Alex Zanardi was up to his old tricks Sunday, winning another race and celebrating with a dozen donuts.
The Italian driving ace used a strategic pit stop to stay in the lead, then pulled away to his third CART FedEx Series victory of the season, winning the ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix.Zanardi celebrated with his victory trademark, doing a series of donuts - spinning his car round and round - sending tire smoke billowing into the air as the crowd cheered his efforts.
Despite changes to the Belle Isle Raceway road course to try to make it easier for the competitors to pass, most of the 72-lap event on the 2.346-mile, 14-turn circuit looked more like a parade than a race.
But it was a busy parade, with everyone working hard to hold position and stay between the concrete barriers lining the course.
Greg Moore started from the pole, alongside Zanardi, and held the lead at the start. Zanardi kept the pressure on, rarely falling as much as a second behind.
But the 23-year-old Canadian driver, who took a win away from Zanardi earlier this year in Brazil, stayed out front until he pitted on lap 23.
Zanardi had enough fuel in the tank of his Honda-powered Reynard to drive two more laps before making his stop.
Both drivers made fast stops, but Zanardi came back onto the track after his with a 2.7-second lead on Moore's Reynard-Mercedes.
"I put a couple of hot laps and built an advantage that put me out in front of him," Zanardi said. "If you can't take someone on the track, you have to overtake them in the pits."
After that stop, there was little doubt Zanardi would take the 11th victory of his CART career. The last vestige of doubt was erased with two full-course caution flags that kept the race from becoming a fuel economy run.
The first of those yellows came out on lap 43, when Paul Tracy tapped Christian Fittipaldi and sent him spinning. Fittipaldi wound up stalled in the middle of the track and had to be towed into the pits.
All the leaders made their second and last pit stops during the ensuing caution. Zanardi made another fast stop and Moore had a fuel hose problem that cost him track position and knocked him out of contention.
Adrian Fernandez came out of the stops in second place, and that's where he remained, finishing 6.624 seconds behind. Gil de Ferran was third for the third straight time at Detroit, followed by Dario Franchitti, Moore and Zanardi's teammate, Jimmy Vasser.
Porsche triumphs again at Le Mans
LE MANS, France - An old story had a new twist, but the end was the same Sunday in the 24 hours of Le Mans - the world's premier road race.
Porsche won its third straight title, but this time needed a break to do it. It got one, when the leading Toyota GT One withdrew with gearbox problems less than 90 minutes before the end of the race.
The Porsche GT1 driven by Alan McNish of Britain and France's Laurent Aiello and Stephane Ortelli won the 66th Le Mans, covering the 8.456-mile circuit 351 times. It went 2,972 miles at an average of 124.577 mph.
"We were pushing our car to the limit, and hoped that the Toyota would make a mistake," McNish said. "We needed to see if they could take the pressure. They couldn't."
Another Porsche GT1, driven by Germany's Jorg Muller and Uwe Alzen and Bob Wolleck of France, was second - completing 350 laps.