Thursday, November 27, 2008

Open Wheel notes

this is an oversized (Turkey) stuffing of the latest news tidbits going on in the Open Wheel Racing world, just-in-time for that delectable Turkey-Lurkey holiday. (Pass me a biscuit!)
No more SurfersOtay, this is a bit dated, but in case you haven’t heard? The Indy Car World Series and the Queensland Government were unable to come up with a resolution to keep the Surfers Paradise event on the Indy Car calendar for next season and beyond... As the Surfers Paradise event has played host to the CART/Champ Cars since 1991, albeit a non-points event in this inaugural season of unification. Thus, the event will now become home of A1 GP which has signed a five year deal to partner the V8-Supercars Down Under, beginning in 2009...


Will KV Racing Technology survive?And with the loss of the Gold Coast event, will KV Racing Technology also wither? Recall that the running of this event was imperative to KVRT staying on the grid this year as its major funding came from Craig Gore’s Aussie Vineyards. And although speculation suggests that Gore is pondering retirement, nothing has been confirmed to date, although both of KVRT’s drivers Will Power and Oriel Servia are currently free agents.

Miller reports on Driver market
According to a recent article by our beloved Open Wheel curmudgeon Robin Miller, the current Indy Car driver market for 2009 is currently awash with proven “Big Names” talent seeking employment, as Newman Haas Lanagin and Rahal Letterman have not picked up options on Justin Wilson and Ryan Hunter Reay, who both scored their first Indy Car victories this season, while both of the aforementioned KVRT drivers Will Power and Oriel Servia are awaiting their Open Wheel future.

Miller also throws in Paul Tracy, Bruno Junqueira, Tomas Scheckter and Darren Manning as free agents seeking rides... Hmm? I thought this unification thingy was to be the end all to the current plight of Open Wheel Racing in Norte Americano? Now explain to me why it sounds like another episode of; while the Champ Car World Series turns, eh?

No more “Corn-ee” Letterman jokes?Also according to OWR soothsayer Robin Miller, there appears to be a 98% chance that title sponsor Ethanol will not be returning to Rahal/Letterman Racing in 2009, leaving Ryan “The Dude” Hunter-Reay without a drive next season. (Unless Penske scoops him up?)

Yet now comes word via the Blogosphere that Brazil will be helping to keep corn based Ethanol in the game next season, so why couldn’t this become RLR’s new sponsor? Heck, may be ‘Ol Emmo (Emerson Fittipaldi) will wish to install another Brazilian driver like Tiago Montero as teammate? Or perhaps “Junky” could land a ride here?

IRL gets sucker-punched
Penske’s New Year plansAnd while The Captain, a.k.a. Roger Penske is still trying to decide what to do over his current Indy Car “Star” Hulio’s pending legal troubles... Hmm? Wonder if Penske will scoop up another Aussie as Ryan Briscoe’s teammate? (Can you say Will Power?) But I digress, as it was announced recently on The Speed Report that Penske will field a two car effort of Porsche powered Riley Daytona Prototype chassis in the upcoming 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Is The Captain mulling a change of venue for his Sports Car operation?

Tracy legal woes continueAnd while the majority of us thought that only Hulio had legal issues to wrangle with, according to crack Indy Car word butcher Will, Paul Tracy may have run into some more funny legal shenanigans’ of his own, as apparently there seems to be some sort of contention over his 2006 contract extension with Jerry “Go F-Yourself” Forsythe NEVER having been signed.

Was Tracy running without a contract?

Sully does BajaDuring one of the final Wind Tunnel shows; Ye ‘Ol Windbag (Dave Despain) had Danny Sullivan as his “Last Call” of the evening, which was pretty entertaining... As “Sully” was calling in to talk about his Trophy Truck program and why he was running the Baja 1000. “Because it’s the only thing I can still race in competitively at my age!” Sully quipped.

And while I don’t know the whole story about Sully’s Baja 1000 trek, I can tell you from the results that he finished an admirable 5th place overall, which is better than Robby Gordon can say.

5. Dan Friedkin, Houston, Danny Sullivan, Vista, Calif./Steve Hengeveld, Oak Hills, Calif., Toyota Tundra, 14:34:55. (2nd highest finishing Tundra)
Baja 1000 results
Marky Mark podiumsAlthough it appears that Princess Danicker has decided to sit out the current A1 GP season, as she reportedly wished to be paid for her troubles...

Meanwhile, “Marky Mark,” a.k.a... Marco andretti, whom some word butcherer named Jeff is hoping to see installed as Hulio’s replacement at Team Penske, has just scored his first podium in this seasons A1 GP race held at Sepang. And although young Marco didn’t get off to a very good start, flipping and crashing out of the Sprint race, Marco atoned for his first race melee by reaching the podium in the Feature race, albeit with a little assistance from Team Malaysia's “Home-boy” Fairuz Fauzy. With Fauzy running in third place and Andretti behind him in fourth, Fairuz made a most unusual mistake, when his radio inadvertently picked up a ghost call to pit, as Fauzy heard Team GBR’s call; Box-Box-Box in his radio headset... And thus pitting behind Great Britain’s car, lost 40 seconds when he showed up in his vacant pit stall! This never seen gaff dropped Fairuz to a disappointing 10th place finish, while Marco grabbed the third step on the podium.

Marco Andretti, Andretti Green A1, A1 Team USA:
(ON THE SPRINT RACE INCIDENT) "You can say its unavoidable but at the time I thought everyone was going and I could only see two rows ahead of me. I couldn't see ahead of the whole field. I was about to grab fourth gear, and as soon as rear tires were hooking up, that was needed to stop the car. There was no hope. In the States you either go or you don't. Here, they went and then stopped. No one was to blame, it was just racing. But ultimately I crashed out two cars ."
Hmm? What’s that about not wishing to get in some much needed road racing experience Princess...
Doin’ the “Hulio” two-stepAh, what better way to help digest that “Super-sized” Turkey-lurkey dinner, eh? And instead of unbuckling your belt, taking your shoes off and settling down for a little cat-nap whilst seated in the nearest Lazy Boy recliner, while some smash mouth football drones on in the background...

Why not do the Hulio two-step $heister shuffle instead? Just put your foot to the left...

And I won’t try to recap every nuance of the Helio Castroneves embezzlement shumozzle here; Castroneves indicted Hulio tear jerker, Castro-nervous bail modified, Trial date delay denied, blah-blah-blah... Nope, I’ll leave all of this hullabaloo up to the eagle-eyed Will and his crack reporting at; Is it May yet instead... And you may wish to check out his latest report; Quick Helio update, not to mention his wacky Pin-the-tail on Hulio board game.

Hulio board game

And make sure uze don’t’s steps onz ‘dem Hushpuppies, Yuh hearzs!