There’s plenty of racing to talk about from the past few days, so here’s our weekend motorsport round-up, with highlights included.

From rallying to endurance racing, some major motorsport events took place this weekend. So, let’s take a look at what went down:

Lappi triumphs amidst heartbreak for Katsuta at Rally Sweden

Heading into this year’s edition of Rally Sweden (the second event of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship), the majority of people expected it to be a straight fight between returning champion Kalle Rovanperä and last year’s winner Ott Tänak. However, the pair threw everyone a curveball on Friday by crashing out of contention. So, with the other regular frontrunners Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans hamstrung by severely disadvantageous road positioning in the harsh Swedish weather, the door opened up to the rest of the pack to assert their own dominance.

Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta was the first to oblige. In recent rallies, the Japanese driver has reached new heights. He arguably should’ve taken his first rally victory at his home event last year, but after the first full day of running in Sweden, it looked as though he’d be in with a great chance of putting that right. However, after taking a little longer to get up to pace, Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi was also hot on Taka’s heels on the time sheets. And eventually, the Finn would move up into the overall lead of the rally.

On Saturday, the pair looked set to continue their close-fought duel, but tragically, a dive into a snowbank would put an end to Katsuta’s bid for a first victory. From there, Lappi knew that as the gap to the cars behind was too large, all he needed to do was bring the car home safely. He did just that, and in doing so ended a six-and-a-half-year wait for his second WRC career victory; one of the longest gaps between wins ever recorded in the sport.

Behind, Evans claimed second place overall, thus closing the points gap to championship leader Neuville who finished fourth. Sandwiched between them on the leaderboard, Adrien Fourmaux drove an incredibly mature – and incredibly quick – rally to take his first ever WRC podium. As a result, all three competing manufacturers were represented on the Rally Sweden podium. Shout out to Oliver Solberg too, who placed fifth overall in a Rally2-spec car!

Bathurst 12 Hour kicks off top-flight GT racing season

On the other side of the world, Mount Panorama played host to one of the top international GT racing events of the year – the Bathurst 12 Hour.

In this event, factory-supported GT3 crews would do battle on the famous Aussie mountain over half a day, starting an hour before sunrise, and finishing in the early evening. As a test of endurance, the duration and track difficulty makes this one of the most unforgiving races of the year, and as such, every top GT racer wants to add to the list of wins on their CV. Despite some shipping problems, the 2024 edition of the race still enjoyed a healthy field of cars, particularly where the German marques were involved. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche all sent across some of their top talents.

The race had everything you’d expect; hard car-to-car overtaking, dramatic crashes, and even the element of changeable weather. So, if you’ve got 45 minutes to spare this lunchtime, or this evening, check out the highlights above.

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