Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidazes

To all ‘O my loyal readers… Like an old and long forgotten Auto Racing magazine of which I subscribed to for many years; a predominantly black ‘N white paper affair published bi-weekly under the name of On Track… Its time for the Holidazes Break, where said magazine would ‘Take Off – Eh! For a Fortnight and alas, your Humble No Fenders Chief Bottle washer ‘N Head Scribe will also take a Whale deserved Siesta, returning back on January 4th, 2010; Aye Karumba!

Mucho Gracias for continuing to puruse my ‘lil ‘Ol Racing Site… Hope Y’all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Felice Navidad! See Y’all here next year, eh?Tomaso

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Kringle


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas
Tomaso
(Written by Tomaso – December, 2007)

Better NOT Pout ‘”DannaCar


Yeah, its Princesses new moniker, as Y’all may have noticed not a peep made ‘bout Milka-licious outperformin’ Daniker in some ‘lil ‘Ol ARCA TaxiCab Derby at Day-Toner, where the big guns like ‘Ol Open Wheel Soothsayer Robin Miller was on hand to cover Danica’s troubles of trying to get her Swelled Head (Helmet) to fit inside the racecar… As THE ‘DAWG coined the piece ‘bout Milka finishing ahead of the Princess in: Milka Duno bests Danica Patrick in ARCA test.

And DON’T forget ‘bout Atlantics Swiss Miss sensation Simona, or Indy Lights Pippa “Longstalkings” Mann and ‘Bia, a.k.a. Ana Beatriz… Along with Up ‘N Comer Johanna Long of Snoball Derby Fame… Not to mention Leilani Munter and Alli Owens (the Fastest ARCA Female of ‘dem All!) Or the Ladies of NHRA, N-CAR’s Camping World Trucks Division, etc. ‘cause Santa claus is making a list ‘N checkin’ it twice!
OOPS! DON'T Forget 'bout Sarah Fisher... Who's DEFINATELY been NICE!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

HE’S BACK!


MERCEDES GP PETRONAS; Yeah, you read that right, as I haven’t gotten round to scribblin’ about Mercedes GP inking longtime Sauber supporter Petronas, the Malaysian Oil Giant inking a $30m multi-year contract to sponsor the formerly known BRAWN GP entity beginning in 2010…

As surely the deal was helped along by the confirmation today of THE TERMINATOR’S return to Formula 1, as Mercedes GP has now confirmed that 40yr old Seven Times World Champion Michael Schumacher as Nico Rosberg’s teammate for the 2010 Campaign, having signed a One year contract at the Team’s Brackley HQ, after having been given the green light by his Doctor, as it’ll be most interesting to see how he fairs against the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, eh?

Schumacher confirmed to drive at Mercedes GP

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Junior tackles Ganassi

Nope! Not that ‘lil Ironhead… No, I’m talking ‘bout Junior Seau, the only National Football League player to come outta retirement more times then some Cat named Brett Lorenzo Favre…

As its come to my attention that Junior’s new Versus TV Show; Sports Jobs with Junior Seau will be airing the episode where he goes to work on Scott Dixon’s TCGR IndyCar at Sears Point Raceway, with the episode airing tomorrow night (Wednesday: 12/23) at 7:00PM PACIFIC. So if you’re hunkerin’ for some Open Wheel Racing action then you might wanna check it out… (ALWAYS Check your Local Listings)

Monday, December 21, 2009

An interview with J.R. Hildebrand



First of all, Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me, as I’ve enjoyed listening to you on Autosport Radio with Don Kay and also enjoyed your recent article on SPEED TV regarding how your testing opportunity with Force India F1 came about.

HILDEBRAND: Life in the Fast Lane


Tomaso) Growing up in Sausalito, CA and taking the traditional route of Go Karts and into the ladder series of Single Seater Racing Cars, were you aware of other such Californian talents, i.e.; Robby Gordon, Rick Mears, Scott Pruett, Jimmy Vasser, etc.

J.R. Hildebrand: Absolutely. My dad and I were both big race fans before I ever got involved, and while I don’t think if was necessarily because I knew that they were from California and maybe more because they all just had that bit of Californianism in them, those were all guys that I cheered for as a kid and still do. I lived about 25 minutes from Sears Point and only a couple hours from Laguna Seca so if there was some racing to be seen we were there.

T) Who were your “Heroes” growing up Motorsports or otherwise, since I know you also competed in Baseball.

JRH: My heroes were definitely race car drivers. Dale Earnhardt was always someone that I looked up to and admired growing up, but with my dad driving a vintage Trans Am when I was young, I also grew to respect a lot of the names from much earlier times. Mark Donohue, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall… those were all guys that I really had high regard for after learning a little bit more about them. If I had to pick someone outside of racing I’d undoubtedly say Steve McQueen, only because he’s got to be one of the coolest people to ever walk the face of the planet, and I’ve always really looked up to my dad as well.

T) And were you ever interested in racing in the Dirt? As Gordon, Mears and somebody named Jimmie Johnson all cut their “teeth” in Desert Racing I believe?

JRH: I’ve always thought that dirt track racing looked like a hell of a time, off road maybe even more so, but haven’t yet gotten the chance to get involved. Racing at Baja if nothing else is definitely on my list of things to eventually get into. Without a doubt.

T) Have you ever raced at Portland International Raceway, Pacific Raceways or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest; either Karting or Cars? And if so what are your recollections about these tracks?

JRH: I raced at PIR four times, twice with two wins in FF2000 and then again in Atlantics, and I always really enjoyed the track. It was one of those places that, especially if you were starting up front, you might need to risk running less downforce just for the run down the frontstraight on the start! It was a challenging track that had a lot of character.

T) I’ve read that you moved up steadily from Formula Ford (FF2000) to Atlantics to Indy Lights and now beyond. Do you feel that this has adequately prepared you for your future in either IndyCars or F1?

JRH: I think that my progression has prepared me in every way necessary for racing in IndyCar, and has prepared me as well as possible for F1 being that I’ve raced in the states. The formula of open wheel racing over here just in terms of the way the cars behave is a little bit different than in Europe, and I clearly wouldn’t have much experience on the tracks over there, but from the perspective of driving cars that allow you to develop as a driver I feel prepared for almost anything. Either one is a big step for different reasons, and while the American feeder series’ naturally prepare you a bit better for IndyCar than F1, I feel like I’ve gained experience along the way that would be extremely valuable regardless of the direction it goes from here.

T) And how does an Atlantic car stack-up against an Indy Lights chassis?

JRH: There are a lot of compromises between the two. The Lights car was obviously adapted from a design that was originally just for ovals, so like the IndyCar, it has to be able to do both road courses and ovals. It has quite a bit more power but is a little heavier and isn’t quite as high on downforce, so it accelerates quite a bit faster out of the corners and is really quite a capable car, but it’s not quite as good on the brakes and isn’t as nimble. Driving the Atlantic car, you have to really take advantage of the braking and cornering ability of the car, whereas in the Lights car it’s a little bit more of a mix of everything since you have to really utilize its acceleration power as well. They’re definitely different to drive, but I think that they both teach different things that are all useful down the road.

T) Did you enjoy your brief time in A1GP? And was this another step-up the Ladder in terms of Machinery?

JRH: I had a great time driving the A1 car. It was a lot different both from a driving and engineering perspective with the more F1-style big sidewall tires and everything, but I really enjoyed the challenge. It was a step up in it’s basic performance but wasn’t too far out of the window that I had already driven in over the years so a bigger task from a driving perspective was just getting used to how to adapt to the car’s attitude on the brakes and in the corner. The competition was definitely stiff and I did pitstops for the first time that weekend in Brands Hatch, but I thought that was all a ton of fun so I really enjoyed the experience.

T) And I hope you didn’t have to take a Taxi Cab all the way from Heathrow to Silverstone, as that would have been one “BLOODY” Damn long & expensive ride. (To get to the Force India Factory)

JRH: Well, I didn’t take a cab the whole way, but that probably would have been easier looking back at it! I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington, got on the Underground to Euston, then walked through the 40 degree rain in hurricane force winds from the Euston train station to Milton Keynes… THEN got in a cab to Silverstone. Quite the journey to be taking after a red eye I have to tell you.

T) Was that your first time working on a racecar simulator at Force India? If so, how was the experience overall and did it help you with the test?

JRH: I’ve been on some simulators before, and been on some pretty good ones, but there’s really no comparison. It definitely helped me to understand a little bit more about the track and the way the car worked, so those were both very positive aspects of it. Having said that, “flatout” in the sim is not quite the same as flatout at 4.5g in real life and are two very different sensations!

T) Did you get to meet Dr. Vijay Malia (the man behind those Classic Cars) during your F1 test outing in Jerez?

JRH: Unfortunately not at Jerez, no. I had met him once before a few years ago, but I believe he is quite a busy person and wasn’t able to attend.

T) And was that your first time ever at the Jerez Circuit?

JRH: Yes it was.


Jules Bianchi:(Bianchi spoke recently to L’Equipe about his feelings on driving an F1 car for the first time.)
“It’s strange,” he said.” Everyone is looking at you, the engine is running. I didn’t want to put myself under pressure, but it was certainly there. I had doubts, the fear of not getting the job done. It was astonishing when I accelerated hard, the power is considerable. And I won’t talk about the braking! I thought my head was going to go through the steering wheel it was so violent. I feel exhausted, it’s a huge physical effort and a lot of nervous tension. ”
(Source: James Allen on F1.com)

“I learned a lot, including what it means to go through a debrief facing fifteen engineers, given that I'm used to talking to just one person at the end of a session."(Source: Motorsport.com)

T) So I’m guessing you must have had some of the same anxieties as Jules did when you were actually preparing to leave the Pit Lane for the very first time in Jerez? And was it a bit daunting doing an F1 debrief?

JRH: Yeah, I suppose there’s a bit of added pressure, but I also took a pretty relaxed view of the whole thing going in. Both Paul and I were there because we had preformed so well in the simulator, so that made me feel like I had already beaten some of the odds just getting to that point. I went in with the outlook that I was going to try to learn as much as I could as quickly as possible and to get comfortable with the speed that the car was capable of in the high speed sections of the track as I figured that to be a fairly limiting factor if I couldn’t sort it out. I was inevitably lacking some of the experience that they other guys were going to have so I saw no reason to get anxious about that. I found it very easy to get along with the team, and while there were a few more faces than usual, I just sort of focused on what I was doing and on doing the best job I could do given the circumstances.

T) And is Jules description of a modern Formula 1 car a good assessment of just how amazing these racing cars truly are?

JRH: I would definitely agree with that part of it. You end up being all reactions for the first couple of runs just sort of coming to grips with how fast the thing really is. More so than the braking ability of the car, its cornering speeds are sort of mind-bending at first, so it took a little longer than usual to push the limits in that sense. By the end of the second day my speeds were actually quite high through those sections, so I think it’s all sort of relative over time, but even at that point it was still a little shocking.

T) And did you have a chance to talk with any of the other drivers participating in the test besides your teammate?

JRH: I really didn’t. Everyone kept to themselves somewhat I suppose, but to be fair I did too. There were a lot of things to think about and focus on, so getting to know the other guys was sort of secondary at that stage.

T) Did you have any chances to chat with Alexander Rossi? Do you know him from any “Junior” Formulae days, since you’re both from California.

JRH: He and I actually started racing go-karts at the same time, albeit in different disciplines. We were sort of teammates for our second year and then went our separate ways. I didn’t get the chance to speak with him at all at the test, however.

T) And I’m sure you’ve already been asked this; how does driving an F1 car feel vs. A1GP, IndyCar and Indy Lights?

JRH: In terms of the speed of the car, particularly it’s acceleration it’s probably most like an IndyCar, but in terms of its general handling characteristics it’s much closer to the A1 car. So I sort of had to mix and match driving styles in a sense to figure out how the car wanted to be driven, and how I was going to get the most out of it.

T) And is there anything you can tell us about your 2010 plans? Any possibilities of racing in IndyCar next year?

JRH: Right now I’m in the middle of figuring it all out. I was definitely gaining some traction from a sponsorship perspective and with regards to speaking with IndyCar teams, so I’m trying to get a handle on where that’s all at now that I’m back. I’m also looking into what opportunities there might be to race in Europe and what kind of relationships I might be able to take advantage of over there, so things are certainly getting busy.

T) It would be great to see you there alongside other past Indy Lights competitors, which I’ve been claiming the IZOD Indy Car Series needs to do, i.e.; have past “Feeder” series Champions racing there. Now that “Rafa,” (Raphael Matos) Alex Lloyd, Jay Howard are there along with Richard Antinucci and Hideki Mutoh, how do you feel that you stack-up against them and is this what IndyCars needs more of in the future?

JRH: Each of them has done a great job, but I think I could make a pretty strong case against those guys. I tested the AGR IndyCar this year both on a roadcourse and oval and felt very comfortable while being quite quick straight away, and am confident that I could put that into action next year if I get the chance.

T) And have you raced against either Graham Rahal or Marco Andretti?

JRH: No sir. I had to think about it for a second but I’ve sort of been a year behind them the whole way up the ladder, so I’d look forward to getting the chance to mix it up with them at the next level for sure!

Once again Thank you for taking the time to let me interview you, as I look forward to seeing you race in either IndyCars or Formula 1 in the near future…

Good Luck J.R.!

And Muchos Gracias to Arni Sribhen; Media Relations of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship for making all of this happen!

Friday, December 18, 2009

More on Moore


So recently I made the trek northwards to Vancouver, BC to visit the Greg Moore Gallery at the BC Sports Hall of Fame Museum, being Shepparded by esteemed Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen, who was my Tour guide and Chauffer for said trip, along with her trusty Canine Navigator’s & “Ferocious” Guard Dog’s…

Thus on Friday morning, Mary Ellen led Mwah & No Fenders Cub Photographer Alex Downtown on the Skytrain before a brief jaunt to BC Place, which appears to be under renovation for the fast approaching 2010 Winter Olympics; what a NIGHTMARE! That’ll be, (Larry) as it was pointed out by the Conductor on my northbound Amtrak Train that they’re increasing the number of “Checkpoint Charlie’s” (Border Crossing) stalls from three to ten at the Blaine Peace Arch, which was commissioned by Samuel Hill… In anticipation of the increased traffic flow, but I digress…

Entering the Museum, upon paying admission, Mary Ellen noticed there was a Greg Moore book on display; A Legacy of Spirit which was written shortly after his death and I’ve never heard of it before.



Terry fox
Walking thru the various hallways with photographs upon them, the first gallery we entered was for Terry fox, whom I very unwisely asked; who’s Terry Fox? What! You’ve never heard of Terry Fox? He’s only a National Hero of Canada. Having had his right leg amputated above the knee upon being diagnosed with cancer; Terry then in his early 20’s decided to create the Marathon of Hope, in which he aimed to run across the entire country of Canada in order to raise awareness (and funding) for a cure for cancer. Running with a prosthesis Terry planned to run a marathon a day in his quest to run from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans, unfortunately having to quit after 143 days when his cancer had severely invaded both of his lungs and ultimately perishing from this in 1981 at the age of 22. So I find it very cool that the “Kuh-Nuck’s” have just created a new award in his memory for the fast approaching 2010 Winter Olympics…

Terry Fox Award unveiled for 2010 Olympics

Rick Hansen
The next gallery was dedicated to Rick Hansen. (Who?) Yeah, I’d never heard of him either… As Rick is another of Canada’s National Hero’s, as Rick became intrigued by Terry’s challenge and decided to mount his own. As a young boy, Rick suffered a paralyzing spinal chord accident when riding in the back of a Pickup truck. Yet Rick, inspired by Terry decided to literally conquer the world on his Man in Motion Tour, where Rick planned to circumnavigate the globe in a wheelchair! Having set off from Vancouver, BC in 1985 to fairly low media attention, Rick covered some 40,000km over 34 Countries and four Continents and returned to Vancouver 26 months later! His gallery exhibit includes the wheelchair used for this challenge and it looks very uncomfortable! Not to mention banged-up…

Next we passed thru a small gallery with wall carvings dedicated to Aboriginal Canadians; or First Nation – Indians before getting to the marquee gallery.

Greg Moore
And then, there it was, the Greg Moore Gallery, which I’m happy to report was the largest gallery of them all and is a fantastic tribute to this fallen Hero.

After reading a few statistics revealing just how “BAD ASS” of a racing driver Greg was, as his rise thru the ranks of Motor Racing was quite mercurial, we were greeted by Greg’s Shifter Kart pointing skywards behind glass… And then the next display case featured his Junior Hockey uniform & helmet, as “The Kuh-Nuck Kid” actually played Ice Hockey with future NHL Star Paul Kariya, while I seem to recall there also being mention of Cam Neely’s name.

Then it was time to look at his ex-Forsythe Racing (CART) Champ Car chassis, which interestingly as soon as you push the button, the lights dim and the video screen behind starts playing Paul Page calling the Vancouver, BC CART Race with none other then Greg onscreen piloting the Beast!

And of course I don’t know why I was so fixated upon this aspect, but I noticed while marveling (drooling) over every inch of that wonderful blue ‘N white Player’s liveried chassis, that it was missing the ubiquitous “Pop Off” valve… (And 2.65 liter V-8 Turbocharged motor) As I’m assuming that this was due to the fact that the Mercedes/Ilmor “Lump” was leased. BUT DAMN! I’d forgotten how good those Player’s Champ Cars looked!

Next was a fantastic wall-to-wall, floor to ceiling display case chock ‘O block full of various Moore artifacts, including various trophies, awards and two beautifully deep blue (Players) “Crash Buckets.” (Racing Helmets)

There was a racing simulator game you could drive, which Alex enjoyed nestled in-between two more massive display cases, as I kept gravitating towards the display dedicated to Moore’s Indy Lights career, which interestingly had one pair of racing overalls embroidered with an USA patch sown onto it; while a second racing uniform was devoid of it.

Yet my most favourite item of the Indy Lights display was the Awesome 1/8th custom made (1 of 6?) racecar model for the winner of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship, circa 1995.

I also really liked the larger than life-size print mural of Greg with both hands overhead victoriously, along with that cheeky grin, which to me appeared to be in a golden hue, while Mary Ellen said it would make her too sad to read all of the touching comments placed around Greg, that were written by his “Posse.” (Dario, TK, Mad Max, Jimmy V, etc) As I kept walking back to look at this great mural which simply seemed to glow to me, and dare I say it? Even exuded Greg’s spirit/zest for life…

Having been told to look as long as I wanted, I made several passes thru the gallery to reconnoiter the various Memorabilia on display, which unfortunately I wasn’t able to discern any of the three (Pairs?) of red driving gloves… Of which ‘Juan even has a small sign denoting; “Red Gloves Rule!” Which Greg’s “Step-Mum” requested the Museum’s curator’s add to his display, while Massimiliano (“Mad Max”) Papis requires each racing contract to allow him to wear red gloves regardless of uniform colours…

Maple Ridge
On Sunday, we ventured over to Greg’s hometown of Maple Ridge, a somewhat nearby suburb of Vancouver, BC, which I’m happy to report he’s still well known by the “Local’s,” as we got directions to various Moore haunts from a resident Paramedic, who was very friendly towards us.

Thus, after driving down the Old Main Drag, where we didn’t spot Greg’s father’s (Rick) Chrysler Dealership, it was off to the Recreation (“Rec”) Center, which is part of a massive, sprawling complex and includes a large public library.

Popping inside the Rec Center, there was a small display case with another great Greg Moore racing helmet and small tribute/bio, as Mary Ellen inquired if there were anymore items dedicated to Moore to the nice Rec Center attendant, who directed us to check out the nearby library and Youth Center, which was just around the corner.

Youth CenterUnfortunately the Youth Center devoted to Greg Moore was closed, but thanks to Mary Ellen’s persistence, having spotted people inside and banging on the door, we were granted access to check-out the Display cabinet honouring Greg inside, where Mary Ellen read me the following statement from Richard Dean Anderson, best known as the television star “MacGyver.

Richard Dean Anderson:
“Aspiring to emulate the likes of Moss, Fangio, Brabham, Gurney and then later Senna during my driving career; everywhere I went while racing at Westwood: In the Pits, Bleachers or Paddock people would say have you heard about this young kid named Moore? As Greg was already a rising talent when I first heard of him in 1989 and subsequently followed his career.”
MacGyver has then since donated a beautiful deep blue Players liveried Greg Moore helmet, which resides in a small display case alongside Anderson’s stirring note inside the Greg Moore Youth Center… And is even more impressive as not even the next door library has any such remnants of Moore’s legacy; opting for just a baseball cap along with a nice picture of the Canadian “Heartthrob;” as next we set off in search of the town’s Mic-Dougal’s restaurant which I’d read had some of Moore’s trophies on display, but of course they weren’t at the first “Mickey-Dee’s.” And thus I was quite bemused by what another local retorted upon Mary Ellen’s inquiry at the second McDonald’s… NO! It’s gone; I mean they’ve only been there for 10yrs, as apparently the McDonald’s management had decided to not replace the Moore paraphernalia upon the just completed remodeling job, which reportedly just housed a poster, his book and other trinkets.

Yet after my enjoyable weekend of trouncing around Moore’s haunts, I was left pondering even further if Greg’s broken bone in his right hand from his Scooter incident in the Fontana Paddock, prior to being allowed to race with hand brace/splint ultimately contributed to Moore’s losing control of his racecar that fateful day on Halloween 10yrs ago.

And then there’s the irony of Greg’s car number being 99 and his death occurring in 1999…
But I strongly recommend if you’re in the Downtown corridor of Vancouver, BC and looking for something to do, then by all means check out the wonderful Greg Moore Gallery at BC Place!

BC Sports Hall of Fame Museum

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Renault staying put for now

And the Hits just keep on rolling… As another day, another announcement, as its been rumoured that the “Reggie” may be potentially selling its Formula 1 Team now for several weeks, as originally David Richards was thought to be in the “Catbird’s” seat…

Yet, Richards and his Prodrive Operation have been thwarted from the F1 Paddock once again with today’s announcement that Renault has sold a majority stake of its F1 Franchise to Genii Capital, a private Luxemburg company with multiple interests in Technology, Marketing and Sports,

Yet the French owned Team will retain its Renault name for the 2010 season along with providing its V-8 “Lumps” to 2009 Constructors runner-up’s Red Bull Racing.

Genii Capital is run by 37yr old Gerard Lopez, who made part of his fortunes when his Mangrove Capital Partners company got in on the ground floor of backing the internets service known as Skype.

Thus I’m assuming that “The Krakow Kid” (Robert Kubica) will remain as the Reggie’s (namesake) lead driver, while NO word on who’ll partner him as China’s Ho-Pin Tung may be one candidate?

I just hope that his Gravity Sport Management company Isn’t the same company that “Stiffed” Sarah Fisher last year, eh? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that!)

American Idols: F1 style

And thus with the renewed efforts of the House ‘O Windsor to get not only an American Constructor onto the F1 grid in 2010, we’re still hoping to see some of the current stateside talent to emerge behind the keyboards in the rarefied atmosphere known as the ‘Peenacle of Motorsport; since after all, now that ‘Dannacar has made her RALLY-RALLY-RALLY-BIG! GEE-WHIZ Announcements of doin’ duh double: IndyCar ‘N Roundy-round… We’ll anxiously await the arrival of perhaps multiple “Homegrown” talents contesting the waters of Formula One in 2011 or beyond…

So who are some of the REAL contestants, as NO! I doubt Donald Duck or Gina Davis will make the cut, as last I’d heard, Ken & Peter were still on the letter “D” in their pursuit of potential candidates.

Yet I’ve previously scribble ‘bout J.R. Hildebrand and Alexander Rossi, not to mention John Edwards, Jonathan Summerton , etc.

See: Take Two: Young Americans in F1 (below)

But I’d also read at Junior Open wheel Talent, that there were some other candidates who don’t seem to be getting any sorta press, except from Ryan who’d noted that along with Rossi testing a GP2 chassis in preparations for his foray into GP2 Asia and his F1 test for BMW Sauber, that Jake Rosenzweig was also busy testing GP2 machinery at the same outing at Paul Ricard, as Rosenzweig has been busy racing in F3 Euroseries this season..

Another Young gun hoping to make a bit ‘O history is Matt Lee, who’ve I’ve also never heard of before, as Ryan has noted how Matt is set to contest the upcoming Italian F3 Championship, as NO American has ever won that series and I’d guess that Matt will definitely have his work cut out for him, eh?

Then there’s USF1’s “golden Boy” Jonathan Summerton , who just participated in the year’s final F2 series test at Portimao, where he didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but nevertheless Summerton is looking to return to Europe to gather seat time Across the Pond for his big foray into F1 in the near future…

Thus its funny how some grab the headlines while others seem to garner nary a peep; as I’d have to say that Rossi seems to be the best bet to leap into Formula One first, although Edwards, Hildebrand and Summerton all have the tools to compete there, while the next wave seems to be Conor Daly, Matt Lee, Josef Newgarden and Jake Rosenzweig, while next on the horizon has to be this year’s Team USA Scholarship winners: Connor De Phillippi and Brett Smrz.

Take Two: Young Americans in F1

So hopefully Ryan will keep us apprised of all of these aspiring talents march towards the “Big boyz” as “Auntie” Harriet likes to call ‘em… And Thanxs to Ryan for providing me the names of various “Junior” drivers…

Testing shenanigans

So I’m a bit surprised that nobody decided to point out my boo-Boo last week when scribbling ‘bout the Young Americanoes testing the Formula 1 waters.

Take Two: Young Americans in F1

As indeed J.R. Hildebrand & Alexander Rossi (both from the “Raisin” state) were doing Yeoman’s duty in Jerez… But I had to laugh that I’d totally blocked out those gimmicky “Hyped” tests with Nazareth’s second coming ‘O IndyCars… As Yep, I’d blown off “Marky Mark’s” (Marco Andretti) two tests for the perennial Honda F1 Racing Team remember ‘dem? As its funny how stateside F1 trivia revolves around the period from Mikey A’s abortive ’93 season to Scott “Whoopee Cushion” Speed’s tumultuous run at Toro Rosso… So I’ve now come up with seven American F1 test drivers from 1994-2009; can you name them? Five are from the state of California, one’s from Michigan and Marco’s from Pennsylvania…

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pagenaud jumps ship

So I caught the news during Sunday nightsSpeed Report (TSR) where upon Robin Miller finishing off his Milk ‘N Doughnuts rant ‘bout the two IndyCar Diva’s goin’ Figure 8 racing… He followed up with his remarks about:
A) WOW! Michael Cannon says Simona de Silvestro is brutally quick and HVM would like to possibly run her in their second chassis.

B) Gil De Ferran may be joining forces with Tony George’s floundering Vision Racing Operation… Which would see Edward Carpentier joined alongside with whomever Gil is able to run?

Now obviously both of these statements are pure speculation at the moment… But I find it disappointing to have learned that Simon Pagenaud has decided (been forced) to accept rival ALMS Hicroft Racing’s offer to partner David Brabham next year, which seems to cast doubt upon Gil De Ferran’s abilities to run a two car ALMS effort in 2010? Coupled with his hoped for two car Indy Car entity…

But although I’d rather NOT see Gil hook-up with Tony G, at least this may be a way to get his foot into the IndyCar Paddock as a Team Owner and run either Takuma Sato, whose bid to return to F1 with Lotus has failed. Or perhaps Hideki Mutoh’s dream of continuing in the IRL will succeed?

Manor grabs Virgin

In what was another ‘Juan ‘O Formula Uno’s worst kept secrets, Sir Richard Branson’s switch from sponsoring BRAWN GP to the Manor Grand Prix Organisation has now become official with the announcement today of the launching of virgin Racing as one of F1’s New boyz in 2010.

Along with the Virgin announcement in London comes word that Lucas di Grassi will indeed partner timo Glock as the team’s racing drivers next season; as I for one will be interested to see how their chassis performs… Largely due to the fact that Designer Nick Wirth is building this racecar with zero Wind Tunnel testing, instead solely opting for CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) utilization, a practice he used to design the Honda LMP1 racing car in this year’s American Le Mans Series…

Wirth develops Virgin Racing car without wind tunnel

Rally-who?

So I’m guessing; HA-HA? That part of the Speed Freaks segment Sunday night with ESPN’s Terry Blount; Who simply snorted that NOBODY in America knows who Sebastian Loeb (or WRC) is… Was in part an attempt to wind-up the listening audience? As I have to admit it immediately got my goat… As I’m becoming quite tired of all of the glowing praises being given to “the Sarge,” NO! NOT Kenny Sergeant, but the other Sergeant who’s got a disgusting sponsorship deal with a branch of the Armed Services… As I will ALWAYS feel that there are two organizations whom should NOT be allowed to sponsor Motorsports, i.e.; Military and Religion! But I digress… As Terry Blount was aware of whom Travis Pestrona was… Yeah, he’s the current Rally America Champion, Bubbah!

And I guess I’m in the minority as I actually found the WRC races to be dare I say it? More exciting then F1 when they were time delayed broadcast upon SPEED. And I hazard a guess that they’d be watched next year with the Kimster’s arrival, eh?

But back to the Freeks broadcast, as the ‘Blountster was on the show to debate his yearly Top 10 Motorsport Driver’s choices, of which yielded four RASSCAR names, three Formula 1 drivers, two IndyCar Piloto’s and a lone ‘Straightliner choice.

Ranking the world's best 10 drivers

But Kudos to Statt Man Caruthers for bringing up Sebastian Loeb’s name, who after all is the MOST Dominant World Rally Championship Driver of ALL time, having just claimed his sixth consecutive WRC crown! And good job Terry, as the more I ponder it? The more I find it would be hard to come up with 10 drivers who’d make everyone happy, although I’d have to give ‘ZEBB (Sebastian Vettel) the nod over Webber, Mate! NOT to mention where’s The Doctor, eh?

Lotus rolls out Driver line-up


The reconstituted Lotus Formula One Team, now under the guise of Lotus F1 Racing announced its 2010 Driver line-up yesterday… As it wasn’t a surprise to have Jarno Trulli being inked to a 3yr deal, with McLaren castoff Heikki Kovalainen joining the Italian as his teammate next year, while Malaysia’s Fairuz Fauzy will fill the role of Test/Reserve Driver.

NO Word on whether or not any new Force India-esqe, Err Lotus wind tunnel models were part of the announcement…

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mercedes deal falls apart

I find this mornings news upon BRAWN GP’s, nee Mercedes Grand Prix being bamboozled by a Shady Salesman quite preposterous… How in the HELL could the Team be so short sighted in its acquiring of a 3yr $90m Euros sponsorship deal? Especially if the stories we’re led to believe claiming a simple search on the all Knowing Google-monster reveal said “Scheizter’s” previous Criminal background…

Mercedes loses $81m Henkel deal

As apparently Nick Frye(?) has done an unauthorized deal with Willy Luchs and his accomplice, an ex-Henkel “Junior” Employee masquerading as Head of Company Sponsorship, who’s long since been Fired, as they apparently “Borrowed” the Henkel’s Corporate letterheads and concocted the ultimate F1 sponsorship sham this past summer…

In case you’re wondering just who in the heck is Henkel? They’re the parent company of a brand known as Loctite, which was a longtime McLaren sponsor… As it seems like the McLaren vs. Mercedes broo-ha-ha steamroller donnybrook continues on; Ja-Ja!

Thus all of this news makes me wunder if the whole Herr Schumacher to race for Mercedes GP in 2010 is a cleverly crafted Smokescreen to divert our attentions away from the news that has now finally been revealed over the sponsorship bungling…

Excuse me Mr. Tomaso, there’s a call from a ‘Juan Messer Bernard Madoff for you on line three; says he’s got a great proposition for you!

Anyone care for a lollipop?


SMOKE ON!

Lets get ready to Rumble

Uhm? How can I pass up on the opportunity to scribble ‘bout an ensuing “Cat Fight” Meow? Meow? (Or is ‘dat Chihuahua fight, eh?) As Y’all are probably aware of by now… DannaCar will be joined by her Pen-Pal and Fan du Jour Milka-licious this week in an ‘Bomber test session on ‘dem Highbanks ‘O Day-toner, as the Princess makes her celebrated debut behind the wheel of an ARCA Taxicab, with”Milk ‘N Doughnuts” trying out for the Brown ‘N Co. Almond Joy squad; ‘Cause sometimes Uze feels like a NUT and sometimes Uze DON’T! While Daniker wanders Who’s Her Daddy?

Yet according to ‘Ol Curmudgeon Robin Miller, the two (former?) IndyCar Diva’s will settle their towel throwin’ – bitch slappin’ throwdown in a celebrity Figure 8 Derby at Elvira Speedrome with Jesse James as the PA Announcer… And they’ll be running good ‘Ol 109% leaded octane gasoline in a woman take all duel… With Jesse set to ride to the rescue ‘N pull a Bobby Unser by throwin ‘ a lighter into the cockpit of the surviving Tin Top… Of which garnered Bobby Unser a place upon my top 10 of my 50 Baddest Bad Asses!

The Baddest Bad Asses

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is he back?

According to widespread speculation which is percolating on le internets… The German magazine Focus, along with German Daily Newspaper Bild
Are both reporting that the TERMINATOR, Der Zeben-timen Vurld Champion Michael Schumacher has reputedly inked a deal with the newly reconstituted Mercedes Grand Prix to drive alongside “Junior” teammate Nico Rosberg…

As apparently Schuey will come outta retirement to partner with his ex-boss Ross Brawn in a One year deal, contingent upon the German’s neck “Muskel’s” being 100%, as Mercedes returns to Grand Prix racing as an Constructor for the first time in 55yrs…

First Herr Schumacher hooked “Heinz 57’s” (Heinz-Harald Frentzen) girlfriend, before marrying Corina… And now “Quick Nick” (Heidfeld) must be goin’ Batty having his ride taken by ‘Ol Man Schumi, Ja-Ja? As for the record, Michael’s 40yrs old and NOT 41 as the majority of the Newswires are claiming… (NOT that it matters, but he’ll turn 41 in January, 2010)

And I have mixed emotions over this… As I prefer to remember him as the TERMINATOR who made Motorsports BORING at the beginning of this decade, as I’ll be happy to see him return, I just hope he doesn’t pull a Nigel and his (Cranium) backside’s become too BLOODY LARGE to fit into the cozy confines of the BRAWN “BEE-GEE” 002, Err never mind; as I guess the move makes sense, since afterwards he can join his famous brother Ralfanzo in the DTM, Ja Volt! So, guess I’ll be contributing once again to Schuey’s retirement fund when I get my Minichamps 1/18 Silver Arrows…

No word yet on whether or NOT Norbert Haug will let him race his “Scooter?”

Friday, December 11, 2009

F1 gains new points system for 2010

I have to say that this caught me by surprise… And my immediate response is why in the F%%KING HELL? As I think it makes a mockery of the Championship… Which made me feel a little bit better to learn that “Keith’s Crew” over at F1 fanatic felt pretty much the same, with less than one third of his Pollster’s thinking the change was an improvement?

FIA confirms new point scoring system in 2010
And I guess my biggest beef is the Historical impact, as how can one be impressed by the number of Championship Points one racks up in their respective Grand Prix career? As a win is now worth 2 ½ times as much as its been in the past, as I seem to recall there was much fanfare over the TERMINATOR, nee M. Schumacher’s eclipsing of 1,000 career points… Not to mention how it’ll be a boon for Drivers salaries, eh? As a long standing tradition has been to pay bonuses for each point scored by said Piloto during the season…

Oh Whale, I guess at least it’s BETTER then Uncle Bernaughty’s Gold Medal idea, eh?

F1 gets new point scoring system

One Down, One to go!

As I scribbled ‘Juan week ago in Paul Tracy and Edmonton need your help; according to Matt “CAM-WOW” Chamois of The Other side fame… The Edmonton City Council has very wisely decided to unanimously approve the continuation of the Rexall Grand Prix in 2010. (And beyond?) Which is excellent news! DAMN! I might even have to take a long distance trek to the Cleveland-esqe circuit, eh?

Edmonton Rexall Indy in 2010

While way to go Planet IRL for bringing the topic to light on one of your latest Podcasts and Kudos to Mike Cockrall (Team Canada) for your hard work on convincing Edmondton to keep its IndyCar race; now all you’ve gotta do is get a new multi-year contract extension signed!

Now all we need is for Santa to bring Mr. Chrome Horn, nee Paul Tracy a 2010 Full season ride in IndyCars, eh?

F1 Young Drivers Test Postscript

Being the final Official Formula 1 activity of the year, last week’s Young Drivers test session in Jerez garnered much press, thus here’s a small sampling of how some selected aspiring Gran Primo Piloto’s performed...

F1 Young Drivers Test begins

Baguette
Although I doubt it has anything to do with one’s potential success… As like many of the test’s Young Guns; Belgium’s Bertrand Baguette has a cool sounding name… (Although it’s kinda making me hungry, as in time for a sandwich? Hya!) As Baguette was also a bit of a novelty, as he was the test’s only driver to drive for two separate teams. Driving for Renault on Day 1 and then switching to BMW Sauber on Day 3.

Bianchi
Jules Bianchi was probably one of the most “Hyped” Young Guns at the test, having just signed a multi-year (development) contract with the Scuderia… Not to mention he’s not only got a great sounding name, but a good racing pedigree and is on the Fast-track to F1 thanks to his manager.

Formula BMW Starz
American Alexander Rossi showed well during his stint behind the wheel of the BMW F1.09, running a total of 82 laps to wind-up seventh on Day 1. Next up was Mexico’s Esteban Gutierrez, finishing fifth on Day 2 with Baguette sixth on Day 3.

Brawning Up
IndyCar driver Mike Conway ran very respectable lap times, winding up sixth fastest on Day 1, sixth again on Day 2 and fourth quickest on Day 3, one spot ahead of Nico Hulkenberg; while Swedish Hot-Schue Marcus Ericsson was eighth, seventh and eighth respectively.

La Scuderia
The Scuderia ran Jules Bianchi for the firs two days before giving the Top 3 finishers in this years Italian F3 championship the final day to pound ‘round in an F60, with Mexico’s Pablo Sanchez Lopez throwing down the fastest time of the three Hot-Schues.

Hildebrand Hot Sauce
While Paul di Resta was the fastest of the two Force India drivers; American J.R. Hildebrand made a very respectable showing in his maiden Formula 1 outing; tenth quickest on Day 1 when he drove 49 laps and eighth on Day 2, (49 laps) besting Bianchi by one spot. On Day 3 Hildebrand ran another 41 laps to finish in the tenth slot; finishing ahead of Ferrari’s trio of Italian F3 “Studs!”

Paffett on the Pace
McLaren’s longtime test driver Gary Paffett nipped at the top of the timesheets over the test’s outing; third on Day 1 and third again on Day 3 along with being a good choice for one of the four new Constructors.

Bullish Ricciardo
Current British F3 Champion Daniel Ricciardo showed quite well for Red Bull Racing, as the “Aussie” was near the top of the timesheets all three days; fourth on Tuesday and third on Wednesday.

Le 'Reggie
Amid swirling speculation that the “Reggie” appears to be on the cusp of departing Formula 1, (again) nevertheless the team ran the trio of Bertrand Baguette, Lucas di Grassi and Ho-pin Tung, with tung’s ride having something to do with one of the team’s potential suitors, while Di Grassi is supposedly working upon securing the second seat at Virgin Racing.

Team Willie
While 2010 F1 Rookie & reigning GP2 Champion Nico Hulkenberg was the more celebrated Young Lion of the Williams duo, it was inaugural F2 Champion Andy Soucek who stole Hulkenberg’s thunder with his blazing speed, albeit Hulkenberg posted the second fastest time on his first day’s outing. (Day 2)

Thus, somewhat surprisingly, Day 1 (Tuesday) saw Andy Soucek top the Timesheets for Williams, with Paul di Resta of Force India runner-up. On Day 2, (Wednesday) McLaren’s Gary Paffett topped the time sheets with Nico Hulkenberg runner-up; while on Day 3, (Thursday) Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo moved to the top of the timesheets with Di Resta runner-up once again…

Day 1 Test results

Day 2 Test results

Day 3 Test results

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Simona trumps ‘DannaCar

Perhaps it’s just me, but I found it brilliant that the news of Simona de Silvestro, the Femme Fatale who led the Formula Atlantics Championship for the majority of the 2009 season for Team Stargate Worlds would be testing an IndyCar at Sebring for HVM Racing this Tuesday-Wednesday… As I first spotted news upon this from The Other Side, way Up North, Eh? As it’s good to hear proverbial Lacrosse Star “CAM-WOW” chime-in once again…

Especially since that “LUV-able” Princess, Err IndyCar Diva, to be known from now on as DannaCar… (Thanxs RQB) Was supposed to be having another Ah-CHOO-Ah-CHOO! (Quick! Flood the newswire with latest DannaCar Poop, Err Scoop) Press Conference announcing some sorta dealio she’s commiserated with ‘lil Ironhead to drive ‘dem Tin Top thingys… As Y’all know the drill; You’ll have to search elsewhere upon the Blogosphere to read all about it…

YO TAXI!

The ‘Utter Mikey

Whale I’m not sure why, but Mikey “Aw Shucks” Waltrip sure seems to be getting’ a lotso press lately. And I’ll skip the Mikey blows 0.6 in another Accident scandal…

First there was ex-Toyota F1 Star Jarno Trulli and ex-F1 Piloto Mika Salo hangin’ 10 in the Michael Waltrip Racing pits during the Phoenix, AZ RASSCAR weekend before testing ‘Juan ‘O ‘dem Roundy-round Carz.

Mika Salo & Jarno Trulli’s RASSCAR adventure

Then there’s the news that Mikey and ‘TAZ, a.k.a. Marcos Ambrose will run a 24hr race in Abu Dhabi aboard a Ferrari F430GT, which Marcos hopes not to mess-up too badly; claimin’ he hear’s those Ferrari’s can be real expensive to repair…

Marcos Ambrose – Michael Waltrip start your Dhubai

And then lastly comes word that Mikey will be a speaker at the inaugural Motor Sport Business Forum North America in Orlando, FL, focusing upon the Biz ‘O Motorsports; Co-promoted by Just Marketing International, (JMI) a Zak Brown Production…

Kinda makes you wonder what makes him such a sot after commodity, (Comedy) eh?

Take Two: Young Americans in F1

Alright, this is a bit ‘O a stretch I realize, but last week’s “Kindergarten F1” (according to a STR Press Release) or better known as the Young Driver’s test saw the arrival of not ‘Juan, but two aspiring Americans participating in Formula 1 for the first time since 1983; when Eddie Cheever was racing against “Mr. Hollywood,” a.k.a. Danny Sullivan, who departed for greener pastures in CART the following year, before a certain Spin ‘N Win episode at the Brickyard…

And it’s even more interesting to note that in the past five years, there’s only been one American to compete in Formula 1, (Scott Speed) while the last American to test an F1 chassis was Townsend Bell way back in 2004 for the floundering Jaguar Team.
Thus it was great to have J.R. Hildebrand and Alexander Rossi both participating in the test, as Rossi was behind the wheel of a BMW Sauber F1.09, while Hildebrand was at the keyboard of a Force India VJM-002; as J.R. also PPenned” an interesting piece for SPEED about how he landed his Formula One testing Gig.

HILDEBRAND: Life in the Fast Lane

And although it’s a fairly good look at what Keith considers the Top 10 of American Gran Primo Piloto’s in his story Ten of the Best American F1 drivers; I’d have to disagree with the Scott Speed choice, as I feel that “Boobie Ray-X,” (Bobby Rahal) which Meesh likes to call him… Is a far better choice then Scott “Nose” Speed; HELL! Even Mikey Andretti was far MORE successful then Speed was, eh? Not to mention Barber, Bondurant, Bucknam, Ginther, Penske and Shelby to name a few.

10 of America’s best F1 drivers

And while I don’t expect to see any Americans at the keyboard of any F1 racecar’s this coming season, hopefully the two drivers above, or others such as John Edwards and Jonathan Summerton can find their way into the confines of an USF1 cockpit in the near future. And don’t forget Open Wheel Racing standouts Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden, although I believe the latter four drivers above (Edwards, Summerton, Daly and Newgarden) DON’T have the said FIA Super license needed to participate in Formula 1 at the time being…
Update
In my haste to get the story posted, I inadvertently missed the fact that Marco Andretti was the LAST Americano to test in a Formula 1 Landshark for entertainment over the winter of 2006-07; having been preceded by Scott Speed’s “Marketing exercise” for Red Bull racing in 2005 before graduating into the F1 limelight as Vitantonio Liuzzi’s sidekick at Scuderia toro Rosso… And thus becoming the last Americano to race in Formula 1 for the time being. Thus please continue reading below:

2010 DAKAR Entries set Sail

On December 1st, the Grande Brasile set out upon its four week Ocean voyage across the Atlantic, carrying the precious cargo of the European Rally Teams taking part in the upcoming 2010 DAKAR Rally; being contested in Argentina and Chile for the second consecutive year, running from January 2-16, 2010; look for Robby “Dirtman” Gordon and his Monster Hummer to be giving the VW Touareg’s a run for their money…

Volkswagen Team ships to south America

Monday, December 7, 2009

Silverstone finally awarded British GP

Although Uncle Bernaughty has been most intent upon reeking havoc upon his loathed BRDC operators of the Silverstone circuit, when some 18 months ago he dropped the Bombshell during the 2008 British Grand Prix weekend that the races future home had been awarded to Donnington under George Gillette’s leadership; who’s since missed several Ecclestone imposed deadlines before ultimately filing for Administration…

Thus its very good news that Emperor Bernardo and the British Racing Drivers Club have amicably come to a compromise that enables the British GP to remain at Silverstone for the foreseeable future, as Silverstone has secured the F1 race In a 17yr deal, with the British GP potentially staying at BLOODY ‘OL Silverstone thru 2026…

Green light for British GP at Silverstone
HURRAH!

Japan says Sayonara to Motorsports

As Y’all know, most likely from your Primary Schooling, today is “A Day of Infamy.” As countless reports tell us how the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour at 7:55AM Sunday morning, some 68 years ago…

Recently I received some flak for calling BMW AG’s decision to hastily withdraw from Formula 1 a Knee-jerk reaction, in lieu of our current economic climate… To which was some light weight 40mm AA Flak and I managed to avoid the ensuing shrapnel, but I digress…

As we’ve already learned, we’ve now had a total of three Auto manufacturers pull out of Formula 1 in the past twelve months, while Renault’s future is somewhat cloudy.

And as we all know, it was Honda who set the dominoes falling, as they simply couldn’t stomach being such a back marker anymore, while BMW suddenly decided to Quit after having one bad season, before Toyota decided it was also time to “Punt” as the red ink steadily flowed from Toyota’s books…

Having indeed decided to withdraw from Formula 1, they’ve (Toyota) just laid off a massive 500 employees from the Team’s Cologne HQ, leaving a staff of 150 for other various projects; perhaps an Hybrid “Sin-ergy” attack upon Du Circuit de la Sarthe?

Not to mention Japanese Rubber Giant Bridgestone withdrawing from Formula 1 at the end of the 2010 season, while Japanese Auto manufactures Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki all walked away from the World of Rallying at the beginning of this year.

Yet my claim to BMW’s Knee-jerk reaction was made over the fact that BMW AG’s Board of Directors saw the perfect opportunity to cut costs on a suddenly losing proposition, since they’re still heavily advertising on Television, sponsoring Non-racing Sporting events and planning to compete in GT & WTCC Championships next year, along with the continuation of their Formula BMW Series…

While all of the above Japanese manufacturers with the exception of Mitsubishi also decided to “Save Face” by cancelling their poorly performing Motorsports activities under the guise of financial difficulties…

As let’s examine the following: Honda didn’t have a sponsor for two dreadful seasons under their “Planet earth” scheme, as they had a grand total of one victory during their third “Official” foray into Formula One. (BAR-Honda 2000-05; Honda F1 2006-08) Even being outperformed by the supposed “B” Team of “Super Best Friends,” (Super Aguri) not to mention their two race Ban for running illegal fuel tanks at the San Marino GP in 2005.

Meanwhile Toyota, who’s NEVER won a Grand Prix during its eight seasons in F1, was reputedly spending $500+ million per season, and having suffered the first ever Operating loss in the Companies 71yr history, upon reporting a $2.5 Billion loss in the winter of 2008, followed up by more losses, it decided the potential $150 million fine from failing to show-up for the 2010 Formula One season was far less expensive; (even including the 500 employees severance packages…) i.e.; ten times less then the projected budget to fulfill its Concorde obligations thru 2012. Yet notice how they’re still in RASSCAR, eh? ) Where they continue winning… As recall how Toyota bolted from the Indy Racing League after getting their ARSES kicked by rival Japanese auto manufacturer Honda)

And both Subaru and (especially) Suzuki have been getting their ARSES kicked in the World Rally Championship (WRC) by Sebastian Loeb in his Citroen for the past six seasons, while I’m guessing “Mr. Bitchy” (Mitsubishi) simply decided it was better to walk away from the DAKAR after multiple wins and facing increased pressure from Volkswagen, a la Audi who quit racing in the American Le Mans Series as there simply wasn’t any competition for them to compete against.

So, while yes, the Economy is at its WORST since the Great Depression, possibly worse since it’s a Global dilemma, I still suggest that these manufacturers simply walked away from the table in order to Save Face while trying to improve their bottom line, as after all, one of the first things cut during a Recession is Entertainment, which ultimately Motorsports is…

Another Racing Team Bites the Dust

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paul Tracy and Edmonton need your Help



Just finished listening to my second ever Planet IRL Podcast; the very first being with Crash Gladys a little while ago, as I’m ‘Juan ‘O duh Freaks who listens to them on a regular basis.

The new Podcast features a nice interview with Mr. Chrome Horn, a.k.a. Paul Tracy, also known as the Thrill from the West Hill; for all uze Hosers lookings to satisfy your PT “Fix,” this should due the trick, as Tracy answers all of the questions and still needs your input on his shout Out section of his Athlete Profile on Monster.com…

An interview with Paul Tracy

Also needing some assistance; “Get Over it Y’all Ovalheads!” Any Open Wheel Racing is a GOOD thing… The only thing better would be MORE IndyCar races on the calendar; including Portland!

But apparently there’s some grumblingsgoing on ‘bout the City’s lost revenue for holding the race, which reminds me sort of Cleveland… As I’d suggest the Citizens of Edmonton take a look at what Montreal just did… And overlook the financial costs, as Montreal was desperate to get the F1 race back for the chance to improve Tourism, along with all of the other financial rewards having a major Motor Race has; Hotels, Dining, Transportation, etc. Since once there gone… They very rarely come back!

Watch out for ‘dem Trees Kimi!

Insert Tarzan theme music here…

Otay, I found much amusement in the title above, which Joe Saward mused about today, as its now official; Kimi Räikkönen has been confirmed at Citroen’s “Junior” Rally Team for the 2010 WRC season, in which appears to be the final season of the “REAL WRC!” As sadly, the World Rally Championship will regress to its lower Formulae Super (“Dooper?”) 2000 specs as its top flight Rally category beginning in 2011; CRIKEYS!

And it’s a shame that the WRC is no longer aired on SPEED, as I for one will be most intrigued to see how the “Monotone Man” prevails in his Rookie campaign, while there was NO word on whether or not the Finn showed up in his Monkey costume for the Press Release…

It’s Official: Raikkonen to WRC in 2010

So watch out for that tree, Kimi!

Bianchi inked to long term Ferrari contract

During this week’s Young Driver’s “Kindergarten F1: testing session, one promising “Young gun” by the name of Jules Bianchi not only got the Lion’s share of testing duty for one of the Sport’s most revered establishments - Scuderia Ferrari; the 20yr old Frenchman also was given a long-term contract with Ferrari, potentially leading to a future drive at Maranello a la Massa?

The deal is reportedly for 3yrs with extensions, a la “Fredrico suave”, (F. Alonso) albeit at a fraction of the $25m per year the Spaniard is reputed to earn, with Jules base salary rumoured to be $500,000 per year to begin with…

And it’s worth noting that Bianchi’s Manager is Nicolas Todt; son of Messer Jean Todt, Owner of the ART GP2 Team and Felipe Massa’s Manager… As Bianchi will race for ART in the 2010 GP2 Series season and I’d expect to see the Frenchman graduate to Sauber F1 in 2011 if all goes according to plan.

As I’d guess you’d have to say this is a Ferrari insurance plan in case either Massa or Alonso doesn’t pan out next year, leaving the Scuderia in another horrid lurch? As neither Giancarlo Fisichella nor Luca Badoer exactly bailed out Ferrari in 2009, (which the current testing ban didn’t exactly help) while I believe the last French driver to race for Ferrari was someone named Jean Alesi…

BMW sells its Formula 1 Team again

After having sold it’s soon to be defunct Formula 1 Team to the mysterious Swiss based QADBAK Foundation, which has since come under much scrutiny, including a rogue financier… BMW AG has pulled the plug on the planned sale and has henceforth sold the faltering Team to its original Founder Peter Sauber.

Sauber, I couldn’t let Team Die

Early speculation suggested that perhaps a group of American backers may have been inline to safe the F1 Constructor, before it was announced that 66yr old Peter Sauber would step-in to rescue his beloved Organization, although the deal being contingent upon Sauber being granted the 13th and final 2010 Grid Slot, which was somewhat uncertain since Toyota held the rights to this position until midweek, while speculation suggested that perhaps the Japanese Giant might due a deal with the little known Serbian based Stefan GP?

Although BMW’s decision to sell back Peter his Team is very good news, unfortunately as part of the restructuring, approx. 35% of the existing Staff has been given their Walking papers, shrinking the 388 employees to a modest 250 personnel.

Yet fortunately, the FIA wisely confirmed Peter Sauber’s reborn Sauber F1 entity as the sports 13th & Final Constructor for the 2010 season, contingent upon BMW AG signing the Concorde Agreement, which as a signatory gives them the right to sell the team and thus life goes on!

And I’m sure that the fact that Peter Sauber had already re-established his links with Ferrari; the motivating factor in the Petronas blue 2010 C29 chassis was surely helpful in Sauber’s bid, along with the fact that the new FIA Boss, a one Mr. Jean Todt was a mainstay at the Scuderia thru the Schumacher Dynasty…

But this is a good thing for the Sport as Sauber has always been a true competitor along with a haven for extending Grand Prix Piloto’s careers and spotting new talent, plus it’ll give us a little more diversity in the Engine Department, eh?

F1 Team staffing reductions to come into force

I’ve just stumbled upon a little caveat of sad information, which I’d assume that all current Formula 1 employees are painfully aware of… As part of the FOTA’s cost cutting initiatives is something known as the Resources Restriction Agreement, which was part of this year’s signing of the Concorde Agreement.

And apparently I missed the news of exactly how much the Resources Restriction Agreement effected Formula One, as all I thought it entailed was the mandatory shutting down of all Constructor’s activities for a four week period during the enforced summer Holiday.

But now I’ve learned that it means that also all F1 Constructors will cap their Team Staff level to a maximum of 280 personnel beginning in 2011, which means we’ll see a massive amount of staffing reductions continue over the next twelve months as the Big League Teams, i.e.; Ferrari, McLaren, etc will be forced to drastically shed key personnel, which hopefully many can find employment in the four new Constructors coming online in 2010.

And along with the impending staff reductions, I’ve also gleamed the fact that Teams will be allowed only 45 people to travel to each Grand Prix event…

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Renault to sell? Sauber confirmed

There are numerous reports today that Renault will most likely sell its Formula 1 Team to David Richard’s Prodrive Operation, in which would allow Prodrive to occupy larger, newer premises and finally compete in F1.

Meanwhile the FIA has just confirmed Peter Sauber as the 13th and final Constructor for the 2010 Formula 1 season, contingent upon BMW Sauber signing the Concorde Agreement, as I for one am very pleased with this turn of events vs. the rogue Stefan Grand Prix scuttlebutt…

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

IndyCar Calendar available

Whale Otay, this has been around for awhile, but in case you’re searching for the ultimate stocking stuffer for a Open Wheel Racing or Indy Car enthusiast, then perhaps you’ll wanna grab a 2010 IndyCar Calendar, as the 12” X 12” wall calendar is filled with many action photos of various IZOD Indy Car Series Drivers and also benefits the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation. To order your calendar, Click here

It’s Andretti Autosport from Now-on

According to ‘Ye Blogosphere the AGR name change has occurred and is now officially known as Andretti Autosport, thus making way for the requisite announcements of the Danistar’s (Princess to AA) and Ryan “The IZOD Dude” Hunter-Reay’s impending arrival to be declared; tuh-Duh!

Yet according to Jeffie of My Name is IRL, Mikey debated long ‘N hard over possible name replacements… As apparently Disney’s price was too high for Lady ‘N the Tramp… While other names pondered included:

Unofficial list of rejected names for AA
Three Men and a Little Lady
(If Only We Were Just A Little Bit Faster At) Racing- Bunnies & Rainbows Motorsports
The White Collar Comedy Tour
The Anthony Fedele Motor Militia
Team Meeting
(Source: My Name is IRL)

Although I’d have preferred Mikey to go with my personal favourite; Michael Andretti Racing Systems or MARS! (Where I’m guessing TK may feel like this year’s season was spent upon?) Oh What a Feeling, Err Never Mind!

Meanwhile on a somewhat “Ha-Ha” more serious note, AA has announced that Tom Anderson, formerly of Fernandez Racing will join its operation as its Senior VP of Racing Operations, along with a few other Management announcements. As many will know that the wily Anderson was a Ganassi mainstay during its “4-Peat” in CART from 1996-99, when the “Cheepster” won the title four years in-a-row along with leading a Top Seven places sweep of the 2000 Indy 500 which saw Juan Pablo Montoya win the race on his first attempt…

Andretti Autosport adds Anderson to VP position

As for news upon Monday’s RALLY-RALLY-RALLY BIG! Princess Press Release you’ll need to search elsewhere among the bloggaratzi; as I for one am way MORE impressed with the news of Sarah fisher’s 2nd Annual food Drive, while apparently Daniker is busy selecting beanie’s for her long ballyhooed CAB debut…

SFR Announces 2nd Annual "12 Days of Christmas Food Drive"

GE’s sale of NBC to Comcast closer

The Business transaction of General electric, the parent Company of NBC/Universal to sale it’s flagging television Network to Comcast appears to be in the home stretch, after a deal to purchase Vivendi's 20% stake in the joint Company for $5.8 Billion has been struck which should ultimately clear the way for Comcast, the Nation’s largest Cable television Company to acquire a controlling 51% stake of NBC/Universal for approx. $30 Billion, which is far less then its previously abortive takeover bid of rival Network ABC, in which Comcast was spurned by Walt Disney a few years ago.

So will we see Indy Cars on “The Peacock” (NBC) in the near future?