Kiwi driver Ash Blewett gives NZ track a quick lap before heading to Bathurst

Winning a motor racing championship is a huge reward in itself but this weekend Kiwi driver Ash Blewett is claiming the prize that goes with the title - competing at Australia's legendary Bathurst circuit in the curtain-raiser to the V8's.

The 26-year-old was the winner of the Toyota 86 Championship.

"Just to be there is a fantastic opportunity but to be able to go round in a race is another thing altogether so it's going to be huge," Blewett said.

Blewett has a degree in mechanical engineering and is top of the 2016 class at Hampton Downs after he won the Toyota 86 championship.

"I really enjoy the physics behind the motorsport thing and I like to have a really thorough understanding of everything that's going on and I think it helps me to be methodical," Blewett added.

Toyota series manager Geoff Short says the 26-year-old is a special talent.

"Ash is very analytical and he thinks about things," he said. "He's not only fast but his positioning of the car - he's done some moves last season that I thought were absolutely incredible."

While Australian cars look the same, they have different tyres, brakes and suspension which makes for a lively drive on the famous mountain.

"It will change how the car feels on the track and that's going to be quite important because Bathurst Mount Panorama is a really unforgiving track," Blewett said.

And he isn't the only curious Kiwi with 48-year-old Bathurst rookie John Penney excited but anxious.

"I'm very wary of how unforgiving that track is," Penney said. "I mean it has claimed many a good driver over the years so I am very wary of that for sure."



NFL: Odell Beckham Jr loses it after being grabbed, hit and irritated by Vikings

For all of his catching wizardry and darting quickness, Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. continues to expose his weakness of being goaded into emotional letdowns.

The Minnesota Vikings were the latest opponent to prey on his combustible nature on Monday, as they grabbed, hit and irritated Beckham to one of the worst games of his career.

Minnesota beat the New York Giants 24-10 and defeated their marquee pass-catcher Beckham who managed just three catches for 23 yards.

The dud performance snapped a streak of 28 straight games in which Beckham caught at least four passes, and also extended his season without a touchdown.

The frustration clearly mounted as Beckham was shadowed by Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes who won their game-long tussling match and intercepted a pass in the win.

It was clear Rhodes had gotten under Beckham's skin when the receiver drew a personal foul in the first half for trying to taunt the defender.

"You watch film and he's competitor. He likes to fight and get in people's heads," Rhodes said, of Beckham. "He was cool in the beginning. But as he tried to get me riled up (I went back at him). I know his game."

In the closing stages of the game, Beckham let loose, knocking down a kicking net and prompting coach Ben McAdoo to say his star had gone too far.

"Emotionally on the sideline in between the series, he needs to do a better job," McAdoo said. "He needs to control his emotions better and be less of a distraction to himself and his teammates."

Pro Bowl wide receiver continues to expose his weakness of being goaded into emotional letdowns. Source: NFL


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

'Russia upset their cheating has been revealed': Drug Free Sport NZ disappointed Drysdale's medical data leaked

Triple Olympic medallist Mahe Drysdale is comfortable talking about his health problem that's been made public by Russian computer hackers, the Fancy Bears.

Russian computer hackers, the Fancy Bears, revealed Drysdale was given four exemptions to use a banned drug. Source: 1 NEWS

It's been revealed that the rowing champion was given four Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) to use a banned drug to treat haemorrhoids.

Drysdale said the drug was to make it easier for him to go to the toilet and "it makes absolutely no difference to the performance on the water".

Champion sailor Peter Burling's name was also published after he was given a TUE for a banned painkiller to treat a wisdom tooth extraction.

The pair are the first Kiwis to have their information released and Drug Free Sport New Zealand says more are likely to be named.

It comes as the sixth batch of therapeutic use exemption (TUE) forms stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency belonging to 20 athletes from 14 different countries were revealed.

Thirty-seven-year-old Drysdale, who defended his Beijing single sculls title in a photo-finish, was given four TUEs in a 17-month period between April 2015 and August of this year.

He was given permission to take fluocortolone, a topical steriod, used to treat haemorrhoids.

Burling, who won the sailing 49er title in Rio with Blair Tuke, was given an exemption to use remifentanil in September last year after having his wisdom teeth removed.

The duo now joins the list of 127 athletes named by the Fancy Bears over the last three weeks.

Among the high-profile names in the latest batch released is Britain's Rio triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee who had a two-day course of acetazolamide in October 2013.

Acetazolamide, or Diamox as it is more commonly known, is used to treat altitude sickness or glaucoma but as a diuretic it has been used by some athletes as a masking agent.

"I have had one TUE in my career in October 2013 for Diamox to treat altitude sickness while climbing Kilimanjaro," Brownlee said on his official Twitter account.

Previous names to have their medical data released in this way include British cycling stars Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, American tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams, British distance runner Mo Farah and Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal.

The Fancy Bears, who are believed to have targeted WADA's database in retaliation for the investigations that exposed Russia's state-sponsored doping programme, have been widely condemned by anti-doping groups for breaching data protection laws and falsely accusing innocent athletes of cheating.

But their actions have drawn attention to an area that some anti-doping experts have suggested is open to abuse.

WADA, however, has defended the TUE process, saying it is essential to allow athletes with medical conditions to compete at the highest level, while Wiggins has denied that he took advantage of the system to gain a physical benefit beyond dealing with a long-standing and debilitating pollen allergy.


Topics