Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Whale Race Fans, I’m still celebrating the Holidaze somewhat... As the SNOW is finally almost all gone, with a rather bizarre thing happening late Monday night, something that’s never occurred before... As some sorta Snowplow thingy could be heard driving back ‘N forth thru the parking lot with that overly annoying claxon bell back-up beeping noise at 11PM! As there’s now piles ‘O four foot brown & white snow sitting piled on every conceivable space between parking stalls and walkways, awaiting the rain to dissipate it! And it’s even funnier trying to make out the incognito battleship grey snow banks when walking upon the still slick as snot sidewalks on which the snow banks are strategically piled in front of... But I digress...

I’ll be returning to full (scribblin’) broadcasting mode next week... As it’s almost time to feel the heat of another racing season just around the corner; which hopefully we’ll not see too many further demises ‘O Racing Teams, Star Drivers and Motorsports employees.

And thus, its time to ring in another new racing season... So, without any furter vurd botcherin,’ as the chief bottle washer & head scribe of No Fenders... May Y’all have a Happy New Year, as now its time for me to don my party hat, eh?.

Feliz Año Nuevo!
Happy New Years Y’all!
Tomaso

Princess makes another Boo-Boo

According to multiple sources all over le internets and the Blogosphere... No Fenders most favourite (NOT!) Indy Car star Princess Danicker has once again been caught speeding upon the public roads in Scottsdale, AZ.

As the Roscoe, IL featherweight who was too knackered to take turns alongside AGR’s “Marky Mark” (Marco Andretti) for Team USA’s A1 GP effort this season, has been popped doing 54 in a 35mph zone on Dec. 9th. And before I pile on too much (never) upon Dan-Dan-Danicker, at least she wasn’t caught pulling a Charles Barkley “I REFUSE to take a Breathalyzer” in her 2007 Gold Mercedes Benz. (Nice colour choice, eh?) As the Round Mound ‘O Rebound was caught rolling thru a stop sign in Old Scottsdale, AZ in the wee morning hours of Dec. 31st. And if you think I’m being tough on Sir Charles, well at least it wasn’t his second DUI like ex-Seattle Seahawks Hall of Fame QB & current Seahawks radio commentator Warren Moon, whom was arrested before the beginning of this year’s NFL season. Hey, wait a second, I’m starting to sense a pattern here; Oh Never Mind!

And even if the IRL’s fan darling has to go to driving school to sort out her over usage of the loud pedal... Don’t forget that F1 triple World Champion Nelson Piquet (Senior) has already been there - done that!

kudos to pressdog for his always entertaining spin and heads-up on this wrongdoing:
Daniker is gets a Speed Racer Ticket

And while reflecting upon her need for speed Danica has claimed the following upon her first run-in with the law at the tender age of Sweet 16:

"I was driving a friend home and the cop nailed me going 65 in a 45 in my Mustang."
"I told the cop that I was just using my new car's potential. He didn't think that was too funny."

Already having attended a Defensive Driving class... NO JOKE! But does anybody see any irony there? In order to get out of being nabbed for doing 57 in a 40mph zone this past year, inquiring minds wanna know:

Does she get points deducted for doing her patented stomp? Or does she have to attend extra classes for pulling off her gloves and looking for her instructors head...

Geez! I could go on all day, eh?

Danica Patric feels the need, the need for speed

Guess it’s a good thing she doesn’t own a Ferrari, although Indiana Bureau Chief Danny B has quipped that Dan-Dan-Danicker was likely going faster in Arizona then on her final lap in Motegi... OUCH!

The King is gone

After watching a ridiculously lob sided blowout on Sunday Night Football... I’m left with the song ‘N dance of one ‘Ol ex-NFL Quarterback and Monday Night Football colour commentator’s signature Tag line: “Turn out the lights, the parties’ over!”

Which unfortunately seems to be the exact same case for Petty Enterprises... As the Roundy-round’s longest CUP team has just pulled the plug on their floundering operation, after 60yrs of business. Having given pink slips to the remaining employees, as “The King,” Kyle & Co. have shut down operations at Petty Enterprises and apparently there will no longer be any #43 poundin’ the high banks ‘O Daytona come this February.

And the hits just keep on comin’...

Grand Prix revisited

With the recent news that a new racing movie is in the works, centering around the 1911 Indy 500 and OWR Curmudgeon Robin Miller’s comments on how there’s only been three really great racing movies; ”Grand Prix, Winning and The Big Wheel.”

To which I beg to differ as I think Steve McQueen’s epic Le Mans should also be on this list; not to mention a few other of my choices


While apparently the Indy 500 movie in question that I read about 'Wayback in 'Twenty-oh-Eight never got  made... And whilst I cannot find the original web link to the story, here's another one that discusses this now apparently Dead movie project?



Holy Racing movies Batman! Can it really have already been two years ago?

Having finally watched Grand Prix (The Movie) no less than on Christmas Day December, 2006) on the SPEED channel, yet instead of re-inventing duh wheel, I'll just link to my movie review I previously scribbled in;

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

To all of the faithful readers of No Fenders, I hope Santa has brought Y’all everything desired... As Santa decided to bring us a white Christmas for the first time in several years, before we’ll go back to our traditional and much desired (?) dousing of the wet stuff better known as precipitation, while I’ve enjoyed furiously scribblin’ about the various guises ‘O motorsports this year... But, as the chief bottle washer &head scribe of No Fenders I’ve decided a break is needed and therefore will take the rest of the year off in order to go play in the not-so fast disappearing SNOW!

So once again, Merry Christmas everyone!
tomaso
PS:Don’t forget to check out the Vodafone Survey, which could possibly net you a cool 200 smackeroos and ends on December 31st.

Vodafone Survey

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Kringle


‘Twas the day before Christmas, when through all of the paddocks.
Not a motor was idling, not even a single Cosworth “Lump” could be heard.
The garages were swept and tidied with care, In hopes that Roger Penske soon would be there; The mechanics were nestled all snug in their beds.While visions of Championship bonuses danced in their heads. (Not to mention Hulioe!)And “Princess” in her negligee, and Paul Tracy in his crash bucket, had just settled down for a quick tryst in the sack.
When out on the lawn there arose such a racket, ‘ol PT sprang from the bed to see what “TAG, Suitcase Servia, Whiney Bags and Bad Bobby D’ were groaning about.

Away to the window Tracy flew like a demon. Ran over the back markers and punted the Hamburgular clear outta the way.

The smoke from between Sea Bass’s ears. Glistened like a smoke signal, without a glow. When, what to PT’s wandering eyes should appear.But a Ferrari ENZO followed by an armada of Prancing Horses in tow.
The ENZO was piloted by an ex-Formula 1 driver, still brutally quick.That Tracy knew in an instant it must be Michael Schumacher.More rapid than a grid full of Bridgestone alternate “soft tyre” Formula 1 chassis in “Qualie Two” light fuel tanks mode. The seven times World Champion whistled and jeered, and called them by name;

Now, Mika now, Coulthard! Now, Rubinoe and Ralfanso!
On, Heinz-Harald! On Villeneuve! On Damion and Irvine!

To the front of the grid! To the head of the pack.
Now burn rubber, burn rubber baby, burn rubber quick!

As tyre tracks that leave ominous black streaks behind. While Herr Schumacher leaves another competitor far behind!

So up to the roof-top the Prancing Horses flew. With trunk loads of presents and Schuey too. And then, came a banshee wail of the ENZO, high atop the roof.

The revving and idling of each assorted Ferrari. As PT rubbed his hands. Down the chimney Schuey forlornly came. He was dressed all in Scuderia Red, from his head to his foot.And his Nomex driver’s suit was all tarnished with ashes and soot; an assortment of winning trophies, he’d stuffed into his back pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His rosy cheeks, how they glowed.
His hair as always was perfect, his jaw like a chisel! His lips clenched in a mischievous smirk. As the smile was reminiscent of a Cheshire cat;

The remains of a Cuban cigar hung limply from his teeth. As clouds of Smoke encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a taunt face and washboard abs. that still showed his youthful physique when he laughed at the dumbfounded PT. He was strong and fit as an ox, a festive and jolly elf; Thus Tracy could only laugh when he appeared
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head. Soon gave PT nothing to fear. As Schuey spoke nary a word, but went straight to his work. Filling all of the stockings with various racing trinkets. (Such as the 2002 Borg Warner Cup, a new three year contract signed by P.L. Newman & Carl Haas along with some of the Hamburgular’s secret winning sauce…)

Before PT could wipe away his astonishment, the famous German turned Quickly, laying his finger aside of his nose. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his idling ENZO, and to his waiting minions gave a whistle. And the screeching of tortured Ferrari lumps could be heard as they burst away like rocket ships! But ‘ol PT heard him exclaim, as he power-slided out of sight;
"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night."

Felice NavidadTomaso

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

UOWWBA: X-Mas wish list

This week’s question;
What's on this year's Christmas List for the IRL?

Well for starter’s;

I’d guess that EJ (Ernesto) “What Me Worry?” Viso and Princess Danicker will continue to be naughty...
And a full grid would be nice
While I’m sure ‘lil Napoleon
Is checkin’ his list ‘O potential sponsors twice...


So, in no particular order...
Fully funded season rides for Justin Wilson, Ryan Hunter-Reay, AJ Foyt IV, Oriel Servia and Will Power...

New title sponsors for Newman Haas Lanigan , KV Racing Technology and gasp! Vision Racing...

A full season two car team for Rahal Letterman Racing with the Hamburgular as their lead driver with “The Dude” back for his sophomore season with the team... (As we wanna see Sea Bass kicking ARSE for somebody besides Penske, Ganassi or AGR!)

Portland getting its FRILLIN’ race back! (Finally)

A return of a 24-26 car grid, with lots of hard working crew people getting to work the entire year...

Sarah Fisher Racing running the entire season...

Jay Howard and Alex Lloyd landing full time rides...

Milka Duno scoring her first podium...

Montezemolo loses it!

And why does The Who’s Pete Townsend come to mind while in the background I hear John Hiat’s; Smashing a perfectly good guitar! Now kids, DON’T try this at home! These are trained professionals...

As its been reported that Ferrari Supremo Luca di Montezemolo was so outraged by Lewis Hamilton’s last corner snatching of the 2008 F1 Drivers World Championship that he SMASHED his TV!

Luca smashes tellie

Ferrari wins again

While some current F1 teams must be sweating the future, the team that seems to be wearing shades, (You may wanna make those safety glasses instead, if Luca D is anywhere nearby, eh?) As the Spanish bank Santander has indeed signed a contract to sponsor Ferrari beginning in 2010, which will possibly spark the revival of Ferdi the Putz’s (Alonso) arrival at Maranello in 2010/2011?

Meanwhile, the Scuderia has been soaking up some more made for television hyperbole by inviting three young Italian Lions to test their hands behind the wheel of a current spec Ferrari F2008 chassis, after The Doctor’s (Valentino Rossi) recent media blitz.

And amidst this media hype, The Iceman has returned to the cockpit for the first time since the season finale and will spend the winter focusing upon solving his tire troubles alongside Felipe Massa, as its just been reported that the Scuderia has revamped some of its racing team’s personnel, including Kimi Raikkonen being partnered with a new race engineer...

Ferrari revises team structure

McLaren’s white doves

As previously mentioned, shockingly, (NOT!) McLaren’s Golden Boy Lewis “Jaguar” Hamilton has been making the rounds of various Awards Banquets and has just collected the Autosport International Driver of the Year award, along with the majority of the BRDC Driver Awards.

The McLaren MP4/23 was voted the racing car of the year, with Ron Dennis receiving a Gold Star award to match Hamilton’s... And while “Jaguar” and the “Ronster” were busy soaking in the glare of bright lights and Dom Paragon, the Woking based squad was busy testing 2009 components in Jerez along with several other F1 teams.

Mclaren has also announced that their 2009 challenger will be launched on January 16th.

BMW still playing third fiddle

Just-in-time for the Holidaze’s... The Bavarian backed Swiss team’s major sponsor Credit Suisse also appears to not be immune to the current global economic crisis and has just announced that it plans to lay off up to 11% of its workforce, although its not known what effect, if any it’ll have upon the team.

Meanwhile in Mexico City, the Formula BMW World Championships were held and surprisingly, BMW America series champion Alexander Rossi was victorious, ahead of Michael Christensen and “Home Boy” Esteban Gutierrez, with Team Boss Dr. Mario theisman and “The Krakow Kid,” a.k.a. Robert Kubica attending the festivities.

Kubica, “Quick Nick” (Heidfeld) and tester Christian Klien have all since taken their respective turns testing various incarnations of BMW Sauber’s next race car, the F1.09 with KERS at Jerez alongside their fellow rivals...

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Bad News

Whale I suppose by now, Y’all have heard that Roger Penske has pulled the plug upon his pet project: The Raceway at Belle Isle, and therefore the 2009 IRL Labor Day event has been cancelled. This was due in large part to The Captain simply not wishing to spend anymore of his own money, along with the fact that various sponsors and race teams have departed, as Firestone has left as well as Audi and Porsche “Works” efforts from the race weekend’s supporting cast, the ALMS.

WRC teams withdraw
Adding a further blow to the global motor racing scene, comes news that both Suzuki and Subaru have decided to withdraw from the World Rally Championship and will cease their factory team’s competition immediately. This is a major blow for the WRC and now leaves only two Automobile manufacturers competing: Ford and Citroen.

And although Suzuki’s decision isn’t surprising, as they’ve generally been back markers, having only contested last season, Subaru’s whole motor sports image has long revolved around rallying, having won six WRC titles. So it will be a bitter pill for the WRC to swallow.

Will WRC’s loss be F1’s gain?
And with the departure of Subaru from rallying, whose ‘Works” efforts have long been overseen by David Richards Prodrive operation, is this a signal that Richards may be on the verge of buying the departing Honda F1 outfit? Recall that it was Richards who brought Honda its best season’s results by finishing runner-up to Ferrari in the Constructors championship in 2004, before ironically, current team boss Nick Frye sent Richards packing. So, who’ll have the last laugh? Although Richards could now have competition to buy the Brackley based squad from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and the Korean Auto manufacturer Hyundai?

Renault to upset the Apple cart?

Apparently Renault has reportedly been stirring the pot over the IDIOTIC Standardized engine proposal of Sir Maxxum, a.k.a. MAD Max Mosley, as an Italian newspaper claimed they were considering switching to the Cosworth spec engine...

ING Renault F1:
“Speculation that appeared this morning in the Italian press, the ING Renault F1 Team would like to state that the positions of the Team and Renault are in complete accordance to those of the FOTA. We would like to point out that neither Mr. Briatore nor Renault have spoken to the press regarding this matter before this official press release.”
(Source: Motorsport.com)

Therefore, Renault is going to keep its own lumps behind the backsides of both 2009 drivers and will not utilize the Standardized Spec engine in 2010...

Meanwhile Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr. wrapped up testing at Jerez with “Fredrico” setting the 6th quickest time on Day 3 after amassing some 120+ laps, with “Nelson-Nelson” nipping at his heels, only 0.40 seconds behind...

Toyota still trying to catch up

The Panasonic Toyota team seems to be keeping a very low profile in regards to their Japanese rival Honda’s exit us from the sport, along with title sponsor Panasonic and parent company Toyota both feeling the squeeze from the current global economy.

Toyota has previously let it be known, albeit leaked by a team rival that it will not utilize KERS at next season’s Formula 1 opener in Melbourne, nor will it be hosting any glitzy launch parties. Yet instead letting Jarno Trulli do its talking with the Italian claiming that Toyota will be in good shape for next season.

Careful Jarno, I believe that Jense also tried drinking that Kool-Aid!

Trulli hopes to close gap

Scuderia Toro Rosso

The little team that could! As perhaps Red Bull really does give you wings? With ex-Scuderia Toro Rosso team driver Sebastian Vettel having recently been named Autosport’s Rookie of the Year, while the Faenza based team also finished ahead of its big brother Red Bull Racing in this year’s Constructor’s championship and has just swept the first three days of testing at Jerez.

New boy Sebastian (What’s with the Seb-thingy?) Buemi, who’s reportedly a schu-in for one of the two Toro Rosso race seats in ’09, topped the time sheets during the first four days; three for STR and a further day for RBR before Vettel finally beat him. And “Taku” (Takuma Sato) was only a few thousand seconds behind in P2 when testing, while The Hamburgular (S. Bourdais) was close behind as he tries to keep his drive, although I have to wonder if Taku-san will get the nod, since Team boss Deeter Majestic is keen to have his flighty drinks beverage break into the Japanese marketplace...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow caper

While having just made a somewhat Artic trek to the local grocery store, as we’re waitin’ out the winter storm, expected to arrive anytime now... This story just kept a smile on my face...

As I’d chalk it up to another “Stupid Thieves” category as apparently two would be vandals didn’t realize that they were leaving their footprints in the snow, to which I’d guess you should always cover your tracks, eh?

Footprints lead cops to suspects

Is corn King?

Whale, I do have to say that the Indy Car Series decision to go with Brazilian ethanol in favour of our own Mid-western bread basket’s variety is seemingly just one more slap in the face in regards to the current economy... (I mean, couldn’t the IRL have given those farmers a bailout?)

Now obviously, I’m NOT privy to the inner sanctum of 16th & Georgetown; nor what ‘lil Napoleon, a.k.a. Tony George is thinking(?) so, I found it most bemusing that the IRL dispatched Terry Angstadt to the Autosport Radio show recently to try and explain their reason’s for cutting a deal with Brazil instead of its current American Ethanol producers.

But after having listened to Mr. Angstadt’s (woeful) explanation of how they tried to do everything(?) in their power to continue their association with EPIC and American Ethanol... Hmm? That party line sounds awfully similar to the Oz race cancellation, eh?

It seems to me that the IRL simply saw an opportunity to get into (bed) with a partner who’s a bigger market, along with another case of Outsourcing, as Brazil reportedly has a giant Indy Car fan base and TV rating shares of 4.0 – 4.5, to which Terry said wryly; I’d like to have those here... Thus, I think the IRL simply saw an opportunity and took it!

Even more ironic is that one of Donald Kay’s show sponsors is EPIC: the Ethanol Promotion and Information Council...

And while I’m all in favour of alternative energy sources, I’m not exactly sure what to think about Ethanol, having heard conflicting reports over its production vs. benefits.

Yet, I’m obviously in favour of slashing our dependency on foreign oil, i.e.; Saudi Arabia, although it’s a bit funny that actually the United States No. 1 importer comes from our neighbors Up North, Eh? “Oh-Kan-ah-duh!”

Thus, I found the following article very interesting, as it disputes the virtues of Ethanol, in favour of a little known alternative substance known as; Butanol. Of course this is from a biased source, but nevertheless it does make for an interesting thought, as now the head of DuPont has just urged the Big Three to form an alliance to produce a 75mpg vehicle that would run upon, you guessed it! Butanol.

Perhaps the switch to sugar cane based foreign Ethanol, hydrogen, corn based Ethanol, Butanol, Cellulosic based Ethanol, Bio Diesel, hybrid’s and plug-in’s will indeed enable us to solve our dependency of fossil fuels.

Then again, it’s hard to believe that the Oil Barons will be willing to let go of their monopoly, eh? I mean, have you ever noticed how many 18 wheeler’s dot the countryside? Then again, it cannot hurt us to try something different...

Adam 12, where are you?

This one is just too good to pass up, as I’m assuming a little levity is needed at the moment... As when’s the last time you’ve heard of a police battlewagon being pilfered? Apparently the Bellingham cop, who was responding to a call, left the vehicle running and when he returned it was gone!

Adam 12, do you read me? Come-in Adam 12, Breaker-breaker...

Police car stolen when officer leaves it running

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ebenezer Bernardo

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch.
You really are a heel!
You're as cuddly as a cactus,You're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Grinch.
You're a bad bananaWith a greasy black peel.
You're a monster, Mr. Grinch...
(Lyrics: You’re a MEAN one Mr. Grinch; Dr. Seuss)

And continuing with our winter theme... Bah Humbug Ebenezer Bernardo! As The Penguin, a.k.a. Messer Ecclestone was less then pleasant towards Honda F1’s demise... Hmm? Perhaps Slavica will leave you a lump ‘O coal, Mr. E?

Bernie bashes Honda F1

Meanwhile, thankfully the fans are telling Emperor Bernardo he’s full of BLEEP! As according to Motorsport.com;
“A poll at manipeF1.com shows 77 percent of voters oppose Bernie Ecclestone's gold-silver-bronze medals plan for determining a world driving champion.”

So, perhaps somebody will tell Bernardo to go STUFF IT! (Besides his wife, eh?) Or better yet stick a fork in the Penguin and tell him he’s toast!

Fa-la-la-la-lah, its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Snowed-in Seattle

(Source: SeattlePI.com)

So, I’m guessing that many people are catching up on their sleep today? As its been snowing in Seattle; although many Western “Warshingtonian’s” are still Sleepless...

Otay, so it may not be a big deal to you if you’re from someplace where inclement weather is the norm, but we’ve been having a bit of a COLD spell up here in the Pacific Northwest, which means our city comes to a complete standstill!

The week began with light snowfall and actually breaking the cold temperature mark of 44yrs when it was 20 degrees, as the thermometer sank to 19f at 4AM. Then we’ve been waiting for it and it snowed again beginning Wednesday afternoon and continuing thru Thursday morning, with the most unbelievable Thunder ‘N Lightning storm, which meteorologists are calling “Thunder snow.”

The next two days will be clear but COLD (For Us!) with temperatures in the teen’s, expected to break another cold temp. record before you guessed it! Another round ‘O snow on Sunday... But Hallelujah, I’m NOT in Hopkins, MN where it’s actually gonna be above ZERO for part of the day. And that’s all of the weather report for now...

Seattle gets Snowfall

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Freak bites

Jay Howard, who won the PRI go-kart race this past Thursday was on the Speed Freaks show and once again was quite funny, just have to get use to his extremely dry wit... As apparently he pulled and Eddie “F-Bombs R-Us” Carpentier on the show when asked about Scotty “The Goose” Speed. (Otay, I’m guessing on the F-Bomb, since it seems that it was chopped via the 7 second delay...)

But, Howard has just gained a ton of respect by pointing out how un-impressed he is by all of the ranting ‘N raving over Scott “NOSE” Speed, as he just isn’t as good as everybody makes him out to be...

Good on you mate! Now, you’ve gotta listen to the Speed Freaks interview...


Jay Howard interview

And don’t think that the Indy Racing League has a popularity dilemma? As NOT one but two freakin’ fans calling in for the Santa stash give away BLEW the motorsports question... Which for Kee-wrist’s sakes was even DUMBED down to a multiple choice answer: A) RASSCAR; B) IndyCar; C) Motorcycles or D) Drag Racing?

First contestant; Ed Carpenter? Uhm? RASSCAR BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!!!! (Buzzer sound effect) WRONG! Then they got a female contestant, who appalled me by divulging that she’s a Formula 1 fan, as Crash Gladys said should I say it? It’s the most OBVIOUS of all! Danica Patrick? Oh I know this “Juan!” She’s... RASSCAR!!! BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!!!!!!!!

To which I burst out in laughter... No, sorry, Princess hasn’t jumped ship yet; at least I don’t think so? As Crash Gladys said later, I think that the IRLhas an identity crisis, if fans DON’T know which series Princess drives for... (I mean Edward Carpenter is a bit ‘O a stretch... Could you imagine asking ‘bout EJ Viso?) But remember kiddies’...

“7 out of 10 Danicker Patrick fans know the alphabet!”

Brickyard Inn closes

During Sunday night’s Speed Freaks show, Crash Gladys speculated that more bad news was coming henceforth from Indy Car, but she didn’t know what it was, only that Joie Chitwood had left the PRI event early and the bad news would be announced on Monday.

So, I spent the day checking the newswires, internets and blogosphere and um? Whale Nothing! And after a quick check this morning, this is the only bad news I can find regarding Indy Car...

The Brickyard Inn motel behind Turn 2 at the southeast corner of IMS is closing immediately, after 45 years of business and will be raised early next year.

According to the Indy Star report, the motel simply couldn’t keep up in these hard times, which to me isn’t surprising, having stayed there in 2007 when I went to ride around Mecca in the Indy Racing Experience’s two seater. Having guessed that the décor hadn’t been changed since the 1970’s, (Ok, so I wasn’t far off, eh?) nevertheless, I enjoyed my room as you actually had to use a real key to unlock your door and the wake-up calls were done by a real “live” person on a telephone with a rotary sounding bell tone.

Indy Celebrities

Yet, it was clean and the staff was most pleasant, even though when I asked for suggestions on where to stay, the person sheepishly mentioned the Brickyard Inn, saying... Uhm? Whale, it’s NOT exactly “State of the Art!” And there’s much nicer hotels in downtown Indiana... But the price was definitely right and it was next door to the Speedway. So perhaps a new, more modern hotel/motel will emerge in the future?

Brickyard Inn motel closes

Monday, December 15, 2008

WMSC Rubber stamps FIA proposal

As expected, the World Motor Sport Council, (WMSC) which convened in Paris on Friday, December 12th has rubber stamped the radical FIA rules revisions proposed by Max Mosley along with the unanimous agreement of the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) which represents all of the current F1 Constructors.

These Formula 1 rule revisions are fairly substantial and aimed toward major cost reduction for the sports competitors, yet once again it appears that the employees will get the short end of the stick!

Some of the major revisions are as follows...

2009:Engines: Mandatory three race weekend distance; 18,000RPM maximum rev limit; Maximum use of 20 engines per season.

2010:Tire warmers and Refueling BANNED!

For a more in-depth look at the accepted changes, see: FIA Rule Changes

UOWWBA: Talent Search

Continuing on with our theme of IRL talent spotting, the current “Hot-button” issue of the moment is;

UOWWBA Question:
You have just been appointed to be the new "talent scout" for the IRL. Your first mission is to bring 5 drivers to the series. These can be former drivers from Indycar or from any other series. Which 5 would you pick and why?


Robert Wickens/James Hinchcliffe
Sentimentally; I’d pick the young “Wicky” whom I’m guessing is Oh Kan-ah-duh’s next great F1 hope, although “Hinge” is not too shabby himself and after all did bestow the moniker of Wicky upon Messer Robert’s, while Kevin Lacroix comes to mind also.

Honorable mention: Paul Tracy
Mr. Chrome Horn; as I only shied away from ‘Ol PT ‘cause Mr. 16th & G. had already picked him, but if you wanna sell tickets Up North Eh? Then Tracy’s a must!


Dillon Battistini
This young British lion seems quite capable of running towards the front in the Indy Car World Series and I just so happen to really like his last name! After having gotten off to a really fast start in the Firestone Indy Lights championship last year, his rookie campaign tailed off slightly when switching teams for reasons unknown. But I’d expect him to be a possible series winner in ’09.

Honorable mention: Alex Lloyd; Jay Howard
Both of these past Indy Pro Series champions are most deserving of rides and if the IRL is to put its money where its mouth is, then they need to start having their marquee feeder series championship (Flinstone Indy Lites) drivers racing in the big league!


John Edwards
John is an impressive racer, originally from Little Rock, AR, he was the youngest ever driver to be picked for the Red Bull driver search and spent time in Italy racing go karts. He then spent a season in the Champ Car Atlantics racing alongside James Hinchcliffe at Gerald Forsythe’s Red Bull backed operation, before earning his personal Driver’s License. John then subsequently lost his funding, and while searching for a new ride, Edwards landed in the Star Mazda series and went onto become the 2008 Champion even without contesting the entire season. For 2009, Edwards will graduate to the Atlantics Championship with Newman Wachs Racing, as part of his winning the title, not to mention a cool $750,000 Bonus!

Honorable mention: Alexander Rossi; Connor Daly; Josef Newgarden
I know very little about these three up ‘N comers, yet; Rossi just won the BMW World Finals, Daly won the Walter Hayes trophy and Newgarden won the Formula Ford Festival.


Esteban Gutierrez
Esteban has just won the BMW European Championship quite convincingly and is regarded as a true up ‘N coming talent, and would probably compliment Mario “Boom-Boom” Dominguez nicely, as I’d guess that he could be a big draw with the South of the Border fan base.

Honorable mention: David Martinez; Memo Rojas
Both seem to be vastly underrated drivers, as Martinez performed quite admirably in his limited Champ Car drives as Tracy’s substitute at Forsythe Racing, while Rojas has just won the Daytona Prototype championship as Scott Prueet’s co-driver.


Bruno Senna
How can you go wrong with a last name like that? Although I suspect that the young nephew of the late, great triple World Champion Ayrton is completely focused upon F1, I can only guess how cool it would be to have him in the cockpit of a Marlboro Team Penske race car with that Yellow helmet, causing a flood of memories of the past. And besides his Honda F1 ride appears to be toast.

Honorable mention: Rubens Barrichello; Felipe Massa; Ana Beatriz
Rubino is probably a tad too old and Ana is still working her way up the ladder, (Although it would be fun to see Princess with some more competition. Hey I know! Milka & Bia could tag-team up against her. Yeah, that’s the ticket!) While Felipe is busy kicking ASS in F1!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trusting Red Bull

While Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber continues to recuperate from his broken leg, Sebastian Vettel has been busy testing at Jerez, along with several other F1 teams, and as usual has been towards the top of the time sheets.

And while it’s already been announced that Vettel has moved up from Scuderia Toro Rosso as David Coulthard’s replacement for the ’09 season, Red Bull has also just announced that Trust will become a new team sponsor and will be seen upon the driver’s chin bars. ) Whatever the HELL those are?)

You may recall that Trust previously sponsored the Minardi and Jordan F1 team’s and has been backing the Trust Team Arden in GP2, which just so happens to be owned by RBR’s Team Principal Christian Horner...

Williams still in the game

On the heels of Honda’s decision to leave the sport once again, there’s not a whole lot of good news at the moment, as we all know, the global economy isn’t exactly rosy at the moment.

Meanwhile there’s more bad news for Williams, as title sponsor AT & T has just announced impending layoffs for 12,000 company employees, while reportedly Lenovo is also set to depart the Grove based squad in 2009 and head to rival British based team McLaren.

Meanwhile, Brazilian oil concern Petrobras, who’s previously stated its leaving Sir Frank’s operation, may wish to rethink this strategy upon Honda quitting F1, if a new suitor cannot be found, which is exactly the same strategic move current F1 piloto NICO Rosberg may wish to do in regards to his latest talk of potentially quitting Williams?

Careful NICO!

Yet, on the positive side, sir Frank has just been awarded the Colin Chapman Trophy at this year’s BRDC Awards Banquet. The Colin Chapman Trophy is awarded to an individual "who has shown great team spirit, be it a driver, team owner, engineer or similar," as Sir Frank has emphatically stated.” We only exist to race.”

Swiss watch maker Oris has just announced an extension of its contract with the Williams team.

Frank Williams:
“I am delighted that Oris, together with Philips and Allianz have all recently extended their partnership agreements with the team. Oris can be assured of our best endeavours to return their confidence in the team with measurable commercial dividends next year, and I hope today’s agreement will be the first two yearstep to Oris joining team partners such as Allianz and Accenture who have sponsored us for over a decade.”
(Source: F1 Uncovered.com)

Honda quits F1

As noted last week, the Honda Motor Company dropped another bombshell on the F1 community by announcing that it will close down the Brackley based operation if a new suitor isn’t found within the next three months.

James Allen:
“This is a major moment for the sport and I imagine Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosley will be ringing around frantically this evening (last Thursday) ensuring that the remaining teams are solid.
Toyota are the ones most are nervous about. They may use the withdrawal of their major rival as an excuse to get out, should they feel the conditions demand it.”

(Source: ITV-F1.com)

James Allen: on Honda’s F1 future

Thus, Rubens Barrichello’s revelations that former employer Ferrari did indeed instruct him to render the lead to Michael Schumacher in the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, which led to the ridiculous “NO Team Orders in F1” rule revision, seems a bit tepid at the moment. But then again, look on the bright side Rubino, at least you didn’t just sign a contract extension with the Honda F1 team like poor “Jense” just did...

Then again, this probably won’t help his marginal chances of remaining with whoever the new concern is, if they’re “Powered by Ferrari,” eh?

Barrichello spills the beans on ’02 Austria GP

Friday, December 12, 2008

F1’s newest Hot-Schu?

Current Red Bull Racing test driver Sebastian Buemi, and soon to likely be a full fledged F1 piloto for Scuderia Toro Rosso, has been most impressive at the latest testing outing at Jerez, where Buemi led the time sheets all three days...

Jerez F1 Test
The F1 “Big Boy’s” are staying put
With Honda’s bombshell of pulling the plug upon its Formula 1 effort, and Max Mosley’s less than encouraging attitude towards the current status of the sport, many are wondering if any of the other Automobile manufacturers will be leaving the Grand Prix circus.

Thus, BMW Sauber, Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Renault and Toyota have jointly announced that they’re all planning to continue their respective programs in Formula 1 and are disappointed over Honda’s departure...

Voices of Calm

The F1 “Big Boy’s” are staying put

With Honda’s bombshell of pulling the plug upon its Formula 1 effort, and Max Mosley’s less than encouraging attitude towards the current status of the sport, many are wondering if any of the other Automobile manufacturers will be leaving the Grand Prix circus.

Thus, BMW Sauber, Ferrari, Mercedes Benz, Renault and Toyota have jointly announced that they’re all planning to continue their respective programs in Formula 1 and are disappointed over Honda’s departure...

Voices of Calm

Force India dumps Ferrari

Having just completed their debut season, Force India was the only Ferrari powered F1 team not scoring a single point this season and thus, Team owner Dr. Vijay Malia has decided to seek a new direction for Force India’s sophomore season, as I’m sure you’ve already heard that the squad will be powered by Mercedes Benz next year.

The 5yr deal is not only for the 2.4 liter V-8 lump, but also includes the rest of the drive train, i.e.; gearbox/transmission and hydraulics, along with the “optional” KERS system, as this is not a typical customer arrangement.

Actually, Malia’s team will take on the role of a pseudo McLaren “B” Team, *regardless of McLaren’s Martin whitmarsh’s comments) as they’ve formed an alliance that includes access to the Woking based squads network of suppliers.

Simon Roberts, former Racing Operations Director of McLaren, has just been appointed as the teams new CEO, with further management shake up including the dismissal of current Team manager Collin Kolles and Chief Designer Mike Gascoyne.

Meanwhile, Giancarlo Fisichella is vehemently claiming he’s got an iron-clad contract to drive next season alongside Adrian Sutil, but we all know there’s NO such thing as an iron-clad contract in Formula 1, so perhaps we’ll see DTM protégé Paul di Resta taking over in the future?

Sayonara Super Aguri

Ironically, the demise of Super Aguri F1 earlier this season, was to be a forbearer of the Honda Motor Company’s shocking announcement that they were leaving formula 1 once again, although Jenson Button did score a single victory for Honda at the Hunga-boring-ring in ’06, I’d suggest that “super Best Friends” actually outperformed their “Big Brothers” during their extremely brief tenure in F1, as “TAKU” (Takuma Sato) had the audacity to pass both Jense and Rubino on regular occasion and the Honda F1 team only nipped Super Aguri for 8th place in the ’07 Constructors championship by 2 points (6-4)in the season finale at Shanghai! And at least Super Aguri finished ahead of McLaren. (Well ok, everybody did thanks to Stefney-gate, eh?)

Sayonara Super Best Friends!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hobbsnobbing in London

While (Shocking?) not surprisingly... McLaren hot-schu Lewis “Jaguar” Hamilton has been collecting most of the post season award hardware, even rubbing elbows with Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown...

Yet, along with young “Louise;” the “A-list” of the Autosport gala included Sir Stirling Moss, Sebastian Vettel, Ari Vatanen, Sebastian Loeb and David Coulthard, while Carl Haas was presented with a John Bolster Award for his services to motorsport...

Way to go Carl!

2008 Autosport Awards

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Real Housewives of Orange County

I’ve just received the following from Margot, about a TV show I’ve never heard of, nor watched... But, hey, like she says; if you’re desperately seeking some Indy Car footage, then you may wish to check out the following episode tonight. (Check your local listings for time)
Thanxs, Margot.

I know that this might be a little outside of what you normally write about but since your blog is dedicated to the world of Indy cars I thought you and your readers might enjoy hearing that in tonight’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo the Indy 500 is featured when one of the housewives and her husband head there and get the VIP treatment.

Anyway, we have a short clip featuring the event – it’s quite entertaining and I thought you and your readers might enjoy this clip as something a little different than what you normally write about….

Gretchen (one of the Housewives in the show) goes with her husband Jeff (whose background is in the car industry) to the Indy 500 and gets the VIP treatment as she gets to ride around the track and she has no idea who anyone is.
. (Wait for it... Its after the intrusive advertisement) And its been a long day, as hopefully this is the correct video: Gretchen really does go to Indy
Real Housewives of Orange County airs Tuesdays @10pm on Bravo...(I’ll assume that’s Eastern Time?)

Honda to remain in Indy Car

With the Honda Motor Company having announced the shocking news that it has decided to divest itself of their less than stellar Formula 1 race team last week, many of us Open Wheel fans were probably left pondering whether or not Honda would remain loyal to the IndyCar World Series for 2009? As they are after all the leagues sole engine supplier.

But, according to the Indy Star’s resident Open Wheel Racing Guru Curt Cavin, Honda will indeed continue its association with the IRL for the upcoming season. (and beyond; as their contract runs thru the 2010 season, before we’ll potentially have multiple engine suppliers in 2011?) I mean, after all, they’ve got a monopoly on winning the Indy 500 at the moment, eh?

To read Cavin’s article, see; Honda will stay in IRL

And in this topsy-turvy time of financial gloom ‘N doom, you may wish to ponder Mr. Oreovicz’s question in regards to the now long completed Indy Car season, as after all its a great question, eh? (Even if its a bit dated...)

John Oreovicz:
“How do you quantify what counts as a high or a low for an IndyCar Series season during which Milka Duno led more laps than Danica Patrick?”

2008 Indy Car Season Review

Will the German Grand Prix fail?

As the global economic crisis continues to swirl, and it becomes more obvious that all arenas of motorsports are in for a bumpy ride, now comes word that Formula 1 may lose another (two) venues? As the organizers of the Hockenheimring have just divulged that it incurred a loss of $4.1m (Euros) this past July.

Although next year’s German GP is slated to take place at the rival Nurburgrin, Hockenheim’s track management have also announced that without government assistance, it will no longer be able to host a round of the Formula 1 circus in the future, which would most likely cause the Nurburgring to forgo F1 also.

And even if Emperor Bernardo isn’t worried by this, I’m sure that it would be a blow for Mercedes Benz, BMW and Toyota, who’s based in Colone, not to mention that 25% of the ’08 grid was comprised by German drivers...

Fears for German GP

Sports Car competition not immune either

Roger Penske, who’d previously announced his intentions to compete in the upcoming 2009 Rolex 24 with a brace of Porsche powered Riley Daytona Prototype chassis, has now decided to contest the entire season.

Penske previously was the Porsche “Works” team in the rival American Le Mans Series, having won the LMP2 Championship the past two seasons with the RS Spyder, before deciding to move over to the Grand Am series, with the team’s announcement stating that Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas, will be the primary driving duo of Penske’s single car entry. Thus, I’m not sure what will happen to American Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, who I’d hope to listen to his interview on the Speed Freaks show Sunday night, but I had to bail after listening to 25+ minutes of bathroom humour(?) literally... As Kenny Sergeant wanted to know the most vile place you’d ever been forced to piss, while stalling for Patrick’s interview, who was supposedly calling in from Der Fatherland at 5:20AM GMT.

On the heels of NASCAR’s announcement of banning all testing next season, the ACO has cancelled the 24 Heurs du Mans test day in order to help teams save money.

And you may already have heard, that Audi has decided to forgo full season campaigns in the ALMS and LMS racing series in 2009. And thus, Audi’s only planning to race at Sebring and Le Mans with its new R15 turbo diesel next year.

Thus, with Audi’s bailout and Porsche seemingly having left the ALMS, one must ponder whether Honda will indeed step up to the LMP1 category which it currently intends to, as they’ll be in a similar position as Audi, whom has had virtually zero competition in the class the past several years, a la Corvette in the GT1 category. So, will Gil De Ferran and Adrian Fernandez be forced to fall back to LMP2 instead?

Doornbos returning?

And amidst all of the doom ‘N gloom engulfing the motorsports arena, there does appear to be some hope of better days to come, as perhaps you’ve heard the rumour that “Bad Bobby D,” a.k.a. Robert Doornbos is returning stateside to participate in the 2009 Indy Car World Series... As reportedly the news was leaked in an email sent to the Indy Star’s Curt Cavin, whom claims to have regular conversations with Eddie Carpentier’s best buddy EJ “What, me worry?” Viso, claiming that Doornbos would be his teammate at HVM for the 2009 season; now let’s see, I got the news correct back in September, just guessed the wrong driver, eh? When we were all speculating upon where’s Vitor going, as us merry butcheror’s ‘O wurds were taking oour best shots on the hapless Miera’s future...

“Yet, I'm still guessing Vitor will wind up at HVM in a second chassis?”

(So I guess we can scratch Doornbos off the Penske drivers shopping list, eh?)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

UOWWBA: Penske Driver nominees

So, perhaps you’re the head of Penske Racing? What do you do in regards to the pending “Hulio” court case? As this is the question posed by a new site in the Blogosphere, which is worth checking out just for its namesake alone: United Open-Wheel Word Butchers Association, (UOWWBA) or “U-Owoba” for short? Now all we need as Chairman Emeritus is some cat named Jeffry Olsen...

United Open-Wheel Word Butchers Association

UOWWBA Question:
As the new chairman of Penske Racing it is your job to find a replacement for Helio Castroneves. Who do you pick and why?

Obviously, having been inserted as The Captain’s new whipping boy )or gal) you’ll need a contingency plan in case your star driver has to trade in his nomex driving boots and forgoe his blue suede shoes for whatever is standard prison issue, eh?

And I’m most certain that the phone’s been ringing off the hook with drivers seeking possible employment, yet the question is do I pick a sentimental favourite or try to go with a potential future winner, as the choices abound.

Ryan Hunter-reay, Oriel Servia, Will Power and Justin Wilson would seem to be at the top of the list, and my sentimental pick would be Wilson, as the Brit is a very no nonsense type of guy, never seems to publicly bash opponents and is very quick. Yet, I think the sleeper out of this quartet is the Aussie Will Power.

Then there’s “PT, Junky and TAG” but I think they’re all probably past their prime. (Sorry guys, that always sounds bad towards drivers who are still relatively young)

Of course we could try to go a different route, like picking a Formula 1 piloto, as Sebastian Bourdais immediately comes to mind, even if the Frenchman has accomplished everything he can stateside, he’s still probably one of the best drivers out there!

Or perhaps somebody not on the radar screens, like Anthony Davidson, Neal Jani, Darren Manning, Alex Lloyd and Jay Howard.

Or how about some up ‘N comer from the Firestone Indy Lights, Atlantics Championship, Star Mazda or Formula BMW series, like Robert Wickens, James Hinchcliffe, Kevin Lacroix, the Mansell brothers, John Edwards, Dillon Battistini and Arie Luyendyk Jr. or Open Wheel Racing phenoms like Markus Niemela and Esteban Gutierrez.

And if you’re trying to stick with a Brazilian, how about Rubens Barrichello, who’s previously been rumoured to have a shot at Castroneves cockpit, or even more adventurous yet, put Ana Beatriz in the seat.

Of course this is all just conjecture, as far as I know, the seat’s still Hulio’s and it would seem a shame to shove him out prematurely, as I’m certain several of the drivers above are seeking full time employment, but I’d have to pick between Justin or Will if it was up to me, as Justin Wilson is my favourite Champ Car, OOPS! Err, Indy Car World Series driver... And its just been announced that KV Racing Technology will indeed be returning next season, which would seem to take Will Power out of the equation...

The Life “O Uh “Vurd Butcheruer”

I tell yuh! The universe sure works in a funny way, as once again Karma has intervened, with my choice of story titles being scribbled prior to discovering Kohl’s name of his newest blog endeavor; the United Open-Wheel Word butchers Association. And the name is worth the price of admission alone. So, you may wish to check it out, although the site is in its infancy, so it’ll need time to grow.

United Open-Wheel Word butchers Association
Meanwhile, back at Planet No Fenders, as your humble Vurd Butcheruer tries futilely to rendezvous with another Award wining story. Ground control to Major Tom! Pull up, Pull up; snap out of it Jimbo!

(Sorry 'bout 'dat! I just watched The Right Stuff)

04/10/07
“And I haven’t even begun reading my “prized” and extremely hard to obtain copy of The Life of Senna, (498 pages + Appendixes) by Tom Rubython...”
OK, this is embarrassing, as I’ve scribbled about these two books in the past, when writing my very first, brief book review on the Grand Prix Saboteurs and The Life of Senna, albeit just in passing one and a half+ years ago... As it was to be my forthcoming reading project for winter ’07; but Y’all know how that goes, as another of “Auntie” Harriet’s sayings comes to mind; The best laid intentions of Men and Mice...

Since it’s now winter once again and I’ve engrossed myself in a new reading project, along with presumably becoming a “Preferred Customer” of Motorbooks.com...

And thus, while I’m not keen to promote certain websites, if you’re so inclined to hunt for some of the following books I’ve decided to scribble ‘bout... Try checking out the aforementioned Motorbooks.com site or Speed TV.com/books or even, gasp! Amazon.com, as I’m sure somebody would appreciate one of these as a stocking stuffer, eh? (Although I seem to have a knack of selecting hard to find, out of print titles...)

Yet, alas; poor Mr. Saward, whom seems to be stuck in the queue, along with Mr. Rubython’s most controversial book, both being weigh laid in the garage for awhile longer. Sorry Ayrton!

Oh yeah! If you’re in the market for a 2009 Indy Car calendar, then check out “The Dawg’s” story; IndyCar Calendars Benefit Schmidt Foundation

Grand Prix Saboteur’s postscript

I very briefly scribbled some quick thoughts about what appears to be an extremely amazing book just over 1.5yrs ago... And I’ve still not picked up this book, upon noting how my book reading has been long suffering Back-marker-itus due to the konstant over indulging in the Kraft of word butcheredry...

Aye Karumba!

The book in question is; The Grand Prix Saboteurs, by Joe Saward and since my first report in April ’07, (SHEISA!) has now gone into its Second edition. The author is a frequent contributor to Grandprix.com and the book took Joe 18 years to complete, as it’s a tale about three Grand Prix drivers whom were also presumably spies during World War II.

Joe Saward has been named as Renault UK Author of the Year by The Guild of Motoring Writers for The Grand Prix Saboteurs

Peter Sharkey, The Birmingham Post;
“Probably the best sports book published so far this year. It is a compelling tale that will appeal not just to racing enthusiasts but to sports fans in general who will appreciate that even after being lauded as sporting megastars, some sportsmen and women remain capable of contributing so much more.”

The Life of Senna



Unfortunately, this along with a host of other books, is still awaiting consumption... Yet, the book itself looks most interesting and is quite long, weighing in at 498 pages and was most difficult to obtain, having procured it from Toronto Motorsports, as speculation seems to suggest that the book was never released stateside...

And the books author, Tom Rubython is even a more noted controversial persona, as he’s been the subject of several libel lawsuits, with many of his businesses having been “wound up,” or better known as; Out of business! As even Tom’s Wikipedia link proclaims it’s an Orphan article, stating:
“This article is orphaned as few or no other articles link to it. Please help introduce links to this subject in articles on topics related to it. (April 2008)”




Matchett’s Lord ‘O Mechanics



As you may know, I’m quite fond of Professor Steve Matchett, whose part of the SPEED TV Formula 1’s Four Musketeers’ broadcasting crew... But did you know that Steve has also penned three racing books, prior to his career taking off at SPEED?

And shame on me, but I’ve only managed to read the first part of his trilogy; Life in the Pit Lane: Mechanic's Story of the Benetton Grand Prix Year, which I obtained in hardback many moons ago from an out of print re-seller. I’ve since picked up the second & third volumes; The Mechanic's Tale : Life in the Pit-Lanes of Formula One and The Chariot Makers in paperback, where they’re both parked in the garage awaiting my perusal. But I urge you to check ‘em out...