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Fernando Alonso began to stake his claim for the Formula One championship

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In a season with no definitive front-runner through its first half, Fernando Alonso began to stake his claim for the Formula One championship on Sunday at the German Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver won his third race of the 2012 season, fending off challenges from Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Jenson Button of McLaren Mercedes. Vettel, the 2010 and 2011 champion, received a 20-second penalty after the awards ceremony for drifting off the track to overtake Button on the penultimate lap. The penalty knocked Vettel down to fifth place on the day, with Button being promoted to second and Kimi Raikkonen, the Lotus driver, advancing to third.

The victory gave Alonso a 34-point advantage in the standings over Mark Webber, the second-place driver over all, who finished in a lackluster eighth place on Sunday. (IHT Rendezvous Formula One blog)

Here are other recent motorsports news items:

• Helio Castroneves won the IndyCar race on the airport circuit in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday, outlasting a late-charging Takuma Sato for the win. After an undistinguished series of races, Will Power, with three victories on the year, produced arguably the most impressive drive of the afternoon, working from as low as 17th to finish in third place. (Autosport)

• For the second time in a national-level eliminator race this month, Courtney Force, in her rookie season, reached the final round of N.H.R.A. Funny Car competition on Sunday at Morrison, Colo. Force lost to Jack Beckman in the final by a margin of .012 second. (ESPN)

• AJ Allmendinger, the Nascar Sprint Cup driver who was temporarily suspended this month after testing positive for a controlled substance, is scheduled to have a second urine sample tested on Tuesday. Under Nascar rules, a driver can appeal the finding of an initial drug test. – Nytimes