Monday, June 17, 2019

AUTOS: Ford Quits Endurance Racing, Again



By now, Y'all are aware of the fact that Ford is curtailing it's Ford GT racing programme, first with the just concluded World Endurance Championship (WEC) completion of its 2018-19 "Super Season" at Le Mans, and then at season's end in Americre' at the Petit Le Mans.


Whilst surely 'Ol Shel', aka Carroll Shelby's rolling over in his grave over Ford's pulling the plug on his iconic Ford GT 40's successor, now that the wrestlin' match over the Texan's finished...  


As reportedly, us FoMoCo' Aficionados have the FIA and ACO Sanctioning Bodies to Blame, albeit not sure which one more? Since they've been wrasslin' over the apparently Stillborn 2020 Hypercar Formula.

Although cannot say I'm overly impressed by Ford either, since once again, an Auto Manufacturer seems to be holding Thar participation over thou Sanctioning Body's Heads. Although I understand Ford's reluctance to sink millions of Dollars into what arguably could be a veritable "One Off" racecar.

Yet is it just Mwah who find's Ford's Heavy Handedness over future regulations not being "Green" enough smacking of Hypocrisy? Since currently the Blue Oval seems to be leading thou way in Gas Guzzlin' SUV and PickemUp' Trucks production, having shunned Sedan building completely, with the exception of the gas sipping Mustang...


As it would be nice to see the ACO, FIA and IMSA All be able to Play together once again, which certainly would be beneficial to the Auto Manufacturers, not to mention The Fans!

While I Don't see the benefits for somebody like Ford or BMW simply being content with winning Class Honours, since isn't it the Overall Winner who gets the Headline News?

And perhaps the ACO and FIA should scrap the current GTE Pro/Am' Class structure in favour of the Pro category becoming a Beefed Up GT3 class, and the lower Amateur category being comprised of the GT4 ranks? As it's just an idea from a very tiny Thought Bubble, whilst I'll leave thou Heavy lifting for Smarter Minds to Decide What's Best for Sports Car racing Internationally ...

Friday, June 14, 2019

LE MANS: So just Who'll still be paying Attenzione to this year's 24hrs Sleeper?



As the Overall victory should be another Toyota whitewash...


This year, as I've already lamented, I've been busy with company and enjoying Thee Great Outdoors. Hence I didn't even begin perusing this year's 24 Heurs du Mans entry list before less than a Fortnight's time prior to thou Tricolour waving.

Alas, this will be a somewhat, hopefully Chirp-Chirp, Bueller? Shortened version of my typically eclectic No Fenders Circuit de la Sarthe previews.

And as we all know, Toyota was finally victorious at Le Mans after Decades 'O Frustration, albeit Thar win is somewhat Hollow due to the lack of any true Competizione...

For this year, the 87th edition's entry list has swelled to a Mega' record 62 entries, reportedly with two extra temporary Pit Boxes being added. Now slightly biased in favour of the Gran Torismo "Saloons" categories, which is evenly split with 17 entries apiece in the GTE Pro & GTE Am ranks.

Whilst the second tier LMP2 Prototypes outnumber Thar Bigger Bro' LMP1 competitors two-to-one, which I suppose means theoretically one could sneak it's way upon the overall podium?


As once again, Toyota will be the only Factory backed Hybrid LMP1 chassis in the field, it's Driver's line-ups intact from last year, led by Fernando Alonso making his World Endurance Championship (WEC) Swan Song as the reigning Le Mans winner about the No. 8 entry.

As the LMP1 field is a virtual carbon copy of last year's with the exception of the Demise of the Short-lived CEFC-TRSM Racing Ginetta/Mecachrome chassis to be campaigned by Manor Endurance Racing affair, seeing eight cars competing instead of ten.

Along with Bloody Jense', aka Jenson Button being replaced by fellow  ex-McLaren Formula 1 Protégé Stoffel Vandoorne at SMP Racing.

While once again Thars' plenty 'O other notable Drivers progress to track in this year's event. From the likes of Sky Sports F1 Pundits 'N Presenter's ANT', nee Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta racing in the LMP2 category, which also sees Yank DPi Prototype's Driver Ricky Taylor Moonlighting aboard the No. 37 Jackie Chan DC Racing alongside Jordan King and David Heinemeier Hansson.

Along with noticing Pastor Maldonado's name, and Nico Jammin and Uhm, Guido-the-Dutchman', nee Giedo van der Garde anchoring an All Dutch LMP2 Squad.

With the likes 'O FishyFellah', aka Giancarlo Fisichella and Edward Cheever III once again bolstering thou Prancing Horse's ranks, both piloting Ferrari 488 GTE entries being just some of the multiple competitor's names I recognize...




Although I totally expect this year's Le Mans, now on the renamed MotorTrend Network, which according to my Zap-2-It' TV Guide begins at Bloody Freakin' 5AM Pacific,, which I certainly will not be getting up for!


ARSE-Sumedly with an Hour's Pre-amble before thou Tricolour waves? Since MotorTrend's FIA Le Mans TV Coverage is slated to end at 6:30AM Pacific, the following day, albeit I'm expecting the race for Overall Honours To be another Dud, with the Toy-Yoter's once again waxing the entire field; YAWN!


As hopefully, whenever I check for the results via my NFB Newsline for The Blind Telephone service, Thee No. 7 Toyota will have been victorious...

Thursday, June 13, 2019

LE Mans: IMSA Sends another Strong Boatload 'O Competitors to France



Will the Ford GT in its various Throwback Retro liveries be victorious in its class one last time this year? (Image source: speedcafe.com)
As once again this year, the IMSA's Weathertech SportsCar Championship will be well represented at arguably the world's premiere Sports Car race, the legendary 24 Heurs du Mans.

As it appears from a very quick glance, that Thar will be eight cars from Americre' competing, or is it Thee Number Nine? Led by a two-by-two pairing from Corvette, Ford and Porsche respectively. Along with Risi Competizione sending its lone Ferrari 488 GTE ride, all contesting the top tier GTE Pro category.

And this doesn't include other Drivers from various IMSA Teams Moonlighting aboard various other Le Mans mounts.


Meanwhile, a fifth Ford GT will make its competition debut in the GTE Am category, when Ben Keating's No. 85 Wynns liveried machine, with the sponsor celebrating its 80th Anniversary takes to the Circuit de la Sarthe's tarmac this weekend.


As apparently I missed noticing the #62 Weathertech Racing's Ferrari 488 GTE contesting this year's GTE Am category.

Whilst sadly, this year's epic 87th running of Le Mans will be the Works Ford GT's final appearance in the World Endurance Championship, as Ford is effectively pulling the plug upon its four year Factory effort on both sides of Ye proverbial Puddle by season's end.

Although hopefully the door will be left ajar for it to continue racing as a Privateer; Err Customer entry a la Keating Motorsports next year?

Thus FoMoCo' will send off its four car Ford GT Armada in fashion by paying Homage to its iconic Ford GT 40's of Yesteryear - With four distinct Throwback Retro liveries between the two Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) WEC entries, No's 66-67.

And the two CGR IMSA runners No's 68-69 with IndyCar "Ringers" Sealmeister B', aka Sebastain Bourdais and Scotty "Thee Iceman 2.0" Dixon behind the Keyboards.


As this will be the last time to watch Ford Factory Driver Joey Hand or others chasing thou Competizione at Circuit de la Sarthe for the foreseeable future...