Saturday, July 31, 2010

Was it a Full Moon last Sunday?


(Nicky Hayden & Ben Spies; Source: Motorsport.com)

I haven’t tried looking up any Astrological charts or nothin’, so I’m unaware of whether or not there was any Full Moon Fever affecting both the Indy Car and Formula 1 races last weekend, eh? As you already know about the HULIO shuffle in Edmonton, whilst after watching 5hrs of Memorex yesterday I was fairly DISGUSTED with the outcome of the Scuderia’s Hockenheimring Hi-jinx! While the only Hi-jinx at Laguna Seca came from the leading rider “Low-siding” his “Scooter” while trying to run-away from the eventual race winner...

And thus, just when I started thinking Fredrico Suave, a.k.a Fred Alonso was a worthy rival, he’s slipped back into his Ferdi-the-Putz physique... After WHINING on the radio “This is ridiculous...” NO Ferdi, you are! As don’t get me wrong, as I wasn’t surprised by the very blunt “Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge Coded” instructions for Felipe Massa to pull over and let Alonso by to give him the victory... As Team Orders have been in F1 since way back when. It was just that it was so BLATANT that I immediately found myself DISGUSTED with the races outcome whilst flashing back to that Austrian GP Debacle between Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro teammates Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello way back in ’02, which was the catalyst for the STUPID NO Team Orders rule... Although apparently Ferrari was fined a cool one million Euros that time instead of the paltry $100k, which I’m guessing Maranello will gladly shill out for the victory, right?

Fernando Alonso's Formula One Victory Ignites Controversy

Meanwhile in Monterey, CA, those MOTO GP ‘Loons were dragging their knees ‘N other various Body-parts along with grinding down various bits of carbon fibre bodywork thru that illustrious Zanardi corner, more commonly known as The Corkscrew, where Honda’s Dani Pedrosa gifted FIAT-Yamaha’s George Lorenzo the victory when he crashed out of the lead on lap-11, leaving Lorenzo to disappear off into the distance for his sixth victory in the season’s first nine races!

Ducati’s Casey Stoner, after having several close calls of his own, decided discretion was the better part of valor, settling for a runner-up finish, while ‘The Doctor, nee Valentino Rossi surely turned heads by snatching his first Podium finish in third place since breaking his leg in Italy. Rossi battled with fellow Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who dejectedly noted he was unable to keep pace with The Boss on the races final lap and had to settle for fourth place.

Meanwhile Rookie Ben Spies continues to impress, with another Monster Hole-shot seeing the Texan rocket into third place before eventually slipping back one spot behind The Kentucky Kid Nicky Hayden, who finished in P5 as the Top U.S. rider, while Colin Edwards finished seventh and Nicky’s brother Roger Lee Hayden took a Wildcard Honda entry home to 11th place... As next up is the Czech Republic round before the bikes return Stateside to Indianapolis at the end of August...

Lorenzo wins Laguna Seca MOTO GP

De-Cypher this

Although not overly surprising, the second somewhat mysterious U.S. hopeful F1 Team has pulled the plug upon its lofty aspirations of becoming a Formula One Constructor, as the Cypher Group has withdrawn from the FIA’s “Lucky 13” Grid Slot Derby...

Thus it would appear the running for this dubious distinction now falls between Durango Corse and , Epsilon Euskadi, with No Fenders putting its 43 Pesos on the latter which is after all Joan Villadelprat’s Operation, who once was Professor Steve Matchett’s Boss at Benetton. Albeit Durango is dangling the ‘Jackoe (Jacques Villeneuve) carrot in front of Uncle Bernaughty, Err the FIA, while theoretically Stefan GP is still in the running...

Cypher gives up F1 entry quest – but when will the FIA make a decision?

Hey! Then again Cypher could always go into the IndyCar Body Aero Kit business, right?

Miller HipCheck’s BB into the boards

Although I cannot say I agree with the Curmudgeon ‘O IndyCarz... I also haven’t seen any video footage of ‘The Block by HULIO, which has apparently brought the ICS’s Brian Braveheart under the wrath of Robin Miller who busts-up on ‘Ol Braveheart by denoting how a Truck Driver ‘N Parts Changer has schmoozed his way to the top of the Indy Racing League. To read Miller’s story, click here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back from ‘KanaDuh sorta...


So your Humble Scribe just rolled back into Town (yesterday afternoon) from a very entertaining 10+ day sojurn to Edmonton ‘N Back; two busses, one Amtrak Train and three days in ‘Ol Yellur, (each direction) as in Over the Woods ‘N Thru the Hills... “I’ve Been Everywhere Man!” As it seemed like perfect timing to hear CBC1 play that Johnny Cash song in Edmonton Sunday evening after three days at the City Centre Airport... While I’ve been in a total News Blackout for 10+ Dazes now, only knowing what occurred at Edmonton, Alberta... Where Will Power got HOSED by HULIO! Thus I was very HAPPY that Castroneves got the Black Flag and rightly sent to the REAR of the Queue! Since I personally believe that Dancin’ FOOL should be SUSPENDED 1-race for pushin-pullin’ on NOT ‘Juan but two Officials!

As leave it to Dario “R.E.O. Speedwagon” Franchitti to offer up another of his typical ‘Juan-liners by saying he’d put 50 ‘Smackeroos (Looneys?) on Charles; Hya! As in Mr. Ex-Marine Charles Burns, head of IRL Security vs. HULIO...

Helio Castroneves' Edmonton Outburst Still Under IRL Review

Thus I’ve got NO clue on what happened at Hockenheim or Laguna Seca... Where those MOTO GP Madmen raced thru the Corkscrew and DER TERMINATOR was possibly running his final Home race(?) both the same day as HULIO was showing Power his newly learned ‘Kuhnaidiun Hip-check Dance move...

Having been forced to choose between F1 ‘N Indy Car to record, I chose the first and hopefully 5hrs of Memorex are awaiting me? As thankfully it was the LAST Horrible FOX broadcast of the year! As I’ve got the Friday practice-2 coverage all queued-up at the moment

So many miles to go as I’ll try watchin’ the tape footage shortly in an ‘Uber-rare Formula 1 “Movie Marathon” by stayin’ stationary for a brief day’s rest, and then try getting back in the swing ‘O things sometime next week...

Penalty costs Castroneves win - Further action likely after he grabs official

Thursday, July 29, 2010

When is a Dallara NOT a Dallara?

So I almost missed it... (Kinda like tonight as I’m busy playin’ Ketsup on the No Fenders ‘BLOB during Trackside, Eh!) Since I’m still not a regular listener of Trackside with Kevin ‘N Cavin, as I wanted to hear what these two Pied Pipers would have to say over that RALLY- RALLY- RALLY-B.I.G! New for 2012 Indy Car ICONIC $ponsored by Verizon Announcement... (7/15 Trackside episode)

Whoa Buddy, hang on here a moment... Wasn’t that two weeks ago just one day after Bastille Day? Why yes it was, and hopefully by the time I’ve gotten back from Edmonton to post this it’ll be a fleeting moment, as I weren’t surprised, just definitely NOT impressed with those ICONIC BOYZ “Solution.”

As I was left immediately ponderin’ after that ‘Mega Dog ‘N Pony show; did somebody say Pony? Like in where was Princess Sparkle Pony? Oh yeah that’s right she was Twitterin’ away ‘bout her next B.I.G. ‘By-gummit Woo-Hoo RASSCAR LITE race... Nice job DannaWho???

Uhm, back to my questions though, eh?

So how long is the new car chassis/exclusive “GUTS” contract for? (Did Dallara just pull a Master-stroke and lock up chassis control for another 10yrs?)

Does this mean 2011 is a “Lame duck” season? i.e.; why starts a new team then if you’ve gotta shell out cash for new equipment in 2012? I mean I get it that the BIG ‘DAWGS will wanna peddle their obsolete equipment, but what good does it do for the Series to have a bunch ‘O “Juan Hit Wanderer’s?

And will Lola/Swift really be willing to produce Aero kits? As I can see Delta Wang, since it’s a Body-by-Cheep!” in-house effort... Even if Ben Bolby apparently went away from the Media thingy with smoke pourin’ from his ears... And even BAT could possibly do something as a “Third” Party for Penske? BUT let’s drop the BULL Boyz; (Hmm? Randy Bernard + PBR, Oh Never Mind!) C’mon Lockheed Martin, Boeing GM, Ford... WE NEEDS YUHS!!! PLEASE, PRETTY PREASE??? What I wanna know is who is Smokin’ what there, eh?

Lockheed-Martin is way too busy makin’ Jet Fighters, etc for an overly profitable NON-STOP OCCUPATION of two Countries... Boeing is years behind on its 787 Dreamliner and over a year behind on its 747-8 Delivery schedule. Although Boeing did run a Demonstration U-787 Hydroplane last year with Chip Hanauer at Seafair, it was to demonstrate its hoped for Bio-fuels production, which AREN’T Ethanol, while can you imagine the uproar over ‘Gov’t Motors going IndyCar racing?

And I sat there getting’ pissed off at Kurt Cavin who seemed like he was tryin’ to spin the Good Ship IndyCar... As this is really good SHIT Y’all! You’re gonna like it, trust me...

Yet I just cannot get over that overused quip ‘bout a Pig in a Blanket, Err, I meant a PIG with Lipstick... As please Indy Racing League; DO NOT try to dress this up as something it AIN’T!!!

Since why does this simply make me think of when I was a kid growing up in my Slot Car dazes? When you could simply snap-on a Daytona Superbird body or a Porsche 917 car ‘lickidey-split as they both were utilizing AFX “GUTS!” Which that term simply makes me think of what I get to dislodge every time I go Dungeness Crabbing...

And a “State-of-the-Art” Facility in Speedway to build Dallara Racecars... Which I tell Yuhs it seemed like Jeff Smith; Director of Marketing for the Indy Racing Experience on Autosport Radio the week prior let the Cat outta the Bag, as I was unaware that IRE also doubles as the exclusive North American Dallara parts supplier... Which I’m assuming will continue?

While Cavin ‘N Lee seemingly made things as clear as Mud on a Rainy Day with all of their hypothesizing... You’ll haveda wait ‘til my story tomorrow in the IndyStar... Which had Randy Bernard saying that Penske would only have to produce five “Body-by-Penske” Aero-kits and will control who can buy them... Uh, sorry ‘Cheep! NO Sale...

And I’d find it more appealing if there were gonna be multiple engine manufacturers? As it would be cool to see an Audi straight five cylinder turbo lump find its way into the mix, or an Alfa romeo twin-plug four cylinder lump or Porsche, Mazda, etc pushing Honda? But I don’t see it happening... Hmm? Any of yooze remembers that all conquering itsy-bitzy toy-Yoter turbocharged four-banger in the back of those annihilating Dan Gurney AAR IMSA GTP cars that simply crushed GTP into extinction...

So go ahead and do your Body-by insert name here thingy Indy Car... Just please don’t try passing it off like they’re truly distinct, separate, unique from-the-ground-up Single Seater Open Wheel Racing Cars! I mean SHEISA! AIN’T RASSCAR tryin’ that with those Nationwide-mobiles... Oh lookie ‘Dar, they’re slappin’ Mustang ‘N Challenger noses on whatever to try cashin’ in on those nameplates popularity... Only problem with it is; they’re “Pony Cars” with there long standing roots resonating in Road Racing and NOT ‘Roundy-round Yuh Hear?

So welcome Race Fans to the 2012 AFX AeroKit Era! As why does that CHEEZY advert By Mennen come screaming into my head as I finished Scribblin’ this?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Penske’s ‘willPower (Con’t)



Now entering his third decade of Indy Car racing, Roger Penske would experience a flood of emotions from more hallowed victories at the Speedway to multiple Drivers’ deaths. Yet as always, once again The Captain has come out smelling like a rose with the inking of Will Power to a full time ride at Team Penske!

TELECONFERENCE: Penske first to the Barber

1989
Rocket Rick became the very first driver to ever capture five Pole positions at the Speedway that May aboard a Penske PC-18/Chevrolet, having tied Rex Mays feat of capturing four poles the previous year, in which Mays had accomplished back in 1948!

Yet, it would be Emerson Fittipaldi capturing his first Borg Warner trophy for Pat Patrick and Chip Ganassi in a customer Penske PC-18/Chevy that year, with “EMMO” enroute to the CART Championship crown at year’s end.

1990
Having been beaten by the customer “BAD HABITS” Marlboro team of Patrick/Ganassi... Penske did the sensible thing and hired reigning CART Champion Fittipaldi to drive for him, hence forming a three car line-up for the season.

And EMMO immediately repaid The Captain by claiming the Pole at Indy, securing Team Penske’s third consecutive Pole position at the Brickyard, with Rocket Rick starting from “P2,” while “Sully” (Sullivan) rolled off from ninth, but it was to be some cat named “The Flying Dutchman” Arie Luyendyk’s day at the Speedway instead.

1991
Rick Mears now looking somewhat out of character, in Marlboro red and white versus his most recognizable Pennzoil yellow, albeit having made the switch the year prior, garnered the sixth and final Pole of his storied career at Indianapolis that May, becoming the only driver to date to accomplish the feat.

Thus starting from Pole, in what has to be my most favourite Rocket Rick win at the Speedway, when he made the move affectionately known as “The Pass” upon Mikey Andretti enroute to his record tying fourth Indy 500 victory at the Speedway during the 75th Memorial Day classic, Mears would only contest a single Indy 500 afterwards before announcing his retirement.

1993
Rick Mears was replaced by a young, brash Canadian named Paul Tracy, who qualified seventh before crashing out on lap 94, while team leader Emerson fittipaldi started ninth.

Emerson went onto score his second and final Indy 500 victory after a late race tussle with Little Al, then driving for Rick Galles, as Unser Jr. stood by his wrecked racecar waiting for EMMO to pass by and then flashing him two thumbs up before going to the awaiting Ambulance.

Yet, I believe more noise was made over the Brazilian shirking tradition by drinking Orange juice in Victory Lane instead of Milk in deference to his burgeoning OJ concern back home in San Paolo vs. winning Indy.

1994
Truly an epic season for Penske Racing, as The Captain’s Indy Car team was nearly unbeatable, with Al Unser Jr. winning a total of eight races, including that year’s Indy 500 with the all conquering Mercedes Benz “Stock Block” engine enroute to his second CART Championship, while Paul Tracy scored two victories and Emerson Fittipaldi managed to secure a lone victory that year, it was to be one of Roger Penske’s most successful seasons ever.

1995
After a record breaking year in 1994, when Penske’s three car “Super team” of Lil Al, “EMMO” and Tracy had obliterated the competition in CART, unbelievably Team Penske was unable to get its two drivers; Unser Jr. and Fittipaldi up to speed aboard their Penske PC-24/Mercedes. And The Captain even went as far as to purchase two Lola T95/00 chassis for the driving tandem. But to no avail could either driver make the show. As Roger Penske would miss the next five years, as Tony George’s rival Indy Racing League left Penske and CART out in the cold for the 79th running of Indy, with his 25-8 IRL participants rule for the formation of his rival Indy Racing League, kicking off in 1996...

1999
While many may recall that this was the year that tragically Gregg Moore was killed on Halloween at Fontana Speedway, ironically owned by Roger Penske at the time, as Moore had previously committed to drive for Roger the following year, does anybody recall that Rookie Gonzalo Rodriguez was killed at Laguna Seca Raceway on September 11th, in what was to be only his second start ever, while driving for Penske Racing, which at the time had a revolving door policy for its second car alongside the slumping Unser Junior, as unfortunately Rodriguez was fatally killed at the “Zanardi Curve,” better known as the Corkscrew after slamming into a concrete retaining barrier at 140mph.

And we now also know, that it was Penske’s inking of Helio Castroneves as Moore’s replacement via Carl Hogan that apparently a slighted Emerson Fittipaldi felt obliged to drop the dime upon his ex-charge Hulio in a wrangle over management fees.

2000
Gil De Ferran driving a Reynard-Honda captures the CART Championship, breaking Chip Ganassi’s four year stranglehold on the Vanderbilt Cup.

2001
Having witnessed rival CART team owner Chip Ganassi’s Juan Pablo Montoya obliterate the competition at Indy the previous year, when the first seven finishing positions were held by CART Drivers, Roger Penske could not stay away from the hallowed Speedway any further, entering two cars for his team, which would see a most welcome return as Helio Castroneves would be victorious with teammate Gil De Ferran runner-up, who would also go onto capture his second Vanderbilt Cup for what was to be Penske’s final season in CART.

2002
Roger Penske rocked the establishment by deciding to leave CART in favour of the Indy Racing League, in order to be able to contest that year’s May classic fully emblazoned in Marlboro livery, as the nasty “BAD HABITS’ Tobacco sponsorship was now confined to only one series per team entry. And The Captain didn’t fail to deliver as once again Castroneves won the epic event enroute to becoming only the fourth driver ever to have his “Mug” etched upon the Borg Warner trophy two consecutive years in a row, which wasn’t too shabby of a batting percentage in his first two attempts at the Speedway. Yet I recall gleefully indulging upon Panther Racing’s Sam Hornish Jr. securing his second IRL title over Penske Racing that season.

2003
Gil De Ferran finally accomplished his goal of beating pesky teammate Castroneves enroute to earning his lone Indianapolis 500 victory before ultimately retiring from Indy Car competition, making way for perennial IRL thorn Hornish Jr. to join Penske Racing’s fold, as Roger had still not managed to win an Indy Racing League title!

2006
Finally, Roger accomplished his goal of winning an Indy Car crown as Sam Hornish Jr. not only won the Championship, but that year’s Indy 500 from the Pole position as well, in an epic last lap pass of 19 year old Rookie IRL competitor Marco Andretti, thus notching Penske’s unprecedented 14th Borg Warner trophy.

2009
For the 93rd running of the Indy 500, which begins the three year Centennial celebration, Penske Racing once again fielded two Dallara/Honda racecars for Ryan Briscoe and Helio Castroneves in the traditional red and white livery of Team Penske. (Marlboro)

Yet obviously the big news for Roger Penske over the winter was the plight of “lead” driver Castroneves, as Hulio was indicted upon Tax evasion charges along with his manager/sister and lawyer, whom as we all painfully know were acquitted.

Thus, having previously inked Will Power to a back-up/replacement contingency Driver plan in case Hulio was incarcerated, Penske once again decided to field a three car armada for the month of May, with Power driving the Penske Racing No. 12 Verizon Wireless racecar, while Castroneves returned full time to his No. 3 and Briscoe continued on in his No. 6, while Power’s fate for the remainder of the season was unknown at that moment, Penske cleverly crafted together a partial season for the promising Australian.

Meanwhile excruciating fanfare was made over Castroneves scoring his third Pole at Indy after a late challenge from teammate Briscoe, with Team Penske cars rolling off 1-2, giving The Captain an unprecedented 15th Pole at Indy, while Power started a respectable ninth, the day ultimately belonged to Castroneves who scored his third Indy 500 victory...

2010
After winning for The Captain in dominating style at Edmonton in a retro-theme Penske Trucking paint scheme during the summer of ’09, Will Power had an unfortunate crash at Sonoma, CA which saw him break his back, leaving Power to ponder over the winter if he’d return to Penske Racing in 2010?

Fortunately for Will, Roger wisely decided to bring the Aussi back for a full-season ride in a third Penske Racing entrey, as The Captain would contest the Indy Car series with three drivers for the first time since 1994. And Power’s addition has paid off handsomely this season, as he’s simply dominated the Road/Street courses, currently the only Indy Car driver to have scored multiple victories, with three, not to mention a boatload of Pole’s, as Power currently leads the Points Standings and is a credible threat to bring roger a second Indy Car Championship...

GO WILL POWER!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Penske’s ‘willPower


Whale Y’all know that Old saying; How Time Flies, eh?

As I’d planned to originally publish this story upon my return from the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as the original title Penske’s BIG ‘4-Oh neatly coincided with my very first ever Indy 500 in May, 2009, the 100th Anniversary of The Speedway...

As nearly two years ago, Roger Penske, known as “the Captain” scored his 300th major motor racing victory, surely an unassailable mark... As the milestone was achieved at the Milwaukee mile, coming courtesy of then Penske Racing’s latest New hire; Ryan Briscoe aboard a Team Penske Dallara/Honda Indy Car, as the victory also came upon the 30th Anniversary of perennial Penske Racing driver Rick Mears maiden Indy Car victory...

And while some may claim that the 2008 outing at the Speedway was The Captain’s fortieth running of Indy, I’m going to claim that 2009 was Team Penske’s 40th Anniversary, as Roger first competed at Indianapolis in 1969, and thus, I’ll briefly attempt to re-cap Team Penske’s four decade legacy at the Speedway...

Early years
Roger Penske actually had a very brief career as a racing driver before ultimately deciding to concentrate on his role as the boss of Penske Racing, as Penske had won races and championships in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) ranks. Roger even contested two Formula 1 races, the 1961 and 1962 U.S. Grand Prix’s contested at Watkins Glen, along with causing controversy in ’62 with his “Zerex Special,” a wrecked Cooper F1 chassis he heavily modified and won in... Causing such uproar that the SCCA rewrote its class rules for the following season, effectively making the car illegal; yet, after upgrading it to current specs, Penske would later sell it to a fellow competitor named Bruce McLaren.

The Penske Racing origins began in 1966, when Roger decided to campaign a Lola Sports car in the United States Road Racing Championship, (USRRC) with driver Mark Donohue racing on a trial basis, having gone on to pass the audition with flying colours!

1969
Having tasted success in other arenas, Penske Racing arrived in Gasoline Alley for the 53rd running of the Indianapolis 500. It was during this month of May that Penske’s now legendary “Attention to Detail” was first fully displayed...

Along with this zest for an “Unfair Advantage,” was a brash, crew-cut Engineer/Driver by the name of Mark Donohue... Behind the wheel of Penske’s four wheel drive Lola T-152, powered by the ubiquitous four cylinder Offenhauser and this team’s tenacity for spit ‘N polish caused many Old Timers to refer to them as the “College Guys.”

Yet, Donohue lined-up forth upon the grid as a rookie in his dark blue number 66 Sunoco/ Simoniz sponsored Lola, finishing seventh overall and having easily won his rookie stripes enroute to being named Rookie of the Year, while displaying a glimpse into the future showings of Team Penske’s desires to be victorious at the Speedway.

1970
Team Penske once again returned to Indianapolis with the Lola T-152, albeit this year a newly designed two wheel drive version for Penske’s choice of engine, as the Captain had joined the “Powered by Ford” brigade, now utilizing a V-8 lump.

The month of May started off with Donohue being extremely fast before the others had caught-up, seeing Team Penske’s pilot qualifying fifth and steadily running his own race, eventually finishing runner-up in his No. 66 Sunoco race car to “Big Al,” (Al Unser Sr.) aboard the unstoppable Johnny Lightning Special.

1971
Roger Penske and Mark Donohue flew to England in search of potential Can Am machinery to purchase and upon their visit to the McLaren workshop at Colinbrook, immediately wished to purchase a McLaren M16 Indy Car, with Penske saying; “Build me one.”

The M16A prototype would ultimately become Donohues No. 66 Sunoco liveried mount, engineered by Don Cox, with its corresponding Offy powerplant producing 700bhp and being transferred to the rear wheels via a Hewland LP500 three speed gearbox.

Team Penske would enter two cars that May, with Donohue and a Rookie “Bloke” by the moniker of “Hobbo,” better known as David Hobbs driving the No. 68 Penske Products Lola/Ford.

During Indy qualifying Donohue was on pole at 177mph, but upon telling McLaren Team Boss Teddy Mayer why he was so slow... McLaren driver Peter Revson used this information to snatch the pole position away with a top speed of 178.690mph, as the crowd roared to life during what was supposed to be Donohue’s Pole winner’s interview.

Thus Donohue was forced to start second alongside Revson, with Hobbs lining up 16th, in Row 6. And while Revson would go onto finish second in the race, both Team Penske drivers Hobbs and Donohue retired, winding-up 20th and 25th respectively.

1972
Penske once again ordered chassis from McLaren, this time two cars, one for Donohue and one for new recruit Gary Bettenhausen, with Donohue qualifying third, on the outside of Row 1, with Bettenhausen lining up fourth in Row 2.

And although Donohue was once again out qualified by McLaren “Works” driver Peter Revson at Indy, this time Penske had opted to utilize a slightly less boosted Offenhauser and when leader Jerry Grant made an unexpected pit stop with 13 laps remaining, Donohue swept into the lead and went on to win the first of Penske’s record 14 Indy 500 victories, after only his (and Penske’s) fourth attempt, while Bettenhausen finished 14th.

1973
As the defending Champion, Roger Penske entered three cars this year for defending Indy 500 winner Donohue, G. Bettenhausen and new Penske Racing recruit; Rookie Bobby Allison, as Donohue would switch to a Dan Gurney AAR Eagle chassis, while Bettenhausen and Allison ran McLaren’s, with all three of Penske’s first “Super-team” utilizing Offenhauser power plants.

1975
Having come out of retirement in 1974, after nearly a year away from driving, Mark Donohue elected to try his hand at F1 behind the wheel of Roger Penske’s own Formula 1 chassis, the PC-1, designed by Geoff Ferris.

Penske’s first choice for driver had been Peter Revson, but sadly Revson perished in pre-season testing at the beginning of 1974. After having interviewed possible candidates, it was announced that Donohue and Penske would return to Formula 1 for the final two rounds of the ’74 calendar at Mosport and Watkins Glen.

While both Penske and Donohue struggled to get the new chassis up to speed, qualifying 24th and finishing 12th, another American team was making its debut in F1, as Parnelli Jones entered a car for driver Mario andretti, who would qualify 16th and finish 7th.

Having become frustrated with his own chassis’s lack of progress, Penske ordered a customer March 751 for Donohue, during the teams first full season campaign. (1975) in which Donohue would record a fifth place finish in the British Grand Prix.

Yet, Donohue would be involved in a somewhat spectacular wreck during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, when his Goodyear tire suffered a puncture and saw the March chassis crashing thru four rows of catch fencing, along with hitting an advertising billboard.

Having been briefly unconscious, Donohue appeared relatively unscathed, even walking around in the garage and talking to team members and friends before becoming disorientated and being rushed to a nearby hospital in Graz, where it was discovered that he had a blood clot on his brain and emergency surgery was immediately performed. Sadly, Donohue would perish two days after his incident at the Osterreichring, being pronounced dead on Tuesday, August 19th, 1975.

Ironically, Donohue’s replacement for 1976; John Watson would score the team’s lone F1 victory one year later at the very same track before Penske would shutter the operation at the end of the season.

1977
With the arrival of Cosworth’s 2.65 liter V-8 turbocharged DFX variant at Indy that May, the four cylinder Offenhauser finally became obsolete, as the DFX would propel Penske’s McLaren M24 racing cars to new heights. And although Mario andretti was the first to pass the 200mph barrier, the first official one lap record would be set by Tom “The Gasman” Sneva at the Brickyard with his Pole setting run of 198.880mph, including a top lap speed of 200.535mph! As both drivers sought to claim Pole position for The Captain; with Sneva capturing Roger Penske’s first of a record setting 15 Pole positions to date...Yet all of the hoopla surrounding Sneva’s 200mph blast would be overshadowed by AJ Foyt’s historic fourth victory at Indy that May... While Sneva and Andretti finished runner-up and 26th respectively; while later that summer, the Penske PC-5 arrived on the USAC Championship trail, as this car was a close copy of McLaren’s M24 chassis, built at Penske’s Poole, England factory originally set up for his Formula 1 operation, as Sneva would make good use of the PC5, taking victories enroute to winning the National Championship.

1978
Tom Sneva once again won the USAC National Championship, now racing the Penske PC-6, while Penske Racing newcomer Rick Mears was named Co-Rookie of the Year at the Speedway, sharing the honours with Larry Rice, having been hired on a part time basis, sharing his ride with Mario Andretti, who was busy in Europe on his way to winning the Formula 1 World Championship for Colin Chapman.

1979
Having scored consecutive USAC titles, it was quite surprising when Penske disposed of Tom Sneva, opting instead for a less controversial Driver, with someone by the name of “Rocket Rick” (Mears) taking over the reins, in what now appears to have been a “No-brainer.”

Mears would go on to capture his first Indy 500 victory that May, also having secured his first Pole at the Speedway... Along with becoming Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) inaugural Champion, in which Roger Penske was instrumental in creating.

1981
The year was best known for the courtroom shenanigans which ultimately saw Bobby Unser being awarded his third and final Indy 500 victory, driving for Penske Racing, while Rick Mears would go onto claim his second CART Driver’s Title

1982
Once again Rick Mears sat on the Pole at Indy, his second occasion, before entering into a most epic duel with eventual race winner “Gordie” Johncock, as Mears tried mightily to run down the wily Johncock, driving for Pat Patrick and ultimately finishing as the runner-up. Mears went onto claim his third and final CART Driver’s crown that season.

1983
“Big Al” (Al Unser Sr.) wins the Driver’s crown with a single victory over the upstart Italian Rookie Teo Fabi, as the Formula 1 hot-shue wins four races aboard Gerald Forsythe’s Skoal Bandit.

1984
While a fairly bleak season for The Captain overall, Rocket Rick salvages the year by winning a lone race for Penske Racing, when he captures his second Indy 500 victory aboard a March 84C chassis that Roger had originally entered as the “T-Car” (Back-up) chassis, as the Penske PC-12’s simply weren’t a match that season.

1985
Big Al secures his final National Championship for The Captain by finishing ahead of his son ‘Little Al in the season’s finale, albeit having scored only one victory that season vs. ‘lil Al’s two victories. Meanwhile, teammate Danny Sullivan electrifies the world with his epic “Spin ‘N Win” Indianapolis 500 victory over Mario Andretti.

1986
While Rick Mears would start from Pole position for his third time at Indy, the win would deservedly go to Bobby Rahal, as his team owner Jim Trueman would pass away from his long bout with cancer just days after Rahal’s lone victory as a Driver.

1987
Although originally not hired to drive for The Captain that season, “Big Al” was lured back to action when Danny Ongais crashed at Indy in early May. Penske Racing then hurriedly prepared a year old March chassis which was currently a show car in a Hotel for Al Unser Sr. to drive, who would go onto claim his epic fourth 500 victory that May, equaling “Super Tex’s” feat from a decade prior.

1988
Roger Penske had the best of both worlds that year as Danny Sullivan captured his lone CART Championship on the back of four victories, while Rocket Rick secured his third Indy 500 victory, starting from the Pole for his forth time that May. And for icing on Roger’s cake, was the fact that Penske Racing locked out the front row for that year’s Indy 500 with Mears on Pole in his yellow submarine Pennzoil Special, while “Mr. Hollywood’s” (Danny Sullivan) Miller High Life was in the middle and 49yr old “Big Al” was on the outside of Row One in his Hertz yellow renta-racer... All three piloting Penske PC-17/Chevrolet’s...

To continue reading, see: Penske's 'willPower (Con't)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Off to the land of The Chrome Horn Eh!

TakingWith all this Yackking ‘bout the Concrete Canyons ‘O Temporary Street circuits... Can you say Toronto? Welcome to the Land of the Chrome Horn, Eh! Which apparently everybody ‘N their Brothers used it on the competition at Exhibition Place besides Messer Tracy!

Thus, your Humble Scribe has chosen to make his very first trek to Edmonton, Canada for the upcoming Edmonton Honda Indy, which means I’ll get to see the wily ‘Ol PT causin’ trouble again, perhaps leadin’ another race thru differing Pit strategies? Although I don’t expect him to beat Will Power, then again he almost pulled a Rabbit outta his Hat with a Podium finish last year in Toronto before HULIO gave him the Chrome Horn treatment...

After being undecided on whether or NOT to give it ‘Juan last try this morning, I decided to Gut out another LAME-ARSE session of playin’ Pin-the-DART-on-the-IRN-Broadcast... As do NOT get me started on yesterday’s Indy Lights coverage, Err LACK of connectivity... F-E-R!

As once again I was UNABLE to geosynchronously “link-up” with Indycar.com’s ABOMBINATION of a “Live” internets stream! As I rose early yesterday morning to try tunin’ into the Indy Lights race, which unfortunately SUCKED! As from 8:37-8:59AM (Pacific) There was NO F%%KING IMS Radio Network connection via Indycar.com; GRRRRRRR!!!

Then after Breakfast, ‘cause apparently I’m... Oh Never Mind! I tried again one last time at 9:27AM and was SHOCKED to be able to listen to the very last few minutes. Before Kevin Lee was almost impossible to hear because he had NO sound while interviewing J.K. Vernay, the Pole winner...

While the Indycar Nation webpage proudly claimed ALL weekend long: “Up Next: IZOD IndyCar Weekly with host Mike King - Monday July 12th at 7pm ET”

Yet I did somehow manage to get the entire Indy Car ‘BIG BOYZ Qualifying session piped-in via the internets, as that’s a start fellahs...

Then getting up even earlier today, fortunately the Indy Lights webcast went way better then yesterday’s FUTILITY! As on only the third try I was pleasantly surprised to get the entire Indy Lights race; Hmm? It worked? As I’d decided to go this route largely since Bob Jenkins was back on Assignment, not to mention Mike “Yippee-Aye-Eh!” King ‘N Davey “STUD!” Hamilton and the resta the gang...

And Jean-Karl Vernay simply walked away from the very sparse Indy Lights field, as Homeboy James “Mayor ‘O Hingetown” Hinchcliffe didn’t have exactly the weekend he was hoping for, falling from second place to tenth on the final lap after making a mistake...

Then it was time for a Barnburner of an Indy Car race... Although I felt absolutely GUTTED after Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson’s uncharacteristic spin while leading the field towards the end of the race! As although I’m happy Will Power won again, it just didn’t feel right to me... As I’d really like to know who messed-up by puttin’ Justin on the alternate red rubber... As didn’t they remember how it affected Franchitti at Watkins Glen, eh?

Therefore, since I’ve been busy Packing ‘N there’s certainly NO lack of readin’ material on the No Fenders Blogsite... Your Humble Scribe won’t be Scribbling ‘bout the Toronto IndyCar race... Nor the upcoming German Grand Prix in any serious detail, Although I did find the Post-race IMS Radio Network Broadcast to be highly entertaining, as first The Graminator, nee Graham Rahal said I don’t usually run people over... BUTT! Briscoe wouldn’t get outta my way and he was blocking me, so what are Yuhs gonna do! Then ‘TAG pronounced that Tomas “Rockem-Sockem” Scheckter had just told him; Now we’re even for last year ‘lil buddy... To which Scheckter said is it karmic that it just happened to be Tagliani? He’s a CRYBABY and he should just Get-over-It like I’ve done...

While before this, Davey Hamilton had great fun bustin’ up on Tomas; NO! I’m NOT picking on him because of Indy... While later Davey ‘N Mike King had a great chortle over saying I guess that means you can take out Scheckter next time he tries passing you; Hya!

Thus posting upon No Fenders may be a little Spartan for the next 10-days, although I’ll see if I can get Blogmeister Miguel to publish a few stories...

And that’s before we get to next week’s triple header of Formula 1, Indy Car and MOTO GP; SHEISA!

GO JUSTIN!

Concrete fever?

Perhaps you’ve become aware of my desire to see my “Home track” Portland International Raceway (PIR) returned to its rightful place upon the IndyCar World Series calendar, even if it skews the balance ‘O Indy Car’s schedule towards a decidedly CART-esqe flavour with GASP! MORE road course/Street circuits then Ovals, tisk-tisk… ‘Cause; Sometimes Yuhs feelz likes a Nut, sometimes Yuhs Don’t!

Thus as Y’all may have noticed? I’ve been fuming lately over the arrival of another “Cookie-cutter” Temporary Street Circuit having been awarded to Baltimore, hot on the heels of the NO PASSING ZONES Barber Motorsports Park in Sweet Home Alabama... Can you say RASSCAR Country?

So of course Geo. Phillips, who I mostly enjoy his Oil Pressure stories weekly, naturally got my DANDER UP whilst according to George, I’ve been ‘Pigeon-holed as ‘Juan ‘O the remaining “BITTER CART/Champ Car fans who feel as if they “lost” and are being slighted’ over Indy Car’s re-creation.

Whale HELL Yeah! I’m Bitter over the fact that Portland has seemingly been locked out of Indy Car and thus I’m definitely feeling slighted over this! As I just cannot comprehend how IZOD ‘N Indy Car wish to continue thumbing their noses at the Pacific Northwest; Oh Never Mind!

May be IndyCar should Stay Away from the Northwest After all...

As let’s take a look at some of the more notorious Street Circuits that have come ‘N gone in the past: San Jose, Phoenix (Stillborn) Las Vegas, Vancouver BC, (Portland-rumoured) Denver, etc. Not to mention the permanent Road courses: Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Road America and Laguna Seca. Or Oval tracks: Fontana, Phoenix, Nazareth, Michigan, Milwaukee, Pikes Peak, Nashville, Richmond, etc.

Thus having now been “Locked-out” of the Indy Car Playpen for the last 3yrs and nothing on the horizon? As I certainly do NOT wish for any current ICS Racetrack’s demise... Whale Otay may be a few Ovals, I’ve simply shied away from frequenting Indy Car races ‘cause they’re also BLOODY FAR AWAY!!! And I certainly don’t wanna see Watkins Glen be dropped, nor Sonoma; which if worked correctly could be Twin-billed with a return to Portland to cut down on travel expenses...

Comments Welcome

So I don’t know if it’s a Good thing or a Bad thing? As Y’all seem to rarely comment upon the ‘Mega amount ‘O Scribblin’s your Humble Scribe provides Y’all at a very nominal fee...

Just wanted to reiterate that Comments are always welcome here at No Fenders on any/all stories, subjects, etc...

I’d prefer if you’d use some sorta name in the name field as opposed to anonymous; as any “Stage-name” is plausible, as it’s simply an easier way to know whose commenting.

All Comments are Moderated. This is done due to the unfortunate nature of over-zealous SPAMMER’S who were frequenting the site! So occasionally, it may take a few days for me to get around to approving them. Please be patient... And please feel free to drop me a line or Comment anytime...
Tomaso

Saturday, July 17, 2010

JUSTIN ROCKS!


Yeah I know! It’s ONLY Pole Position; BUTT! Justin Wilson simply KICKED HEINIE today Up North Eh! On the Streets of Toronto! Scoring Team England’s, Err Dryer & Reinbold’s second-ever Pole Position... As Kurty Cavin said it best a little while ago:

“Justin’s an ANIMAL on Road/Street courses!”

As he did it again, with even second place finisher Will Power sounding somewhat surprised to hear that the ‘BIG UNIT had gone all-the-way to the Fast 6 Shootout without using any Red’s; Really? As I think it was Watkins Glen or somewhere else before that Justin pulled off the same feat!

Of course I think Wilson had Pole over Will at the Champ Car series Swansong at Long Beach before dropping to fourth and ultimately outta the race as Power rocketed off to victory... But as THE ‘DAWG sez: Photo above strictly for Schuwerve Generating purposes... As No Fenders tries to pull a little Wind Tunnel FEEL GOOD Mo-Jo for Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson tomorrow...

GO JUSTIN!

Bastille Day – Les Bleus (Con’t)


Philippe Streiff (Source: Motorsport Magazine.com)

A Rondeau reunion with added Spice

OOPS! I’ve totally deviated from the original Questione that was bouncing ‘round my noggin’ way back when...

As I’d originally thought that this year’s Formula 1 season marked the first time in three decades that there wasn’t a French Grand Primo Piloto upon the F1 Grid; but my research reveals that there were 24 French Grand Primo Piloto’s between 1981-2004; before there were Zero French drivers, first in 2005: while Frank Montagny substituted for Yuji Ide after having his FIA Super license pulled for 4-races at “Super Best Friends” in 2006. Then again in 2007 there were Zero French GP Piloto’s, before The Hamburgular ‘N Romain showed up for a brief spell between 2008-09. ‘As now we’re back to NO “Frenchies,” whilst the likely heir apparent is Ferrari-boy Jules Bianchi...


1980-2010: Total = 27 F1 Drivers

French Grand Prix Winners
Obviously the most successful of all the Formula One Drivers is none other then Alain Prost, whose statistics stand head ‘N shoulders above the rest, while Rene Arnoux and Jacques Laffite were left to scrap over runner-up status. With Didier Pironi’s three victories being one more then the triumbrant of Patrick Depailler, Jean-Pierre Jabouille and Patrick Tambay, with Jean Alesi and Olivier Panis bringing up the rear.

Alain Prost
(Years; 1980-91, 1993) Teams: McLaren; Renault; Ferrari; Williams
(51 Wins, 33 Poles, 106 Podiums)

”The Professor” is the only Frenchman to ever win the World Championship, doing it a most impressive four times. (1985-86, 1989, 1993) As Prost currently ranks second in All-time Grand Prix victories (51) and third for overall Drivers Championships behind Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio; yet Alain’s battles with Arch-nemesis Ayrton Senna are legendary, as the two traded Championship winning crashes in Japan along with Senna’s hiring at Williams ultimately leading to Prost’s retirement...

Rene Arnoux
(1978-89) Martini, Surtees, Renault, Ferrari, Ligier.
(7 Wins, 18 Poles, 22 Podiums)

I just seem to remember that Rene thought an awful-lot about himself and didn’t make many friends amongst his fellow competitors, namely Alain Prost and perhaps Didier Pironi? As Arnoux was given the boot from Scuderia Ferrari to make room for Stefan Johansson...

Jacques Laffite
(1974-86) Iso-Marlboro; Ligier; Williams.
(6 Wins, 7 Poles, 32 Podiums)

Never saw this amiable Grand Prix Piloto race, nor Pironi, Depailler
Jabouille or Tambay, as they all participated before my introduction to Grand Prix racing... As apparently Laffite was part of the Broken Legs Brigade, as F1 chassis had a nasty habit of injuring drivers during the 1970-80’s, as I’d liken Laffite to Riccardo Patrese, as “Gentlemen Drivers.” Thus Jacques Grand Prix career ultimately ended when attempting to equal Graham Hill’s consecutive starts record at Brands Hatch in 1986 when avoiding an incident led to his shattering both ankles.

Yet interestingly, Jacques involvement in Motor Racing can be traced to Jean-Pierre Jabouille, ultimately becoming Brothers-in-law, along with Laffite becoming the very first French driver in a French car propelled by a French engine to ever win a Grand Prix, the 1977 Swedish GP at Anderstorp...

Didier Pironi
(1978-82) Tyrrell; Ligier; Ferrari.
(3 Wins, 4 Poles, 13 Podiums)

Didier is most likely known for his controversy prior to and leading up to Gilles Villeneuve’s death in Zolder, while Pironi himself would suffer a similar fate of hitting a slower moving racecar, causing him to shatter both of his legs and ending his F1 driving career. Yet Pironi would recover only to be killed in a Powerboat racing accident, while reputedly his girlfriend who was pregnant at the time would go onto name the twins Didier and Gilles...

Patrick Depailler
(1972, 1974-1980) Tyrrell; Ligier; Alfa Romeo.
(2 Wins, 1 Pole, 19 Podiums)

Unfortunately “De-Pai-eh” was killed in a testing accident at the Hockenheimring before I’d ever read about him, as I mostly associate him as the driver of the second Tyrrell P34 Six-wheeler behind Jody Scheckter, although he was also Ronnie Peterson’s Wingman in those great Six-wheeler’s...

Jean-Pierre Jabouille
(1974-75, 1977-81)Williams; Surtees; Tyrrell; Renault; Ligier. (2 Wins, 6 Poles, 2 Podiums)

Interestingly, Jabouille started his racing career with assistance from his mechanic-friend named Jacques Laffite... Before winning an F2 Championship with a self-modified chassis before being drafted into Renault Sport for the arduous task of developing the revolutionary RS01 turbocharged racecar, which took a long year-plus to develop. And although his future Brother-in-law made history before him, fittingly Jabouille gave Renault the sports very first turbocharger engine victory in the French GP at Dijon. Yet Jean-Pierre was soon becoming outpaced by rival teammate Arnoux, using Jabouille’s set-up knowledge, before a nasty leg break in late 1980 effectively ended his Grand Prix career...

Patrick Tambay
(1977-79, 1981-86) Surtees; Theodore; McLaren; Ligier; Ferrari; Renault; Haas-Lola. (2 Wins, 5 Poles, 11 Podiums)

Although Tambay drove for McLaren during the faltering years of decline before Ron Dennis stepped into the breach, all I know is he was drafted into Ferrari to replace the late Gilles Villeneuve before being dumped in favour of Michele Alboreto. Then a very brief stint at Renault before ending his career with the underachieving Haas-Beatrice-Lola F1 Project...

Jean Alesi
(1989-2001) Tyrrell; Ferrari; Benetton; Sauber; Prost; Jordan.
(1 Win, 2 Poles, 32 Podiums)

Can it really be 20yrs since Alesi caused quite a stir in F1 when the upstart driver dared to duel with Ayrton Senna in his lowly blue & white Epson backed Tyrrell? Although this was the revolutionary (Dihedral-wing) raised nose Tyrrell 019 Ford V-8 chassis designed by the late Harvey Postlethwaite.

Yet I simply recall Alesi’s Grand Prix career being Star-crossed, as it could be argued he should have gone to Williams instead of Ferrari, but who can blame any driver for not wanting to drive for the Scuderia? As I know I watched him take that lone victory at Il Notre Dam.

Yet I have stronger memories of Jean debuting that scarlet red F40 IMSA Racecar at the Del Mar (Horsetrack) Fairgrounds in California, along with the number 200 on the sidepod of that yellow Jordan chassis...

Olivier Panis
(1994-99, 2001-04) Ligier; Prost; (McLaren-Test Driver; 2000) BAR; Toyota. (1 Win, 0 Poles, 5 Podiums)

I recall watching this Monaco winner have a horrendous crash at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, striking a concrete Footbridge abutment and shattering both legs... And although he did doggedly return to Formula 1, I’d surmise his career was never quite the same after that massive shunt?


French GP Piloto’s
So perhaps I should mention that it’s becoming even more funnier to Mwah how many of these French Racing Drivers I either know very little about, or paid very little attention to, since my first “Full” Season of watching Formula One was the 1987 season, when as now, there was NO United States Grand Prix. And although I think I knew the majority of Driver’s names? I seemingly gravitated towards the amazing machinery way back when...

Jean-Pierre Jarier
(Years; 1971, 1973-83) Teams: March; Shadow; ATS; Ligier; Lotus; Tyrrell; Osella. (0 Wins, 3 Poles, 3 Podiums)

Another driver before “My-time” of Observing Formula 1, as Jarrier seemingly made the rounds as a “Journeyman” driver, albeit in the rarefied atmosphere of F1... As Jarrier first substituted at Lotus, driving the Team’s second entry at Watkins Glen, filling the void left by Ronnie Peterson’s death at Monza. Thus Jarrier drove for Colin Chapman’s squad in the ’78 season’s final two F1 events, even managing to claim Pole Position at Montreal before retiring with an oil leak.

After two fairly nondescript seasons at Tyrrell, Jarrier ultimately took over for Jean-Pierre Jabouille at Ligier, who never recovered his form from his nastily broken leg...

Jean-Louis Schlesser
(1983, ‘88) RAM; Williams.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Like many French F1 Drivers, Jean-Louis Schlesser made his Grand Prix debut in his home race, the French GP in a RAM-March Cosworth.

Yet Jean-Louis will always be remembered as the man whom Ayrton Senna tripped over... As I recall shouting at le Telescreen; “TAKE-HIM-Out!” As the overly aggressive Brazilian was simply in too much of a hurry that magical day in Monza, when Schlesser was the “Mobile-chicane” in the way as Ayrton tried running over him, incredulously crashing out whilst leading the Italian Grand Prix in what would have given McLaren a “Clean-Sweep” of victories during the 1988 season! Yet the Tiafosi would revel in the fact that ‘Ol Enzo surely was looking down upon them as Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto would delight the country with a miraculous 1-2 victory!

Yet interestingly, very little seems to ever be made of the fact that Jean-Louis was the 1978 French F3 Co-Champion with somebody named Alain Prost...

Philippe Alliot
(1984-90, 1993-94) RAM; Ligier; Larrousse; McLaren.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Fran├žois Hesnault
(1984-85) Ligier; Brabham; Renault.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Don’t know anything about him, other then it appears he was the last driver to race a third car in a Grand Prix when he piloted a third Renault at the French GP reportedly as a in-car camera test outing...

Philippe Streiff
(1984-88) Renault; Ligier; Tyrrell; AGS.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 1 Podium)

Like Monsieur Hesnault above, Philippe Streiff made his F1 debut behind the keyboard of a third “Works” Renault at Estoril in 1984, along with winning the Brands Hatch F2 race for AGS.

Then the following year while contesting F3000 for AGS, he was called up to fill in at Ligier for the crash prone Italian known as “De-Crasheris!” And later on he drove for Tyrrell, even taking a third place finish in Australia. He then secured a Full-time ride with Tyrrell between 1986-87, before moving back to AGS who’d now progressed into Formula One. There Philippe contested the ’88 season with the little French Team before he suffered his career ending injury in a testing accident prior to the 1989 Formula 1 season which left him paralyzed for life. And like Elio de Angelis, Clay Reggazoni and others whose names seem to get very little mention, as most only recall Black Sunday when Ayrton perished, Streiff unfortunately hold’s a dubious place-marker for me, as he was the first driver in Grand Prix circles to be severely injured during my F1 tenure and still seems to be largely forgotten…

Pascal Fabre
(1987) AGS
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Pierre-Henri Raphanel
(1988-89) Larrousse; Coloni; Rial.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Eric Bernard
(1989-91, 1994) Larrousse; Ligier; Lotus.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 1 Podium)

Only recall him being dubbed one half of the “Eric Brothers,” who I seem to recall seeing in the flesh at Phoenix, Arizona...

Olivier Grouillard
(1989-92) Ligier; Osella; Fondmetal; AGS; Tyrrell.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Funny, but the main thing I recall about him is being an absolute ‘WILD-HAIR” man, just really crazy locks...

Erik Comas
(1991-94) Ligier; Larrousse.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

The other Half of le “Eric Brothers,” as I faintly recall seeing him ‘N Monsieur Bernard; NO! Not Randy, but Eric walking towards me into the F1 Paddock in Phoenix, Arizona...

Paul Belmondo
.(1992, 1994) March; Pacific.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Jean-Marc Gounon
(1993-94) Minardi; Symtek.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Most likely overshadowed by ex-Symtek Driver Roland Ratzenberger’s death...

Franck Lagorce
(1994) Ligier
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

I seem to recall him more for driving those iridescent Yellow ‘NASTY GT1 Corvette Racing Cars in IMSA over his short lived F1 career...

Jean-Christophe Boullion
(1995) Sauber
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Interestingly, Boullion was the 1994 F3000 Champion over Franck Lagorce, while Jean-Christophe’s break into F1 came at the expense of Karl Wendlinger, who injured himself in Monaco, one race after the horrible Imola weekend… Where Wendlinger suffered a nasty Coma and prolonged recovery!

Meanwhile I just witnessed Boullion making a heavy crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe this past June, (his 13th start) where he claims his lights went out while the SPEED reporters were left pondering what he’d done during the Yellow flag period to induce his solitary accident...

Stephane Sarrazin
(1999) Minardi
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

I first saw Stephane contesting the WRC when you could actually watch the Championship on SPEED... As Sarrazin shared the second Prodrive “Works” Subaru with Aussie Chris Atchinson before making the leap to a Factory ride with Peugeot’s Sports Car Team, where Stephane has sat on the Pole twice at LeMans for the French Lion along with finishing runner-up in the 24 Heurs classic...

Frank Montagny
(2006) Super Aguri
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Don’t know where it came from, but he’s now known to me as “Frank-the-Tank,” as Montagny briefly filled in for Yuji Ide, who was completely out of his depth as a Formula 1 rookie for the Super Aguri squad. Since then, Montagny has tried cracking the Indy Car scene along with being another current Peugeot Factory Sports Car Driver...

Sebastian Bourdais
(2008-09) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

I like calling ‘SeaBass The “Hamburgular...” C’mon, do you really have to ask? Can you say MicDougal’s? As Bourdais is the latest Indy Car Champion to take a shot in Formula 1, although the four times consecutive Champ Car Champion never seemed to quite get to grips with his toro rosso chassis...

Romain Grosjean
(2009)Renault
(0 Wins, 0 Poles, 0 Podiums)

Not much to say ‘bout Romain, beside recalling him getting penalized for punting a fellow Japanese GP Driver outta the way during a GP2 Asia race, along with getting the call-up to F1 after Flavour Flav pulled his shenanigans upon Nelson Pickett Junior, a.k.a. Nelson Piquet Jr.

And there Y’all have it, as this concludes a very long winded answer to my original Questione ‘bout if this is the first year in the past three decades without a Frenchman on the Formula 1 Grid? As I didn’t even bother delving into the various Grand Prix Racetracks, as sadly the French Grand Prix seemingly has disappeared from the F1 calendar for the foreseeable future...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And the IndyCar Chassis winner is...

So I swore I wasn’t gonna do it; BUTT! The ‘Mega intrigue of today’s rally-rally-rally B-I-G! Indy Car announcement apparently gots duh betters ‘O me... As I decided to drop-in on Indycar.com’s Bling-Bling Website to see what was up? And you’d think they’d want everyone ‘N their pet Parakeet tunin’ in right? As the Homepage boldly proclaimed: Click here to watch live starting at 12Noon ET. Which Herroe? Is 9AM West Coast time... But guess what: NOTHIN’ at 9:02AM – Whatever!

But I did manage to log-on at 9:48AM (12:48PM NY/ET) Just-in-Time” to hear ‘N see Brian Braveheart pontificating ‘bout the new ICS Chassis... Which Surprise-Surprise! Will be built by Dallara; Hmm? Isn’t ‘Dat who Paul-the-Octopus picked?

And apparently all of the Flash-Bang Gee Whiz Neeto Press Conference left me hankerin’ for a Sandwich! But not just any garden variety Sandwich, butz ‘Juan’s ‘O ‘Dem Uhm-Uhm Good! Tenderloin Sandwiches! So off I went to my Neighborhood Grocery Store in search of some delectable morsels for something to cure my insatiable hunger after watching the Big Show as long as Indycar.com let-it-roll...

Thus trying to check-out, an Elderly? Lady in front of me began critiquing the Cashier, exclaiming; how can there be 32 cents TAX on a bottle of water that costs 79 cents? Shouldn’t my TAX have been less than 46 cents?

Yet like most States, Washington has a serious Budget Deficit... And thus our glorious governor has instituted a new “SIN TAX” on bottled water, candy, gum, etc. HEY LADY! Hurry it up wills Yuhs? I’ve got another riveting story to crank out! As the lady turned and said apologetically; I’m from Alabama and new to your state here... Just trying to figure out what I’m payin’ TAXES on? Oh Never Mind!

Which leads me to my next point upon today’s News Conference, as it was touted several times how the NEW Dallara IndyCar “GUTS” will now only set you back $349,000 vs. the current price of $700,000! WTF? While an entire IndyCar complete with body-by-Dallara” Aero-kit brings the price tag up to $385,000... Hmm? How can Dallara do that? And that doesn’t even include the $150k “Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge” incentive for the first 28 orders to come from Indiana based Teams... Yet I’m gonna travel to Edmonton and get how much of a cost savings?

The last bit was precious... As I really DON’T understand why Indycar.com thought it had to pull-the-plug on the Media Q & A session after the ICONIC Tap Dance session was over... As those of us who weren’t able to travel Cross-country to Indianapolis for today’s ‘Mega event apparently will haveda wait for the riveting stories penned by the Masses, eh? Oh wait a moment? Isn’t the Indy Racing League hoping your Humble Scribe will write about this? Hmm? How am I supposed to give a FULL “Blow-by-Blow” recounting?

Although I got to listen to the first two questions; with some Cat from WISH TV; Uh, I’d like to make a wish! Named Derek Daly asked most incredulously; so it’ll be possible for a Dallara with Body-by-Lola to become a Lola Indy Car? To which Brian Braveheart tried spinning as ANYBODY: Lockheed, Boeing, GE, Lola, Swift, BAT, Delta wing and even HELL Paul-the-Octopus can design a Body “Aero” Kit that then becomes the Branded “Moniker” of said Indy Car chassis... As Derek tried elaborating on this he simply sounded like a Cat who’d swallowed the Canary? Derek was then followed-up by Bruce Martin; SHEISA! Before somebody apparently pulled-the-plug!

As I’m still left ‘Wunderin, So, if you’re allowed two Body by No Fenders “Aero” Kits per season, is this on top of obviously needing one Road/Street & Oval track configuration at a minimum? And it still sounds like they don’t have ANY engines lined-up yet? But My-Oh-My! How I cringed when I heard Brian Braveheart mutter those illustrious words; “We’re gonna do More with LESS!” Which Ahem Brian, that’s exactly what somebody at Boeing named Alan Mulally said before he began making massive layoffs! And then he ran away to ford with his “Golden Parachute...” Oh Never Mind!

Dallara gets the Nod, sort of

Happy Bastille Day – Les Bleus


Recently I had the following tidbit sent to me... Claiming there’s a Famous French saying: “I regret that I only have one life to surrender for my country.”

To which I’ve never heard before, so can’t vouch for its accuracy; Wee-Wee, Sufferin’ Succotash! As I always find it most karmic when something that’s been eating at you becomes World News in a round about way, as your Humble Scribe had originally been ponderin’ if this year’s (2010) Formula 1 World Championship was the first in modern history to not have a French Grand Primo Piloto taking part in the action?

And I’ve experienced both sides of French behaviour, from sublimely good to traditional French bleu nastiness... As I found everyone to be fairly polite to us in “Gay Paree,” (Paris) as people were pleasant and willing to serve us... To being called certain French cuss words on the TGV High-speed Train upon accidently having taken the wrong seat! Ooh La La; Sei la Vie! Yet I must confess that it was the English (Americans?) who gave us a Saliva shower on the top of the Eiffel Tower whilst trying to hawk loogeys off the Observation Deck; YUK! (JACKARSES!)

Thus this Questione has been bouncing ‘round my Cranium for a few months now and I finally decided to get to the bottom of it upon the recent Noise “The Frenchies” have been making during their scandalous World Cup behaviour which I simply deplore! Not to mention all of the entertainment Grizzled “Journo” Joe Saward’s been having with Air Traffic Control and Ground Staff in his adopted Home Country... Actually having been so blatant to simply leave his Aeroplane without any Airstairs/Ramps or Busses to take the just landed (stranded) passengers; SHEISA!

Yet if I recollect correctly? I believe the Trains went on strike during the 1998 World Cup Tournament in France? While I myself have spent the day in Italy awaiting the possibility of a “lone” Passenger Train during a One-day strike...

And for some reason my very mild thoughts upon France’s history pertains to the fact that Alexandre Eiffel was responsible for the Eiffel Tower, but the Statue of Liberty... Although I tend to think more ‘bout the Maggot Line and the French Resistance, while I’m not overly impressed by Louis Chiron claiming that Mademoiselle “Helle Nice” was a Nazi sympathizer. Yet on the plus side I find Simon Pageunaud to be an extremely pleasing bloke to listen to, a real breath of fresh air and a great contemporary racing Star who should be given his chance in Indy Car immediately! (Can you say De Ferran Dragon Racing and Two Car entry?)

As I was gonna say something ‘bout the ‘FROG’s, but I DON’T even like the sound of that anymore...

And yet without France’s love affair of the Automobile and all things Motorsports, we simply wouldn’t be where we are today without their massive contributions!

Thus in this story that keeps getting “Supersized,” I’ve attempted putting down some very brief thoughts upon the French Connection circa 1980-Present, as I’m NOT even gonna try chronicling such great Marques as Bugatti, Delahaye and Gordini, or every DAMN thing that’s related; Aye-Yai-Yai!

For a very cool book on the French classic Delahaye, written and photographed by local Western Washingtonians you may wish to check out:
Delahaye Styling and Design


Formula 1
Over the past three decades a total of six French Grand Prix Constructors have tried their hand at the Uber competitive stage known as the Pinnacle of Motorsport... Nee Formula One...

AGS
Automobiles Gonfaronnaise Sportives (1986-91)
Although I only recall this Minnowesqe F1 Constructor as one of the countless Backmarkers of the late 1980’s, you have to admire Team Founder Henri Julien who began by working as a Gas Station mechanic and built a racing car in his spare time in the late 1940’s and steadily worked his way into Grand Prix Motor Racing, along the way having signed two rising French Stars named Philippe Streiff and Pascal Fabre in 1982 whilst progressing towards Formula 1.

AGS tmade it’s F1 debut in the 1986 Italian Grand Prix with Rookie Ivan Capelli driving the JH21C, a revamped Renault Sports Car chassis fitted with the Italian Motori Moderni V-6 turbo engine, before Roberto Moreno, who replaced Fabre at the end of the ’87 season scored the Team’s first Grand Prix points with a sixth place finish at the Australian GP in Adelaide.

Yet like all small Teams, AGS continuously struggled for adequate financing, and after several key members defected to rival Coloni along with Streiff’s debilitating injury in March, 1989, Julien sold his team to others and apparently walked away from Motorsports...

Larrouse
Larrousse (1987-94)
My only memories towards this “Mid-packer” squad was that I liked it since it briefly ran the lumbering Lambo lump, nee Lamborghini V-12 during the Normally Aspirated renaissance, when there was still a smorgasbord of V-8, V-10 and V-12 Powerplant’s to choose from.

And I was unaware that Team Founder Gerard Larrousse wasn’t too bad of a Sports Car racer either, winning the Sebring 12hrs behind the Keyboard of a Porsche 917 Panzerwagon along with two LeMans victories before being put in charge of the Renault Sport F1 Team...

Yet interestingly, Monsieur Larrousse apparently had a habit of picking sketchy Business partners for his own F1 Operation. Originally beginning life in the F1 Paddock as Larrouse Calmels in 1987, before partner Didier Calmels went to Jail after shooting his wife in a Domestic dispute! Yet in ’92 Larrousse found himself associated with an even more colourful co-Team Owner named Rainer Walldorf, who had a nasty habit of murdering people, using hand grenades on the Police and ultimately dying in a stand off with the German Police!

Ligier
Equipe Ligier (1976-1996)
Not sure what to say ‘bout Ligier, as they simply seemed like a Midpack Mainstay for a very long time, although interestingly, they could possibly claim to be the second most “Successful” French Team behind le Reggie, eh? As after all, as far as I can tell, they’re the only other Post-war Team to have actually won Grand Prix’s... As Guy Ligier seems to have used his many powerful connections to keep his Racing Team afloat over the years, mainly by getting his hands upon the Renault motors, along with continuous support from the State-owned Oil, cigarette and Loto industries before Monsieur Ligier retired from Motorsports in order to pursue building a new empire in Natural Fertilizer! While on a side note, he hired some ‘Yank named Ken Anderson to help design his 1989 F1 Racecar...

Matra
Matra Sports SARL (1968-1972)
Its funny to me how whenever I think of Matra, I think of there more successful “English” counterpart Tyrrell, as it was “Uncle Chopper,” nee Ken Tyrrell flying the banner of Matra International who brought them their success as 1969 World Champions, as Matra won the Constructors Title, while The Wee Scot; Sir Jackie, A.k.a. John Young Stewart won the first of his three Drivers Crowns, albeit all with the Blue Oval’s Ford Cosworth DFV V-8 behind his backside...

Having been born out of the desires to Showcase the French Aerospace Company by utilizing it’s recently acquired Racecar business, Matra founder Marcel Chassagny arranged to have France’s Oil Giant Elf pay for development of a Normally Aspirated 3.0 liter V-12 Formula 1 engine in 1967, which would debut in ’68 and see double duty as a Grand Prix and Sports Car Powerplant, as both categories used the same engine regulations. This venerable V-12 lump then remained in F1 until 1982, propelling the various guises of Ligier F1 in the later stages.

Also of note, in the fall of 1969, Matra’s Automotive Division was sold to Chrysler France and rebranded Matra-Simca.

Interestingly, I’ve just discovered that former F1 Drivers Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Patrick Depailler Teamed up with somebody named Jean Todt to win the 1970 Tour de France aboard a Matra MS650...

But it was Sports Car racing where Matra was most successful of all, winning the prestigious 24 Heurs du Mans three consecutive years in-a-row; 1972-73-74, with Henri Pescarolo and Gerard Larrousse winning, as Pescarolo pulled off a rare “Hat Trick,” while the Duo won the latter two consecutively, along with Matra winning the Sports Car World Championship back-to-back from 1973-74, Before Matra announced its withdrawal from Motor Racing at the end of the year, selling its Operations to guy Ligier, with the majority of the Engineering Staff including noted Designer Gerard Ducarouge forming the nucleus of Ligier’s Formula One Team...

Michelin
Unfortunately Michelin seems to be inexplicably linked to what forever will be known as the great Indy “Tyre Debacle...” To which I can only recall breaking out in great laughter over this while hanging Trackside at Portland International Raceway... NOT because it was funny, just because the “Powers-to-Be” were so totally uncompromising!

Yet, without a one Monsieur Andre Michelin deciding to participate in the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Trials, where Mr. Michelin debuted his revolutionary invention, known then as the pneumatic tyre whilst the Public was quite content with the current day’s wooden horse carriage wheels, we may still be breaking our teeth on hardwood wheels...

Yet with Andre’s desire to test his invention for the first time in competition, like many great ideas, it wasn’t an immediate success, as the rough roads were quite harsh and Michelin had to stop and change tires so many times that he failed to complete the Race’s distance in the specified 100hrs aboard his Peugeot, with Michelin being overly ridiculed by his fellow competitor’s. Yet soon after the pneumatic tire would become standard equipment of the automobile and Michelin tyres would go onto win countless Motorsports events, including many Formula One World Championships!

Peugeot
PSA Peugeot Citroen (1994-2000)
There were actually a handful of Peugeot’s taking part in what is considered the very first Automobile Race held on June 22, 1894 in France, while soon after in 1912, Peugeot would develop the modern day Double Over Head Camshaft (DOHC) engine, which later during World War One would become the Blueprint for the Miller and subsequent All conquering “OFFY,” nee Offenhauser racing dynasty’s, while in 1913 Peugeot won the Indy 500.

Rally
Jean Todt appointed in 1982 to set-up Peugeot Talbot Sport and ironically is Ari Vatanen’s Boss, who wins Peugeot’s debut race in Finland. Then in the Mid-1980’s Peugeot Dominates the World Rally Championship (WRC) enroute to winning two Drivers & Manufacturers Championships. (1985-86)

Then at Todt’s insistence after driver fatality and a dispute with the FIA, Peugeot withdraws from WRC and concentrates upon Rally Raids, winning the Paris-Dakar Rally four consecutive year’s in-a-row: 1987-1990, along with Vatanen and Robby Unser winning the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 1988-89.

Peugeot then returned to the WRC in 2000 and wins a further two Drivers & Manufacturers Championships with Marcus Gronholm before withdrawing again and letting Citroen take up the charge... With the Uber Dominant Sebastian Loeb having won the Title a record six consecutive times!

Sports Cars
In the early 1990’s; Peugeot won the WSC Drivers & Team Championship (1992) along with winning the 24 Heurs duMans (Overall) with its 905 model twice, (1992-93) before returning to the Circuit De la Sarthe in 2007 with its mighty 908 TDi, winning the French classic once again in ’09.

Formula 1
Meanwhile, in 1993, Peugeot Sports Boss Jean Todt left after being turned down by Management over his pleas to become an F1 Constructor, with Todt going off to rival Scuderia Ferrari to revamp its F1 Racing Department which was in a shambles...

And I’m assuming that the French “Lion’s” Formula One engines it provided were a derivative of its winning WSC lumps? As I was unaware that Peugeot sold off its disappointing F1 engines to Asiatech at the end of 2000.

As I simply recall the French Lion’s lumps going KUHBLAMOE way too many times as Ron Dennis swiftly ditched these in favour of Mercedes, while ‘EJ puttered along with the unreliable engines before a swansong three seasons with Alain Prost: (1994) McLaren; (1995-97) Jordan; (1998-2000) Prost.

Prost
Prost Grand Prix (1997-2001)
If nothing else, you’ve got to commend Alain Prost, France’s only World Champion for taking a spirited stab at Grand Prix Racing, by running his own Team, albeit born out of the ashes of Guy Ligier’s longstanding effort, albeit under Flavio Briatore’s ownership. As Prost certainly seemed to try making a go of it, with his two Homegrown Stars being Jean Alesi and Olivier Panis, along with three other fairly decent lads named “Truli Scrumptious,” (Jarno Truli) “Quick Nick,” (Nick Heidfeld) and “Heinz 57,” (Heinz-Harald Frentzen) not to mention a potential up ‘N comer named Tomas Enge.

Renault
Renault Sport (1977-1986, 1989-97) Renault F1 2002-Present)
Although Renault actually is credited with winning the very first Grand Prix in 1906, the Post-war iteration of Renault Sport was born out of a merger between Renault-Gordini and Alpine, borrowing heavily from Alpine’s F1 turbocharged Prototype, before making its debut in the British Grand Prix as the Renault RS01 in the summer of 1977.

Originally spurned by rival F1 Constructors, this revolutionary turbocharger engine would shortly become de rigor in Formula 1 some scant three-plus years later, although it would be German rival BMW winning the very first ever World Championship with a turbocharged Powerplant.

Renault Sport ran its Factory “Works” Team between 1977-85, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille appropriately making history for the French Auto manufacturer by scoring the first ever Grand Prix victory by a turbocharged racecar, while Elio de Angelis, Rene Arnoux, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna would contribute to the “Reggie’s” growing number of Grand Prix victories, before Renault decided to drop its racing program at the end of 1985.

For the year 1983, Renault hired Mecachrome SA, a precision parts company whose work included the Concorde Airplane as producer of its Customer lumps (engines) to Lotus. The following season Mecachrome built engines for Lotus and Ligier while Renault itself quit racing at the end of the year.

Yet for the next two years, (1985-86) Mecachrome supplied engines to Lotus, Ligier and Tyrrell, as Renault honoured their contracts with these customers until the end of the ’86 season before quitting F1 completely.

Yet once again Renault revolutionized Grand Prix engine design with the advent of its all conquering Normally Aspirated V-10 lump, which featured the use of a pneumatic valvetrain to conquer the spiraling increases of engine revolution demands. Renault returned initially as a Sole Engine Supplier to Williams in 1989, which ultimately saw Williams capture the first of its four Drivers World Championships in 1992 with Nigel Mansell.

Yet once again the Reggie Subcontracted Mecachrome as the producer of Customer engines, once again to Ligier beginning in 1992, whilst over the winter of ’94 Flavour Flav (Flavio Briatore) purchased the faltering Ligier concern. Briatore did so mainly in order to secure the French Powerplant to propel Benetton Ace Michael Schumacher to his second Drivers Crown in 1995.

Renault then announced the selling of its engine business to Mecachrome in Mid-1996, as the company had just been privatized, with Mecachrome supplying these V-10 units to Williams and Benetton badged as Mecachrome and Playlife respectively.

Then upon his ouster from Benetton, Flavour Flav set-up a company that bought the Mecachrome engines and resold them as Supertec engines to Benetton, Williams and BAR before Renault purchased the Benetton racing Team in 2001 and returned as a F1 Constructor the following season, with Flavio securing another two Drivers Championships with Fernando Alonso in 2005-06; meanwhile Flavio has once again been removed, this time permanently for his handling of “Crash-gate,” with a majority share of the racing Operation having been sold to GenII Capitol, with Customer engines being supplied to Red Bull Racing since 2007...
To continue reading, see: Bastille Day - Les Bleus (Con't)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Croissants, Roast Duck ‘N Octopus Fries...


Whale lookie ‘Dar, it’s the new for 2012 Indy Car Series chassis... Tuh-Duh! Err, I mean that’s one of the Spy-pic’s leaked for the 2012 I500 Pace Car, set to coincide with tomorrow’s REALLY-REALLY-REALLY-B-I-G!!! Announcement of who all ‘Dem ICONIC ‘BOYZ picked to be the chassis ‘O choice? Oh wait? What’s that? They’ve decided to delay the announcement a further fortnight...

And I’m certain it’s simply COINCIDENCE... BUTT AIN’T IT FUNNY how Randy Bernard ‘N Co. picked Bastille Day to be the day of reckoning for the Indy Car chassis of the future, eh? Along with holding their B-I-G Press Conference at the Indiana Museum of Art! As I’m guessing that perhaps DannaWho? And Ryan “The IZOD Dude” Hunter-Reay would enjoy their Bosom Buddy Racin’ Pardner The Wanderin’ Milka, nee Milkalicious play the role of Marie Antoinette? OOPS! Scratch ‘Dat, Eh!

Meanwhile, did Y’all hear ‘bout Paul-the-Octopus? Yeah, that’s right Paul-the-Octopus, who’s currently nestled in a secret German lair for his protection, has become quite the sensation... Having successfully chosen the winner of all six matches for Ze Deutshland FootenBallers, (Germany) including their defeat to Spain in the Semi-finals. Then Paul-the-Octopus predicted that Spain would win the Finals...

Paul the octopus plumps for Spain

Then next Paul-the-Octopus predicted that Dallara would share the spotlight with Lola as joint producers of the new-for-2012 ‘N beyond Indy Car chassis! With Lola also winning the Indy Lights replacement role...

But, not to be outdone, “Pauline-the-Parakeet” has also been psychically (Psychedelically?) predicting the winners of the World Cup matches correctly also... Although Pauline picked the Netherlands to take home the World Cup crown, while NO word on whom she predicted to be the new chassis manufacturer of choice!

Psychic Parakeet Predicts Holland World Cup Winner

Monday, July 12, 2010

A FOX in the Henhouse?


So I’ve been tryin’ to fly the Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy “Everything’s gonna be Alright” Indy Car banner for awhile and thus didn’t spout off ‘bout this ‘til now; BUTT! I’ve got a few Bones to pick with the current trends occurring during Open Wheel Racing Broadcasts...

As Y’all may know, I am NOT a HUGE Fan of the ABC/ESPN Indy Car TV Broadcasts, as I know that Marty “Nationwide” Reid is a really nice guy, with Scott “Somonex” Goodyear being a KuhNuck... Yet they really do seem like they’re just doing another Ho-Hum Golf Tournament, other then when they get into a lather over DannaWho... Before the Pit Reporters go into unknown contortions trying to be first to report ‘bout Princess Sparkle Pony; YUK! NOT to mention the OVER-the-TOP duration of Commercials, as is it an infomercial contest with RASSCAR? And that’s before I get wound-up over the inability to read off the Starting Grid!

Yet on ABC’s plus side of the ledger was the fact that they kept their Watkins Glen Preamble, Err Pre-race show to just under 30 minutes, (28mins) as the command to start engines came after 22min, giving enough time to CRAM in another two Commercial breaks before Will Power rocketed off as the Green flag was thrown at 12:58PM PACIFIC Time, Err 3:58PM New York Time...

This Pre-race seems way more palatable then Versus whatever show... As I can’t figure out why they’ve inserted “LyndieCar” (Lindy Thackston) in favour of Bob Jenkins... Uhm? Are Yooze thinkin’ it’s ‘cause Lindy’s gots a prettier face? But please Versus... Cut that HIDEOUS RASSCAR-Lite Preamble down to NO longer then 30mins. As I go absolutely BONKERS when Lindy Thackston ‘sez the Green flag will drop in just under 1hr... SHIT! Is that 60mins, 48, 54, 39; HIKE! Did the race start yet? As this simply causes me to TUNE-OUT for a further hour before the Commercial infested racing action begins!

And You too Versus should be embarrassed you can’t read off the Starting Grid a la SPEED’s Formula 1 Broadcasts... And I DON’T wanna hear any BULLsHIT ‘bout there being too many cars... As SPEED’s F1 Crew reads off ALL 24 starters, each ‘N every race! And if needed you could break down and find another sponsor for this, right?

Also, I know why he did it, but I’m NOT impressed with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Co-Owner Robbie Buhl squeezing his Teams Sponsors of the event into the Broadcast! Which he did NOT once, but twice during Iowa; knock-it OFF Robbie!

Yet, I was impressed to hear Marty Reid give Bob Jenkins a Get Well Shout-out on a rival Network during the Watkins Glen Broadcast... As apparently Mr. Jenkins had gotten some intestinal problems and had to go to the Hospital, thus missing his IMS Radio Network duties over The Glen weekend. As I’m told Bob’s all better now. So that was very classy Marty!

And lastly, as much as I like to give ABC SHEISA... I simply CANNOT wait until the F%%KING four FOX Formula One airing's are OVER! As they couldn’t even manage to devote any time to the Post-race interviews at Silverstone... WTF? As Bob Varsha even let the cat outta the bag Saturday by saying it was a DELAYED Airing... FUCK! You BASTARDOES couldn’t cut cut out one measly Commercial break? I mean first they skip the winners Anthems and then NO interviews... Perhaps since it was another totally BOTCHED event? Oh Never Mind! As I’m seriously considering NOT recording the next FOX Grand Prix while I’m Out ‘N Aboot in Edmonton... Even if its at the Hockenheimring; Ja Volt! Which could be quite enjoyable if the Four Germans play Dust-Up again, Ja?

So, What about Bob?

OOPS! Sorry 'bout all that fowl language Mr. Jenkins!

Now that’s what I call Football

Having just been Abroad, where the EU “N Others play REAL FootenBallen... I thought it would be timely to ask the questione Y’all are ponderin, right? Uhm, let’s see... Inquiring Minds wanna know where’s Princess? NOPE! That AIN’T it... ACK! Who’ll be the new Indy Car chassis of the future? Nah! Oh Never Mind...

So just where do ex-Formula 1 and Indy Car Driver’s go when they’re looking to continue piloting semi-exotic single seater machinery? Whale, apparently they head abroad and take part in what’s known as the Super League, which sees mostly European Football Teams, Err what we over hear call Soccer competing in a ‘Scrum in “Identically” prepared racing machines, which ironically are now powered by the IRL’s Elder Statesman Davey “STUD!” Hamilton’s recently purchased Menard Engine Group Company.

As the names ‘SeaBass, Err The Hamburgular, “Frank-the-Tank” (Franck Montagny) ‘Bad Bobby D, (Robert Doornbos) “Christian Comedy,” (Tristan Gommendy) Narain Karthikeyan and Frank Ferrara should all be somewhat familiar to you Diehard Open wheel Racing Fans, eh? As you can check out this (dated) report from the Silverstone round...

”Julian Juice” leads Super League practice at Silverstone

Meanwhile, perhaps ‘JENSE possibly is crying in his Beer ‘bout another lackluster Qualifying performance? While you’re Humble Scribe still hasn’t watched the BLOODY Grand Prix... Having par-taken an invitation to watch the Dutch possibly beat Fernando’s Spaniard’s in some World Cup footenBallen match...

GO NETHERLANDS!

Lights, Camera, Action: Rating the Pundits


Ah, the life ‘O a literally ‘Vurd Botcherer, eh? As I originally had the following conversation with Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen, way back on President’s Day 2009; Aye Karumba! Yet, another fine story has slipped into the I.U.T. Rabbit-hole, or is that Wormhole? (As in the “IngleFart Unit ‘O Time... Which is a variation of THE ‘DAWG’S (Terry) Angstadt Unit of Time. (A.U.T.)

As she rhetorically stated: Can you imagine if Stick ‘N Ball Announcers had to be intelligent? As Mary Ellen proclaimed that she’d rather listen to a Formula 1 broadcast ANY day of the week over the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc, which of course TOTALLY KICKS ARSE, EH! Although I’d hazard a guess that she’s NOT overly enamored by her Main Man’s demise... As in a one Messer Peter Windsor, who’ve I’ve enjoyed calling the “House ‘O Windsor;” Hya! As I’m guessing she probably isn’t a fan of that upstart Will “Buxom” Buxton? Then again I suppose I’d better ask her, right?

Yet having just read Geo. Phillips take upon the bungling annual ABC/ESPN Indy 500 Broadcast, which sees Marty “Nationwide” (or should ‘Dat be Doublewide?) Ried trying to get a rise outta Scott “Somenex” Goodyear and Eddie Rachels... (Cheever) Who I’ve tried keeping from lamenting as Mr. Under-Uh-Cheever... As it appears that the yearly Broadcast has left George’s “Oil Pressure” a quart or 4-LOW!

More Reflections On Indianapolis

2010 Winter Olympics
Yet I noticed during this past winter’s “COMMERCIALYMPICS!” That as a visually impaired ‘Vurd Botcherr, I’m tending to lean more ‘N more upon what I’ll describe as “Signature Voices,” which to my definition are the voices of reason, intellect/knowledge and passion for the sport they’re presenting.

Thus I found the following voices to be very enjoyable to listen to, as the following Quartet of voices I found most compelling for their noted disciplines, albeit I don’t know if Mr. Troutwig has any background in Nordic Skiing?

The most appreciated voice to Mwah was John Morgan, who for the past two decades has been THEE VOICE of Olympic Bobsledding! And it just WON’T be the same without him...

Nordic events, i.e.; Cross Country, Biathlon, etc sounded like Al Troutwig to Mwah, while I’ve also thought that Mike roe who is the Narrator for The Deadliest Catch and host of Dirty Jobs sounds an awful lot like ‘Ol Mr. Troutwig to me.

For Speed skating, I enjoy Dan Jantzen’s insights, as he seems pretty knowledgeable, yet presents the event in an interesting manner that lets me know how the competitors are doing in the moment...

And for Moguls/Ariel Skiing I liked the “BUZZ” (Electricity) or Upbeatness that Johnny Mosley brings to the events he’s covering...

Yet, let’s get to the real meat in the sandwich, shall we?

Racing Series
(In “Quazzie” Alphabetical listing; NOT in my personal order of Rankings)

American Le Mans Series (ALMS) - Grand Am
Network: SPEED
Announcers: Leigh Diffey, Calvin Fish and Dorsey Schroeder
Pit Reporters: Brian Till, Chris “Neville Bros.” Neville and Justin Bell

Formula One (F1)
Network: SPEED
Announcers: Bob Varsha, David Hobbs and Steve Matchet
Pit Reporter: Will Buxton

INDYCAR (ICS)
Network: Versus
Announcers: Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis and Robbie buhl
Pit Reporters: Robbie Floyd, Lindy Thackston and Jack Arute

Network: ABC
Announcers: Marty Reid & Scott Goodyear. (With Eddie Cheever – Indy Only)
Pit Reporters: Jack Arute, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Rick DeBruhl

“RASSCAR” (NASCAR)
Network: FOX
Announcers: Mike Joy, ‘DW, (Darrell Waltrip) and “LARRY MAC” (Larry MacReynolds)

Network: ABC/ESPN
Announcers: Someone, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petrie

Network: TNT
Announcers: Adam Alexander, Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach Jr.

World SuperBike (WSBK)
Network: SPEED
Announcers: Jonathan Green & Steve Martin

Rankings
So I’ll need to admit right off the bat that I’m totally biased in favour of Formula 1 which is still to me the Pinnacle of Motorsports and will always remain upon the Top step of the Podium, unless they do something radically idiotic, eh? As I’m somewhat leery over which direction the sport will take for its pending 2013 Rules Package, a la Indy Car, which I really hope does NOT give that Delta Wang thingy the nod; SHIT!

That being said, then obviously SPEED’s Trio of Messer’s Varsha, Hobbs ‘N Matchett naturally get the Number 1 plate in my book, as they simply seem to age graciously like Fine Wine and simply get better each season. And although my verdict’s still out upon “BuxZee,” who seems to be a little too “Cheeky” for my liking, I did enjoy him giving Sebastian Vettel a full court press and he can’t be all bad if Joe Saward hired him way back when, eh? Although he’ll never be Peter Windsor who I greatly miss!

Meet Will Buxton

Interestingly, my runner-up isn’t an Open Wheel Racing series, as Second Place goes to another Great Trio of voices I really enjoy; the excellent grouping of Diffey, Fish ‘N Schroeder, who like George Phillips noted of the Versus Indy Car Crew, these guys have totally “Jelled!” As there’s a total spirit of playful enjoyment of “Working Together” between them, with much good natured Hi-jinx thrown in for banter...


And I’d have to say that the final step upon the Podium, nee Third Place initially is a tie... Between the Versus Indy Car ‘Boyz and the World Superbike Duo, as Jonathan Green is simply Brilliant, while Steve “Wild “N Crazy” Martin is the total opposite... The voice of reason and calmness... Yet I’m giving the nod to the Versus crew on tie-breaker as I’ve been a HUGE Fan ‘O Jon Beekhuis’s ever since he first became a Pit Reporter alongside Gary Gerald in those hazy Paul Page Dazes!

Thus Fourth Place goes to the Dynamic Duo of WSBK Fame, nee World Superbikes, as Jonathan Green is simply a pleasure to listen too, very excitable, but good natured and sharp, while his Sidekick Steve Martin is an ex-Championship rider who knows what’s exactly going on out there...

As for RASSCAR I DON’T watch that blubberin’ Infomercial... Other then to know that Mike Joy is the only decent one of the Big 3 BobbleHeads, as ‘Ol DW’s been sayin’ Boogity- Boogity- Boogity! Way too long and Lary Mac reminds me of fingernails on a chalkboard... Although he doesn’t seem to make the neighborhood Dog’s HOWL in protest like Rusty Wallace does! Although I’d have to admit that I can actually stomach listening to the TNT Trio of Alexander, Petty & Dallenbach...

As for Pit Reporters, I’d haveda say that Brian Till gets my No. 1 pick, with Chris “Neville Bros.” Neville being runner-up, followed by Justin Bell... While I also enjoy Robbie “Purple” Floyd’s fairly straight-up reporting... While Mr. BRUT Arute-Arute really should just stick to the weather; Oh Never Mind! As that’s “My Take,” Err fourty-three cents worth, as way back when this all started out as a rant ‘bout ABC’s I500 show which when I really boil it down, subtract ALL of the ‘DannaWho LUV-Fest... Is basically just plain vanilla and really doesn’t do one DAMN iota for Mwah! Which means I’d prefer IndyCar to stick with Versus and its current crew! (More Bob Jenkins ‘N less Robbie Buhl...) Actually part of what used to drive me really CRAZY during the CART/Champ Car Days was the constant changing of Network’s and Announcing crews... As I became quite tired of playin’ Find when/where the Indy Car race is?

So who would your “Dream Team” of Television Announcers be?