Friday, August 13, 2010

Great Balls ‘O Fire

Why of course that title naturally makes me think of Johnny Cash’s song: The Ring of Fire, not to mention the allegedly great Jerry Lee Lewis…

Thus, having completed The Mechanic’s Tale a decade after its release early last September, I noticed that one point the resplendent author, a one Professor Steve Matchett is NOT shy at all about lambasting the decision of re-introducing mid-race refueling back into Grand Prix’s by stating NO less the idiocy of it!

Interestingly, Matchett goes on to remind the reader of some of the incidents occurring due to re-fueling such as;

1994
Hockenheim, the most documented race refueling incident, where six of Matchett’s buddies were flown by Helicopter to Hospital for burn injuries, whilst rear Jack man Steve Matchett peeled away his smoldering uniform after having briefly been on fire.

1995
Screaming into the radio that one of the Jordan’s “DONE BLOWN-UP!” whilst witnessing the fireball engulfing Eddie Irvine’s chassis during the midst of a Benetton pit-stop for Herr Schumacher

1996
The Argentine GP when Pedro diniz’s Ligier spun out of control after gushing fuel from the unsealed fuel tank inlet spewed over the rear wheels before igniting the red hot engine and catching the car on fire.

Thus, I can safely assume that Messer Matchett will be most relieved to see that this lunacy has come to an end for the time being, even if under the guise of cost cutting, as it’ll surely make the sport safer.

Yet, I have to say I was somewhat bemused to hear Matchett changing tact on a previous Wind Tunnel episode prior to the end of Twenty-oh-Nine, where said Professor actually totally reversed his opinion; now safely ensconced in the Charlotte, NC Studios of SPEED TV, and admitting that it’ll actually make the F1 Show dramatically duller…

As for myself, it seems like a million years ago – when I began watching the Formula One circus way back when they were NOT refueling the race cars during a Grand Prix and just how immensely fortunate the FIA has been to escape this period of 15 years (1994-2009) without any deaths or serious injuries directly related to the practice of mid-race refueling…

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