Friday, March 30, 2007

Testing in Malaysia

In case you thought the F1 teams were laying low during the three week hiatus between races… “Formula 1 NEVER Sleeps!”

The teams have just completed a three day test at the Sepang circuit prior to the upcoming race. For testing results see: Day 1 Report; Day 2 Report; Day 3 Report.

Champ Cars Easter Basket getting Fuller

Perhaps Champ Cars co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven will pull a proverbial “Rabbit out of his Hat” and manage to have a “Full” grid “Just-in-Time” for Easter. With just one week to go until Champ Car begins its 2007 season we’re finally hearing some of the Really-Really-Really “Big” announcements Kalkhoven promised us. Of course there’s still plenty of Easter eggs and chocolate Bunnies to find as Champ Car still has NOT conjured up a pathetically weak field of 17 entries for “Los Wage$.” Nevertheless, here are some of the latest announcements…

Minardi confirms drivers
Minardi Team USA has announced their two car driver line-up for the 2007 season just days prior to the Las Vegas season opener.

Not surprisingly Robert Doornbos, who’s been flush with bag loads of Kroners, has been confirmed to one of the team’s seats.

Yet the choice for second driver was a little surprising, as the seat went to “Speedy” Dan Clarke instead of Nelson Philippe.

Meanwhile look for the team’s third driver, Zsolt Baumgartner to be the primary pilot of the two seater F1, Err Champ Car that will appear at several venues this year…

Dominguez returns to Forsythe
Talk about the desperate times in Champ Car… As Forsythe has decided to take the driver it spurned last year as “Sand Dune” Tracy’s teammate.

Mario Dominguez who was fired after punting Tracy off track twice last year was unceremoniously “FIRED” at the beginning of the 2006 season. This led to the ultimate round robin of AJ Almendinger’s move to Forsythe. Cristiano da Matta moving to RuSPORT and Dominguez being sent to Dale Coyne.

Dominguez then moved to the faltering Rocketsports for the remainder of the season and now has once again been given a reprieve at Forsythe…

Interestingly the deal seems to be only firm for the first three races, with major sponsorship coming from Mexico, where Forsythe has several business interests including promoting the Mexico City event…

“R Sports” alliance announced
Although it has previously been mentioned that RuSPORTS and Rocketsports were combining forces for the upcoming season, the alliance has now been formally announced.

The two squads, who’ll only be campaigning single car efforts for the 2007 season, tried a technical partnership arrangement at the final pre-season test at Laguna Seca.

Justin Wilson and Alex Tagliani seemed to work very well together and now appear to be one of the strongest driver pairings for the upcoming season…

Rahal confirmed at N/H/L
Although this has to be one of the worst kept secrets in the Champ Car paddock, Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has finally confirmed American “hot-schue” Graham Rahal as Sebastian Bourdais teammate…

So with a ground swell to 14 Champ Car drivers confirmed for the upcoming season, who will fill in the remaining seats? Stay Tuned to see if Champ Car can muster up more than 17 competitors, as Kalkhoven’s claims of 22-24 entries seems a “Hair” optimistic…

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Redlining an ENZO (Part 2)

OK, even though its truly not racing news per say I couldn’t help but write about the blunderings of comedian Eddie Griffin writing off a Ferrari ENZO. And now a friend has sent me the following video link of the “accident.”

And I really hate to say this, but after watching the video twice, complete with COMMERCIAL… It totally appears to be a publicity stunt…

In what seemed like a surreal scene out of the Fast ‘N Furious Tokyo
Drift movie, Griffin casually says to the camera’s: “Should I go around again?”

And the cars owner seems a little too non-chalant about loosing an extremely RARE Ferrari! On top of this they managed to total two half million dollar Porsche Carrera GT’s in the making of the film. So that’s approx. $2.25 million dollars in destroyed vehicles just to make a movie…

To watch Griffin’s “cameo” DEMOLISHING of an ENZO, see: Griffin “Keeps Day Job!” CBS Video

To read more about Ferrari ENZO happenings, see: Redlining an ENZO

New Aston Martin owners on the Prowl?

Interestingly the majority shareholder of recently purchased Aston Martin from the Ford Motor Co, known as the consortium Dar is rumoured to be potentially eyeing other British business interests to snap up.

Apparently David Richards is merely the “front-man” for the new look Aston Martin company, since Dar owns a 50% controlling interest in the venture…

Miller’s Milk Duds

Although I saw the “clip” of Milka Duno’s press conference where she made her big splash announcing her plans to race in the Indy Racing League this year at Homestead. Robin Miller is not impressed one iota about this…

And I hope Miller is wrong about Duno’s abilities for her sake, as he paints a pretty bleak picture about Duno’s driving prowess along with some pointed jabs towards her lack of seat time.

Not only is Milka another pretty face, but it’s pretty sad to think that Duno is a “schue-in” for Rookie of the Year in the IRL, since she’ll become the series only rookie when she competes. I hate to think that this is part of the motivation for the timing of her arrival?

Is “Ronnie” (Tony) George really that desperate for participants? Or is he simply taking a page out of “RASSCAR’s” play book by going for the Latin American crowd? (A la MAC Montoya)

And talk about your soap opera potential… How will the media find enough time to fawn over Milka, Danica and what’s her name? Err, Sarah Fisher, during the month of May…

Meanwhile Miller has reported another interesting rumour regarding Buddy Rice. Miller claims that Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven has requested that Rice partake in the series first two events which don’t conflict with the IRL’s schedule. Yet nobody knows who Rice is driving for…

And I certainly hope that this will not deny one of the countless unemployed Champ Car drivers from getting a full time drive…

Williams to avoid Customer Controversy

Although I previously pondered whether or not Williams would join Spyker who is taking the matter of customer car chassis to arbitration, apparently “Talk is Cheap.”

While I thought that Sir Frank (Williams) would keep a “Stiff Upper Lip: and join the legal proceedings. I mean whatever happened to “In for a Penny, in for a Pound.” Or would that be a pence or farthing Sir Frank?

And I wonder if there may have been any pressure from the Far East put upon the Grove squad? Williams has just announced that they will not join the fight, leaving Spyker to proceed alone in the matter of customer chassis.

What’s next? Does this mean that Toyota will be campaigning re-badged Williams race cars in ’08? Talk about you’re reverse engineering…

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Redlining an ENZO

why do these stories about Ferrari ENZO’s being destroyed by novice drivers keep appearing in the mainstream media? (Something to do with the price of the vehicle. Or the lifestyles of the “Rich ‘N Famous?”)

First there was the “stolen” ENZO crashed while going airborne after hitting a bump in the road on Pacific Coast Hiway. Stefan Eriksson managed to impale the ENZO that he claimed to be a passenger in, into a telephone poll at approx. 162mph…

Turns out that the Eriksson couple had a shady past from Switzerland and both the ENZO and a Mercedes Benz SLR were actually owned by a Scotish bank with the SLR having been reported stolen. The SLR was recovered when Eriksson’s wife was stopped for a traffic infraction only days after the ENZO incident…

Awakening to the early morning news, I was chagrined to hear that another ENZO had bitten the dust. Apparently comedian Eddie Griffin DEMOLISHED an ENZO yesterday while practicing for an upcoming charity event, in part to promote his new movie “Redline.” Must be nice to be able to TOTAL somebody else’s ENZO…

And while the rare ENZO’s seem to be quickly disappearing from roadworthy condition, comes word that another mega-buck owner has decided to “customize” his 2003 ENZO. Spending upwards of $4 million to have Pininfarina craft it into a “one-off” modern day Ferrari P3/4.

Why would you do that to such a valuable automobile?

For more Automotive frivolities, see; Redlining an ENZO (Part 2)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Take a seat Schuey

And the accolades continue to pour in for Michael Schumacher, who’s to be given his own seating section at the Nurburgring. Well ok the track is actually naming a grandstand after him instead…

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Fool on the Hill

OOPS! I have to admit that I must have been desperate for some motor racing action… As I was writing about Milka Duno’s big announcement, I thought to myself, hey those chaps should be on the “tele” by now…

And all I could think of as I sat down to GULP! Watch the IRL season opener on a Saturday evening was Bruce Springsteen’s” “There was 57 channels and NOTHING ON!”

So I got a really good laugh as the race was RAIN Delayed for 72 minutes… And how the announcers kept trying to build up the start any moment now. Of course they had to talk about you know who… (For those of you who can’t guess. It was time for more “Danica Mania!” Yet I found it amusing that Danica was starting five places behind the other female. Sarah Fisher was slotted in 8th, while Danica was the SLOWEST of the four AGR (Andretti Green Racing) entries in 13th…

And it was funny how the more things change; The more things stay the same as the announcers tried building up all of the usual story lines. Will Danica finish higher then 4th? Will Marco (Andretti) win the race… Announcer: “I’ve been saying all winter long, He’s a contender.” Can anybody beat the Red and White cars? (Ganassi & Penske) Hey Jack (Arute) has a first. He’s got both Chip Ganassi and Roger Penske together…

Interestingly Ganassi made a frank comment about how they’d like to see the two series get back together (Champ Car & IRL) in the future, which could really turn around Open Wheel racing. Then Jack had to ask “whose Jet is faster?”

Yet I found it disappointing that the IRL’s self promoted pitchman Gene “I AM INDY” Simmons wasn’t anywhere in sight or one of the interviewees… And good riddance as Rusty “Left Turn Only” Wallace wasn’t in the broadcast booth!

Continuing with the “filler” interviews was AJ Foyt who is celebrating his 50th season in motor racing this year and was the Grand Marshall of the race. And I had to ponder as AJ drawled on ‘bout his driver Darren Manning, what did “Super Tex” think about “All ‘O duh fuss over Danica?” Recall that AJ was instrumental in getting the very first female an Indy Car ride some 30 years ago. Does anybody remember Janet Guthrie?

And it was fitting that they “segwayed” from one legend to another as the next interviewee was Mario Andretti… Who of course was full of nothing but praise for his grandson Marco.

And then AJ said “Ladies and Gentlemen, Start your Engines!” And I found it hilarious that the team sponsored by Ethanol was starting both of its car’s on the final row of the grid.

Apparently Bobby Rahal’s squad had interpreted the rear wing rules differently then the rest of the entire field and the IRL scrutinizers didn’t agree with their interpretation…

Talk about egg on your face as this was the very first 100% Ethanol powered race in the IRL’s history along with Ethanol being the races co-title sponsor… And while I see nothing wrong with running on “Switch Grass ‘N Stuff,” the Ethanol “hype” seems a bit too politically motivated to me…

Yet I did find it interesting that the IRL has gone to a new smaller 22 gallon fuel cell due to Ethanol’s increased gas mileage. Also it was pointed out during the races first caution on lap 8 that these racing cars can get up to 12 mpg during a caution flag period. “Quick, where’s Danica now?”

Back to action and wow, something’s really wrong with Marco! He’s way off the pace exclaimed ABC’s announce team. “Marco’s only running laps of around 186 (mph) while the leaders are running about 209! And then Marco parked his racing car and later spouted that was the scariest race car I’ve ever driven in my life!

Then on lap 66 the second caution flag flew for another rain delay… Back to racing and Dan Wheldon is just motoring along out front, nobody can touch him. And then time for our first accident after showing Tomas Scheckter fist waving at Marty “Can’t Keep Up” Roth…

It was amusing to hear Scott “Don’t pass that pace car” Goodyear… (What NOT to do when you’re leading at The Brickyard!) proclaim that Wheldon who’d commented about his car going loose could actually feel Sam Hornish Jr. messing with his “Hair,” err, “Air” by sucking up directly behind him. Hornish is learning from his Busch Series experiences*?) About taking the wind off of a competitor’s rear spoiler…

It was also pointed out that it was Hornish’s 100th start and he’d notched 18 victories in that time frame. Yet he probably wouldn’t be getting No. 19 tonight! Only three drivers have won more races in their first 100 starts: AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti and Rick Mears. Which is some pretty good company to be joining…

And yet during the races latter pit stops both Hornish and Wheldon had uncharacteristic problems. Hornish stalled in the pits while Wheldon had a wheel nut dropped. “Where’s Danica now?”

Oh DAMM! Danica “MUFFED” it coming in for her final pit stop. Trying to slow down to the 60mph pit lane speed limit, Danica locked the rear wheels, looped it and smacked the pit wall Jersey barrier! Round 1: Sarah Fisher finished 11th; Danica 14th. (Marco 20th)

Meanwhile Wheldon carved thru the field from ninth to first in 11 laps and ran away from the rest of the field. And who said that it would be any different? Once again Ganassi and Penske “waxed” the field…

You know it’s a sad day when a die-hard Champ Car fan watches an entire IRL race… Well OK, I had the TV on the whole time, even if I was busy gallivanting about. And I’m afraid that Champ Car will lay a rotten egg on Easter in “Los Wage$” since they still DON’T have a full field! Think I’d better stick with Formula 1 instead, eh?

I wonder what Robin Miller will have to say about this doozey of a motor race…

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Milka makes Three

And while my counterparts make jabs about media over-exposure possibly crushing certain Rookie drivers chances for success. Comes word that Milka Duno has been confirmed as the third female driver to join the IRL…

Yep, that’s right… Three females fighting for top honours at The Brickyard this Memorial Day Weekend… So move over Danica, Milka’s coming… Or perhaps Milka and Sarah Fisher will tag team her?

And Duno has some pretty serious sponsorship money behind her, as her team’s primary sponsor is CITGO. Then again how much does it really cost to put together a partial season competing in the IRL?

Indy Cars roar to life

OK, is it just me, or is it a slow news day when various Formula 1 websites are dribbling on ‘bout the Indy Racing League… Of course it’s good to have the Open Wheel machines back in action, giving us something else besides “RASSCAR!”

And as I’ve mentioned before, both the IRL and Champ Car need to come to their senses as both of the beleaguered Open Wheel racing entities continue to struggle to put together quality fields… Or for that matter quantity…

Meanwhile Art (Carney?) apparently has “Only Eyes for Danica!” C’mon, comparing Danica Patrick to Lewis Hamilton? Is anybody else seeing a problem here? I mean isn’t Danica much better looking!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sebring Recap

And while the majority of the weekend’s attention was focused upon the Formula 1 barn burner “Down Under,” the ALMS kicked off its season this past Saturday in Florida with the 55th running of the Sebring 12 Hours.

Once again the all mighty Audi turbo diesels were at the sharp end of the podium, while the LMP2 class was taken by a Honda “nee” Acura over the mighty Porsche Spyders.

And while there’s nothing to write about the GT1 category, (Other then it didn’t pay to be driving the Artic White Ron Fellows tribute Corvette…) the GT2 fight for class victory was an epic battle between Ferrari and Porsche. What better way to start your wind-up for Melbourne by watching the final moments of Sebring?

And what an amazing finish it was between the Risi Competizione and Flying Lizard entries. As these two competitors went “Hammer and Thong’s” the final lap… The Ferrari F430GT claimed victory by the narrowest of margins!

To read the full coverage of the Sebring weekend, see: Sebring Qualifying report and Sebring Race report.

If you’re interested in watching the door banging action of the GT2’s last lap, you can check this action out by viewing the video “clip” Sebring 24 hours… Hey don’t ask me why they called it the 24 hours of Sebring. Perhaps they have the 24 Heurs du Mans on their minds?

Flexi-Gate (Round 2?)

Is Ron Dennis a sore looser, or is he just playing the traditional mind games of Formula 1? It appears that Dennis has made an informal complaint to the FIA about Ferrari possibly having a moving floor?

This of course would be illegal and seems to fall into the realm of last years flexible wing issue that Ferrari fell afoul of. Dennis claims there are several cars within this category of flexible floor movement, yet only time will tell…

Night Racing in OZ?

Although the afterglow of another successful Australian Grand Prix is fast dissipating into the sunset, I find it interesting that the idea of hosting a Formula 1 night race is already being floated about by Australian media “Down Under.”

Herbert joins Aston Martin

After two years in the “Hinterlands” as Midland F1’s Sporting Director, Johnny Herbert has made the switch back to motor racing.

Herbert along with two other ex-Formula 1 drivers has been announced as part of Aston Martin’s GT1 driver line-up for its two car effort at The 24 Heurs du Mans this summer.

Spyker lobbies Protest

As previously mentioned, Spyker F1 submitted a formal protest against Super Aguri F1 on Friday practice in Melbourne over the thorny issue of chassis cloning.

The protest was denied by the Melbourne race stewards whom claimed it was an FIA issue. Therefore Spyker has promised to go to arbitration upon the Formula 1 circus beginning its European rounds.

It is believed that Williams also supports the Spyker position but its unknown how the other Constructors feel towards this matter. Yet BMW Sauber’s Dr. Mario Theisen has been fairly outspoken against the notion of customer chassis.

Stay tuned to find out how Bernie & Max will gloss over this issue. Will there simply be an exchanging of funds or will the little “Minnows” go to court?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Coulthard’s Red Wings

Did you see the unbelievably STUPID overtaking maneuver that David Coulthard tried on Alexander Wurz with just eight laps remaining in the Australian Grand Prix. I’m thinking this isn’t one of Red Bulls planned for product endorsements…

I have just seen the incident in pause mode on the old VCR and talk about Jimi Hendrix’s lyrics “Tire Tracks ALL Across your Back!” It is utterly amazing to see an entire Formula 1 car cross completely OVER the nose of another with the actual wheels passing mere inches from the unsuspecting driver.

And it’s even more amazing that the extremely lanky Austrian’s crash helmet wasn’t impacted. Even more interesting was seeing Wurz’s quick reactions as he pulls his hands off of the steering wheel as DC goes crashing by!

I enjoyed Steve Matchett’s comments onWind Tunnel, stating that DC is frustrated… The Red Bull cars aren’t exactly living up to all of the hoped for performance of an Adrian Newey design and DC is frustrated as the sun is setting on his racing career…

Yet all I can say is, Smooth Move DC!

”ANT” not Backing Out

Anthony Davidson who was taken to hospital after completing his maiden Grand Prix for Super Aguri, appears to be ok after back spasms incurred from the massive hit taken when Adrian Sutil’s Spyker ran into him. Of course this incident wasn’t nearly as stunning as ‘ol DC’s manic attempt to overtake Alexander Wurz…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BC Museum Honours Moore

Although the “Hoser’s” Up North got rid of an extremely popular money making Champ Car event. Placing the 2010 Winter Olympics ahead of motor racing, a new exhibit has just opened at the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

Racing fans will now be able to check out the Greg Moore exhibit in the Vancouver, BC museum, which features tons of the Canadian’s memorabilia…

Philippe and F1?

In another not so promising development for Champ Car, comes report that Nelson Philippe has been spotted perusing the Melbourne paddock in search of some sort of Formula 1 drive.

This is very disturbing since Philippe is definitely one of Champ Cars “rising stars,” yet do to the current lack of funding dollars available for Open Wheel drivers, Philippe is searching for a ride…

Standing Starts postponed for now

Although Champ Car had hoped to debut its new standing start feature at the season opening “Lost Wages” race, after much fumbling during the recent practice the idea has been postponed for the time being.

Seems that of the Champ Car drivers who were present, many were stalling the cars due to troubles modulating the revs prior to mashing the “loud” pedal. Also Champ Car noted that there wasn’t a full grid of drivers participating at Laguna Seca and they don’t want egg on their face at the Vegas Grand Prix due to a reduced entry grid…

Open Wheel Notes

GASP! This weekend marks the start of the Open Wheel Racing season with the IRL striking the first blow with a night race at Homestead, Miami.

Unfortunately the IRL seems to have more “Joe-Mentum” then Champ Car at the moment. And straight from the “Horses Mouth,” Robin Miller is reporting that the IRL’s “Little Toot” (Beck Motorsports) will field a single car entry at Homestead. And the driver will be Alex Barron who spent last year in the Champ Car Atlantics trying to capture the $2 million prize.

Meanwhile Miller notes that Gerry Forsythe appears to be getting ready to field a second car upon the news that RuSPORT has joined forces with Rocketsports and both teams will only be fielding single car efforts. I’ll guess that Nelson Philippe will land the seat? He seems to be one of the best candidates, unless Forsythe is strickly going for dinero…

And David Phillips has also written lately about Champ Car needing to step up to the plate, as it seems to be possibly “Sink or Swim” time. See Phillips story: Tough Love.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heidfeld to run Nordschleife

Interestingly Nick Heidfeld is set to run a BMW Sauber F1.07 around the famed “Green Hella” next month. This will be the very first time a Formula 1 car has circumnavigated the 14.7 mile historic track since Niki Lauda’s fiery crash…

Spyker strikes Oil

And the Spyker team continues its ever expanding portfolio of team sponsors with the additions of two Abu Dhabi companies. Etihad Airways and Aldar.have joined the multitude of Dutch backers.

Of course it doesn’t hurt when you’re partially owned by Middle East concerns, which I’m sure have something to do with this latest development…

F1: Australia Sound Bites - 2007 edition

Ah, aren’t those the coolest racing cars on the planet? And what a thrilling first race of the season.

Here are a few interesting “sound bites” gleamed from the SPEED channel’s TV coverage during the past weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Friday Notes
During the second practice session Peter Winsor commented on how the Honda F1 factory team has paid the agency seeking sponsorship deals for the past 15 months a retainer of $200,000 per month to come up with “Nothing.”

Winsor wanted to know David Hobbs opinion on the “Eco-Friendly” livery? Hobbs commented that he definitely had the wrong job as Bob Varsha chimed in that he’d have done the work for half the retainer…

McLaren spent $2 million on its 2007 “glitzy” launch in Valencia…

And in the wake of cost cutting, it was pointed out that with the No Engine grid spot penalty for Friday’s practice sessions. Renault is now bringing eight engines per weekend, up from the squad’s previous five per outing…

Saturday Notes
Once again Peter Winsor was on form with his sarcastic comments towards the plight of the Honda factory team. Winsor noted that there was a joke already making the rounds about how the Honda and Super Aguri would swap chassis for the second race in Malaysia…

After Button failed to move on to the “P3” final knock-out qualifying session, Winsor noted that cynics in the pit lane were already noting how “Jense’s” failing to make the top ten was actually a good thing. That way Honda was saving about 30 kilos of petrol which figured in nicely with their new “Planet Earth” scheme…

With both Honda’s failing to make the top ten, while both “Super Best Friends” outqualified their “Big Brother’s” and “Taku”
(Takuma Sato) notched Super aguri’s first ever foray into P3 qualifying, the ugly rumours over chassis cloning flared up once again.

Matchett noted that Williams was prepared to file legal action against three teams that it felt were grossly “illegal.” These are the teams that have been in question all winter long: Super Aguri, Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing. Varsha noted it’ll be interesting to see how the other teams feel towards this issue…

And the “Iceman” is so cool. Upon Kimi Raikkonen securing his first pole for Ferrari in his very first team outing, Winsor noted that Kimi was the first driver to accomplish the feat since Juan Manuel Fangio had done so in 1956, a mere 51 years ago…

More Walkinshaw Magic

The former scourge of Formula 1, Tom Walkinshaw is once again at the center of another racing controversy. You may recall Walkinshaw’s bungled handlings of the now defunct Arrows F1 team.

Now comes word that Walkinshaw has apparently broken the rules in Australian V8 Supercars by supposedly owning two teams…

And although the Holden team has since been allowed to compete for the time being, there has been considerable grumbling due to the lack of support races this weekend in Melbourne. This included the lack of a V8 Supercar race for the first time in several years…

Friday, March 16, 2007

Matchett slams spec chassis

Steve Matchett correctly “prattled” on about the still smoldering row over the customer car controversy, pointing out how Williams and Spyker are spending millions to produce their own chassis and why should another constructor be able to simply buy their way to the top? (Such as Prodrive in 2008)

Interestingly the Super Aguri outpaced its “big Brother” Honda “works” team on Friday. And jokes were made about how “Jense” and Rubens might wish to return to last year’s RA106, which the Super Aguri SA07 essentially is a copy of…

And while I certainly don’t want to see Formula 1 regress into a “suto spec-series” a la Champ Car, I think that the stink over customer chassis is a bit funny. Recall that there were actually two McLaren teams racing in identical equipment in 1972 as the Yardley Team McLaren served as a “secondary” squad with driver’s Denny Hulme, (1967 World Champion) Chris Amon and Peter Revson.

Also Pete Lovely as an example campaigned year’s old ex-works chassis as a Privateer. Or what about the Cosworth era? Did this water down the grid? Yet I strongly agree with Matchett’s opinion that one of F1’s virtues is that each Constructor has to build and race its own chassis…

Is this simply another changing of the guard in Formula 1 as Bernie and Max thoroughly enjoy upsetting the apple cart. I presume that some sort of “compromise” will be made. Most likely in a last minute rules “tweak.”

Ahoy Mate

I found myself trying to figure out what Steve Matchett was clambering on about in regards to F1 team’s keel designs. What? I thought I was watching the Formula 1 practice session, not the America’s Cup.

During one of his pit reports, Peter Winsor brought up the topic of the team’s front suspension designs. And “Professor” Matchett said: “Yes that’s right Peter. Even Ferrari is running a Zero Keel now. In fact everybody is running the Zero Keel except for Renault who’s still using its V-Keel.”

So what the HELL is all of this Keel speak about? This terminology refers to the design layout of how the front suspension mounting points are attached to the chassis. I believe the fad of “Twin Keels” began at Arrows. This involved splitting the traditional single solitary connection of the lower wishbones to attach directly to each side of the monocoque in a desire to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Yet the “Big” teams shied away from this initially.

Then everybody except Ferrari went to this layout, with Ferrari’s ex-Technical Director Ross Brawn claiming that they hadn’t seen any appreciable gains in the wind tunnel. Yet Ferrari’s new design team has incorporated a Zero Keel layout for the new F2007.

So if you’re still unclear about all of this Keel-speak, check out these illustrations for: Zero Keel and V-Keel.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Parade Lap


HOT DAMM! Time to put away the snow shoes. Can you believe that its time to kick off another Formula 1 season? And I must say that this one will be quite different with the departure of Herr Schumacher.

I’ve spent the whole winter reading various pundits’ predictions of who’ll be the driver/chassis to beat. I have purposely tried to stay unmoved over the weekly scribbling's of the Winter Olympics, a phrase used for F1’s winter testing times...

Yet I must agree that the Ferrari’s look quite quick, along with the McLaren. Renault and BMW-Sauber have also spent time at the front of the pack and I expect the season to be much more closely contested than in previous years.

The verdict is still out on Honda, while Toyota has reportedly had a miserable winter test season. New Toyota runners Williams has so far outpaced the factory team.

Another chassis having teething problems (again) is the Red Bull racing squad, while its little sister Toro Rosso has spent more time manipulating the media then testing.

Super Aguri will also be an unknown with its 2007 challenger being unveiled “Just-In-Time” for Melbourne, while my personal favourite for “Underdog of the Year” is Spyker F1. I’m really pleased to see that the team is finally pointed in the right direction after its miserable Midland years.

For a more in depth team by team preview, See: Season Preview by Adam Cooper.

And while I have been a devoted Michael Schumacher fan since 1991, I now find myself rooting for nearly half of the grid. Will “Jense” pull a rabbit out of his crash helmet? Or will “Fishy Fella” pull off another win for Renault? And how will the new Scuderia Marlboro brothers do? Will Quick Nick get out pipped by the speedy “Pole?” Or will Fernando continue his winning ways?

I traditionally do not predict winners, and he’s not my sentimental choice, but I’ll have to give the nod to Felipe Massa for the first round “Down Under…”

(Anybody besides Alonso!)

Super Aguri SA07

Super Aguri has finally launched its 2007 challenger, the SA07 from the pit lane in Melbourne. And all of the team members are saying the obligatory “we’re much better” newspeak. The team has also copied Toro Rosso’s stance of being completely “legal.”

The SA07 heavily borrows from Honda Racing’s parts bins by utilizing the Honda F1 power train, including a new carbon gearbox. I did find it interesting to read that the team failed its initial FIA monocoque crash test, delaying the launch by one month. And with the addition of “ANT” (Anthony Davidson) I do expect the team to move up the grid. Of course so do all of the other F1 teams.

Still the team has made impressive strides in its short history. Recall that this time one year ago the team was running a four year old Arrows chassis that was taken from the Australian airport where it was on display as a show car…

For previous F1 car launches, See; Scuderia Toro Rosso STR-02

Spyker revises colours

Spyker has once again changed its color scheme prior to the upcoming Australian Grand Prix. For pictures of the revised livery see: Spyker color revision

Trains, Planes and Australia

In the constant struggle to be one of the lucky recipients’ of Mr. Muppet’s (Ecclestone) prized Formula 1 races, comes speculation towards the future Grand Prix calendar as several suitors are rumoured to be seeking Bernie’s attention “Down Under.”

Meanwhile Abu Dhabi is busy borrowing $1.6 billion to complete construction of its first theme park in preparation for their 2009 Grand Prix.

And why all of the buzz over hosting F1 night races? Seems to me this never pans out for Open Wheel racing stateside…

Monday, March 12, 2007

Champ Cars (Not So) Really Big Announcements

Wouldn’t it be nice if Champ Car would quit muddying the Open Wheel waters and get on with it? I’m speaking about the “Really-Really-Really Big” announcements towards driver line-ups.

Yet there seems to be speculation about RuSPORT and Rocketsports being committed to running only a single car apiece and “working together” under the guise of a technical partnership. Rocketsports did confirm Alex Tagliani as the driver of its Lexington Energy entry.

And while several veteran drivers were patrolling the paddock with helmet bag in hand, they’re finding the chances of landing a seat to becoming a game of diminishing returns.

Curiously PKV Racing, OOPS forgot Red Bull’s name there… Has just announced its second driver. Tristan Gommendy is another GP2 refugee and was a massive 3 seconds off the pace in his Champ Car debut at Laguna Seca.

With Gommendy’s and Tagliani’s confirmation, there are now a total of 10 confirmed drivers with one month left until Las Vegas. Champ Car eagerly awaits the announcements of Graham Rahal, Katherine Legge, Bruno Junqueira, Robert Doornbos and whomever else can scrape up enough funding to entice team owners to give them a ride.

Meanwhile Newman/Haas racing has apparently gone for a cash transfusion with the addition of new third partner Mike Lanigan and the team has been re-christened Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

And speaking of Wiley ‘ol Paul Newman, the actor done good was in typical rare form when queried about NHL’s still unsigned new recruit Graham Rahal. “Shit, I thought the deal was done weeks ago, but Lawyers have to Eat…”

And not so surprisingly, Mazda has stepped into the void left by longtime Champ Car title sponsor Ford, replacing the Dearborn companies Pace Car program with a fleet of its own automobiles. Hmm, doesn’t Ford own a majority stake of Mazda?

Sadly showing the current state of Champ Car was without a doubt Autosport journalist and stand-up comedian David Malsher’s comments during Saturday’s lunchtime break. Malsher quipped: “someone should put Oriol Servia in a car. After all he set the fastest time at Sebring and the $5000 would give him some money to take to a team for a ride this year.” (A $5,000 dollar bounty was offered for anybody breaking the track’s official lap record)

For a further recap of the final Champ Car open test weekend see, David Phillips Friday Test Notes and Saturday’s Test Notes.

More Ferrari’s at Sebring

Although this year’s 55th running of the Mobil 1 12hrs of Sebring’s grid seems vastly depleted, there are a few bright spots in the entry list. (Is that really correct as the ALMS entry list shows only 35 entries…)

And it’s funny how the top two categories are basically non-existent while the “lower” divisions of both prototypes and GT’s make up the bulk of the field, along with being the fiercer competition.

Fighting for the overall race victory will most likely once again be an interterm scrum between the all conquering Audi R10 TDI diesels. The two Audi AG entries will face meager competition from the other two LMP1 category newcomers Intersport Racing (Creation/Judd) and Autocon Motorsports (Lola/AER)

Meanwhile the GT1 category features a paltry three entries consisting of two GM “Work’s” Corvette Z06’s and Team Modena’s lone Aston Martin DBR9. Ironically I’d expect Team Modena to be running something Italian…

The LMP2 category will be the division to watch with the hotly contested competition between the Porsche and Acura factory backed teams. Interestingly Rob Dyson who finally gave up competing against the Audi’s “Mano-E-Mano,” has switched to LMP2 Porsche Spyder’s this year and was the fastest car at the recent Sebring test.

And bringing up the rear, figuredly speaking that is, is the GT2 category which features the bulk of entrants. The majority of this class consists of the ‘ol dependable Porsche 911 GT3 RSR’s. These mainstays of endurance racing for the past four decades will be joined by a few Panoz Esparante’s. These are being campaigned by Tom Milner’s PTG race team, a long time factory backed BMW entity. There will also be a lone Spyker C8, making its North American debut?

Yet the GT2 combatant’s will be seeing red, as in the form of four Ferrari F430GT entries. As previously mentioned, Peterson/White Lightning has made the switch from Porsche to Ferrari. Yet in Febuary a new alliance was formed with Corso Motorsports, who will also be racing a F430GT under Peterson/White Lightning’s guidance.

In a similar guise, Tracy Krohn has formed a new partnership with Risi Competizone. Krohn will contest selected ALMS events as well as this years 24 Heurs du Mans.

Risi’s lone winning F430GT will once again return to the fray with veteran ex-Formula 1 driver Mika Salo behind the wheel. Salo helped Risi claim the GT2 Championship last year.

And while the majority of media attention will be focused upon the Australian Grand Prix, the Mobil 1 12hrs will be seen in major chunks of airtime on Speed precluding the Melbourne event.

Will Champ Car deliver?

As I’ve been spouting off recently about how Champ Car appears to be floundering so far, here’s an excellent commentary about the current state of affairs written by David Phillips. See: Promises to Keep

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Honda Turning Green

Interestingly I just had a discussion two weeks ago about the virtues of seeing Formula 1 chassis devoid of the obligatory sponsorship decals and how AWESOME the all black Honda test chassis looked.

But I seriously doubt anybody expected this paint scheme as the new livery for the Honda’s “Planet Earth” RA107. (Actually its done with decals) And I think it’s totally COOL!

Yet while cynics might suggest that Honda has taken this unusual route due to lack of landing any new title sponsors, Adam Cooper’s lengthy commentary: Honda’s World Car gives some pretty good insights on this issue. Meanwhil Honda is already hard at work on producing a revised RA107 in time for the second Grand Prix in Malaysia…

Ralfanso’s Fun Factory

Apparently Ralf Schumacher is none too impressed with the current Toyota TF 107. Schumacher has reportedly complained about the squad’s lack of pace shown so far this winter and doesn’t expect too much to happen in the season’s opening races.

And I just had to laugh upon reading “Ralfanso’s” latest comments claiming he’s one of the Top Three Drivers in Formula 1.

C’MON “Ralfie,” put down the Snaap’s … And you’d better lay off the Bit burger’s too for a little while, since I’m fairly certain that the majority of your fellow competitors would disagree…

I’m expecting “Top 3 Ralfanso” to continue playing tail gunner “Charlie” in the upcoming Melbourne race and will not be surprised to see him banging wheels at the rear of the grid with Mark Webber & Co.

Not so Super

While Super Aguri remains the only Formula 1 team to have not launched its 2007 challenger, comes word that the team will further delay the launch of its SA07 from March 12 to March 14. The team will now unveil itsnew chassis in the Albert Park pit lane…

Renault’s Fizzy Water

With less than a week remaining until the season opening Formula 1 race in Melbourne begins, teams and drivers are still all overly optimistic about their chances for 2007. Well ok almost everybody is giddy except for “Ralfie” and “Web-Head” (M. Webber)

This enthusiasm includes such positive “spin” as Renault’s new team leader Giancarlo Fisichella’s comments towards believing the “Reggie” still is a contender. And although “Fishy Fella” could win a race or two, I certainly don’t expect him to be in the hunt for this year’s driver title…

Friday, March 9, 2007

New F1 Rules

With Australia’s Albert Park preparing to kick off the opening round of Formula 1 next week, I thought that this may be a good time to cover the impending 2007 F 1 rule changes. Please see: Review of 2007 F1 regulations.

And although Bridgestone has successfully implemented its mandatory two tire rule for the upcoming season, it’s still unknown how exactly the tires will be marked…

“Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Thursday, March 8, 2007

More Schedule Changes in the works for Champ Car?

According to Champ Cars thorny journalistic nemesis Robin Miller, Champ Car has quietly moved the inaugural Chinese Champ Car race from May to October, as well as moving the Zolder race back one week.

This is being done to apparently not conflict with other major Open Wheel racing series. By moving the Zuhai event, Champ Car teams and drivers will now have the opportunity to spend the whole month of May at the Brickyard.

The other race date change is apparently to give space between the Champ Car event and the following Belgian Grand Prix…

Indy to change its Ways?

Interestingly Autosport is reporting that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is considering changing the direction of the USGP Formula 1 race in the future to coincide with the possible MotoGP event to be added in 2008…

HO Scale Champ Cars

Although the concept itself isn’t new, I cannot recall ever hearing about Champ Car Slot Cars. Of course almost everybody has at one time or another played with slot cars, as I fondly recall playing with the original skinny tire Tyco HO cars myself.
And although today’s hot sellers are the 1/32 variety, Champ Car has just announced a multi-year licensing agreement for the production of HO Scale Champ Cars

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pagenaud gets Speeding Ticket

Although it was all in good fun? Sherriff Joe gave Team Australia’s rookie driver Simon Pagenaud a surprise speeding ticket during the Arizona test day.

The test was to check decibel levels as the track curiously goes directly past the MCSO 9/11 call center. At least Sherriff Joe was content enough to give the race his thumbs up after the two Team Aussie cars circulated around the downtown corridor…

Foyt IV in trouble

Although AJ Foyt IV has been keeping “mum” on his off track activities, it has finally been leaked that Foyt IV will appear in court to face charges of drunken driving…

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Two Thumbs Up for Robin Miller


As always the outspoken barbs of the Champ Car World Series lack of entrants for the upcoming season has apparently cost the mercurial Robin Miller his writing “gig” for the floundering Open Wheel racing series.

Part of the reason I’ve enjoyed Robin’s RANTS so thouroghly over the past several years is because Miller isn’t shy of bashing BONEHEADED judgements made by sanctioning bodies, race series owners, drivers, fans and anything relavent to the world of Open Wheel racing.

Yet in the overwhelming world of being “PC” squeaky clean in the ever diminishing field of independent media, Champ Car has made a MAJOR ERROR by giving Miller the boot! And I can only hope this will not land Gordon Kirby the same fate.

Therefore I say hurrah to Speed TV for having the BALLS to have Robin Miller on its staff and what a bunch ‘O DUMBKAMPFS to the management at Champ Car who were unwilling to take a little constructive criticism. Perhaps this is why I have NOT received one single reply to the four letters I sent to Champ Car, PKV Racing and Global Events expressing my displeasures at the Portland autograph session last year, eh? See: Champ Car sends Devoted Fan Fuming

On last Sunday’s Wind Tunnel with Miller and Ed Hinton as co-hosts, Miller was on-form with his quips about being dumped by Champ Car, playfully having fun asking Mr. Despain if he could get him anything? “C’mon Dave-Play Along, I need to keep this job!”

Yet thankfully Miller hasn’t been swayed by his firing, as he answered the tough questions of how many cars will be on the grid for both Open Wheel series. Miller nonchalantly reported that the IRL will have a solid 18-19 cars, with Champ Car fielding somewhere between 1518. Can you say Merger?

This was upon The Speed Report’s Nicole Manske playing up Miller’s firing and Champ Car co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven’s comments that there will be some Really-Really-Really BIG announcements shortly…

For more of Robin Miller’s insightful sarcasm on the world of Open Wheel Racing, See: Open Wheel being trampled by Nextel Cup

Champ Car invades Phoenix

Although the majority (strange word for the current state of Champ Cars) of Champ Car team haulers are currently trekking west to sunny Monterey, CA, a few of the shiny semi’s will make a brief pit stop in Arizona.

Champ Car and the Phoenix Grand Prix promoters have decided a test is required around the city streets in order to determine decibel levels.

Even better yet is the tough talk of Sherriff Joe. (Who’s a real piece of work) You may recall that the then reigning Nextel Cup champion Curt Busch had a run-in with Sherriff Joe after drinking and driving like a madman the weekend of the 2005 fall event in Arizona.

Busch was subsequently fired from Jack Roush for the remaining two races prior to moving to Penske to replace rusty Wallace in the Miller Light car…

ACO announces Le Man Entry List

The organizers of the 24 Heurs du Mans have quietly released the 2007 entry list for this years endurance race. And there’s always MORE participants wishing to compete then the ACO (Automobile Club d’Ouest ) allows.

Yet the freshly completed revisions to the pit lane will allow a further five teams to participate. This now gives a total of 55 entries, with the favorites once again being the mighty Audi diesels…

Monday, March 5, 2007

Alonso get’s big Pay Raise

For many seasons Michael Schumacher not only ruled the world of Formula 1 on track, but also in the driver salary market, with rumours of annual retainers of $40-50 million excluding his merchandising arrangements.

Estimates put Schumacher’s current wealth at $800 million and for several years I’ve been claiming that he’ll become the very first F1 driver to crack the $1 billion mark.

Yet with Schumacher’s retirement, comes word that he’ll only make a paltry $26 million in ’07.

Upon Double World Champion Fernando Alonso’s move to McLaren Mercedes comes word that the Spaniard’s decision to jump ship was considerably eased by the salary increase that Ron Dennis offered him, a rumored $43 million…

The pay raise makes Alonso the third highest paid professional athelete, languishing only behind Tiger Woods ($90 million) and Phil Mickelson ($47 million)

And to think that many “Stick ‘N Ball” fans don’t think racing drivers are athletes…

Toro Rosso FINALLY Announces Speed

After months of Gerhard Berger’s never ending shenanigans of who would become
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s two racing drivers for the upcoming season. Toro Rosso has finally announced that American Scott Speed will retain his race drive in 2007. This means that the Formula 1 grid is now complete. Look for Speed to crack into some points scoring drives this season...

What will Michael do?

Ah the lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous… While recently playing golf in Dubai, Michael Schumacher commented over his still as yet undefined role at Ferrari.

Schumacher who’s expected to take up some sort of managerial role in the future stated how its great to work for a company that lets you decide what you wish to do.

Meanwhile three current Formula 1 drivers have made differing remarks towards the seven time World Champions presence during Ferrari winter tests.

In his typically harsh Aussie mentality, Mark Webber has spouted off about why in the HELL is Michael still floating around at the Scuderia’s outings? Perhaps you should focus upon getting up to pace aboard your mid-pack Red Bull, mate!

Also Kimi Raikkonen has said he doesn’t need Michael’s help or advice and now comes Felipe Massa’s comments about not missing Michael either.

Who says Formula 1 respects its elders? Gone and forgotten, eh? Yet reports state that Jean Todt has claimed he’d be extremely happy if Michael said that he wanted to be Team Principal as his new role at Ferrari. So perhaps Kimi and Felipe had better watch their tongues…

The NEVER ending Jos Saga

Why do I fall for this every season? I guess it’s because I’ve always been a Jos “THE BOSS” Verstappen fan, ever since he was Michael Schumacher’s teammate at Benetton. I mean how can you not like a guy who pirouettes and sets on fire a Formula 1 car and walks away unharmed from both incidents.

Alas Verstappen has once again scuttled his chances of racing as the Dutchman seems more concerned about the amount of Kroner’s to be deposited into his bank account over driving a competitive race car. Recall that Verstappen blew deals to drive for Minardi as well as landing a Champ Car ride in 2006 as well as discarding his A1 GP drive…

Sunday, March 4, 2007

MAC the Knife

Otay, so I wasn’t going to watch anymore of that “Roundy Round” CRAP… And technically speaking the Mexico City Busch Series race was on a permanent road circuit. Yet I admit it’s pretty funny watching them “Good ‘Ol boys” wrestle 3,400lb behemoths both right and left…

So for a little lunchtime entertainment I surfed around the dial until landing on ESPN2’s race coverage. This should be interesting with only 16 laps to go and a host of Road Course “Ringers” filling in for the associated RASSCAR teams, with such luminaries as Scott Pruett, Boris Said, Adrian Fernandez, Michele Jourdain Jr and Juan Pablo Montoya.

And MAC Montoya was on a mission… Coming from 19th to 4th in just a handful of laps. Then MAC made a brilliant pass on Nextel Cup regular Denny Hamlin before another caution flag flew…

On the restart, MAC snuck past Said for second place with 9 laps to go… And then MAC got GREEDY! MAC decided to PUNT race leader and fellow teammate Pruett out of the way…

Then coming back from commercial break number 459, Dr. Jerry Punch waxed eloquently about how MAC was the second coming of Open Wheel drivers by comparing him to legends including AJ Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser Sr. and “Little Al.” YUCK!!! Vomit…. MAC ain’t NO legend (except in his mind, eh?) At this point I simply could NOT stomach watching the few remaining laps and went for a walk instead…

Danielle Steele’s trackside Romances

The timing of this announcement seems almost ideal as Anna Nicole Smith’s “tawdry” death still dominates headlines. RASSCAR is set to launch a series of seedy Romance novels set around the backdrop of its racing events.

MAC Montoya will fill the role of Latin Lover, while Jeffery “Pretty Boy” Gordon, Dale “Ironhead” Jr. and “Smoke” will drive all of the girls crazy as they fight over these hunks.

And of course there will be the mandatory “Cat Fights” along with countless scandals of trashy affairs between the bedsheets... (And to think I believed that RASSCAR was a Family Values orientated affair.)

Look for all of this to lead to a remake of Days ‘O Blunder on the silver screen, giving Tom Cruise a much needed box office hit… While Cole Trickle’s two new leading ladies Brittney “Shanade O'Connor” Spears and Paris Hilton has a massive “Bitch Slap” over who get’s to be Trickle’s lover…

OOPS! Sorry, but I just had to get that off my chest…

JV the Crooner

Apparently Disco JV has tired of the siren songs of his swanky Montreal night club? As Jacques Villeneuve has just held a media blitz to promote the release of his new record, featuring tracks such as “Cry me a River” and “If I only had a Ford Fusion…”

Meanwhile his longtime manager Craig Pollock is busy turning the screws, by claiming that JV is close to landing a title sponsor for an apparent RASSCAR deal. The most likely scenario will see Villeneuve driving in the Montreal Busch Series race this summer as RASSCAR is desperate to break into the Northern Tundra market…

Can Open Wheel racing survive?

Ok, so this is a little bit dated. Sorry for the delay but that’s what happens when you go away and play, eh?

YEE HAW!!! The Daytona 500 is finally OVER! And what a spectacle it was, with unprecedented CHEATING, the usual BIG wrecks and a controversial finish…

Yet this “800lb Gorilla” appears quite content to trample on anybody wishing to veer into its path, as the “premiere” North American series continues to flaunt a bottomless supply of sponsorship dollars for luring anybody with a crash helmet.

Now comes word that IRL star Dan Wheldon was busy working the paddock during the 49th running of the Daytona 500, having finally given up on his dreams of becoming a Formula 1 driver.

Alas, all seems not completely lost for Open Wheel racing fans as I passed thru the airport’s metal detector the baggage screener from two machines away said out loud. “Paul Tracy! I know that guy, he’s from Canada…”

This was in regards to the “Sand Dune” Tracy T-Shirt I was wearing, although I swore that I’d NEVER be a “Sugar Ray” Tracy fan… I had a sudden change of heart after last year’s experience at Portland. And how could you not appreciate PT’s theatrics of the past season…


You’ve found No Fenders, an eclectic collection of Rantings, Reflections and Random Thoughts primarily about Formula One, Indy Car and Open Wheel Racing, with a moderate sprinkling of Rally, Sports Car racing and Moto GP thrown into the veritable “Spin Cycle.” There are also other miscellaneous posts about my journeys around the Planet ‘N Pacific Northwest and whatever else I’m in the mood to Scribble ‘bout!

If you’re looking for proper grammatical structure, then Y’all have come to the wrong place, as I’m a proud original UOWWBA member... Which stood for United Open Wheel Word Butchers Association, as I use a cleverly concocted mix of Tomaso ‘TexMex English in all of my various ramblings...

About the Author
I have been an avid follower of Formula 1 and CART/Champ Car for the past two-plus decades, and now follow the Indy Car circuit with much bemusement... The very first F1 race I recall watching was the 1986 Detroit Grand Prix. Afterwards I attended my very first Grand Prix in 1989; the USGP held in Phoenix, Arizona and have been hooked ever since!I was first introduced to Champ Car when they were formerly known as CART at the 1987 G.I. Joes 200 at Portland, Oregon and then attended the race yearly to its bitter demise in 2007. As currently for reasons unknown, the Indy Racing League continues to ignore the Pacific Northwest on its current racing calendar.

When CART invaded Vancouver, BC in the early 1990’s I also became a “regular” visitor to the circuit Up North, Eh! Before this great Temporary Street Circuit was abolished in favour of the 2010 Winter Olympics...For a different perspective I attended the 1994 CART race on the One-mile “Bullring” Oval track in Phoenix, AZ, the year that Jacques Villeneuve tried to impale himself against the then Goodyear walkover Pedestrian Footbridge! Yet, I must say that I am not a fan of ovals, although I did thoroughly enjoy my inaugural Indianapolis 500 in May, 2009.

To read more about Tomaso, see: Low Vision Racer

About this BlogAs previously mentioned; No Fenders is a racing news blog devoted primarily to the world of F1, Indy Car and more, and is written by Tomaso located in Seattle, WA. The site was launched on September 11th, 2006 and all opinions are solely those of Tomaso’s.

Unfortunately, on May 1, 2010, an entity of Google irrevocably ruined the original No Fenders Blogsite by forcing it to be migrated to their “New & Improved” Blogging Platform... Which therefore rendered the existing 1,500+ stories with “Broken Images,” i.e.; image NO longer available on that World Wide Web thingy!

Thus, instead of trying to figure out how to re-install these, I’ve gone thru the labourious task of deleting the majority of ALL images posted from 2006-08; SHEISA!

ContactYou may contact Tomaso at:
This page was last modified on: 09/02/10

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Alonso Slams Renault

Yet once again is this some of the notoriously masterful mind games that Formula 1 drivers are renown for? Apparently Fernando Alonso has some doubts about his former race team Renault, which you can read in the story: Renault inconsistent this Winter

Cold as Ice?

The British media never seems quite content unless it’s ramping up the pressure upon Formula 1’s leading lights. Recently the Brit’s turned their attention towards the “Iceman,” better known as Kimi Raikkonen.

Reportedly Raikkonen hasn’t spoken to Michael Schumacher over integrating into the Scuderia or asked for any driving advice, with Raikkonen being quite content to pursue his own agenda…

New Kids on the Block

Although certainly not the first major manufacturer to implement such a program, Renault has just announced its class of 2007 development drivers.

And these aspiring young guns hope to emulate the career paths that Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen took towards ultimately landing full time race drives with the “Reggie…”

Friday, March 2, 2007

Rossi’s shiny new FIAT?

Valentino Rossi, the “Mega” MotoGP Superstar has been linked to a new deal with Ferrari. Well Sort of...

You may recall that Rossi has previously spent time testing for the Scuderia back in the winter of 2005 fueling speculation as a possible replacement for the newly departed Michael Schumacher.

Rossi continued to remain with his two wheel roots instead after signing a contract extension and fought for the 2006 Moto GP crown which eventually went to American Nicky Hayden.

Now upon Rossi’s Yamaha MotoGP team having lost long time title sponsor Camel due to the never ending Anti Tobacco legislation comes reports that FIAT is poised to become the team’s new backer…

Is gasoline really Dead?

In a recent David Phillips commentary, Phillips writes that Bobby Rahal has pronounced that gasoline is dead as a future power source of motorsports…

Is Rahal on crack or simply touting the virtues of his team’s title sponsor Ethanol? You make the call…

Meanwhile RASSCAR just contested its very first race last weekend in Fontana running Unleaded gasoline for the very first time during its 50+ year history. Holy Unocal, Batmann… What’s next? Don’t tell me RASSCAR will make all ‘O dem roundy rounders ditch their beloved carberators? Would the sanctioning body dare mandate fuel injection and overhead valve trains like the rest of the civilized world currently utilizes?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Creation makes Three

Talk about your David vs. Goliath! The Interscope Racing team has decided to (wisely) get out of the American Le Mans LMP2 category which will be a real donnybrook with the factory wars between Porsche and Acura.

Of course jumping up to compete against the all conquering Audi’s in LMP1 won’t exactly be a cake walk…