Formula 1's return to Europe also meant the start of the 2009 GP2 Series, in which Romain Grosjean demonstrated his F1 credentials with a comfortable victory and then a charge to second behind Edoardo Mortara in the reverse grid sprint race.
Elsewhere, Peugeot warmed up for the Le Mans 24 Hours by winning the Spa Le Mans Series race, albeit not with the anticipated crushing one-two, Kris Meeke remained the man to beat in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, and Mark Martin continued his "second childhood" with another NASCAR victory at Darlington.
The Indianapolis 500 itself is still a fortnight away, but the grid is now two-thirds formed - and it will be Helio Castrneves who leads the field away for the third time. Not a bad turnaround for a man who sat nervously in a Miami court room this time a month ago.
NASCAR Nationwide: Kenseth takes Darlington win
NASCAR Cup: Martin wins again at Darlington
GP2: Grosjean starts GP2 season with victory
GP2: Mortara beats Grosjean to sprint win
IRC: Meeke seals superb Azores victory
F1: Button leads Brawn 1-2 at Spanish GP
LMS: Peugeot claims Spa victory
IndyCar: Castroneves takes third Indy pole