Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Guy Ligier takes Chequered flag



Former F1 Team Owner Guy Ligier has died at the age of 85 in France. As Ligier's zenith in Formula 1 with Jacques Laffite came before my baptism with thy pinnacle 'O motorsports, Nye Grand Prix circus, 'Wayback in the late 1970's when Laffite actually led the F1 championship before the team eventually finished third overall.

Yet it's hard to believe that I actually watched Ligier's Team's final victory on thy Telie' A-L-L those years ago, when Oliver Panis was the last man standing at Monaco when a record low three cars finished the race in the Principality in 1996.
           
As I can only guess the words came from Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward 'bout Panis driving like a Rat Up a Drainpipe! Although I remember more vividly Olivier's massive shunt at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve the following year where he broke both legs after crashing into a concrete abutment, presumably a Walkover bridge support Colum Me Thinks?

And just to put the '96 Monaco Grand Prix into its perspective timeframe, thy Great Michael Schumacher started from Pole in his debutant season at la Scuderia, nee Ferrari, whilst Jos "THE BOSS!" Verstappen, father of current rookie Toro Rosso F1 phenom Max "Dutchboy" Verstappen was driving for Arrows and was the only driver to start the wet race on slicks!

Panis, who started from a disappointing 14th, eventually led home McLaren's David Coulthard wearing a Michael Schumacher helmet after he'd experienced misting problems with his own crash bucket! With the two uncompetitive Sauber's of Johnny Herbert and "Heinz 57" (Heinz-Harald Frentzen) the only further cars finishing the race, albeit Frentzen was in the Pits at the finish. As the race ended some 3-laps short due to running up against the two hour time limit.

Blown Tyres and Cockpit Canopies All the Rage right now...



Although tyre blowout's are somewhat rare occurrences these Days, it's somewhat galling to think of Formula 1 escaping two nasty accidents the same weekend at Spa whilst Justin Wilson wasn't so lucky at Pocono, which wasn't tyre related, but nonetheless.



Alas, whilst this story is slightly dated, I slid I-T a further week's time in deference to the untimely death of Justin Wilson, which has really Gutted Mwah in regards to motor racing right now...

Having waited eagerly all day to watch the return of Formula 1 after a month's hiatus, where arguably the sport's Biggest Marque would be celebrating its unfathomable 900th Grand Prix start, I was left feeling a 'Wee bit numb over such meaningless trivia upon the previous accident at Pocono I'd just watched hours earlier on thy Telie' whilst awaiting the evening's rebroadcast.


Thus, although I did watch the Pre-amble and Belgian GP's  start, my heart wasn't really in it, especially with Lewis Hamilton serenely romping off into the distance and hence, I tuned into Speed Freaks Sunday night instead to hear what  the latest was on Justin B-I-G' UNIT Wilson's condition. Where Brant James was quite refreshing to listen to.


As ironically, or Karmically? Whilst working on a future No Fenders story revolving around  Hydroplanes, I stumbled across the following article prior to the Pocono IndyCar race, , which didn't help my research, but is  eerily related...


As surely Y'all have heard 'bout Seb' Vettel's blistering assault upon Pirelli after his tyre burst one lap short of the finish at the Belgian Grand Prix! Where previously Nico Rosberg suffered a spectacular tyre explosion just north of 300kph during Friday practice! For which Pirelli claims their tyres weren't at fault for either incidence.


While Pirelli has mounted a "Charm Offensive" regarding how the FIA refused to grant its tyre usage limits request in 2013...


Alas, suppose it's not really too surprising that the argument over canopies on Open Wheel Racing cars would resurface, eh? And that's without even mentioning Jean Theoret's NASTY Blowover on the Detroit River the very same day!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sonoma Memories




Just three weeks out from this year's IndyCar season finale race at Sonoma, I still had NO clue whether or not esteemed Austin Travel Guide Claudio' & Mwah would be making a return engagement to this year's event? Then I got "the Call" appropriately a Fortnight before the B-I-G' EVENT! That due to a current Property Dispute, he'd be forced to Scrub the mission.

And in what seems truly Apropos, since your humble No Fenders scribe, along with a half million others; YIKES! Was virtually in the DARK the entire weekend, thanks to Mother Nature's early season Windstorm that knocked out the power for 36+ hours beginning Saturday afternoon prior to Sonoma Qualie...

Hence, although I was extremely surprised to actually find the race live on thee radio, albeit a somewhat tiny AM1380 Fox Sports channel out of Everett, WA. Provided I sat just right next to the window in order to not lose the signal, nor "The Voice," aka Paul Page...

instead of recapping the just concluded race, especially since I made 'Juan tiny telephone call when A-L-L HELL Broke loose, i.e.; missing thee call upon Montoya and Power playin' pinball, along with it being the most insane finish, which was fairly reminiscent 'O last year's outcome! Not to mention not having time to do so currently - I'll simply hearken back to last year's most enjoyable trip report instead...