Shawn Langdon wins his first of season at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals

Shawn Langdon
Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon lifts his trophy after winning the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., last year.
(Teresa Long / Associated Press)

Defending top fuel champion Shawn Langdon raced to his first victory of the season, beating points leader Doug Kalitta in the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol, Tenn.

Langdon edged Kalitta in the final with a 3.819-second run at 320.51 mph.

“With the stiff competition in top fuel, one thing you have to learn is patience and not to take anything for granted,” Langdon said. .”

Tommy Johnson Jr. won the funny car final for his first victory since 2007, and points leader Erica Enders-Stevens raced to her third pro stock win of the year.

Johnson had a 4.156 at 302.14 to beat Tim Wilkerson. Enders-Stevens won for the ninth time in her career, beating Jonathan Gray with a 6.698 at 207.15.

Audi notches Le Mans victory

Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer overcame turbocharger problems to drive Audi to its 13th title at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on Sunday at Le Mans, France.

It was the trio’s third victory in the world’s most famous endurance race. Their Audi No. 2 finished three laps ahead of Audi No. 1, driven by Lucas di Grassi, Marc Gene and defending champion Tom Kristensen.

Audi has now won 10 of the last 11 races at Le Mans, including the last five.

Sebastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Nicolas Lapierre took third place at the wheel of Toyota No. 8, five laps off the pace. Pole sitter Kazuki Nakajima’s Toyota No. 7 retired in the 15th hour while leading because of an electrical problem.

In its return to Le Mans after a 16-year absence in the top category, Porsche fell out of contention in the 22nd hour.

Audi did not impress in qualifying with slower times than Toyota and Porsche, but it proved more reliable in a race defined by the teams’ ability to solve mechanical problems.

Lotterer’s Audi No. 2 took the lead in the 22nd hour when Timo Bernhard’s Porsche No. 20 got stuck in the pits until the end of the race because of a drivetrain problem.

Despite its disappointing performance, Porsche still remains the most successful manufacturer at Le Mans with 16 titles.

Marquez’s MotoGP streak continues

Marc Marquez won a thrilling four-way duel at Sunday’s Catalonia grand prix at Barcelona to make it seven victories in as many races to start his MotoGP title defense.

Marquez overtook Yamaha pair Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo before surviving a brush with Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa on the last lap to claim a 13th career win in the top class that featured constant jousting among the four riders.

“I said it was all or nothing and I risked 100%,” said Marquez. “We gave them a good show.”

The 21-year-old Marquez increased his season points total to 175. Rossi remained second, with 117, ahead of Pedrosa with 112.

Rossi crossed second, followed by Pedrosa, who was fortunate not to crash after his front wheel touched Marquez’s rear tire near the end.

“On the last lap we almost hit each other two or three times. Well, we did once and I almost went down,” said Pedrosa. “But I am very happy because I was able to fight with Marc until the finish.”

Spaniards also won in the minor categories to the delight of the home fans.

In Moto2, Esteve Rabat won from pole position to extend his points total to 149, ahead of Mika Kallio with 115.

In Moto3, 18-year-old Alex Marquez, the younger brother of Marc, took off from pole to get his second career victory.