Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Barbershop Pic' - They're Off!

Indy Lights field getting ready to G-O Green. (The Tomaso Collection)
Indy Lights field getting ready to go thru last turn on pace lap at Barber Motorsports Park.

(Photo Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETZ')

INDYCAR: Clippings from The Barbers'

Just a few, brief clippings from Barber Motorsports Park's IndyCar weekend...

For now, I'll refrain from my travails as a Blind Word Hack' trying to S-E-E; Err guess where to point Thy Mouse to make the Live Timing & Scoring page work; ergo where the FREAKIN' Play Button is...

Since although I figured I-T out for the Indy Lights race, I was none too happy when apparently IndyCar pushed Qualie' ahead in fear of the impending weather to blindly search 'N search for the mouse to turn into a "Helping Hand" to click upon the Youtube box; URGH! Only to hear them in mid-interview with Zach Veach after round one of Qualifying had finished; ACK!

Enjoyed hearing Stefan Stork' Wilson in the booth with Mark Graveley' James and Davey Hamilton, as I agree with Davey's assessment over how the Wilson family's such a Class Act, who truly deserves not only his 2018 Indy 500 ride, but inclusion in this year's field too, if possible.

As IMS Radio Network's Pitlane reporter Rob "Some Heads Are Gonna roll!" Howden teased us with his speculation regarding his querying Ricardo Juncos on when they're gonna announce Kyle Kiser as one of their Indy 500 drivers. To which Juncos reportedly hinted that probably wouldn't happen...

Thus the intrigue continues ratcheting up, and listening to Stefan (Wilson) made me think how IndyCar needs to insert him into one of those seats as a reward for his allowing the biggest story in racing to happen!

Although I've got ZERO idea if Stefan's contractually obligated to Honda only driver status or not?

Quip of The Weekend
Most entertaining interview of weekend for Mwah, although I cannot do the Russian English accent justice here; Hya! Comes from The Mad Russian, Mikhail Aleshin who told IMS Radio Network Newby' Pitlane reporter Ryan Marie(?) just after qualifying seventh when asked how was his racecar set-up for the race? I Don't Know about Racecar, I only focus on qualifying so far...

Even better yet was Aleshin's response in regards to Sunday's possible weather conditions.

"One report say's Rain. One report say's Cold. We'll have to wake up in morning and see what weather is..."

Indy Lights Rolls On...
Dan Anderson, the president of Anderson Promotions, the Overseers of the entire Mazda Road To Indy (MRTI) ladder series not only was on hand, but gave the command for the field to start the Indy Lights 400th race.

Winner of the series inaugural race, was definitely a surprise, when 31 years ago the developmental "ladder" series was then called ARS, (American Racing Series) and powered by normally aspirated Buick V-6's with open velocity stack intakes...

For which I'll forever remember being amazed seeing these March 86 Wildcat chassis Buick's engines sporting bright yellow tennis-balls in them to prevent foreign objects being ingested!

Witnessing this on more than Juan' occasion when wandering the Paddock at my Hometrack, nee Portland International Raceway, (During a different lifetime...) which after nearly a quarter of a century of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART)  and Champ Car World Series (CCWS) series events on Father's Day weekend was abandoned; Thanks IndyCar!

Race No. 1, the 1986 Season Opener held on April 6th was won by Steve Millen at Phoenix International Raceway, where the Kiwi' had never raced upon an Oval before, winning for Truesports late owner Jim Trueman, the same year Bobby Rahal won at Indianapolis.

Race #100 winner was "Steady Eddie," aka Four times GP500 Motorcycle champion Eddie Lawson. Y'all remember that Lawson was a CART/PPG IndyCar rookie with Galles Racing in '96, the same year that some Italian Chap named Zanardi arrived in Americre and drove for Cheep' Ganassi, right?

Some Grandson of 'Ol SuperTex fondly known as Quattro', aka A.J. Foyt IV won Race #200.

And the Race 300 winner was actually on hand to present the Race #400 victor a special commemorative race trophy. As thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown, was his typical witty self in the post race interviews. As James Hinchcliffe said it makes him feel really old!

He can't believe it's already a hundered races since he won No. 300 at Long Beach, before  they talked to the winner, 17yr old Colton Herta, son of Bryan "High Speed Hurdles" Herta, co-owner of Andretti Herta Autosport, the defending Indy 500 winning team.

Crushing Defeat...
What can Yuhs say 'bout Will Power? As the Aussi' Done Checked Out on the field multiple times at thou Barber's, leading an astounding 60 of the race's 90 laps from Pole only to suffer the cruelty of having a rear tyre deflating rapidly, forcing him to pit from the lead!

Not sure why, but I became curious at just where the "Toowoomba Toranadoe" stood in the rankings for career Poles after notching his fourth in Alabama, knowing he's pecking away at his team-Mate Hulio', the Dancin' Fool's astonishing amount, since I thought I'd heard that Castroneves was P4 for career Pole positions somewheres', eh?

Thus, by my unofficial reckoning, since the information seems to be scarce upon this topic, Will Power and Helio Castroneves are now apparently tied for fourth overall with 46 Poles apiece, albeit think Power's done I-T in roughly half the races Castroneves contested?

As it appears that SuperMario', aka Mario Andretti leads this category with 67 career Poles, followed by A.J. Foyt with 53 and then "Uncle Bobby" (Unser) tenuously sits in P3 with 49 career Poles, which certainly Power will eclipse shortly...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

INDYCAR: Alonso Mania...

Typical brilliant, Dry Aussie' Wit from NBC Sports Network lead announcer Leigh Diffey, noting how Fernando's been A-L-L over the world, done everything Mate, but did you ever think you'd hear Welcome to Alabama...

Yeah, I know some will say it's not a big deal; Yada-yada-yada, and that I'm easily swayed, but; the more I get to hear Fernando's exuberance over his truly unique opportunity to race in this year's Indianapolis 500,  the more I'm really, really intrigued over the whole Fernando Coming to Americre' project.

Even better yet, the depth of access us 'lil people, the Fans are being given to Fernando Alonso's Indy 500 experience is GURR-REAT!

Case in point, albeit it's pretty long, over 20mins or more Me Thinks, since my screen saver kicked in about two-thirds thru. But how FREAKIN' COOL! To get to watch; Err listen to the entire Fernando Alonso Alabama IndyCar Press Conference via Racer magazine posting the video of the live conference, which I highly recommend watching!

The Funniest part of the whole affair was Fernando's wry humour over Nobody talks in Formula 1 regarding the drivers! Along with his good natured Dig at past Formula 1 competitor Juan Pablo Montoya being at the front?

Also from the press conference, I learned that Fernando's Driving Coach will be none other than Gil de Ferran, who's got deep links with Honda, having once been their Formula 1 team's Sporting Director. Not to mention that the 2003 Indy 500 winner certainly knows his way round Mother Speedway.

While I also came away very impressed by Zack Brown, who I've never been a believer of before, as he sounded very frank, honest and what I really enjoyed was how he seems to not forget anybody, making sure to mention McLaren Honda rookie F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne when talking about the McLaren Honda team.

as I find this level ofAttenzione 'O Detail quite refreshing. Even if it's a page out of el Capitano's' (Roger Penske) playbook; he seems way more open than his predecessor...

Monday, April 24, 2017

INDYCAR: When's a McLaren Not a McLaren?

Kiwi' sticker on Johnny Rutherford's real McLaren-Offenhauser IndyCar. That be a Deckle' of a kiwi bird, not a can of shoe polish Mates! (The Tomaso Collection)
While I'm quite excited over the recent, startling development of Fernando Coming to Americre' for this year's Indy 500, I find I-T a teeny-weeny-itsy-bitsy annoying of thou ceaseless droning on 'bout McLaren returning to Mother Speedway for the first time in 38-years.

Although I suppose this McLaren Hoodwinkery's NOT nearly as BAD as that whole sorrid, laughable Lotus IndyCar affair, eh?

As Y'all recall when ironically, Fernando Alonso's 2017 Andretti Autosport Stable-mate Taku-san', nee Takuma Sato drove the No. 5 adorned in iconic British Racing Green with yellow stripe finery as the Lotus Cosworth in 2010 for KV Racing Technology. Which was actually a Dallara Honda IndyCar underneath it's snazzy paint job.

Then KVRT XP Calladrocious' upped its ante; Err paycheque from the Lotus Cars Pied Piper Dany Bahar, as Kevin "Smiley Face" Kalkoven, co-owner of Cosworth gladly rebranded his IndyCar squad as KVRT Lotus, which not only saw Sato continuing in the "Green Car," but TK' Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan running the No. 82 in thou eponymous JPS Black & Gold livery, with E.J. "What, Me Worry?" Viso providing comic relief for the three car entity.

Yet as we A-L-L know, the Wheels came off the whole Lotus IndyCar menagerie in 2012, when the Lotus-by-Judd powerplants failed to live up to expectations, leaving HVM Racing holding the bag with the underpowered Luddi' lumps, with "symona-Symona" (de Silvestro) enduring a miserable season graciously, while "Mean Jean" Alesi  get's an undeserved rap for his lone Indy 500 outing for the Fan Force United Dallara Powered-by-Lotus entry's slowness; but I digress...

As I'm NOT implying that McLaren Cars Limited will meet the same tumultuous fate as Lotus Cars suffered underneath the grandiose visions of Messer Bahar,

Nor am I trying to compare Zachery Brown with "Zany Dayny!" Along with not wishing for this to occur at Wokin! But you've got to wonder if this could be the beginning of McLaren's demise?

Whilst I-T appears to Mwah, which is never a good position for a Formula 1 Team to be in, or company, that McLaren Honda needs Alonso more than visa-versa at the moment, with the exception that surely "Fredrico Suave" wants the entirety of his allege $32m salary remaining for 2017!

And Good On Yuhs Mate! As Stefan Wilson graciously put aside his ambitions for 2017 whilst holding the keys to one of the vaunted Hondre' rides at Mother Speedway this May, reputedly the final Honda engine lease available, which Starship HC's Grand Pooh-Bah Mark Miles touches upon in his lively interview with 'Ol R', aka IndyCar Soothsayer Robin Miller.

While as typical, thou Mayor 'O Hinchtown, nee James Hinchcliffe had the best reply upon the shocking news of Fernando coming to 16th & Georgetown this May...

And while ARSE-Sumedly the Rage; Err Debate will ramble on awhile longer, presumably up to race day; May 28th, I for Juan' am totally happy with this very unique One-Off the :Powers-to-Be" at McLaren have granted their prized star Fred Alonso. Along with his willingness to jump at the opportunity!

As I-T truly is a WIN-WIN for Open Wheel Racing Fans on both sides of thou Puddle! Especially if I-T Steals some of Dat' other Bullying Roundy-round series thunder! Since it should be utterly fascinating to see how Fernando gets on vs. 32 other drivers wishing to fair comparably to this F1 Double world champion on Indy Cars largest stage...