Grapevine: Rankings: Battle for second hots up

A hectic weekend of action has brought the battle for second place in the Castrol EDGE Rankings to the boil.

Grapevine: Rankings: Battle for second hots up
A hectic weekend of action has brought the battle for second place in the Castrol EDGE Rankings to the boil.

Mark Webber has held the runner-up spot since September last year, but his three closest pursuers have all cut the gap as a result of events in the Monaco Grand Prix and on Rally Argentina.

Webber retains second in the Rankings, even after discarding his big score from winning last year's Monte Carlo race under the 12-month rollover system. Red Bull star Webber was fourth on Sunday, which means a sizeable net reduction in points.

Luckily for Webber, Lewis Hamilton's incident-packed weekend meant that the McLaren ace also had a net loss in points, albeit a much smaller one, after taking sixth this time in the Principality. Hamilton therefore dropped from third to fourth in the Castrol EDGE Rankings.

Meanwhile, Sebastien Loeb has nipped ahead of Hamilton after winning Rally Argentina for Citroen, while Fernando Alonso completes the concertina effect among this bunch after finishing second in the Monaco GP for Ferrari. Both Loeb and Alonso had strong net gains in points.

Up front, Sebastian Vettel's first Monaco Grand Prix win stretches his Rankings lead yet further, and also provides him with a bigger margin over the rest in the EDGE Race for 2011, where Loeb is his least-distant challenger.

While Loeb won dramatically in Argentina, team-mate Sebastien Ogier's roll while leading - and subsequent third place - means he plummets four places to 17th in the Castrol EDGE Rankings, thanks to dropping his points for winning last year's Rally Portugal. Among those to pass him is Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala, who was another to face disappointment after leading, but who failed to finish Portugal last year so only drops a very low score and moves up to 15th in the Rankings.

Dan Wheldon's win at a remarkable Indianapolis 500 lifts him a huge 24 places to 59th in the Castrol EDGE Rankings on his first race outing of the season, while rookie JR Hildebrand's last-turn heartbreak at least was accompanied by a rise of 144 positions to 253rd. Dario Franchitti was down in 12th this year, a result that drops him behind Monaco GP podium man Jenson Button to eighth in the Rankings.

NASCAR's outing at Charlotte brought status quo among the leading runners, although last-gasp winner Kevin Harvick (11) moves closer to Carl Edwards (9) and Jimmie Johnson (10).

To see the full Castrol EDGE Rankings and the latest positions in the Race for 2011, please visit www.castroldriverrankings.com.
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