Monday, November 30, 2009

Conway to test in Jerez, Viso to TCGR?

Joining J.R. Hildebrand, Alexander Rossi & Co. at the upcoming Formula 1 Young Driver’s Test at Jerez this week will be ’09 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing IndyCar driver Mike Conway, who’ll be performing testing duties for BRAWN GP, Err the new Mercedes Grand Prix Team alongside Swedish “HotSchue” and rising Star Marcus Ericsson, who looks to continue his climb up the racing ladder by contesting F3 this season.

And I’m not sure what to make of Conway’s test outing, as obviously both Mercedes racing seats are filled for the foreseeable future with Lewis Hamilton & Jenson button, but Conway was a former Test Driver for the outfit back in its Honda days…

Perhaps he’ll get a shot at Team USF1?

Meanwhile once again THE ‘DAWG has pumped out the following tidbit, claiming that perhaps EJ “What, Me Worry?” Viso is potentially headed to the “Cheepster’s” (Ganassi) outfit to drive a third TCGR entry a la The Captain, Click here.

Spa Francorchamps granted new license

Good news for those of us whom appreciate the mighty Spa francorchamps racing circuit which had come under abomination by a bunch of local TWITS who didn’t like the irrepressible siren song of Grand Prix machinery… SHEISA! As the circuit had originally lost its license to host the traditional Belgian Grand Prix, which sensibly has now been overturned, with Spa being granted a new license valid thru 2011…

Francorchamps gets new operating license

Power gets Penske third car drive

Otay this is slightly dated, but in case you haven’t heard, Will Power has been confirmed to a full 2010 IndyCar season drive at Team Penske, as the popular “Aussie” will partner Penske driver’s Hulio and Ryan Briscoe, driving a third Dallara-Honda chassis, the No. 12 sponsored by Verizon wireless, while its unknown if the two primary red ‘N white Marlboro liveried Penske chassis will change colours next year as tobacco giant Phillip Morris takes a lesser sponsorship role with the team…

Stadium Racing

According to Mr. Carpets of Indiana:
Bush Stadium, the former minor league baseball park in Indianapolis, is being leased by a salvage company for a reported $2,000 a month to store Cash for Clunker cars until they can be scrapped. For a short time the old ballpark was the 16th Street Speedway, which hosted midget racing in the late 90's.

Hmm? Hopefully the Silverdome’s new Owner who paid approx. $7.25 per seat or $583,000 at Auction for the vacant 80,000 seat Stadium has better plans for it, eh?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kimi’s WRC World Tour set to commence in 2010


“Yumpin’ Yuh-hosa-fat!”

As I tells Yuh! Its rough sleddin’ tryin’ tooze BEATS duh ‘DAWG (Pressdog) to the ‘lectric scribblin-pad in order to break any news upon the Kimster and his “Oomplats!” (Especially since he’s got a 3hr ‘Yump on Mwah!) As word comes that Messer Räikkönen is reportedly very close to signing a deal to contest the full 2010 World Rally Championship season for Citroen, presumably backed by personal sponsor Red Bull, who are also major sponsors of the Citroen Total World Rally Team …

Raikkonen to race for Citroen in WRC next year?

And speculation still suggests that Räikkönen is simply taking a one year Sabbatical from the pinnacle ‘O Motorsport, (Formula 1) so could Kimi potentially take over Aussie Mark Webber’s seat in 2011 in order to prepare for “ZEBB’s (Vettel’s) departure to Mercedes Grand Prix in 2012?

Hmm? May be that Stuff really does give uze Wings, eh?

Whatever happened to No News Friday’s?

Whale like Veteran F1 “Journo” Joe Saward spouted off recently, there’s traditionally NOT any news of substance, i.e.; Politics, Economy, Motorsports, etc published on Friday afternoon unless you’re trying to bury the story over the weekend so it’ll be ancient news by the time Monday rolls around…

Thus, it was a bit peculiar to have not “Juan, but three stories break cover over the course of Friday; including BMW’s New Deal, Force India’s Non-change Driver line-up and Montreal’s revival. (Not to mention Saward’s continuing speculation about some rogue F1 outfit named Stefan Grand Prix…) As the “Kimster” rand and the Grand Prix du Canada posts were supposed to go out yesterday, but I simply ran outta time, and thus, this extremely rare Sunday version which is after all supposed to be your Humble Scribe’s day ‘O rest, Yuhs Here?

Montreal returns to F1 Calendar

HURRAH! WOO-HOO!

Is it possible that Uncle Bernaughty is coming to his senses? (NOT!) Or simply the fact that Montreal caved into his latest demands? As Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay has just announced that a new contract has been signed that will see the Canadian GP return in 2010 for 5yrs, running thru 2014 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where the Canadian GP had been held continuously from 1978 to 2008 before wrangling over fees saw the race cancelled in 2009.

Tremblay proclaimed that “Kana-Duh” was in Pole position after having struck the new deal with Uncle Bernaughty for a “Bargain Basement” price of approx. $72 million (or nearly $14.5m per year) vs. the previously requested sum of $165m.

Thus, coupled with the demise of the USGP at Indianapolis, (2008) there were NO Formula 1 races held in North America for the very first time in half a Century! (1959)

So welcome back Canada! As now all we need is a new USGP… And I’d prefer it to be at the Brickyard and not another goofy street race, like somewhere in Los Wages. (Can you say Champ Car Emperor Bernardo?) As Good-for-You Martin Whitmarsh for lambasting F1 for NOT racing in the World’s LARGEST Automobile market and SHAME on You Uncle Bernaughty! As 125,000 (PAYING) Spectators is NOTHING to sneeze at, eh?
Whitmarsh says F1 needs America, NOT Korea

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kuh-Kuh-Kuh Kia

So recently when on Holiday, I had to laugh when asking Jefford what make his rental car was? Oh I don’t know, I think it’s a Kia? All I know is that you can leave the key in it, he retorted!

So off to look for some fishing lures in rustic Downtown La Conner, as Brandon & Dundee had managed to hook the bottom off the dock quite frequently… As Brandon informed us; you can tell they’re Catfish ‘because I can see their whiskers… Only problem being that it’s Salt water, not to mention the humongous 6” fin sticking outta the water… (More likely pile Perch)

Hey have you seen the key for the Kia? Careful, watch out for the Ketsup packets lying on the seat… Oh yeah that’s right it’s a Kuh-kuh-kuh Kia… As we broke into that ‘Ol Volare tune sung to the words of Key in the Kia! Kuh-kuh-kuh Kia! (Hmm? Why is all of this Kuh-kuh-kuh Kia making me think of the Chia pet, eh?)

But wait, this ain’t your Grand-pappies Kia… It’s a Kia Spectrum EX, which I believe the EX stands for either Executive or EXTREME SPORT model versions… Then again after Jefford told me to HOLD ON! I’m gonna floor it… Could also be for ECONOMY version? As Jefford mumbled something about secondary’s ‘N Squirrel’s. Yet the Korean Kia appears to be a closely copied version of Honda’s current Civic 4 Door model… But Hey! At least it gets the job done, eh?

Uhm? Oh Drat! Have uze seens duh keys for the Kuh kuh kuh Kia?

Moonshot


I suppose it was destiny, eh? That the very first time in my life that I’d actually be able to see the International Space Station (ISS) would naturally occur upon the 40th Anniversary of Man landing upon the Moon…

You know the day; July 20th, 1969, when Neil Armstrong uttered those famous words: One small step for Man, One Giant step for Mankind. As I suppose it was sadly fitting that esteemed Newsman Walter Cronkite would die at the age of 92 years on the same weekend when he’d called the historic action live on TV 40yrs earlier…

And thus I set my trusty ‘Ol VCR to record the two shows being showed that Monday night on the History channel, Beginning with a 30min recap of Mr. Cronkite’s calling of the action, which is still the most ever watched event on TV, when an amazing 600 million viewers tuned-in. Or as the vigilee’s at Central Park pronounced to one reporter, they were having a “Moon-in.” Also, garnering interest from around the world, Pope John VI even went so far as to have a colour television set installed in his summer residence to watch the Moon landing, while the entire nation of Italy were still stuck with Black ‘N White Telescreens… With the half hour program being followed by the 2hr Moonshot show on how the Astronaut’s were picked and how the whole Apollo 11 mission occurred.

Yet I suppose another irony was the fact that with the Space Shuttle’s arrival at the ISS, it would mark the record for most people ever at the Space Station at one time with a total of 13 Astronauts, of which we’d soon learn that one of the two Station’s commodes (toilets) would break during this rendezvous… Not to mention the irony in just having listened to Kenny Sergeant once again dip into his bag ‘O Boyhood humour on the Speed Freaks (8/02) and dribble on about the Japanese Astronaut who just wore his “el speci-el” underpants for a whole month. BUTT! I digress…

Yet, for several years now, I’ve been most disappointed to not be able to see the various satellites screaming overhead as many Family members point towards the open skies, whilst in non obliterated areas outside the City’s overabundance of lighting. So it was with great delight while recently in La Conner, WA that I was able to pick out the whitish pebble sized object hurtling past us outta the corner of my eye as Blogmeister Miguel helped me spot the speeding hulk in the night sky before it was gone!

Of course, this in turned sparked multiple questions about said object the following morning as we drank our coffee next to the water with a pleasant breeze blowing as the sun rose. So, how high in the sky is it relative to us? How fast does it travel? What is the square footage of the living quarters, and on and on we went, even going so far as to attempt figuring out the next time it would pass by.

So thank goodness for Al Gore and his world wide web thingy, which I pestered Miguel at ze Confuzer immediately after breakfast, who found the following answers to our questions. The ISS is situated 199-220 miles above Earth and is in a geosynchronous orbit. It circumnavigates the Earth’s diameter every 92 minutes and currently has 1,400 square feet of space for its living quarters… Which makes me think it musta been extremely tight quarters with all of those Astronauts up there, eh? (I got Dibbs on the bathroom…)

So with this knowledge in hand, and the assumption that we saw the ISS at 10PM, I quickly stated that we’d see the Space Station at 11:32PM tonight… (WRONG Answer) And then for humour I sat down and attempted to write my very first story on a laptop Confuzer, to which Miguel casually noted awhile later that it looked really good, except the CAPS lock had been on the entire time, not to mention the messed-up middle paragraph, which I contemplated publishing directly beneath the posting titled Tech Trouble; when I was without my Confuzer, but back to our discussion of when will the Space Station return?

I’ll give you a hint; 24 X 60min = 1440min. Divide by 92 and you come up with the answer of 15.652173, or as Miguel said; I still DON’T know what that get’s us? So the two of us sat down and mentally counted out loud the addition of 92min for either 15 or 16 times, assuming we’d seen the ISS at 10PM the night before and came up with the answer of either 9:08 or 10:40PM. (Which I’ve done the math again subsequently and of course didn’t get the same answer)

Thus armed with this new fangled knowledge, we were poised to see if we’d even be close? And as dessert was being served, Miguel took up his position outside so we’d not miss the passing of the Station… And Holy Space-Underwear Batman! As everyone sat engorged in their three berry pie ‘N ice cream, Miguel cried out; Here it comes! Unfortunately it was at a much lower trajectory, (perhaps further away?) and your Humble Scribe wasn’t able to discern the whitish pebble object against the black sky, although everyone else saw it! As I sat in glee, laughing inwardly that Miguel & I had actually made the calculation correctly…

On a side note, I later discovered the following article in the New York Times about a side of Walter Cronkite that was unknown, that being his passion for Motor Racing, as IMS Historian extraordinaire Donald Davidson was quick to point out that Mr. Cronkite was a common guest at the Speedway “Many Moons ago.”

Cronkite; The Speed Racer

And “That’s the way it was!”

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Fowls NJ Turnpike

Score One for the soon to be massively consumed Turkey, as a rare bird has apparently decided to make its home upon New Jersey’s turnpike, having eluded capture so far; playing dodge ball with oncoming motorists, sitting on Toll booth collectors automobiles and resting atop various Toll Booths, as this Odd story makes me think of the great song Cows with guns…

Turkey causing havoc on NJ Turnpike

Happy Turkey Lurkey Day Y’all!

El Soundero!


Leonardo Gonzalez, No. 19; Sounder FC Defender

Hola Sounder FC Fanaticoes! As previously mentioned, I recently had the privilege of attending my very first Seattle sounders FC MLS “Fuutball” match: See No Fenders Mo Jo; as I attended the Sounders FC vs. Toronto FC MLS (Major League Soccer) game with Football Diehard Randal, who strangely has some affliction for Manchester United, but I digress…

Although the night prior to the match, Randal informed me that there were two items I needed to be aware of; First) EVERYBODY STANDS FOR THE ENTIRE MATCH! And Secondly) It’s tradition that whoever attends with him has to wear the Sounders FC Scarf given to Season Ticket holders. Uhm, Otay, I think I can handle that…

Crossing over the King Street Station railroad tracks and down the stairway towards QWest Field, I was immediately struck by the ambiance of the crowd already salivating in anticipation of the upcoming match as Randal informed me that the Sounders FC Band was playing the theme song of the original NASL Sounders along with the teams new fight song as there was a definite buzz outside of the Stadium, as I stopped for an “action” shot in front of Qwest Field.

Next we decided to enter the Stadium’s store which also seemed quite inundated with fans looking for Sounders FC souvenirs, but I decided to pass upon the $70 replica team jersey’s, before we set off for our seats…

And what FRILLIN’ AWESOME seats Randal has selected, as we were nearly at field level, just five yards shy of midfield, having stopped for another action shot ‘O Tomaso with the Soccer pitch as background, before the front row usher offered to take our picture together as we made our way towards Randal’s seats…

Over the din of the Pre-game banter, apparently Randal misheard my question as I asked him if the Sounders FC player the PA Announcer had just mentioned was a Forward? To which Randal replied: NO! He’s Black!
Which caused me to break out in laughter as I was actually inquiring about Forward Steve Zakuani, whom Randal had thought I’d asked; is he Polish?

And then it was time for the singing of the “Kuh-Naidiun” and American National Anthems… “Oh Canada!” As we simply remained standing as it was time for kickoff… As I still cannot get over the fact that everyone in the Stadium STANDS for the entire 90mins. GO SOUNDERS FC!

Even more impressive was the voracionous cheering of what I quickly nicknamed “Keller’s Crew,” referring to the Rabid fans behind what is typically Sounders FC goal keeper Kasey Keller’s box during the first half of the match, as this section would be responsible for leading ALL of the chants for the entire match… Starting off with SEATTLE as the other half of the Stadium responded with SOUNDERS!

SEAAAA… AT-TULL!!! SOUND DDDEERRRSSS!!!
SEAAAA… AT-TULL!!! SOUND DDDEERRRSSS!!!
SEAAAA… AT-TULL!!! SOUND DDDEERRRSSS!!!


As the Fans tried to excite our Homeboys who got off to a very shaky start and shoulda literally been behind 3-0; SHEISA! Thus it was even more entertaining to hear “Keller’s Crew” chant: The Ref is a WANKER! The Ref is a WANKER! The Ref is a WANKER!

As the Rabid Fans shouted their objections on questionable calls, sloppy play and handed out numerous “Air Cards,” when they thought a Yellow Card was required… As I kept mentioning to Randal how amazing the crowd’s exuberance was and how hilarious I found the sanctioning of the air-Cards to be... Whilst waiting Randal pointing out my favourite Sounders FC player: (#19) Leonardo Gonzalez; Left Fullback, as I was impressed by the Costa Rican’s *Gonzalez) willingness to come to a Foreign country and play his heart out for the Major” football league in order to get a chance at playing full time professionally… Oh, what’s that Randal? He’s really good you say? No Kidding? COOL!

And towards the middle of the second half, we began screaming BOO! BOO! BBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Booing “Del Rio” every time Toronto FC Striker Wayne Del Rosario got his boots upon the soccer ball, since apparently he’s one of Toronto’s major threats… While we also chanted Eh! Eh! Eh! Eh! Eh! Eh! Several times during the match, which although was disappointing to end in a zero-zero draw, at least it was somewhat better then an outright loss, eh?

And thus it seemed simply overwhelming that the entire 32,679 in Attendance (the ENTIRE Season is SOLD OUT!) stood gleefully thru the entire match, including the extra five minutes added for stoppage as we made our exit from the Raucous Qwest Stadium, where the 2009 MLS Expansion Sounders FC club are in quest of making the playoffs in their very first Major League Soccer season.

Playoffs
The Sounders became only the second ever MLS Expansion Team to make the Playoffs in their inaugural season, the feat having not occurred since the 1998 Chicago Fire went all the way to the finals and won the title.

Thus in their playoff grouping, the sounders hosted the Houston Dynamo in round 1 of a two game playoff match, with the first game being held at Qwest Field, where a Record 35,807 Fans attended the Sellout match that ended in a 0-0 draw.

Thus on November 8th a all or nothing Game Two was held on Houston’s home turf, where the top two defensive Teams in the League played another ninety scoreless minutes, with the two squads having completed a total of 180 minutes without a single goal having been scored!

Yet sadly in the games 96th minute, during the first of two 15min extended time half’s, Houston Striker Brian ching fired a rocketing salvo during a very brief defensive lapse, taking the shot unsighted and landing in the back of the net in which would prove to be the decisive score of the 1-0 match in Houston’s favour…

Ironically Brian Ching played his collegiate Soccer at Eastern Washington’s Gonzaga University, where he scored 34 goals for the Bulldogs before playing for the Spokane Shadow prior to being drafted by the LA Galaxy and then playing a short stint with the Seattle Sounders “A” League Team before returning to MLS action fulltime.

And this year’s Major League Soccer Championship Final, the MLS Cup was held at Qwest Field with a very impressive 41,000+ Fans attending, where some locals could be heard silently chanting Beat LA! And thus, I was absolutely thrilled to discover upon my return from Canada that Real Salt Lake had indeed defeated Messer Beckem & Donovan’s Galaxy in a sudden death shoot-out!

Yet the Sounders can be quite proud of their inaugural MLS campaign, having won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, along with Goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg being named to the MLS All Star Team, while Forward Fredy Montero Beat out teammates Keller & Ljungberg for the MLS’s Newcomer of the Year Award.

The Sounders FC Team had a total of five members nominated for MLS Yearend Awards, with the three above and central defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado plus Coach Sigi Schmid.

Meanwhile MLS’s 2008 coach of the Year Schmid who was once again nominated for the award, has just been released from the Hospital after a bout of Pneumonia; with Sigi having now passed US National Team Coach Bob Bradley for number of All Time MLS victories with 125 wins…

GO SOUNDERS FC and Kudos Randal!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Campos Meta is first again

The Spanish based Campos Meta F1 team, one of the four Formula 1 newcomers for 2010, has just had its F1 Challenger’s cockpit Homologated by the FIA, as all current Teams are in the process of having their new racecar’s crash test certified (Homologated) for the upcoming Grand Prix season.

Spearheading the Team’s effort is Adrian Campos, an ex-Formula One Piloto who has overseen multiple Championship winning efforts for his own race team, including the 2008 GP2 title, while Meta is a Madrid-based marketing company.

The Teams racecar is being designed and built in conjunction with Dallara Automobili, XTRAC Gearboxes and the FIA (mandated) preferred Cosworth Customer “Lump” as the team now seeks to Homologate the rear end of the chassis.

Campos Meta was also first to partially confirm its 2010 Driver line-up when they announced the signing of Bruno Senna on October 31st,
as the 26yr old Brazilian who finished runner-up to ’08 GP2 champion Georgio Pantano will finally make his debut in F1 after having seen a potential ride with then BRAWN GP lost to Rubens Barrichello; due largely to F1’s testing ban and the Brazilian’s lack of experience…

Flav trial begins

“Flavour Flav’s” (Flavio Briatore) trial to overturn his lifetime ban from all FIA Motorsports activity was held in a French court yesterday, with very little news reporting upon it besides the announcement that the Court’s ruling will be handed down on January 5th, 2010.

The 59yr old Italian is seeking $1m Euros in damages to his reputation along with having the ban lifted in order for him to resume his racing related activities, most notably managing his current flock of F1 Piloto’s, while I believe that his Lieutenant Pat Symonds, who refused a immunity deal during the initial “Crash-Gate” proceedings and instead was given a five year ban from Motorsports has also joined the lawsuit.

So does this mean we’ll now have to wait until early January to learn Renault’s future?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hildebrand, Rossi and others to test at Jerez


Reigning Indy Lights Champion J.R. Hildebrand has just been confirmed as one half of Force India’s driving duo for an upcoming “Young guns” Formula 1 testing session at Jerez.

The test slated for December 1-3 is for drivers having no more then two Formula 1 career starts and will host a slew of aspiring talent all seeking possible employment as future Grand Prix Piloto’s, with several lower Formulae Champions taking part in the test session.

Joining Hildebrand at Force India will be Paul di Resta, most recently of DTM fame; not to mention the 2006 Formula 3 Euroseries Champion, having beaten F1 “Voonderkin” Sebastian Vettel for the title.

Joining Hildebrand and di Resta will be American Alexander Rossi, testing for the defunct BMW Sauber Team alongside Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, both Champions of their respective Formula BMW Series, while Rossi also won the Formula BMW World Finals.

Other Formula One Teams taking part in the test include: Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault, Scuderia toro Rosso and Williams.

Interestingly it is reported that all Drivers taking part in the test session need to have in their possession a most prized asset known as an FIA Super license…

And although apparently J.R. Hildebrand and Alexander Rossi now possibly have one, which is mandatory for inclusion in Formula One participation, I wouldn’t read too much into this as I still think both of these promising talents need a little more time competing before making the ultimate jump into Formula One, as it’ll be interesting to see how the youngsters stack-up against Reigning GP2 Champion and Williams F1 racing driver Nico Hulkenberg who will also be taking part in the Jerez test…

Jerez F1 Test line-up

G=RP2?

Otay, betcha Y’all are wondering what in the HELL that is, eh? Whale it’s my catchy takeoff from a very funny story the “DAWG” (pressdog) penned recently about certain Motorsport entities caught in the AUT vacuum, as you’ll have to read it to find out what an AUT is? Click here.

Thus, my zany(?) takeoff of AUT’s where I pose the Question G=RP2? Which is pronounced G equals RP squared, equates to; Ganassi equals Roger Penske squared…

As in Roger’s twice as successful as the “Cheepster!”

Rosberg confirmed at Mercedes

Not surprisingly, Nico Rosberg who left Williams at the end of the just concluded F1 season, has now been confirmed as one half of Mercedes Grand Prix Driver line-up for the 2010 Formula 1 campaign, while the newly reconstituted BRAWN GP outfit is reluctant to divulge the identity of Rosberg’s teammate, allowing speculation to swirl over one Mr. Michael Schumacher and a possible return to Grand Prix racing, which would seem an unwise move to Mwah…

Wonder if they could pry the Kimster loose from his couch, eh?

Driving Follies


I suppose that title could apply to anywhere, eh? As your Humble Scribe has just returned from the Frigid North, Err extremely WET North, having an enjoyable jaunt to Vancouver, BC, (on my Greg Moore expedition) which definitely has some very aggressive Automobile Drivers!

Honey, I passed my testMakes me really wanna climb behind the wheel in South Korea, as I just read that a lady has finally passed her Driving license’s written portion of the test after having only taken the exam 950 times! Hmm? Isn’t there gonna be a Grand Prix there next year? ZOINKS!

Woman passes written Driving exam after 950 attempts
Nice Kitty Kitty!
Guess Y’all should always check before reaching underneath your Automobile, as a man recently thought he’d pet his canine friend napping underneath only to have his hand bitten by a 5’ Alligator, YIKES! Guess Alligator’s AIN’T Man’s Best Friend, eh?

Man bitten by Alligator

Bugatti vs. PelicanApparently Y’all should never stare at exotic fowl when driving, as a certain distracted driver has recently put his Bugatti Veyron thru the mud and into a lagoon in Texas after having allegedly become fascinated by a local Pelican flying very low to the ground after taking his eyes off the road to retrieve his mobile phone!

Veyron owner crashes car

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Take Off Eh!

So your Humble Scribe is off to the Great white North, Eh? To go visit the Greg Moore Gallery at BC Place’s BC Sports Hall of Fame and perhaps even a quick jaunt over to Maple Ridge? But never fear… I’ll return early next week “Just-in-Time” for Turkey Lurkey Day! And if you can’t stand it, then perhaps you’ll wanna check out some of the sites of those very clever ‘N astute Vurd Botcherer’s from the list below, which you can find links to several of on the Right Hand sidebar of this page under Racing Links…

And then drop back into my site next week – Please! Shameless Plug, eh?
Greg Moore – 10yrs after

Button bolts to McLaren

Newly anointed F1 World Champion Jenson Button has decided to take his No. 1 plate and run off to Mercedes Grand Prix rival McLaren, in what seemingly has become a massive game of tit for tat… After BRAWN GP, Err Mercedes apparently refused to budge upon its very low contract offer for the Brit’s services next year, as I was looking forward to purchasing a No. 1 Silver Arrows “JENSE Diecast…

Apparently the plucky Brit decided to take McLaren’s HIGHER retainer reported to be $6m for 3yrs vs. $4m for 2yrs with the allowance of Button to add additional personal services sponsors to boost his pay packet…

And the deal seemed all but a formality after the Iceman’s manager announced to Finnish press that the Kimster (Raikkonen) has elected to sit out next season’s Formula 1 contest after negotiations broke down with McLaren, as the Finn will take his reputed $17m severance pay from Scuderia Ferrari to go play in the snowbanks instead in the WRC! Although NOT having ruled out a return to Formula One in 2011, but you’ve gotta wonder if this is another Mika Hakkinen style retirement, eh?

Thus will we see an all German line-up now at Mercedes next year with “Quick Nick” Heidfeld partnering Nico Rosberg?

Night of the Living Bloggers


Otay, I confess I stole the title from “Jeffie” of My Name is IRL, which after I read it makes me smirk and think of that long lost MTV video classic Thriller and all of the marching Zombies…

After having recently learned about the Indy Car “bloggaratzi” taking over the Indianapolis Airwaves last Thursday evening on AM1070’s The Fan’s Trackside with Kevin ‘n Cavin, in which I tuned-in for my very first Trackside episode, carefully taking notes of everyone participating during the entire two hours.

Also, I especially liked Kevin’s quip about Curty Cavin’s Job Shadower: Are you going to be a Word Butcher on the keyboards or an Ink Stained wretch in Journalism… To which Cavin replied I’ve tried to talk him outta going into Journalism since there AIN’T gonna be any newspapers in the future…

But I really enjoyed Kevin doting on the “Vurd Botcherers” aspect, of which was a very clever takeoff regarding an ‘Ol article Jeff Olsen wrote abouts us nucel bashers ‘O keeboards many Moons ago, which I scribbled my thoughts in Beauty ‘N the Beast when gang tacklin’ the effervesant Mr. Olsen, noting how it was the perfect opportunity to cancel my subscription to Racer magazine!

Thus here’s my “lowdown” on the show’ participants in order, as Kevin Lee said ladies go first, so drumroll please…

the race gIRL
1) Monica
Talked about upcoming “Tweet-Up,” while Cavin noted that Monica sounded an AWFUL lot like the Princess; Dan-Dan-Daniker, or as “The DAWG” calls her; the Danistar… To which Curt also mentioned that Kevin was wearing his pressdog T-Shirt to which shameless pandering then took place. As for the Tweet-up, you’ll have to go elsewhere in the Blogosphere since I’m nNOT-a member of the TWIT-er Nation, which I like to refer to as the GRUNTER Nation…

Is it May Yet?
2) Will McCarty
Kevin asked for a brief description of his site to which Will explained started with the famous Son ‘O Stash mustachio photoshop pic and also provides Race Day weather forecasts which is what he does in his real job, along with having a very good sense ‘O Humour!

Also gave a “Shout-Out” to Jeff of My Name is IRL “Fame” who couldn’t make it since he was stuck in Rush hour AZ traffic… You know when Arizonan’s actually have to go the legal speed limit instead of 37.5+ mph over!

Open Paddock
3) Doug Patterson
This Blog is new to me, with my notes saying that Doug resides in Indy and he “Yakked” about the current state of the I500 as Matt “CAM-WOW!” Chamois of The Other Side likes to call the Indy 500…

Planet IRL
4) Kohl Kirkland
Kevin noted that Kohl was the first of three members from Planet IRL, which seems a little overboard to me (Hee-Hee-Hee…) As this even took Kohl by surprise, who gave another Shout-Out to Jeffie, Gee Whiz, what’s the Dealio, eh?

Kohl brought up the subject of the current Open Wheel Racing Feeder system, mentioning how USF2000 had just had a press announcement, while also noting how there were only two I500 Rookies in ’07 and how we need more “Young Guns” in the series. Cavin gave his two cents on the muddied waters of our Open wheel ladder system, while Kevin brought up how the Champ Car Atlantics used to give $1m bonus to the season’s Champion.

For more Feeder series insights, I suggest you check out Ryan’s Junior Open wheel Talent blog, which keeps tabs on this sorta stuff.

16th and Georgetown
5) James Black
James talked primarily about the leagues hottest property at the moment; Ryan “The IZOD DUDE! Hunter-Reay as Kevin ‘N Cavin bantered on ‘bout how they expect RHR to do in 2010, as Curty pondered if RHR could take TK (Tony Kanaan) straight-up? But he certainly expected Hunter-Reay to push Marco and the Princess, or did Kevin say that last part?

Also Cavin said tell us ‘bout your IMS Seating Chart project, which James has just launched on his site after the previous author was unable to continue it, to which Cavin lamented I don’t know why the Indy Star never did anything like that before Kevin interjected; you shoulda taken a camera with you when you were counting all of ‘dem seats! To which Curt replied; whale I was trying to not get caught by the (Yelllow Shirts) Security…

Oil Pressure
6) George Phillips
George mentioned how he was probably the oldest (Southern) IRL Blogger having gone to his very first I500 race in 1965 and lamented on the lack of diversity in today’s Indy Car Series, noting how he really missed the competition of rival chassis/engine combinations and the innovation in general this brought about when everybody wanted to see what showed up each May at the Speedway; citing how Chip Ganassi took a flyer on the relatively unknown Reynard chassis in ’94 and two years later it was dominant. (It was also the Cheepster who switched to the rival Toyota when the Honda was dominant in CART, before Toyota became the “Lump” to have…) But all three agreed that they’re will never be another tyre war and they don’t like them either…

Planet IRL
7) Paul Dalbie
Paul brought up a great subject over how it just seems a little too coincidental that the latest round of the Danistar to RASSCAR made the Airwaves just prior to the ICS’s IZOD title sponsor announcement and how this perpetual Danistar SHIT is conveniently fueled by ESPN as he never saw anything solid on this after it broke via ESPN’s assistance…

Indy Racing Revolution
8) Chris Estrada
Mr. “CHiPs” as I like to call Christopher talked a bit about how he got called up to the big leagues… And wanted to know the Hosts take on the current level of competition and what Tony Kottman needed to do, since he felt that if the league didn’t do something to spice it up from this year’s Red ‘N White Show; Can you say TCGR ‘N Penske? Then he felt that the league may be hard pressed to continue riding the IZOD wave…

Drive Hard-Turn Left
9) Bill Potter
Bill is also another “Indy Homeboy” (While Monica also mentioned she was in the process of moving there, since it’s the Heartland of Open Wheel Racing) who wanted to know how the proposed Comcast Takeover, Err merger of NBC/Universal would effect the IndyCar viewership? To which Cavin commented he just doesn’t know how important it is to Comcast?

pressdog
10) Bill Zarhin
After some guffawing ‘bout wearing The DAWG’s T-Shirt, Bill shocked us all by talking ‘bout Formula 1 instead… Hey, wait a minute… F1? What’s going on here, that’s my turf Bubbah!

Bill spent considerable time chronicling the absolute zaniness of the just completed season; how BRAWN GP came outta nowhere along with Red Bull Racing which was an Also Ran squad before the season and how they finished 1-2 in the Drivers & Constructor’s Championships. And that doesn’t even mention all of the vonybrtdird… Err Controversies, sorry ‘bout ‘dat, meese nucel’s gotz in duh way!

Indy Car Garage
11) Tyler Carmichael
Tyler wanted to know if they thought the ICS was doing enough to build-up a younger Generation of Drivers to grow the league. To which Cavin said that sounds like a question we had earlier… To which it musta been here when Kevin noted the $1m Prize Fund Mazda used to hand out for the Atlantics Champion, to which Cavin said is only a third of what it’ll cost to be driving for a bargain basement bottom rung ICS team… And $5m will only make you an average race team

Planet IRL
12) Joel Osborne
Joel, the Threes Company member of the Planet IRL Tag team wanted to know when was the last time a USAC Driver made it in Indy Cars instead of going to RASSCAR? To which Cavin explained how the parallels between USAC and RASSCAR were largely due to the similar driving style which is all about the weight bias being on the right rear tyre… To which Kevin eluded to how there’s NO current USAC road racing to give them the experience needed… To which Don Kay likes to lament how that’s exactly what Bruce Ashmore and his Gold Crown Series is setting out to rectify… While Cavin rattled off some names of drivers who had their shot in the Dark Dazes of the IRL (Pre-Unification) saying how Tony Stewart was a wildcard, but bringing up my favourite American IRL driver name Billy boat… And I seem to recall somebody named Greg Ray?

Anyways that’s the end ‘O my notes; so good job to all of the Word butchers taking part, to Kevin Lee for being the catalyst of the yearly Blogger Night and Curt Cavin and Kevin for making the show hum right along, as I’ll try to participate next time and may be we can talk Kevin “N Cavin into doing that twice a year? May be right before the season starts next year…

And if you’re interested in listening to the show, then check out the Trackside Bloggers Podcast, click here. (Thanxs to George Phillips who I borrowed the link from…)

You may also wish to read George Phillip’s Oil Pressure take on the event in his story An evening with Indy Car Bloggers

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Glock signs at Manor

And now one fourth of the new 2010 F1 Constructor’s racing seats have been Officially filled, as Timo Glock who was reportedly set to join Robert Kubica at Renault next year has decided to sign a deal with the Manor GP, nee Virgin F1 Team beginning next season for two years with an option for a third, while speculation suggests that Lucas Di Grassi
has either signed or will be shortly announced as the 27yr old German’s partner for next season.

And I say Virgin F1 since this has long since been rumoured and obviously now with the Mercedes takeover of BRAWN GP, the path is clear for Sir Richard Branson to make his way onto the grid in a higher profile…

Kobayashi targets Lotus drive

Ex-Toyota F1 Rising Star Kamui Kobayashi has revealed in a recent interview that he’s now targeting one of the two available race drives at the newly reconstituted Lotus F1 Team for 2010, while claiming that all four of the new 2010 F1 Challengers are ultimately his best bet for finding a seat in Formula 1 next year…

Yet simply the name Lotus alone is enough for the Japanese driver, who obviously wishes to continue racing in Grand Prix versus returning to his waiter career; as Kobayashi has also revealed that Toyota is likely to help him along with displaced fellow Countryman Kazuki Nakajima financially in finding seats next year.

Meanwhile Lotus Boss Tony Fernandes has just leaked via Twitter that the Team has signed its first driver with an announcement to be made soon. And although the “Scrumptious ‘Juan” (Jarno Trulli) was spotted in Phoenix hanging out with Mika Salo in Mikey “Aw Shucks” Waltrip’s garages over the weekend, I’d expect Trulli to wind-up at Lotus eventually, while I’m guessing the Rally-Rally-Rally BIG! Announcement will include Fairuz Fauzy as the squad’s Test/Reserve Driver, since after all; his Poppa is part of the Ownership backing the project…

Malyia trying to Force Lotuses hand?

Thought the intra-team squabbling was over now that the F1 season’s finished? Nope, as I believe that Formula 1 never sleeps, eh? As word comes now that Force India has gone on the offensive against the newly reconstituted Lotus F1 Team, claiming they appear to be using Wind Tunnel models extremely similar to the Force India designed chassis…

Hang on a moment here; let’s see. Force India sacked its Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne who designed the original VJM-01 chassis amongst other iterations of the team’s guises from Jordan to Midland F1 to Spyker and ultimately Force India…

Then Gascoyne filed a lawsuit against Vijay Malia claiming breach of contract for lost potential salary, having been fired before his contract expired in 2007.

Next Gascoyne set up his own Design Office (MGI) and went to work on what was to be the Lightspeed F1 project for 2010, which wasn’t selected by the FIA. And now Gascoyne has gone to work for the new Lotus concern which showed off an initial 2010 F1 Chassis for publicity, which in Formula One tradition, obviously wasn’t the final evolution as car design is a most highly guarded secret kept by all teams as long as possible; something akin to Mum’s ‘N first born children!

Yet the Lotus Team has taken up a collaboration with the AeroLab research facility which ironically was partnering Force India previously, which like prior speculation suggested over Malyia’s tendency to pay off his bills late to engine suppliers Ferrari and Mercedes Benz, has an outstanding balance owed to AeroLab which has now filed a lawsuit against Force India along with issuing a rare press statement over the Wind Tunnel model controversy, as it appears that perhaps Force India is using the issue to deflect attention?

In another Force India lawsuit, the Indian owned team won $4.6m in damages from Etihad Airways and Aldar Properties as compensation for bailing out early of their Sponsorship contracts with the Spyker F1 Team, upon its being sold to Vijay Malyia and rebadged Force India; opting to go with a rival Constructor known as the Scuderia, which obviously has a much higher potential for coveted television exposure since its usually farther up the grid then Malyia’s Boyz, albeit Force India has steadily improved this season, securing its very first Pole position and Grand Prix Constructor’s points.

But as I read somewhere, possibly from Mike Gascoyne(??) Why would the Lotus Team wanna copy the Force India which isn’t exactly known for its great handling prowess along with the fact that next year’s enlarged Petrol tanks will not only change the cars design but also change the all important weight distribution of said racecar.

Q & A with Mike Gascoyne
But hey, that’s Formula 1 for you, as they’re even more competitive in terms of litigation off the track as not only is every ounce of weight scrutinized, every available Euro is also fought over!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mercedes buying out Brawn GP

This morning Daimler AG announced (finally) what has long been rumoured, that they along with Aabar Investments PJSC have purchased a controlling 75.1% interest in BRAWN GP, while Ross brawn & Co. will continue to hold the remaining 24.9% outstanding shares while Daimler will have 45.1% and Aabar 30% respectively.

The deal is somewhat complicated, as relations have reputedly become strained with current team McLaren, in which Mercedes has a 40% stake of, which will now be sold back to McLaren by 2011, along with the McLaren Car concern being spun off from parent company McLaren Group. Yet McLaren surely must be somewhat relieved to have the vaunted “Star” power “Lumps” available thru 2015 and perhaps beyond?

Thus it’s the perfect end to the fairytale season of BRAWN GP I suppose, having risen from the ashes of Honda F1 to become Driver & Constructor Champions in their very first attempt and then having their future secured by selling out to Daimler… Along with the fact that the current Management will stay at the helm, as all we need now is for the newly renamed Mercedes Grand Prix to unveil its 2010 Silver Arrows with Jenson Button carrying the Number 1 plate with Nico Rosberg deputizing in No. 2…

Spiesing Up the Show


Its pretty funny to Mwah just how much the exploits of reigning World Superbike Champion (WSBK) and future MOTO GP rider Ben Spies has captivated me this season, especially since he’s not even a four wheel racing driver! (Although never say never I suppose?)

Having already scribbled about Ben spies’s memorable weekend in Portugal where he captured his and Yamaha’s very first WSBK Championship, Spies celebrated his accomplishment with a Wildcard MOTO GP Entry at the season finale in Valencia, Spain where he rode a “One-Off” race aboard the Sterilgarda Yamaha, (courtesy of Yamaha) in an effort to afford Spies more seat time as he prepares for his first full MOTO GP season in 2010 with the Tech 3 Yamaha Team, which will most likely receive much “Ink” (Press fodder) in unofficially being revered to as” Team Texas” as Spies will partner ex-Double WSBK Champion Colin Edwards, who’s already quite pleased with his junior teammates exploits…

Spies qualified on the third row of the grid in a very respectable ninth place, before falling backwards as the race progressed, at one point having slipped back as far as 12th before deciding to put his head down.

Having become comfortable with his new mount, which I heard Colin Edwards tell Dave Despain on Wind Tunnel; there’s simply NO comparison between a MOTO GP and World Superbike “Scooter.” The MOTO GP, which is the two wheeled formula 1 equivalent of Motorcycles simply is the most technologically advanced along with its amazing weight transference, i.e.; how F1 chassis simply react like Slot cars thru the twisty bits; which David Hobbs endlessly marvels about!

Thus Spies began running comparable lap times to his soon to be 2010 teammate Edwards who was lying fourth and steadily picked off rider after rider in front of him, ultimately passing Andrea Dovizioso for seventh place, when the rival Repsol Honda rider ran wide. By finishing one place ahead of Dovizioso, Spies enabled Edwards to secure fifth place in the overall MOTO GP Championships, with Dovizioso winding up sixth, to which obviously Colin was most enthused about! So now we’ll have to wait until next year to see how this satellite Yamaha Team fares, eh?

And it was a good weekend for Team USA, as Edwards led the Three Amigos home in fourth place, followed in fifth by the “Kentucky Kid,” a.k.a. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) and Spies in P7.

Valencian GP: Ben Spies race report

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Schuey’s legend is born


Australian GP – Adelaide; Nov 13, 1994
Winner: Nigel Mansell, Williams-Renault
Second: Gerhard Berger, Ferrari
Third: Martin Brundle, McLaren-Peugeot

1994 F1 Driver’s Championship1st. Michael Schumacher; Benetton-Ford, 92pts.
2nd. Damon Hill; Williams-Renault, 91pts.

And yet, as the years go by and I yearn to put another log upon the fire to warm my bones beside...
I can recall less “N less from that fateful year of 1994, (minus “Black Sunday,” a.k.a the Imola weekend & Karl Wendlinger’s ensuing accident at Monaco) except for the ecstatic reaction I received in Monterey, CA for wearing a Michael Schumacher Camel Benetton T-Shirt at the Monterey Visitor’s Center while trying to learn where all of the action was during my first foray to the Monterey Historics, as the German Fraulein gushed over my Benetton T-Shirt, even going so far as to ask me where I got it; do you wanna sell it?

Along with staying up into the wee hours (Midnight) in my little house on the Prairie, Err the countryside of then unincorporated King County... Screaming at the Telescreen, as “The Deuce” (ESPN2) was then the rights holder to the F1 Broadcasts, with Bob Varsha and David Hobbs actually calling the action “Live” from the venue, when the TV Broadcasters were required to actually call the races onsite, but I digress…

Sitting there dumbfounded and shrieking over Herr Schumacher’s collision with arch nemesis (enemy) Damion Hill… As clearly the “Terminator” put his soon to be patented “Schumi Swerve” upon the unsuspecting(?) Brit, which would lead to his very first Formula 1 Drivers World Championship being cemented in Adelaide, Australia 15yrs ago, (yesterday) as I screamed in jubilation as Schuey had done it! Besting Hill by a single point with the two rivals being 50 points clear of third place Gerhard Berger; SHEISA!

Although one could argue he wasn’t so successful in ’97 trying to give Jacques Villeneuve his patented ‘LUV-tap, eh? Aye Karumba!

And I suppose I should give Damon Hill his due, like I’ve come to grant Mika the Finn. (Hakkinen) Although something about Hill (his bushy eyebrows, perhaps?) has always rubbed me the wrong way… Kinda like Jacques O’ Lantern (Villeneuve) and DC (David Coulthard) in his younger McLaren days… As this quartet seemed to be Michael’s fiercest competition whilst searching for his crown…

As the pantheon of Formula One’s greatest Piloto’s; Mansell, Piquet, Prost and Senna had all left the scene, albeit Mansell’s brief return to breech the massive void left by Senna’s untimely demise… And thus I suppose its most ironic that Michael Schumacher’s very first career pole position didn’t occur until after Ayrton’s death at Imola, as Hakkinen battled royale against the TERMINATOR for Pole position at Monte Carlo a Fortnight later.

Thus I guess it’s somewhat even more ironic, or is that karmic? Or just synergy that like 1994, a most turbulent F1 season, we’ve just supposedly come to the conclusion of another overly dramatic season of Formula 1, not to mention the irony of Schuey’s very Championship winning mount, the Benetton-Ford B194 replete with the mysterious Option 13 Launch/Traction Control software (embedded) coming up for offer on eBay, and thus, a legend was born all those years ago, as another slipped into the abyss upon scoring his very last Grand Prix victory before wankering away at McLaren the following year when his backside apparently didn’t fit the tight confines of the doggish McLaren-Peugeot…

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ecclestone Sisters making waves


So apparently the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree… As Uncle Bernaughty’s daughters Tamara and Petra have apparently been making noise in the British tabloids… (Again)

As eldest daughter Tamara, age 25 has apparently spouted off about Jenson Button not deserving to be World Champion, claiming Lewis Hamilton is a better driver and nicer Bloke to boot. As apparently Tamara’s funk comes over ‘JENSE answering his mobile in the middle of an interview with Tamara, who possibly told the Brit; DON’T you know who’s my Daddy?

Tamara: Jenson doesn’t deserve to be World Champ

Meanwhile PETA, Err Petra, age 21 was busy losing a Libel case in Britain, as the Fashion Designer apparently took a swipe at some Celebrities, regarding her quip about using real leather in her designs… Hmm? Where’s the Beef?

USF1 submits entry fee

Don’t know if Y’all caught newly elected FIA Vice President Nick Craw, leader of ACCUS in America on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain last Sunday night… But Craw was quick to point out that Team USF1 had sent in its entry fee for the 2010 F1 World Championship some 10 days ago, and the sum was nearly $440k, as back in the Old Dazes a team wasn’t counted as an entry until its NON-Refundable cheque had been deposited!

Craw who’s also made visits to Ken & Peter’s lair in Charlotte, NC is quite certain that everything’s in order and that he expects the team to be on the grid in 2010…

Schumacher Benetton-Ford up for grabs

Ever wanted to buy a Formula 1 racecar? Whale here’s your chance as its been widely reported that Michael Schumacher’s 1994 title winning Benetton-Ford B194 is now being offered on eBay.

“The car is in condition as in the 1994 Formula 1 season with paddle shift and traction control," the advertising reads. The car is in racing condition, with the painting and sponsoring scheme as in 1994."
The engine was overhauled by Langford Performance Engineering/Wellingborough (UK) and was since then just running a few minutes for test and check reasons.”

(Source: Grandprix.com)

Good Luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bloggers taking over the Airwaves

Yep! Y’all read that right, as I first learned of this amazing Radio Show Broadcast scheduled for tonight via “The Dawg,” a.k.a. pressdog…

Trackside plans Blogger Night Thursday

So I didn’t bother to enter myself in the melee ‘O Bloggaratzi, as may be it was something to do with pressdog’s reference to Clown Carz, eh? But you may wish to catch all of the frivolity on AM1070’s The Fan tonight between 4-6PM Pacific… But beware you’ll need to sign-up for an account ahead of time. So tune-in and see how many bloggers you can count…

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day - 2009


Imagine a time when it all began
In the dying days of a war
A weapon that would settle the score
Whoever found it first would be sure to do their worst
They always had before...

(Song Lyrics” RUSH: Manhattan Project - Power Windows, 1985)

At the south end of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum’s Park is a giant flowing water fountain. This Fountain of Peace was created four decades ago in 1969 in order to give prayer to all of the people who perished in the second Atom Bomb dropping while vainly searching for water. At the base of the fountain is a black stone plaque with Lines from a poem carved into it. They were written by a girl named Sachiko Yamaguchi, who was nine at the time of the bombing,



It reads:
"I was thirsty beyond endurance. There was something oily on the surface of the water, but I wanted water so badly that I drank it just as it was."

Nagasaki Atom Bomb Park Photos

The New Regime
And thus we American’s celebrate our first Veteran’s Day under the guise of new leadership, as President Barack Obama follows in the nebulous footsteps of George W. Bush, as although we haven’t dropped any Atomic Bombs to date(?) Nevertheless Obama continues Bush’s legacy by continuing to fight two LOSING Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, while preparing to increase the numbers of troops being sent to fight these USELESS Occupations!

And while I prefer to post my traditional Veteran’s Day’s thoughts which first began in my story Time Stands Still, this year I’m changing tact slightly, as something has been sticking in my craw ever since listening to the STUPID debate on Speed Freaks….

Spindrift
As sun goes down

On the western shore

The wind blows hard from the east

It whips the sand into a flying spindrift


As the sun goes down

On the western shore

It makes me feel uneasy

In the hot dry rasp of the devil winds

Who cares what a fool believes

(And) What am I supposed to say?

(Song Lyrics” RUSH; Spindrift – Snakes & Arrows; 2008)


So the debate in question on Speed Freaks revolved around whether or not Middle East money should be allowed to flow into the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) and dare (I say it?) to potentially work its way into RASSCAR?

MidEast beyond Cleveland

As this “Hot Button” topic was centered around the fact that Larry Dixon currently drives for Alan Abi Racing in the NHRA’s Top fuel division, while another “Rail Jockey” Hillary Will ran Bahrain sponsorship on the side of her Top Fueler previously…

This comes on top of the current speculation that George Gillett is planning to sell a minority stake in Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) to Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud as part of a package including Ownership in Gillett’s Liverpool Football Club; while reportedly the deal could include running a Richard Petty Driving Experience program at a NASCAR style venue yet to be built in the Desert.

And now speculation suggest that Bruton Smith of Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) is pursuing an alliance with the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani regarding a massive Motorsports complex similar to SMI’s “Los Wage$” (Las Vegas) 1300 acre site, as Bruton claims a design is already completed and is separate to any of Gillett’s proposed racing venues, in which he hopes to have up to 14 NASCAR-style facilities operating in the future.

Thus business is truly open in the Gulf; along with the black tar spickets being open, the region is now diversifying into Motorsports with the just completed running of the Inaugural Abu Dabi Grand Prix, along with the Bahrain GP (both Formula 1 events) plus the annual MOTO GP night race held in Qatar.

And yet while some RASSCARHEADS are blathering’ on ‘bout how we cannot have ‘dem Saudi’s in our be-LUV-ed Roundy round series, (DAMN! Weeze alreadys gots ‘dem darn Toy-Yoter’s, yuhs here?) As they shouldn’t be allowed to cherry pick the best NHRA Teams and simply buy their way into motor racing…

Yet perhaps current racing teams wouldn’t be force to look outside the box for new financial backers (money streams) if Obama hadn’t just signed a $680 BILLION Pentagon budget into law in order to keep the United States entangled in two utterly USELESS conflicts, eh? As this is just a one year budget for Military spending which doesn’t include the countless Billions approved to fund the Occupations, nor the extra $44b given to Homeland Security, and these are just the reported “Black” budgets; SHEISA!

Since it’s reported that the cost of having just One Soldier for One year in Afghanistan could pay for twenty schools to be built there; so what are we fighting for?

Monday, November 9, 2009

John Edwards to Indy Lights?

Last night on the Speed Freaks, albeit some narly static interference for major portions of the show, for the first time ever, they had reigning Atlantics Champion John Edwards as a guest and quizzed him about whether or not there was any controversy regarding his securing of the title at Laguna Seca…

When the former Red Bull American F1 Driver Search recipient, two time Star Mazda and Atlantics Champion was pressed about his 2010 plans, Edwards eluded to the fact that a potential sponsor had fallen by the wayside and Indy Cars in 2010 was most likely not going to happen, although he’d been looking forward to sampling the Dallara/Honda package in a test and now most likely he’ll wind-up competing for Newman Wachs Racing in the Firestone Indy Lights next year, albeit nothing is confirmed and they’re still exploring their options…

John Edwards on Speed Freaks

Team USF1 Update

While the cynics still seem to doubt the arrival of USF1 in 2010, nevertheless the silvered tongued House ‘O Windsor (Peter) made his very last Grid Walk for current employer SPEED TV during the inaugural Abu Dabi GP…

And the team has hired long time F1 veteran David Stubbs to be the Manager of its newly announced European Operations base at MotorLand Aragon, a most impressive facility located in Alcaniz, Spain, featuring multiple test tracks, including a Formula 1 spec circuit designed by FIA circuit Architect Herman Tilke.

Interestingly, Stubbs began his Grand Prix career at Williams having joined from the British Atomic Research facility alongside another recruit by the name of Ross Brawn, way back in 1978, starting work as a “gopher.” Stubbs then steadily moved up the ladder and was Williams Team Manager during the late 1980’s, notably during the Mansell-Piquet Honda era before moving onto Brabham, Paul Stewart Racing, Stewart Grand Prix and Jaguar…

Meanwhile it has become clearly obvious to me that Ken & Peter will NOT have an American Driver in 2010 as somewhere I heard/read that none of the current names being dropped by Peter qualify for the mandatory FIA Super license one needs to race in Formula 1; although Princess does meet the licensing requirements Y’all know she’s way too busy preparing to what many on the Blogosphere are denoting as CABS!

While Ryan Hunter-Reay would have been hard pressed to be granted said Super License, since he doesn’t meet the current requirements, I doubt he’s going anywhere besides Mikey Andretti Racing now that his personal sponsor IZOD has become the Indy Car Series title sponsor, eh?

Meanwhile a certain Aussi guest scribe at My Name is IRL has been giving us his jaundiced view towards Team USF1 in his Hillarious behind the scenes USF1 HQ videos…

A Day at the USF1 Office

Day 2 at USF1 HQ
Day 3 at USF1 HQ

Now I’d better shut down Ye ‘Ol Confuser since the Stefny Cleaning Agency is due any moment…

Friday, November 6, 2009

IRL Newsflash… We’ve got a Title Sponsor

TEAM IZOD!
Uh, in case you missed it somehow? In a story that’s been plastered all over le internets, the Indy Car Series has finally landed a new “tittle” sponsor for its vaunted Indy Racing League as I believe some sorta shirt company is going to be the Leagues backer beginning in 2010, in a deal reportedly for six years (optional two year extension) and rumoured to be for $10-15 million per season and potentially worth as much as a “Mega” $100m over the contracts lifetime… In what will become the Tuh-Duh!

IZOD IndyCar Series

But according to Will of Is it May Yet? Its NOT that IZOD Company Y’all think it is…Fly Over for the 2010 Indianapolis 500 announced
And IZOD’s new proposed IndyCar T-Shirts look a HELL of a lot better then previous ICS incarnations, now hopefully they WON’T flashback to that catchy marketing jingle I AM INDY!

2009 ROC Recap

Whale this year’s ROC, the REAL Race Of Champions… NOT to be cornfuzed with that dually departed abomination of Pontiacs goin’ round ‘N round in some Adult Spirits series… (IROC) Has just been completed, having taken place in Beijing, China on November 3-4.

And with this year’s event having been moved forward one month and clashing with something called The Chase, Team USA dug deep into its bag of available Personalities, settling upon a pair of largely unknown Rally and Drifting Champions… As with NO disrespect to either Travis Pastrana or Tanner Foust, I think Double Formula D (“DUH!”) Champion Foust was OUT of his league…

As this year’s entrants consisted of no less then several top caliber names like: Jenson Button, Mattias Ekstrom, Marcus Gronholm, Mik0 Hirvonen, Tom Kristensen, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, to name a few.

2009 ROC Preview

And this year’s event in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, site of the 2008 Summer Olympics, having moved from the previous two events at London’s Wembley Stadium in December also saw a change to the event’s format with Drivers and Nations now competing in Groups before progressing to the Semi-Finals.

The Nation’s Cup which began the two day event on Tuesday, saw a grouping of four and two groups of three compete against each other, with Team USA competing against France and Scandinavia. As Team USA made it into the round of four: China, Germany, Great Britain, and USA.

surprisingly Tanner Foust defeated the TERMINATOR (Schumacher) in round One before Michael’s teammate ‘ZEBB (Vettel) won the next round against Travis Pastrana in Rally Cars to see Vettel then defeat Foust in Heat 3 in ROC Buggies.

‘Zebb’s win enabled the Defending Nation’s Cup Champion (Team Germany) to advance to the Finals vs. Team Autosport GB, consisting of World Champion elect ‘JENSE (Button) and 3-time (WTCC) World Touring Car champion) Andy Priaulx, who’d defeated Team China. Team Germany then went onto defeat Team Autosport GB 2-1 and claimed its third Nation’s Cup title.

Team Germany wins Nation’s Cup

The following day (Wednesday) saw the similar first round groups format, where 2-time Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) Champion Mattias Ekstrom defeated all three first round competitors including Pastrana; while Foust lost to button in his first round grouping, as Ekstrom would cruise all the way thru to the Finals.

The other side of the ladder saw the TERMINATOR similarly working over his competition, starting off by defeating old F1 rival David Coulthard and also basically cruising thru his heats, as Schuey would face his protégé, the young Wunderkin Vettel in the Semi-Finals, but ‘ZEBB crashed and thus Schumacher would once again square off against Ekstrom in the Finals, of which the “Swede” (Mattias) easily won, by taking the first two of three heats.

Mattias Ekstrom:
"This is a very special day for me," the 31-year-old Swede smiled. "I was not particularly fortunate this year in the DTM. To end the season with a victory against Michael Schumacher is fantastic!"

Ekstrom is Champion of champions again

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Toyota Quitting F1

There have been rumblings of an impending pull-out from Formula 1 by Toyota for some time now, with the decision of Williams to drop its Toyota engine supply along with the lack of signing any Drivers for next year… And this speculation heightened with Bridgestone’s shock announcement of not renewing its exclusive tyre supply contract as Japan seems destined to shun Formula 1 for the first time in years…

The news of Toyota’s decision to Quit Formula One was first reported in the Mainichi newspaper yesterday as Toyota Executives began a four day meeting in Japan, which Toyota initially denied, but it has now been widely reported that Toyota indeed will cease its participation in F1 henceforth and its another very harsh day for Grand Prix racing, especially the hundreds of employees set to lose their jobs, although there’s NO word yet on what exactly will happen to the team as Toyota’s departure now makes way for the reconstituted Sauber F1 Team to become the sports 13th entry…

F1: Abu Dabi GP: Desert Stars - 2009 Edition

Whale I pre-empted my recent Saturday “Qualie” teaser in honour of the tenth Anniversary of Canadian Open Wheel Star Greg Moore’s passing

Along with the fact that I don’t recall it being an overly exciting Qualifying session, as Lewis Hamilton simply “Blitzed” the field, as it was reported that his margin of 0.667 seconds over second place Sebastian Vettel was the largest since 2005.

And “JAGUAR’s” (Hamilton) teammate “KOVY” (Kovalainen) continued his Rodney Dangerfield impersonation, as his Gearbox packed-up on the Fin in the middle of Q2, when it looked likely that Heikki would help insure a McLaren front row lockout… While ironically, as “Fredrico Suave” (Alonso) was making his final Qualifying run for Renault, the Spaniard failed to survive Q1 for the very first time in his career.

And while the Red Bull & BRAWN GP Boyz duked it out for the sharp end of the grid, they were left scrapping over P2 and beyond as Hamilton’s KERS equipped MP4-24 was unassailable, with the top two teams in this year’s Constructor’s Championship inverted; as Vettel led Mark Webber, with Rubino (Barrichello) besting ‘JENSE (Button) once again, while the Kimster (Raikkonen) was unable to advance into the final Q3 Qualie session, finishing 11th and “Fishy-Fellah” (Fisichella) was down in the doldrums once again. (P20)

Thus with Hamilton taking his fourth Pole in the last seven races and Kovalainen 13th, while Raikkonen was P11 and Fisichella starting dead last… (Some 1.5 seconds adrift of Hamilton) The odds of McLaren holding onto their narrow one point lead for third in the Constructor’s title seemed in their favour, as reportedly the difference between third and fourth is a cool $5 million…

Race
Although the Announcers, Driver’s and Media had all spent the entire weekend totally enamored by the brand new circuit (for obvious reasons) largely due to the man made Island’s sheer opulence… I found the race like qualifying to be most Anti-Climatic… Also being not overly impressed by the race itself, as Hamilton seemingly would walk away from the field with his KERS boost upon the F1 Circuses longest straightaway, three quarters of a mile in length and doubling as a future drag strip.

Yet Vettel did his best to remain within sight of the somewhat vanishing McLaren, whose lead was cut in half when “Louise” made an unforced error and thus Sebastian was able to take over the lead after running an extra two laps before pitting… But it was all for naught, as shortly thereafter Hamilton would be forced to retire with an unknown rear braking problem; as I found it most interesting that Peter Windsor reported that Lewis was running two different manufacturer’s compounds on his car; Carbon Industries at the front and Brembo on the rear…

Thus with Vettel’s stiffest competition tucked away into the air conditioned Pit garage, it was a cakewalk for the young German, building up an 18 second lead over eventual runner-up Webber, albeit new World Champion elect Button spiced up the show in the waning laps with a fairly epic duel with the Aussie over second place as the pair ran wheel to wheel, front wing endplates nearly touching, before ‘JENSE settled for the podiums final step…

Race Drive of Abu Dabi
Although Nick Heidfeld gave departing BMW Sauber its final F1 points and “BOOMER” (Sebastian Buemi) came home eighth, once again my hat’s tipped to the man of the fleeting moment; “K-Squared,” as Kamui Kobayashi once again drove an excellent race, finishing sixth, one place ahead of his senior teammate and scoring his first (and most likely last) Grand Prix points, as sadly Kobayashi now looks set to go back to being a Sushi waiter in Japan…

Kobayashi: It’s Toyota or Sushi

Top 3 - Qualifying
Pole: Lewis Hamilton
Second: Sebastian Vettel
Third: Mark Webber

Race Results
Winner: S. Vettel; 2nd: M. Webber; 3rd: J. Button; 4th: R. Barrichello;
5th: N. Heidfeld; 6th: K. Kobayashi; 7th: J. Trulli; 8th: S. Buemi.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Red Bull duo pushes Jense’s button

Apparently we’re not privy to the full length of the Post-race Driver’s interviews, as we’re just given the TV Unilateral before they switch to the following Press Conference… Where apparently the real fireworks were had as I just busted out laughing over the fact that “ZEBB (Sebastian Vettel) was giving new World Champion ‘JENSE (Button) some major stchick about getting married to his girlfriend over the winter break… To which Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber then joined in the grilling to which seemingly irked off “JENSE quite a bit… As Jenson even stopped his comment to tell them they might like to listen to his comment, to which Webber said we’re just trying to clear our schedules for your wedding Mate!

Red Bull duo start Button wedding rumours

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wedding proposal F1 style


And although the walls of the financial debacle seem to be closing in upon Formula 1, its nice to see that its not all Doom ‘N gloom in the F1 Paddock, as grizzled “Journo” Joe Saward has a very short but sweet post upon a fellow colleagues novel way of proposing marriage, click here.

BMW Sauber’s last dance

In what seems a pathetic move, a la knee-jerk fashion by BMW AG, sadly the BMW Sauber F1 Team has now run its course with its 70th and final Grand Prix race at the inaugural Abu Dabi Grand Prix.

With “Quick Nick” Heidfeld’s fifth place finish, the Team was able to leapfrog Williams for sixth in the Constructor’s Championship, as the German has been a part of Peter Sauber’s various Formula 1 incarnations for seven years and in thanks for his loyal service, Heidfeld will be presented with a current spec Sauber racecar.

Meanwhile Heidfeld’s teammate Robert Kubica, nee the “Krakow Kid” who’ll be moving to Renault next year is set to take part in his very first Rallying event in France at the end of November, where Kubica will partake In the Côte d'Azur aboard a Clio R3 (Nov. 26-29) purely for fun, claims the Pole…

Heidfeld finds it a difficult farewell

Williams unveils new Driver line-up

As expected for some time now, the Williams F1 Team has announced that Rubens Barriechello will partner Rookie Nico Hulkenberg in 2010 after current Driver Nico Rosberg had announced his departure from the team previously.

Williams has also announced the ditching of its Toyota “Lumps” in favour of the new Customer supplier Cosworth, returning to the British company in 2010, thus leaving Japanese Driver Kazuki Nakajima’s future with the Grove based squad doubtful.

Rubino, the current Formula 1 Elder Statesman will therefore seek to become the very first Grand Prix Driver to crack the once unachievable mark of 300 starts in F1 next year, while reigning GP2 Champion Hulkenberg will make his Formula 1 debut in the Desert sands of Bahrain next March, with Nakajima’s future in F1 looking doubtful…

Bridgestone out of F1 in 2010

As the inaugural Abu Dabi Grand Prix had barely come to a close, Bridgestone tyre officials announced in Japan that the Formula One’s sole rubber supplier would not seek to renew its exclusive supply deal after its current contract expires at the end of the 2010 Formula 1 season and now leaves the FIA scrambling to find a new tyre supplier for 2011 and beyond, as it seems doubtful that Goodyear would return and Michelin’s relationship with Grand Prix racing isn’t exactly rosy... Could we see a return of Italian rubber giant Pirelli?