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Alonso Wins Japanese Grand Prix

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Japanese Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso

Alonso Wins Japanese Grand Prix

VOA Sports
Voice of America
October 8, 2006

Reigning Formula One champion Fernando Alonso has won the Japanese Grand Prix auto race in Suzuka, virtually clinching a second world title with one race to go in the season.

Alonso of Spain won his seventh race of the season Sunday, powering his Renault around the 53 laps of the 5.8 kilometer circuit in one hour, 23 minutes, 53.413 seconds.

Alonso's chief rival, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher of Germany, led the race until his Ferrari's engine failed with 17 laps to go.

Schumacher, who is retiring at the end of the season, says Alonso's victory gives him an almost unbeatable lead heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks.  Schumacher says he will now concentrate on helping Ferrari win the constructors' award in Sao Paulo.

Schumacher's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa of Brazil placed second at Suzuka (1:24:09.564), followed by Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella of Renault (1:24.17.366).

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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