Monday, January 24, 2022

ROLEX 24: The long Hibernating 2021 Race’s Postscript

As another Kurr-racking’ twice Round Ye Clock race goes into the Record books, Tick Tock…

 

Otay, so I’m going off Ye Memory once again, since I might be slightly Cornfuzed? So take these statistics with a grain ‘O salt, especially since Thar now from a Gory Year ago, Crikeys! Although I think they’re fairly correct?

As they were  gleamed from a few Daytona Beach News Journal stories I listened to via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service, when my main telephone was working, Urgh! As it’s got a Nasty Habit of just going Kuhput’ every 14.5 months, Sheisa! But I digress…

 

Naturally, of the five categories contesting last year’s Rolex 24, the top flight (DPi) Daytona Prototypes International runners were the fastest cars, topping out at 200mph with 580 Horsepower on tap. While the LMP2 (Le Mans Prototypes) have a top speed of 190mph with the same 580bhp derived from Thar Gibson normally aspirated V-8 lumps’, with the LMP3 runners reaching maximum velocity at 185mph from their 460bhp Nissan V-8’s. And then supposedly the GT LM (Le Mans) and GTD (Daytona) Tintops’ claim a top speed of 180mph, with the GT LM machinery pumping out 500bhp. Although I’d Arse-sume that the GTD cars are slightly slower top speedwise, as All of the IMSA categories are controlled via BoP. (Balance of Performance)

 

Although apparently Thars’ not enough separation between the LMP3 cars and the GT runners, specifically the now deposed GT Le Mans which have been replaced by GTD Pro in 2022.

 

The DPi and LMP2 were allowed 38 sets of tyres for the race, with GT LM allocated 37 sets and LMP3 & GTD 30 sets, as the latter two categories are “Cost Controlled” and the GT cars make fewer Pit Stops for fuel Me Thinks…

 

Green-Green-Green!

Began by tuning into the IMSA Radio Broadcast at High Noon here on thou Oregon coast, as it was the perfect weekend to stay inside and listen to a 24hrs motor race. Since it Rained All Day long both Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday’s High being 49 degrees F with a low of 45, but I digress…

 

Although every time I listen to a motor race instead of watching it on Thy Telie, I hear the late  Robin Miller’s voice from a long ago email saying to Mwah: Why would Anybody want to listen to Indy Cars on the Radio?

 

But if you’re blind like your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso is, then you Glean a Helluva lot More information this way vs. television, where it’s Arse-sumed the viewer can See not only All of the Action, but the myriad ‘O graphics Onscreen…

 

As Jeremy Shaw tossed out the tidbit that the Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadd-Oh-lacc’ DPi chassis was actually the ex-Juncos Racing Cadillac that had been wrecked Up North eh! At what forever will simply be Mosport to Mwah last year, Uhm, two years ago which Riccardo Juncos and his Minnowesqe group ‘O Mechanics completely rebuilt afterwards.

 

As I jotted down on a piece ‘O paper I cannot read that the first of many Full Course Cautions occurred in the race’s first 15mins, with a total of three in the first two hours! As Cooper MacNeil would later proclaim that the BMW M8 GTE of Booby Ruble’s squad had pulled an Amateur move when Crashing into his Porsche 911 RSR on the race’s opening lap!

 

And then like Racer’s Marshall Pruett notes in his Most Excellante Beth Paretta Podcast Interview; for reasons unknown, that’s as far as I got Folks, and never finished this riveting Postscript!

 

Although I’ll point Y’all towards two languishing Racer Hourly Updates from last year, since I do recall that I managed to partake a whopping 16 hours of the race, a la two thirds distance, which I’d say is pretty stout for somebody getting Old-ER, Hya!

 

https://racer.com/2021/01/30/rolex-24-hour-8-fireworks-and-standout-performances/

 

As Sunrise neared at Dawn’s 16th Hour mark, CGR’s Render Van der Zande in the #01 Cadillac led the race, albeit having been harried by K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi who brazeningly passed the dutchman before pirouetting Off-track and resuming in fifth place. As some Dancin’ fool named Hulio’ (Castroneves) led a two car Acura train P2-3 with Whelen Engineering’s Pipo Derani in fourth, all Ahead of the demoted Kobayashi.

 

Closest battle Ontrack was the three car GT LM Scrum between the #25 BMW vs. the two Corvettes, as the latter’s No. 4 led ahead of it’s Seester No. 3 with the #25 BMW M8 GTE Coupe bringing up the rear, with All three covered by a Blanket at 0.3 seconds apart!

 

https://racer.com/2021/01/31/rolex-24-hour-16-ganassi-leads-through-dawn/

 

Renger, Watch Out for That Tyre!

Although I know I “Watched,” Err listened to the finale of the race, I’ll confess that it’s now long been forgotten from Thy Memorex! So I’d feel Foolish typing elaborately about how everyone finished! Since I had to look up the results in order to remember that Renger Van der Zande “Blew” a Michelin tyre with just some seven minutes remaining!

 

As eventual winner Felipe Albuquerque claimed He could See The Whites of Renger’s Eyes! Every time He looked in his rear view mirror at the Hard Charging Dutchman. But Albuquerque felt that Renger was simply Over-abusing his Michelin’s with the Uber Aggressive lines He was taking in his attempts to pass for the lead, before Kah-Blamoe!

 

With Van der Zande having to limp to the Pits for a new tyre, effectively sealing the #10’s victory! Although Kobayashi, remember him? Made a valiant effort to close on the leader, coming up just some 4.7-seconds adrift, Crikeys!

 

https://racer.com/2021/01/31/wtr-completes-rolex-24-at-daytona-hat-trick-with-new-acura/

 

While the win gave Wayne Taylor Racing a Historic Three-peat’, joining the likes of rival Chip Ganassi Racing. Along with being Wayne Taylor’s fourth  W’ in the past five years. It was a Watershed moment for Acura, scoring it’s Breakthrough Overall 24 Hours of Daytona victory.

 

Although I was previously unaware that Comptech Racing had won at Daytona with a Spice SE90CL Prototype chassis, propelled by an Acura lump’ then in the GTP Lights Class, ironically 30 years ago, which Marshall Pruett chronicled in his usual Brilliant writing! As that Comptech entry was put on it’s Class Pole by some Cat named Parker Johnstone, remember him Y’all? As think He was one of Ye Oldest IndyCar blogger’s Geo. Phillips favourite IndyCar Announcers, Hya!

 

https://racer.com/2021/01/30/rolex-24-retro-acuras-wild-breakthrough-daytona-win/

 

Not to mention that Team Penske gave nod to those Comptech Acura’s of year’s past, when it ran it’s brace of Acura DPi’s in the same red and white colour scheme…

 

Whilst some other History was made in the GTD (Daytona) ranks, when the #57 AMG Mercedes GT3 not only won it’s class, but led a 1-2 Merc’ sweep, Followed Home by the #75 Mercedes! Being the first time ever that the three pointed Star make had won at the Rolex 24. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

The 2021 IndyCar Golden Tailpipe Awards edition

And the Winner takes it by a Nose! Somebody give me a cheeseburger…

 

Yessiree Bog, Bob’s Your Uncle Mateys! As I’m just trying to finish off my languishing IndyCar Golden Tailpipe Award selections and Hence,  these final choices were just quickly Jotted upon after my initial selections below.

 

WINNERS

2021 IndyCar Champion: Alex Palou, Spain

2021 Indianapolis 500: Helio Castroneves, Brazil

2021 Rookie Of the Year: Scott McLaughlin, New Zealand

 

CATEGORIES

1. Driver of The Year

Winner: Alex Palou

This one, like the season Championship itself was tough for Mwah. As Y’all may be Painfully aware of, Pato O’Ward’s my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver! Whilst Alex Palou Quickly vaulted Himself into P2 of my current Favourite IndyCar Drivers, with Rinus VeeKay on the third step of my virtual podium, but I digress…

 

Thus I was  torn between who I wanted to win Thar Debutante IndyCar Crown, especially since what initially drew me to Alex was his Charisma. And when I listen to him speak, I Hear a young Alex Zanardi in my Head!

 

As Palou’s Super Friendly and Calm, and I Don’t think I’ve Heard Him ever say a Nasty word towards Anybody, or ever Throw Anybody Underneath Ye Proverbial Bus! And He certainly Doesn’t exude Romain Grosjean’s past Hot Headedness!

 

Not to mention He’s a Damn Fine Driver, and impressively took Full Advantage of his situation, going from 16th Overall as a rookie at Dale Coyne and Company to IndyCar Champion, No less Ahead of some Chip Ganassi Racing Teammate named Scott Dixon, Aye Karumba!

 

Alex finished tied for Most wins of the season with three, and even when he fell behind in the Points standings to No fault of his own, He calmly reeled off finishes of first, Second and Fourth during the West coast’s Final three race swing to clinch his maiden IndyCar championship…

 

Other Choices

Josef Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson…

 

2. Biggest Disappointment of The Year

Does this really even need considering or explanation? As Sadly, it was the year of losing some of our Sports Greatest’s! With the Deaths of ‘Ol R’, aka Robin Miller, Ye Curmudgeon ‘O Indy Cars, Bob Jenkins, who both lost their lives to Cancer. Along with Uncle bobby’ and Big Al’, aka Bobby and Al Unser! As that’s a pretty Big Quartet of IndyCar “He-men” to have All succumbed in the very same year…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2021/08/farewell-robin-miller.html

 

And then just after I’d finished typing the majority of this, I learned of Kevin Smiley Face Kalkhoven’s Death at the Age of 77 on January 4th. Although cannot say I was ever a Fan of Messer Kalkhoven’s, especially how they ran Champ Car into the Ground, but what do I know? As I’m Glad to learn after the fact, that he was involved in the Hole in The Wall Camps…

 

https://racer.com/2022/01/04/kevin-kalkhoven-1944-2022/

 

3. Race of The Year

Oval Track Winner: Texas Motor Speedway Race-2

Naturally, everybody else would say that this year’s Indianapolis 500 was Thee bomb! With Some Dancin’ Fool named Hulio’ winning his storied fourth Indy 500. But since I have never been a Fan of Helio Castroneves, and Never, ever wanted this to occur, I’m choosing a different Oval race instead. As obviously it’s another biased choice, since it was where Pato O’Ward scored his Debutante IndyCar win on what you could say is his Home-track? Having grown up in San Antonio, Texas. Not to mention the win coming just some four days prior to his 22nd Birthday…

 

Other Choices

Gateway and Indianapolis

 

Twisties' Track Winner: Belle Isle Race-2

This is another “Biased” selection, But; This was the race of the year that “Electrified” Mwah the Most! Although it’s slightly faded from thou Memorex, I was absolutely amazed over how Patricio O’Ward went from P5, or was it Sixth/ To Overtaking Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden on worn Flinstone rubber to capture his second W’ of the season. As a Dejected Newgarden said afterwards of his Runner-up finish, what are you gonna do? Pato’s coming and He wasn’t gonna be Denied!

 

Other Choices

Cannot really think of any other than probably Road America, as how can you ever “Vote” against Road America, Eh?

 

4. Most Improved Team of the Year

Winner: Meyer Shank Racing

While I’d like to give this to somebody else. Begrudgingly I’ll give it to Mike Shank and “His” boyz’, since although I Don’t think Jack Harvey really had that great of a year, albeit “Getting A little Help from His Friends!” With some very Questionable Strategy Calls. And whilst apparently I’m one of the few who wasn’t happy for Hulio’s Breakthrough Forth Indianapolis 500 victory, Urgh! Nonetheless Castroneves gave MSR it’s very first IndyCar victory in the most Dramatic Fashion possible…

 

5. Most Disappointing Team of the Year

Winner: Andretti Autosport

Although ultimately Colton Big Shot! Herta tied Alex Palou for Most Wins of the season with three apiece, Herta was the only driver in Mikey A’s stable to win races, as I really expected at least for Alexander rossi to finally break out of his two-plus year Slump.

 

Obviously Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe season’s were “Busts,” especially thou Mayor’s, as it’s not really surprising that both are gone from Andretti now, not to mention the arrival of one new Engineer and another stepping up as Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco’s. As it’ll be interesting to see how new Andretti Autosport recruit Romain Grosjean and his Engineer Olivier Boisson push the rest of the Andretti Drivers this coming season… 

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

The 2021 IndyCar Golden Tailpipe Awards edition, Positions 6-10

More Amazing Selections from the Cheap Seats…

 

Otay Kiddoes’, once again your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso is on the “Back foot,” Uhm Playin’ Ketsup once again. With another rousing rendition of his yearly Unscientific Year ender Awards selections…

 

CATEGORIES 6-10

6. Most Improved Driver of the Year

Winner: Marcus Ericsson

Although you could argue that actually Alex Palou is the clear winner of this category, having gone from 16th Overall as a Rookie in 2020 at Dale coyne and company to Champion in 2021! Nonetheless I’m giving it to the Swede instead, since Marcus Ericsson has made steady improvements in each of his three IndyCar seasons to date.

 

Not to mention having a Breakout season by scoring his first two IndyCar victories, both in dramatic fashion and finishing sixth Overall. But the Hard part will be to improve upon this season in 2022…

 

7. Most Disappointing Driver of the Year

Winner: James Hinchcliffe

This one’s the hardest decision for Mwah in the Bottom Half of Ye Top 10 Categories. Since Thars multiple drivers who could easily fill-in here, i.e.; Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay or Felix Rosenqvist…

 

But I’m giving it to The Mayor of Hinchtown, even though I know James Hinchcliffe was suffering some sort of leg injury prior to season’s start that He would Never divulge. And I suppose the final three races of 2021 gave us a potential clue over how Hinch’s Fulltime return to Andretti Autosport would go, Eh?

 

And while fellow Andretti teammates Rossi and Hunter-Reay also fought the dreaded Cartoon Anvil All season long, Hinchcliffe’s season was just one long, painful whimpering lowly struggle for the former race winner, and a really Sad way to end his “Fulltime” IndyCar career!

 

8. Comeback Driver of The Year

Winner: Romain Grosjean

Yeah, sort of seems like the Frenchman shouldn’t be eligible for this category, since He was an IndyCar Rookie. Nevertheless, having seen the picture going viral of the Scar remaining on his Burned Hand from that Horrific Shunt in Bahrain! Y’all know when Romain’s Backmarker Haas Formula 1 chassis became a Roman Candle, Err Flaming chariot when Shearing in Half upon Striking the Armco barrier during the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix!

 

Thus, how could you Not choose Grosjean for Comeback Driver after his totally embracing a brand new Racing series in a new Country and effusing such Positivity at every single racetrack whilst driving for one of the Minnowesqe IndyCar teams…

 

9. "Big Boyz Pants" Award

Winner: Marcus Ericsson

This one seemed easy, since how can it go to Anybody else? Especially after how He won his second race of the year in such Dramatic fashion in ye “Music city!” Y’all know when Marcus Slammed into the back tyre of the Hapless Sebastien Bourdais, almost went Airborne and limped his damaged Dallara All the way around Nashville’s Downtown temporary Street circuit! Managing Not going a lap Down while replacing his front wing, to improveable winner in Nashville’s Debutante IndyCar race!

 

As I Luv’ the stories of All the Disgusted Swede’s who turned Thar Telie’s Off in the middle of the Night, only to discover the next morning Ericsson had miraculously Won! As what a Sweet victory for the likeable Pilote of the Huski Chocolate IndyCar, Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

 

10. Rookie of The Year

Winner: Romain Grosjean

Although Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin narrowly won the IndyCar Rookie Of the year (ROY) Championship. And I have Nothing against the Bad Arse Kiwi’ multiple SuperCars Champion.

 

You could argue He won this title largely due to finishing Runner-up in the Texas Motor Speedway’s Race-1, contesting three more events than Grosjean did, including the Double Points paying Indianapolis 500. Since McLaughlin ultimately won the ROY Crown by 33 points, after Grosjean had trimmed his lead down to a scant 21 markers.

 

But if you’ve been kind enough to read my No Fenders meandering the past year, then you already know that I was Rootin’ the entire season for Romain to win this Honour even though only running a limited IndyCar campaign.

 

As Grosjean Electrified Mwah with his performance on Mother Speedway’s Road Course, taking his maiden Pole position and scoring two Podium finishes Thar! Not to mention wowing Us with his exuberant passing demonstration during his Oval Debut at WWT Raceway, nee Gateway, albeit his finishing position doesn’t tell the whole story! Making it an Already decided choice for Mwah before I even began typing this… 

Monday, January 17, 2022

F1: Wolff Still Howling Foul Against FIA’s Masi!

As Toto still hasn’t picked up His overturned Sippee Cup He threw in Disgust at Yas Isle…

 

Last Wednesday, I listened to an ESPN Motorsports Headlines article via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service proclaiming that Herr Wolff was still Scalp Hunting a month after the Abu Dhabi F1 season finale!

 

As Toto Wolff seemed to have Demanded that Mercedes, and more importantly the return of his prized driver Sir Lewis, Err Golden child’, nee Lewis Hamilton, who’s still Disillusioned over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix outcome. And if FIA Race Director Michael Masi isn’t Fired sometime after his meeting with newly elected FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayen, then Hamilton probably won’t return, Boo Hoo Hoo!

 

As a Hard Core Formula 1 Fan from the States for over 35 years, when Formula 1 wasn’t considered popular in the U.S., it really bothers me that F1 now supposedly has solely grown so attractive due to the Net Flix Reality TV Series Drive to Survive, a la the Real Housewifes of Formula One, Spew!

 

But what really Burns Me is the constant Hissy Fits Toto, and his wife Susie Wolff have publicly if they Don’t get their way and that Mercedes Doesn’t Wins every single race, Err Drivers and Constructors Championships! As Boo Hoo Hoo Toto! Cry Me A River in your Sauerkraut!

 

As I’ve said before, I’m neither a fan of Maximus Hothead’, aka Max Verstappen or Hamilton, so I Don’t really feel like I’ve got a “Dog” in this Catfight, Meow! And All I can say to Sir Lewis, is Do It Buddy! Walk Away from Formula 1 and let the Young Guns have their  Day in the Sun!

 

Were the rules arbitrarily applied during the race’s finish? Absolutely, and I understand the Crux of Mercedes and toto’s consternation, But! For Mwah, this constant Whingeing On and On by Herr Wolff, along with his and Lewis’s absence from the FIA required attendance at the Prize Gala simply Pisses Me Off over their continued Poor Sportsmanship! Although predominantly Wolff’s, since Lewis seemed quite gracious in Defeat.

 

Meanwhile, Racer’s Chris Medland has rightly written how the FIA currently Doesn’t have the luxury of remaining Silent on this matter and needs to be as transparent about it as possible, which I wholeheartedly agree with. But the FIA cannot Fire Masi just because Herr Wolff Demands It after throwing his Sippee cup out of the Pram! As this would simply open up way too many problems of credibility for the Sport of Formula 1 and more importantly the creditability of the FIA as a Governing Body as a whole!

 

Since how long would it take for Red Bull’s Christian Horner to call for the same thing the next time a decision went against his prized pupil Mad Maxx? And do we really want Liberty Media, the owners of Formula 1 turning it into a reality show? Like F1 Viewers voting via Social Media and  saying Bring Us your Torch Masi, the Tribe Has Spoken…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2021/12/f1-abu-dhabis-cage-fight-ww-smackdown.html

 

Although I was initially confused when “Watching,” Err listening to the live broadcast of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix over the decision to only remove five of the eight lapped cars, which still seems completely against the current FIA regulations. I understand this move was simply, and I’d argue correctly made since the latter three Unlapped Backmarkers had No input into deciding the Drivers Championship. As I no longer remember All three of these “Victims,” with the only one I can recall being DannyRic’, aka McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who I Don’t know if this affected his final finishing outcome?

 

As Masi simply was trying to give the multi millions television audience what it wanted, a Showdown Finish “For the Ages!” Instead of the race finishing under a Safety Car procession, albeit that is how it should have ended. Or a Red Flag should have been thrown, albeit the ability to change tyres during a Red Flag seems to make this a muddled option…

 

Yet I’m still amazed how little is being said over Toto Wolff Badgering Masi to Not Bring Out A Safety Car during a previous “Dubious” situation that would have affected Mercedes as early as lap 38, for which I cannot remember if this was also at Abu Dhabi?

 

Thus for Mwah, what really Sticks in My Craw is Toto Wolff’s Arrogant, Pompous Self Promoting ways and throwing a tyrannical Tantrum if He Doesn’t Get His Way over every single, perceived Slight that comes his way…

 

So Put A Sock in It, Toto! 

Friday, January 14, 2022

The 2020 IndyCar Un-Golden Tailpipe Lockdown Awards edition

Nah, still No What Can Brown do for You Jokes here…

 

Yep Kiddoes’, it’s another Wailaid, Wacky round of selections by Mwah. Although with All of my Computer issues during 2020, I never originally chose my selections for No.s 1-4 below, which I’m just doing now belatedly. Whilst Y’all can compare ‘n contrast with the Uber Exciting 2019 Selections in the link below.

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2019/12/the-2019-indycar-golden-tailpipe-awards.html

 

WINNERS

2020 IndyCar Champion: Scott Dixon, New Zealand

2020 Indy 500: Takuma Sato, Japan

2020 Rookie Of the Year: Rinus VeeKay, Netherlands

 

CATEGORIES

1. Driver of The Year

Winner: Scott Dixon

Typically, I try Not choosing the obvious. Yet I suppose I never give the plain speaking, Under-assuming Kiwi’ his Due, Eh? Although I feel his brand new Engineer Michael Cannon definitely also deserves a Shout Out! As Dixon just serenely Blitzed the competition this season, winning the first three races in-a-row en route to his amazing sixth IndyCar Championship, and now only trails ‘Ol SuperTex’, nee A.J. Foyt for most IndyCar titles!

 

Vice Champion: Josef Newgarden

Think Josef Newgarden’s also worthy of this category, since the reigning IndyCar Champion never gave up, and gave Dixon a run for his money down the Championship Stretch, albeit coming up just 16 points short (537-521) of claiming Back-to-Back IndyCar Championships…

 

As both Dixon and Newgarden won the most races of the season at four apiece, as Dixon uncharacteristically went on a four race Slump, All on permanent road courses, i.e.: Mid Ohio and Indianapolis Road Course with finishes of 10-10-9-8. Although typically Dixon “Owns” Mid Ohio which made it Odd, but then again it was an Odd season! As Dixon claimed his sixth IndyCar title with a fine third place finish at the St Pete season finale.

 

2. Biggest Disappointment of The Year

Unfortunately, this one’s easy Y’all,as Can you Say COVID 19? As I know I was Disappointed after waiting another Gory 289 ridiculously L-O-N-G Days between Off-season’s, only for the St Pete season opener to be Postponed at the last minute! As March 13 is when All Hell Broke loose! And we All went into Full On Lockdown mode!

 

And it didn’t help that the season didn’t finally start until June 6th with a single day race outing at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by almost a month’s gap until restarting the season going racing on Mother speedway’s Infield Road Course on July 4th! Along with several races being cancelled, including All West Coast races, i.e.; Long Beach, Laguna Seca and Portland.

 

As yeah, I know this Pales in comparision to the now Over 800,000 Americans who have lost their lives to Covid! Which to put in perspective is 14 times More the number of American Casualties during the entire Vietnam War!

 

3. Race of The Year

Oval Track Winner: Indianapolis 500

Really? Does this even need discussing? And it’s perennially the best oval race of the year, even without Fans attending. But then again, Mother Speedway was going up against just three other Oval tracks, i.e.; Texas Motor Speedway with it’s diabolical PJ1 Traction compound! Iowa And Gateway, aka World Wide Technology Raceway. And with Taku-san’s staying up front. When the time came, Takuma Sato definitely “Attacked” race leader Scott Dixon and “Motored” off to his second Indy 500 victory!

 

Although I’d say that the ‘lil Bullring Oval in Newton, Iowa, i.e.; 0.875-mile Iowa Speedway’s Race-1 when Simon Pagenaud went from last to first was a pretty entertaining Oval race…

 

Twisties' Track Winner: Road America, Race 2

This one was what came up first on my fading Memorex. Since after all it featured my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward putting on a wonderful driving Clinique, after winning his maiden IndyCar Pole position before his worn out Firestone’s made it impossible to stop Felix Rosenqvist from scoring his maiden IndyCar win just a lap and a half from the finish!

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2020/07/indycar-oward-just-6-miles-short-of.html

 

4. Most Improved Team of the Year

Winner: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Originally this was a toss-up between Arrow McLaren SP (AMSP) and RLLR. But I’ll give the nod to Boobie Ruble and Company’s team for a few reasons, most notably finishing first and third at the Indianapolis 500!

 

And Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato finished P6-7 respectively Overall vs. AMSP’s Pato O’Ward fourth and Oliver Askew 19th.

 

Not to mention how we’re Not supposed to call ‘em SPAM Anymore! As the Powers to be at AMSP, or more specifically Sam Schmidt? Torpedoing Askew’s IndyCar career a la James Hinchcliffe’s Ugly Divorce! As you’d have to say that 2019 Indy Lights Champion Askew seemingly hasn’t recovered from being Tossed Out a la Red Bull’s Helmut Marco’s tossing his luke warm Bath Water…

 

5. Most Disappointing Team of the Year

Winner: Andretti Autosport

The easiest choice would have been Carlin, whilst A.J. Foyt Enterprises is also a yearly Contendah' for this Honor, but those are to Easy!

 

Instead I'll give Mikey A's Squad the Nod this year, since Really? Only scoring One Podium in the first Nine races courtesy 'O Alexander Rossi's third place finish at Elkhart Lake, during Road America’s Race-2. Then Rossi scored their second podium, being another third at Mid Ohio, Garnering them just two podiums in the season's first ten outings. As multiple Double Header races were instituted to make up for the multiple Covid 19 race cancellations…

 

Finally the Flood Gates opened at Round-11, when Colton 'Big shot! Herta led an Andretti 1-2-3 podium sweep at Mid Ohio’s Round 2 ahead of Rossi and Andretti teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay; Arse-sumedly Hunter-Reay’s latest podium? Being the first time Andretti cars locked-out the podium since the 2005 St Pete race won by Dan Wheldon, followed by Tony Kanaan, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta P4!

 

Then the team finally seemed truly "Switched On" at season's end, with Rossi claiming his fourth podium in-a-row during Mother Speedway's Harvest GP weekend, with second & third place finishes during the Double Header. And Herta scored P2 on Saturday.

 

But with five Fulltime entries, the most on the Grid. You'd have expected Decent results to occur sooner rather then later! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The 2020 IndyCar Un-Golden Tailpipe Lockdown Awards edition, Positions 6-10

As it’s another Belated round of Zany No Fenders End ‘O year frivolities once again, Far far Behind. As Run Run Rudolf indeedy!

 

Yeah Folks, I’m somewhat “Mailing this In!” As  I’m Not making too many excuses, but! Due to the myriad ‘O Confuzer issues I had during the year 2020 due to Covid 19 precluding Mwah from getting anybody to Help me in-person wrangle my litany of computing issues. Mainly  my Zoomtext 2020 Screen Reader not interfacing with my new Bitchin’ winDOUGHS 10 Puter’. Not to mention needing to learn two new “Operating” systems! Along with resorting to plugging back into my trusty ‘Ol Windows 7 Machine for a further eight Gory months before my new Wider Aint’ Better 24-inch monitor and SoundBar arrived on Back Order and were installed, it was simply A Nightmare Blah blah blah!

 

Thus, I’d only managed to form my initial thoughts for category #9, (below) No. 9, Numeral Nein, Oh Never Mind! And just chosen the respective winners for categories 6-8, 10 but hadn’t put any thoughts to why? So here goes Nothing!

 

Although if you’re Blind like your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso is, then this short 2020 IndyCar season review video really Doesn’t Help you too much! But Y’all may injoy it…

 

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

 

Categories 6-10

6. Most Improved Driver of the Year

Winner: Patricio O’Ward

Otay, this is completely Biased, since if you’ve read No Fenders the last few years, than Yuhs already know that Pato O’Ward is my current Numero Uno IndyCar Driver!

 

Initially I pondered choosing between Felix rosenqvist and The Great santini’, aka Santino Ferrucci. But in order to be “Improved,” one Arse-sumedly would need to improve upon his previous years standings, which neither did. With Rosenqvist dropping from sixth Overall to 11th, even though scoring his maiden IndyCar W’ at Road America, ironically ahead of O’Ward. With Ferrucci going P13 two years in-a-row. While I certainly didn’t See Felix becoming Pato’s future teammate…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2020/07/indycar-oward-just-6-miles-short-of.html

 

Could have Begrudgingly given it to Colton Herta who finished third Overall. But driving for the Satellite Andretti Squad, you’d expect him to finish more than five points ahead of Pato. (421-416)

 

Hence, O’Ward made more of an “Improvement” with the “Upstart” Arrow McLaren SP Team, formerly known as SPAM! Although it’s not really a fair comment, since O’Ward’s always had the talent, which is now totally Obvious following his 2021 IndyCar campaign. But Pato had to overcome being Droped by Harding Steinbrenner Racing in the 11th Hour of the 2019 IndyCar Pre-season. Then flushed out a partial season ride with Carlin after missing the St Pete season opener before “His” Funding Dried Up!

 

Then tried going to a Hopeful Formula 1 future with Red Bull via racing in Japan’s Super formula series and Formula 2, before it became apparent He wouldn’t be able to get the necessary FIA Superlicense due to there only being eight Fulltime Indy Lights competitorsduring his 2018 season, when he won the Lights title Ahead of IndyCar Media Darling Colton Herta…

 

Thus Zack Brown schrewdly signed the talented Mexican Open Wheel Racing Driver and the rest as they say, is History!

 

7. Most Disappointing Driver of the Year

Winner: Alexander Rossi

Initially thought of giving this “Award” to Zach Veach, but that, like picking on A.J. Foyt Racing or Carlin’s just plain too Easy! And it’s Not entirely Zach’s vault that He never managed to win an IndyCar race! Since arguably you’d have to say He was always gonna be P5 of the Andretti Armada’s Pecking Order.

 

https://racer.com/2020/09/28/miller-saluting-an-indycar-feel-good-story/

 

Thus, instead I gave it to Alexander Rossi, who even though eventually salvaged his season by pulling himself back up to finish Ninth Overall on the strength of four late, consecutive Podium finishes. Rossi’s season was punctuated by his uncharacteristically Spinning into the Barriers while leading the Season Finale St Pete race! And it’s just after his previous two Brilliant seasons, including a strong third Overall in 2019, you’d just expect more from that ever “Scowling” American Indianapolis 500 winner, Hya!

 

8. Comeback Driver of The Year

Winner: James Hinchliffe

Feel like this one’s sort of self explanatory, although you’d need to know the “Back Story.” As The Mayor of Hinchtown, aka James Hinchcliffe was very poorly Fired from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with a year remaining on his contract when Sam Schmidt and Rick Peterson decided to glom onto McLaren’s Dowry and switch to Chevrolet engines for 2020. And with Hinch’ being a longtime Honda Driver, with his strong ties to Honda of Canada, Hinchcliffe got the Shiv’ in his Backside!

 

Alas, after doing some TV Broadcasting work for NBC’s IndyCar coverage, James also wrangled up enough Sponsorship Dinero from Genesys to originally run three IndyCar races, most notably the Indy 500 before replacing the departing Veach at Andretti for the final three races, seeing the likeable Kuhnuck’ race six times when originally he was set to just sit on the “couch” since Schmidt Peterson Motorsports wouldn’t release him from his contract!

 

9. "Big Boyz Pants" Award

Winner: Rinus VeeKay

Guess this one should be Obvious? But for Mwah, hearing (Townsend) T-Bell' proclaim his nickname being Mozart! For his Scintillating Overtaking maneuvers, not to mention he's actually a Bloody “Count,” Hya! The award goes to Dutch phenom Rinus Van Kalmthout, who's politely taken the Alex Zanardi approach of shortening his name to make it easy for us Yanks' to pronounce.

 

10. Rookie of The Year

Winner: Rinus VeeKay

Yeah, I know that Felix rosenqvist, who I was rootin’ for over Colton “NBC LUV’ Fest” Herta actually won the IndyCar Rookie Of the year (ROY) Championship. And I used to be a Fan of the Swede’s, but may be it’s his Ice Cool Demeanor that’s faded upon Mwah?

 

Since I just found Rinus VeeKay to be the most exciting Rookie this year with his brazenly Bold passes! Punctuated by claiming his first IndyCar career Pole position and first IndyCar Podium at Mother Speedway’s October Harvest Grands Prix Race-1, finishing third behind Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi, definitely some “Heavy” company… 

Monday, January 10, 2022

IndyCar Drivers Set to ring in New Year’s at Rolex 24

As it’s a veritable Smorgasboard ‘O IndyCar talent interloping on Ye Day-toner’s High Banks before Thar season starts…

 

Welcome Back Y’all to another year’s No Fenders Scribblings, or as someone on Ye Intrawoods’ politely labeled it, Dribble! As it’s hard to believe that we’re only 48 Days away from the 2022 IndyCar season kicking off at St Petersburg on February 27th!

 

As the only “Fulltime” season ride without it’s Driver’s identity revealed prior to New Year’s was who’d be driving the Twisties’ portion of the calendar aboard Ed Carpenter Racing’s #20 entry? As the seat still seems up for grabs between incumbent Conor Daly or either Ryan Hunter-Reay or Jack Aiken, with nothing having been publicly divulged as of January 7th.

 

Meanwhile, early last December, Racer’s Marshall Pruett teased us All over how potentially nearly Half of the IndyCar Grid’s Drivers could be contesting this year’s fast approaching 24 Hours of Daytona over January 29-30, as here’s what I’ve gleamed so far for this year’s Rolex 24…

 

Prototypes

Guess I should begin with the reigning winner Wayne Taylor Racing and it’s No. 10 Acura. As Alexander Rossi will return just for the 24 Hours of Daytona this year before solely focusing upon Indy Cars, since it’s a Contract year for him. While Meyer shank Racing’s Helio Castroneves will Moonlight aboard MSR’s #60 Acura in this year’s Rolex 24. With MSR’s newest IndyCar recruit Simon Pagenaud, who has a wealth of Sports Car racing experience being confirmed as part of the team’s #60 entry’s Driver lineup January 3rd.

 

Not surprisingly, Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) Jimmie Johnson will return for another Go with Action Express Racing’s (AXR) second #48 Cadillac DPi VR for IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship’s four Endurance rounds, beginning with Daytona.

 

As Johnson’s teammates will once again be K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi, Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller and new recruit Jose Marie Lopez.

 

Staying with CGR IndyCar Drivers, naturally I’ll Arse-sume that Scotty “The Iceman 2.0” Dixon will be co-Driving one of Cheep’s two Cadillac entries, presumably the #01 entry with Renger Van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais…


LMP2

The most intriguing lineup for Mwah in the second tier LMP2 Prototypes category is the former IndyCar team DragonSpeed’s No. 81 entry, which features three Andretti Autosport Alumni. With former 2018 Indy Lights teammates Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta being joined by Andretti Autosport IndyCar Rookie Devlin DeFrancesco and which One Doesn’t look like the Others? Sports Car racer Eric Lux filling out the roster.

 

Racing Team Netherland naturally will field an All Dutch Driver’s lineup with Rinus VeeKay making his second Rolex 24 start. As Rinus will copilot the #29 Oreca LMP2 entry with former Despised Formula 1 Bad Boy Pilote Guido-the-Dutchman, aka Giedo Van der Garde amongst his other co-Drivers.

 

Saloons’

Top Jimmy’ (Vasser) and James Sully’ Sullivan’s Vasser Sullivan Racing affair, who runs the Factory Lexus GT Daytona (GTD) entries, will once again run it’s brace of Lexus RC F GT3’s, with the #12 in GTD and the famed No. 14 in the GTD Pro category.

 

As A.J. Foyt IndyCar Rookie Kyle Kirkwood will continue his Endurance Only Duties for VSR, sharing seat time with Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat.

 

And that’s just a look at All of the confirmed 2022 IndyCar Drivers who’ll be competing in this year’s Rolex 24, without commenting on Andretti Autosport’s #36 LMP3 entry, or United Autosports LMP2 entry, with the latter being Co-Owned by somebody named Zack Brown.

 

Other Possibilities

Current Andretti Autosport Newbie’ Romain Grosjean could possibly show up at Daytona? Whilst former Andretti Autosport Duo Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe are said to be exploring their Sports Cars options, albeit Hinch’ is seeking refuge in the GTD Saloon ranks.

 

And finally, Marshall’s wildest Scuttlebutt suggests that possibly ether of CGR’s Marcus Ericsson or even Alex Palou could be interested in one of Cheep’s two Caddy’ Prototypes drives…


Update

After putting this “Story to Bed,” Marshall Pruett reported that former CGR Sports Car Ace Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen would return for another go at this year’s Rolex 24 aboard the #02 Cadillac with it’s regular Drivers Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, plus Marcus Ericsson. Along with confirming that Scott Dixon and Alex Palou will join the #01’s crew of Renger Van der Zande and Sebastien Bourdais during the Endurance rounds. As I believe that Ericsson and Palou will be making their Rolex 24 Debuts.

 

But Magnussen will only drive for CGR at Daytona since he’s contracted as a Werks’ Peugeot FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) HotSchue’ for 2022 and beyond…