Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ross Brawn pinches himself

“There’s NO place like Home!”
“There’s NO place like Home!”
“There’s NO place like Home!”

As Ross Brawn could be heard over the radio telling “JENSE,” You’re in OZ, Mate! And you’ve just WON the BLOODY Australian Grand Prix... After the wayward Brit noted that he didn’t feel like he was in Brackley anymore...

So, I’ve finished watching the tape, spending the whole morning reveling in the siren song of the Formula 1 beasts, albeit mightily muted via the in-car feeds via the Telescreen... And I just basically sat there laughing...

As obviously by now Y’all have heard that the unthinkable happened with Brawn GP having a fairytale weekend Down Under, as first they shockingly captured the first two slots upon the grid in Qualifying... A feat that hadn’t occurred since 1970 in Kyalami, South Africa with the March Formula 1 team with drivers Sir Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon.

Then, Brawn GP hoped to score their Grand Prix team’s maiden victory in their Formula 1 debut at Albert Park, something that hadn’t occurred since 1977...

And thanks to the shenanigan’s of Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel, Rubens Barrichello was able to inherit second fiddle, Err place after having played whackumobile the entire day, as a somewhat sheepish “Zebb” was reported to have said that Sir Richie was going to let him fly FREE in First Class all season long if he’d keep Kubica from snatching BLOODY NIGE’s, Err, Jense’s victory in the waning stages of the race, while Deeter Majestic could be heard screaming “KILL THE RADIO!”

Yet the quip of the weekend had to go to ‘Ol Hobbo, as he wryly noted how the Kimster judiciously applied the “Iron Door” to the fast approaching Rubino... But what the HELL! When’s the last time that a customer car has blown off multiple World Champions, eh? As I’m assuming that the folks in Tokyo are licking their chops at the moment, while Ferrari can at least take solace in the fact that the Mercedes “Lump” was in the back of the Brawn and not those pesky McLaren’s.

Meanwhile Jarno Trulli was docked a 25 second time penalty for passing young “Louise JAGUAR” Hamilton while behind the Safety Car, you know the one that had a hard time coming out on track... And thus Hamilton inherited third after his worst starting grid position of his career... While Messer Vettel has been docked 10 grid spots for Malaysia after his contretemps with the Krakow Kid, along with Red Bull being fined $50,000 for ordering Zebb to keep going on three wheels.

And lastly, the Diffuser Spat Appeal will be heard on April 14th, but as Peter Winsor noted, it may be a bit hard to overturn, since three different F1 teams all came up with their unique interpretations of the rules, while Toyota will attempt to appeal Trulli’s penalty...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two Green thumbs?

The Bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle.”
(Perry Como; Seattle, 1969)

Whale, not really!
So does this mean a change of scenery is immanent? As in years past, I recall making calendars to count down the days until the first Grand Prix of the new season would begin... While wading thru the bleakness of the Winter Olympics, better known as Winter testing, which the FIA has dastardly cut proportionally over the past several years, although the in season testing ban should theoretically cause the drivers to log more track time on Friday’s this year.

Thus having waited with great abandon for this weekend’s season opening Formula 1 race Down Under, instead I partook in two days attendance at Seattle’s 2nd Annual Green Festival, which I must say was overly packed and very well attended... Something to do with us Northwest “Tree Huggers?” And thus I set the commands of my shiny new Comcast Box to record the week’s drama in Albert Park to my trusty ‘Ol VCR... Which is much easier to program then today’s DVR’s for Mwah, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation, eh?

Saturday evening Mary Ellen & I attended the Electric Vehicles 101 presentation hosted by two very entertaining gentlemen of the Seattle Electric Vehicles Association.(SEVA) As the main speaker Daniel Davids, being 65 years old has spent 29yrs living, breathing, eating, dreaming Electric vehicles, while his “junior” partner Steve Lough (54yrs) has a 40 year history with Electric vehicles... Including numerous drag racing victories, while Davids is featured in the 2 SCREAM to 60 Youtube video; yet, it was interesting to hear Lough actually suggest that one wait 3-5yrs to purchase an Electric vehicle as opposed to running out and buying one today, as there’ll seemingly be an explosion of these vehicles being produced by our major Automobile manufacturers then... Since if you wish to convert a vehicle today it’ll potentially set you back somewhere between $12-15,000 and there’s NO guarantee you’ll end up with a good conversion. Although I found it interesting how they scoffed at GM’s much ballyhooed Volt... Because it’s NOT a true 100% Electric vehicle? Ironically I found this a most enjoyable lecture, although it seemingly contradicts my interest in Formula 1 and IndyCars...

On Sunday, we attended four speakers hour long presentations, which were most dynamic, inspiring and devoid of the mainstream “fluff” that we’re subjugated to 24/7, as we listened to Amy Goodman, John Perkins, Clifford Pichot III and Laura Flanders respectively.

Amy Goodman touched upon the fact that this weekend marked the 20th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound, of which the Herring have never returned too... And of the initial 22,000 plaintiffs who filed against the world’s largest Petroleum Company, 6,000 have died while Exxon has kept these lawsuits in litigation...

John Perkins spoke upon what would happen if we refocused our Corporate priorities, while Pichot divulged his “Happo-Damno” philosophy; which is the measuring of Happiness vs. Damage environmentally... And Laura Flanders spoke to the demise of our legacy Newspaper industry as the loss of these jobs like most, once lost will never come back and how this is a travesty for each cities morale fiber... Noting how a two time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of our just castrated Seattle Post Intelligencer has suddenly found himself unemployed! As perhaps (if you’re still reading this) you’ve guessed by now that the Green Festival is geared towards the world’s future Sustainability...

Green Festival – Seattle

And thus I found it ironic that while attending the Green Festival this weekend, which also happens to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the WTO Demonstrations in Seattle... Two of the world’s largest Automobile manufacturers chief executive officers were being sacked... As Rick Wagner, General Motors Head Honcho resigned from his post in the wake of further Government assistance, as under Wagner’s stewardship, GM’s United States market share has declined from 33.2% to 18.8%, while the company’s stock price has devalued over $50.00 per share.

Meanwhile, Christian Streiff, the embattled leader of PSA Peugeot-Citroen,, was fired from his post, as one of France’s “Big Two:” Peugeot and Renault SA struggle to survive in the Global economy on the back of a $7.5 billion Euro ($9.8b USD) 5yr (Rescue plan) Economic aide package, as Peugeot, France’s largest car maker has suffered a $343 million Euro net loss for 2008.

Meanwhile, as in previous rants about the intrusion of electronic media... I am currently unable to scour le internets or newspapers, open my email or listen to my voicemail in fear of having the results of the Australian Grand Prix divulged prior to my rewinding of the Memorex and watching Qualifying and the BLOODY RACE! As I found it even more ironic that all of the Fosters which was apparently on sale this weekend had disappeared off of the shelves of my local grocery store... Crikey’s Mates!

So, will Nico secure his first Formula 1 pole position? Or will the newly reconstituted Brawn GP do the unthinkable and lockout the front row? Or perhaps either Jarno Trulli or Timo Glock score Toyota’s long awaited inaugural Grand Prix victory? SHEISA! I’d better go watch the tape, eh?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Updated Entry list

Now which car was I supposed to be in?

Whale the first day of Formula 1 has wrapped up with some very entertaining changes atop the time sheets... And it will be interesting to see if these remain constant thru the weekend? As its worth noting that the top runners are without KERS.

Meanwhile, with BRAWN GP being declared a new entity, they were demoted to the final garage on the pit lane along with being the lowest Constructor and were given the numbers 20-21. Hey wait a minute; we’ve already spent buhzillions upon our ’09 merchandise with those numbers decried Force India’s Vijay Malia... And thus Brawn was given the new numbers of 22-23...

Updated F1 Entry list

Sweet Home Alabama

She’s opening the door.
She’s coming out!
She’s wearing a purple track suit with pink and red piping.
Oh Danicker, what are you gonna do in those shoes!
She’s grabbing a burrito.
And now she’s heading back inside...

And there certainly seems to be a fair bit of banter over the just completed test sessions held at Barber Motorsports Park, as Jeff over at My Name is IRL has an interesting take upon the whole Barber Motorsports Park media-LUV-fest.

A trip to the Barber

And DON’T get me wrong, as I’m all in favour of the Indy Racing League coming to Portland instead... Although it’s true that the attendance took a dive in the final year; I’m getting a bit tired of hearing the same excuse in regards to the poor attendance it had in the waning years of the series formerly known as the Champ Car World Series being Portland’s fault...

As I’ve said before and I’ll say it again! The attendance went down the drain because we were treated like second class citizens, being given a watered down product of 15 racecars... Oh wait I think two more are coming around the bend... And what’s the Support Series this year? Bicycles again? OH WOW! Don’t those Mazda Miata’s look fast? They sure sound quick?

Not to mention some terribly fowl weather as I can still recall my teeth chattering from sitting all day on some shiny COOLLLDDDD metal grandstands in my Kmart raingear! And what’s that? They’ve scheduled the race on the same weekend as the 100th Anniversary Rose Festival parade in downtown Portland? Hmm? Me thinks that the Pacific Northwest fans are too astute and tired of The Split, but I digress.

On the flip side of Barber having indeed been developed for “Scooter” racing, they do hold a Grand Am (ACK!_ race there... NO, I’ll skip the which series is better Grand Am or American Le Mans Parrot-ity. As apparently the track is currently lacking in passing zones, which was the reason the Festival Curves were built in Portland... Uhm? Which hosted CART & Champ Car events there for nearly 25yrs. What’s that? You say it’s already built and it even has a light rail stop directly across from the track alongside the freeway, with direct access to Downtown Portland.

Yet, you’ve gotta give Atlanta its due, as they pulled out all of the stops, including the red carpet for Tony George and the Mayor has even proclaimed an Indy Car Day, along with presenting TG a key to the city for which it was humorsly explained he may need to get outta jail if they don’t get a race soon...

And HELL! They even sent real “LIVE” reporters to cover the testing action, with the Birmingham News having a minimum of three stories per day in their cities’ local paper.

Indy Car “Rookie” Robert Doornbos compared the track to Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps, which is high praise indeed, as this has been a Formula 1 piloto’s favourite racing circuit for decades, with the legendary corner Eau Rouge having been the most daunting for many years... Until now the racecar’s can simply go flat thru, although it’ll be interesting to see how the new cars maneuver there this year, eh?

Anyways, I think its probably a good sign that we’re all lobbying for more Indy Car races and new venues, even if I’m left wondering if the Barber shuffle has something to do with being in RASSCAR’s backyard? As I’m guessing this sorta press is much better then the farcical rules bungling demonstrated by the FIA.

And Will of Is it May yet? Says it’s a great place... So he may be interested to hear that Bad Bobby D. was asking Scott Dixon if he could smell the barbeques on the back stretch? I tell yuh Graham; you’d better stock up on your Big Macs or is he a Quarter Pounder type ‘O guy?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It’s Showtime!

Next, please.
And how many bags will you be checking Mister Eccle-Stone?
Ok, that’ll be 75 Pounds, as there’s a L25 fee for the first bag and a L50 for the second, Sir.
(Bollacks Bernardo, we’re only going for the weekend, Mate... Bugger Off Maxie!)
Sir, I’m sorry but your RBS Debit Card has been denied... Do you have another card?

BLOODY HELL! Here, try my Platinum Gold Members Only Barclay’s Premium Card... And Maxie, dear boy. Would you please make sure to give Tony Blair a ring on your mobile and ask him what’s up with my RBS card, eh?

Very well Sir, now if I could just see your ID. WHAT!!! DON’T you know who I am? I’m Bernard Ecclestone...

And did you pack your bags yourself, Sir?

Very well, window or aisle seat, Sir?
But, I’m supposed to have the whole aisle to myself dear.
Well I’m sorry Sir, but it appears that all of 1st Class is booked full today, I have you seated next to a Max Mosley in 3A, will that be ok with you Sir?

Attention in the boarding area, this is the final call for Quantas 4979 to Queensland. All passengers should be boarded at this time.

Paging a Sir Frank Williams, please proceed immediately to gate DCF98, as your flight will depart without you in 2:00 minutes. Once again that’s Sir Frank Williams to gate Delta-Charlie-Foxtrot nine eighter...

Good morning gentlemen, may I get you something to drink? Why yes dearie, I’ll take a Screwdriver and for you Sir? I’ll have a Beefeater and make it quick Doll.

Chicken or Beef?
I’ll take the beef Doll.
Actually Dear, I ordered the Kosher... Oh sorry about that Mister Mosley.
And bring me another Screwdriver...
Yes Mister Eccle-Stone?
This brisket is too tough... Give this one to Gordo or one of his other sorry ass hacks in the back and bring me another one...

Oh Gawd! What’s that swarmy Bastard doing up here in 1st Class? Doesn’t he know that the forward restrooms only for us?

Maxie, be a dear and say Hi to Fredrico for me and tell him I’m taking a nap...

WHALE! It’s finally here... As its time to put another Shrimp on the Barbie, grab a cold Fosters and TURN UP THE VOLUME! As another riveting season of Formula 1 is set to commence in just less than 24 hours...

Err, check that, as Y’all will need to potentially stock up on some Red Bull, you know its “Zebb’s” favourite beverage... (SHEISA! I’m startin’ to sound like ye ‘Ol Rick “Insert $ponsor Here” Benjamin, Crikeys!) Since Austrailia is actually a day ahead of us and the SPEED TV coverage will be very late at night for all of you on the East coast, with Inside Grand Prix and Formula 1 Practise coverage beginning in the wee hours of tonight!

2009 F1 Season Preview

USF1 Team plus two more in 2010

According to multiple reports, Emperor Bernardo has decreed that there will be a total of 26 cars on the grid for the 2010 Formula 1 season, with the three new teams having all been confirmed. The new entrants include the much ballyhooed USGPE effort along with two other teams, whose identity is currently unknown.

There is also a report claiming that USGPE has picked a location for its office in Charlotte, NC which will become the teams purpose built base for the following three years. This is more information then currently available on the teams website, which just says: “Coming Soon.”

USGPE factory revealed!
The USGPE F1 team is to open a design office in Charlotte shortly. This will be located on WT Harris Boulevard, in Mecklenberg County, to the north-east of the city. The plan is for the facility to serve the team for the next three years, in preparation for a purpose-built factory in the same region.
(Source: Grandprix.com)

And lastly, Ecclestone is apparently HELL bent on seeing his dubious medals system implemented, which he claims will be the format for deciding the F1 Drivers World Championship in 2010.

Hey Bernardo... Stick a sock in it, will yuh...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sebring Postscript

Whale that certainly seemed like a very exciting race... As we were left watching a titanic scrum between the Audi R15 TDI and Peugeot 908 HDI, with the Scottish “Terrier” Alan McNish putting on a masterful driving clinique... With the Hamburgular giving him fits, along with Frank Montagny.

Although this year’s field was down quite a bit in terms of numbers, with a scant 26 entrants, nonetheless it was a very good grid, with the most interesting battles occurring in the “Big” Prototypes, nee LMP1 and the GT2 category. As you’re probably aware of by now, LMP1 saw the battle of three factory backed opponents: Acura, Audi and Peugeot, with a varying effect of machinery, as each took a different approach to their interpretations of the rules.

As previously mentioned, having made the jump up to LMP1 this season, Acura went with the radical approach of producing a chassis with all four wheels being the same size, i.e.; rear tyres on the front wheel hubs. And the chassis design was carried out by Wirth Research in the UK, being 100% digital. As in the entire car never set foot in a wind tunnel, instead being designed by Computational Fluid Dynamics, (CFD) which is quite the rage in Formula 1 at the moment.

And if you’re thinking the name Wirth sounds familiar, you’re correct as in Nick Wirth, ex-Formula One team boss of the ill fated Simtek Grand Prix.

Interestingly, it was noted that the larger front wheels give an additional 10% contact patch area which increases cornering ability along with overall agility. As Acura sought to make up for its lack of straight-line grunt from its 4.0 liter normally aspirated gasoline powered V-8 Lump vs. the competition’s 5.5 liter twin turbo diesels.

Audi once again was debuting a brand new chassis at Sebring, with it’s sleeker, nimbler R15 V-10 twin turbo hoping to emulate the previous R8 and R10’s winning ways, while Peugeot was back again with an updated version of its closed coupe 908 HDI V-12 twin turbo, which is now in its third season of competition.

Quote of the Weekend:“Mika drove like a Grandma!”
From GT2 class winner Mika Salo, as apparently the Finn still isn’t best friends with double F1 World Champion Mika Hakkinen, as the Mika bros. along with J.J. Letho and Kimi Raikkonen all contested this year’s Artic Rally, which reportedly “The Iceman” rammed his car into a steel pole in Parc Ferme at the events finish...

Salo, who is apparently only contesting the one ALMS event this year and will be replaced by Pierre Kaffer, as lead driver Jaime Melo’s season long teammate, reportedly is working hard on a RASSCAR deal... I tell yuh, what’s up with the Stock car stuff, eh? As it ain’t been NO bed ‘O roses for Sam Hornish Jr. and a slew of other Open Wheel racers...

And with Risi Competizione’s Melo having trouble with his immigration visa; “PAPERS? I DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ PAPERS!” Y’all knew that was coming, right? The team elected to start the beautiful rosso F430GT from the rear of the grid in order to enable Melo (who’s still recovering from a broken foot) to race during the night portion of the event.

Yet, after the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari started dead last, it crossed the chequered flag two laps ahead of the class runner-up; the Advanced Engineering Ferrari 430GT shared by Luis Companc, Mathias Russo, and Gianmaria Bruni, capping Scuderia Ferrari’s 18th class victory at Sebring...

Mika Salo:
"The most difficult win is always when you're leading by miles because it's easy to screw up,"

"But a win is always a win. So we will take it."

And in typical Sebring fashion, various debutantes ran afoul of the Florida cement mixer track, as both Acura ARX-02a Prototypes failed to finish, although Scott Dixon had grabbed the overall pole position for De Ferran Motorsports, before suspension troubles and a fuel leak forced their retirement, while the Highcroft boys suffered a driveline failure.

And all of the Acura LMP1 runners were apparently feeling the effects of the increased G loadings of their respective mounts, as Dario Franchitti supposedly had a leg cramp from the repeated strain of 4G’s during cornering and braking, as David Brabham had earlier reiterated how everybody had had to step up their training regimen...

Yet, once again the Audi won upon debuting a new racecar, as the perfectly scripted 100th American Le Mans Series event was this year’s Mobil 1 12hrs event, with McNish being simply untouchable in the closing hour of the race, putting some three seconds of a lap gap upon eventual runner-up Montagny, Bourdais and Stephane Sarrazin.

The victory was McNish’s third, while Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen notched their fourth and fifth wins at the fabled track respectively. With “Mr. Le Mans” (Kristensen) now having added the title of Mr. Sebring to his CV, having broken his tie with ex-teammate Frank Biela for outright victories...

But, apparently Dixon and Franchitti were no worse for the wear, as the TCGR duo posted the first and fourth fastest lap times at the following day’s test at Barber Motorsports Park, while Sebastian Bourdais was busy winging his way Down Under for this weekend’s upcoming Australian Grand Prix.

And for those of you north of the border (Meesh) pondering Bobby Rahal’s BMW M3’s GT2 debut, one car wouldn’t turn over at the start of the race, prior to retiring with mechanical gremlins, while Dorsey Schrader gave a much more accurate assessment of the sister car’s engine going “Kablamoe” vs. Rahal’s comment of something happening to the oil tank. (But I’m pretty certain these cars will become competitive shortly, as they’ve got four really good drivers and BMW likes to win...)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Last minute F1 rule changes 2.0

Perhaps you’ve heard about the controversial last moment rule changes which could significantly impact the face of Formula 1 in the near and overall future... These being the change to the points system and the budget cap formula.

I am most aghast over the farcical changing of the scoring system, which having been ram rodded thru the WMSC on March 17th, was to see whoever had the most wins during the season being proclaimed the Driver’s Champion... While second place onwards would have been decided by overall points as well as the Constructor’s Championship, as this rule was seemingly brought into farce by Emperor Bernardo decreeing his most absurd “Medals” system for the three podium spots a la the Olympics, as the person with the most gold medals would be champion. Yet, as I posted the link to an online poll over this, I along with the majority of participants were vehemently opposed to the idea, as I believe the poll was running somewhere in the 77% + region AGAINST this... But hey, what do the fans know, eh?

While I’m all in favour of the driver with the most victories winning that season’s title, I don’t think this should be artificially created, I mean if I wanna watch big time wrasslin’ I can simply drop in on some Roundy-round series

Yet, I’m sure this won’t be the last time the FIA tinkers with the point’s structure, as they’ve now changed their tune, deferring the new points system until 2010 after the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) challenged this last minute switch and pointed out two sections of the rules book being breached by the FIA over this matter...

And contrary to popular belief, it’s the FIA, nee Bernardo who got us into this predicament. As prior to 2003 the points were 9-6-4-3-2-1. But with Michael Schumacher dominating that season’s Championship; besting his nearest competitor (teammate Rubens Barrichello) by a then record 67 points enroute to winning 11 Grand Prix’s, the “Schumacher” rule was invoked. With the current watering down of the points to eighth place and being awarded 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1; which almost produced the result being sought, a new Driver’s Champion as the Finnish upstart Kimi Raikkonen looked poised to knock Michael off his thrown with a multitude of second place finishes in only his third season, before ultimately finishing runner-up to Herr Schumacher by a scant two points. Meanwhile arch nemesis Juan Pablo Montoya finished third overall, a mere 11 points adrift, as a three horse race for World Champion existed during the majority of the season. Yet if “The Iceman” (Raikkonen) had won that year’s title, it would have been on the propensity of his runner-up finishes. (7-0) Hmm? Where was Ecclestone then? Isn’t that the exact scenario he’s bellyaching over now, as Schumacher had a total of six wins vs. Raikkonen’s one. Yet, even with the tweaking of the points system, Schuey went onto Throttle the competition in ’04 with an obscene 13 victories...

And if Michael Schumacher is ASTOUNDED! And Fernando Alonso wants to know why they’re constantly changing the rules... Do the voices of two multiple World Champions resonate and does anything more really need to be said? Even Lewis Hamilton has spoken out against this, not to mention two prominent Team Principles... I mean what’s next? Will we return to the era of Senna-Prost deliberately taking one another off the track and out of races to secure Championships... As I’d prefer to leave “The Rubbin’ is Racin’” to another crowd.

And thus, thankfully we’ll hold off from this nonsense for the following season, as I believe that we should either retain the current points system or better yet the FOTA’s proposal of tweaking the points to favour driver’s incentive for winning, i.e.; 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1.

As for the just announced budget cap formula, I’m a bit foggy upon this since first off there seems to be two different figures floating about, as I’ve seen both $30 million and $42m being bantered about le internets, unless that’s the current Euro vs. Dollar conversion rate? (OUCH!) As this new formula devised by the deviant Sir MAXXUM is a new formula for which teams would have nearly unlimited freedom in car design in return for these teams entire season budget not exceeding this figure, and that includes Driver’s and Team Principle’s salaries; as in everything minus the kitchen sink, Err team’s motor home and any subsequent fines.

Interestingly, I’m drawn into the way back machine, when a similar synopsis occurred during a previous struggle between teams and the FIA during the onset of the turbo era in the early 1980’s, when the mostly British Cosworth runners were given one set of rules, most notably a weight break and the upstart turbo chariots were forced to live with a higher weight limit... Although the turbo cars ultimately prevailed until these outrageous horsepower laden vehicles were abolished for the 1989 season... So will history prevail once again or will this become part of F1’s new allure, as sliding weight scales and inlet restrictors in the name of level playing fields isn’t exactly a new concept, yet this doesn’t seem fitting for the pinnacle of Motorsport, nor does the bungled hashing about rules.

Although it’s hard to think that perhaps the achieved effect has occurred, since everybody was talking about it, even RASSCAR just weeks prior to the season kickoff...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuskegee Red Tail to race at Indy?

Whale originally I was gonna post a most horrific picture of some buffoon named “Dubbah-U” in front of a Mission Accomplished banner. As after all today is the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq...

But instead I’ll pay homage to some long forgotten Airmen, as in the Tuskegee Airmen who’ll FINALY be honoured this month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, along with the possibility of one of the 33 cars taking the grid being dubbed a “Red Tail” racecar in deference to the Tuskegee Airmen’s signature crimson tails of their war birds during World War II...

Tuskegee Airmen to be honored at Indy 500

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hanging with the big Dawgs

Whale that was very COOL! As an Indy Car “Cub Reporter,” nee Blog Vurd Botcherer, I got to listen to my very first live Indy Car Teleconference ever via the telephone today courtesy of Mr. Arni of the IRL. With three of Andretti Green Racing’s big guns: Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti fielding questions from various press members.

Of course it probably helps if you dial the right FLIPPIN’ telephone number, eh? As I was furiously trying to figure this out and ended up missing the first seven plus minutes...

But suddenly there was the Boss “Mikey’s” voice booming into my ear... And I got to hear the majority of the teleconference... As I found it most comical to hear some of the usual questions, like from a Canadian press member: Asking Michael how the Danica to F1 rumours would affect the team this season? To which Michael said; well I think every year we have some sort of distraction going on... I don’t think it’ll be an issue, as we know Danica pretty well and I don’t expect it to be a problem.

Then from the same press member from Up North Eh? Michael, what do you think about the new F1 wins formula? To which Michael said Huh? Of which would have only been better if he’d said eh? But even after having the question posed multiple times Michael still didn’t know what he was asking. So Tony Kanaan broke in and explained the new policy just created for this year’s Formula 1 Championship by explaining that whoever gets the most wins – wins the title. Michael paused and said he didn’t think he necessarily agreed with that as it should be whoever is the most consistent over the season... But I would have probably won a lot more Championships if we’d had that...

Marco Andretti, how does driving in the A1GP help your Oval racing? Marco, any driving is good driving... (As in seat time is always valuable). And what do you think about having J.R. Hildebrand as your teammate down the road... To which Marco seemingly said the obligatory answer of I’m sure he’d be a good fit, blah-blah-blah.

The only questions I heard posed to Tony Kanaan were about this year’s competition to which Tony said; I know we say it every year, but I think the competition will be even tougher this year... You’ve still got 22-23 cars and a lot of veteran drivers and good teams, so it’ll be tough... Of course hopefully we (AGR) can get ahead early before everyone else is up to speed, but we’ve also made changes within the team, so we’ll see...

To which came the funniest response to krack IndyStar reporter Kurt Cavin’s question. Michael how did you get dragged into being Danica’s fulltime radio person and will it be tough for you?

Michael: Peer Pressure! Even though I said I’d never cave into peer pressure, as after all its one more job. And it’s tough, as I was watching all four cars at the Homestead test and said OH SHIT! I’m supposed to be watching Danica... But I think I’ll be able to help her out this year and it’s a good move over all for our team... Even though it’s one more job!

Michael commented how he thought that 2010 would actually be the worst year of the current economic crisis... As in you’ve got multiple sponsorships coming up for renewal... (Like Motorola, which may balk at another 3yr $21 million deal!) But winning will ultimately help take care of that and I hope we can win some more races this year...

Michael also commented how he was very impressed with AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing new Firestone Indy Lights recruit J.R. Hildebrand, saying how he’s already been doing the Rookie sessions in A1GP this year and he thinks he’s definitely a contender for FIL Champion this year.

Michael; with four full time Indy Cars, a FIL program and promotion of two separate events do you have any spare time and if so what do you do with it? To which Mikey said; as a promotion company you’re always looking around to see if some new opportunity arises and if it’s financially rewarding...

To which I immediately wanted to blurt out: Like oh I don’t know... Hey how ‘bout Andretti Green Promotions tackling returning Portland to the Indy Car Series, eh? Yeah I know we get versus here, but Canada may have three races in the future? And the closest the series comes to the Pacific Northwest is California...
And that concludes this Teleconference, of which a digital recording will be available one hour after... You may now disconnect from this teleconference as the line went blank...

Kudos Arni!

AGR Teleconference Transcript

12 Hours of Sebring

Whale... It’s just around the corner, as this weekend features the 57th running of the Mobil 1 12hrs of Sebring Sports Car race, which is the American Le Mans “Superbowl” event of the season, a la the Rolex 24.

This year’s kick off classic appears to be slightly down upon overall entries, albeit a strong field nonetheless, as the ALMS is touting the fact that multiple Auto manufacturer’s will be taking part with such names as Acura, Audi, Ferrari and Peugeot to name a few.

You may wish to check out a pretty entertaining show upon SPEED; Project LMP1 which dissects Acura’s revolutionary approach to making its petrol powered race car able to potentially defeat the diesel powered titans of its sport by building a racecar with the rear wheels mounted on the front...

Look for De Ferran Motorsports and Patron/Highcroft Racing to run these interesting Acura ARX-02a creations vs. the Audi and Peugeot’s, as both will be featuring two car line-ups of very accomplished racers. Peugeot will have a raft of Formula 1 drivers while Audi will have its legendary Endurance racers behind the wheel.

Meanwhile Chip Ganassi has given his two Indy Car pilots a Day pass to compete in the grueling road race on the pumbling concrete straights of Sebring’s ex-Bomber air base, as Scott Dixon will co-drive with Gil De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud, while Dario Franchitti will partner Scott Sharp and David Brabham. As I’m guessing they’ll be high tailing it upon “Cheep’s” personal G5 in order to be on hand at the Barber Indy Car test session the day after...

Look for an impressive eleven hours of TV coverage on the SPEED Channel this Saturday (March 21) beginning at 7AM Pacific, preceded by a rerun of the Acura Project LMP1 show at 6AM: As always check your local listings...

Sebring Spotters Guide

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Whale may the luck ‘O thee Irish be with Y’all today... As apparently its time once again to drink some green adult beverages, eat corn hash stew and dance your merry way to a jig or two...

As hopefully Dario “REO Speedwagon” Franchitti won’t be busy eating’ too many Lucky Charms... Although he claims they’re “Magically Delicious.”

And thus a wee bit ‘O Irish humour for uze lepracon’s frolicking’ about... Did you hear about the benevolent owner Michael O'Leary of ryanair, who wishes to install pay toilets on all of his Aeroplanes... Hmm? Leaves a whole knew term for paying’ a pound to dump a pound, eh? I mean talk ‘bout taking the piss outta flying...

And apparently one mad Pole has taken his revenge upon Ireland for decades of Polish jokes... As did you hear about the Speeding Pole; NOT to be cornfused with “The Krakow Kid,” a.k.a. Robert Kubica... As this would be lawbreaker managed to brilliantly elude the Irish Constables by telling them his name was “Drivers license” in Polish...

The mystery of Ireland’s worst driver

And lastly, has anybody seen Derrick Daily and his Hollyhocks?

Irish F1 Piloto’s

The death of the Seattle PI

It seems fitting that while we’re celebrating Saint Patty’s Day... The Seattle Post Intelligencer is sadly celebrating its last... As the death of a beloved Seattle institution and icon has just printed its very last real honest to good newspaper edition... As our town of two journalistic fish wraps has finally been whittled down to one, which precariously hangs in the balance of a most literary city. As I find it tragic to see the Hearst Corporation simply throw away 146 years of tradition...

The pioneering P-I slips into the past

Monday, March 16, 2009

And then there were 10 little...

Chickenzs Liddle? As Y’all knows itz tastes likes chicken... As I was just ponderin’ if 10 Little Indians was Politically Correct anymore? As the Ten; Yup, count-em All 10 Formula 1 Constructors were present and accounted for at the very final Pre-season Formula 1 test held at Barcelona last week, and DAMN! You’ll never guess who took the top honours of this weeks Winter Olympics... As none other then casually late to the dance pardner Brawn GP flexed its musk-cles in dare I say it? To entice potential sponsors to ante up? As rumours have suggested that perhaps either Emirates Airlines or Austrian based online gambling company Bwin, or both may be posting signage on the Brawn “Bee-Gee 01: (BGP001) chassis... Which could arrive in Melbourne sporting a Black ‘N Orange paint scheme? As I don’t believe those colours have been seen since the days ‘O Tom Walkinshaw’s Orange Arrows outfit; while I’m certain some F1 aficionado will correct me upon this?

Barcelona Day 4 Test times
1) R. Barrichello/Brawn GP, 1:18.926, 110 laps
2) N. Rosberg/Williams, 1,:19.774, 120
3) T. Glock/Toyota, 1:20.091, 128
4) S. Vettel/Red Bull, 1:20.576, 83
5) F. Alonso/Renault, 1:20.664, 64

Final winter test at Barcelona

Weekend follies

Whale, why am I constantly reminded of an ‘Ol Bosses mantra to his weekly Friday group hug-athons... What is Friday followed by? (In the Northwest) Tuh-duh... Two days of RAIN! An thus, as its pelting the windows, I thought I’d blather on about the most productive ‘O weekends...

As its now become almost a rallying point ‘O mine, I’m predetermined to not plug in any ‘O my countless Formula 1 VHS tapes and hold out just a little longer for the start of the “live” 2009 racing season, as the F1 season opener is less than a fortnight away.

Thus, I found myself pinin’ around the Telescreen, ensconced with my new 437 buttons comca$t DIG-it-TULL remote... GASP! They’ve even been so bold to emblazon their logo upon it in letters LARGER then the TV channel buttons... And Hmm? I’m wondering’ why it doesn’t have the most helpful “Nub” upon the 5 digit for those of us visually impaired, eh?

Thus while trying’ out this new fangled gadget, how ‘bout a little breakfast ambiance? As I stumbled upon the SPEED airing of Acura Project LMP1, which was all about Acura’s revolutionary new American Le Mans prototype... Which will be re-aired this coming Thursday at 5PM Pacific, preceded at 4PM (PST) by the 2009 ALMS preview show...

And then I had to try ‘N see if I could record something’ on duh VCR and Whoa Nellie! I’ll see if I can shatter my speakers or make the neighbor’s Chihuahua bark excessively with an hour of Mike King trying to lose his vocal chords... As I found it funny how much footage of ‘Lil Al made the cut and I especially enjoyed the part about him saying He F%%KING Got me! As some chap by the name of Jeff Ward beat him at Texas... Not to mention the footage of Alex Barron and Bryan Herta and some dude named “Spike!” (Dan Wheldon) During the Versus Indy Car promo.

Then later that afternoon I had to watch the World Superbikes from Qatar, as these dudes are simply FREAKIN’ amazing... As the announcer prattled off 308, 312, 315 and I’ve even seen a top speed of 322k/ph... Which is 200mph! And that’s on a two wheel Scooter with NO HANS device, roll cage or six point harness... As Ben Spies simply DOMINATED the weekend... Fastest in every practice session; Pole position; Fastest lap and a most unprecedented “Double” (Two heats) victory... Now having snatched the last three wins out of his first four heats... And then I cap the weekend off by watching’ some tape delayed coverage of The Speed Report and Wind Tunnel! Ah, the life of a listless ‘scribe, eh? Now I’d better go ‘N see if I can find something green to wear Tuesday...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shiny Happy People?

Whale, this story seemed appropriate... Since after all it’s once again Friday the 13th, as I’ve just been sittin’ around drinkin’ a glass ‘O Veeso-berry juice, ‘cause its ggGGG-GURR-REAT!

Actually it seemed most ironic that my appointment to have my shiny new (DIGG-it-TULL) Box installed was slated for today, eh? Oh, we’ll be there between 8AM-Noon, will that work for you Sir?

So, I was scanning the newspapers... Y’all remember what those thingy’s are, eh? And another bemused smirk came to Mwah, when reading about the couple whose used couch came complete with... Drum roll please... Yep, its very own feline... As the woman’s boyfriend noticed a lump in the seat cushion moving as he was watching the Telescreen...

Used couch for $27; cat included.

And now I can happily(NOT!) report that I’ve just had my shiny new Comm-Spazdick Box installed and all systems seemingly are A-OTAY... Although it was pretty comical that the Box I’d been mailed was NOT pre-programmed and after waiting over 20+ minutes, the nice Technician said I’m going to go get another box that I know is already set-up and we DON’T have-duh wait the few hours it’ll take to run thru all of the programs...

Of course Sir, you WON’T be able to record multiple channels on your very ‘Old School VCR... Since all commands are now being routed thru the Box... And you’ll have to leave the Box turned on at all times in order to record your single channel.

Attention all planets of the Solar Federation,
Attention all planets of the Solar Federation,
We have Assumed control!
We have Assumed control!

Thus now I’ll be able to keep up on all of the Hollywood gossip as apparently I’m way outta duh loop when it comes to this shiz...

Examples; Whale do I really want to go dare, do I? But imagine my pains when I thought I had some sorta inside scoop upon these two headlines: “An itty-bitty Kiwi in the making” and “Will rubicon really race?” from is it May yet?

Oh the first “Juan” is probably about this Down Under up ‘N comer racer I keep hearing ‘bout named CW, while isn’t the second “Juan” ‘bout Patrick Dempsey’s latest racing venture?

Uhm, well actually NO! As Chris Wootton (CW) is an Aussie who’s just signed for Eurasia Motorsport for the 2009 Formula BMW Pacific season and is reportedly under the tutelage of Aussie F1 piloto Mark Webber... While Rubicon is actually Hollywood Heartthrob Jason Priestley’s gig; so DAMN! Guess I’ll have-duh start watchin’ Entertainment Tonight on my Comcast channel 497863.4... (Gotta LUV all ‘dem channel choices on my new expando-matic service...) Now let’s see, uze gotta waves itz up in duhs aire and taps itz three times... Oh Never Mind!

But you’ll probably just wanna use your old TV remote to turn the power on and off, since your (EVIL Comm-Spazdick) Box has a teeny weenie itzy bitsy red light that lets you know when the powers on/off! Open the pod bay doors... Open the pod bay doors, Hal; DAMMIT!

Now if you just push the tiny button above the 7, that’ll take you to the On Demand menu for when you’re awake at 2AM and cannot sleep and wanna slog thru the free movies section... No, the next tiny button up, over a little, just to the right... That’s it. And then even more hilarious was the comment that the Technician doesn’t even own a TV! Now could you just please sign here, Sir...

Nice job on the Stork news Will... Now by-gummit! Where’s ‘dat waskly remote, eh?

I thought I heard a Puddy-tat...


Hello? Hellow? Dave’s NOT here right now! BUTT how do I turn on the SPEED Channel?


Senna squeezed out

Prior to Ross Brawn’s takeover, Err Management buyout of the forlorn Honda F1 racing team, Bruno Senna had tested for the Brackley based squad and an inking of his replacing of Formula 1’s elder statesman Ruben Barrichello seemed immanent.

But with the prolonged negotiations of possible suitors, along with Max Mosley’s deepening cuts against testing, there was little room for the aspiring Brazilian to make the jump into F1 this year and hence, Bruno having forgone opportunities to remain in GP2 is now left pondering his racing future...

And with it being Friday the 13th and all of that stuff that goes along with it, (Hmm? Where’s Mr. EJ Visoberry?) I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to scribble about Bruno, whom after all last year had the bizarre incident with a wandering Nomadic pooch upon a GP2 racing circuit!

Yet, Bruno has just tested at Paul Ricard with Team Oreca Matmut aboard one of their LMP1 prototypes; alongside ex-Formula 1 piloto Olivier Panis, Le Mans 24 Hour winner Stephane Ortelli and Team Oreca endurance regulars Nicolas Lapierre and Soheil Ayari, as they prepare the teams Courage-Oreca LC70’s for this years upcoming 24 Heurs du Mans event, although Bruno’s just testing with the team...

Dog Day Afternoon

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Porsche legend hits milestone

One of Porsche’s most legendary racing cars of all time has just celebrated its 40th birthday... As the Porsche 917 simply reeked terror during its brief reign as the Terminator of International Sports Car racing between 1970-72, not to mention the unbeatable Can Am 917/10 & 917/30 monstrosities raced by George Folmer and Mark Donohue for Roger Penske...

And these Porsche’s are simply astounding, as I’ve been lucky enough to see the L & M and Sunoco (amongst several others) Can Am behemoths whooshing by at the Monterey Historics, along with watching some ex-CART triple champion named Bobby Rahal lightly toss around Bruce McCaw’s #2 Gulf/Wyer vehicle at Pacific Raceway... Although I suppose the car will always be remembered most fondly for its role with Steve McQueen in the epic movie Le Mans...

Porsche 917 turns 40

Patrick Dempsey and Team Seattle join forces

Some great news was sent to me recently by Team Seattle publicist Bonnie Yonker. )Hmm? Any relation to our local Yonker Nissan Dealership, eh?) As the Press Release notes that Patrick Dempsey has decided to enlist the services of his Dempsey Racing in a partnership with Team Seattle in their very first assault upon the Circuit de la Sarthe, in this year’s 24 Heurs Du Mans. (June 13-14)

Dempsey will partner veteran Grand Am road racer Don Kitch Jr. and 2008 Koni Challenge Champion Joe Foster aboard a magnificent Ferrari F430GT, being prepared by FIA GT Championship winning team Advanced Engineering, base in Milan, Italy, for the team’s competition in the GT2 category.

In what has become a Team Seattle hallmark over the past dozen years, the team will once again be raising funds for Seattle’s Childrens Hospital, while taking on a unique partnership with Team France’s alliance with Mecenat Chirurgie Cardiaque Enfant du Monde Organization this year.

Dempsey will continue racing for Mazda in the Grand Am Road Racing series this season, but has always been impressed by Team Seattle’s efforts and has been willing to help out however possible and jumped at this unique opportunity.

Our wonderful Vintage Racing Organization SOVREN’s annual 4th ‘O July Historic Event honours Seattle Childrens Hospital and Regional Centers...

Good Luck team Seattle!

Team Seattle to race at Le Mans
Don't Miss Team Seattle's Le Mans Race Day Party!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR4

The wait is over for the arrival of Toro Rosso’s 2009 challenger, as the Fienza based squad unveiled the Adrian Newey designed racecar yesterday at the Barcelona test session with The Hamburgular (S. Bourdais) being given the honours of first drive. Sea Bass” will be behind the controls the first two days of testing before the rookie Sebastian Buemi takes over for the final two days. And like last year, the biggest difference between the STR4 and it’s Big Brother RB5 is the Ferrari V-8 lump vs. Red Bull Racing’s Renault V-8...

Launch Notes

Hulio’s big adventure

So its interesting to me how there seemingly is so little mainstream media attention being given to Helio Castroneves Tax Evasion case, as more of America seems to be echoing the sentiments of “Junior Nation” in asking what’s wrong with “Little E?”

And having just watched the Wind Tunnel portion with Robin Miller and then reading an interesting piece on Hulio’s “personal” lawyer Alan Miller, one must wonder just what exactly is going on here, eh? As Robin says that Hulio “Isn’t a Crook” and Tim Tuttle claims that Alan Miller is a stand-up Attorney. (Sounds like an Oxy-moron to me...) Yet, I’m left wondering why Mr. Miller has hired Robert Bennett, who was President Bill Clinton's lawyer in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case; while Hulio has retained Roy Black, who represented radio host Rush Limbaugh in his prescription drug misuse trial, and who’s paying the legal fees...

Also, Mr. Miller’s current clients include Jimmy Johnson, Casey Mears and some Open Wheel Racing diva named Danica Patrick. Hmm? I’m guessing they’re all crossing their “I’s” and dotting their “T’s” at the moment? As it seems a bit odd that this seemingly stems around a 10yr old accusation, as Jeff of My Name is IRL has done a good job writing about in Searching for Helio news, as apparently there seems to be some scorned lovers in the contretemps, eh?

So, I’m just wondering who dropped the dime upon Hulio and is this just another case of the US Government searching for any quick income as they seem to be chasing any potential tax evading citizens during our economic crisis...

Tax trial opens for Hulio

Monday, March 9, 2009

Centennial Era Gala held

As previously mentioned, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been running a series of video clips of various racing highlights from the past as it prepared to kick-off it’s 100yr Centennial (trilogy) Era celebration with a gala ceremony on February 27th. The shin-dig was attended by 19 of the 27 living Indy 500 champions, along with other noted participants including Janet Guthrie, Lyn St James and Sarah Fisher.

Friday night fights:
Rivalries in racing never die, although they might mellow just a bit. That was Bobby Unser's sentiment Feb. 27 at the IMS Centennial Era Gala.
A reporter asked three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Unser whether old rivalries between the Unsers, A.J. Foyt and others might heat up. Unser joked that he was skeptical the Gala would stay peaceful.
"I can't promise you that," he said with a laugh. "There could be some problems. But I noticed Foyt's down in Houston with airplane troubles, so that takes care of half the fights right there. Parnelli (Jones) is here, though, to take care of Foyt."

This comes from a man who made my Baddest Bad Asses list for once lighting a Rolls Royce on fire during a demolition derby... As Bobby’s NO stranger to fisti-cuffs... Just ask the Albuquerque Police!

IMS Centennial Era Gala notes

Moonlight Ride

Whale it sure is a good thing that it’s almost time for Formula 1 to begin, eh? As I was hunkerin’ for some racing action and decided to watch some of the craziest road racers out there, by dropping in for this weekend’s AMA Daytona 200, being held underneath the lights for the very first time in its 68th running.

Interestingly, the Speed Freaks very first guest Sunday night was none other then Ben bostrom, whose interview was followed up by the question: Which is more intense racing? Formula 1 cars or AMA Motorcycles; to which “Stat Man Caruthers pointed out even though the G-Forces are amazing in F1, try watching “Scooter” piloto’s throw a two wheel bike into a corner with one knee touching and ratcheting their speed down from 190+ to 50mph in just mere seconds!

And what a doozy of a race it was... As it seemed like a very chaotic event, as these ultimate Sports bikes have NO headlights and thus, when the lighting fails... Like it did during the midpoint of the race, that’s NOT a good thing, eh? Especially when it’s in the portion of track where the hairpin is, and thus after a Yellow flag was thrown and a pace car dispatched, one of the 75 competitors smashed into the back of another stationary Scooter causing a Red flag period. Then another Yellow flag had to be thrown as the Pace Car had waived everybody around, including the race leader... OOPS! And that’s not to mention the rider who’d repaired his bike with duct tape... So, it was a very messy race indeed!

And then the following night, going for a double scoop of Scooter racing... I tuned-in for the Supercross throw down, which pitted James Stewart against Chad Reid for the points lead as they were tied coming into the event... As I’ve just been informed that 20yr old Ryan Villopoto, who was picked as Stewart’s replacement at Kawasaki is a home grown talent, coming from Paulsbo, WA. And the Final Heat was a wild one, as there was the usual hole shot melee... Which saw Stewart go down and then try riding away on the wrong motorcycle! Uhm? Thanks for picking my bike up, now get off of it, uze hears! As Reid went on to capture his second win in a row while Stewart worked his way up to seventh with a broken fender, tweaked steering and no helmet visor...

And to think there’s less than three weeks to go until the Australian Grand Prix...

Bostrom wins Daytona 200

Friday, March 6, 2009

Brawn GP Formula 1 team announced

Within one minute of Big Ben striking midnight, the Honda Motor Company made official one of the worst kept secrets by announcing that all shares of Honda HRF1, the British holding company for the firm’s Formula One effort have been sold to Ross Brawn.

Thus look for Brawn GP to indeed take the green flag at Melbourne this March 29th with current ex-Honda F1 drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, whom enter their fourth season as teammates, with an astounding 423 starts between them.

The team will indeed utilize customer Mercedes Benz lumps, with “Jense” set to take some exploratory laps behind the wheel of the BGP001 at Silverstone shortly before the team will participate in the final test session next week at Barcelona...

The team seemingly is good to go on its nomenclature, as the team’s website will be Brawngp.com, with NO words of Bernice having any hissy-fits over this... While speculation suggests that former Force India Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne, currently on forced Gardening leave, could potentially take on the role of Technical Director at the newly constituted Brawn GP...

Let’s make a Deal!

While the credit crunch continues to gobble it’s way thru the Global Economy, apparently Max Mosley and the Formula One teams Association (FOTA) are in a race to see who’ll be first to produce the correct blueprint for the future of the sport, as the FOTA has just revealed their roadmap in Geneva, which is certain to differ and most likely go against Mosley’s and Bernie Ecclestone’s visions...

Teans willing to sign new concorde deal

Bernie banishes USF1

Apparently Emperor Bernardo has decided to once again flex his muscles... Having let Peter Winsor & Ken Anderson enjoy their moment in the sun, before Uncle Burrnaughty decided to show the two blokes just who’s really the boss of Formula 1 when he made it public that USF1 was to cease immediately the continued usage of F1 in their team’s name and all other entities, as after all by gummit! F1 is the property of Uncle Bernard and his cozy bedfellah’s CVC... As Bernard could be heard all the way across the Atlantic whimpering Mine! Mine! Mine! While ironically ‘lil T. holds the rights to the USGP name. Thus USF1 has forlornly changed its identity to USGPE, say that fast five times, eh? As in U.S. Grand Prix Engineering; yet, before you go spoutin’ off ‘bout how this is another blow against Peter & Ken, for whatever it’s worth they can take solace in the fact that Emperor Bernardo has also informed Vijay Malia that he’ll need to change his racing team’s script as the uppercase “I” in force India apparently has some (go figure?) connotation with his swooshy F1 logo. Hence, the team’s brand should now read FORCE India. Ah, to think that these are the most pressing matters in the Grand Prix arena... Yuh’s gotta LUV-It, eh?
(Thanks to Ed for bringing this to my attention)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Scooter sound bites

As this weekend brings a close to the Daytona “Speed Weeks” marathon, with the running of the Daytona 200 Friday evening, live on SPEED, the event will run underneath the lights for the first time. Look for Miguel Duhamel to potentially win his record sixth Daytona 200 race, while James “bubbah” Stewart will look to resume his winning ways in Saturday’s Supercross event, having seen his streak of seven straight victories being snapped last weekend at Indianapolis’s Lucas Oil Dome...

Spies wins in Superbike debut Ben Spies, the reigning three time AMA Superbike Champion, whom after not getting the nod to move into MOTO GP full time this season, has elected to go World Superbike racing for Yamaha instead. Spies showed his potential by taking pole position for his very first heat race at Phillip Isle in Australia, but faltered to 16th place after running off track. In the second heat, spies was a bit more patient, running behind “Nitro” Noriyuki Haga on a Ducatti, who’d won the races first event, and is considered to be the favourite for the World Superbike title this season. Yet, Spies finally decided to flex his Yamaha R1’s muscle and passed “Haga” in the closing stages and then motored away from the Japanese rider and Italian Max Biaggi who took third place aboard his Aprilla, to win the races second heat and his very first World Superbike race...

Schuey injured in crash
Whale, it appears that seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher is human after all, since the F1 Superstar suffered apparent road rash in a recent “Scooter” accident south of the Border...

Schumacher injured in Motorcycle accident

New “Duc” unveiled
With the opening round of the 2009 MOTO GP season just around the corner, look for the “Kentucky Kid,” a.k.a. Nicky Hayden’s return to the forefront of action, now that he’s once again back on competitive equipment, having made the switch to Ducatti and becoming 2007 MOTO GP Champion Casey Stoner’s teammate, as Hayden who won the MOTO GP crown in 2006 along with Stoner will hope to pressure “The Doctor: and defeat reigning MOTO GP Champion Valentino Rossi this season...

New Ducatti unveiled

Stoner beats Massa
In the traditional Ferrari – Ducati winter team ski follies held at Madonna di Campiglio this past January, MOTO GP star Casey Stoner defeated Felipe Massa in a go kart race held on ice, while Nicky Hayden grabbed the final podium spot.

Kimi Raikkonen wasn’t present, as apparently the Finn had a touch of the flu? (Or simply too much Fizzy the evening before...) While Ferrari tester Marc Gene was at an abortive test session at Vairano, which saw the Scuderia offer Felipe’s younger brother Eduardo an opportunity to come and play in the snow.

Thus, by finishing third, Hayden bested Ducati test rider Vittoriano Guareschi, Luca Badoer and Eduardo Massa in the intra-squad karting race...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Force India VJM02

With less than one month to go prior to Melbourne, we’re now left with only two launches remaining, as the first incarnation of Force India’s 2009 challenger, the VJM02 broke cover and made its maiden debut at Silverstone, for shakedown testing on February 25th prior to this week’s testing at the overly damp Jerez circuit, with seven rival teams on hand.

The VJM02 is what can only be seen as a customer derivative of the McLaren team’s chassis, as they’re providing Mr. Malia’s squad with engine, drivetrain and KERS, along with Force India now being overseen by new Chief Operating Officer Simon Roberts, Whom was previously employed by McLaren.

Yet, recall that this practice has occurred before with Sauber and their past Ferrari links, not to mention the current Red Bull – Toro Rosso collaboration...

The VJM02 will run in a mix of Indian colours, predominantly orange, green and white and one of F1’s elder statesmen, Giancarlo Fisichella said he was pleasantly surprised with the chassis after 50 trouble free laps in his first outing in the new race car. Hmm? Does this imply that the VJM01 was a “Dog” of a racecar last season?

For a fairly descriptive interview regarding the technical changes to the Force India VJM02, see: Technical Notes

More about the New USF1 team

Perhaps you caught the 40 minute press conference hosted by Bob Varsha on the SPEED channel, live from their Charlotte HQ last week? In which Team Principals Ken Anderson and Peter Winsor held court with members of the media.

And while I cannot say that anything of much detail was offered about the new United States Formula 1 team in the making... It was refreshing to relive the “Glory Days” of the storied American participation in the world of Grand Prix racing.

The team will be officially known as USF1, with it’s Sporting Director being Peter Winsor, as in SPEED’s Formula 1 pit lane reporter Messer Winsor; whom will keep his day job for the upcoming Formula 1 season, While the Team Principle will be Ken Anderson, whom will also oversee the Technical direction of the team including the designing of their race car, to which you may have already read about.

Entertainingly, Winsor tossed out the words Skunk Works several times over the past few days in regards to his and Ken’s vision for running this new entity, which dare I say it? Peter cheekily mentioned was possibly the “Poster Child” for the vision of Max & Bernie’s New World Order in Formula One, albeit the enticement into ushering in new racing teams onto the shrinking F1 grid.

And while many may think that this is all just wishful thinking, both of these men have been around the world of Motorsport for very long times indeed, as it is neither’s first shot at running a Formula 1 team, as Winsor noted having known Ken since his days as a Damper expert for Penske Racing... To which Dave Despain was quick to point out those thingy’s are known as shocks over here, Mate. With Anderson’s sporting roots going back to his work with Fox Shocks before stints at Penske, Ligier, Onyx and Ganassi to name a few, while Winsor’s background is already known somewhat, having been with Williams twice and Ferrari once prior to his longstanding association with FOX/SPEED as a commentator, which was preceded by his trying to start not one but two different Formula 1 teams.

Obviously there’s plenty of good reasons for leaving out his past discretions during the soiled Brabham saga from his dossier, as I’d forgotten about the alleged “Mafioso” who’d kidnapped and unabashedly beaten the Brit prior to the whole deal becoming unraveled. Although Winsor would ultimately received some $2.0 million in punitive damages...

So, while everybody else is in a tizzy over who just possibly the drivers will be, as funny enough three names I’d previously mentioned were bantered about, along with some other good choices, I’d just like to know why American John Edwards name is being left out, while I eagerly await the arrival of USF1 to the F1 circus in 2010.

Meanwhile the debate simmers on over whom the potential driver’s should be, with the names of Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick and Kyle Busch still being bantered about. Thus, I particularly like Joe Saward’s outlook upon the Princess ‘N Wild Child being picked... As in it won’t happen, although America would swoon over the thought of this Hollywood typecast Angelina & Brad partnership, while Messer’s Graham and Marco still have miles to go in honing their potential race craft.

I mean C’mon, do you really think the FIA would let the Queen of Indy Car’s do her Danicker Stomp in the Pit Lane...

The Peter and Ken Show

Will Honda F1 become Brawn Racing?

With less than four weeks remaining until this season’s opening round of the F1 Championship in Australia, rumours abound that the management buyout of Honda F1 Racing has gone ahead after rejection of both Richard Branson’s possible bid and Bernie Ecclestone’s offering of $143 million failing, as it now appears that Ross Brawn will lead the team into battle this season under the name of Brawn Racing... As reportedly web domains have been purchased (for humour try searching for brawnracing.com) and Caroline McGrory has been appointed as Secretary, who will be responsible for all legal proceedings of the company, as McGrory is a lawyer and has previously worked for both BAR Honda and Honda F1 Racing.

Interestingly during the USF1 “LUV-Fest” on SPEED, Peter Winsor commented in the extra innings of Wind Tunnel that it would cost Honda $130 million to close the Team, so as the pundits are predicting, look for Honda to remain a silent partner in hopes of repurchasing the team in the future, as it made little sense to pull the plug upon its massive investment...

And like USF1, the Brackley based outfit will run with customer engines, as reportedly Vijay Malia has given his blessing for the Mercedes Benz supply to ross Brawn to go ahead, which seems a tad funny if the Honda links do in fact remain, while USF1 has yet to announce any deals with any FIA approved engine suppliers...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sarah Fisher on Autosport

Whale... I find it hard to believe that I’ve scooped the “Dawg;” as in Pressdog, who appears to be a pretty big Sarah Fisher supporter. (Since I know we both donated funds to her INDY 500 effort last year). Yet, as far as I can tell, NO word has been mentioned yet that Sarah will be a guess on the Autosport Radio Show this Tuesday. (7PM ET)

(Thank You letter from Sarah Fisher)

DAMN! Wish I could be there in person as Sarah’s list of FIRST’s in Indy Car’s are MORE then Danica’s...

UOWWBA Weekly Question

"Of the unemployed drivers in the Indycar Series (see below) which two would you employ to join your racing team"
Ryan Hunter-Reay; Oriol Servia; Justin Wilson; Darren Manning; Buddy Rice; AJ Foyt IV; Bruno Junqueira; Enrique Bernoldi; Jaime Camara; Townsend Bell; Mario Dominguez; Jay Howard; Alex Lloyd or Tomas Sheckter.

First of all, lets subtract the drivers whom appear to already have been picked up off of the waiver wires; as Justin Wilson & Bruno Junqueira appear to be driving for Dale Coyne; while Jaime Camara could be potentially doing a TAG’ team effort with Alex Tagliani at Conquest and Buddy Rice seems a lock for the new Rubycon/PCM effort. Meanwhile I believe that Alex Lloyd is still a Ganassi employee, while Jay Howard has wisely returned to Indy Lights in order to pull a “RAFA,” with Ryan Hunter-Reay rumoured to be sniffing around the HVM compound...

Naturally the top choice would be between Hunter-Reay and Wilson, but I’m assuming there both gone. Thus I’d be hard pressed to pick two drivers out of the following five leading candidates: Bell, Dominguez, Manning, Scheckter and Servia; while Bernoldi could be a dark horse pick. Although Dominguez wouldn’t be in my overall mix, he could be a big asset to both the series and sponsors alike, since I’d assume his Mexican connections would be huge...

And Servia would be an Owners delight as he seems highly reliable and typically not hard on equipment, while Bell would seemingly fit into this category.

Thus I’d be really hard pressed over my three finalists: Bell, Manning and Scheckter, as I think Manning is an absolute hoot to be around, even if Super Tex fired him for being “Too Knackered!” He’d be my sentimental choice, but I’d go with Bell and Scheckter as this would give me a stable of quick, hungry lions wishing to prove their worthiness...

IRL roars to life

Whale sorta, somewhat sedated... As you’ve probably heard that Tony G. ain’t throwin’ out any free Tenderloin Sandwiches, Err free Support the Indy Car’s slush fund this year, as ‘lil T could be heard all the way down pit lane bellyaching ‘bout NOT getting’ NOSE (IRL) Stimulus package...
But, you’ve gotta wonder just how tough times really are when Mr. George is unwilling to dig into his piggybank in order to fund a second car on his racing team, as I’m now guessing’ that he’s back off of Quattro’s wedding invitee’s list, eh? (Or is he simply keeping the seat open for a limited campaign with PT? Mmm! Fresh... Can you say FREE Subway sandwiches?)

Yet as one media member noted, its been 170 days since Chicagoland and the roar of Honda Indy lumps, as there were indeed several ICS teams on hand to take part in the ’09 season testing kick-off, as much buzz was centered upon NOT Danica... But when Newman Haas lanigan’s three trailer armada would roll out a race car with Milka duno behind the wheel of the No. 23 CITGO/Artic Ice Dallara; although I still think the choice of #00 is much better... As it fits the NHLR RASSCAR Double ought theme, eh? Does this mean that Robert Doornbos will now become Buckshot Bobby?

And I’m going’ out on a limb here... As I’ve heard that “Marky-Mark,” a.k.a. Marco andretti’s new “Associate” sponsor will be Almond Joy: Because sometime’s you feels like a Nut; sometimes uze Don’t! (Rim shot please...)
Back to the on track testing... As this typical Hard Hitting report from the IndyStar.com is chock full of information. (NOT!)

Briscoe leads 2nd day of testing
Ryan Briscoe led the way Wednesday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the Indy Car Series concluded its first open test of the season.
His lap of 212.156 mph was the fastest of the two-day event at the track that will host the season's final race on Oct. 10. The season begins April 5 on a street course in St. Petersburg, Fla.
There were no accidents either day. Wednesday's top five included Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Mario Moraes. (See times on page B7.)

Now there’s only a few issues with this article... first of all it wasn’t available on the day it claims it was posted; not to mention the gauntlet of commercials one has to navigate thru to get the news blurb, including the intrusive advertisement when you first log onto there website... Along with having to plug in your personal data to read the story; and finally, how do we get to page B7 of an online story? Ah! Welcome to the shrinking world of REAL Newspapers! But I digress...

Yet, as the Blogosphere has already dissected the two days of Homestead testing, I thought I’d throw out the following observations:

Graham Rahal & Robert Doornbos have apparently switch Car numbers for the ’09 season? As Rahal was in #02, while Doornbos was piloting the #06, with his swooshy sponsorship “Deckal’s” affixed to the sidepods.

And although Justin Wilson languished near the bottom of the time sheets, I for one am extremely happy just to see that he’ll have a full time ride this season and thus, I’m certain he’ll move up the ladder once the racing season commences. I mean, HELL! If you’re wunderin’ just how hard it is to adapt to a new team, machinery, etc. take a look at the RASSCAR pilot named Stanton Barrett, eh?

DAMN! I sure miss the smell of Methanol in the morning!