their seasons, but the last weekend of January was still almost anything that a race fan could ask for. From most of the world’s top pavement drivers taking on Daytona International Speedway for 24 hours, to Supercross and Snocross events, to America’s first stage rally of the year in Michigan, it was hard not to find something amazing to follow over the past few days.

As competitors braved torrential downpours in Daytona and 25-below temperatures at Sno*Drift, only the true cream of the crop was able to rise to the top this weekend. Here’s a look at the racers who stood out:

Rolex 24 at Daytona: Fernando Alonso/Kamui Kobayashi/Jordan Taylor/Renger van der Zande

In one of the wettest Rolex 24s on record, and the first to ever feature two red flag periods, Wayne Taylor Racing persevered to win its third edition of the prestigious sports car race on Sunday, and their second in the past three years. The victory made Fernando Alonso the third Formula 1 champion to win the 24-hour race, and also gave him both of sports car racing’s major 24-hour titles in the same 12-month span, as he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in his first attempt last year.

Supercross 450: Cooper Webb

Did anyone expect Webb to come out of the gate this strong in 2019? After being booted from Yamaha in favor of Aaron Plessinger, Webb seemed like he’d be the clear-cut number two rider at KTM alongside 2018 title threat Marvin Musquin. But as the orange bikes went 1-2 over the past two weekends, it’s been Webb on top both times. In fact, he’s not only the first repeat 450 winner of the year, he’s also now the championship leader for the first time in his career as the series moves to San Diego this weekend.

Supercross 250 West: Adam Cianciarulo

Last year’s 250 West runner-up has had an uneven start to his season, but Cianciarulo is still one of the class’s top title threats for this year after becoming its first repeat winner in Oakland on Saturday. Despite admitting that he struggled in practice, Cianciarulo got the holeshot in the main event and led every lap of the way, beating Dylan Ferrandis and Colt Nichols and climbing to second in the point standings. He’ll have one more chance to take the lead in San Diego before the East class debuts.

American Rally Association: Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak

After Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan suffered transmission issues from the lead, Fetela and Jozwiak moved up from second to first on the second day of Sno*Drift and never looked back. Coming off of four victories in the final Rally America season, the Fetela Rally Team scored its first ARA victory by nearly four minutes over O.D.D. Racing’s Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn in the season opener. They’ll be one of Subaru Motorsports’ top rivals for the top spot in Open 4WD and overall title this year.

Snocross: Lincoln Lemieux

Two podiums, including a win on Friday, at the US Air Force Snocross National in Deadwood enabled Lemieux to climb from fifth to a tie for second in the Snocross Pro standings. He cut his deficit to Elias Ishoel in half, going into the second half of the season just 25 points down on the championship leader. Lemieux will have another opportunity to close the gap, as well as break his tie with Adam Renheim, this weekend as the series heads to Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Michigan.

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