Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HOO-RAH! Edmonton IndyCar race Resuscitated...

I would just like to second Steph’s “Shout-Out” to Team Oh KanaDuh’s Mike Cockrill’s tireless efforts to keep Edmonton’s Indy Car race alive! As take it from Mwah; Once ‘Dar GONE! They rarely come back... Although I’m still entitled to dream that one day IndyCarz will see the light and RETURN to Portland International Raceway...

IndyCar – Edmonton Return Makes Headway
I mean, Yuhs DON’T think I went all the Bleepin’ way to Edmonton in the middle of summer just to visit the city – do Yuhs?
Kudos Mike!

Blogger Night – 2010 Edition

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Sarah Fisher hangs up Helmet...

I heard on Trackside with Kevin ‘N Cavin last Wednesday evening that Sarah Fisher would be making an announcement today... Which I suppose shouldn’t be overly shocking, albeit a bit sad... As Juan ‘O her biggest fans THE ‘DAWG is probably making a Kleenex run rights now down at his nearest DG, eh?

Today Sarah Fisher announced her retirement as an Indy Car driver in order to focus solely upon her Co-Ownership role of Sarah Fisher Racing (SFR) and instead will hand over the driving duties of her team’s No. 67 Dallara/Honda racecar to fellow Hoosier Ed Carpenter.

Carpenter will contest a 9-race campaign for title sponsor Dollar General in 2011 beginning on the Streets of St Pete and ending at the season finale – most likely in “Los Wages,” (Los Vegas) Nevada.

Festival of Scotch Shots: Sarah Fisher Retires, Ed Carpenter Joins Team

I’ve been aboard the Sarah Fisher train since late ’07... Especially since NOT being a fan ‘O you know danica-FO-manica who’s! As Sarah’s always been a cut ABOVE Dan-Dan-Daniker... And my strongest memory will always be the ’08 Indy 500 when we ALL pitched in to help Sarah survive that Month ‘O May! Good luck Sarah and Thanxs for the memories – especially NEVER pullin’ a princess-perma-POUT!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Star Studded Shane Hmiel Fund-raiser slated as Kick-off to upcoming 2010 IMUS event

I heard ‘bout this last Tuesday on Autosport Radio – when Don Kay’s guest were Conor Daly & “the race gIRL,” (Monica Hilton) as Don mentioned the following during his introduction;

On Tuesday, November 30th at Jillian’s in Downtown Indianapolis... There will be a fund raising benefit for Shane Hmiel that is open to the public from 7-11 PM ET and includes auctions and sales of apparel. In addition Jillian’s will donate 10% of all food/beverage sales during the appointed hours to the Shane Hmiel Recovery Fund.

Obviously the event is just one of many to help Shane in his long and costly recovery, as the Jillian’s event will feature multiple USAC Drivers on-hand to sign autographs and mingle with the public.

For those of us who cannot attend the event, you may wish to check out the link below and then click upon the Donation link inside...

IMIS and Jillian’s of Indianapolis to Host Shane Hmiel Benefit

Friday, November 26, 2010

My, that sure is a nice Watch you have Bernie...

Ah, nothing to lift the spirits a ‘Wee bit when you’re fighting a cold on a Holiday weekend then to discover the news that Uncle Bernaughty has been mugged! As the four assailants forced Bernard and his girlfriend Fabiana Flosi to hand over $314,000 in jewelry – whilst Ecclestone went to hospital to have an injury tended to, as he received a bump on the head... It’s only a flesh wound! Now what was that Bernie said ‘bout ‘JENSE being confused in Sao Paolo as they were probably just asking for his autograph...

Racing boss Bernie Ecclestone violently mugged for £200,000 of jewellery outside his business HQ

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Can another Racing Season already be over?

So it seems somewhat hard to realize another Racing Season has literally come to a close... As Autumn, Err Fall – or is ‘Dat Old Man Winter as its just been Snowin’ here in Seattle... With the cooler climes having taken over from those much warmer days ‘O summer; as Pigskins have replaced those multiple majik ring thingies and the IndyCar Season Finale in Homestead seems like a zillion years ago...

As I first had the thoughts above about how can it already be over? When watching the majority of the Penultimate (twin-races) round of the 2010 World Superbikes (WSBK) season way back on September 26th, which was fun to watch as my favourite WSBK rider Carlos “the Bull” Checa won both rounds in San Marino, Italy! This was especially refreshing as Race-1 saw a clean sweep of the Podium by Ducati riders, with Checa being followed home by an unknown rider to Mwah: Lorenzo Lanzi followed by a surprising finish from Nitro Nori, (Noriyuki Haga) taking the podium’s final step.

Race-2 saw Checa simply motor away whilst once again Noriyuki Haga put in another Gritty ride to be runner-up with none other then Cal Crutchlow third.

Thus what better place for Italian Massimiliano “Max” Biaggi to clinch his inaugural World Superbike Crown then on Home soil... As it seemed somewhat fitting that I’d earlier posted a picture of his zoomy Al Italia Aprilia RSV4 ‘Scooter, as I simply like its paint scheme... And I guess it ain’t too shabby of a Motorcycle either, eh?

The Doctor is Out! Aprilia Romps

Then in the season finale - Cal Crutchlow, who’s replacing Ben Spies at Tech 3 Twah Yamaha for the 2011 MOTO GP season, appropriately won round 1 before Max Biaggi claimed the series final race (round 2) and capped his Championship with his tenth victory, while ensuring Aprilia won the Manufacturer’s crown...

Of course this was before watching the IndyCar Season Finale from Homestead Speedway – Y’all remember ‘Dat? As October 2nd seems like a long time ago... As the results basically took the wind outta my sails, since I was so intently hoping for the “Toowoomba Toranadoe,” nee Will Power to capture his inaugural Indy Car Series Crown, which wasn’t to be. (Nor did my other ‘Aussie Mr. Shrimp Barbie Webber seal the deal either...) As Dario “REO Speedwagon” claimed his third Championship and took home the Naked Man on a Unicycle Champion’s trophy.

INDYCAR: Homestead Thriller – Sorta, NOT!

And it seemed pretty weird sitting down to watch the Penultimate round of the MotoGP Championship and see “Cap’t kOOL!” (Ben Spies) crash out on the “Sighting” lap, (Parade lap) crashing hard and dislocating his left ankle; unable to start the race! (As I don’t even remember who won?)

Then after the disappointing Brazilian Grand Prix outcome – which I guess turned out to be a good thing for Master ‘Zebb, eh? I watched with amusement as three MotoGP World Champions battled for victory in the Season Finale at Valencia. As brand new Diamond-encrusted World Champion George Lorenzo ran down Casey Stoner for his ninth victory of the season, with Stoner runner-up and The Doctor, a.k.a. Valentino Rossi third.

I say Diamond-encrusted as Lorenzo was sporting a snazzy new glistening helmet glittering in the sunlight – as the $12k crash bucket was festooned with real diamonds! Which I guess was fitting as it was Lorenzo’s inaugural victory in Spain – further punctuated by his record setting 383 point tally.

Yet even more impressive was Ben Spies’s romp to an excellent fourth place finish while riding with his gimpy ankle – Take ‘Dat Vince Young; Hya! (OH GAWD! DON’T ANYBODY tells George Phillips that I’m a Titans Fan; CRIKEYS!)

Of course the racing universe righted itself by Sebastian Vettel claiming his fifth W of the year enroute to becoming the sports youngest ever World Champion... And now its time for a winter’s slumber, eh?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Snowbound in Seattle...

Yeah, when it SNOWS here, our city comes to a virtual standstill... As we’ve been in a Winter Storm Advisory for the past 24+ hours – with a light dusting of the white stuff Sunday before the arctic winds from Oh KanaDuh socked the Northwest with a further chilly dosing ‘O snow...

Snow, below freezing temperatures in the Northwest
So what better way to sit-out the snow then by watchin’ the V8 Supercars from Down Under, Eh! As the tape-delayed action I was watching was actually from Tasmania – at the Symmons Plains circuit; as somebody named Marcos “Taszy” Ambrose was doing the show intro’s from sunny, warm Florida...

And I haveda say that the Aussie Supercarz remind me a lot of the good ‘Ol Trans Am dazes – when the Big-3, nee Ford, Chevy and Dodge battled it out mightily on the road circuits of North America...

Although I was caught off guard by the Pre-race banter when somebody said there’s still 900-points on the table; CRIKEYS! As I’ve just learned that a win equals 150-points; with six rounds remaining. (As of this episode on SPEED)

The other thing that surprised me was that the teams do a 2-tyre change where they swap the right rear with the left front; as the front tyre takes the least loading during a stint, as it was mentioned the two corresponding tyre’s had a 30-degree temperature difference. (Celsius? 60 vs. 90...)

Thus the first round saw the two Championship protagonists James Courtney and Jamie Whincup start side-by-side, albeit Whincup finished ahead, thus trimming Courtney’s lead from 71-points to 41-points after Race 1. Then it got really crazy as Courtney’s lead was wiped out when he was given a Drive-thru penalty for “Avoidable” contact – dropping back to 22nd whilst waiting to serve his Stop-Go penalty after the Safety Car came in.

This placing, along with title rival Jamie Whincup vaulting up to fifth place saw Courtney drop 19-points behind Whincup. But then Jamie had to make a late race Pitstop – having not gotten a full fuel load due to a fuel rig malady... Which saw Whincup end the race behind Courtney in 15th, while James rebounded to P12 and took back over the points lead by 50 markers! Cornfuzed? As I think that’s a 121-point swing, eh?

As there’s now one race with two rounds left and Courtney has bolstered his lead to 53-points over Whincup – so who’ll win the title? You make the Call!

Meanwhile, what better Nightcap then the History channel’s relaunching of the American version of Top Gear then Tanner Foust racing Downhill Skiers in an All-wheel drive “Mister-Bitchy” Lancer Evo, eh? Hmm – perhaps Tanner can give me a lift in this white stuff, Yuhs think? (Although that wasn’t the episode I watched...(

Storm barrels through Northwest as travel ramps up

Monday, November 22, 2010

Double Vision?

(James Bond Aston Martin DB5; Source: speed.com)

As Y’all may know? I got up at 4:30AM (Pacific) in order to watch the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – and a funny thing occurred. When I watched it LIVE the first time, during the Post-race interviews I SWEAR they talked to all three drivers; as Lewis Hamilton was brief, but ‘JENSE gave a long answer replete with sponsor plug...

Yet when I watched the race for a second airing, when SPEED replayed the race in the afternoon – for reasons unknown; they felt compelled to cut OUT both McLaren drivers’ comments... Did anyone else notice this? What Gives SPEED!

Then I bumped into this somewhat quirky titled story in my local fish wrap...

F1 in 2011 needs more show, less hype
“Give the drivers push-button rockets, give them tire-slashing blades like the ones on James Bond's Aston Martin. Give them something, anything, to make Formula One more interesting next season. Please.”

And speakin’ of Bond, did Y’all see what Mr. Connery’s Goldfinger Auston Martin DB5 fetched in a recent auction?

James Bond DB5 Sells For $4.6M

‘Stattman calls out Tomaso on Speed Freaks

So two Sunday night’s ago (11/14) whilst listening to another episode of Duh Freaks! (Speed Freaks) I decided to fire off another email to hopefully enlighten ‘Stattman who’d been giving Crash Gladys constant grief over some ex-Home Team Basketball game – where a certain Indiana establishment got blown-out eighty sommethung tooze twenty-one? Thus I fired off the very brief email in regards to Stattman having trouble with who the second Formula 1 driver was to vault from third-to-first in the Drivers Points Standings in the season finale; (having gleaned this info from the SPEED broadcast...)

Yo ‘Stat,
The first F1 Driver to vault from 3rd to 1st in the final race was your friend ‘N Citroen Junior Rally Team driver The Iceman – Err, the Kimster, nee Kimi Raikkonen in 2007...

Oh yeah, somebody named Fernando LOST the title that year too... As he ‘N Lewis Hamilton finished 1-point BEHIND Kimi...

Thus, I was blown away again when immediately after the commercial break I’d sent the note – Kenny Sargent went into a brief diatribe ‘bout Sebastian Vettel ‘N Formula One before proceeding to read my email live “On Air!” To which I thought I heard Crash say “I LUV ‘DAT GUY...” Whilst Kenny got hammered by Crash on pronouncing Citroen – saying Uze better watch out for Mister Correction; Hya!

Thus ‘Stattman then went on a long ramble and threw tomaso’s name into his rant twice more – saying You’d better watch out Tomaso... “I’m Coming to Get You!” so it was pretty funny SHIT! Which I guess was my reward for listening to the entire episode, eh?

Friday, November 19, 2010

F1: Paddock Notes – November 19th Edition

Lotus racecar; Source: adamcooperf1.com)

Another stab at taking a very brief spin around the Formula 1 Paddock - news ‘O late...

Lotus goes Black...
A seemingly small snippet announced during the Abu Dhabi weekend’s Grand Prix run-up was the announcement that current Lotus Racing entity will sport the iconic black & gold livery beginning in 2011. As this famous colour scheme caused quite a sensation originally as John Player special’s during the heydays of Team Lotus with such drivers as Mario Andretti, Ronnie Peterson and Ayrton Senna, while there’s still NO word on who’ll be the next Lotus Team on the F1 grid next season...

Lotus Racing revives black and gold livery in 2011

Murussia nabs Virgin
Russian Car-maker Murussia Motors has bought a significant stake in Virgin Racing and the team will become Murussia Virgin Racing beginning in 2011, whilst I was unaware that Murussia has been an associate sponsor of the team this year...

Vettel keeping busy
In case you’re wondering if Master ‘Zebb has embarked upon his World Champion tour yet? I spotted this news blurb ‘bout how Messer Vettel will be rackin’ up some frequent flyer mileage... Unless he’s traveling first class upon Uncle Bernaughty’s Private Jet – again? As Sebastian was slated to fly from Abu Dhabi to Salzburg ‘N back to Abu Dhabi this week...

No holiday ahead for new champion Vettel

Hulkster Loses Drive
Cannot really say this is a surprise... Especially as Team Willie will be cash strapped next year and thus, The Incredible Hulk, nee Nico Hulkenberg has announced he’ll not be returning to the Grove based squad in 2011. Especially since Williams seems to be favouring 2010 GP2 Champion Pastor Maldonado – who’ll bring lotso Dinero to the team instead. Thus, I’m still sticking with my suggestion that tony Fernandes snap up The Hulkster immediately as the Scrumptious ‘Juan’s (Jarno Trulli) replacement...

Oh what a feeling – as HRT and Toyota agree to disagree...

Although scuttlebutt has suggested this would happen... Its now official, as Toyota will cease any further collaborative efforts with Hispania Racing – specifically development of their stillborn TF110 chassis as a basis for next year’s Hispania F1 chassis. After being pointed out it would probably cost less for HRT to develop their own chassis vs. Toyota’s exorbitant fees, albeit the inherent performance gain over the ex-Dallara sleds currently being used.

Most likely ex-Williams designer Geoff willis, who I believe has been working as an Consultant to Hispania this season – will be pressed into service to come up with next year’s new chassis, as once again the FIA regulations change, with the likely return of KERS and the moveable rear wing.

Keep in mind that HRT has already done a deal with Team Willie for rear-end components, i.e.; Gearbox and Hydraulics... Although I don’t know if Willis left the Grove-team on speaking terms or not? As he’d most likely wish to use Williams second wind tunnel to improve the lowly Hispania racecar, eh?

Also, I found it entertaining that future Williams driver Pastor Maldonado – who ran a ‘Mega 108-laps on Day-1 of the Young Drivers Test ended up being some one-plus seconds faster then both of Hispania’s two racing drivers Christian Klien & Bruno Senna. Maldonado’s fastest lap of 1:43.750 compared favourably to Senna (1:45.085) and Klien’s (1:45.085) who qualified 23rd & 24th respectively.

Although its been divulged that many of the cones (Bollards) have been removed, allowing the Young Guns to shortcut several corners – not to mention that the track has most likely continued rubbering-in...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Lotus to Unveil its 2012 Indy-style Racecar today in Los Angeles

Whale, apparently Sergio Marchionne ‘N FIAT/CHRYSLER weren’t just quite ready yet to throw their Hat into the Ring... The Ring ‘O Fire? But according too many on the Blogosphere... Some Hipster named Curty Kavin has broken the news that Lotus will not only be providing Aero-kits for the new 2012 Indy Car Series, but now will become an engine supplier as well!

GEEZ! First Formula 1 – then IndyCarz... Yuhs knows like the Lotus Engineering sponsored by Cosworth Dalaara Honda’s that KV Racing Technology thoroughly crash tested this season... (Cymbol crash – please!) Then there was the Aurora Borealis Gran Tourismo Forty-four (Evora Cup GT4) for the Stringback Glove Boyz, I mean what’s next RASSCAR??? So if you’re not too busy with your Stockbroker buyin’ up tons ‘O GM shares – I hear there’s something going on at 2PM Pacific today in La-La land...

The Lotus Blossom Fades

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

INDYCAR: Paddock Notes – November 16th Edition

Otay, so Y’all have heard (and hopefully read my story...) ‘bout Chevrolet’s return to Indy Car racing in 2012, see:
TELECON: The Bow-tie returns to IndyCar
And I haveda say I won’t be shocked if another ‘Bombshell is either defused or uncorked today – as I’ve just read in PopOff valve’s Nov. 13story; that today is the Drop Dead-date for Manufacturer’s to announce their intentions to provide Powerplant’s for the 2012 “Body-by-Mennen” (AFX Aero-kit) Era and that none other then FIAT/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will be on hand for the Speedway, Indiana groundbreaking ceremonies of Dallara Automobili’s vaunted North American Indy Car Manufacturing plant...

Fiat Voluntas Tua: Italian automaker to join GM, Honda for Indy 2012?
The reason I won’t be shocked is I’ve been taking some ‘Guff for guessing that Alfa Romeo would be the FIAT choice if they decided to return? While I’ve also commented previously how Roush/Yates has just produced an all new V-6 (Twin?) turbo ‘lump for use in the American Le Mans Series – which would figure nicely into Cosworth’s plans if they were to return as a Lotus badged entity, eh? Whilst I’m still trying to figure out if the Honda vs. GM/Ilmor V-6 Twin-turbo units are derived from the same engine platform? And that’s before I even attempt delving into this GRE (Global Racing Engine) thingy. Which I can tell Yuhs I’m NOT a Fan of!

Roush Yates to build Ford engines for ALMS prototypes

2010 F1 Young Drivers Test Preview

The second annual Formula 1 Young Drivers Test kicks off today in Abu Dhabi., where a bevy of aspiring Gran Primo Piloto’s will take to the Yas Isle Marina Circuit in hopes of ascending to Formula One one day soon. Last year’s class included two current F1 Drivers – whose jobs are somewhat precarious at the moment: Nico Hulkenberg & Lucas di Grassi, with three Indy Car Series drivers also participating, i.e.; Bertrand Baguette, Mike Conway and J.R. Hildebrand.

2009 F1 Young Drivers Test Postscript
Thus I thought I’d try taking a stab at who’ll potentially be running for the 12 F1 Constructors... Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Hispania F1 Racing skipped the event as there were stories about its current lack of finances circulating when I began scribblin’ this...

Keep in mind that only drivers who haven’t competed in more then two Grand Prix’s in the previous 2yrs are eligible...
FerrariI’d assumed that the Ferrari “Contracted” ART GP2 Driver “Jewelz B” would once again run for the Scuderia, while I didn’t know if they’d bring another trio of Italian F3 Stars to the Show? Yet now that Messer Bianchi has been announced as la Scuderia’s 2011 Test & Reserve Driver; Jules will be their Star of the Show whilst the trio of young Italian F3 lions pace about Vallelunga in ’08-spec Ferrari’s on December 2nd.

Jules Bianchi; France
2007 Formula Renault 2.0 Series Champion, 2008 Formula 3 Masters Champion, 2009 Formula 3 Euroseries Champion, 2010 GP2 Series Competitor, 2011 Ferrari Test & Reserve Driver.

Force IndiaI had assumed that Force India would throw current Test & Reserve Driver Paul di Resta a Bone by running him at the test; since his hoped for 2011 Formula 1 drive looks doubtful. As its now been divulged that Di Resta will get to run on Day-1 before a duet of newcomers take over on Day-2...

Paul di Resta; United Kingdom
2006 F3 Euroseries Champion, 2007-10 DTM Competitor, 2009-10 DTM Winner, 2010 Force India Test & Reserve Driver.

Yelmer Buurman; Netherlands
2008-09 GP2 Series, 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series Competitor, 2008-10 Super League Championship. (’08 Series runner-up)

Felix da Costa; Portugal
2006 Formula Renault NEC Champion, 2010 F3 Euroseries Competitor.

HispaniaAs I already mentioned, I’m not expecting to see HRT take part in this year’s Young Drivers Test, unless there’s some unknown youngster idly sitting around and possessing wheelbarrow’s full of Dinero...

UPDATEOtay, I completely missed the Boat on this ‘Juan... (Surprised NOBODY caught me on it!) As apparently Hispania is cementing its links with future “Partner” – Team Willie; as Pastor Maldonado will not only drive on Day-1, but also do both days of Pirelli rubber testing. (11-19/20) Day-2 will be split between GP2 drivers, Josef Kral and Davide Valsecchi...

LotusOriginally I had NO idea what Team Lotus 2.0 would do... Although I’d expected them to run current Malaysian Test & Reserve Driver Fairuz Fauzy
, but Lotus has just confirmed two unknowns instead.

Vladimir Arabadzhiev; Bulgaria
2009-10 GP2 Asia Series, 2010 GP2 Series Competitor.

Rodolfo Gonzalez; Venezuela
2006 British F3 National Class Champion, 2008-10 GP2 Asia/GP2 Series Competitor.

McLarenHaven’t heard a peep ‘bout McLaren’s plans for the upcoming test, but Y’all know they’ll be there in one form or another, most likely with longtime tester Gary Paffett along with somebody else?

Gary Paffett; Great Britain
2005 DTM Champion, 2009-10 McLaren Test & Reserve Driver and DTM Series Competitor.

Oliver Turvey; Great Britain
2006 McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award Winner, 2010 GP2 Series Competitor.

MercedesJust read (10/29) that GP2 Rookie Sam Bird will drive for ‘Merc at this test. No word on whether or not he’ll be joined by last year’s BRAWN GP nominee Marcus Ericsson (wishful thinking...) or anyone else? Although it’s obvious that Ericsson’s Young Driver Test teammate Mike Conway won’t be back in the fold for the German team this winter. (Nor was Ericsson...)

Sam Bird; Great Britain
2005 Formula BMW European Championship runner-up, 2009-10 GP2 Asia Series, 2010 GP2 Series Competitor & winner.

Red BullThe newly anointed 2010 “Double” World Champions (Drivers & Constructors titles) will once again run RBR Tester Daniel Ricciardo in the forthcoming Young Drivers test.

Daniel Ricciardo; Australia
2008 Formula Renault 2.0 WEC Series Champion, 2009 British F3 Series Champion, 2010 World Series by Renault (3.5) runner-up.

RenaultWhale, I was a bit surprised to discover that Virgin signing Jerome D’Ambrosio will be testing for le Reggie at Yas Isle; but then again I believe he’s managed by Gerard Lopez’s Gravity Sports Management concern. While newly crowned WSR Champion Mikhail Aleshin gets to taste Formula One machinery as a prize for winning the World Series by Renault title...

Jerome D’Ambrosio; Belgium
2003 Formula Renault 1.6 Champion – Belgium, 2007 Formula Master Champion, 2008-10 GP2 Asia/GP2 Series Competitor; 1-win, 2010 Renault Test & Reserve Driver, 2010 Virgin Third Driver.

Mikhail Aleshin; Russia
2009 F2 – 3rd Overall; 1-win, 2010 World Series by Renault (3.5-liter) Champion.

SauberI’d expect the team to run new signing Sergio Perez - possibly along with his fellow countryman Esteban Gutierrez, who’s also a “Contracted” Sauber driver...

Sergio Perez; Mexico
2004 Skip Barber Series Competitor, 2007 British F3 National Class Champion, 2010 GP2 Series runner-up, 2011 Sauber F1 race driver.

Esteban Gutierrez; Mexico
2008 BMW European Champion, 2010 GP3 Champion, 2011 Sauber Test & Reserve Driver.

Scuderia Toro RossoRed Bull’s ‘lil “Seester” will run another Red Bull prodigy, reigning British F3 Champion Jean-Eric Vergne, another member of the vaunted Red Bull Junior Team since ‘08. Having replaced Junior Team member Brian Hartley who’s apparently fallen out of favour with Red Bull…

Jean-Eric Vergne; France
2007 French Formula Renault Campus (F4 EuroCup 1.6) Champion, 2008 French Formula Renault 2.0 Champion, 2010 British F3 champion.

VirginI was guessing that current third driver Jerome D’Ambrosio would get the nod for Virgin at the test, which perhaps he’ll still do on Wednesday? As perhaps both of the “Reggie Boyz” will see duty here too, especially since Virgin has just done a deal with Marussia - could we see two “Rooskies” in Formula One next year, eh?

But I’ve just discovered that Virgin does have a Test Driver, so may be he’ll run instead... Actually I believe they’ve got two; D’Ambrosio & Luiz Razia, with the latter having beaten Mario Moraes (KVRT IndyCar driver) and Diego Nunes for his South American F3 title.

Luiz Razia; Brazil
2006 South America F3 champion, 2008-10 GP2 Asia Series, 2009-10 GP2 Series Competitor; 1-win.

Williams"Team Willie" has previously announced that it’ll be running the current 2010 GP2 Champion Pastor Maldonado along with Dean Stoneman, this year’s F2 Champion... As speculation suggests that the 25yr old Venezuelan Maldonado will replace current Williams F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg, while Stoneman’s drive is part of the prize for winning the F2 Championship...

Pastor Maldonado; Venezuela
2004 Formula Renault Champion - Italy, 2007-10 GP2 Series Competitor, 2008-09 GP2 Asia Series, 2010 GP2 Series Champion.

Dean Stoneman, Great Britain
2007-09 Formula Renault UK Series Competitor, 2010 F2 Series Champion.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sebastian: You are World Champion! Can you confirm that, please...

(Sebastian Vettel – Abu Dhabi; Source: grandprix.com)

My-Oh-My! What a very good day indeed! Having just finished watching Master 'Zebb become the 2010 F1 World Champion! F%%KING EH - RAY!!!!

As I kept my vociferous Yelping at 6:47AM to a minimum in order to not startle my upstairs neighbors... As I simply couldn't believe it! As Sebastian Vettel led virtually wire-to-wire and Ferdi-the-Putz (Fernando Alonso) in his vastly superior Ferrari couldn't find his way 'round Russian Rookie Vitaly Petrov's Renault; SHEISA-SHEISA-SHEISA!!!

As thanks to Mary Ellen; who'd previously asked; you are gonna get up at 4:30AM & watch the race, right? It was all I could do to contain myself as the jubilation spread over my body! As I found it ironic how I’d stayed up into the wee hours of the night way back when watching Herr Schumacher win his very first World Championship in Adelaide some 16yrs ago...

Schuey’s legend is born

Thus, I was simply Dumbstruck that Alonso, who’d seemed a sure winner – walloped home in a lowly seventh place! As surely “Deeter Majestic” was grinningly croonin’ his favourite theme song; Frank Sinatra’s - I did it MY way...

Especially after I along with many media types had been decrying Red Bull's stupidity for not making Vettel move over in Brazil in order to help Zebb's teammate Mark Webber potentially clinch his 1st drivers title; as he'd have been 1-point behind Point leader Alonso instead of 8 this morning... (Yet today’s race results would have seen Alonso as World Champion over Webber, who finished P7-8 respectively...)

But DON'T be callin' him "Baby Schu!" As Vettel has just become the sport's YOUNGEST ever World Champion at 23yrs & 167(?) days, having eclipsed the current record holder Lewis Hamilton...

Interestingly Vettel gave a Shout-out to not only his hometown of Heppenheim - but Kerpen from his Karting days... As in the same Kerpen as where Der ‘Vurld de Schumi is! As in the Michael Schumacher Go Karting Centre. (Albeit I believe I’ve heard that Herr Schumacher isn’t involved anymore?) You can check out a brief review in: Ferrari Owners Club members visit Scheuy Karting centre...
But all I can say is: SIMPLY FUCKING AWESOME!!!
As Vettel's Post Race interview was even sweeter... Saying why was my (race) engineer talking to me so much over the last 10-laps; it must be looking good?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bright lights to Shine on Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Season Finale

(Jenson Button; Source: grandprix.com)

It’s funny – as in funny HA-HA! Strange to have to root against ‘Juan Red Bull Racing Gran Primo Piloto in order for the other to win his very first Formula One World Championship; as Y’all may know I’ve been rootin’ for Aussie Mark Webber to take this year’s crown... Albeit I was also pullin’ for Will Power, so may be its the Kiss ‘O Death for the ‘Aussie’s, eh?

Thus I found myself feeling utterly MISERABLE upon Master ‘Zebb winning the Brazilian Grand Prix, as I’ll just NOT believe it... If “Deeter Majestik” has simply GIFTED Fredrico Suave (Alonso) his third F1 Drivers Title; SHEISA! Unless it’s all part of Red Bulls Master Plan, eh? Yet I’m simply surprised how little seems to be being said ‘bout this ludicrously! (Although the SPEED BOYZ have been fairly critical ‘bout Red Bull GIFTING Alonso his third Drivers Crown...)

Vettel wins in Brazil – The Air is Thin in Austria

Practice - Friday
The day apparently started off with a rare rain shower wiping the circuit clean of its expected rubber build-up, as Free Practice 1 (FP1) saw Master ‘Zebb, a.k.a. Sebastian Vettel top the Time Sheets with a lap of 1:42.760, followed closely by Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso.

In the afternoon’s FP2 session, McLaren’s “Louise ‘JAGUAR” (Hamilton) bounded his way to the top of the Time Sheets with a 1:40.888 flyer, with Master ‘Zebb a scant 0.2 seconds adrift, followed by Fredrico Suave, (Alonso) Mark Webber and “the Krakow Kid” (Kubica) in the Top-5...

Qualifying - Saturday
The morning’s third Free Practice session (FP3) saw the two Red Bulls on top with Vettel leading Webber, followed by Hamilton, Alonso and ‘JENSE rounding out the Top-5.

The only major surprise of Qualifying would have to be Robert Kubica failing to advance to the Q3 final Qualifying session for the very first time this year – leaving only the two Red Bull drivers to have made the Q3 ‘Qualie session all 19-races this year...

Although there was a bit of drama with Hamilton momentarily lurking down in P17 in the Q2 session, whilst Mercedes Nico Rosberg seemed to be toying with us by throwing down very fast lap times, but it all shook out in the final sessions closing moments – ‘Zebb having thrown down the gauntlet to nab his tenth pole of the season – joining six former World Champions to have accomplished the rare feat in a Grand Prix campaign. Hamilton wound-up just a scant six-thousand’s of a second behind, whilst Fredrico (Alonso) elevated himself into third place on his final lap, with Button fourth and Webber having to be disappointed with his fifth place result... As Alonso has gotta be smiling to himself, eh? As it was noted that this is the very first time in Formula One history that four Drivers have been (mathematically) alive for the World Championship in the series final round...So who’ll be crowned the 2010 F1 Drivers World Champion?

2010 Drivers Championship – Final Four
1) Fernando Alonso; 246 Points
2) Mark Webber; 238pts (-8)
3) Sebastian Vettel; 231pts (-15)
4) Lewis Hamilton; 222pts (-24)
(As of Round 18 – Brazilian GP)

Good Luck Mark!

Friday, November 12, 2010

TELECON: The BowTie returns to IndyCar

So I first heard the scuttlebutt on this last Sunday night when watchin’ Ye ‘Ol Windbag’s show –Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain... Speculatin’ that perhaps ‘Cheep (Ganassi) had turned down Ford’s extremely generous offer to switch over to the Blue Oval in RASSCARLAND in order to be the lead player with Chevy backing in IndyCar beginning in 2012? Along with hearing that Ilmor had already designed a twin-turbo V-6 Indy Car lump...

And I’m guessin’ I wouldn’t want to try playing poker with The Captain, a.k.a. Roger Penske who was a guest on the show and when asked about the Chevy to Indy rumours promptly replied: I know Nothing...

Thus, I awoke early this morning to drop-in to the RALLY-RALLY-RALLY BIG ANNOUNCEMENT at the IMS Hall of Fame Museum, which was slated to begin at 7AM Pacific... To which instead was preceded by 20mins of music, as I failed to scribble down the Marc Cohn Walkin’ in Memphis song... Which was followed by Neil Young’s “Take a look at yourself Old Man,” Johnnie Cougar (Melloncamp) ROCKIN’ in the USA, Thin Lizzy’s The Boyz are Back, Sammy Van Haggar’s I CAN’T DRIVE 55 and Melloncamp’s I fight Authority... Before the Press Conference finally began at 7:20AM.

The briefing was moderated by an IMS Track Announcer I’ve never heard of named Scott Hoke(?) and attended by the IMS Board of Directors; with Mary Holman George front ‘N center, along with Josie (‘N the Pussy Cats...) George and even some guy named “Citizen Tony” (Tony George) in the building, albeit seated in a different section...

There was Mr. Belskis, Randy Bernard, two Senior GM “Shirts,” Gil De Ferran, Tony Kottman and Neil Restler from the ICONIC Board, Scott Goodyear, Derek Daly, ‘lil Al, (Al Unser Jr.) Arie Luyendyk, Roger Penske, HULIO, Will Power and Simona de Silvestro on hand, and lastly Martin Plowman, whilst J.R. Hildebrand slipped in at the end...

And the two things that jumped out the most to me were that the GM Brass noted several times how they’d be “Working Together” with Engine Specialist Ilmor to develop a 2.4-liter Direct Injection Twin-turbocharged V-6 Powerplant and how Roger Penske stated how Ilmor builds engines for Honda...

My memory recalls that when Ilmor was originally formed way back when, ‘Circa 1980’s (1983) it was a 4-way partnership between General Motors, Roger Penske, Mario Illen and Paul Morgan, each with a 25% Ownership stake. To which dramatically changed after Morgan’s death in a vintage plane accident in 2001. As Mercedes took control with 55% Ownership in ’02 before a complete Takeover in ’05, when the company became Mercedes High Performance Engines...

Interestingly, at this time Mario Illen along with Penske, bought the Special Projects portion of the Company which was responsible for the Honda IRL engine, whilst it was noted how Chevy had won 104 races, six Driver titles and seven Indy 500’s. (Before pulling out of the Indy Racing League along with Toyota at the end of 2005...)

So, I have to say my initial thoughts are that it sounds like nothing more then a Badge Engineering project – as I’m wondering will the engines of Honda and Chevrolet be exactly the same, minus different valve covers?

Roger Penske steering Chevrolet back to IndyCar
And it was also amusing that there was absolutely ZERO mention of Chip Ganassi’s involvement... As hopefully we’ll get some real answers to exactly what’s going on besides that Chevy will return to IndyCars in 2012 when the new “Body-by-Mennen” Era begins...
Honda Says IT'S ON ... (Kidding) Issues News Release

The Lotus Blossom Fades...

Have Y’all heard ‘bout how Lotus wants to be Lotus? But Lotus cannot use the name Lotus ‘cause the Team that might become Lotus next year also wants to be called Lotus; Hya! FUNNY SHIT WILL!

The Lotus Situation in a Nutshell

As apparently the ‘Mega Scrum over the usage of the name Lotus in Formula 1 continues to bungle on – with apparently Tony fernandes losing out?

Will the real Team Lotus please stand up

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'WillieBoy plays Yas Isle

“Bruno and his Abu Dhabi-HRT team-mate. If I can find the cash.”
Will Buxton & Bruno Senna at Yas Marina – Photo by Darren Heath.
(Source: willthef1journo.wordpress.com)

Previously in Suzuka Memories I scribbled,
Thus it was interesting to hear “Willie Buxom’s” testimonial of riding in a Two-seater with Bruno in Abu Dhabi over the Singapore – Suzuka break... (Talk ‘bout living a Charmed life, Eh!) As Messer Buxton explained how nauseating the ride was; with Senna wanting to demonstrate how VIOLENT a modern F1 car is, as the ‘Back markers all struggled to drive a Pig ‘O a Racecar whilst looking in their mirrors all race long! And their 2X Seater’s ‘Grunt was only equivalent of a modern day GP2 Asia chassis; CRIKEYS! (As Bruno was 6-seconds adrift of Vettel in Friday’s Practice 2...) So it would be nice if Mr. Buxton could scribble out his thoughts ‘bout this on The Buxton Blog.

YIKES! Ask and Thou Shalt Receive! As Messer Buxton has just posted a ‘Mega 2-part story ‘bout his unbelievable outing at the Yas Island Marina Circuit. Taking part in a Media Conference that also included James Allen amongst others...

As ‘WillieBoy had a Dream Vacation – if I’ve ever heard of ‘Juan, eh? Arriving in his 5-star Hotel room to find a brand spankin’ new pair of Puma racing gloves & driving boots on the bed... To having to partake in some Go Karting with Jules Bianchi & friends. A Tin Top Driving Instructor named “Mean Jean!” (Alesi) Before supposedly harassing ‘Ol Man Johnny-be-Good... (Herbert) in some Single Seater action...

Plus taking a ride with “Straightliner” du Jour “Hot Rod” Fuller in a special 3-seater Top Fuel Dragster and 2X Seater ride Chauffeured by Bruno Senna!

The Ultimate Experience – Part 1

The Ultimate Experience – Part 2

And speaking ‘bout Mean Jean’s instructing... If he thinks Alesi was bad? Then perhaps Messer Buxton should have read my take upon the mercurial Alesi falling foul to one of ‘Ol BlockHead’s (Gerhard Berger) numerous mischievous antics – way back in his Scuderia Ferrari days...


Monday, November 8, 2010

MarioCar spotted...

Was taking a backroad home (recently) and passed a place the does floats for parades. I think it's called Indy Expo. Out front was sitting Mario's winning #2 car and just had to take a pic for Yuh...

Vitor Meira chats with No Fenders

Perhaps it was an Omen of my being granted a very brief (10-15mins) interview with Vitor, eh?
2007 Barrett Jackson - ScottsdaleLast Wednesday (11/03) whilst seeking some lunchtime ambience, I stumbled upon Juan “O the countless SPEED Barrett Jackson airings... This time being the highlighted coverage of the 2007 Scottsdale Auction; as I tuned in “Just-in-Time” for the final moments of the episode as SPEED’s Mike Joy pined on - it was the very last car covered: A 1984 metallic silver Ferrari 512BBi. ($75,000 Hammer price) As it was noted that the vehicle was bought new by some ‘Ol Fart named ‘Super Tex... As Mike Joy noted that the seats were extremely worn, Err well used! While Bob Varsha noted that AJ Foyt had just celebrated his 72nd birthday... Before Matt Stone ‘Quipped how he just couldn’t see AJ in a Darn ‘Furr-ri; Hya!

And although I first noticed Vitor way back in ’04, when I seem to recall him slugging it out with Buddy Rice for the lead some where’s, (Kansas) obviously it’s NOT everyday I get the chance to talk One-on-One with the Brazilian Indy Car Driver... (HELL! It’s pretty DAMN RARE I get to speak to any of them at all!) And thus, at the appointed hour (Friday) - On-the-Dot my telephone rang... Mr. Tomaso please. Vitor’s on line One for you...


PREFACEAfter suffering two broken vertebrae in his lower back during a crash on lap 174 of the 2009 Indianapolis 500, Vitor Meira turned to the sport of triathlon as a means for rehabilitation to get him up to speed physically and back into his car. After being away from the sport for months, he bounced back in a major way, finishing the 2010 season in the top 15 overall.

Since getting back behind the wheel, Vitor has not given up on triathlons. In fact, on November 13th, he will take his triathlon training to one of the largest stages in the sport – the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, FL. Alongside more than 1,500 competitors, Vitor will compete against some of the best triathletes in the world while completing the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 run. Quite the feat coming off such an injury!

Tomaso (T)Hello Vitor; thanks for taking my call...
Q) I heard on Autosport Radio (Tuesday 11/02) that you finished between TK (Tony Kanaan) & Bruno (Junqueira) in a recent Triathlon. Was that a tune-up for your upcoming Ironman competition?

(Vitor Meira (VM)Yeah, for TK & Bruno it was their main event. For me I basically used it as a tune-up for the upcoming Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 . I swam really hard, rode the bike hard, but took it a bit easy on the running which is the hardest part.

T) How do you feel your 2010 Indy Car season went overall?

VM) there were several Ups & Downs this year. As it was my first Full season with the Team, as I’d only done four races with them (A.J. Foyt Enterprises) before. So we had a lot to learn along with new Engineers, etc. But I feel we had some really good Oval races...

T) Will you be watching the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend & have you raced there before?

VM) Yes – I’ve won races there and I’m watching it right now.

T) Yeah, it’s on right now and I had to turn it off.

VM) No, I’m watching it right now on the computer.

(How dare Vitor call me when Formula One’s on; Hya! As apparently somebody who’s use to going 230mph at The Speedway is apparently quite capable of Multi-tasking, Eh! As interestingly Lucas di Grassi would further prove racing drivers abilities as he toured Interlagos at speed whilst blathering away over his in-car radio for the benefits of the TV audience during practice...)

T) Are you a Rubens or Felipe fan?

VM) I like both of them & I’m friends wit both of them. I raced against Webber – so I like him and Jenson Button is a big Triathlon specialist. He also competed last week...

T) Larry Foyt just competed at Talladega. Do you have any aspirations of racing Pick-up Trucks like Nelson Piquet Jr. in the future?

VM) May be – but my aspirations for the time being are solely focused upon IndyCars. NO NASCAR, Sports Cars, etc. As hopefully I’ve still got many years left to go in IndyCar.

T) It looks like IndyCar.com has an old ’08 website under construction listed as your Official Driver link. Where can Fans go to get the latest info on you?

VM) the A.J. Foyt website is best. It’s my fault that the information isn’t up-to-date; but with the move from Panther Racing, my Indy accident, etc I just simply haven’t gotten around to updating it yet.

(As I was unaware that Vitor not only competes in grueling Triathlon’s – but is married and has a daughter, is an Ambassador for Special Olympics, has been awarded a Brazilian Ambassadorship - Not to mention dropping by the Autosport Radio Show occasionally...)
The Indycar.com has lots of good Historical information on it – like my biography, etc.

A.J. Foyt Enterprises – Official Racing website
T) And I don’t know if you’re considered an Oval/Road Course specialist, but how do you feel about racing at Edmonton and the event having just been cancelled?

VM) I really DON’T like racing at Edmonton. I like Toronto & racing in Canada, but just don’t enjoy Edmonton. It’s probably one of my worst tracks(?) It’s wide, bumpy, thin & fast. And I seem to constantly struggle with finding a decent chassis set-up. It’s also where you’ll see the biggest difference between Penske and Ganassi and the rest of the grid – like one second adrift! Obviously I’m NOT happy about what just happened to the event but like I said before I simply don’t like racing there...

(It’s worth noting that Edmonton was the ONLY Airport used as a temporary racing circuit this year and hence, I’m guessing it’s a whole different animal when it comes to chassis set-up, eh? As Vitor has absolutely NOTHING against Edmonton, just finds it to be a difficult circuit for him to race on...)
T) And lastly: Are you back in the No. 14 ABC Supplies Car next year

VM) Well it’s not confirmed yet and – its not 100% certain, but I’m hopeful and it’s looking positive right now.
(Vitor’s answer surprised me a bit – since I had NO idea what his current contract status was... Thus, I forgot to ask him my requisite ‘Super Tex question, i.e.; have you had any Chicken Fried steaks with A.J. lately; Hya!)
T) “Whale Otay,” (telling Vitor I could talk to him all day...) one last final Question: You said that you raced against Mark Webber, was that in Formula Three Sudamericana?

VM) No; Mark and I were teammates in British Formula Ford – I think it was in 1996?

T) That was a long time ago...

VM) Yeah, I started in Go Karts in Brazil before racing with Mark in Britain and finished fifth in the Championship – I think? I had 5-wins and raced in Formula ford from 1996-97. Then I raced Formula Renault in ’98 before racing F3 in Brazil during 1999-2000. (Where he won the title in 2000) Then I went back to Europe and raced in F3000 from 2001-02 before going to IndyCars in 2003...

(Obviously Meira would be denoted as a “Twisty” Road Course-specialist, as I was totally unaware of his racing CV – not to mention his mixing it up with Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa in F3000...)
Vitor Meira – Career Highlights

Thanks again for taking time to talk to me and Good Luck next year...

As although I’ve never met Vitor in-person, he was the consummate Gentleman with Mwah and it was easy to see why he’s always a crowd favourite whenever I’ve listened to him being interviewed on Autosport Radio, as it was a total pleasure shooting-the-breeze with him!

Kudos to Jackie Schmader of Ketchum West/Ketchum Sports & Entertainment and Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 for making this interview possible!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holy Defensive Driving ‘Jense!

Apparently Brazil is a Hotbed of dubious activity... As a zillion years ago I recall reading ‘bout various Hacks having their laptops absconded upon arriving in Sao Paolo, as I like to believe it was Tony dodgins who was then scribing for OnTrack magazine... And I think Grizzled F1 Journo Joe Saward just wrote ‘bout a colleague having his wallet lifted during their dinner outing this weekend...

Now I’ve just heard word that “JENSE (Button) has happily escaped confrontation with some Armed Banditos whilst trying to depart the Interlagos circuit...

Button Unharmed in Attack

During Sunday’s SPEED Pre-race show Messer Buxton caught up with Uncle Bernaughty – who’s such a Card, eh? Oh Bernie QUIT trying to be so clever will Yuhs! Telling Will that he thought Jenson had simply been trying to buy a hat...

Now comes word that not only did ‘JENSE have a frightening moment but the Sauber lad’s were even worse off when they had to hand over their briefcases; SHEISA!

Button describes close call as Sauber mechanics are also held up

Brazil Qualifying – Hulk flexes his Muscles

(Nico Hulkenberg; Source: f1fanatic.co.uk)

And we’re down to the wire, as its time once again for the penultimate Grand Prix race of the 2010 Formula 1 season! As I’m busy playin’ Ketsup on my racing coverage... (Again!) As I was pre-occupied yesterday & originally thought I’d be pulling a ‘Double by watching the Friday Practice & Saturday Qualifying Back-to-Back – sometime Saturday; CRIKEYS! (Having just watched a most enjoyable outcome at Interlagos...)

As hopefully Webber can grab another Pole Position with Master ‘Zebb as his Wingman – for another Red Bull Front Row lockout, eh? Although NO word on ‘Weather or Not that funky wet stuff will appear during Saturday’s festivities?

Meanwhile there’s still 50 points on the table for the next two race wins...

2010 Drivers Championship – Top 5
P1) Fernando Alonso; 231 Points
P2) Mark Webber; 220pts
P3) Lewis Hamilton; 210pts
P4) Sebastian Vettel; 206pts
P5) Jenson Button; 189pts
(As of Round 17 – Korea)

Practice - Friday
In typical fashion, once again it was the Red Bull Freightrain pulling onto the front row of the Grid, as Master ‘Zebb, a.k.a. Sebastian Vettel led the parade ahead of teammate Mark Webber. While Fredrico Suave, a.k.a. Fred Alonso was third, even after having shut off his Ferrari lump during the day’s first Free Practice (FP1) session, whilst teammate Felipe Massa saw his Seamless Shift transmission try selecting two gears at once after hitting a nasty bump in FP2.

The two Woking title protagonists, “Louise ‘JAGUAR” (Hamilton( & ‘JENSE (Button) of McLaren were fourth and seventh respectively, split by Massa (P5) and “The Krakow Kid,” nee Robert Kubica, (P6) with the biggest Top-10 surprise being “Quick Nick’s” (Heidfeld) Sauber in eighth and the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg once again leading “Schuey” home for the final two placing’s of the first ten spots on the days Timesheet...

Qualifying - Saturday
And then the rain came, as Kubica was fastest in the morning’s WET Free Practice session, (FP3) before we were once again watching the cars slither around in the “wet Stuff!” As the Q1 session saw the most inclement weather conditions. As ironically Adrian Sutil failed to move onto Q2 for the first time this year and claimed his teammate was absolutely ‘Rubbish out there... As the two drivers almost collided, whilst the Red Bull Duo were happy to wait out the remaining minutes of the session in the garage; just being nipped by “Ferdi-the-Putz!” (Alonso) Who bolted on a fresh set of “Interz” (Intermediate tyres) with Webber second & Vettel third; Button was eighth & Hamilton was ninth, with the surprise of the session being Sauber’s “K-Squared” (Kamui Kobayashi) in fifth.

Moving onto Q2, once again it was the ‘Zebb “N Webber Show, as the Red Bull Duo moved forward one spot apiece; with Webber P1 and Vettel P2.

Hamilton was fourth and ‘Ferdi sixth, while the title competitors were split by somebody I like to call DER TERMINATOR, nee M. Schumacher...

Once again qualifying was unkind to current World Champion Button – who has a propensity for shunning the front half of the Grid in Sao Paolo; having missed the Top-10 since 2005... Thus once again it wasn’t to be ‘JENSE’s day as local Hero Massa squeaked by to take the final slot for Q3, while uncharacteristically, Nico Rosberg also missed the cut and would ultimately be out qualified by Herr Schumacher for only the fourth time this season...

P11) Jenson Button, McLaren. (-42pts)
P13) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes.

Then it was onto the ‘Final Cut, as shockingly – The Incredible Hulk came outta NOWHERES! As the young German Nico Hulkenberg blitzed the entire field to secure his debutant Grand Prix Pole – in his Rookie season! As it was pretty funny to hear SPEED’s Bob Varsha calling Master ‘Zebb a “Grizzled Veteran,” especially since he noted Vettel’s only 47-days old-ER then The Hulkster; Hya! Although I haveda say it didn’t look like Nico’s uniform sleeves were deranged at all during the Top-3 interviews... Oh Never Mind! As I’m sure the neighbors were wunderin’ what all of my jubilant exaltations were about, eh? While Vettel seemed pretty happy and I thought that even Webber seemed relieved during his Post ‘Qualie interview.

It was also noted that it was “Team Willie’s” (Williams) first Pole since Nick Heidfeld’s 2005 European GP triumph and Cosworth’s first No. 1 spot since 1999; Aye Karumba! To which Williams F1 Co-owner said,

Patrick Head: “The boy’s obviously got a future!”

Q3 “Qualie Results
Pole) Nico Hulkenberg, Williams; P2) Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull; (-25pts) P3 ) Mark Webber, Red Bull; (-11 pts) P4) Lewis Hamilton, McLaren; (-21pts) P5) Fernando Alonso, Ferrari; (Points leader) P6) Rubens Barrichello, Williams; P7) Robert Kubica, Renault; P8) Michael Schumacher, Mercedes; P9) Felipe Massa, Ferrari; P10) Vitaly Petrov, Renault.

Brazil Qualifying in Pictures

Friday, November 5, 2010

Hispania Racing Team news

By now I’m guessing Y’all have heard the news that Formula One Team HRT has signed a contract with “Team Willie” (AT&T Williams) for supply of their Gearboxes & Hydraulics beginning in 2011, as Hispania seeks to ditch its problematic XTrac units in favour of something more reliable. As the move will leave only Virgin as the sole XTrac Customer next season...

Meanwhile the never ending revolving door of “Paying” Drivers continues this weekend when Christian Klien once again replaces “Sackoe-Moneyato.” *Sakon Yamamoto) who this time isn’t suffering from a cooked up diagnosis of food poisoning... No word on whether or not the Japanese driver will be back at Abu Dhabi?

And speaking ‘O Moohlah, the Team seems to be keeping its options alive. As the long winded rumour of a deal with the deposed Toyota F1 Organization continues to be kept alive on ze internets, albeit there appears to be more then meets the retina, eh? As although it may be viewed as a step backwards for The Incredible Hulk, I’d be happy to see the young Nico Hulkenberg continue on in Formula 1 next season...

More on HRT and Toyota

I’ve also seen ‘Juan solitary report speculating that Bruno Senna may be tipped as a possible replacement for the “Scrumptious ‘Juan” *Jarno Trulli) next year behind the wheel of a Lotus Renault? Although there’s NO word on who’ll actually win the Team Lotus Moniker Sweepstakes, and the reumour comes from the fairly optimistic Brazilian Press... Whilst the younger Senna is chafing at the bit to participate in his inaugural Home Grand Prix at Sao Paolo.

Bruno Senna: “Interlagos will be quite emotional…”

Hmiel moves to Charlotte for continued Recovery

There’s Good News for Shane Hmiel Fans, as according to Today’s Indianapolis Star, the Open Wheel racer has been transferred to Charlotte to continue his long road to recovery. For the full IndyStar story – click here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Mighty Cobra Daytona Coupes - ‘Ol Shell makes good on His promise...

45yrs ago: It just hit me like a Ton ‘O Bricks! That was a (somewhat) Long-long-time ago... As this is another ‘Juan of the myriad ‘O stories stuck in the (NFWHV) No Fenders Wormhole Vortex; having been reminded ‘bout it once again just before leaving for Indy... As the night before I seemed to catch the No. 3 wire, (Tailhook) Err tail end of another Hot Rod TV episode, (SPEED Channel) where they were having to put the Superformance GT40 thru its paces... Even having some ‘Ol Codger known as ‘Bondo on hand, as in the legendary Bob Bondurant...

And speakin’ about Bondurant, while I don’t think much fanfare was made over it this summer, nevertheless on July 4th, 1965 – at the Reims du 12 hours (International) Sports Car race, Messer Bondurant and Co-driver Jean Schlesser drove the winning Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2601 ) to capture the FIA World GT Manufacturer’s Championship. Which has only been done once ever in History by an American manufacture ... As after "il Commendatore” (Enzo Ferrari) coyly had the final race at Monza, Italy cancelled in 1964, in order to ensure that his Scuderia Ferrari would win the World GT Championship Crown for a third year in-a-row; ‘Ol Carroll uttered some of his most immortal words: “Next year your ASS is Mine!” (Enzo...) As Shelby was more determined then ever to defeat Ferrari, which he did on numerous occasions with the help of the mighty “FoMoCo,” a.k.a. Ford Motor Company...

Some where’s in true internetz folklore fashion... I thought I read that Pink Floyd percussionist Nick Mason had shelled out $12m in order to obtain one of the very rare Ferrari 250GTO’s... Of which I know very little ‘bout this most magnificent automobile. Although I’ve now read that only 39 examples were produced between 1962-64, with the bulk being built between 1962-63 when a total of 36 “Series I” examples were constructed. While a further three “Series II” chassis were produced afterwards, with a further few original spec chassis being upgraded to the latter version in ’64.

Interestingly, the GT rules at the time called for 100 examples to be produced for racing Homologation, of which Enzo cleverly managed to avoid by leaving large serial number gaps in the cars production run – along with all sorts of other chicanery I imagine... As I’m assuming ‘Ol Shel beat Enzo at his own game by successfully rebodying already Homologated Cobra Roadsters; as I must confess this is one of the prettiest sounding Ferrari’s I’ve ever heard pounding ‘round at various Historics venues around the globe – with its sewing machine smooth sounding silky three liter V-12 engine melodically motivated thru its six twin draft Weber Carburetors and fire engine red crackling rosso valveheads...

Ultra-rare 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO up for sale by RM Auctions... will it set a record?

Meanwhile, today – exactly forty-five years ago... Another American legend named Craig Breedlove gave the Cobra Daytona Coupe its last moments of glory, by setting some 23 International speed records behind the wheel of CSX2287 - before the six Daytona Coupes were sold off piecemeal at bargain basement prices... As little did Shelby know they’d become so extremely desirable some 30-40-50 years later... (Have you tried buying a “REAL” Shelby Daytona Coupe lately?) As CSX2287 probably has the strangest past of the six Daytona Coupes... With perhaps the most important pedigree, as not only was it the original Prototype chassis, but the only one produced in America. Yet after the car changed hands a few times; reputedly being “Dumped” by thee Phil Spectre over fears of his incurring too many speeding tickets when he used it as a ‘Daily Driver in Hollywood... It mysteriously vanished for two decades before finally being unearthed after the reclusive female owner committed suicide!

The Missing Daytona

Thus, as you’re Humble Scribe frequently mentions; as Time Flies By! Its hard to fathom that its already been a decade and a half since I attended the Cobra Daytona Coupes 30th Anniversary celebration as the featured marque at the 1995 Mollie Stones Historics in sleepy ‘Ol Sonoma, CA, which some out ‘Dar in BloggerLand like to call Snorhoma... As I had the good fortunes of seeing four of the six Daytona Coupes on static display and still have two vivid memories of said event.

The first was witnessing ‘Bondo replete in his original Cobra Team Jacket signing an autograph for ‘Juan of the masses atop the roof of one of these priceless relics... While the most searing memory of that event was the Oh So Delectable Soundtrack of Messer bondurant doing a few solo demonstration laps behind the keyboard of one of these vintage beasts! As ‘Bondo serenely toured the Wine Country Classic during lunchtime with NOBODY else Ontrack and it was sheer ecstasy listening to the booming 289cid small block V-8 lump resonate over the Sears Point Raceway grounds!

The six Daytona Coupes in numerical order are chassis numbers: CSX2286, CSX2287, CSX2299, CSX2300, CSX2601 and CSX2602. While the “Type 65” or 427 Super Coupe is known as CSB3054. Which I’ve seen at Portland way back in the early 1990’s...

You can read all about these magnificent Cobra’s in the Great Cobra Daytona Coupes (523pages) book penned by the Car’s designer Peter Brock; click here.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve just had History slap me in the face once more by having the good fortune of viewing the rosso N.A.R.T. Ferrari 250LM that won the 1965 24 Heurs du Mans at the IMS Hall of Fame museum whilst attending this year’s MotoGP event...

As finally the FIA saw the light and put a stop to Il Commendatore’s shenanigans, as Enzo had tried vainly to claim the 250LM was simply a continuation of the 250GTO model, to which the FISA said NO ENZO! You’ll have to race it as a Prototype instead of in the GT Class, which in some regards shrank in stature as both Ferrari and Ford focused upon the ultimate prize of winning Le Mans overall which required the pursuits of utilizing Prototypes instead. As although Ford had brought its still fairly new GT40 once again to the Circuit de la Sarthe, it was the unexpected No. 21 piloted by Jochen Rindt and Masten Gregory that won the race instead... Although it’s worth noting that the Daytona Coupe with Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant won the GT Class and were fourth overall at Le Mans in ’64, while a Dan Gurney/Jerry Grant example ran as high as third overall in ’65 before retiring after 15hrs with clutch failure...