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AUGUST 17, 2004

What is happening out there?

While the Formula 1 circus was achieving very little at vast expense in Budapest, there was action across the world in other racing with Indycar veteran Adrian Fernandez scoring his first win the Indy Racing League at the Kentucky Speedway. The Mexican driver-owner switched his team from Champ Cars early this year. To make it an even better result Fernandez's team mate Kosuke Matsuura finished fourth. The result means that Honda has now won its first engine manufacturers' championship in the IRL. Buddy Rice was second for the Rahal-Letterman team with Andretti Green Racing's Dan Wheldon third and Tony Kanaan fifth.

In Denver Sebastien Bourdais underlined his domination in the Champ Car series with his fifth victory of the year for Newman-Haas Racing, despite being knocked down the grid early in the race by his team mate Bruno Junqueira. He overtook Paul Tracy with 10 laps to go to win the race. Junqueira finished third.

At Silverstone Nelson Piquet Jr won his fifth victory of the year in the 17th round of the British Formula 3 series, winning from pole to hold off his championship challenger rookie James Rossiter. Danny Watts was third in the Lola-Dome. There was rain before the second race and the field started in wet tyres and had to cope with a drying track. This threw an element of uncertainty into the proceedings and while Piquet went all the way on wet tyres, rivals such as Alvaro Parente and Danilo Dirani went into the pitlane before the race even started. As things began to sort themselves out the man who emerged ahead was Australian Marcus Marshall, who had been the only man to take the start on slick tyres. He was chased home by Parente and Dirani and was less than a second ahead at the finish. Piquet was a long way back in fourth but as James Rossiter and Adam Carroll did not collect many points he has increased his points score to 215 points with Rossiter on 167 and Carroll on 164. With 20 points for a win and an advantage of 48 points Piquet now needs to be consistent and the championship will be his with only six races to go, the next being at Thruxton in 10 days.