Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Swedish Daytrippin’

Mona Johannesson

Early Tuesday morning (May 11th) Tanja and I left to go to her work at the Horse Stables in order to reduce our driving time to that afternoon’s adventure, the sleepy little town of Anderstorp...

As I stood outside the stables with my newly commissioned “Guide dog” Lily, a rider on Horseback approached and cheerfully said Hey-Hey (Hello) to me... Hmm? Who could it be? Thus a little later on I inquired to whom was riding the horse in the training rink below. Oh that was Mona... Do you want to meet her?

So we walked down to the lone rider who appeared to be dressed all in white riding garb and she sauntered over to us on a beautiful black filly named Donna and next thing I knew I was talking to Swedish Supermodel Mona Johanesson; SHEISA! As after exchanging pleasantries the two women began discussing horses...

Then it was time to depart for our day’s trek to Anderstorp, which the Confuzer had told us was a two hour drive, which in turn was a pleasant drive thru the gently rolling countryside landscape which reminded me of the Pacific Northwest. And even with the treacherous 9.4km section of Prying Eyes, nee cameras mounted on poles... As these all seeing camera eyes are sprinkled ALL over the country; and have a nasty habit of taking your picture when potentially exceeding the posted speed limit... Ask “Johnny ‘O ‘bout that!” (Johnny O’Connell; Corvette Racing) Nevertheless, we arrived in only 1.5hrs as Tanja spotted a sign saying Motorbahn and headed directly for it.

Upon entering the driveway there were a multitude of pictured individual’s on poles as I was asked ‘Who’s Dat? That’s Niki Lauda isn’t it? And there’s “The Wee Scot,” Sir Jackie, (Stewart) looking very cool in his trademark shades (sunglasses) and “EMMO” mutton-chops of what I’m guessing was an early 1970’s picture. (’73?)

Jackie Stewart

Thus we’d stumbled upon some place called Scandinavian Raceway on the very first attempt... As I’ll let Y’all naw upon that? As some of Yuhs Diehard F1 Aficionado’s may recognize it as the Anderstorp Circuit, eh? Can you say Swedish Grand Prix?

Exiting our vehicle there were a Boatload ‘O “Scooters” as Tanja noted that there was a Kawasaki Semi-trailer parked near by as shortly thereafter we were greeted to the Barking sounds of a race start as I could only surmise a Motorcycle race was occurring while Tanja tried talking to two lads sitting in camping chairs nearby, inquiring where’s the Museum? Which went nowhere as we soon discovered that they were Danes... As the entire parking lot was filled with Automobiles bearing Denmark license plates...

Thus I stood outside listening to my very first symphony of racing machinery for the 2010 season, which sounded absolutely great! As countless Motorcycles could be heard going thru their gears in the nearby distance, as we never tried going to see them since we were on a mission...

So I stood next to a small pup tent blowing noisily in the stiff breeze on a lone section of grass while Tanja went off towards the lone building to investigate if we were indeed in the right place?

Yeah, we were in search of the Anderstorp F1 Museum which was actually just a scant few Kilometers away in the town’s centre in a very non-descript business park of warehouse looking buildings; as both Tanja & I were thinking this AIN’T gonna be good, eh?

Walking towards a totally nondescript white building, as we neared the front entrance I noticed that there were a small stack of three black racing tyre’s on both sides of the three steps leading to the door, so we must be in the right place, right?

Standing inside, a man greeted us and Tanja told him in Swedish that we’d like to see the Museum; Oh, one minute please while I turn on the lights... They’re very bright and use a lot of energy, so while the man did this we moseyed over to the small Gift Shop immediately to our right, which was “chockah-block” with T-Shirts, Posters and a small sampling of Diecast Racing Cars in assorted scales.

“Ticko” returned and we began what for me, was a very enjoyable personally guided tour of the Museum, which the three of us had to ourselves.Ticko then began by explaining to me about the three “Crash Buckets” (Helmets) on display, saying how his friend had done the airbrush on one of them; informing us his custom airbrushed van with multiple Racing Cars images in various hues also done by his friend which serves as the Museum’s calling card outside was in the shop today...

Then the man introduced himself to us, my name is Thyrone “Ticko” Persson but you can just call me Ticko or Tyrone... As he said this a little voice told me I know that name from somewhere as I thought he’d said Tyrone Rogers... Who played for the UW Huskies way back in the early 1990’s; Oh Never Mind! (Thanxs for the trivia answer Randal...)

Thus Ticko began describing the poster on the wall and launched into a very brief chat about the course’s history, stating that (Anderstorp Circuit) Scandinavian Raceway opened on June 16, 1968 and how people totally scoffed at Sven ”Smokey” Ã…sberg, one of the track’s three founders Pontificating that the Racetrack would hold a Formula 1 race within five years.

Smokey then met with a one Mr. Bernard Ecclestone and reportedly only knew one word of English: Gangster, which upon saying this to Bernie a Grand Prix deal was cemented... To which I quickly retorted; Whale, Bernie’s certainly is a Gangster now! As Ticko pointed out that he had acquired one of Smokey’s four suitcases he’d used during these negotiations.

Then I asked him when is the track going to get another F1 race? As in Sweden and the United States both have something in common... They’re both without a Grand Prix at the moment...

As we began discussing some of the great Swede’s ‘O lore, namely Ronnie Peterson I inquired about Swedish Newboy Marcus Ericsson? Of which I was quite happy to hear Ticko immediately tell me he’d finished 11th in round 1 and DNF’ed in round 2; but he qualified P8, as I said it’s only Race One of the (2010 GP2 Series) season, so it’s still early days, right? As I further elaborated that I hear he’s managed by somebody named Kenny Brack? To which Ticko said; He’s got some wealthy backers behind the scenes and they let Kenny be the Front man... But yeah, Kenny’s involved, as Ticko further revealed that he believed Brack was the second most popular Swede Motorsports-wise currently, with his Top 4 picks being:

1) Ronnie Peterson
2) Kenny Brack
3) Stefan Johansson
4) Gunnar Nilsson

Although Ticko admitted that there may be others ahead of Nilsson, as Ticko seemed most enamored by the late Peterson along with Reine Wisell... As I’d guess that the latter may rank above Nilsson? But you’ve gotta be impressed when somebody knows the outcome of some “Junior” Piloto’s race weekend, eh? Especially when it’s the young Ericsson’s GP2 debut... So I found it even more ironic to here Ticko comment that he’s Sweden’s next F1 Hope, to which I’ve previously scribbled ‘bout...

And I spent the whole tour just laughing to myself every time he brought up Stefan Johansson’s name, which several Moons ago back in the CART Days; Randall aptly nicknamed him “Stevie Johnson.”

So inquiring minds wanna know: If Stevie Johnson went to Sweden and said he’s Stefan Johansson would the Swedes giggle over that?

Next I mentioned how I knew that one of my All-time favourite Formula 1 cars, the Tyrrell P34 Six-wheeler had won the 1976 Swedish GP, Ticko replied that Tyrrell had also won it in ’74 before telling me to go ahead and touch the tyre below me. It’s from the Six-wheeler, it’s a prototype rain tyre which the Team claimed was too hard. Then directly above it Ticko pointed out the “Stevie Johnson” Driving Jacket a friend had gotten him for his 50th Birthday and he insisted I touch it... Asking him if my fingers were clean from the tyre he said “Go ahead,” as the material was extra thin and slippery, so perhaps it was part of Johansson’s Nomex Underwear? (As I couldn’t actually see what it was...?)

Then he pointed out about six different P34 Six-wheeler Diecast’s in a mammoth display case, all being of 1:43rd scale, saying: there’s a Scheckter, Peterson, Peterson, DePallier, etc. As this case musta held between 50-100 models...

Gunnar Nilsson

Then it was into what appeared to be Ticko’s Treasure Room, a fairly small sized room which seemed entirely dedicated to the late Ronnie Peterson, as the first thing that jumped out at me was a great photograph of the late Swede, circa 1970’s. It was a fantastic shot of Peterson looking “GQ” in those trademark ‘70’s shades, (sunglasses) as it dawned on me those wayfarer’s were before the days of wrap-around Oakley’s, etc. But it was a great picture of Peterson looking cool, calm, collected and oh so confident, with even the hint of a smile...

Then the piece de la resistance, a yellow & black Peterson Driving Suit with what appeared to be an open faced helmet above it. Ticko commented that the suit was from 1978 and the helmet from ’76, which made me find it a bit eerie to be staring at a pair of Overalls from the same year that he’d perished at Monza in! While next to it was a second Driver’s Suit also belonging to Peterson, albeit this one was blue and Ticko insisted that I touch it too... As we bantered over what perhaps the missing patch from the right breast may have been? To which I immediately said Marlboro? Which Ticko didn’t think so since Ronnie wasn’t running this sponsorship then. Thus it was amazing to be touching Peterson’s sleeve of what might have been a Tyrrell Driving Suit?

Afterwards, Ticko pointed out the tyre below the yellow & black Overall’s and told me to pick it up... So I could feel how light a Formula 1 tyre was... And I did so easily with one hand as he told me that’s a Magnesium rim and that it was a Front tyre off of a March F1 chassis.

Sensing a deep running affection for Messer Peterson I cautiously asked Ticko; what about (the other Swede) Gunnar Nilsson? To which he seemed to not have much to comment upon other then they’d raffled off some memorabilia for his Cancer Foundation, a Poster fetching 10,000 Kroner’s and that he’d been asked about selling one of his 1:43 Nilsson Diecasts which he claimed were very hard to come by...

Portrait of F1's Gunnar Nilsson

As Y’all may be (painfully) aware of, your Humble Scribe is a Visually Impaired ‘Vurd Botcherer... And thus was allowed the privilege by Scandinavian Raceway Nostalgia Museum’s “Ticko” to touch and handle said Display items... But I do NOT encourage this and hope that whenever visiting such institutions you’ll follow all placard signs & instructions, RESPECT the Patron’s belongings and NOT touch anything in order to preserve its durability for others to enjoy!

Low Vision Racer
To continue reading, see: Swedish Day Trippin' (Part 2)

Monday, June 28, 2010

F1’s Red-Green Show

So why is it that every time I hear the German National anthem played; be it at the World Cup Football matches or when Master ‘Zebb takes to the Top step of the podium... I immediately expect it to be followed by the Italian National anthem, eh? Something to do with hearing it played ‘Juan too many times for DER TERMINATOR; Ja-Ja!

Michael Schumacher:
"What a race. We would like to have clarification about the safety car situation as the red light on the exit from my first pit stop destroyed a race which otherwise would have offered us very good possibilities. Our point of view is that as the safety car had passed the pits without having the cars lined up behind it, there should not have been a red light. There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again. We believe that this was not correct. Our strategy was right in that context as we took the opportunity which could have given us a finish even close to the podium."

Thus you’d have to say that the Sport’s Elder Statesman is making a mockery outta the FIA’s Race Stewards, as Michael Schumacher & Ross Brawn once again seem to be more knowledgeable about the Sporting Codes nuances...

As I found it even more ironic how immediately after the race, the only F1 Constructor whose Team Quotes were missing were Scuderia Ferrari’s... As they seemed to have been hit hard by the Stewards mistakes in Spain!

And I’m NOT sayin’ there’s any connection here... Yet isn’t it funny how Michael’s ‘Ol Cronies keep showing up as the ex-Driver guest Stewards... As first it was his pal Damon Hill and then in Valencia it was “Heinz 57,” a.k.a. Heinz-Harald Frentzen... Who as the cheeky Will Buxton was quick to remind us of, Michael nipped Corina, his wife when she was Frentzen’s girlfriend!

And as Clyde just pointed out to Mwah; perhaps they got some Officials from the World Cup Referee’s crew, eh?

Webber’s Red Bull literally sprouts wings

So I’m not sure why... But ‘Aussie’s Mark Webber’s full somersault during the European Grand Prix at Valencia made me flash back to the ‘Uber-nasty looking multiple Barrel-rolls Jos “THE BOSS” Verstappen amazingly pulled off during his debutant Formula 1 race in Brazil way back in March, 1994... When the Rookie F1 driver was the recipient of ‘Irv-the-Swerve’s jinking maneuvers during a three-car ‘Scrum with a fourth back marker involved, as one; thankfully Jos was uninjured and two; the most hilarious part I recall ‘bout this is that after Eddie Irvine was given a One race ban and $10,000 fine for causing the accident. Eddie’s boss ‘EJ, nee Eddie Jordan appealed and Irvine’s ban was increased from one race to three... Although I recall the total duration being four, which cracks me up! As I think this was the last driver to be given a race suspension?

And I must say I was appalled by the Race Steward’s decision making Sunday, as what in the HELL is up with giving Lewis Hamilton a “Mulligan?” As that’s the very first time in a long while I’ve actually agreed with Fernando Alonso... On Hamilton’s illegal passing of the Safety Car not being enforced correctly!

And so now, Messer Webber’s walked away twice from pirouetting racing cars... As don’t forget that Webber was a passenger on Le Mans Mulsanne Straight in those multiple Barrel rolling Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR’s...

Was it really Lotuses 500th Grand Prix start?

This past weekend in Valencia, Spain, the reconstituted Lotus Racing celebrated its 500th Grand Prix start... To which I have to say, this is nothing more then a ‘PR (STUNT) exercise... As for me, Team Lotus died a miserable whimpering death back some sixteen years ago in the autumn of 1994, a dozen years after its founder Colin Chapman had passed away at the very tender age of 54.

Nevertheless, I applaud Tony Fernandes’s efforts as it’s enjoyable to see this venerable name back upon the F1 grid, albeit I’d assume the Team would rather focus upon the number 500 then Heikke Kovalainen’s setting up of Mark Webber, which sent the Red Bull chassis airborne!

And after all I suppose, just what’s in a name, eh? Since is Renault really Renault? As this is now majority owned by a Luxemburg firm GenII Capital, after The “Reggie” bought out the Benetton Family for the Enstone based squad that started its Formula One life as Toleman...

Not to mention that Mercedes Grand Prix is potentially Tyrrell, eh? As after Tyrrell became BAR, BAR Honda, then simply Honda before becoming BRAWN GP... Although I like to consider a Racing Team’s or Constructors claim to major milestones such as Lotuses come from consecutive starts without multiple year service breaks...

Why Valencia is Lotus’s 500th Grand Prix

Friday, June 25, 2010

May be Indy Car should stay away from the Northwest After all...

So I was absolutely blown away upon the outpouring of support for Team USA during Wednesday’s:”Do-or-Die” final first round intra-group match against Algeria... Having arisen at 5 BLOODY AM in order to arrive at the sleepy little Town’s Sportsbar by 6AM in order to obtain a seat; you’ve gotta be Joking, right? Oh no Sir, it’ll be filled-up by then as the ‘Regular’s come in for breakfast at 4:45AM; SHEISA!

Thus we entered the Sportsbar promptly at 6-BLEEPIN’ O’clock on the Dot to a completely empty establishment except for three elderly Gentlemen chewin’ the fat over cups ‘O coffee... Yet I have to give them credit as the one man said to us Deadpan; Oh, didn’t Y’all here? The games been cancelled due to Rain! And he said it so eloquently that you were hard pressed NOT to believe him... Before he pronounced; Just Kidding! Good one – Dude... As we sat there laughing to ourselves and pondering now just why in the HELL did we need to be here at 6AM? Although there was a reserved table for eight behind us and by 6:30AM the crowd of Football (Soccer) Fans began filtering in, as by Kickoff at 7AM it was standing room only and later on there would be even more people sitting on the floor everywhere around us... As we were simply locked into our seats!

The Fans were quite attentive, good natured and very vocal about what was occurring on every attack to ward’s our opponent’s goal... Even encouraging OLD Slick Willie to have a chat with FIFA’s President after our second disallowed goal due to questionable officiating...

And then in the 91st minute of the match, as we’d gone into the extra 4-minutes of stoppage time, Landon Donovan scored a zinger from six yards out and the Sportsbar simply ERUPTED! As the Big Screen TV we were directly situated in front of that had been blaring at me for 120+ minutes was completely drowned out by the Oblivious Fans for several minutes as everybody was simply DELIRIOUS with Joy; Jumping, Hooting ‘N Hollering over the improvable win once again by the “Cardiac Kids” of Team USA, who would advance to the second round of Sixteen in South Africa’s 2010 World Cup Tournament.

Meanwhile during the TV Pre-game build-up they showed crazed Soccer Fans at Seattle’s Atlantic City Pub whilst what I like to call “George and The Dragon,” a.k.a. George and Dragon, a British Pub also in Seattle was hosting another Mega viewing, showing the “Simulcast” matches of England vs. Slovenia and USA vs. Algeria, while our sleepy ‘lil Island Sportsbar also had a single “Tellie” tuned into England, which a lone voice yelled out in glee upon “His” Team’s score, as both England and USA won their decisive final Group C matches “One-Nil.” (1-0)

Couple this with the fact that the Seattle Sounders FC, co-owned by Drew “The Prices Right” Carry are leading the Major League Soccer (MLS) in Attendance for the second year in-a-row, regularly selling-out with 36,000+ Spectators, while the three Exhibition matches see crowds swelling towards 65,000+ at Qwest Field where the Seattle Seahawks are in quest of a winning season; YOUCH!

Then factor in that two ‘Cat’s named Steve ‘N Steve, as in Steve Nash and Steve Luczo of some entity now known as De Ferran Dragon Racing are co-owners of the 2011 MLS expansion Vancouver Whitecaps, with Drew Carry’s “Triangle ‘O Death” being completed by the MLS expansion Franchise Portland Timbers and Holy FOOTE-BALLS Batman! You’ve got quite the Sports base of Hungry Spectators to draw upon, or in Promoter lingo “Butts-in-Seats!”

So why all of the Hubbub over Soccer, eh? Whale as Y’all may be aware of by now, I’m simply Cornfuzed over why Indy Car continues to ignore the Pacific Northwest market, and more importantly why they seemingly refuse to return to Portland International Raceway... to which I recently asked Kevin Lee ‘bout on Trackside with Kevin ‘N Cavin, to which I was pleasantly surprised to hear Kevin read my email On Air...

And I admit I’m hard pressed to not become emotional over this quandary and perhaps don’t present my “Argument” correctly, as I find myself continuously trying to take-away the most over abused “Talking Point” of Low Attendance... To which I tried pointing out that Iowa is all snap-happy over drawing 40,000 Spectators... Of which Milwaukee sees a similar number I believe, while I’ll leave Homestead outta the mix...

As I’ve tried pointing out to Mr. Randy Bernard, the state’s of Washington and Oregon reportedly contain nearly 11 million bodies, as Washington alone reputedly ranks two places higher then Indiana in population numbers...

Obviously I cannot predict the regions buying habits, Demographics, etc, but I’d hazard a guess that being the home of Starbuck’s would seemingly fall into the target audience IZOD’s looking for? And if Mr. Bernard is true to his word about Tradition; AHEM! Portland’s certainly got that as you’ve seen my story title Portland’s Centennial several times now...

Yeah, I get-it, that there’s something called the Economy going on right now and Portland Int’l Raceway potentially doesn’t have a Promoter... Although I’d assume that the past Joes 200 presented by Budweiser race event Promoter Global Events Group is still situated in Oregon? And even if I can’t say they did a fantastic job, they weren’t horrible either...

As for loyal Fans, I can only relate to my “Groups” experience, as we had a yearly gathering of 8-12 people who went almost every year; most of us in the 20+ consecutive years category with our “Cub” attendee Randal joining us for somewhere between 12-15 events, as the CART race was traditionally Portland’s largest Single Day event for many years!

So I’ll say it again, if Indy Car can put on a good event, have more then a ‘Quiltwork patch group ‘O 17 competitors running in the ‘Big Show, decent support races or even better yet an American Le Mans Series – Indy Car Double Header! Along with giving the event sometime to grow, you could have another potential winner on your hands... Then again, Nah; may be the Indy Racing League is just holding a grudge against the Pacific Northwest for being ultimately loyal to CART and Champ Car for nearly 25yrs and Fans being upset over the IRL possibly taking away our event when bidding for another three year contract was under way during the Tony George era; which I seriously vowed to NOT renew my yearly 3-Day ticket for!

Now I’ve gotta go catch a bus to George ‘N The Dragon to see those amazing “Cardiac Kids” BEAT Ghana!

El Soundero!

Portland’s Centennial


Thursday, June 24, 2010

JJ Lehto injured in Boating accident

Whale perhaps Y’all have already heard this... But ironically as I was getting ready to partake another voyage upon one of our myriad of Washington State Ferryboat’s to one of our numerous Islands... Along with having had the opportunity to go on a Boat cruise the same day, as I awaited my departure I was shocked to hear the news that former Formula 1, ALMS and 24 Heurs du Mans winner JJ Lehto had been involved in a serious boating accident in his native Finland.

Apparently JJ Lehto and a friend were navigating a small Canal in Tammisare, South Finland at a very high rate of speed at 4AM in the morning and failed to thread the needle thru the Canal’s extremely small bridge opening, as Lehto’s Speedboat struck the bridges abutment, subsequently throwing both passengers into the water in which JJ was able to swim to shore, albeit having suffered a concussion and broken ribs, while his late friend succumbed to injuries...

A sad story in Finland

Thus was it really nearly 20yrs ago that I first became aware of the likeable Finnish racing driver Jyrki Juhani Jarvilehto, when I snapped a pic of JJ’s parked BMS Scuderia Italia F1 racecar at Phoenix, Arizona. And eerily Bob Constanduros noted how it was JJ who along with 16 other journalists were spotted in Shanghai getting their Visa’s extended when the F1 Circus was stranded in China due to the Iceland Volcano’s eruption, as Lehto has been serving as a TV Analyst for Finland’s MTV-3 station since 2001...

’JENSE; Gimmee My BRAWN!

Saw this over at the proverbial ‘Ol Salt’s site, where Marc of Full throttle... NO! NOT that peppy energy drinks stuff, nor site of future USGP promoter... Happened to spot that it wasn’t all ‘LUV ‘N KISSES upon Jenson button’s taking his No. 1 plate with him to rival competitor McLaren... As apparently BRAWN GP’s new parents Mercedes were unwilling to present the British racing driver with an example of his winning “BeeGee” (BGP01) chassis ant thus ‘JENSE had to sic his lawyers upon them in order to honor his contract...

Button’s leaving BRAWN GP not so cordial after all

Conor Daly going to Europe?

Whale apparently the youngster Conor Daly is not only crushing the competition in Star Mazda currently, but also is now finding his way into the Media’s attention, as I’ve now listened to him twice upon Autosport Radio and Speed Freaks...

Thus it was pretty entertaining to hear Statmann (of Speed Freaks) giving the 18yr old Noblesville, Indiana resident some “Stchick” over making his Old Man drive their rented RB home from Iowa on Father’s Day... Are you that big of a racing star now that you’re making your Dad drive for you? Statmann inquired; Hya! To which Conor replied; NO, I just don’t think he’d want me driving this big ‘Ol rig!

And apparently if you go to Messer Conor’s website, there some pictures of him rubbin’ elbows with Uncle Bernaughty at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, as the youngster confessed that his heart lay in racing in Formula 1 someday and he’d probably like to move onto GP3 next year in order to get his feet wet for the climb up the European ladder’s rungs hopefully into F1 in the near future after tackling GP3 and GP2. Although he’s still hopeful of making the Canadian Indy Lights rounds this July, pending securing the necessary funds...

And as the Freaks pressed him on why Scotty NOSE Speed and The Hamburgular, a.k.a Sebastian Bourdais had such difficulties lasting in Formula One you could hear ‘Ol Man Derek blisterin’ the RV’s tyres as they squealed in protest of the ex-Open Wheeler’s four wheel drifts...

While earlier on Autosport Radio Conor confessed that he wasn’t sure ‘bout having to pay his Dad to be his Manager... As Derek had already told him he wanted an Aston Martin; YIKES! Good For You Derek!

You can Check out the two interviews here:

Conor Daly: Autosport Radio interview

Conor Daly: Speed Freaks interview

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pictures from Circuit gilles Villeneuve

(2010 Canadian GP picture courtesy of Radu Repanovici)

NO! I didn’t get to latch onto the coattails ‘O Messer’s Derek ‘N Connor Daly... Nor hang out with Super Mario ‘N MuttonChops, Err EMMO, as in a one Mr. Mario Andretti and Emerson fittipaldi, all of whom were present during the Canadian Grand Prix recently held upon Il Notre Dam at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

And although I’ve never met Mr. Repanovici, (Radu) he previously sent a very nice email to the No Fenders Mailbag and thus, over a proverbial ‘wildHair... I inquired to see if I could get hold of some of his excellent photos and if he’d be attending this year’s Formula 1 race? Radu then in return sent me a bevy of very cool pictures of the F1 Circus in action, which you can check out more upon his website: My Racing

Kudos Radu!

F1: 2010 Canadian GP highlights

Round 8 of 19(Montreal, Canada: June 13, 2010)

Whale originally I had planned to resume my GP Reports after the Turkish Grand Prix, especially since I think it’s probably Herman Tilke’s best design effort to date and I especially enjoy Turn 8, which some clever F1 Aficionado has named the “Diabolica!” As this corner features the most uncharacteristic usage of four Apexes, or is that “A-pies?” Yet I just didn’t think it really was that brilliant of a race, as both Red Bulls and McLaren’s simply ran away and hid... Before Master “Zebb (Vettel) decided to jink into leader Mark Webber, subsequently gifting the victory to Lewis Hamilton with ‘JENSE (Button) in tow after they also tried to mimic the Red Bull Duo’s LUV-Tapping escapades...

Thus after a most disappointing cancellation of the Canadian Grand Prix, fortunately the most eloquent circuit rightfully returned to the Formula 1 calendar after a one year Sabbatical and I found it to be a much more entertaining event then Istanbul was.

And after all of the Talking Heads of the SPEED Broadcast crew agreed that the Option “Soft” tyre was absolute junk and there was simply NO way they’d go the distance, Lewis Hamilton confounded the experts by breaking the Red Bull Racing Duo’s monopoly upon Pole Position by snatching it in the waning moments of ‘Q3 final “Quallie” session on you guessed it! The option tyres... While Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel lined-up directly behind :JAGUAR” (Hamilton) on the Prime Hard rubber.

And there was the usual carnage on the opening lap of the race, as the “Back markers” made their desperate lunges to leap ahead, as Sauber’s Newboy “K-Squared” (Kamui Kobayashi) was once again caught up in another accident...

Meanwhile at the front, there became a most intriguing game of Leapfrog being played as Hamilton and Fredrico Suave (Alonso) pitted early to discard the Option tyres which were turned into rubbish quickly as Mark Webber assumed the lead and held it quite awhile, albeit with the McLaren’s and Alonso’s Ferrari nipping at his heals... While SPEED’s Pitlane Boy will Buxton proclaimed he’d been told by the Bridgestone Engineers there was simply NO way the tyres could last the races remaining 40 laps!

Then Webber was finally forced to pit to replace his toasted Prime rubber which in turn saw Hamilton resume the lead while ‘JENSE made a great pass upon Alonso who got balked momentarily by traffic, seeing the Woking Duo saunter home to a second 1-2 finish with Alonso settling for third... As I actually had a good laugh as Fernando was the victim of the FOX TV Boffins who chopped his portion of the Post-race interview due to time constraints... Yeah, that’s the ticket, as FOX SUCKS!

And how ‘bout those amazing SPEED Statisticians, eh? As Bob Varsha noted that Montreal’s podium featured three F1 World Champions upon it for the first time since the long forgotten ’91 USGP held in Phoenix, Arizona (sponsored ironically by ICEBERG!) when Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet driving respectively for McLaren, Ferrari and Benetton claimed the Podium’s three steps...

Also on hand from Yesteryear was ex-F1 Driver Emerson Fittipaldi as this week’s race Guest Steward...

Other Top 10 QualifiersP6) Vitantonio Liuzzi; Force India
P8) Robert Kubica; Renault
P9) Adrian Sutil; Force India

Other Point ScorersP7) Robert Kubica; Renault
P8) Sebastien Buemi; Scuderia Toro Rosso
P9) Vitantonio Liuzzi; Force India
P10) Adrian Sutil; Force India

(2010 Canadian GP picture courtesy of Radu Repanovici)

Race Drive of Montreal
I have to say that I along with the cameras seemed primarily focused upon the intense ‘Scrum for the lead with little attention being paid to the back half of the field... So I’m simply giving it to Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi for his fine eighth place finish along with his cousin Natacha Gachnang racing at LeMans this past weekend...

McLarenWhale McLaren certainly has put the kybosh upon Red bull simply running away with the Championship by sweeping to two consecutive 1-2 finishes during the past two races... As Hamilton’s seemed to have the edge over teammate button by having out qualified him along with winning the last two events to even their respective scores in the “W” colum as both Brit’s have now two victories apiece...

No. 1) J. Button: Q) 5th; R) 2nd
No. 2) L. Hamilton: Q) Pole; R) Winner
(Car No; Driver)
Name Q R
Button 3 3
Hamilton 5 5
(Head-to-Head Standings)

I have to admit I missed out on what ailed DER TERMINATOR, nee M. Schumacher from making Q3 for the first time this season? (I believe...) As the Seven Times World Champion seemingly had a miserable race and simply seemed out of his league for once if such a thing is possible? As Michael spent the entire race swerving, blocking ‘N banging wheels with his younger competitors whilst once again Nico finished ahead of Schuey in the points.

No. 3) M. Schumacher: Q) 13th; R) 11th (-1 lap)
No. 4) N. Rosberg: Q) 10th; R) 6th

Name Q R
Schumacher 2 2
Rosberg 6 6

Red BullAfter being just nipped by the young Louise for Pole Position, Webber was forced to take a five Grid spot penalty when his Team elected to change his Gearbox and thus started P7 instead, thus elevating Vettel into his starting spot alongside Hamilton.

Yet Vettel once again had some sort of Mechanical issue with his Gearbox, albeit he got the Radio call of the weekend when trying to give his Engineer “Rocky” a Heart attack when asking if he should go for Fastest lap? Negative, DON’T you even think about it... Bleep-bleep-bleep came the reply... That was funny stuff ‘Zebb! As the young German basically motored around to finish fourth while Webber’s late race stop for thrashed rubber saw him finish one place behind Vettel.

No. 5) S. Vettel: Q) 3rd; R) 4th
No. 6) M. Webber: Q) 2nd; R) 5th

Name Q R
Vettel 3 4
Webber 5 4

While Alonso had the much better race, I almost felt sorry for Felipe who musta thought he was playing the leading role in Groundhog Day? “I’ve got you Babe!” As Massa seemingly couldn’t extricate himself from the Force India duo, seemingly fighting them for a lowly tenth place points finish the entire event before once again colliding with ex-teammate Michael Schumacher and falling to 15th place... Then adding insult to injury, Felipe was assessed a 20-second time penalty for speeding in the pits after having rushed to have his nose replaced after his skirmish with Herr Schumacher! Yet the Team claims there’s a raft of updates coming for Valencia, so watch this space, eh?

No. 7) F. Massa: Q) 7th; R) 15th (-1 lap)
No. 8) F. Alonso: Q) 4th; R) 3rd

Name Q R
Massa 3 4
Alonso 5 4

(2010 Canadian GP picture courtesy of Radu Repanovici)
2010 NewBoyz
I haveda say the most impressive thing done by these three new Teams was the “Mega” rebuild effort the Lotus Boyz made on Friday during the second practice session when the “Scrumptious ‘Juan’s” Gearbox decided to try selecting two gears at once! As they rebuilt the back half of the car along with sorting the electrical gremlins and got him back out on track before the end of the session where Jarno simply went quicker then the Virgin’s who’d been pounding ‘round the whole practice!

Yet unfortunately it wasn’t to be Jarno’s weekend, as I recall Steve Matchett mentioning that the Lotus (No. 18) had a brake fire as it sat parked on the side of the road; YIKES! But “KOVY” (Kovalainen) had a very good race, even managing to hold off the second “Reggie” (Renault) of Vitaly Petrov for Top Honours of the NewBoyz in P16.

No. 18) J. Trulli: Q) 20th; R) Retired; Brakes (21st)
No. 19) H. Kovalainen: Q) 19th; R) 16th (-2 laps)

Name Q R
Trulli 4 3
Kovalainen 4 5

Hispania Racing
Another tough day for The Little Team that Can! As “Cowboy” Karun finished another race, winding up 18th, 4 laps behind while Bruno was forced to retire with Gearbox maladies, as SPEED’s Bob Varsha nicknamed the Indian Cowboy after he’d revealed his Mother is from San Antonio, Texas after the Austin, Texas 2012 USGP Shock announcement...

No. 20) R-Karun Chandhok: Q) 24th; R) 18th (-4 laps)
No. 21) R-Bruno Senna: Q) 22nd; R) Retired; Gearbox (23rd)

Name Q R
Chandhok 2 6
Senna 6 2

Virgin RacingUnbeknownst to Mwah was the fact that the Virgin Boyz made a staggering eight Pitstops to replace the quickly going off-the-boil Bridgestone tyres, as they’ve now done enough Pitstop practice for the following raced in Spain; as what’s that saying about Rain in Spain? Oh never mind... As Timo claims he was punted up the backside by Bruno Senna at the beginning of the race, which destroyed his racecar’s rear Downforce and effectively scuttled his race before ultimately retiring with a Steering rack leak. Teammate Di Grassi managed to limp home, albeit having to quit shifting as he suffered another hydraulic malady with 10-laps remaining...

No. 24) T. Glock: Q) 21st; R) Retired; Power Steering (20th)
No. 25) R-Lucas di Grassi: Q) 23rd; R) 19th (-5 laps)

Name Q R
Glock 8 4
Di Grassi 0 4

Q) = Qualifying;; R) = Race

This season I’m focusing upon what I’m referring to as the “Top-8;” McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, which I expect both the Drivers and Constructors Titles to be won by these select eight participants, yet the Q3 Pole Shoot-out and Points both go to the Top 10 Competitors, so I’ll also provide any names of Drivers who make the cut that don’t belong to the Top-8...

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Whale I haveda say I had mixed emotions watching today’s Iowa Cornfeast Indy Car race... And not because it was an Oval, but because it was on Father’s Day which for nearly a Quarter of a Century I spent celebrating at Portland International Raceway by watching first the Glory Dazes of CART and then later the last gasp efforts of Champ Car... Which I’ll keep chronicling until IndyCar rightfully returns to Portland, albeit I suspect it’ll never get its traditional Father’s Day date back, eh? But HELL! I just wanna Indy Car race that’s les then a day’s travel away... Oh Never Mind!

And even though today now moves a sad statistic one race further... I have to say it was pretty amazing how much I was shouting TONY-TONY-TONY! (Kanaan) Who hadn’t won a race in 34 events, since Richmond, 2008, another venue removed from the Indy Racing League’s calendar... Although it now means it’s been 51 Oval races since somebody other then AGR, Penske or TCGR has won; SHEISA! Can you say BORING? We Miss Yuhs Ed “Fuzzy” Carpenter, as wouldn’t that have been kOOL if Edwardo had beaten that Pesky Ryan Briscoe back in Kentucky last August...

And I guess it’s a good thing that we weren’t in Portland today? As its been another traditional Pacific Northwest weekend... As in what are Friday’s followed by? Two days ‘O RAIN! Aye Karumba! Although at least unlike Ovals, when the wet stuff comes down at PIR, they simply put on those treaded tyres and keep on rolling as the wheels on an IndyCar go round ‘N round at Portland!

But hey! At least Versus was kind enough to play a video snippet of ‘Ol Mario nipping son Mikey for a victory on Father’s Day at Portland International Raceway circa 1986...

Portland’s Centennial
So congrats to TK for following your Schnoz... As Toucan Sam sez; “Your Schnoz always knows!” Hmm? Perhaps I’m goin’ into the Wayback machine here, eh? As I’m afraid Mikey’s outfits gonna stay as AGR to me for a longtime as I just can’t get used to Andretti Autosport, while ironically the funniest part of the broadcast was the battling “Eathan-Nall” producers... Now pass me another piece ‘O corn, eh? As I even tried to buy some for this weekend’s BIG ‘Roundy-round race but all they had was white corn ‘N corn dogs!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The 700 Club (Con’t)

The Blue Flame

The Blue Flame
After Craig Breedlove’s record of 600.842mph had stood for nearly five years, Gary Gabelich aboard The Blue Flame, a 37 foot, three wheeler sled propelled by LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) and sponsored by the American Gas Association, (hence the name) broke Breedlove’s record with his own two way pass averaging 622.047mph on October 28, 1970. Ironically, Breedlove had been the Reaction Dynamics Inc. Company’s first choice but was turned down upon wanting to be paid too much. Drag racer Chuck Suba was the second choice, but perished in a drag racing accident, with Gabelich being the firm’s third choice.

Gabelich; of Croatian descent, was apparently a glutton for speed and severed his hand in a drag racing accident, before having it reattached, which ultimately ended his racing career, prior to perishing in a motorcycle accident in 1984.

And now I’m cornfused, thanks to le internets and ‘WICKEDpedia, which is reportedly correct(?) 69% of the time... As Gabelich’s record was either set upon October 23rd or 28th at an average speed of 622.047 or 630.389mph...

Budweiser Rocket car
As I’ve just learned recently, this most controversial rocket car was piloted by Stan Barrett, father of Stanton Barrett who Y’all recall contested the majority of the 2009 Indy Car championship for Team 3G. Interestingly, the project was put together to become the first vehicle to exceed the sound of speed on land, yet its December 17, 1979 single way run has been disputed ever since, as the USAF ground based radar inadvertently was tracking one of the teams support vehicles at 38mph instead. When the speed was later calculated at 739.666mph, there were many skeptics as no sonic boom was ever heard and the USAF is not a recognized agency for verifying land speed record attempts and thus, Gary Gabelich’s 1970 record remained the official recognized LSR.

Thrust 2
Interestingly, Richard Noble began his professional life as a paint salesman, but this proved a tad too slow for the Englishman, whom set out to build his very first LSR vehicle Thrust 1 in his own garage. The vehicle was a total wreck upon a crash during testing, when Noble flipped three times and then placed an “Advert” for a designer of a 650mph rocket car. The advertisement was met and John Ackroyd designed the Thrust 2, for which Noble secured a sum of $1.7m pounds sponsorship from a source of 200 British businesses.

Despite a series of setbacks, including another crash, Noble finally achieved his goal of beating Gabelich’s LSR record, when he obtained a two way pass averaging 633.468mph on October 4, 1983 at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Thrust SSC
Having been asked to give a presentation to the Castrol board, who had sponsored his Thrust 2 project; Richard Noble was informed that Castrol would be more then willing to help fund his next project, ultimately known as the Thrust SSC, in deference to its quest to officially break the sound of speed on land.

Thrust SSC cutaway

This behemoth, at 54 feet long and 12 feet wide, weighed a staggering 10.5 tons and was propelled by two Rolls Royce Spey 202 turbofan jet engines, used to power the F-4 Phantom II jet fighter. These engines were rated at 20,000lbs thrust apiece, while two even more powerful Spey 205 engines with a thrust rating of 25,000lbs apiece were used for the LSR attempt on the Black Rock Desert.

And I recall being most captivated towards this stunning attempt way back in 1997, when it became a media circus involving the ‘BLOODY BRIT’S vs. us Yank’s, as a British cohort continuously kept me abreast of the “Heated” action in the Desert, whilst Craig Breedlove’s under developed (underfinanced?) single engine Spirit of America rocket car took on the might of the twin engine Thrust SSC. (Think this wasn’t serious stuff? As SSC stands for Supersonic!)

Yet, looking back on it now, I’d say that Breedlove never had a BLOODY chance, as the Thrust SSC was amazingly engineered, taking some four years of research and development before actually tackling the record.

And part of this dynamic challenge, besides the aerodynamics, of transitioning from subsonic to supersonic speed, included trying to figure out what would happen in this critical transonic range, as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was used to predict the vehicles aerodynamic shape.

And the Thrust SSC certainly didn’t lack for horsepower, as the two Rolls Royce jet engines provided the horsepower of 1,000 Ford Escorts or 145 Formula 1 race cars, no, it was more a matter of keeping the beast projected in a straight line and also keeping it tethered to mother earth.

For these unique requirements, two solutions evolved. The first being rear steering, as the packaging constraints physically didn’t allow for front wheel steering components, thus leading to the decision to use rear steer. To advert the fears of this most unusual steering arrangement, a vintage Mini Cooper was built to scale with the novel rear steering solution and tested at speeds of up to 90-100mph, in which it was learned that the vehicle stayed perfectly straight.

For keeping the vehicles attitude perfectly aligned at all times, Jeremy Bliss was given the task of Systems Designer and utilized his Lotus F1 Active Suspension experience, from the days of the Lotus 99T, driven by Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell, which had since become banned, with Bliss developing this technology for the Thrust SSC.

And thus the showdown between the Thrust SSC and Spirit of America finally commenced in the fall of 1997 in Gerlach, Nevada, with the events being reported daily, as the two teams were racing against the clock, to make history and become the very first to break the sound barrier on land. Although Breedlove was at the controls of his challenger, Richard Noble had deferred chauffeuring duties to and active RAF pilot named Andy Green, who’s “Day Job” was Flying F-4U Phantom II’s...

And Noble’s plan for eclipsing the sound barrier was a methodic approach as Green steadily worked up to speed, finally laying down a blistering run that shattered Nobles’ 14 year land speed record, by going an amazing 714mph on October 13, 1997.

Yet like many attempts before, the supersonic attempt would take a little longer, as regulation require that the two way pass be completed with no longer then one hour between turnaround, of which the team wasn’t able to accomplish after having overshot the finish of the Thrust SSC’s first run.

But on October 15, 1997, one day after the 50th Anniversary of Chuck Yeager’s breaking the sound barrier aboard the Bell XB1, (10/14/47) RAF Squadron Commander Andy Green did the unthinkable, completing a two way pass, within the regulations and sonic booms being heard on both north and south passes and was recognized with the following land speed record of 763.035 mph. (1227.986 km/h)

The Future
Ironically, once again there appears to be a possible rematch of Yanks vs. Brits in the desert, as there are currently two new projects in the works; the North American Eagle project and the Bloodhound SSC project.

North American Eagle

It was the North American Eagle which inspired this story, as Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen actually saw the team’s transporter on the Freeway near Stanwood, WA on one of her various jaunts upon the Interstate-5 “SuperSlab.” (Highway) This led to my checking out the team’s website and hopefully one of these days I’ll actually become a Team 800 Member...

The NAE “Streamliner” is an interesting vehicle, comprising of an ex-F-104 Starfighter fighter jet, propelled by a overly thirsty, oil sucking variant of the ageless GE J-79 jet engine, reportedly consuming 40 gallons per minute at idle, 80 gallons per minute at 100% Military and a whopping 90 gallons of jet fuel per minute in full military “GO!” mode, a.k.a. afterburner lit...

Meanwhile, Richard Noble has previously announced his latest endeavor, known as the Bloodhound SSC, the Thrust SSC’s predecessor and perhaps named in deference to that legendary sleuthsayer Sherlock Holmes? As Noble hopes to make the Bloodhound SSC become the very first vehicle to exceed 1,000mph, which is also the goal of the North American Eagle...

North American Eagle Project

Bloodhound SSC Project

Yet the question remains: Do Y’all wanna see this type of futuristic Buck Rodgers-mobiles slicing their way around the venerable Brickyard? Or perhaps simply follow the trajectory of the modern day Gladiators from their annoyingly distracting array of coloured lights? Or should we simply progress forwards in incremental steps and continue the tradition of Open Wheel Racing into the 22nd Century?

What Really Is the story behind Project Delta Wing?

You Make the Call!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The 700 Club

NO! It’s NOT the 700 club y’all are thinking about… As I’m not sure what that NUT BALL is up too?
So while Y’all are still basking in the Afterglow of that Great Spectale, I thought I’d just finally post this story which has been percolating for quite some time... As after all it’s semi-related to that ICONIC Delta Wang thingy, right? As I for one truly hope that Indy Car does NOT choose to unleash that ABOMINATION as it’s chassis of the future upon us!

And thus, without further ado, here’s a look at some of the previous attempts made to break the Land Speed Record, (LSR) although I suppose you could question just when does a vehicle purpose built for this unique style of racing no longer become ultimately considered an automobile? Since the majority of the top speed records have all come courtesy of jet powered rocket cars.

Interestingly, early records did not recognize any Rail or Water speed marks, as the steam powered locomotive wasn’t beaten until 1906, with the earliest record for the flying mile being published in 1898 with a speed of 39.24mph set in France with an electric vehicle.

The 100mph barrier wasn’t broken until July 21, 1904, when France’s Louis Rigolly, driving a Gobron Brillié in that year’s Gordon Bennett Cup went 103.56 mph (166.66 km/h) in Ostend, Belgium.

Frank Lockhart – Stutz Blackhawk Special

Meanwhile, the compact sands of Daytona Beach had become the ideal locale for land speed record attempts, with 15 records being set between 1905-35, as speeds continuously climbed faster and faster, with 200mph being exceeded on March 29, 1927 at Daytona Beach and 300mph on “September 3, 1935 at the Bonneville Salt Flats, as the Daytona Beach (Road Course) had become too small to host these dizzying speeds. Sadly, 1926 Indy 500 rookie winner Frank Lockhart lost his life 80+ years ago in an ill-fated LSR attempt on the Beach in his Stutz Blackhawk Special.

Resuming after the interruption of World War II, the FIA was finally forced to recognize the advent of rocket powered “sleds,” when Craig Breedlove’s 408mph “pass” caused major controversy. From the original 1898 record acknowledged by the Automobile Club de France (ACF) thru 1962 records kept by multiple International agencies, all speeds had been obtained by automotive engine wheel driven vehicles and Breedlove’s record of 408.312mph originally wasn’t recognized by the FIA on two accounts. One, it was of only three wheels and Two; wasn’t wheel driven, i.e.; the rocket propulsion wasn’t turning any of the ground based wheels thru its axles. Yet the FIA was finally forced to relent since the public was oblivious to their current regulations and a new absolute land speed record class was created for 1963 – onwards.

Sir Malcolm CampbellThis Englishman was a motoring journalist and the first person to be officially recognized with having exceeded 150, 250, 275 and 300mph, along with setting a mark of nine world land speed records, with three at Pendine Sands and five at Daytona Beach. Sir Malcolm holds the distinction of being the final person to set a speed record at Pendine Sands, a seven mile beach on the south coast of Wales. This was the very last recorded European record set, while Campbell also is credited with the final LSR recorded on the sands of Daytona Beach.

Campbell, whose versatility included records both on land and water, was the first person to exceed 400mph in one of his many vehicles named Bluebird, when the wheel driven vehicle set a speed of 403.135mph in Australia, but was disappointed to not have beaten Breedlove’s record speed.

Craig BreedloveMost likely when you think of the Bonneville Salt Flats, Craig’s name immediately comes to mind... As the Los Angeles “So-Cal” native is renowned for his handful of Land Speed Records, having become the first man to break the 400, 500 and 600 miles per hour speed barriers in his assortment of Spirit of America rocket powered vehicles, having claimed the world speed record a staggering five times.

Spirit of America-1

In the late 1990’s, Breedlove had hoped to become the first person to exceed the sound barrier on land in his battle against the British Thrust SSC, but after experiencing a harrowing crash on his first run in 1996, at approximately 675mph, when his crew misinterpreted wind conditions, with Craig being caught in a gust of 15mph, throwing Breedlove into a violent spin and subsequent crash, major repairs were required.

In ’97, Breedlove returned, but after experiencing a major engine malfunction, which I seem to recall was due to faulty wiring of the engine’s after burner and then a loose bolt destroyed their back-up engine, the Spirit of America camp was never able to recover, ultimately packing up an going home.

Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe

Breedlove is also credited with setting multiple USAC class records for an AMC AMX in the late 1960’s. Yet strangely, none of the record books seem to acknowledge his multitude of speed records set aboard one of America’s all time BADDEST ASS racing cars, the Daytona Cobra coupe... As Breedlove set 23-25 USAC class records aboard CSX2287 in November, 1965, with the funniest part about these records being that Breedlove spun the Daytona at 200+ mph, as he wasn’t accustomed to going so SLOW! As there’s a great account of this in another hard to find book; Pete Brock’s Daytona Cobra Coupes...

Art Arfons
This Akron, Ohio resident is best known for his series of “Green Monster” land speed vehicles, as Arfons held the world land speed record a total of three times during his fiercely fought battles with Breedlove between 1964-65 as the two drivers swapped the record a total of seven times, before Arfons gave up in 1966 in order to concentrate upon tractor pulling contests instead.

Arfons was inducted into the 2008 International Motorsports Hall of Fame just three days after his passing at the age of 81. (December 3, 2007)

Land Speed Records: 1898-2005

To continue reading, see: The 700 Club (Con't)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Swiss Misses invade Le Sarthe

(Matech Competition Ford GT1 at Silverstone; Source:

While the Indy Car media is still awash in ‘DannaWho’s resplendent return to leading Diva status... And Simona-Simona (De Silvestro) continues to show her amazing resilience after her Texas Barbeque fiasco... Upon watching the Saturday morning portion of SPEED’s Le Mans 24hr race coverage, I managed to catch Andrew Marriott doing a “Bit” about the all Swiss trio of Femme Fatales driving the No. 61 Ford GT.

And although I’d earlier recognized ex-FIL competitor Cyndie Allemann listed as one of the Matech Competition’s LMGT1 pilot’s, I was unaware that the Team had opted for the all Swiss female driving trio, which also features Rahel Frey and Natacha Gachnang.

Even more impressive is the fact that Gachnang is hobbling around the Pits on crutches after breaking her leg in a nasty accident earlier this year. Ironically the 22yr old Natacha’s cousin is Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 racer Sebastian Buemi, and she broke her leg in two places at the Yas Island circuit on the same day as Buemi was enduring his massive double Front wheel failure in Shanghai!

Then Messer Marriott elaborated on the fact that ten Females had contested Le Mans way back in 1935 to which Leigh Diffey quickly quipped; were you at that race Andrew? To which the elder Marriott replied over the guffawing that he could report that nine of the ten ladies were from Britain driving MG’s...

Unfortunately, Matech Concepts, the parent company of the Swiss team's Matech Competition’s beautiful Ford GT's, selected by Ford as its European Ford GT racecar Developer, ceased operations in 2011...

Montreal Melodies

Whale that certainly was a way better race then Turkey, eh?

And there’s just too DAMN much to scribble ‘bout as always... So I’m hoping to have a Formula 1 and Le Mans recap written up shortly... As I realize it’s been a little while since my last riveting F1 Race Report...

Yet SPEED seemingly got great mileage outta Canada’s Pamela Anderson having been on hand during the last Grand Prix on Il Notre Dam in 2008, when I’m still convinced that Lewis Hamilton purposely rammed the Kimster as Messer’s Raikkonen and the young “Louise’s” pal Robert Kubica sat parked at the end of the Pit lane at the Red light that Kimi quickly pointed out to Hamilton as they walked away from the wreckage...

As this would ensure BMW Sauber’s one and only F1 victory, along with The Krakow Kid’s (Kubica) maiden GP victory, enroute leading then teammate “Quick Nick” Heidfeld home for a record 1-2 finish for the ex-Peter Sauber racing team.

And recall it was Circuit Gilles Villeneuve where Kubica had his nasty looking accident when his BMW F1.07 went airborne and splintered into a massive amount of debris in which the Pole was fortunate to walk away with only a sprained ankle and mild concussion! For which some Teenager named Vettel made his Grand Prix debut at the following weeks final USGP at Indianapolis as Kubica’s substitute. After having been fined for speeding in the Pit lane during Friday practice, the 19yr old German then simply went on to score his maiden GP point by finishing eighth.

And speaking of Hamilton, the Brit claimed his first Pole Position of the season and broke the Red Bull’s stranglehold upon P1, as it was Lewis’s 18th Pole in only his 61st race start...

Meanwhile it appears that NONE of those furry critters were harmed during this weekend’s “KuhNaidiun” GP production!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

F1 moves to FOX, Celebrities mingle in Montreal

This is the portion of the Formula 1 calendar I DESPISE the MOST! When we get the DUMBED DOWN FOX Broadcasts for four races... Beginning this weekend at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, when we’ll get an even more Butchered 2hr broadcast; URGH!

As recall how FOX masterfully decided to NOT show Lewis Hamilton’s Post-race interview upon his maiden Grand Prix victory; OOPS! Aye Karumba!

Meanwhile a little Birdie tells me that Mario Andretti will be on the Il Notre Dam grounds this weekend, along with the Daly’s, as in Derek and son Connor, who currently leads the Star Mazda Championship.

And while Connor claims he’s merely in Montreal to “Rub Elbows” with the F1 Teams and get his name out there; the younger Daly also mentioned on Autosport Radio how he’s hopeful of potentially pulling off a Deal to run the Canadian rounds of the Indy Lights series upcoming in Toronto and Edmonton this summer...

Also of interest, it was nearly 32yrs ago that Bobby Rahal was making his second and final Formula One start in the Canadian Grand Prix on the Il Notre Dam on October 8, 1978, driving for Walter Wolf. Yet Rahal retired with Fuel system maladies on lap 16.

And as I’ve just scribbled ‘bout in F1: Racing Legends invading Anderstorp; Jean-Pierre Jarier who was filling in for the recently departed ‘Swede Ronnie Peterson, started the race from Pole aboard his Lotus 79 Cosworth and was leading handedly before an Oil leak force him to retire... Which enabled then Canada’s favoured Son Gilles Villeneuve to miraculously score his maiden Grand Prix victory behind the wheel of a Ferrari, which would later become the famous No. 27.

Meanwhile Riccardo Patrese, back from his forced one race ban finished fourth and a relative newcomer named Derek Daly scored one point for his sixth place finish behind the wheel of Mo Nunn’s Ensign N177 Cosworth racecar...

Three year old Beaver

Yo Kenny Sargent; pull YOUR mind outta the gutter!

Watching SPEED’s Friday Practice session of the Formula 1 ‘Lad’s traipsing round Il Notre Dam, which simply MUST be part of the Grand Prix season... Messer Bob Varsha noted a peculiar “furry” critter watching the action up close ‘N personal, having gotten FREE Admission to the venue, eh?

As Varsha noted it looks like some sorta Beaver? Which immediately made me think back to Professor Matchett’s favourite F1 Team; Whale Ok, Steve’s third favourite Team fondly known as “Super Best Friends,” nee Super Aguri, where the Driver known as ‘ANT, a.k.a. Anthony Davidson proclaimed on SPEED that he’d actually struck one of those Marmot characters with his Front wing!

Canadian Beaver

Vintage Corvettes Le Mans reunion

While I’m occasionally reminded about the Indy Racing Leagues Dentist-Racer Dr. Jack Miller, I’ve forgotten that there once was a driver nicknamed “The Flying Dentist,” a.k.a. Dr. Dick Thompson from our Nation’s Capitol, nee Washington, DC.

As Mr. Thompson was reunited with his 1960 No. 2 Corvette he raced at Le Mans half a century ago during the American Le Mans Series outing at Laguna Seca this past May, where three vintage Corvette Le Mans racecars were displayed.

As part of this year’s Pre-race 24 Heurs du Mans festivities, a gaggle of 50 ‘Vette’s will participate in Parade lap duty, with the American Sports car armada being led by 92yr old John Fitch, behind the wheel of his 1960 No. 3 class winning ‘Vette! As two of the three car Briggs Cunningham entry that he took to France as baggage aboard a luxury liner still survive today 50yrs later...

A Reunion of Le Mans Corvettes as New Version Heads to France

And speakin’ of Corvettes at LeMans... Shouldn’t you be watchin’ the Race right now?

LE MANS: Wall to Wall Coverage...