Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back to the Wet Stuff

Your Humble Scribe has returned from a very entertaining outing on the other side of Washington… Where it was most hot ‘N dry, as opposed to the Western side which has officially begun its Fall dreariness… As we were greeted to dark skies, rush-hour traffic and medium precipitation, which is forecasted thru the remainder of the week, not to mention being quite a bit cooler…

Of course I’ve not heard or read one iota of Der Motern Racen Vurld & will now attempt to watch last weekend’s Singapore GP which hopefully has been caught upon le ‘Ol Memorex…

Ghost Rider

By Neil Peart (2002; 460 Pages)
I started reading Ghost Rider on May 16, 2004, before numerous interruptions followed, i.e.; Vacations, (Two trips to Japan, the San Juan Islands, Arizona and countless treks to Tacoma, along with a few RUSh concerts to boot before I finished reading the book on April 28, 2005; Aye Karumba!

I bought Neil’s two books: The Masked Rider *his bicycling trek across Africa) and Ghost Rider after Mary Ellen and I saw RUSh perform at The Gorge in George, WA on Sept 12, 2002, which ironically was Neil’s 50th Birthday.

Originally, I’d planned to read the book in the future once I got my reading aides figured out and with great persistence from Mary Ellen, I finally bought a CCTV and once again was able to read books!

Forward
Having not heard of Neil Peart’s ordeals until purchasing Ghost Rider: It's the story of his daughter and wife's death and his road to mental recovery...
Although Neil was never officially married, he’d lived in a common-law marriage for 23 yrs with his wife Jackie Taylor and daughter Selina Taylor.

On August 10, 1997, Selina perished in a single car accident on her way home to Toronto, as she was returning to begin college at the age of 19.
After this tragedy Jackie went into mourning. The couple then spent 6 months in London attending grief counseling. Upon returning home Jackie was diagnosed with cancer as she simply did NOT wish to live after the death of her daughter. Upon traveling to Barbados, Jackie passed away after an agonizing final two months…

Roadshow
Thus, after having purchased the book a few years earlier, my new target was to finish the book prior to RUSh’s upcoming 30th Anniversary tour concerts during the summer of 2004. Of which I attended four shows at Auburn, WA, Vancouver, WA, Mountain View, CA and Concord, CA during the month of July with RUSh “Groupie” Mark.

Yet, unfortunately due to ALL of my gallivanting about I wasn’t able to finish this book until much-much-much later… Upon having taken a siesta from multiple journeys’ to ‘N fro; I finally sat down to finish this DAMM BOOK! To which I elatedly said; “Mission Accomplished!” at the end of April 2005; SHEISA!

Yet, since I found this book so fascinating, it wasn’t read in the normal fashion. Instead while reading a chapter; I would take notes for which would become my references for my book review project.

But as I began the second half of the book, (Page 230) I discovered that I was missing my notes on the first 200pages I’d previously written... (Sometime back in 2004, SHEISA!!!)

So I went back and revisited the first six chapters, before continuing this laborious method of reading the remainder of the book... And starting in May 2005 I began my “Book Review Project,” finishing the original draft on June 9th. Then “All HELL broke loose” as the Call of Summer impeded this ever Mushrooming project! Along with “Action-Packed” summer travels, I was enticed to read another mammoth book: The Creature from Jekyll Island. (588pgs) By Edward Griffin, as I followed the same slow-motion reading process of Ghost Rider on this deeply fascinating book, albeit being interrupted once again; yet, with the Formula One and “Chump Carzs” season over, I finally became motivated to finish the DAMM Ghost Rider review!!!

As with ALL of my writing projects; Ghost Rider seemed to continuously grow larger and larger, as I scrambled to finish it prior to my trek to Arizona for Thanksgiving. But upon returning, my micro-SOFT Word 2002 became CORRUPTED and led to a month’s period of NOT being able to open any word files… F%%KING Confuzer’s!

So, after nearly two years the 36 page Ghost rider report was completed, seeming a distant memory… Although I was very jealous of Neil’s journey and enjoyed learning about several places I’ve never been!

And then in the fall of 2006 I began scribbling my No Fenders “BLOB” which has completely re-arranged my reading priorities, as there’s only about another seven books in the queue currently!
Tomaso

Ghost Rider; Chapter 6
Leaving early on a sleepy Sunday morning, Neil stopped in “The Onion Capitol; Walla Walla (WA) for breakfast at the Red Apple, and with the weather being so fine, two mysterious attractions Neil had previously heard of called his name. The replica Stonehenge and the Maryhill chateau turned into an art museum in the middle of nowhere.

The Columbia River scenic Highway also warranted exploring, although only two relatively short stretches remain. Originally having been built in 1915 solely for the purpose to access the scenic Columbia River Gorge, the highway has been largely replaced by Interstate 84. And although the Oregon State taxpayers paid for the project, the highway was the vision of Samuel Hill.

Both the replica Stonehenge and the chateau overlooking the town named Maryhill are constructed completely out of poured concrete, as Samuel Hill made his fortunes as an attorney for the Great Northern Pacific railway after marrying the boss’s daughter. (Mary)

Samuel launched his career as a railroad magnate and Financier, having commissioned the building of Stonehenge as a war memorial, while the chateau along with the town it overlooked were both named Maryhill in deference to his estranged wife whom had moved to Washington DC by the time of its completion.

Samuel also built the first paved (concrete) road in Washington State along with commissioning the Peace Arch, which is situated at the Washington – Vancouver, BC Border crossing of Blaine, WA

Passing away in 1931, Samuel Hill’s death certificate named his occupation as Capitalist.

Heading west, Neil passed through the countryside, spotting a sign for Irrigon, OR while riding on I-84, as Mount Adams loomed in the distance. Turning at Briggs, Neil crossed the Samuel Hill Memorial Bridge to Maryhill.

After visiting both Stonehenge and the Chateau, Neil passed The Dalles, then turned south at the Hood River with Mount Hood providing a serene backdrop, before reaching Idaho, with Neil arriving in time to find shelter for the evening upon reaching Boise. Neil then set off for the drug store, liquor store & leather repairs while having his scooter serviced…

Epilogue
Therefore, albeit somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I was learning some unknown history about my home state from a “Kuh-Nuck,” nevertheless I’ve remained captivated about this little town in the middle of nowhere ever since learning about it back in circa 2004-05 and have harboured the ambitions of visiting it once, as it also happens to be the site of a very low key Historics Hill Climb and thus I’m finally going there after some five years of waiting!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Maryhill Hill Climb

So I’m off to Maryhill with Mary Ellen, Alex and two “Navigators,” Err Pooches for the next several dazes, which hopefully the weather will co-operate (since we’re still basking in above normal Fall temperatures; Hurrah!) and I’ll try having Mary Ellen snap a few pic’s on my Old School 35mm Film camera for future reference…

Cumulonimbus spotting

Yeah I know Y’all are still basking over rubino’s splendid victory at Monza - but alas, I’m running behind as always… So I’m not sure if it’s a good thing… As I found it a bit hilarious how your Humble Scribe apparently has a severe case ‘O Formula Uno-Itus.

Seeing how recently when my cranium should have been totally devoid of any racing thoughts as I stood triumphantly on a stream’s crossing little wooden bridge at Paradise a few weeks ago whilst looking skywards towards Mount Rainier resplendent in brilliant blue cloudless skies in 86 degrees F, a funny thought appeared to Mwah later that afternoon as a few wispy white clouds floated past above and I momentarily noticed the minute temperature drop… (Which was totally welcomed!)

Ah-Ha, I exclaimed silently to myself as I moseyed about the nearby trails. Flashing back to the comments I’d just recently read in Professor (Steve) Matchett’s; the Mechanic’s Tale, where he describes the Benetton team’s Cloud spotter extraordinaire… A one Messer Rory Byrne whom would apparently troll the pit lane with arms outstretched, seeking the tiniest hint of fast approaching cloud cover before he’d release Michael Schumacher onto the race track for another of his Bonsai qualifying blinders… As Rory thought that the miniscule one to two degrees temperature drop would give the TERMINATOR that Unfair Advantage in his quest for Pole position…

So I stood marveling at Mount Rainier chuckling to myself as once again I’d managed to twist my surroundings into something involving Motorsports. Oh whale, what’s a race fan ‘N Blogosphere Hack’ to do, Besides scribble about it, eh?

Now hopefully I’ll set the BLOODY VCR’s timer correct so I can hopefully watch the Singapore GP upon my return, eh?

Petit Le Mans


Once again its time for the American Le Mans Series “Fall Capper,” arguably the series second biggest race of the season, headed only by the 12hrs of Sebring.

LMP1(12)
(Class/Number of entries)
And then they went Two by Two, as the top category will be a barnburner between the two Audi R15’s, two Peugeot 908’s and Acura ARX-02A’s

The Audi’s will feature Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner aboard the Audi Sport North America No. 1, while Dindo Capello and the irrepressible Allan McNish will pilot the Audi Sport Team Joest No. 2.

Reigning 24 Heurs du Mans winners Peugeot will feature Nicolas Minassian and Pedro Lamy at the keyboard of the No. 07 car, while Stephane Sarazzin and Franck Montagny will be aboard the No. 8.

And the two Acuras will see the TCGR IndyCar Boyz once again sharing driving duties, with Scott Dixon co-driving with Gil De Ferran and Simon Pagenaud in the No. 66, with Dario Franchitti co-driving with David Brabham and Scott Sharp aboard the HighCroft No. 9, as the two Acura squad’s are locked in a fierce fight for the ALMS Championship.

While the No. 48 Corsa Motorsports Ginetta-Zytek 09HS Zytek piloted by Johnny Mowlem and “Stevie Johnson,” a.k.a. Stefan Johansson is a most interesting design, as this chassis features “Hybrid Synergy,” utilizing a KERS system and Hybrid technology, having made its debut at Utah earlier this year.

LMP2 (5)The LMP2 category is a fairly interesting affair, as I’m rooting for the underdog No. 20 Dyson Racing Lola/Mazda with Butch Leitzinger and Marino Franchitti; having met Marino this summer at Silverstone, just fresh off his Le Mans outing. Marino, the younger Franchitti, seems pretty down to Earth and a very pleasant chap and hence the class’s choice is simple for me.

Adrian Fernandez Acura has been the dominant force all season long, but the Team “Sidle-sport (Team Cytosport) Porsche RS Spyder of Greg Pickett and the two Dyson cars should at least give Fernandez a run for his money, while the Van der Steur Racing’s Radical SR9 AER should keep everybody on their toes.

LMGT2 (14)
This by far is probably the hottest contested class with its mix of “Production-based” competitors featuring the likes of BMW, Corvette, Dodge Viper, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Panoz and Porsche…

Look for the two Factory Corvette’s to mix it up with Bobby Rahal’s (or Booby Ray-X according to Meesh…) fast improving two car squad of BMW’s, while the plethora of Porsches can never be counted out during an Endurance race.

Of interest is the entry of Rocketsports Racing’s lone Jaguar XKR. (#33) As although the drivers are listed as TBA, I’m assuming this is ‘Ol Trans Am gunslinger Paul Gentolozi’s outfit, (Remember him? The Dude who rann Trans Am into the ground and was one of the four Champ Car Mooseketeers…) which has been basically MIA since the demise of Champ Car and SCCA Trans Am.

But my sentimental favourite has to be the No. 40 Robertson Racing Ford GT-R piloted by David & Andrea Robertson and David Murry.

While sadly, there appears to be only one Ferrari F430 entered, but it’s a good ‘Juan, being the No. 62 Risi Competizione with Jaime Melo, Pierre Kaffer and future wanna be Stock Car star Mika Salo behind the keyboard.

You can catch all the action on SPEED, beginning at 8AM (PACIFIC) this Saturday.

Petit Le Mans Spotter guide

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Turnin’ the Big N-Oh!

So today marks a very special day for ‘Juan ‘O my Scribblin’ devotees, as we’ve shared an awful lotta laughs ‘N misery over the years… As she always asks me; How’s the “BLOB” doing?

Who may this be? Whale its none other then the ‘Juan ‘N Only “Auntie Harriet…” Whose turning a most impressive Ninety years old today!

Last week I was talking to Harriet on the telephone and she said;
Don't you forget! I'm going to be 90 on September 23rd...
Oh? You're what?
ITS MY BIRTHDAY ON SEPT. 23!!! A raised voice said on the other end...
Oh? How old are you gonna be?
To which Harriet retorted... I'm gonna be N-0!
To which I laughed? You're gonna be NO?
Whale at least I know you were listening to me...


So Any-Hoo; HAPPY NINETIETH B-DAY AuntieHarriet…
AYE KARUMBA!

Who’s ‘dat young Punk?


So, for obvious reasons… Like Formula Uno-itus, eh? My favourite memory ‘O Auntie Harriet has to be about hearing the following story which I originally posted in Indy Day Trippin’ way back in the summer of twenty-Oh-seven…

Calling Auntie Harriet, I was most shocked to hear her story about who’d sat next to her on her flight home from Indy.

At the very last moment a young whipper snapper sat down next to her, as it was the last seat on the plane, and noticing that the young German kid with long blond hair had a slightly funny sounding accent. Harriet inquired, so where are you from and what are you doing in America?

After a long pause the kid said. “Ja! I am Nico Rosberg! I have just been at Indy to race in the USGP. SHEISA!!! Harriet had to sit next to F1 Williams Rookie driver Nico Rosberg on her flight from Indianapolis to Chicago as this was the only flight poor Messer Rosberg could find in order to make his connections back home to Germany.

Harriet told him how she’d just attended her very first Formula 1 race (at 87 ½ years young…) and how I was a huge Formula 1 fan… Just before landing the young German who’d turned 21 during the break between the Canadian and USGP reached for his briefcase and pulled a card out. Then of course neither of them had a pen, so they frantically searched for a writing utensil and finding a pencil. Nico scribbled an autograph onto his race card for Mwah…

SHEISA!!! How come I never get to have anybody famous sit next to me, eh?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

USC falters in the ‘DAWG House


And in the wake of Crash Gate, Double Secret Probations, Bert ‘N Ernie’s final acts, etc. (NO! That’s Bernie ‘N Max, NOT Flavio & Pat…) I thought it would be a good time to recognize our beloved UW Huskies for their stunning UPSET of then No. 3 ranked USC…

As talking about being desperate for more race action after watching that scintillating Motegi IRL race… I decided to strap-in for a monstrous 5hr chock ‘O block viewing of Motor Racing on SPEED, beginning with ‘dem Pickem-Up Trucks in Newton, Iowa, Err, Loudon, New Hampshire. (Sorry ‘bout ‘dat!) As I’ve professed to bein’ a Mike Skinner fan, which is cool since his randy Moss Motorsports teammate is none other then Rookie Taylor Malsum from Bellevue, WA.

But I couldn’t stands it, so I switched over to the PAC-10 game of the week, which featured the Huskies against the vaunted Trojans… Watching them immediately slip behind 10-0 in mere moments, I assumed they’d get blown away like last year’s 56-0 drubbing…

Yet, something inside ‘O me gnawed away and I flipped the channel back ‘N forth repeatedly, before settling on the Huskies instead! And then I even had to forgo the grand-Am race from Miller Motorsports Park in order to see the most glorious outcome of a College Football game… As the ‘DAWG’s did the unthinkable, as the Student became the Teacher… When Steve Sarkisian (previous USC Offensive Coordinator) beat his old boss Pete Carroll with a 16-13 victory, having previously broken their 15 game losing streak the week before against Idaho...

Huskies stun No. 3 USC 16-13 on late field goal

Way to go ‘DAWG’s!

Renault gets off Again!

Whale by now I’m guessing Y’all have heard that Renault has once again escaped any majorly harsh penalties in response to its acknowledgement of participating in the 2008 Singapore “Crash Gate” Scandal…

Having only received a two year suspended ban or as so eloquently put by Pressdog… Double Secret Probation, which means didly-squat…

With the Ax instead falling upon Team Principal “Flavour Flav” (Briatore) and Director of Engineering Pat Symonds, with Flavio being effectively banned for life, while Symonds receives a 5yr ban, both from Motorsport, as the Reggie duo is henceforth banned from any FIA sanctioned activities.

Briatore is the most severely affected, as the FIA will NO longer grant him any access to any of its activities, i.e.; races, etc. along with not renewing any driver Super licenses of participants under his management. Also not sanctioning any Motorsports series he’s presently involved in, which I assume means he’ll be vanquished from GP2 and could theoretically lose his position in the Queens Park Rangers, with Symonds being merely shunned from the sport for the following five years, while Nelson Piquet Jr. is immune from prosecution, and Fernando Alonso has been cleared of having any knowledge of said Crash Gate doings…

Renault gets suspended disqualification

And thus it looks like Flavio potentially decided to mistakenly fire his number two driver, along with taking on the Piquet’s, eh?

According to the WMSC, the Renault F1 Team has acknowledged the following during the court proceedings:
“It committed to paying the costs incurred by the FIA in its investigation; and; Renault (the parent company, as opposed to Renault F1) committed to making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.”

Hmm? Isn’t it interesting how the mere threat of another Automotive Manufacturer walking from the pee-knuckle ‘O Sport can sway a Court’s decision, especially when ruling upon a French company in France… So DON’T uze be fixin’ NO more races yuh hear Renault? Or will actually have to do something about it… And just exactly what amount is “A Sizeable Contribution…” $100 Million?

Yet I suppose its worth considering that Renault is not only a current F1 Constructor, they also supply engines to Red Bull Racing, (currently) along with being the motivating factor behind GP2, not to mention the lower formula’s of Clio cup, Formula Renault and World Series by Renault, along with reportedly having the best young driver’s (F1) development program...

Ooh-lah-lah, Sei la Vie!

Provisional 2010 Calendar

Yep, its time once again for the FIA to unveil their Provisional 2010 F1 Calendar (Version 4.69) as joyfully, Montreal and the Circuit gilles Villeneuve regain their rightful spot upon the calendar once again in 2010, while South Korea, whose Government just passed a significant funding bill in order for their Grand Prix to move forward has thus been added to the schedule… Whilst Emperor Bernardo still tries to get the Indian Government to concede to his wishes… As the calendar swells to 19 races next year, albeit there’s still NO US or French races on the horizon.

Provisional 2010 F1 Calendar

Monday, September 21, 2009

F1 Bad Boyz – Whats yuh gonna due?

Whale the mud-slinging between the powers to be at the “Reggie” and “Nielsen Ho” have been getting pretty outrageous! As Nelson Piquet Junior’s “leaked” sworn statement painted a pretty bad picture towards Renault F1 Boss “Flavour Flav” (Briatore) and Pat Symonds, who both reportedly asked the young Brazilian F1 Piloto to purposely crash his car in Singapore in order for Fernando Alonso to win the inaugural night race in 2008. (And as we all known now, both Briatore & Symonds have left the Renault Building…)

Nelson Piquet's FIA statement revealed
As mentioned before, the Renault/Benetton affair has been copiously involved in several rules infractions over its time in Formula 1. As recall that Benetton was found to have illegal “launch” software imbedded on its B194 challenger, along with the Hockenheim pit lane fuel fire and the Spa underbody plank incident to name just a few incidents, while Renault was caught red-handed with McLaren technical documents on its computers.

Yet in all of these incidents, the team got off fairly light-handed, since the team was fined a sum of $100,000 for not having provided the software codes to the FIA in the required time, of which rival McLaren was also found guilty of, albeit the hidden launch codes were deemed to be deactivated.

The Hockenheim pit fire, in which Professor Steve Matchett was a participant in, was ultimately deemed to be the fault of a “Junior” racing employee for having removed a fuel filter, while Michael Schumacher’s Belgian GP victory was disallowed due to his underside FIA legality plank having been worn too thin, even if caused by an on track spin.

Meanwhile, other teams have also been caught seeking an “Unfair Advantage,” as obviously the most severely punished team in history is McLaren in the 2007 “Stepney-Gate” incident involving the transferring of Ferrari technical documents for which they were fined an OBSCENE $100 Million! (Along with their Constructors points being disallowed.) Whilst Renault basically had its knuckles wrapped for a similar incident.

Yet I recall cheering loudly when the Woking based squad was busted for having the sealed Mercedes Benz engine tabs discovered broken and fined a paltry $50k.

But does anybody recall that a quarter of a century ago, in 1984 that Tyrrell was caught reportedly “Cheating” by running a “Suspect” 3.3 liter water injection tank that was theoretically believed to have lead balls inside of it which were then disposed of on track in order to run a lighter ballasted chassis. As Tyrrell was first excluded from the final three races before having its Constructors results banned for the entire 1984 season, thus losing out upon its much needed travel funs for the following year, as it was Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen who reminded me of this transgression upon reading The Complete History of Grand Prix Racing book, which sadly only covers up to the 1989 season.

And how fast we’ve all forgotten the BAR Honda’s transgressions for having been caught with an illegal fuel tank system, where like Tyrrell, the team would simply top off the tank in the waning moments of the current Grand Prix event in order to meet the FIA’s minimum weight limit.

Thus, I’d surmise that BAR Honda got off fairly light-handed when only being excluded from two rounds of the 2005 F1 season, after being disqualified from the San Marino GP, as it’s ironic that BAR Honda was born out of the ashes of Ken Tyrrell’s selling of his floundering Grand Prix operation…

BAR Honda has nothing on Team Tyrrell

And NO, I’m aware that the Scuderia is a most culpable competitor, whom seems to get its overly fair share of breaks, as the 2007 “Flexi-Gate” affair of which potentially enabled Kimi Raikkonen to win his Ferrari debut Down Under in Melbourne was mostly swept underneath the table, not to mention a Barge Board appeal. While we’re all aware of Michael Schumacher being excluded from the 1997 Drivers Championship points standings after trying unsuccessfully to knock Jacques Villeneuve off the road in order to win the Drivers Title that season.

So it’s apparent that Teams (and Drivers) do and will continue to cheat in Formula 1 and other guises of Motorsports series around the world. Yet, I find the Renault “Crash-Gate” affair to be most troubling, since it seems to undermine the validity of the sport to me, As I’d like to believe that the Grand Prix results aren’t artificially induced like some other Roundy-Round sport where “Racin’ is Rubbin’ – Y’all here? And thus it’ll be interesting to see how the World Motor Sport Council rules in today’s hearing, as it seems most probable that Flavio Briatore could have easily done what he’s accused of, while I find this potential race fixing to be utterly inexcusable…

And a far worse offense then McLaren’s “Spy-Gate” shenanigans – which means that Renaults penalty should be of at least the same outcome if NOT even more so… (Although I’d like to see the Reggie remain in F1.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hail-Hail the Mighty Snap-oversteer Sofa King

Not exactly sure what to say ‘bout that Mesmerizing Twin rings ‘O Motigi-land… ‘Cept, YAAAWWWNN!!! Oh lookie ‘dare, its two red carz leadin’ the parade… Somebody pours me another shot ‘O eXpresso wills yuhs…

As I swear I saw the ALL Mighty Sofa King… Tisk-Tisk Jeffie pickin’ my boy for first wall smackeroo candidate of the race, making the save of the evening… As I believe that over the din of the crowd you could hear Kosuke saying over the radio my carz rreelly-rreelly RROOSSE!!! Something ‘bout needin to tighten up the ‘Ol Sofa couch springs…

But hey Jeffie! Did you realize that Kosuke actually finished AHEAD of Ahem…? Ryan traffic cones R us Briscoe… Who gets my two thumbs up for facing not only the muzak after the race but also actively seeking out a one Mr. BRUT Arute-Arute… Who by the way, should possibly recall that Mario Moraes is pals with some Dude named Viso who happens to own a few of Jack’s favourite pets… So QUIT hammerin’ him on his Papa died and now you’re a better racer angle will yuh!

And Oh My Goodness… We can now go another year before having to watch 4.75hr marathons of the Princess winning her first race… Cue the symphonic overtones of Beethoven, or was that some sort of rhapsody? Here comes Dan-Dan-Danicker… And how come Mr. Arute didn’t interview any of the “Home Boyz?”

Although that would be priceless to actually see Dario & Scott walking into the local 7/11, (Yeah, there everywhere, SHEISA!) Scotty pickin’ the beer and Dario standin’ with him at the register to make sure Dixon took the necessary Yen outta his wallet!

Sayonara…

Friday, September 18, 2009

All Hail the Sofa King

Not entirely sure of what exactly Jeffie means by paying homage to the “revered” Kosuke Matsuura as the Sofa King… Who’ll roll off from P16 tonight, with the Stickerless Roger Yasukawa starting alongside in P17, while obviously Hideki Mutoh is dreaming of better results after crashing in qualifying…

So does it really say Lazy Boy on the sidepod of Matsuura’s race car? And no word yet on whether or not Mr. BRUT Arute-Arute ran into any Snakes on the plane… Hooh-Ah! Looks like it’s gonna be a bumpy ride, so Ladies ‘N Germs… Please keep those seatbelts fastened at all times just in case we hit any light turbulence…

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bidding Adu

As far as I know…I never met the man, who I’ve only heard and read good things about; including always being willing to help anyone out, enjoying his work and always having a smile on his face… (Or even a mischievous grin, eh?)

Who am I talking about? Well I first read of his untimely demise at So here’s What I’m Thinking, (or SHWIT according to the “Dawg”) in a story titled: With a Heavy Heart.

As it was really touching to hear Meesh recall how although Steve Snoddy and her weren’t “best bud’s,” nevertheless, Steve had come to her rescue in a moment of dire frustration – helping her save her just snapped racecar photos when her CF memory card (whatever a CF card is?) had erroneously frozen up and nobody seemed able or willing to help her rectify this…

Even going so far as to burn her a disc copy on the spot and then asking Meesh if everything was ok camera-wise before deleting his backed up copy off of his computer the next time they crossed paths several months later!

And thus, I have to say just how impressive I find this gesture of helpfulness to be to another purveyor of written word and photographs… As I’m just totally blown away by his kindness towards a “Fellow Blogger," as apparently this was just another typical moment in Steve’s life...

Thus, I was happy to hear don Kay bring up Steve’s name this past Tuesday on his Autosport Radio Show, where his guest Ron McQueeney talked a little bit about Steve Snoddy, saying how he probably shouldn’t bring up the fact that Steve had originally come to his attention as somebody who was famous for taking not-so PG13 Pic’s in the Speedway’s revered Snake Pit way back in the day…

As I said before, I probably never met the man, nor needed his assistance in taking any pictures… But I like to believe that Steve’s helpfulness is just one example of what Ron McQueeney described as a facet of all of his IMS Photography staff’s willingness to help us Kodachrome challenged picture takers.

HELL! Who knows? Could it have been Steve behind the lens who took those awesome Pic’s of Davey Hamilton & Mwah that most glorious day back in ’07?

And apparently Steve’s funeral has already been held and those wishing to make donations may do so in honour of Steve Snoddy at:

IRL Ministries
C/O Steve Snoddy
PO Box 24297
Speedway, IN 46224-0297

Hey Steve! What should I set the F-Stop at for this action shot of Danica…?

GO KOSUKE!


Look for Dan-Dan-Danicker on “Cooking with Regis” this morning… Or is ‘dat Cookin’ with Gas? As the Princess will reveal her secret cookie recipe.
Yeah that’s right Regis, I like to start off with a pint of Worcestershire Sauce… which I like to put on my Huevos rancheros if yuhs know whats I means!
Then we’ll need a pound of lemon drops, some eel grass for decoration and don’t forget the gummy bears…

What’s that Kathy Lee? Oh, you’ll wanna stir it Round ‘N Round… Preferably to the left, unless you’re in the Orient… Then you’ll definitely wanna stir it clockwise.

What Heat do I use Kathy Lee? Well us Girls heat’s is always on Hee-Hee-Hee…After all us Go Daddy gwirls gotta sticks together…

Yeah Regis, I like to set the oven on about 165… NO, Slow ‘N Steady wins the race, Err cooks these nicely, as Y’all don’t want ‘dem Peakin’ toose early!

Then I like to cut-em’ up into little pieces or makes mine in the shapes of some TEX-ARSE Two Step Stompin’ Boots if Y’all catch my drift – Regis…

But watch out for Dan-Dan-Danica “N the Cookie Monster, will you Kosuke… (Nice job Will!)

The Danica Scandal

Yeah I know this is a tad bit optimistic… But what the HELL, eh? As I’d like to see the forlorn Kosuke Matsuura have a “Reely-Reely-Reely” BIG race, perhaps bustin’ out a Top Ten finish… Or even better yet, a Top Five or Yikes! The final Podium step, as it would be an added boost for both the previously censored Japanese driver and Conquest Racing, as Kosuke makes his Indy Car return after a two year hiatus, with Matsuura & Conquest recently testing at chicagoland to knock off the rust prior to his Twin Ring outing.

Meanwhile, very little has been said about Roger Yasukawa’s reuniting with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for this weekend’s Twin Ring IRL outing, as I’m assuming the deal’s still on? Which would see a total of three Japanese racing drivers contesting their home event…

And although a little bit dated. (I’ll update after this weekend’s event) you may wish to read my story: Japanese Open wheel Warriors

AND DON’T FORGET!
You can catch ALL of the Twin Ring Motegi Indy Car action on Versus, with their Qualifying show at 3PM and the Race at 7:30PM, both on Friday – September 18th. (ALL TIMES PACIFIC AND ALWAYS CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Zanardi to contest 2012 Olympics

Ironically, after posting this story Salute Cavalryman yesterday, the AP Newswire reported that the always mind boggling 42yr old Zanardi has now announced his intentions to compete in the 2012 London Paralympics.

Alex Zanardi:
"My honest objective is to be at the level of the best Italian bikers, waiting for a dream that could come true in London in 2012."

Zanardi to seek place on cycling team

Thanks to No Fenders reader Doug for the heads-up…

Good Luck Alessandro!

Good Riddance Flavio!

I have been loathe to scribble ‘bout Flavour Flav’s latest detestable Mud slinging techniques regarding making STUPID accusations about Nelson Piquet Jr.’s personal life, which I first learned about on the Speed Freaks this past Sunday… Of which I’ll say NO more about on that tawdry subject…

Yet, in the never ending seesaw battle royale over the Renault “Crash-gate” DEBACLE! Its now been widely reported that Renault Technical Director Pat Symonds has been offered immunity from prosecution (as Symonds FIA interview has been published in the UK’s Times and doesn’t put him in a favourable light…) in order to go after removing Flavio Briatore as Team Principal of the “Reggie’s” Formula 1 outfit. With further speculation suggesting that Alain Prost could be recruited as Flav’s replacement? Although I find this far fetched since how’d that Prost Grand Prix F1 team do?

And isn’t it ironic that nobody has ever seemed to think there’s a partial conflict of interest between Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio and Alejandro Agag co-owning the Queens Park Rangers Football Club. (QPR FC) Which certainly isn’t a secret between the F1 Team Bosses. (Obviously?) Although Agag has since been replaced by current QPR Chairman Briatore, while Agag has taken over the 2008 GP2 Championship winners Barwa Addax Team, which was previously owned by Adrian Campos, who’ll be one of the FIA’s new 2010 F1 Constructors…

Then again, Flavio’s removal would grease the skids to take over for Uncle Bernaughty whenever the 78yr old Britain seemingly retires, eh?

Life Goes On

Update
So there’s nothing like waking up in the morning and reading the AP Newswire report stating that Flavio and Pat Symonds have left Renault; Aye-Aye-Aye! Furthermore, Renault has now said that it will NOT dispute Piquet Junior’s claim into “Crash-gate” prior to the upcoming court date next Monday; HOLY SHIT! And Sir maXXum – remember him? Mosley’s claim of the worst case being throwing Renault out of F1 forever sounds like a case for leniency is already being crafted…

Renault splits with Briatore, Symonds

But then again; Alls fair in Love ‘N War, Eh?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And then there were 14?

I’m still finding the wording of today’s various press statements somewhat misleading, claiming that a new Formula 1 Constructor has either been granted the 12th or 13th Grid slot for the FIA’s 2010 Entry List, or even better yet… The field will mushroom to an unheard of in recent years 14 F1 Constructors or a very appealing 28 cars competing for Grand Prix laurels next season!

So just who are these new “Mystery” contestants? Whale C’Mon down Malaysia! You’re the next contestant to be granted entrance into Uncle Bernaughty’s lair, commonly known as the Formula One Circus… Hurrah-Hurrah! Step right up folks…

As it appears that once again the upstart Epsilon Euskadi – headed by ex-Benetton man Joan Villadelprat has been slighted in favour of Government backing in the form of Malaysia assisting the rebirth of Team Lotus F1, to be spearheaded by Tony Fernandes, current owner of low frills Airline Air Asia, a direct competitor of Vijay Malia’s Kingfisher Airlines…

Heading the design office will be perennial “Gardening” expert Mike Gascoyne, once again in the role of Chief Designer, with “Cossie Lumps” as the Lotus chassis motivating power.

Meanwhile BMW AG has announced today the selling of its F1 Racing Team to Qadbak Investments Ltd, a Swiss investment firm representing European and Middle East interests and will be represented by Lionel Fischer,, with no word on Pieter Sauber’s involvement, who still retains a minority share holding in the company. Yet, look for a Ferrari engine tie-up deal to be announced in the near future.

And scuttlebutt suggests that Sir Richard Branson will announce a major long term deal with new boys Manor Grand Prix at the 2009 Season Finale in Abu Dubai…

Legendary Lotus brand to return to F1

Provisional 2010 F1 entry list
AT & T Williams
Williams-TBA

BMW-Sauber F1 Team
Team Sauber-TBA

) Brawn GP Formula One Team
Brawn-Mercedes Benz

Campos Grand Prix
Campos-Cosworth

Force India Formula 1 Team
Force India- Mercedes Benz

Lotus F1 Team
Lotus-Cosworth

Manor Grand Prix
Manor-Cosworth

Panasonic Toyota Racing
Toyota

Red Bull Racing
Red Bull-TBA

Renault F1 Team
Renault

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso-TBA

Team USF1
Team USF1-Cosworth

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
McLaren-Mercedes Benz

Salute Cavalryman


Today marks the eighth anniversary in a day that I’m certain a one
Alessandro (“Alex”) Zanardi wishes to have never happened, as he nearly lost his life! Along with both of his legs and most likely causing Alex Tagliani to suffer nightmares of an out of control spinning racecar careening directly into his path!

Yet, out of this tragedy, Zanardi, the ever youthful optimist has triumphed repeatedly, as I fondly recall watching him kick ARSE two years later when there wasn’t a dry eye in the Euro Speedway House when “Zorro” took to the wheel of a specially adapted Reynard Ford/Cosworth Indy Car chassis and set about running off the final remaining (13) tribute laps of his uncompleted 2001 Lausitzring race where he was leading with 13 laps remaining before enduring his horrific shunt…

Thus it was even more impressive that during his return, not only did he climb back into an Indy Car, Alex incredulously ripped-off a top lap speed of 194mph+, which would have qualified him fifth for the days event!

Alex Zanardi races without legs

Yet, the amazingly energetic and joyful Italian has since gone on to drive a BMW-Sauber F1 car along with currently competing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship, (WTCC) continuing to win races for Team BMW Italy-Spain, run by ROAL Motorsport and most recently claiming the Czech Republic’s first round on June 21st. Not to mention his ever improving competitiveness in Hand-bike racing, of which Zanardi finished 4th in the ’07 New York Marathon, basically on a dare!

Bravo – Magnifico Alessandro!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rubino Rubino!


Whale hats off to the “Old Guy!” As Rubens Barrichello ran another perfect race, qualifying and finishing ahead of his teammate “JENSE, the current points leader… Although Rubino took another two points off the Englishman; yet I enjoyed seeing Button’s camaraderie during the Post-race interview, openly congratulating Rubens on his fine accomplishment, all the while keeping a stiff upper lip, as you’ve gotta say it’ll be interesting to see how the last four races of the season turn out, eh?

Yet, I’d have to say that the Highlight of the weekend was the continued unbelievable pace of the Force India cars, as Adrian Sutil got his highest qualifying & race finish of his career, a fine fourth place, after starting second and being the only NON-KERS chassis in the top four, before going on to score his very first Grand Prix points of his career.

Yet you had to be even more impressed by the audacious return of VitanTonio Luzzi, whom seemed destined to score some points before finding a gearbox full ‘O neutrals while pounding around in sixth place ahead of, Ahem; Double World Champ-eeion “Fredrico Suave.” (Alonso)

And what a vicious hit Lewis Hamilton took in the closing laps while trying to edge ‘JENSE for second place.

Race Drive of Monza
While although one could say Ferrari New Boy “Fishy-Fellah’s” (Fisichella) debut outing was somewhat of a bust, having crashed Saturday morning and then qualifying P14 and ultimately finishing ninth, outside of the points, nevertheless you’d have to say he’s a marked improvement over the despondent Luca Badoer, even if Tonio outperformed him the entire weekend…

Top 3 - Qualifying
Pole: Lewis Hamilton
Second: Adrian Sutil
Third: Kimi Raikkonen

Race Results
Winner: R. Barrichello; 2nd: J. Button; 3rd: K. Raikonnen; 4th: A. Sutil;
5th: F. Alonso; 6th: H. Kovalainen; 7th: N. Heidfeld; 8th: S. Vettel.

Houndin’ Dario


And talk ‘bout bein’ desperate… As I made a very rare mistake of setting the VCR’s timer for 5PM instead of 5AM and hence, missed the F1 Qualifying from Monza, Saturday morning… And thus found myself sittin’ in front ‘O le Telescreen, watching ‘dem “Good ‘Ol Boyz” in their Pickem-up Trucks at Gateway, IL. Although I enjoy the Trucks better then the CUP carz… And tunin’ in for the final 8 laps is the best way to go!

As once again I was struck by how gracious of a racing driver Mike Skinner is having pulled off a somewhat improvable victory when the first two Trucks done wrecked… As the “gunslinger” said during his winner’s interview, our pit stopss weren’t great, but I’m sure we’ll get better. See how easy that was Dario! As another driver didn’t throw his crew under the proverbial bus…

And although Dario’s comments were correct and possibly just spoken during the heat of the battle; I still believe you don’t thrash your crew when the bright lights are on… Kinda like pissin’ off the Offensive Line that keeps yuhs from getting’ blitzed, eh?

DarioSpeak


Ok, so I know it DOESN’T mean a single DAMN thing what your Humble Scribe’s opinion on whom the winner of the ’09 Indy Car Series Championship should be… But this ‘lil item has been stickin’ in my craw so to speak since the winners (WHINERS?) interview in the middle ‘O the night at Chicagoland… Where I thought that Roger Penske’s on-air comments in Victory Circle about the Burnin’ Inferno’s stellar drive was just a little Manu e Manu “Psyche” game between the Captain and the Cheepster, but I digress…

As the comment that got my dander up was Dario “REO Speedwagon” slaming his pit crew by saying” that’s the type of thing that LOSES us Championships. (Referring to a balky front wheel change)

Earth to Dario! Why are you throwin’ your awesome pit crew under the bus publicly… I mean didn’t you catch the young “Louise JAGUAR” Hamilton’s graceful handling of his teams Foopah that cost him the win in Valencia, Spain to Rubino, stating; “We win as a team, we LOSE as a Team.” Not to mention did you notice what happened when the Renault crew sent Fred Alonso out of the pits in the European GP without his front tyre’s wheel nut attached securely… Uhm? I believe we last saw it hurtling down the front straight!

Thus after having rooted for the flying Scot to collect his second title nearly all season long… I’m now rooting for the Aussie Ryan Briscoe… And NO, NOT because I wanna see Penske win again, but first Ryan got the boot from Chip Ganassi and secondly it’ll be something that Hulio has been unable to accomplish…


So GO Briscoe!


For more Dario fodder, see: Houndin' Dario

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Fenders turns three

Happy Birthday to me… As another year has slipped by and the No Fenders “BLOB” (Aunty Harriet’s word ‘O endearment…) turns three years old today…

And Y’all know the drill, as No Fenders has come a long way Baby since first scribbling ‘bout Klien rejects Red Bull offer.

As its been a somewhat strange Sophomore season, of which I’m not sure if I had the dreaded Sophomore jinx or not? (Having contracted a Confuzer virus whilst furiously scribblin’ away… And mashin’ meez nusels on ze keebored, eh? Hey! Us Vurd Botcherer’s gotz toose stik together…) Although the definitive highlights this past year have been my journeys to my very first Indy 500 and British GP!
And thanks to Blogmeister Miguel, without – there would be NO site. Artiste Dave for the great No Fenders logo; CARPETS, Danny, Mary Ellen, Mary Jane and Tricia for their contributions… And most of all my dedicated readers and Y’all for visiting my site…

Time to go cut the cake, eh?


No Fenders Second B-Day notice

Viva Italiano recollections


This weekend’s upcoming Italian Grand Prix sparks a host of memories and emotions for me, since it was one decade ago that your Humble Scribe made the pilgrimage to Italy, embarking upon a most amazing first trip abroad, partaking in the most excellante Grand Prix Tours Italian Extravaganza… With special guest host Phil Hill, whom sadly past away just over one year ago, and like many events in life… I’ve simply managed to let time slip away without remarking upon America’s first Formula 1 World Champions passing…

As although I don’t consider myself alone in participating with these yearly GP Tours treks to Monza with Messer Hill, nevertheless I feel very fortunate to have spent a week’s time rubbing elbows with this legendary racing Piloto; as we were shepparded thru both the Lamborghini and Ferrari Factories, a private Automobile collectors Estate, the Alfa Romeo museum and lastly the Italian Grand Prix at Monza…

Yet I also recall Phil Hill showing a serious, caring side of himself when entering the Hotels bar where he and my roommate had been watching the CART practice session from Laguna Seca when gravely he announced that Rookie Gonzalo Rodriguez had just died in the Corkscrew; as I wonder how many Drivers’ deaths had Phil endured? As many will know that it was Hill’s Scuderia Ferrari teammate, the late Count Von Trips who perished at Monza in order for Phil to capture his Grand Prix crown.

Then again, how many people even recall the 27yr old Uruguay natives Tragic demise occurring ten years ago today behind the wheel of a Penske Racing chassis…

Meanwhile unbeknownst to me was the fact that Mr. Hill was in pain the whole trip while awaiting hip replacement surgery!

Maranello
(Wednesday, September 8, 1999
(All I have written down for today’s journal entry is that today we’re seeing RED!) As in FREAKIN’ FERRARI ROSSO!
I remember riding our tour bus through the very “ritzy” upscale strip-mall shopping district of the tiny city of Maranello on our way towards the factory. YES! Today I’m going to be entering the hallowed halls of the Scuderia Ferrari Factory!

Exiting our motor coach we’re inside the fairly non-descript front building, walking inside the lobby. The small room was painted the vibrant tone of Ferrari “fly” yellow… I recall our tour group milling around admiring a large sculpture while Phil Hill had disappeared inside an office. Then everyone clammered together trying to be closest to the front, in order to be first; as our tiny tour group was divided into two half’s and everybody thought they’d be with Phil in the first group. But as usual, I shied away from the fracas and waited to go with the second entourage. So imagine my happiness when this was the group Phil elected to go with. I just remember beaming to myself that my tour guide of Maranello was none other than 1961 F1 World Champion Phil Hill! (FRILLIN’ INSANE!)

First we walk to the foundry building, where Ferrari casts its own engines; where we looked at a freshly casted block and various other parts. While walking through the engine assembly area, I notice a giant NO SMOKING sign adorning the wall. This is extremely hilarious as we stop to view an engine work bench. There sat an Italian assembling a V-12 engine crankshaft with its catch tray littered full of cigarette butts...

Walking through the factory towards the body assembly area a gaggle of shop employees came running towards us. Gleefully talking excitedly in Italian, as they sought out Phil Hill for his autograph holding racing books open... They were all very young employees and unlike Lamborghini they all wore matching uniforms. Sporting bright Ferrari red pants and white T-Shirts emblazoned with the racing teams sponsors.

Approaching the final assembly lines which unlike Lamborghini were totally automated, I was quite impressed with the bright yellow robot arms doing various assembly functions. As the line also seemed much cleaner than Lamborghini’s; as it was fascinating to watch the two separate assembly lines merge into one, with the completed bodies dropping from overhead to awaiting completed drive train chassis…

I remember standing there totally enamoured as we watched a worker stuff flexible exhaust hose tubing onto a just completed silver 360 Modena’s exhaust. Then on the very first turn of the key, the engine fired as we listened to the sweet sound of the idling Ferrari burble away! Since at this time Ferrari had just three models in production; the entry level 360 V-8 Modena alongside two V-12 models: The 456GT/GTA and 550 Maranello.

Ferrari had just completed building it’s special run of 349 F-50’s and the 360 Modena’s were on one assembly line, while the 456’s & 550’s occupied a second separate assembly line.

Next we walked outside and I remember there being Ferrari’s littered (parked) everywhere, before we entered a small room where the Ferrari’s received there final inspections after being “road-tested. As they go for brief jaunts on the nearby public roads, although Ferrari owns its own test track.

Then it was back to the lobby to re-join the other half of our tour group.
Of the few notes I took that glorious day, they’re mostly related to production facts that were gleamed from our most pleasant Italian (male) tour guide. (Who I believe was a University student) At this moment.)

Ferrari was producing 12.5 cars per day; 3,600 per year. (Now they’re well above 5,000, as I think it was 5,400+ in 2005?)

Total start to finish production time per car = 1.5 days, (each) i.e.; Engine casting, Body build, Drive Train, Wiring, etc.

Ferrari offers a choice of 17 colours, with Italian’s favourite choice being Rosso. (Red) (Of course) their other favourite colour = Yellow.

At this time Ferrari had 2,000 employees including 500 devoted solely to the racing department.


Walking back through the front gate and leaving the factory way too quickly! We sauntered across the street for lunch at the factory restaurant… (Just another typical day in Italy, eh?)

As the Cavallino Ristorante is a very famous place, where we had a very long table awaiting us; resplendent in checkerboard car motif table covering. As we sat drinking a little vino along with our first course a voice said: “Quick. Look out the window!” It was Luca di Montezemolo and Jean Todt strolling by as our head waiter immediately disappeared! As they were on their way to the private dining room.

I recall having a wonderful three course lunch served in white stone china with a small black band along the top edges of the plate/bowl with the Prancing Horse logo in black, whilst sitting at the long table discussing our morning’s Ferrari experiences the sun shone through the large rectangular window that we’d previously seen Ferrari “royalty’ saunter past.

After lunch we were given free time to explore the surrounding shops before leaving for the Ferrari Museo, as I recall standing in the warm sunlight watching a pack of laughing Ferrari employees rush past me… As the throng of red & white clothed employees quickly ran through the cobblestone courtyard, obviously on there way to lunch, before a small group of us decided to walk down to the Fiorano test track, since we could hear the siren song of a Ferrari F1 chassis being fired in the near distance! As we practically ran down the street the entire way as the noise grew louder! Standing along the edge of an embankment, we were treated to the brief glimpses of Mika Salo performing test work prior to the upcoming race.

In our euphoria we’d totally forgotten we were standing alongside a two lane highway. To which we were quickly awoken from our discretion by a delivery truck blasting us with his horn, urging us to get off the road!

Then it was time to return to board our tour bus for the brief journey to the Ferrari Museo, where I seem to recall that as we approached the entrance there was an automobile hanging from the wall! As there were several Ferraris inside the two story building, with the stairway being lined with case after case of pictures of various drivers, team members, etc. With myself being drawn to a collection of Niki Lauda pictures…

The top floor was unbelievable! Filled with Formula One chassis, there were Gerhard Berger’s and Nigel Mansell’s cars to walk around, as these featured my favourite livery of AGIP. (Pre-Shell Oil sponsorship) While along the Museo’s far wall, was a fantastic full size mural painting of Michael Schumacher’s car racing through the rain… While In front of it was an early Schumacher chassis.

Downstairs were a bunch of Italian street cars. As I think there was a yellow Dino on display, but I mainly remember the two Ferrari F-40’s parked side-by-side as being my favourite. One of these cars was an awesome F-40 LM. (Le Mans) race car, with both being in Ferrari Red with no sponsorship decals on the LM chassis…

Then a quick visit to the gift shop, which although had an amazing amount of merchandise overflowing it, was simply too crowded for me. Since it was just a tiny “whole in the wall” boutique, but of course my trip roommate Sean had to ask if anybody wanted to know the time? (Does anybody really know what time it is?) As he’d just bought a TAG/Ferrari wristwatch along with a Ferrari team jersey… (Which he wore to the race track…)

Then all too soon it was time to depart and return to the Hotel Fini. For our final night in Modena, as the majority of our group went out for dinner at a nearby Ristorante, which I remember having trouble seeing in the dark…

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Making steam



Why does that title make me think of the Princess, eh? For some strange reason, this article caught my eye… As those wacky “Brits” are at it once again, trying to make the ultimate tea pot, Err the world’s fastest Tea Kettle, as those BLOODY LIMEY’S will do ANYTHING for their morning tea ‘N Crumpets, eh?

And thus a dedicated team of Brit’s have recently been cavorting about the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base hoping to break a very strange record that’s understandably stood for over a century now… As the current steam powered automobile record was set prior to the completion of the famed Brickyard!

Thus, while the Bonneville Speed Weeks was wrapping up, the team set to work to make their attempts on the Roger’s dry lake bed at Edwards AFB, where after many teething problems, technical issues and inclement weather, the team was finally successful with a new FIA World Record average speed of 139.843mph, breaking Fred Marriott’s 1906 Record of 127mph aboard his Stanley Steamer, with a top velocity of 151mph being reached…

Success! British steam supercar smashes 100-year-old land-speed record
Uhm? One lump or two in your tea sir?

Vitantonio returns

As expected, Force India has announced that the team’s Test/Reserve Driver Vitantonio Luzzi will take over the recently vacated racing seat of Giancarlo Fisichella, who as we all know, has transferred to Scuderia Ferrari to fill-in as Felipe Massa’s stand-in for the remainder of the year after Luca Badoer’s less than impressive outings.

Thus, another Italian will get to race in front of his home crowd, as Luzzi, a la “Fishy-Fellah” will drive the remaining five races of the season for Force India, while Giancarlo caps off his career at the Prancing Horse…

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ashley wins again


While much of the Nation is currently swept up in Danistar fever… Ashley Force-Hood has just become the very first woman to win the Funny Cars title at the just completed US Nationals in Indiana, and becomes just the third woman ever to do so… The first to complete the feat was Shirley “cha Cha” Muldowney in Top Fuel Dragsters, while Angelle Sampeyhas accomplished the feat twice in Pro-stock Motorcycles.

Force-Hood defeated John Force Racing teammate Robert Hight for the “Flopper’s” crown, with the victory being Ashley’s second win of the season…

Sports Cars 'N Stuff

So I was a bit perplexed upon turning on the Telescreen to SPEED last Friday(?) and seeing the wet Montreal Grand Am race in progress… Huh? I thought some of those selected Dudes were busy doing tyre testing at the Speedway? So how’d they do that, eh? And you’ll wanna check out the great pictures that James of 16th and Georgetown has posted of the Daytona Prototypes pounding around IMS; click here.

Also an interesting story written by ICS stalwart Curt Cavin for Indy Star, Robin Miller’s Alma-matar: Grand-Am Drivers want to Race.

Hayden’s good news
After scoring his very first podium of the season at Indianapolis, after holding off a late charging Andrea Dovizioso, the Kentucky Kid, nee Nicky Hayden has been granted a one year contract extension with Ducatti and thus will partner “aussi” Casey Stoner once again in 2010 after reportedly being on the bubble, as the Italian company had been shopping Nicky’s ride to various MOTO GP competitors…

Stupid Pet tricks?
So why does that title make me think of Dan-Dan-Daniker… (Or is that the Danastar, Bill?) As it’s definitely NOT something I usually scribble about, but I suppose Y’all have heard ‘bout Roush-Fennway RASSCAR *Star” driver Carl Edwards having just broken his foot while playing Frisbee with a bunch ‘O friends… Which seems only a little less ridiculous then Jimmy Johnson’s golf Cart follies…

Sunday, September 6, 2009

DP to RASSCARLAND?

So its funny how last night after having discussed the STUPIDITY over ALL of the Princess-mania over where Dan-dan-Daniker was possibly going with Danny B and WHO GAVE A RATS ARSE!?! (Or to be NON-PC; WHO GIVES A FUCK!) It was somewhat hilarious to come across Press Dawg’s Breaking News story alerting us to the fact that Danica Patrick is seemingly headed for a career in the Roundy-Round series beginning next year, albeit she’s Rally-Rally-Rally close to signing a new dealioe with Mikey Andretti to continue on with the vaunted IRL operation also in 2010…

GASP! BE STILL MY BEATIN’ HEART!!! SAY IT AIN’T SO? I mean what will I do without NO more Princess to kick around… Oh that’s right she’ll still be the Show Pony, Err crowd darling of IndyCar, which must be somewhat shaking in its boots about potentially losing one half of its marketing machine… I mean who’s gonna be your Daddy now? (Do You mean we might be forced to see more of Milkalicious and Sarah fisher on the Telescreen?)

So why do the names Jacues Villeneuve, Patrick Carpentier, Dario Franchitti and AJ Almendinger immediately come to mind? As at last count only ‘Juan of those four is still floundering ‘bout in CUP-LAND, albeit in somewhat second tier equipment, as Almendinger’s CV is far more impressive than Danica’s.

Yeah, Sam “I AM” Hornish, Jr. is steadily making progress, but after all, he’s a three time IRL Champion, while Robby “DIRTMANN” Gordoun & Gentleman John Andretti haven’t exactly lit up the Bomber landscape… But it will be fun to see Robby throwing his helmet at Danica after they’ve rubbed noses, Err fenders all race long, eh?

And I still contend that would Danica rather be a BIG FISH in a ‘lil pond (IndyCar) or a SMALL Fish in a BIG Pond? (RASSCAR)

As I asked Danny if he thought the secret was out about saving fuel at Motegi when running 5th with 17 laps to go or will Danicker repeat her most glorious victory once again at the Twin Rings ‘O Honda?

BUTT of course Danicka’s potential move has absolutely NOTHIN’ to do with Dinero… As after all, if the “Danistar” flames out in Stockcar Land she can always come back to the IRL… But then again the Smells like Teen Spirit Cup is the perfect place for Danica… I mean HELL! Just look how long Mikey Waltrip has paraded about the High banks over there…

Then again, what’ll happen when Princess has a hissy fit and tries doin’ her patented STOMP down Pit Lane to go tangle with ‘Lil Ironhead Junior??? Whale at least she’ll be able to share her toenail polish with Scott ‘NOSE Speed, who apparently is particularly fond of the shade lavender, but will she be able to share the spotlight with Schrub?

Uhm? I’ve gotta go take a shower… As I feel really DIRTY after all of this RASSCAR Daniker ranting!

Sour grapes

So I’m assuming that by now Y’all heard that the Renault F1 Team has been summoned to appear in front of the World Motor Sport council (WMSC) on September 21st over the allegations of purposely ordering Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash his race car in order to enable Fernando Alonso to win the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix and give the “Reggie” a needed publicity boost after having not won a race in nearly two years… As Renault has been being investigated by the FIA since the Spa weekend when a Brazilian TV station ran a story on the matter.

Of course the person in the spotlight seemingly is “Nielsen Ho” (Piquet Jr.) who after being unceremoniously dumped by the team has gone on the warpath against ex-Boss “Flavour Flav” (Briatore) by likening him to a Dictator and careening on about not getting equal treatment whilst racing alongside double World Champion “Fredrico Suave.” (Alonso)

And although I’m certain this is possible, HELL even most certain it occurred; Earth to Nelson, you’re a Formula 1 Rookie and he’s a two time World Champion! So get over it! As I’m in the middle of Professor Steve Matchett’s second book and couldn’t believe how this seems quite similar to Renault’s previous incarnation, nee Benetton, when a one Mr. Michael Schumacher was routinely given the nod over his Number 2 teammates… So perhaps Piquet Junior will wish to give Rubino a call on his mobile and see if the Brazilian is willing to let his countryman cry on his shoulder?

Meanwhile, I’m really not sure what to say on the matter, as Renault/Benetton seemingly have a long track record of infidelities when it comes to the Sporting “Regs” and it’ll be interesting to see how the WMSC handles the matter if indeed they decide that Renault and Flavio are guilty of breeching the sporting codes Article 151C, of which McLaren was previously fined a monstrous $100 million a few seasons ago, while Renault got off with a slap on the wrist for previously breeching the rules…

While it’s quite hard to think that the team would go to such dubious lengths and if found to have done so will certainly put another black mark upon the sport, eh? One must wonder what the proverbial fallout would be for the Enstone based squad, which hopefully will remain in F1 for the foreseeable future; not only as an engine supplier, but a constructor…

Friday, September 4, 2009

Bourdais to race in super League

Wonder what “The Hamburgular,” nee Sebastian Bourdais is up to after having been given the boot by Scuderia Toro rosso? Whale wonder no more race fans, as Sea Bass has decided to go racing in the final three events of the 2009 season of the Super League Formula Series for Spanish Football Club FC Sevilla, after completing a half day’s test at Magny Cours with British team Ultimate last week.

Bourdais will make his debut in this weekend’s round in Portugal at the Estoril circuit and will compete against ex-Formula 1 Piloto’s Georgio Pantano, Antonio Pizzonia and Enrique Bernoldi, who currently contest the series…

Montagny to USF1?

There seems to be a lotta speculation surfacing in regards to “Frank the Tank” (Franck Montagny) potentially being on Peter Winsor’s short list of experienced F1 Drivers to possibly make up one half of the driving strength for the start-up team next year, as Winsor supposedly is somewhat enamored by Montagny’s testing experience, although the recent AFS/AGR Indy Car “Fifth wheel” at Sonoma, CA admits nothing is definitive and “They’re” (All three new 2010 F1 Teams) talking to all of the current Formula 1 Constructors Third Drivers as they seek an experienced hand to help their teams get up to speed quickly.

Montagny is also clamed to be talking with “Mikey” Andretti and Gil De Ferran about possible rides in Indy Car next year, while USF1 has formally applied with FOTA to become part of the Formula One teams Association for 2010, while both Campos Meta and Manor Motorsports are expected to do likewise shortly…

To read more on Team USF1 simply click upon the label USgpe below

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mosquito Valley


Whale as somebody once said: the best laid plans ‘O Men ‘N Mice, eh? As your Humble Scribe is able to report that he struck out upon his “Quest” for those ever elusive critters affectionately known as Snipes, instead becoming the feast for a swarming pack ‘O Mosquitoes... As Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen and I spent time in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest in a somewhat wooded section near Baker Lake… Situated between two ponds, one replete with a pack ‘O Busy Beavers and hence the proliferation of those overly annoying pests!

Taking a walk down the dirt road, as we neared a pond where the Mosquito population seemed to increase… Much to our DISGUST! Mary Ellen pointed out the heaping stack of white plastic front ‘N rear automobile bumpers that had been illegally DUMPED by some JACK ARSE!!! (Repair shop?) As I could only surmise that the Yeahoo’s who’d done such a SHITY thing were unwilling to dispose of the 30-40+ car bumpers properly since there was seemingly NO scrap value due to the excessive usage of plastic; SHEISA!

On our return trek Mary ellen pointed out Mount Shuckston directly ahead of us in the distance, before later in the afternoon as we hung about the field of bumpy grass in the warm sunlight, where we also discovered a missing golf ball; while I was constantly snacked upon around my elbows ‘N knees which seemed a strange area of Mosquito attack; (Hey! There AIN’T supposed to be Mosquitoes out in force in September!) Suddenly a Helicopter appeared outta nowhere, swooping quite low as Mary Ellen could see somebody sitting in the doorway as the ‘Copter continuously circled our location alongside the nearby tree farm… And then a second ‘Hellie arrived as I asked if the man sitting in the doorway had a 50 caliber machine gun in his lap? Before musing those ‘Ol Bruce Cockburn lyrics:

Here comes the Helicopter,
Second time today,
If I had a rocket launcher,
I’d BLOW that Sucker AWAY!


Yet our trip was cut short due to the incessant amount of precipitation that arrived early Thursday morning… As what are Holiday weekends preceeded by? Yep, three days ‘O RAIN! As Mary Ellen said let’s get outta this field before it becomes a total mud bog… And thus we set our sights upon Mount Vernon which was the nearest Greyhound Bus Station. But it wouldn’t leave for another four and a half hours said the man behind the glass; but you could catch the Amtrak that’ll be arriving momentarily… SHEISA! As we made a last ditch effort to retrieve all of my gear, purchase my ticket from the kiosk and catch the train… Which fortunately in true Amtrak service fashion was running approx. 25+ minutes late… As fortunately Amtrak has just been granted the adding of additional service from Olympia to Vancouver, BC for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, which as Larry sez; will be a NIGHTMARE!

As I stood at my first bus stop after departing the overly full morning train to Portland, OR, while trying to stay dry in the bus shelter, a couple waiting for the bus inquired where my train had come from? And then told me how the coach sections of the Amtrak trains to Vancouver, BC during the Olympics were already sold out and they’d had to purchase Business Class seats for the return trip instead, some six months prior…

Fisichella to Ferrari

As expected, Scuderia Ferrari has publicly announced that “Fishy-Fellah,” a.k.a. Giancarlo Fisichella has been inked to a contract to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa for the remainder of the 2009 season after being let go from Force India, who will most likely promote Test/Reserve Driver Vitantonnio Luzzi as Fisi’s replacement.

Thus it appears that third place in the Constructor’s Championship is indeed important to Ferrari as it’ll be imperative for Maranello to have both of its red cars in the points in order to hold off McLaren…

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No Fenders Mo-Jo

Whale, I was actually looking forward to watching my very first “Fuetball” (Soccer) Match on the Tellie this Wednesday afternoon *4:30PM Pacific) when our beloved Seattle sounders FC take on the Washington DC United in the Nation’s Capitol for the US Open Cup finals, after having the great privilege of attending my very first Sounders FC home match this past weekend at QWest field, where unfortunately the sounders once again came up short in a 0-0 draw against Toronto FC.

The event was most enjoyable and I sincerely hope that the Sounders FC will be triumphant in their quest to dethrone DC United in what has become a bit of a “War ‘O Words” between the teams two General Managers… Or is it simply a shrewd way of drumming up interest for the match?

Yet unfortunately your Humble Scribe will be out ‘N aboot in the bushes for the next few dazes in search of those ever elusive critters affectionately known as Snipes…

So kick ARSE Sounders FC!

Arrivedercii Luca?


So last Thursday evening whilst enjoying a night out ‘N aboot on the town I was drawn into a conversation with Robert regarding the plight of the Scuderia’s much lamented number two fill-in for the injured Felipe Massa… As Luca Badoer has been taking a lambasting for his outings behind the wheel of the recalcitrant Ferrari F60, while SPEED’s Bob Varsha said during the Friday Belgian GP practice show; OBVIOUSLY Luca’s trying his hardest to do his absolute best, having waited his whole life to fulfill his dream of driving the red cars…

But he simply doesn’t seem able to cut the Mayonnaise, Err French Fries, not to be “Cornfuzed” with those Frites di Machen-Dougals… which sounds much better then Belgium’s other novelty; Vlaams du Muscles, but I digress…

As once again the hapless 38yr Old Italian was some two seconds off the pace on Friday, ending up stone last. On Saturday during qualifying, Badoer once again was unable to hoist Massa’s No. 3 Ferrari out of the “Q1 Qualie” session, winding up in last place on the grid in P20, although somewhat surprisingly Badoer’s Ferrari had the fastest trap speed of 200mph! But he had trouble woahing himself down as Steve Matchet commented that it looked like he’d out braked himself in the closing minutes of qualifying when we saw Luca lurching off track…

On Sunday, whilst Luca’s teammate The Iceman (Raikkonen) was utilizing the Ferrari’s KERS system to his best advantage after an unbelievable start, which potentially caused the races major pile-up which eliminated both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson button, along with Romain Grosjean And Jaime Alguersuari on lap one…

Badoer who was on a one stop strategy was unable to string together any substantial lap times, running some two seconds a lap slower then Williams Kazuki Nakajima, as the Kimster would scorch his way past an unbelievably competitive Fishy-Fellah… Holding off the Italian by less than one second, while Badoer would cross the line as the very last runner in 14th, nearly 100 seconds adrift; officially 1m38.177 behind.

Meanwhile Fisichella scored Force India’s very first Pole position and initial Grand Prix points with his amazing second place finish behind Raikkonen, while holding off a fast charging Sebastian Vettel…

Yet as The House ‘O Winsor also noted upon Friday’s show, Badoer definitely has his work cut out for him; strapping in for the first time on a race weekend in nearly 10yrs at a track he’s never driven. Off to the blindingly fast Spa Francorchamps, the insane pressure of the Tiafosi, a night race in Singapore, the rain in Suzuka and back to the concrete canyons in Yaz Marina… (Abu Dubai)

NO, the real embarrassment lies firmly on the Scuderia’s shoulders as it seems unfathomable that they don’t have a contingency plan for this very circumstance, nor any “Young Lions currently in the pipeline to have drawn upon… As Kimi’s miraculous victory helped increase the gap between arch rivals McLaren to 12 points, who are pressuring the Scuderia for third place in the Constructor’s Championship, of which is not only for bragging rights but valuable prize money and travel funds.

Of course all of this seems to be facilitated from the FIA’s NONSENSICAL BANNING of in-season testing, or even worse yet, the redundancy of Friday Third Driver’s, which seemingly gives potential Grand Prix Piloto’s little incentive to become a Formula 1 Test Driver, eh?

Alas, what will Maranello do? As it seems the best hoped for solution would be to grant “Fishy-Fellah” his long distance dream of finally driving for Ferrari, as Giancarlo bravely described his time at Sauber his closest chance to driving a Ferrari powered landshark in battle royale. As this may be the best way for Vijay Malia to politely show Fisichella the door in order to make way for the anxiously waiting Vitantonnio Luzzi, who’s reportedly already been promised a drive in 2010. Not to mention freeing up some capital to pay off his outstanding Ferrari customer Lumps debt…

Then again why not let Luzzi fill-in for Ferrari in order to prepare for next season? Although the Scuderia may balk at the idea of preparing a potential rival, eh? Otherwise, Ferrari may simply take their lumps with Badoer as Raikkonen has already stated that all development work has now transferred onto next year’s challenger, and reportedly Badoer is faster then test driver Marc Gene whom also hasn’t raced in F1 in an exceedingly LONG time.

Of course Nelson Piquet Jr. and Sebastian Bourdais are currently available, while I have no idea whom Ferrari would approach from the GP2 ranks? And what would happen if Fishy-Fellah actually outperformed the Kimster in “equal” machinery… Would that be a good or bad thing for Kimi’s future with Ferrari? And will Massa really return in Brazil?

So the question remains, just how badly does Ferrari truly wish to retain its current third place in the Constructors Championship?

Good Luck Luca!