Sebastian Vettel may have picked up yet another pole position and race win at the European Grand Prix, but a busy schedule of open-wheel racing resulted in several surprise victors and brought about some big changes in the Castrol EDGE Rankings.
F1 returned to mainland Europe for its eighth round of the season, and it was business as usual as Vettel extended his lead in both the World Championship and the Castrol EDGE Rankings courtesy of another superlative display on the Valencia streets.
Fernando Alonso followed him home to take second in front of a partisan home crowd, with the result propelling him above Sebastien Loeb and into third spot in the Rankings. Vitaly Petrov (33) and Kamui Kobayashi (31) also gained despite finishing outside the points in 15th and 16th, respectively.
In the U.S., Kurt Busch (26) claimed his first victory of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season and moved up two places. Marco Andretti ended an IndyCar win drought of almost five years with victory at Iowa, moving up four places to 45th. Takuma Sato was another strong gainer from IndyCar's ninth round, his first series pole helping him to climb 15 places into 85th.
Back in Valencia, Romain Grosjean (50) and Esteban Gutierrez shared the honors in GP2, with Grosjean climbing eight places to break back into the Rankings top 50. Gutierrez (103) actually dropped one place, however, after sacrificing a pole position and win at the circuit last year in GP3.
In GP3, James Calado (201) and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs (369) took one win apiece, but the biggest gains were made by Mitch Evans (336), who wrested the championship lead from Nigel Melker (213) and shot up 88 places in the Rankings.
There was additional racing from Belgium, where Mirko Bortolotti took a win and a second place in mixed conditions at Spa-Francorchamps in Formula 2. the Italian moved up 16 places to 186th.
Over in Ypres, Freddy Loix made significant gains with a dominant home performance in his country's round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge. The Skoda driver improved 19 places to break into the top 100 for the first time.
To see the full Castrol EDGE Rankings and the latest positions in the Race for 2011, please visit www.castroldriverrankings.com.