Thursday, November 25, 2021

Three Slices ‘O Corvette Carmania Carved Up’

As should I go for the Pumpkin, Mincemeat or Cheesecake for Dessert? Uhm, may be a slice of All three, Wee-wee Mademoiselle, Mon Cherrie?

 

Ah, the Aroma ‘O Stuffing, did somebody say Stuffing? Uhm, Turkey, Pigskin and Pumpkin pie. Now All we need is a Chevrolet Corvette or three and Apple pie? Oopsdaisy, Think that’s a different Holiday?

 

As what better way to celebrate Turkey-Lurkey Day this year than with three vastly different topics wrapped around three slices ‘o Americana, Uhm Uhm Finger lickin’ good? As here’s the Main course Folks…

 

Cunningham Crusader’s

Although I never know when they’ll be on, meaning I miss many of their TV Airings, recently I caught two episodes of Motortrend TV’s Autobiography over thou Halloween weekend. The first was about Briggs Cunningham taking three 1960 Corvette’s to Circuit de la Sarthe at Le Mans, France. As this was the first year ever that those Thunderin’ front engine American V-8’s raced in le 24 Heurs du Mans. (61 years ago)

 

Whilst the second episode was All about that Manson Fellah’ and those Beach Boys Ferraris…

 

Funny, but when I think of Briggs Cunningham and Le Mans, for reasons unknown, I invariably think about his earlier creations, most notably his le Monster! When Briggs ran a pair of modified  Cadillacs in the 1950 event. Although I tend to forget that Cunningham was also a prestigious racer, and I believe this was the first of his many outings at Le Mans as a driver, then Age 43.

 

And whilst I tend to only think of Briggs Automotive accomplishments, arguably his biggest claim to fame was Skippering the winning yacht Columbia in the 1958 America’s Cup challenge.

 

Messer Cunningham led the most privileged ‘O life’s, having come from a family of considerable wealth, beginning with his Grandfather’s River Boating and Shipping concerns. As his father Briggs Sr. moved from the Meat Packing business, later becoming President and Founder of the Citizens National Bank, Director of the Pennsylvania Railroad and later Chief Financier of the Proctor and Gamble Company.

 

And that was before marrying into further Money when tying nuptials with Lucy Bedford, an heiress of the Standard Oil Company, her Grandfather E.T. Bedford being a Co-Founder and Director of the Oil Company! As Briggs attended his very first motor racing event, the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix on their Honeymoon.

 

Briggs ran his own Car Company aptly called BS Cunningham Cars between 1950-55 before shuttering it, due to running Afoul of IRS Tax laws requiring Boutique Constructors to show a profit after five years of business.

 

As Cunningham campaigned  his team’s Cunningham C Designation racecars, the C2R-C6R at Le Mans with modest results, before the catastrophe of the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans along with his Tax issues saw him taking a brief respite from motor racing.

 

Wasn’t aware that Briggs was a founding member of the American Racing Club Association, )ARCA) the forebearer to today’s SCCA, but do know that Cunningham entered cars won the 1954-55 Sebring 12 Hours events, arguably his biggest accomplishment in racing…

 

And whilst Cunningham made his last appearance as a racing driver at Le Mans in 1963, then 56 years old.  The focus of the Autobiography TV show was upon the three 1960 Corvette’s he entered for that year’s 24 Heurs du Mans, with the cars being numbered 1-2-3.

 

As these chassis were extensively modified as the Godfather of Corvettes Zora Arkus-Duntov just so happened to have an experimental 283cid Small Block V-8 with Rodchester Fuel Injection on his Hands that he wanted tested in racing competition. Even though General Motors (GM) along with the other major American Manufacturers had pledged not to participate in Motor Racing as part of the AMA Ban following the 1955 Le Mans tragedy.

 

The TV show basically retraces the history of each car by denoting them according to their racing number at Le Mans. As the No. 2 car was the first to be reclaimed and is in the hands of noted Car Collector Bruce Meyer, who claims his is the most “Authentic” car since it was restored using many original parts.

 

If I remember correctly? Since it’s been awhile now and I didn’t scribble any notes immediately afterwards. The No. 1 car caught on fire at Le Mans and then was subsequently discovered in a Wrecking Yard!

 

The No. 3 Le Mans Corvette was the most elusive and hardest to find, before finally being uncovered when a 70,000sq ft Warehouse was being Cleaned out over a decade ago.

 

Coolest part about the #3 chassis was that after it was restored, it went back to Le Mans for the Vette’s 50th Anniversary complete with then 91 year old John Fitch at it’s controls! As Fitch and Co-Driver Bob Grossman had finished eighth Overall and 1st in Class in 1960!

 

Although I’m slightly Cornfused, since apparently John Fitch Died at the Age of 95 on October 31, 2012, which would have only been two years later…

 

As Y’all can read my previous No Fenders attempt at briefly chronicling Corvette’s History at Le Mans in the following story link below.

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2019/07/retro-celebrating-americas-sports-car.html

 

Or you might enjoy this Youtube video of Bruce Meyer with another of his Corvette racecars, the Nasty ’09 C6.R…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iggdcWBl2OI 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

A Thanksgiving’s Automotive Dark or White Yarn’

As Don’t forget about the Brussel Sprouts and Cranberry Sauce. Uhm, did somebody say Sprinkles?

 

Unlike John Lennon’s So It’s Christmas Again song, for which Thars’ an ominous connection below to Ye Fab Four’. First we need to celebrate Turkey-Lurkey Day, or as Rick Mears famously notes: “To Finish First, First You Must Finish!”

 

Manson Madness

Originally “Watched,” Err listened to Motortrend TV’s Autobiography episode upon Charles Manson’s Automobile exploits, appropriately the night before Halloween, following the Briggs Cunningham Corvette’s episode. Arse-sumin’ it was being shown prior to Fright Night  for obvious reasons, cue the Count Dracula music…

 

And Don’t Fret Folks, I’m Not going Anywhere “Dark” Here, since I’ve Never been even remotely interested in Charles Manson’s Horrors! Although as I’ve previously scribbled here on No Fenders, I was unaware of the connection to The Beatles Helter Skelter song or what a Helter Skelter in Jolly ‘Ol England was. Which Y’all can investigate for yourselves, since U2 mentions it briefly in their cover version…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLdvK7KuMcc

 

Instead I was curious what the TV Show would have to say Automobile-wise? For which I’ll try “loosely” recanting, since it’s All a ‘lil Fuzzy now…

 

Manson who’d finally made his way to California from Ohio, whith one of his many Illegal exploits being trying to Steal a Car out of the Prison-yard he was Incarcerated in! Reportedly made friends with a “Preacher” and his Daughter and eventually talked him out of his piano, which Manson then promptly traded for a VW Microbus, since they needed transportation so the Story goes.

 

Meanwhile Dennis Wilson of The Beach boys picked up two young women Hitchhiking on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles and took them back to his house on Sunset Boulevard. As the pair just so happened to know Charles Manson, who began Hanging out with Wilson who happened to own a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB.

 

While Manson reputedly was also “practicing” music with Dennis Wilson during the Summer of 1968 when Manson and his Entourage were living in Wilson’s house, and was also pursuing a Recording Contract with Dennis’s help.

 

It appears in truest Hollywood fashion, that Autobiography takes “license” with the next part of this Drama, since it seems to have insinuated that it was Manson who takes Dennis’s Ferrari out for a Joy ride before the vastly more powerful Ferrari is promptly Rolled! With the front engine V-12 “Saloon” having massive Body Damage done including Crushing it’s “Hindquarters” and Roof!

 

Yet the story Doesn’t end there, since naturally Dennis’s brother Brian Wilson, leader and Songwriter of The Beach Boys also owned a matching ’66 Ferrari 275 GTB which also the Manson “Gang” took out for a Spin and promptly got involved in another “Fender Bender!”

 

For which the Show also claims that a Mercedes Benz was allegedly wrecked during this period. That Manson Cost Dennis a Cool 100 Grand ($100,000) and ultimately Dennis was simply “spooked” out of his home by his “House Guests!”

 

http://ferrari275gtbc.com/accident.html

 

Crusty ‘Ol Bonneville…

Another Autobiography TV episode I was able to catch recently was titled The Fear of Speed or something to that effect. And began by chronicling a few of the countless Speed Record attempts taken at Utah’s legendous’ Bonneville Salt Flats over the past decades.

 

Soon one of the two Hosts was Foaming Ah-Mighty’ over another vehicle I hadn’t heard of, simply known originally as the Duesenberg Special built in the early 1930’s by Ab Jenkins and began setting Land Speed Records  in 1935 Me Thinks.

 

As the original “One Off” Speed record Special was built on a Supercharged Duesenberg J rolling chassis with a highly tuned engine. In October, 1935 Ab Jenkins set a One Hour record of 153.97mph and 24 Hour record of 135.27mph at Bonneville.

 

Yet the car being slobbered over was it’s later incarnation as the Mormon Meteor, for which two versions were built. As the Mormon Meteor I had it’s original 12 cylinder Duesenberg lump’ replaced with a Curtis Conqueror V-12 Aircraft engine and promptly broke it’s existing speed records.

 

As the name comes from a Newspaper   contest to rename it after it’s Curtis transplant with the Duesenberg Special becoming the Meteor I, and it’s the Meteor III that’s probably the car being talked about today? Since the Meteor II was prone to Understeer at High Speed and thus a new chassis was built for it. With the Meteor III resetting more speed records including the 24 Hour Average to 157.27mph in 1937 with some Co-Driver named Louis Meyer,. Which it’s Funny since I first thought that’s gotta be the same Louis Meyer of Meyer & Drake Fame, Righto?

 

As Silly Me! Since Indianapolis 500 Diehards will know that Louis Meyer was the first ever Three-times Indy 500 winner and the first driver to ever drink Buttermilk in Victory lane…

 

They also noted that the Pontiac Bonneville automobile  is an extremely rare car, claiming only 630 examples were built. Which is Funny to Mwah, since I’ve long known about Pontiac naming a vehicle after the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Although I had to look up what year this Uber low volume was produced? Can Y’all say the Debut 1957 Star Chief Bonneville Convertible?

 

The show noted how Sir Malcom Campbell was the first person to go 300mph! In a true Automobile before speeds kept increasing and suddenly were they really cars any more? As the record books claimed you needed to have four wheels to classify as a car, but where does the record books lines blur with the advent of Jet engine propulsion?

 

As they briefly touched upon Craig Breedlove and his many Jet engine Spirit of America’s vs. Art Arfon’s Green Monsters, also propelled by the then ubiquitous General electric J-79 Jet engine. As I thought they claimed that Arfons bought his Jet engine for $600 from a Junk yard?

 

As they briefly covered Breedlove v Arfons desires to be the Fastest Man Alive whilst eclipsing the 400, 500 and ultimately 600mph Absolute Land Speed record marks! Which Amazingly, both men walked away from some seriously nasty Accidents!

 

As I’ve chronicled some of those exploits in a previous No Fenders tome titled The 700 Clube…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2010/06/700-club.html

 

But they quickly sped pass the current Land Speed Record Holder ThrustSSC’s accomplishment in 1997 on the Black Rock Desert and focused upon the Southern California Timing Association’s (SCTA) El Mirage Dry lake bed exploits instead, including the crazed Belly Tank racers of past and present.

 

Although the first idea came from the P-51 Mustang, it’s “Belly” tank was only 165 gallons, whilst the P-38 Lightning’s 350 gallons Drop tank was the perfect size! Hence being the preferred Drop Tank for aspiring Hot Rodders.

 

Some Dude named Alex  Xydias, founder of the original SoCal Speed Shop and builder of this legendous’ 1948 Belly Tank racer noted how He’d Shredded one of it’s Firestone racing slicks at 192mph!

 

As Xydias claims when he asked a “Flinstone” Rubber Company representative about his tyre failure, he was informed that said Firestone tire was only rated for 175mph, before Alex went 210mph the following year!

 

Naturally, Automotive Collector Bruce Meyer, who seems to be one of Autobiography’s “go To” Interviewees, and has featured in several episodes now just so happens to own thee Belly Tank racer in Question…

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoRAT_qVr_8

 

As the programme ends by the Autobiography co-Hosts noting that the legendary Bonneville Salt Flats appear to be Disapearing! Claiming that in the past forty years the Salt has gone from a depth of 18-inches to now only a miniscule two inches!

 

As Y’all can read about Bruce Meyer’s other cars, the Kremer K3 Porsche 935 and Ferrari 250 TRC Testa Rossa in the following No Fenders tome…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2019/04/retro-notorious-porsche-and-ferrari.html 

Monday, November 22, 2021

Bob Bondurant Instructs No More

Although He certainly left his mark upon the Thousands who went thru His Driving School’s Doors…

 

Suppose it was most appropriate that I first heard the news of Bob bondurant’s passing during this year’s Petit Le Mans when listening to John Hindhaugh, Jeremey Shaw, Johnny Mowlen and Shea Adam via IMSA Radio. As it was a Choked Up Jeremy Shaw announcing his Death, as we now know that Bondurant Died on November 12th in Paradise Valley, Arizona at the Age of 88.

 

And I’ve long known some of the exploits of the man I called Bondo’ due to his stint at Shelby American as one of ‘Ol Shel’s Ace Cobra Drivers.

 

Since we All know that Bondurant’s crowning motorsports achievement was winning the GT Class in the 1964 24 Heurs du Mans, when he and Co-Driver Dan Gurney finished 4th Overall aboard one of Carroll Shelby’s Nasty Cobra Daytona Coupes. For which Bondurant then helped Shelby American win the 1965 FIA GT Manufacturers Championship in these All Conquering 289cid V-8 Daytona Coupes which Decimated Enzo Ferrari’s 250 GTO’s that year. Being the Only American marque in History to ever win this Championship!

 

Yet Bondo’ first cut his teeth racing Indian Motorcycles on Oval Dirt tracks as a teenager before being noticed for winning an SCCA B Production West Coast Championship behind the wheel of his 1957 Corvette in 1959, winning 18 of 20 races!

 

This impressed Santa Barbra, California Chevrolet Dealer Shelly Wasburn who hired Bondurant to drive his #614 Corvette beginning in 1961 to 1963.

 

Ironically, I now feel I’ve seen one of these #614 Vette’s racing in some SOVREN Vintage Racing Historics in the past without knowing the significance of the racecar. Perhaps at the hands of Susan Armstrong? Whose Hubby’ tom Armstrong was part of the formation of PacWest Racing.

 

As I Swear I saw that Vette’, and certain it was a light blue and may be a ’63 Splint Window? Ah, how thoust Memory plays Tricks upon Yuhs when you cannot See Anythingy’

 

Reportedly Bondo’ won a stellar 30 of 32 races between 1960-1963! Including winning the ’62 Los Angeles Times Grand Prix aboard one of Washburn’s Corvettes. With some of his most memorable battles being against another Corvette racer named Dave MacDonald.

 

Interestingly, both MacDonald and Bondurant’s services were snapped up by Carroll Shelby for his soon Dominant (Shelby American) Cobra race team, which now makes me wonder what lured them away from their Bowtie’ rides. Hmm, cubic Dollars or the fact that the Corvettes were No match for the Cobras?

 

As Bondurant claims Shelby had been promising to build the Cobra awhile and that it would beat the Corvettes to which Bondo’ said bullshit! Then it finally happened and Carroll told Bob he’d be driving a Cobra in Colorado in ’63 where Bondurant won first time out…

 

Although Sadly, Indianapolis 500 Diehards will know that 27 year old MacDonald perished in the 1964 Indy 500 along with Eddie Sachs in a Fiery Accident.

 

While I always forget that Bondurant was a Formula 1 Driver, albeit briefly with just nine starts between 1965-1966 for Ferrari’s U.S. Importer’s North American Racing team, (NART) Reg Parnell’s BRM and Dan Gurney’s Anglo American Racers, the European Arm of (AAR) All American Racers. With Bondurant’s best finish being fourth place in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix in a Privateer BRM.

 

Bob also drove a Ford GT40 Mk II and Ferrari 365/P2 amongst the many racecars he “Strapped On” during his career.

 

But surely bob’s better known for his Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, which he formulated his plans for while recovering from a Mega Shunt at Watkins Glen during a 1967 Can Am race. As bondo’s McLaren flipped eight times after suffering a mechanical failure at 150mph! And Doctor’s told him He may Never Walk again…

 

As the idea came to Bob in Hospital bed after he’d taught Actor James Gardner how to drive racing cars for the iconic 1966 movie Grand Prix. As Bondurant’s Driving School opened in 1968 at Orange County International Raceway and two of his first pupils were Paul Newman and Robert Wagner for their upcoming Film Winning. While tom “I Feel the Need, The Need for Speed” Cruise, Nicholas Cage and Christian Vale were just a few of the apparently Half Million Students to seek tutelage at Bondurant’s school over it’s 50-plus years before filing for Bankruptcy in 2019.

 

Yet for Mwah, I have two personal memories regarding Bondo’. As the first is still seared into Thy Memorex’ some 26 years later! As it was my Debutante outing to whatever will be Sears Point Raceway for Mwah. The event was the 30th Anniversary of those legendous Cobra Daytona Coupes Championship at the Mollie Stone’s Historics at Sonoma Raceway.

 

In the paddock, for which I’ve got the pictures “Squirreled” away in a photo album, resplendent in Thar glorious Guardsman Blue paint with twin White stripes in the gleaming California Sun sat four of the six Cobra Daytona Coupes parked side-by-side!

 

I watched transfixed in sheer amazement from behind the “ropes” as Bondo’, apparently wearing his original Cobra team jacket signed an autograph for somebody by using the roof of one of the Daytona’s as his “Clipboard!”

 

As Bondurant’s “John Hancock” was the one signature I always coveted from those 1960’s “Heros” but never got. As I just thought it would be ultra cool to have it along with ‘Ol Shel’s, (Shelby) Phil Hill’s and Dan Gurney’s, for which I’ve gotten All of over the years when I could still See…

 

As I Don’t really care about the autographs per sai, rather I just enjoy the actual meeting of the Drivers instead, with some of my fondest memories being from meeting Stefan Johansson, Billy roe, Adrian Fernandez, Didier Theys and countless others at various Legend’s Day outings at Mother Speedway with Indy 500 Sherpa Carpets!

 

Meanwhile it’s hard to believe it was 24 years ago when I traveled to The Valley of The Sun to watch Blogmeister Miguel partake in a One Day outing of Bondurant’s Driving School at Phoenix International Raceway, when Bob’s School was under the Auspices of the Blue Oval. As I was even allowed to “Shadow” Miguel during the initial Driver’s briefing before they got into their respective Formula Ford Single Seater mounts.

 

And then I had the privilege of Ridin’ Shotgun in one of the school’s Ford Taurus SHO “Sedan” Pace Cars with (then) School Instructor and Racing Driver Tim Moser.

 

As one of his fellow Instructors casualy told me while Belting me into the front passenger seat said: Wait until Turn 3 and ask him about racing a Dodge viper! As Tim obliged and quicly told me about his adventures of racing one of those Narly Chamberlin Engineering FIA GT2 Viper GTS/R’s while pacing the row of Formula ford Cadets behind him…

 

So even though your Blind Word Butcher never got his “Dream” of driving a racing car, I do feel like an Honourary Bondurant participant thanks to Joyce who made my day also special at PIR nearly a quarter centry ago! Not to mention Snowbyrd MJ’ who bought me a Bitchin’, as No Fenders Moniker King Randal would say Bondurant  Driving School Windbreaker…

 

Salute Bob! 

Friday, November 19, 2021

F1: Another Sprint Qualifying Joker, Wings Aplenty and Mercedes Crocodile Tears

As Toto Wolff can Cry in His Beer All the way to Doha…

 

Yeah, I’m certain most Formula 1 Fans are still talking over last weekend’s controversial Sao Paolo Grand Prix, which just Doesn’t sound right to me, since it’ll forever be the Brazilian Grand Prix!

 

So where to start, eh? Having missed Friday’s Pre Pole Qualifying outing, we All know now that Sir Lewis Hamilton’s car was excluded from Qualifying for Breach of a Technical Regulation. For which I’ll agree with Martin Billybob’ Brundle’s comment that the Rules are the Rules! And if ‘lil sid Viddle’ (Sebastian Vettel) got Disqualified from second place in Hungary for an unintended Breach of the Sporting Regulations due to a mechanical malady, then there can be No Gray Areas! So Get Over It Mercedes!

 

As Car No. 44’s rear wing was found to be in violation of the maximum 85mm “Slot Gap” Drag Reduction System’s (DRS) Fully opened position, as clearly defined in the FIA Technical Directives, which Mercedes didn’t bother to Appeal. Thus Hamilton was Disqualified (DSQ) from Friday’s Qualifying and sent to the rear of the grid for Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying race.

 

But Max “Choir Boy” Verstappen was given a Hefty $50,000 Euros Fine for illegally touching Hamilton’s offending rear wing following Friday’s Qualifying which was discovered by a Fan’s Online video of Max checking for Flexability afterwards in Parc Ferme.

 

As let’s All remember that Red Bull was accused of this same practice before the FIA updated the Wing Deflection load testing requirements beginning in Azerbaijan, for which Lewis Hamilton had been insinuating the Red Bull’s rear wing was doing…

 

And Yuhs just gotta Luv’ the FIA Cowtowing to Liberty Media’s requests. As I’ll begrudgingly admit that the third Sprint Qualifying race this season was better than the first two Duds! But it still leaves a Bad taste in My Mouth!

 

Since can somebody please explain to me how you can credit a driver with Pole position for simply Outjumping/Out Dragging the leading Front row competitor into the track’s first corner and how that equates to true Pole position, i.e.; the Driver with the Fastest lap Overall!

 

As we’ve had three of these Made for Reality TV “shows,” Err Sprint Qualie’ races now, and All three times the driver starting second has won the race and been deemed the Pole winner, BARF!

 

But No folks! Instead the FIA has Stupidly announced we’re gonna have twice as many of these Farcical Pole Shootout races next year and further Crap all over the F1 Record books! Ooh, Ooh, What’s that Smell?

 

Meanwhile perhaps it’s just Mwah, but I’m thinking that Mercedes might want to get a new sponsor for it’s team? As I think Kllenex would be most befitting of them, especially with All of the Crying Toto Wolff and Golden Child did at Interlagos!Which seems to becoming a weekly event for Herr Toto and Golden child!

 

Since when Hamilton sarcastically retorted over his In-car radio Of Course when told the Stewards were taking No Action over his Overtaking tussle with Verstappen on Lap-48 into Turn 4 when Max aggressively Defended the corner whilst leading. All I could say mockingly Out-loud was Boo Hoo-Hoo, Cry Me A River Lewis! Although Don’t know how well Ballerina Shoes would work on F1 pedals?

 

As Toto now says he guesses Thars No more Gentlemen’s Agreements in Formula 1? As really toto, where did you ever get that Na├»ve idea from? And please do Not tell me that Mercedes, like every single F1 Constructor Doesn’t push the Technical Rules to the absolute limit!

 

Hey toto, I think you spilled some Gray Poupon upon your tie whilst eating your Sauerkraut! But Don’t Fret, Yuhs can use some of that Discarded Red Bull Tape you’re keeping an eye upon to cover it Up

 

As you do have to wonder if Herr Wolff’s bosom buddy Christian Horner, the Pied Piper ‘O Red Bull’s claims of the Silver, Err W12 Black Arrows being 22 Klicks’ (Kilometers) Faster than the Red Bull RB16B, then what’s up with that?

 

Although Max’s “Schuey Swerve” down the Straightaways is less than impressive! But then again if Hamilton really had a 30kph Speed Advantage over Verstappen, then why is Mercedes whingin on so vehemently?

 

And I find it Preposterous over how Toto and Lewis seem to simply think that Anybody who sees the #44 in Thar Wing mirrors Ontrack should simply Pull over and say After you Sir Lewis!

 

Since have we All forgotten how much publicly Hamilton was looking forward to a fight with Max and some real competition this year at the beginning of this season?

 

While please do Not tell me that Hamilton wouldn’t have done the exact same thing to Verstappen if their roles had been reversed! As I’m overly tired of Sir Lewis’s Goody Tutu shoes impersonation. As just how many fellow F1 Drivers has he Squeezed towards the “Rough” over the years? Since you simply cannot become a Seven times World Champion without doing so!

 

So like Kimi’s wife Minttu Virtanen famously said Lewis. “If you’re gonna Cry like a Girl, then may be You should take Up Ballet!” 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Another Petit Le Mans Closes Sports Car Season on a High

As it was the typical Donnybrook, Firecracker fisticuffs Multi-class racing Us Sports Car Fans have come to Enjoy…

 

Gorged Thyself over thoust weekend, “Watching,” Whale’ actually listening to most of the Petit Le Mans, for which I partook All 10 Hours of, Zoinks!

 

Began by Tuning into the first two hours plus on Big NBC enjoying hearing Leigh Diffey with his Sports Cars Sidekicks Calvin Fish and Townsend Bell before switching over to ESPNews for another McQuackery’ Joker Quack-Quack F1 Sprint qualie’ race. Then spent the next six and three quarter Hours listening to John Hindhaugh and Company on IMSA Radio…

 

Yeah, I know that the Dreaded BoP (Balance of Performance) plays a large part in the close racing. Nevertheless, how can you not marvel over the IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship’s Season Finale coming down to the last 21mins of another epic 10 Hour race!

 

As I was Pullin’ for the little Mazda that could All race long, even when they went three laps down, Yikes! Since it would simply be a Fairy Tale ending to Mazda’s Prototype’s tenure running the smallest motor on the grid, i.e.; 2.0 litre Inline Four Banger’ (4 cylinder) turbo, which always makes me think of those All conquering IMSA GTP AAR Eagles of years past!

 

Yet with my Talking Keychain Clock chiming 6:49PM Pacific when Harry Tincknell put a brazen pass upon Felipe Nasr for the lead and eventual win, how could you not be Happy for Mazda in Thar Swan song, Eh? Especially since the Double Nickel #55 was adorned with scores of Fans John Hancock’s, including IMSA Radio’s Pit Reporter Shea Adam upon it.

 

Whilst it was apparent that Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac was completely focused upon claiming the DPi Prototypes Championship title since he backed out of a few potential lunges for the lead whilst trailing Tincknell, instead keeping a fleeting, scant 1.8 second lead ahead of Ricky Taylor in the #10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura. The two protagonists for the Prototypes title, with whichever car finished ahead being crowned Champion!

 

As I was Rootin’ for Nasr to hold off Taylor, who attempted Dive Bombing the Brazilian on the final lap to No avail! As Nasr leaes the team for Audi, and Co-Driver Pipo Derani who lost the title to Taylor and Hulio’ (Castroneves) last year were worthy Championship winners this season!

 

In the words of RASSCAR’, The big One occurred when seven GT Cars were ultimately taken out of competition upon one of the multiple restarts, being victums of what ‘Ol Hobbo’, aka HobbsCapp’, nee David Hobbs would call the Concertina effect, when the trailing pack sped up, slowed down and Whamoe! As the ensuing Full Yellow Caution would last for a Half hour-plus.

 

Very Happy over my Team Seattle Homeboyz’ Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin being victorious in the GT Daytona class, with team leader and Endurance “Specialist” Ian James saying after the race that Ross Gunn was simply On Fire and No One was gonna Catch Him! Although obviously Roman DeAngelis did his part during the race.

 

The final GT Le Mans race seemed sorta Anti-climatic, especially with the leading #97 Weathertech Porsche 911 RSR-19 gifting the win to it’s Seester No. 79 full Season entry.

 

And I was Pullin’ for the #30 JR III Racing LMP3 entry after the #36 Andretti Autosport entry had multiple issues, but it was another ex-Indy Lights Driver atop the Class Podium instead, when Gar Robinson led the way aboard his #74 Robinson Ranch riley Motorsports entry.

 

And the Fireworks didn’t end there, since the leading #52 LMP2 entry was Docked a Post-race Drive-thru time penalty at the races end for Avoidable contact, seeing the No. 8 Tower Motorsports winning the class instead, with another obscure, forgotten ex-Indy Lights driver James French as part of the winning Driver’s trio.

 

As usual, it was a totally gripping race for ten solid hours, never knowing who would win the race outright, since many of the Big boyz DPi runners spent time leading, before deservably the ‘lil Car that Could won it’s final race! As not even could it’s suffering a broken Spark plug keep it out of Victory lane… 

Monday, November 15, 2021

A Week ‘O Computing Futility!

A why must those Pesky, Annoying Gremlins Always visit My Confuzer, eh?

 

Yeah Kiddoes’, I know you probably Don’t give a Tinkers Damn, But!

 

And I suppose it’s part of the price for going on Holiday and then trying to return to the normal Slog, Eh? As now my Rinky dink Oldies ‘ Radio Station has gone Full Blown 24/7 Christmas Musak’, beginning on Black Friday Nonstop ‘til New years Day Ho Ho Ho! Having just listened to Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer when I began typing this. Hey Rudolph Shine a light on my confuzer willz’ Yuh? But I digress…

 

Actually it took me All day Friday to figure out it wasn’t Black Friday yet, just felt like it due to Veteran’s Day falling on Thursday this year…

 

So why does our El Stupidio Time Change to go off of Daylight Savings Time have to had such a profound effect upon my confuzer? Since All I did was turn off the Gory machine Sunday morning in order to “Watch,” err listen to an Uber’ ridiculously long winded 90mins Formula 1 Preamble, with Martin Billybob’ Brundle, Damon Hill, Jenson button and Simon What’s His Name lead Pre-race Presenter Prattle on ‘bout what Shoe size Sergio Perez wears Blah Blah Blah!

 

And then the entire Mexican Grand Prix which was an absolute snoozer! Although I was Happy that Max Verstappen won and really enjoyed hearing how passionate Checko’s Home crowd was! Deafeningly Roaring for Perez not only being the first ever Mexican Driver to lead a lap in his Home F1 race, but also the first ever to stand atop the Podium! For which good ‘Ol DC’, aka David Coulthard told Sergio on the Podium when interviewing him for finishing third overall to say a few words in El Spanol, ci!

 

So naturally when I turned the Confuzer back on around 1:15PM I was totally Cornfuzed over why the Zoomtext Fusion 2022 Screen Reader I use to not only write this riveting No Fenders Blog’s Dribble, but Navigate everythingy’ E-E-E Electronically, i.e.; Internet, Email and Word wouldn’t Start and I was literally blind, WTF?

 

And the Ha Ha Fine Folks who Sell and Support Zoomtext’s Screen Reading products are closed on Weekends and Federal Holidays meant I’d have to wait until Monday morning to try resolving said issue. But at least I had a CD Audiobook I could listen to Not! As little did I know that I’d accidently bumped the universal AC Adapter’s power setting off of it’s “Mark,” so I had to break out the batteries instead, Sigh!

 

Calling first thing Monday morning a friendly Zoomtext Tech Support person remote logged into my system and reinstalled the Disabled Fusion 2022 Screen Reader “launch” sequence. As I thought I was “Good to go,” but Silly me!

 

For reasons still unknown, as Nobody wants to listen to me or try explaining, having mentioned this to five IT Support persons now, Urgh! My winDOUGHS 10 system, ergo Screen Reader now reads Out-loud C Host Windows Logon Class when starting up, Huh? And Microsoft Edge says Alert! Click Back to the Top Click Back to the Top Back to the Top every single Blinkin’ time I open the Gory Browser, WTF! Not to mention the new “Space Mountain” Twinkle Twinkle Seeing Stars Noise when either typing somebody’s name into the To “Bar” or tabbing thru the Cc “Bar!” Whiskey Tango foxtrot Roger Wilco? As I did Not make any of these changes myself, Nor did I ask for them, Sigh!

 

But the even Bigger Joke was that suddenly everytime I tried reading a brand new, previously unvisited webpage/website, the Fusion Screen Reader would simply Freeze “Solid” when starting the reader, most notably on WICKEDPedia’ pages! And the only way to resolve my system being completely Locked Up was by Hard Booting le Machine!

 

As this Maddening sequence occurred at least seven Bloody times Monday before I Quit counting and gave up trying to read the Web! Although I had to wonder if it was a Freudian thing? Since I was momentarily intrigued over Charles Manson having reputedly wrecked not one, but two of The Beach Boys Ferrari 275 GTB’s, Sheisa!

 

Which led me to listening again to an ‘Ol U2 Album titled Rattle and Hum for which I own the CD. Marveling over how I’d never ever before been curious about the opening lines Bono says: “Charles Manson Stole this from The Beatles, We’re Stealing It Back!” On U2’s live rendition of Helter Skelter.

 

So may be the Internets’ Didn’t want me trying to find out what Charles Manson’s connection to The Beatles Helter Skelter song was? Which I find it sorta Funny I’m just learning about this some Fifty-plus years later…

 

AnyHoo’, I gave up for the day before experiencing the same Futility on Tuesday another 5-6 times when simply trying to look up Briggs Cunningham’s Wikipedia page, which I like using for cursory background information, since I know it’s correct 69% of the time, Hya!

 

Wednesday I got No further and was thoroughly Disgusted! Before I made the Mistake of scheduling my local Computer Technician to come over Thursday for an In Home visit which the Sheister’s now charge an Uber Obscene $95.00 per Hour! Which wasn’t Matt’s fault! But I was pretty Angry with myself when He simply walked into the No Fenders “Office” and said your printers flashing a Yellow light! Which Matt resolved by simply pushing the flashing button that I could Not bloody See!

 

Having apparently triggered the Error mode by having run out of paper and then not originally loading it correctly before trying to resume printing, SHIT! As Matt said Thars’ 13 more print Jobs in the Queue after having fixed the Check Engine light…

 

As I Didn’t even bother trying to contact Zoomtext on Veteran’s Day, opting to watch the Encore presentation of MASH’s 1983 2hr Goodbye, Farewell and Amen series finale instead…

 

Friday morning I called Zoomtext who are located in Clearwater, Florida and a nice Female Tech Support person called me back. Yet after having logged into my system remotely twice, both times with the connection being lost, she referred me to Microsoft’s Accessability Hotline instead, who I’ve never called before. Of course this resulted in another very polite woman named Monica determining that the Windows Narrator could read Microsoft Edge Browser pages but both 2021 and 2022 Zoomtext Fusion readers couldn’t! And after she remotely confirmed that everything on my winDOUGHS 10 Puter’ was up to date, Yep Yuhs guessed it! I got to call Zoomtext back again.

 

And now I’m fairly convinced that it’s something on Zoomtext’s end, since when I spoke to my third Tech Support person that morning the telephone simply went click click while He was looking up my Case number, Ack!

 

Then I got a fourth Zoomtext Tech Support person who was very Grumpy to me, asking did I call Microsoft? And what did they say? Before He went thru a bunch ‘O Settings on my machine remotely and finally after an entire morning spent on the telephone, I can at least once again read Webpages without locking up my entire system! Although I’ve still got All of the other Bugs I didn’t request still on my machine… 

Friday, November 12, 2021

IMSA: 2021 Petit Le Mans Season Finale

                 

As Class titles are on the line in what surely, No Don’t Call Me Shirley Jokes Here, Hya! Typical Fisticuffs, Donnybrook Firecracker racing will be Action Ah-Plenty at Road Atlanta!

 

This year’s 24th Motul Petit Le Mans has announced a robust 43 Car entry list, Hmm? Where have I heard that 43 number before, Psyche!

 

The race will Air live on both Big NBC and the fleeting NBC Sports TV channels this Saturday, Nov 13th, beginning on NBC at 9AM Pacific before shifting to NBCSN for the final seven hours at Noon, but as Always, Check your local listings!

 

There will be a total of 22 Prototypes divided by three classes, with the Top flight DPi (Daytona Prototype International) class fielding it’s normal six entries, plus a second AXR Caddy’.

 

The LMP2 Class will have five runners, including a single entry from United Autosport, who’ll also bring a single LMP3 entry to the Petit party, where a total of ten entrants will take the Green Flag.

 

Former IndyCar Driver Spencer Pigot will Moonlight for JR III Racing in the Prototypes bottom rung, i.e.; LMP3 alongside the team’s Garett Grist and Ari Valogh in the #30.

 

While keep your eye upon that #36 Andretti Autosport entry with Jarett Andretti, Australia’s Josh Burton, No relation to those RASSCAR’ Roundy round burton’s Yeehaw! And Oliver Askew at it’s controls.

 

The Tintops’, Err Saloon Boys and Girls will see GT Le Mans going out in style with a 50% increase with a total of six entries, with Corvette leading a two-by-two Coomb by Yah…

 

As once again, the GT LM Championship will be decided between the two Corvette C8.R’s, most likely going to Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, albeit Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy, who’ve won the last three races in-a-row have an outside chance.

 

Rahal Letterman Lanigan will run it’s brace ‘O BMW M8 GTE coupes for their final time, along with a second #97 Weatherteck Racing Porsche 911RSR-19 wit it’s Drivers to be announced (TBA) in the category.

 

Per usual, the largest Class will be the GT Daytona (GTD) field with 15 cars ready to Rock ‘N Roll.

 

And although I’ll be rootin’ for multiple cars in this category, naturally my ‘Ol Homeboyz’ (Team Seattle) Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage, the reigning GTD Sprint Cup Champions, it’s another name from the Evergreen State that caught my Attenzione.

 

As the IMSA Pre-Entry list says that the #12 Vasser Sullivan Racing (VSR) Lexus RC F GT3 is sponsored by Bayside Recycling, Huh? Since I know the name well from the ‘Ol Bayside Disposal Racing days of Bruce Leven and his iconic #86 Porsche 962’s and later those sleek black #86 Texaco/Havoline IndyCar’s with Dominic Dobson and Jeff Andretti at their keyboards.

 

But I’ll be pullin’ more for the No. 14 VSR Seester Lexus since it’s got some reigning Indy Lights Champion named Kyle Kirkwood as part of it’s Driver’s lineup.

 

Yet I suppose Mucho noise will be being made over some Indy 500 winner named Helio Castroneves as Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) #60 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototypes (DPi) third Driver. Uhm, Check that, Hulio’s actually replacing Olivier Pla and the car’s third endurance driver will be somebody known here at No Fenders as Monty’, JPM or once upon a time Mac Montoya! As Juan Pablo will reunite with his IMSA Prototypes Championship winning Co-Driver Dane Cameron and ex-Team Penske teammate for MSR.

 

Jimmie Johnson and other members of his All Star Cast will be back aboard the No. 48 Action Express Racing’s (AXR) second Part-time (Endurance Rounds Only) Cadillac DPi VR entry. As K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi and “Simone,” Err Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud will join Johnson once again.

 

While it’s Seester AXR entry the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadd-Oh-lacc’ will have Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway as it’s Chauffeurs.

 

The Championship leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing’s Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque will be joined by Alexander Rossi.

 

While Cadillac has the most entrants with four to choose from three teams. As Scott Dixon will Moonlight aboard the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Renger Van der Zande and the departing Kevin Magnussen.

 

JDC Miller Motorsports “Mach 5, Mustang Sally,” Err #5 Mustang Sampling will have it’s winning Sebring 12 Hours “Band” back together when Sebastien Bourdais rejoins Tristan Vautier and Loic Duvall.

 

Whilst the Sleeper of the DPi Class will be the “Double Nickel” #55 Mazda RT24P entry with Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito possibly giving Mazda a Fond Farewell with another victory?

 

Apparently (Townsend) T-Bell’ won’t be doing his usual Double Dipping, since the No. 12 GTD entry has Franky Montecalvo, Zach Veach and Robert Megennis listed as it’s drivers. While it’d would be nice to “See” Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe warming up with his potentially future GT Daytona team in this year’s field, although He’s always a great Addition to the Commentary Booth! Where may be A.J. Allmendinger will also be haunting, provided his RASSCAR Cup-lite’ duties Don’t get in the way?

 

And speaking of Haunting, I’ll probably primarily listen to the race via IMSA Radio and John Hindhaugh instead, since I haven’t Gory missed “Oh No Mr. Bill!” Err Kevin “The Wherewolf!” Lee for quite some time now, albeit I suppose I’ll wanna hear Keigh Diffey’s “Pipes” one last time this year.

 

Also, the Petit Le Mans season ending enduro’ serves as the fourth and final round of this year’s Michelin Endurance cup, where separate points will be awarded to All Classes at various points of the race; giving us another race inside the race…