Tuesday, March 29, 2011

F1: Time Capsule - Aussie Flashback (Con’t)

So in the wake ‘O Seahawks Football Playoff fever – I made myself sit down and finally finish watching Ye old Memorex of the Twenty-oh-Nine Australian Grand Prix. ‘GAWD! That was so long ago, eh? Y’all do recall when the Seahawks defeated the defending SuperBowl Champions, right? As this revisiting of ‘OZ was partly in hopes of getting me jazzed for my impending trip Down Under...

Sunday, Race: 2009 Australian GP
So I cannot say that it was an overly exciting race... As BLOODY ‘JENSE (Button) seemed to simply motor away from the pack – with all of the excitement being caused by his BRAWN GP teammate ‘Rubino (Barrichello) who somehow managed to activate the car’s Anti-stall mechanism upon Duffing it off of the line and promptly dropping backwards – causing mayhem behind him. Yet Rubino’s Post-race interview was extremely entertaining; as the somewhat doubting Brazilian claimed that ‘Dem BRAWN’s were STRONG! Having been hit from every where’s – behind, side, front, basically pinballing his way in to an unexpected runner-up finish...
And SPEED’s Bob Varsha put the Kiss-of-Death upon Team Willie’s Kazuki Nakajima, extolling how exelante the Japanese Piloto was doing; musing that he may even finish on the podium, one place above his father... Before the Williams F1 rookie promptly ricocheted: Bing Bing-BBBBB-bing! Ricochet Rabbit; Hya! As ‘KaasZu bounced off a kerb and crashed his way mightily outta the Grand Prix...
This accident spewed carbon fibre carnage all over the racetrack and it was unexplainable how long it first took to deploy the Safety Car and then it was even stranger trying to find out why its recalling took so extraordinarily long...
As Louise ‘JAGUAR Hamilton could be heard complaining how he had NO grip with his COLD tyres... Which had gone completely OFF the boil whilst trundling ‘round behind Bernd Mayliner & the AMG Safety Car, albeit Jenson Button noted the exact same problema during the Post-race interview...
But at least they didn’t have the same problema Nelson Piquet Jr. did upon the late restart – when he promptly spun-off into the Kitty-litter after the Green-flag flew; telling the team on the In-car radio – Sorry Guy’s; the brakes just went squirrelly! (Crazy...)
Going back to action – we suddenly had a race for P2 – as ‘JENSE serenely set off into the fading rays ‘O light as dusk fast approached. Yet Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) was suddenly being hoonded by The Krakow Kid, (Robert Kubica) as the BMW Sauber was clearly quicker upon its hard rubber (Prime tyres) vs. the German, whose Red Bull was squirming under the pressure upon its soft rubber. (Option tyres) As the two drivers promptly collided – ending both of their respective races in tears, albeit Vettel tried limping along on 3-wheels before ultimately being Black-flagged.
And Vettel’s accident which he proclaimed via the world feed was a STUPID accident – triggered my memory that the young German got his team a $50k fine for his defensive driving techniques vs. Kubica, also incurring a 10-place grid spot penalty the following race in Malaysia...
As I’d thought that Vettel, who’d trailed ‘JENSE nearly the whole race, as the two drivers pulled out up to between a 19-27 second advantage, would wind-up in this order, albeit Kubica’s BMW-Sauber was closing fast, whilst ‘Rubino looked set to finish no better than fourth place. I’m sure that the Trulli Scrumptious was somewhat surprised to end up on the podium’s final step on his 200th Grand Prix start, eh? Especially after both Toyota’s had begun the race from Pitlane after having failed their technical rear wing inspection.
And Lewis Hamilton had to be pleasantly surprised to have clawed his way up to fourth overall after having started P18 – his worst starting position to that moment. Hamilton dropped to 20th after the team was forced to change his Gearbox when the young Briton had chewed-up fourth gear in Qualifying, hence why ‘Louise never turned a lap in Q2.
Fast Forward to 2011, Bahrain ‘N Beyond...
For Mwah, the traditional season opening F1 race is the Australian GP, which after 14yrs, was uprooted to make way for some sorta games? As I know it swapped dates in ’06 to not conflict with the Commonwealth Games... Just cannot remember why they got pushed back in 2010; Hmm? Perhaps it was due to Uncle Bernaughty’s incessant demands to run at nighttime in order to make for better European TV viewing, eh? My, that sure is funny as Bernie doesn’t seem to give a RAT’S ARSE when it comes on the telie stateside...
And thus Bahrain took Albert Park’s opening slot upon the Grand Prix calendar last year, albeit a very boring race over a supposedly new ‘N improved longer circuit – who’s new inboard section was so BUMPY that Hispania’s F1 debutant Karun “Cowboy” Chandhok spun off after hitting a bump he was unaware of before even completing 2-laps of the race.
In Chandhok’s defense, the rookie Indian driver was definitely up against the dreaded 8-ball, as his car was completed so late, that I seem to recall that his first ever four flying laps came during the Saturday’s Q1 Qualie session; aye Karumba!
Obviously when I made my plans to attend this year’s Australian GP, I had NO idea of the civil unrest that would sweep across Bahrain ‘N Beyond – and thus, I’m now partaking the 2011 season opener in Melbourne. And having missed my opportunity to witness the Grand Prix in Adelaide, with all of the current blatherin’ occurring over whether or not Melbourne can afford to continue hosting Uncle Bernaughty’s High Flying Troupes, nee Formula One – it’s definitely a good thingy that I’m going now while there’s still a race to witness, eh?
So, who’ll win in Albert Park this year? As I suppose the Fans would go WONKY if Mark “Handlebarz” Webber could win it – which would be absolutely FANTASTIC for Mwah, although I suppose a betting man would wager his cash upon either Vettel, Hamilton or Alonso, eh? Now I’d better Bugger Off ‘N go find a cold Fosters; Cheers Mates!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

F1: Time Capsule - Aussie Flashback

So I musta been already sufferin’ Formel-einus (F1-withdrawals) eh? As for humour I randomly selected a Formula 1 video tape from Ye No Fenders stockpile and punched the Play button, (prior to last Christmas – which seems like such a LONG time ago...) albeit, in-between these riveting notes I’m furiously poondin’ out on mize keeboards; Hya! Having first sat down to watch the ’09 Australian GP: CRIKEYS! Err, Uncle Albert – We’re so Sorry... Uh, Albert Park weekend action way back last December (12/04/10 ...)

Having become distracted a further Fortnight before forcing myself to sit down ‘N watch the BLOODY ‘Qualie session – as I’m guessing it was Karma that brought me to randomly select this tape, eh? As hopefully I’ve just winged ‘Meeze ways Down Under to BLOODY Australia... NO Polar Ice Cap route this time – instead I’m traveling to Australia via New Zealand; CRIKEYS MATE! As I still CANNOT believe I’m going to attend this year’s Australian Grand Prix; SHEISA!!! But I digress...

It’s Showtime!

Back to le Memorex, eh? As I’ve already forgotten most of the SPEED Friday Free Practice 2 banter – other than how strange ‘N refreshing to hear the sardonic tones of the House ‘O Windsor reporting from Pitlane; be still my beatin’ heart - weese MISS Yuhs Peter!

Along with the ceaseless prattling on ‘bout those Roguish Double Diffuser Outlaws – who’d supposedly circumvented the Sporting nature of the new for ’09 FIA Rules. (Sound familiar? As in front engine blown exhausts, etc)

And thus, we ended the day with a most unusual lineup at the top ‘O the Timesheets; as Nico Rosberg driving for “Team Willie,” a.k.a. Williams F1 was the day’s fastest runner. Followed by BRAWN GP’s ‘Rubino, (Barrichello) Toyota’s “Trulli Scrumptious,” (Jarno Trulli) Mark Webber’s Red Bull, ‘JENSE’s (Button) BRAWN BeeGee-ought One (BG01)The Glockster (Timo Glock) in the second Toyota, “KAZOO” (Kazuki Nakajima) in the ‘Seester Williams, Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) in the ‘Seester Red Bull, Adrian Sutil’s Force India and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari rounding out the Top-10 respectively. As its worth noting that six of the first seven spots (excluding Webber) were occupied by the Double-stuff Diffuser teams, nee Williams, BRAWN & Toyota...

Saturday - Qualifying

It’s just so FUNNY hearing SPEED’s Bob Varsha call Team Willie, (Williams) BRAWN GP and Toyota Diffuser Outlaws... Which is exactly what he named them during the opening stages of the ‘Qualie Q1 session.

(And where-Oh-where does the time GO, eh? As a further 5-weeks on – I’m tryin’ tooze readz my Chicken-scratching’s taken whilst watching le Memorex...)

Jotting down how it seemed like a different era as Messer Windsor interviewed the Boyz ‘bout the new look tyres and their thoughts upon them; to which the young Louise ‘JAGUAR didn’t seem too indifferent ‘bout – just more contact patch area to work with.

As it struck me as odd to see Ferdi-the-Putz (Alonso) chiming back at Peter resplendent in a colourful Renault cap, Jarno Trulli in his white & red Toyota garb, The Krakow Kid (Robert Kubica) in his white & blue BMW-Sauber duds and The Hamburgular, nee Sebastian Bourdais of Scuderia Toro rosso fame; whilst my notes claim Rosberg P1, Trulli P2 and ‘JENSE P3... Perhaps the outcome of the final Free Practise session, eh?

As The Kimster apparently experienced the high’s ‘N low’s of qualifying, as Raikkonen briefly vaulted to P1 before dropping all the way backwards to 14th, whilst teammate Felipe Massa was briefly in 15th before hauling himself further up to move onto Q2. Fred Alonso was down in 12th while defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton sat on the bubble in P15!

Qualie Notes

For the Q1 Qualie session,I scribbled the following: P1) Rubino; 2) ‘JENSE; 3) Mark Webber; 4) Timo Glock; 5) “Quick Nick; (Heidfeld) 6) Massa; 7) Rosberg; 8) KIMI; 9) Kubica and 10) Master ‘Zebb. (Vettel) While Alonso was P11 and the two McLarens of ‘KOVY (Kovalinen) & Hamilton were 13th & 15th respectively!

In the Q2 Qualie session, the BRAWN’s further flexed their new found muskel’s by becoming the first two cars to dip below the “25” bracket, as in 1-minute 25-seconds for the first time in five years! As Rubino uncorked a 1:24.7 with ‘JENSE a single tenth behind at 1:24.8. So much for reducing the car speeds with the raft of Aero-changes, eh?

As SPEED’s Bob Varsha quipped: When was the last time you saw two World Champions eliminated from Q2! As both McLarens failed to advance, along with Alonso missing the cut... As Hamilton never even attempted a single flying lap during Q2, while the Ferraris of Massa & Raikkonen scraped by in P9-10 respectively.

And for the final Q3 Qualie session the Top-10 shook out as follows – with Ross Brawn’s Boyz upsetting the Applecart! Since having been fastest all day, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that the BRAWN’s were the quickest two cars of the Q3 scrum; with ‘JENSE pipping Barrichello by a scant three-tenths of a second, whilst Vettel wound-up in third place.

Thus, you’d haveda admit it was truly a Cinderella story... Paraphrasing Professor Matchett’s words: To go from the brink of INSOLVANCEY – literally shutting the whole operation DOWN & making everybody REDUNDANT... I think Ross Brawn simply cannot believe it!

And to accentuate ‘JENSE’s (Rubino, Ross & the entire BRAWN GP team’s...) accomplishment. Button’s Pole position was the first for a Debutant team since The ‘Wee Scot – Sir Jackie Stewart had done so for the long forgotten March Engineering at Kyalami, South Africa, (1970) in Ken Tyrrell’s customer chassis - an unfathomable 39-years ago... Let that sink in for a moment, eh?

Rubino: The Consummate Gentleman & Elder Statesman.
‘JENSE: The Crown Prince – a wee bit Shell-shocked
Master ‘Zebb: The Court Jester, as that’s what I took away from this trio’s Post-qualifying Top-3 interview.

Thus, it was nice to see some good natured interaction between the Boyz during the interview session with Messer Windsor; as ‘JENSE said laughingly how Zebb had had trouble with the light in Turn-3 the day prior... To which Vettel interjected; Just put some lights in there...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Vintage Stoddart

This by NO doubt is my absolute ALL-time favourite ‘U-tube clip of the most forthright ‘Aussie Paul Stoddart – who absolutely pulls NO punches in this interview... Good For You Mate! As it was indeed an absolute FARCE!

ALMS: Sebring 12hrs plus Italiano delights

The 59th Annual 12-hours of Sebring will commence Saturday, March 19th at 7:30AM PACIFIC – which fortunately I’ll be missing this year; since I’m NOT impressed ‘Juan I-oata with the series having opted to jump to the Disney Shoppin’ Networkz, nee ABC; URGH! As they’ll be only showing a BASTARDIZED, watered-down 90-minutes tape DELAYED version broadcast Sunday – one day after the actual race from 9:30-11AM PACIFIC, which is a huge disappointment compared to years past – which featured multiple hours of live coverage on SPEED!

And I’ve just learned that Paul Gentilozzi’s Rocketsports Racing XKR ‘Cats will have some added competition in the form of the newly developed “lamb-bor-genie” of West Racing.

Actually, it’s a Lamborghini LP560 in GT-specs and will be piloted by Nicky Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager. Hmm? Hang on a ‘My-nute, I’ve heard Nicky’s name before... Oh yeah, that’s right I saw Nikki Sixx, Err Pastorelli cutting-his-teeth in single seater action behind the keyboard of Gentilozzi’s RSR Tail-ender Champ Car at Portland International Raceway way back when – ‘Circa 2005-07.

The West Racing Lamborghini will contest the entire 2011 ALMS calendar and is a collaborative effort between the team and tyre partner Yokohoma, as it’ll be great to have a Lambo poundin’ round the GT class ranks – so keep an eye out for this Italian beast which will hopefully be nipping at la Scuderia’s heels...

Blarney Down Under?

Whale, as Yuhs may already know, you’re humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso is Down Under – hopefully having arrived by now via a somewhat circuitous route; Thank Goodness I AIN’T flyin’ on RyatAir, eh? Blarney (2009 Edition) as I don’t know how the ‘Aussies celebrate St Patties Day; CRIKEYS MATES! That’s the day I’m slated to arrive in Adelaide – so I guess I’d better wearz some Green, eh? Here’s a story I scribbled awhile ago commemorating that fine day of Irish celebration – enjoy! Blarney! (Irish F1 Piloto’s)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Off to OZ ‘N Places In-between...

So Tacoma Bureau chief Mary Ellen sez; are Yuhs gonna tell your readers where you’re going? Uh yeah, shortly - and thus with NO further adu – Drumrool please... Tuh Duh! Your humble No Fenders scribe is off to the land of Oz. NO! NOT that Oz Up North Eh! BUTT! Duh REAL OZ, as in the land Down Under, a.k.a. Australia Mates! Now, thankfully to Mary Ellen’s insistence, I’ve made the decision to partake in ‘Somme-thun called the Australian Grand Prix; CRIKEYS! I’m still a bit befuddled that I’ll be attending this year’s season opening Formula One race! As my only nebulous links to this is the colorfully outspoken Paul Stoddart ‘N Mark “Handlebarz” Webber... Along with being a HUGE Fan ‘O ze “Toowoomba Toranadoe,” nee will Power. Meanwhile; NOPE! I still have absolutely ZERO idea how far away the Gold Coast Surfers Paradise circuit is from Adelaide – my final destination... Oh yeah as I’ve just scribbled above, I’m trying a different race series as a tune-up for Albert Park... I’m gonna go watch some ‘Aussie V-8 Supercars tussle ‘round the Adelaide street circuit, which will certainly be different, eh? And perhaps it’s just been all of the COOLLLLLLLDDDDDDD weather we’ve had here in the Pacific Northwest: RAIN, HAIL, SNOW, RAIN, HAIL, SNOW,MUD SLIDES, RAIN, HAIL, SNOW... Oh Never Mind! Yooze gets the idea; AnyHoo, thus I’m actually looking more forward to just getting the HE-LL outta here vs. the races. Not to mention possibly pettin’ some Koala’s – LOOK! Aren’t ‘Dey CUTE!?! And I’m not certain if I should try tossin’ out the NoFenderz MoJo once again, especially since it didn’t work for either of my ‘Aussie choices last season. But I’d be thrilled to see “Britanny,” (Nico Rosberg) “FehLippeh,” (Felipe Massa) “Quick Nick” (Heidfeld) “Handlebarz” (Mark Webber) or ‘Rubino (Barrichello) on the top step of the Albert Park podium. And I’ve asked BlogMeister Extraordinaire Miguel to post a few “Canned” stories for Mwah whilst I’m Out of the Office – just don’t expect the usual daily dribble.

Hmm? Somehow I don't think I'll be rubbing elbowz with Uncle Bernaughty, eh? Something to do with the little people... Back after OZ GP...

Japan keeps reeling from Devastation

Obviously there are absolutely NO words I can write to help minimize the continuing aftershocks of the absolutely devastating 9.0-earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

All I can say is that James “Bubbah” Stewart’s displaying of a Japanese flag prior to the beginning of the Indianapolis AMA Supercross event was a very classy move, albeit unfortunately Japan’s going to need a HELLUVA lot more help then that! Hopefully the myriad of tragedy will ebb shortly!

F1 figures to support Japanese earthquake victims

No Fenders Timing & Scoring Out-of-Order

Just a quick reminder that since I’m leaving on a big ‘Ol Jet plane today... Therefore I won’t be providing any Award Winning analysis of the vaunted IndyCar Open Test at the Barber’s; (Barber Motorsports Park) or any ramblings upon the season opening Indy Car race in Alabama + the Australian GP until after my return from the land of OZ!

Barber Open Test Entry list

Thanxs for your patience, support & continued reading... Back in a Diffey; Get It? Oh Never Mind; Hya!

Where’s the LUV IndyCarz?

Although Meesh’s scribblings appear all to infrequently – as I always enjoy her totally frank assessment of the Open Wheel Racing world... This latest post is a DOOZY! Albeit once again 1000% totally on target, as our feisty KuhNaidiun lass points out how Indy Car has just potentially taken a HUGE step backwards towards promoting its sport internationally via that world wide web thingy – as Tank Gawd! I DON’T haveda put up with the pathetic TSN television coverage Up North Eh! Nope, all I’ve gotta do is persevere with the ‘Mega-twitchy (Bitchy?) Indycar.com webcasts; CRIKEYS! As I too feel your PAIn Meesh, as I’m forced primarily to attempt scribblin’ about Motorsports remotely, especially since Portland Int’l Raceway’s been wiped off the calendar and the three nearest INDYCAR events are 1,000+ miles away from me!

So now that the Uber-critical rubber issue is temporarily settled – let’s see if we can focus upon providing more eyeballs access to the racing coverage, shall we?

guess we’ll just read about it the next day…
And apparently this is quite the HOT-HOT-HOT! ‘Hotbutton issue, as the powers-to-be just DON’T get it? Or is this simply another case of the 800lb comca$t gorilla raising its UGLY head? You make the call! Hmm? Car capping and NO internetz streams – seems like a pretty GOOFY way to grow a sport, eh?

NBC Missing the Boat, Taking IndyCar with It
Has NBC/Comcast Lost the Plot? A Warning for IndyCar
Hmm? Does that mean if IndyCar throws the Lucky Dawg – We’ll get our internetz stream back? Oh Never Mind!

Live from Indy – Sorta...

Pictures: Jimmy Clark’s rookie 1963 Lotus; Danica Patrick’s rookie-car & Mario Andretti’s 1969 Indy 500 winner...

So this has been kickin’ around awhiles; BUTT! It’s definitely NOT everyday I get a phone call saying: Guess where I am? Which was exactly the case when I answered “line-1” a few weeks ago... As none other then No Fenders Fan Club member Randall was pourin’ Salt in the Wounds by giving me an impromptu telephone call from outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame museum; SHEISA!

But I’m happy that Randall made the effort to go visit not only the Speedway, but the most Excellante Hall of Fame museum – which everybody should visit at least once! And hopefully my cheesy pitch-job to go ride the shuttle round the famed ‘Ash-fault ‘N across the Yard ‘O bricks was enough to convince him to do so?

Thanxs for the Pic’s Randy, albeit I’m NOT so sure ‘bout the DannaWho? Rookie car; URGH!

(Jim Clark & Danica Patrick picture courtesy of Randall)
(Mario Andretti picture courtesy of “CARPETS”)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Checa Checks Out!

Otay, I must admit – I’m extremely biased towards Carlos “THE BULL” Checa... Especially now since my Numero Uno World superbike (WSBK) rider Ben ‘ELBOZ Spies has moved onto MOTO GP. And in ‘Juan more bit ‘O irony – can it already be time for another World Superbike season to be kicking off at none other then Down Under at Australia’s Phillip Isle; Hmm? Have I mentioned where I’m off to shortly yet?

Thus it was good to hear those signature voices of WSBK, nee the respective Duo of Jonathan Green & Steve Martin...

Rating the Pundits

Yet even better yet as I sat down for my first 2hr block ‘O ‘Scooters; Whale – at least KneeDraggerz, since I have watched a couple of this year’s AMA Supercross events; it was great news for Mwah to hear that King Carlos as Messer Green would take to calling him during the broadcasts – had won the SuperPole shootout in convincing style... As reportedly the Island’s undulating, bumpy surface has always suited the ‘DUCs (Ducati’s) favourably.

My notes were somewhat scattered – scribbling furiously during the ‘Mega commercial breaks... Noting that the day’s first race started off upon a damp, but drying track – with a terminal velocity of 312kph being clocked – as Steve “Wild ‘N Crazy” Martin noted that those are Monza style trap speeds – but we’re at Phillip Island! As Massimiliano ("Max") Biaggi put an exclamation point upon this by ripping off a ‘Mega 321kph down the straight, which is just a skosh under 200mph. (199.34mph) CRIKEYS MATES! That’s blistering fast, as Biaggi would use the Aprilia’s superior straight-line speed to mess about with a resurgent Marko Melandri; but I’m jumping the gun a wee bit here.

Thus it was ‘The Bull motoring away from the pack and simply playing Hide ‘N Seek after dispatching the momentarily surprising leader Eugene Laverty; as the Irishman was making his WSBK debut – riding for the ‘YamaHopper Factory Sterilgarda Team. As Laverty, who finished runner-up in World Supersport in 2009-10 had a fantastic battle with his teammate Marco Melandri, with the two riders swapping fourth place back ‘N forth before Eugene nipped Marco at the stripe.

Yet Checa steadily pulled away to nearly a 6-second advantage (5.85) ahead of Max Biaggi and Leon Haslam – now riding for the BMW Factory team, occupied the final two steps of the Round-1 podium...

Unawares of their respective ages, it was funny hearing Jonathan Green pointing out that Checa’s 38 and Biaggi’s 39; quipping that perhaps 40 is the new 23! As the riders behind this elder duo were all members of the 20-something Brat-pack...

And I was pleasantly surprised to hear ‘Nitro Nori (Noriyuki) Haga receive a shout-out during Round-1 and thus is still in the field, albeit somewhat surprised to learn that the Japanese rider is now aboard the Privateer Pata Aprilia WSBK Team’s Aprilia RSV4R; reportedly the exact same 2010-spec ‘Scooter that reigning Champion Max Biaggi rode last year...

The second race was more of the same up-front, as once again Checa sped away from the field, yet there was a most entertaining good ‘Ol Donnybrook going on for P2 between Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri. And although Melandri did manage to overtake his fellow Italian, Biaggi’s Aprilia’s terminal velocity was simply too great for Marco to overcome. As the elder Italian routinely slipstreamed the Yamaha with blasts between 319-321kph as Biaggi ultimately finished second with Melandri settling for third place.

Honda’s Jonathan Rea finished fourth with Leon Haslam rounding out the Top-5 positions in Round-2. Noriyuki Haga finished ninth & seventh in the first two rounds respectively, while Eugene Laverty dropped to a disappointing 15th in Round-2, as I’ve got NO idea what happened?

And while I’m sad that it’ll be a whole month between races, and I’ll miss hearing Messer Greene’s enthusiastic race calls alongside “The Chiller,” nee Steve Martin – who tries keeping Green from frothing over during the broadcasts... Nevertheless, I’m extremely happy to know that Donington Park has returned to racing status after some Gillette Dude tried giving the venue a close shave, Err more likely a bunch ‘O nicks and cuts! Ok, the track needed a massive tourniquet applied to it... So it’s very good news that the track has survived and is back in business!

Donington gets green light

Meanwhile, NO word on where ‘Ol shakey Byrne disappeared too... Anybody out there know?

Saab-Spyker to Spin-off Spyker Cars...

That’s a mouthful, eh? As try sayin ‘Dat Fast Five-times... As apparently original Spyker Cars NV Boss Victor Muller, who’s now the Head Honcho for Saab-Spyker Cars has become so enamored with his new company... Wait for it. We’re just waiting for it to come around... NOT only is he the CEO but he’s a customer too; Hya! As I don’t know why that catchy phrase from the Bosley Men’s Club sprang to mind, eh? Oh Never Mind!

As interestingly, first Messer Muller & Co purchased Midland/MF1 Racing from Russian born Canadian Capitalist Alex Shnaider, in order to Rebrand it as Spyker F1. And now ironically Mister Muller is spinning off his Spyker Cars NV to another ‘Rooskie – this time somebody by the name of Vladimir Antonov; Hmm? NO relation to the Aeroplane company, eh? As the millionaire is the owner of CPP Global Holdings Ltd, who’ll Assume Control of the to be Rebranded Spyker Cars shortly...

Spyker selling off Sports Cars to focus upon Saab

Redlining a Ferrari - The Sequel

So I must say that this ranks right up there alongside that monumental El STUPIDIO maneuver comedian Eddie Griffin pulled way back in 2007, which I scribbled ‘bout in; Redlining an Enzo...

Thus I was somewhat amused when hearing recently that an Insurance firm has been forced to go to the extreme measure of what Donald Kay likes to routinely refer to as duh good ‘Ol Gubb’ment; Hya! As apparently an FBI Special Agent decided to try impressing an Assistant Attorney General during a very short-lived joy ride in which said Agent promptly punted a recovered Ferrari F50 into a tree; OUCH!

Michigan insurance company sues feds over wrecked Ferrari

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Schuey Slays Barcelona Bulls

Whale at least for a day – DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher can bask in the afterglow of seeing his name atop the Barcelona Timesheets... As the sport’s elder statesman put his newly revised Mercedes MGP W02 P1 on the final day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya. (Well at least for half of the teams attending...)

And Mercedes claims its fast time was completed on only Pirelli’s soft rubber and not the Super-Duper ultra soft tyre compound that Sergio Perez utilized the day prior – whatever Dudes!

Schumacher tops Barcelona timesheet

F1: Paddock Notes – March 12th Edition

Otay, just a very quick recap of some tidbits gleamed recently in the run-up to the fast approaching Australian GP...

Glock’s Tummy-ache getting better
In case you haven’t heard, The Glockster, nee Timo Glock has been sidelined for this week’s final F1 test session at Barcelona due to recently suffering from appendicitis and having his appendix removed in a routine operation on March 1. Therefore Timo’s absence has left all the driving to rookie Jerome d'Ambrosio. But the 28yr old German was on hand at Barcelona Thursday as a “JAFO;” Check out Blue Thunder if you’re missin’ your secret decoder ringy... It’s a certain type of Observer; Hya!

Glock was apparently moving very slowly, saying everybody’s (including Grandma’s...) beating me on the bike at home right now as I can only do light workouts, claiming even laughing is painful. Yet timo has returned home to have his stitches removed and is adamant he’ll be ready to go in Melbourne...

Tonio Bags Second Hispania Seat
With less than 3-weeks ‘til GO-time, Hispania finally confirmed Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi as the team’s second race driver, who’ll hopefully bring some much needed development skills to the Spanish outfit, especially since The Speediest Indian Narain Karthikeyan hasn’t race in Formula One for five years now...

De la Rosa In – Dennis Out
Not surprisingly, Pedro de la Rosa has returned to the McLaren fold, with the 40yr old Spaniard being named as an official test & reserve driver for the Woking based squad. Hmm? I’m sure it has something to do with Pedro’s recent stint as Pirelli’s rubber tester, eh? De la Rosa will be partnered by Gary Paffett, who’ll also contest this year’s DTM championship.

Meanwhile, apparently The Ronster, a.k.a Ron Dennis has been trying to emulate India’s Narain Karthikeyan, by going for the handle of The Speediest Brit? (Which I’m certain the McLaren Boyz would challenge...) As Messer Dennis seems to have also missed out upon the very same memo that his charge Lewis Hamilton failed to read last year, you know the one ‘bout Road Safety from Jean Todt and the FIA, right? As word comes that Ron has had his Driver’s license taken away from him for six months in England after being caught in his fourth traffic offense, allegedly for running a red light; OOPS!!

F1: 2011 Constructor - Hispania

(Hispania F111 – Source: f1fanatic.co.uk)

Launch Date/Venue: March 11 - Barcelona
Name: Hispania Racing F1 Team
Base: Murcia, Spain
Former Team Name: Campos Meta 1
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 11th; 0-points
2010 Chassis: F110

Team Principal: Colin Kolles
Technical Director: Geoff Willis*
(* = Consultancy basis only)
Seasons: 2 (2010-Present)
Debut Race: 2010 Bahrain GP
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Poles: 0

Model: HRT-F111
Engine: Cosworth CA 2010
Gearbox: Williams

Although this article is slightly dated –especially with The Speediest Indian’s monetary backing securing Hispania’s 2011 season, nevertheless it does provide some technical insights into the Team Willie Gearbox supply deal...

ANALYSIS: HRT\Williams transmission technology deal

No. 22) Narain Karthikeyan; India
No. 23) Vitantonio Liuzzi; Italy
Test/Reserve Driver) TBA

And then there was ‘Juan Indian left... Sorry ‘bout that Folks, just couldn’t resist, especially with Dr. Colin Kolles constant barking on ‘bout having secured the services of “The Speediest Indian,” nee Narain Karthikeyan – which was a real shock to Mwah when it was divulged way back in the beginning of January.

And with less than 3-weeks remaining until Australia, it was finally made official that Vitantonio Liuzzi would be driving HRT’s second racecar and thus, the 2011 Grid was finally set – just a scant 3-days prior to the team’s 2011 challenger, the F111 breaking cover at Barcelona during the final test session.

The team’s first completely “Clean Sheet” design (the F111) was overseen by Technical Director Geoff Willis of Williams, BAR and Red Bull fame, albeit I believe he’s still working as a Consultant to the team...

And according to Adam Cooper, the F111 utilizes a 2010-spec Williams Gearbox, who are providing the chassis hindquarters. While HRT won’t be running KERS, a la its Newboyz competitors Team Lotus and Virgin; as both Hispania & Virgin will use a lower spec ‘Cossie lump vs. Williams KERS version... Interestingly, the chassis monocoque was built by composite specialist CarboTech of Austria – who’ve steadily been building up their F1 clientele.

Yet with all last minute launches, apparently the F111 didn’t run on its Friday debut due to a lack of parts and team has since revealed that the car won’t run in Spain due to some components including the dampers being denied release from Customs, as hopefully this isn’t an ominous sign of the F111’s impending season...

Hmm? Wouldn’t it be funny if ‘Tonio could end up challenging the Force India’s for championship points this season?

Hispania joins the Party - FINALLY!

Hispania F111: Pictures

HRT NOT worried ‘bout Karthikeyan's lack of pace...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Double Ringer

So I began the day with an unexpected phone call informing me of the magnitude 8.9 earthquake that struck Japan last night (Seattle time) and the fast approaching tsunami set to hit the west coast at any moment... As ironically I’d watched a 2hr episode about the seven most deadliest oceans just a week or so ago, which focused upon the ‘Mega tsunami that killed 220,000 people back in 2006.

So I reluctantly watched the local NW News prattle on ‘N on ‘bout the size of the impending tidal wave, albeit just like our SNOW forecast’s, it seemed like the predicted surge kept decreasing, becoming smaller ‘N smaller... HEY YOU! Where do you think you’re going? We HAVEN’T given the ALL CLEAR signal yet... OOPS! I’m late for my appointment – in the damp, dark Pacific Northwest, as Grunge seems like the colour of the sky & landscape today!

Yet, on the flip side, I did read the GREAT news that Firestone has been convinced to change their collective Corporate minds and will now stay onboard Indy Car thru 2013, which I’m absolutely certain is a huge 100% relief for everybody concerned... As even I was not overly enthused ‘bout having to spool up a new rubber supplier at this critical juncture in INDYCAR’s “recovery,” especially with the 2012 Body-by-Mennen Aerokit chassis slated to begin testing this July... As Danny B pointed out the sobering fact of when’s the last time a Firestone tyre unexpectedly let go in a bad way Ontrack??? As I could only surmise sometime during the CART Goodyear-Firestone tyre war of the late 1990’s...

Firestone Back Through '13

Sauber Shocks Barcelona’s Bulls

Day three’s Formula 1 testing at Barcelona saw an unexpected candidate atop the Timesheet’s, as it was surprisingly Mexican rookie Sergio Perez’s Sauber-Ferrari slotted into P1 ahead of the factory mount of Felipe Massa, with Mark Webber third. Of course I have NO idea what type fuel load Perez was running, but it makes a good headline, eh?

Perez quickest in Barcelona

F1 Constructor: Force India

(Force India VJM04 – Source: indiancarpictures.in)

Launch Date/Venue: February 8 - Internet
Name: Force India F1 Team
Base: Silverstone, England; UK
Former Team Names: Jordan, MF1/Midland, Spyker
Prior Years: 1991-2007
Debut Race: 1991 Australian GP
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 7th; 68-points
2010 Chassis: VJM03

Team Principal: Vijay Mallya
Technical Director: Andrew Green
Seasons: 4 (2008-Present)
First Race: 2008 Australian GP*
Races: 54
Wins: 0
Poles: 1
(Note: Statistics from 2008-Present)

Model: VJM04
Engine: Mercedes Benz FO 108 (2011-spec)
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: McLaren

No. 14: Adrian Sutil; Germany
No. 15: R-Paul di Resta; United Kingdom (Scotland)
Test/Reserve Driver) Nico Hulkenberg

I’ll be interested to see how the new Force India stacks up against the competition, and especially how new recruit Paul di Resta fares this year...

Unfortunately, it seems like once again the Silverstone based team is garnering more media attention Off-track then upon it, having just had a 2012-date selected for another nefarious lawsuit – which I’d prefer to think is a waste of time, since the logic over the harsh claims towards Team Lotus’s Tony fernandes, Mike Gascoyne and Jean Claude Migeot’s Aerolab Srl seem far-fetched to Mwah... Basically just another stalling tactic by Mr. Vijay Mallya, who seems loathe paying any of his bills on time!

As for the VJM04 racecar, its apparently using a muted blade-type Rollhoop structure, a la its arch rival Team Lotus’s T-128 design; Hmm? Mallya & Co aren’t trying to say that Gascoyne copied this too, eh? As this is the first new chassis designed under the tutelage of new Technical Director Andrew Green, as James Key departed for the same position over at Sauber.

Green says that the Rollhoop is the most notable change, whilst the majority of changes occur underneath the VJM04’s skin – i.e.; Mercedes Benz derived KERS system, along with the requisite rules revisions, whilst the exhaust exits are also probably in a state-of-flux...

Force India unveils VJM04

Force India VJM04: Pictures

Force India VJM04: Launch notes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

IndyCar Honours Duno with New Rules package

They claim imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... BUTT, OMG! You’ve gotta be absolutely FRILLIN’ kidding me, right? I mean what’s up with the new lookey-loo regulations just announced.

Now I realize my poll of three persons total I’ve listened too or read is not a very scientific method, although I’m most certain if I asked Indiana Bureau Chief Danny B my numbers would swell to four “NEY’s!” And thus you’re humble No Fenders scribe will push the poll tally to a whopping 5-0 NOT in favour of Randy “The CandyMann” Bernard’s NUTCAR 2.0 makeover...

Initially I was totally unawares of this nebulous Top-24 + 2, Uhm? Pro-visional “Argie-bargie” until reading CARPETS most reverent rant... As in do we really need provisional’s right now in IndyCarLand, by-gummit??? WTF? Yooze means we’re gonna wheelz outs some of ‘Dem ‘Ol Timers, Dust ‘em off ‘N stick ‘em back into a racecar – Backsides permitting? Hmm? Does that mean Danny will get to see his Hero BLOODY ‘NIGE return? And I’ve heard it asked why the majik No. 26? Whale Goll LLLL-LEEEEEEEEE!!!! Hmm? If there were 27 racecars at many venues last year and the threat of NO cash handouts for the numbers 25-26, which was The Wanderin’ Milka Rule #1 – then it seems pretty obvious to me what’s up with the Car-capping “maneuver... “Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge!” As Dave First on Autosport Radio put it most succinctly by sayin’; I DON’T understand why you’d want to be turning away potential competitors at the moment – Amen Brother! And thus I’ll defer to the more eloquent Geo. Phillips to expound upon this matter...

When Is A Starting Field Too Large?

So let’s see, what’s next? Oh I dunno, how ‘bout instituting the RUCKY ‘DAWG rule? Double-file restarts... Hmm? Meeze thinks the only thingy missin’ now’s is duh green-white chequered flag restarts... Oh, didn’t you read Kurty Cavin’s article about the Lucky Dog rule being implemented? As apparently Robin Miller’s comments ‘bout “The Lucky Milka” wasn’t bunchin’ duh field up enough effectively, eh?

And DAMN! Why don’t we just hand out medals for the Top-3 finishers, I dunno? How’s ‘bout Gold-Silver-Bronze a la the Olympics... OOPS! Scratch t’Dat, we’ll get in trouble with Uncle Bernaughty for copyright issues ‘Thar.

Hey, I know! How ‘bout installing Shortcut/Overtaking lanes on selected Roadcourses/Street Circuits. I mean it’s still probably possible at Edmonton who are now remodeling their layout right? GULP! We’ll haveda call ‘em HSPZ’s (High Speed Passing Zones) instead – as DAMMIT! That Messer E’s already thought this ‘Juan up tooze...

And since we’re goin’ all out here ‘N dippin’ into SHUSH Danny! The WayBack Machine... In the immortal words of a one Mister Bobby Unser: “I think there’s somme Slippery Liquids Ontrack Sam!” Why not instead of having the sweeper trucks remove ‘Dem “marbles.” Why NOT instead actually have them lay down layers ‘O real marbles; Hya! Careful Son, you could poke somme-bodies eyes outs ‘Dar; Yuhs hear? Hmm? How ‘bout installing computer controlled sprinkler systems strategically placed at various portions of racetracks to cause unforeseen temporary water hazards...

F1 boss' wet-track idea supported by U.S. race's promoter

And lastly, Hmm? How ‘bout employing Darren ‘DangerMouse Manning to tee up golf balls from the Brickyard Crossing during May 29th? FOUR!

Oh Never Mind!

Bulls running Rampant in Barcelona

Yesterday’s second day of F1 testing saw very little change in terms of who was at the top of the Timesheets, as the Red Bull RB7 remained slotted P1 – this time with Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) at its controls instead.

And it’s still too early to judge ultimate pace; notice how the young Louise ‘JAGUAR (Hamilton) moved his McLaren further towards the front, albeit NO idea if he was manhandling it by the scruff of its neck or what? As testing continues today and then concludes on Friday, perhaps? When there are rumours that we’ll finally see the brand new Hispania F111 Ontrack...

Vettel keeps RBR at the top in Catalunya

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

F1 Constructor: Virgin

(Marussia Virgin MVR-02 – Source: theformulaoneand motorsportsarchive.wordpress.com)

Launch Date/Venue: February 7 - London
Name: Marrussia Virgin Racing
Base: Dinnington, Rotherham; South Yorkshire, England
Former Team Name: Virgin Racing
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 12th; 0-points
2010 Chassis: VR-01

Team Principal: John Booth
Technical Director: Nick Wirth
Seasons: 2 (2010 - Debut Season)
Debut Race: 2010 Bahrain GP
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Poles: 0

Model: MVR02
Engine: Cosworth CA 2010
Gearbox: XTrac

TECH: Virgin MVR-02 – Exhaust Positioning

No. 24: Timo Glock; Germany
No. 25: R-Jerome d’Ambrosio; Belgium
Test/Reserve Driver) TBC

With the Marussia Car Company buying into the Virgin F1 project, not only has the team’s name changed, but there have also been numerous changes in the organization’s structure.

Changes at Marussia Virgin

And with the multitude of changes – which the ‘Juan I’m most happy to see is Ian Phillips return to Grand Prix Racing after being unceremoniously Dumped by Vijay Mallya... As Phillips will take up the post of Chief Operations Officer, (COO) which to Mwah – is a definite coo for the team. (PUN intended...)

Next, the team further strengthened its Technical Staff with the addition of disemboweled ex-Renault Executive Engineering Chief Pat Symonds, who’ll work strictly on a Consultancy basis, as the Englishman is temporarily Persona-non-Grata in the F1 Paddock until 2013...

And thus back to the task at hand, the skinny upon this season’s MVR-02 chassis which was unveiled at the BBC Television Studios in London. I’ve read that it features a lower front nose profile then the rest of the 2011 Challengers, along with being the only 100% Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) designed chassis on the grid. (For the second year in-a-row...) What seemed to have been left outta the glitz ‘N glamour at “BBC-5” was the fact that the South Yorkshire-based squad is the second Formula One Constructor to eschew utilizing KERS; joining Team Lotus on this decision, as I won’t be surprised if Hispania decides to do so also... As after all, Professor (Steve) Matchett was quick to point out several times last year – Just get the Blimey-thing to run ALL the way to the end of a Grand Prix first! Not to mention the fact that the three Sophomore Constructors are probably trying to save a little Dinero upon developing this somewhat complex system...

Virgin launches MVR-02

Virgin MVR-02: Pictures

Virgin MVR-02: launch notes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

F1: Final Winter Test begins, Pirelli gets more Rubber...

So originally I read that the final 2011 Formula 1 “Winter Olympics” had been slid back 1-day and wouldn’t commence until tomorrow, scheduled to run March 9-12. Thus I was a little surprised to read that Mark Webber topped the Timesheets today in Barcelona... Or is that some sorta GMT Timezone conversion thingy? Yet I’d be leery to read too much into these times as the Virgin was nearly 10-seconds off the pace for example...

Webber leads the way on first day back in action

Also, the FIA has allowed Pirelli to supply all of the F1 Teams additional sets of tyres on Friday Free Practice sessions... We’ll teelz Yuhs ‘Juan week ahead ‘O time and then you might get one different spec tyre for “Evaluation” or you might get one set of extra primes for “Evaluation.” But then you’ve gotta give ‘em back to us before Qualifying... Cornfuzed? I know that I am over the 3-card Tyer Monty, especially since I cannot even see what colour band is on the sidewalls...

FIA allows extra tyre testing on GP Fridays

F1: 2011 Constructor McLaren

(McLaren MP4-26 – Source: adamcooperf1.com)

Launch Date/Venue: February 4 - Berlin
Name: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Base: Woking, Surrey; United Kingdom
Former Team Name: McLaren
Constructors Titles: 8 (1974, 1984-85, 1988-91, 1998)
Drivers Titles: 12 (1974, 1976, 1984-86, 1988-91, 1998-99, 2008)
2010 Standings: 2nd; 454-points
2010 Chassis: MP4-25

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh
Technical Directors: Paddy Lowe, Neil Oatley
Seasons: 46 (1966-Present)
Debut Race: 1966 Monaco GP
Races: 685
Wins: 169
Poles: 149

Model: MP4-26
Engine: Mercedes Benz FO 108 (2011-spec)
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: McLaren

TECH: MP4-26 Exhaust Bending

No. 3: Lewis Hamilton; Britain (UK)
No. 4: Jenson Button; Britain (UK)
Test/Reserve Driver) Gary Paffett

Originally founded in 1966 by the late, great Bruce McLaren as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, as many will know the team was taken over by Ron Dennis in 1980 with the backing of Phillip Morris. As this Uber-successful racing team ranks only second in all time glory to la Scuderia..

Yet, interestingly, in what Professor (Steve) Matchett considers more important then the Driver’s Title, McLaren hasn’t won the coveted Constructor’s (Title) laurels since 1998... With its latest Drivers crown being acquired in 2008 on the races final lap in Sao Paolo, Brazil...

I only bring this up since although the last year saw the team run the last two World Champions – Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton, the team struggled to get the MP4-25 up to speed... As I seem to recall them creating a brand new floor/lower half of the chassis, albeit ‘JENSE won two races early on and “Louise ‘JAGUAR” (Hamilton) ultimately won a further three races. (Turkey win aided by Red Bull’s drivers colliding...) The duo finished positions P4-5 in the Drivers Title chase.

The team had another “Wonky” launch ceremony, this time taking place in Berlin, with apparently the car being bolted together on stage...

Now comes word that this year’s MP4-26 which is reportedly running L-shaped Sidepods in hopes of recouping lost ‘Aero due to the latest rules revision – whilst playing the exhaust exit game is suffering in performance once again – yet only time will tell if this is indeed true, as the Woking based firm always has a knack of bouncing back...

McLaren launches MP4-26

McLaren MP4-26: Pictures

McLaren MP4-26: Launch notes

Monday, March 7, 2011

Firestone throws in the Towel

So perhaps you’ve already heard this – especially since BloggerLand is all awash ‘bout it... And thus I won’t try reinventing the wheel and just tell Yuhs that’s the Fact Jack! That Firestone has politely declined to extend its supply of those black majik ring thingy’s after the end of the 2011 IndyCar season...

As for who’ll become the TyreKing, err Heir Apparent to Flintstone in 2012 – I’d suppose you’d haveda say the field is wide open at the moment. Personally my favourite choice would be Michelin... Just seems too good to pass up after Oh, I dunno; ‘Somme-thun happened at the Speedway in 2005, as I can still recall laughing my ARSE off from nearby Portland International Raceway in my hotel’s parking lot; having felt extra good ‘bout having chosen the Portland Champ Car race over Indianapolis that year...

Not to mention having told Clyde how funny I thought it woulda been to see the Michelin Man walking ‘round the Brickyard deflated and with band aids all over himself whilst attending the ’06 USGP.

And I’ve heard Goodyear, Pirelli, Cooper and GASP! Even Hoosier as possible candidates... Hmm? Why not Yokohoma or Continental? With NO disrespect to Pirelli; BUTT! I think they’ll be a little too busy with another series called Formula 1...

Lastly, in deference to Jeffie’s questione ‘bout possible replacement names as Title Sponsor for the Indy Lights series... Why not Franks Energy Drinks? Hey! If Ronnie (Tony) George can make a comeback – then why not Franks? But seriously, why not Service Central...

Firestone is Tired of Racing

F1 Constructor: Williams

(Williams FW33-Interim – Source: f1fanatic.co.uk)

Launch Date/Venue: February 1 - Valencia
Name: AT&T Williams
Base: Grove, Oxfordshire; United Kingdom
Former Team Name: (Williams)
Constructors Titles: 9 (1980-81, 1986-87, 1992-94, 1996-97)
Drivers Titles: 7 (1980, 1982, 1987, 1992-93, 1996-97)
2010 Standings: 6th; 69-points
2010 Chassis: FW32

Team Principals: Sir Frank Williams, Patrick Head
Technical Director: Sam Michael
Seasons: 34 (1978-Present)
First Race: 1978 Argentine GP
Races: 539
Wins: 113
Poles: 125

Model: FW33
Engine: Cosworth CA 2010/11
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Williams

TECH: FW33 Lowline Gearbox

Team Willie runs Interim livery FW33

No. 11) Rubens Barrichello; Brazil
No. 12) R-Pastor Maldonado; Venezuela
Test/Reserve Driver) Valtteri Bottas

Like many teams, Williams is using all of the requisite PressSpeak lingo – claiming its FW33 is “Aggressive.” (Design-wise) Although for Mwah, I’ll wait to see its Ontrack results before making any decisions. The part I was most curious ‘bout was what style of KERS Team Willie was utilizing? Recall that its sister company Williams Hybrid Systems has previously run a centrifugal clutch system on its F1 chassis – and holds multiple patents for this technology. But according to PitPass; Sam Michael claims that the 2011 rules favour the usage of the Deriggor electrical battery pack system instead – which Team Willie has designed an In-house version of this for the FW33, which like all new systems has undergone some teething issues during this seasons “Winter Olympics.” (No word if this will be part of the package supplied to Hispania?)

On the driver front, I’m guessing Y’all know ‘bout Williams cashing in upon reigning GP2 Champion Pastor Maldonado, whose PDVSA Oil Moolah is reputedly worth a cool $36m per season to the Grove base team, hence the departure of rising German star Nico Hulkenberg to Force India.

Meanwhile the team is banking upon ‘Rubino to lead the way once again with his vast Formula One experience, as after all Barrichello has the most Grand Prix starts in the sports history, along with having won two races in 2009 for BRAWN GP...

Williams FW33: Initial Pictures

Williams FW33: Launch notes

Team Willie debuts Final livery

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dreyer & Reinbold ‘FillerUp with Ipiranga

So I primarily tuned into Trackside with Kevin & Cavin yesterday to hear what exactly was goin’ on with the Sam Schmidt TAKEOVER, Err Merger with FAZZT Race Team. Hey! I’m happy that ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) will remain upon the grid this year – thus I was looking forward to the Sam Schmidt interview, which unfortunately didn’t happen... Hmm? Apparently either Kurty or Sam get their TS Steele timepieces serviced by the same watchmaker as Jay ‘Funnyman Howard; Hya! As Jay’s been prone to having trouble to setting his watch correctly; although I’ve never ever made a time conversion error here at No Fenders, right?

Thus I was surprised to learn that Dreyer & Reinbold officially announced Ana ‘Bia “Figarito” Beatriz as Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson’s teammate in the No. 24 previously occupied by Mike Conway. Beatriz brings Brazilian Oil sponsorship a la Milkalicious’s CITGO deal in the form of Ipiranga for a full season gig at D & R.

In another story vacillating in that Uber-nebulous NoFenderz WormHole - I believe that Bia’s manager is none other then AndrĂ© Ribeiro, Whom you may recall won 3-races in CART between 1995-96 – all for Tasman Motorsports... Before first driving and then working for The Captain, nee Roger Penske; ironically, whilst doing some research for a long overdue project, I accidentally came upon the name Alex Dias Ribeiro, who briefly dabbled as a Gran Primo Piloto way back yonder in the late-1970’s – ultimately finishing his career failing to qualify a second entry for an outfit called Fittipaldi Automotive, albeit having participated in 20 Grand Prix’s.

Yet the elder Ribeiro (Alex Dias) seems to have expended his 15-minutes ‘O fame in his latter driving career upon returning to Formula One as its Medical Safety Car driver in 1999. Unfortunately he first crashed said Medic’s car during the Monaco GP weekend – which resulted in Professor Sid Watkins suffering three broken ribs! Then in 2002, no less than the Brazilian GP, he made the dubious mistake of leaving his door ajar just in the Nick ‘O time for some German chap named Heidfeld to collect it with his hurtlin’ Sauber racecar; causing Heidfeld to do an impromptu rendition of John Hyatt’s Smashing A Perfectly Good Racecar, Err Guitar; YIKES!

Thus, I have NO inkling if Ribeiro is a common name in Brasilia – or whether/not these two Ribeiro’s are related? But I found it somewhat karmic that these names passed before me whilst scribbling a previous story...

But back to the women of IndyCar, as this now brings us to three fulltime Femme Fatales on the 2011 IndyCar dockets, whilst speculation swirls around a possible return by Katherine Legge, with Pippa Mann, who’s just tested at Texas for Eric Bachelart – her debutant INDYCAR outing, sounding very GEEKED ‘bout putting some sorta OvalTrack program together... Specifically shooting for the 2011 OvaltteenCup Trophy – Sheesh! Sounds like every gal ‘cept Milka Duno’s coming outta the woodwork in order to run in the Big Carz, eh?

Although I still suggest its worth reading Paul diatlovich’s comments ‘bout Pippa & ‘Bia’s talent vs. the Original Swiss Miss Cyndie Allemann in; An Interview with Paul Diatlovich.

And don’t forget ‘bout Milka Duno, who’s reputedly still cleared by IndyCar to run upon Ovals; Hmm? A third Dale Coyne entry at Indy this May?

Ford and Ferrari resume Playin’ Nice

Good news in Autoland, as Ford and Ferrari have apparently Kissed ‘N Made-up, as the Dearborn Auto manufacturer has just issued a very short statement saying we’ve settled our lawsuit against Ferrari over their usage of our esteemed F150 nameplate. Which Y’all may recall was in regards to la Scuderia’s apparent lapse of not knowing that the F150 was a PickemUp truck whilst rolling out their 2011 F1 challenger. You can read the full story by clicking here...

Quote of the Day...

Sorry ‘bout that Jeffie, Err Mr. Innucci, as obviously this is a shameless takeoff of your long running segment formerly at My Name is IRL and currently One Lap Down... Which I still say is The Wanderin’ Milkalicious’s “Tag-line;” Hya!

Kurt Cavin:
“And Ward Burton is swapping Rides with Milka Duno...”

Which was in reference to the little tidbit thrown out upon Trackside with Kevin & Cavin last night when Kevin Lee read a News blurb from the Birmingham News which noted that The Cheepster’s Boyz Jamie McMurray & Scott Dixon will join the growing Congo-line for swapping rides a la the upcoming Stewart-Hamilton Show which I previously scribbled ‘bout in; Tradin’ Paint – The Sequel.

“Jamie Mac” will drive Dixon’s number Nine IndyCar at Barber Motorsports Park (BMS) during the fast approaching Spring Training/Winter Thaw... Then later on Dixon will try doin’ his best Ricky Bobby impersonation of turnin’ Left in ‘Dat big ‘Ol No. 1 RASSCAR Bomber ‘round duh ‘Tega (Talladega) High banks. (Or should it be Hi-jinx?) As reportedly the swap will take place after Wednesday’s Indy Car Open test and WON’T be available to the public; WTF? How in the HE-LL is that gonna cross-promote ‘Dem AlaBAMMie trackes; Oh Never Mind!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

F1 Constructor: Scuderia Toro Rosso

(Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6 – Source: theformulaoneand motorsportsarchive.wordpress.com)

Launch Date/Venue: February 1 - Valencia
Name: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Base: Faenza, Italy
Former Team Name: Minardi
Prior Years: 1985-2005
Debut Race: 1985 Brazilian GP
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 9th; 13-points
2010 Chassis: STR5

Team Principal Franz Tost
Technical Director: Giorgio Ascanelli
Seasons: 6 (2006-Present)
First Race: 2006 Bahrain GP*
Races: 89
Wins: 1
Poles: 1
Statistics from 2006-Present

Model: STR6
Engine: Ferrari 056/2011
(Updated for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Toro Rosso

TECH: STR6 - Double Floor arrangement

No. 18) Sebastien Buemi; Switzerland
No. 19) Jaime Alguersuari; Spain
Test/Reserve Driver) Daniel Ricciardo

On the surface, everything appears to be exactly the same as last year, albeit the mandatory changes due to the new 2011 Technical Regulations – with the most notable being the new moveable rear wing flap...

Yet this will be Toro rosso’s inaugural season running the much ballyhooed KERS system, which according to Adam Cooper, the team has opted for its own version vs. Sauber’s purchasing Ferrari’s system off-the-shelve. Therefore the team will begin the season with a modified version of its 2010 Gearbox before introducing a 2011-spec Gearbox unit in Spain.

And reportedly the team has also opted for a radical chassis evolvement from last season, seeking that Uber-elusive “Unfair Advantage” with a unique second floor Sidepod system, harkening back to la Scuderia’s troubled F92A chassis.

The driver front remains the same, with the addition of Red Bull Junior Team prodigy Daniel Ricciardo joining full time as the Test/Reserve Driver and will also participate in limited Friday morning outings, a la Paul di Resta last year for Force India before becoming a fully fledged Gran Primo Piloto this season. As I’m sure that not only Ricciardo, but also Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg wish to emulate Di Resta’s ascension into F1 next season...

Toro Rosso launches STR6

Toro Rosso STR6: Pictures

Toro Rosso STR6: Launch notes

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mercedes Benz finalizes Brawn Buyout

Mercedes Benz along with its partner Aabar Investment have completed the buyout of BRAWN GP, by acquiring the remaining 24.9% stake that Ross Brawn & Co. held upon the initial 74.1% purchase in November 2009.

Thus Mercedes now owns 60% of its racing team with Aabar Investment holding the remaining 40% of the racing team, whilst this Abu Dhabi firm is also Daimler AG’s largest single shareholder with a 9% stake in the parent company...

Guess Ross thought it was a good time to cash-in a la Patrick Head, without needing to go floating about the German Stock Market, eh?

Sir Jackie taken to Hospital

Read the breaking news late this morning that The ‘Wee Scot JYS, nee Sir Jackie Stewart apparently suffered chest pains upon a British Airways flight from Switzerland to London Wednesday afternoon. The BA crew treated the 71-year old triple F1 World Champion and had Paramedics at the ready upon landing at Heathrow. Sir Jackie was then taken to Hillingdon hospital upon landing for evaluation and further testing to remedy any apparent problems simply as a precautionary measure. Haven’t spotted any further updates upon his condition as of yet...

Sir Jackie Stewart falls ill on flight

F1 Constructor: Mercedes

(Mercedes MGP W02 – Source: f1fanatic.co.uk)

Launch Date/Venue: February 1 - Valencia
Name: Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team
Base: Brackley, Northamptonshire; United Kingdom
Former Team Names: Mercedes Grand Prix, Tyrrell, BAR, BAR-Honda, Honda F1, BRAWN GP
Prior Years: 1954-55, 1968-2009
Debut Race: 1954 French GP
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 2 (1954-55)
2010 Standings: 4th; 214-points
2010 Chassis: MGP W01

Team Principals: Ross Brawn, Norbert Haug
Technical Director: Bob Bell
Seasons: 2 (2010-Present)
First Race: 2010 Bahrain GP
Races: 31
Wins: 9
Poles: 8
Statistics equal only Mercedes as Factory “Works” F1 Team: Years 1954-55; 2010-Present

BRAWN GP won the 2009 Constructors & Drivers World Championships prior to being Bought-out by Mercedes – which prior hadn’t competed as an F1 racing team since 1955...

Model: MGP W02
Engine: Mercedes Benz FO 108 (2011-spec)
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Mercedes

No. 7) Michael Schumacher; Germany
No. 8) Nico Rosberg; Germany
Test/Reserve Driver) TBA

The legendary Mercedes Benz “Silver Arrows” were last seen in Formula 1 some 56yrs ago – prior to the teams celebrated return in 2010 with somebody named DER TERMINATOR, much to Nico Rosberg’s chagrin. As it was during the 1954-55 Grand Prix seasons that the original Silver Arrows crushed the opposition with drivers Juan Manuel Fangio & Stirling Moss at the controls... Blistering the Formula One world by capturing nine wins and eight poles in twelve races before the ’55 Le Mans Horror saw Mercedes Benz step away from racing.

Mercedes next returned to Grand Prix racing for 1993-94 as an engine supplier with a 3.0-liter normally Aspirated V-10 powerplant for Sauber before switching allegiances to McLaren. (1995-Present) Mercedes has now become a Customer engine supplier to the Woking based McLaren – now its competitor, plus continued supply of its 2.4-liter V-8 lumps to Force India...

The team has just announced ex-Renault Head Honcho Bob Bell as its Technical Director beginning on April 1st, while the driver pairing remains the same with the young lion “Brittany” (Nico Rosberg) having clearly outshone Herr Schumacher last season – whose still prattling on ‘bout winning his eighth Drivers crown...

And reading between the never ending PressSpeak of New Car launches – as I don’t know what this first historic Mercedes Benz KERS system win was that Norbert Haag refers too... Albeit Mercedes was supplying McLaren’s lumps in ’09 and Haag sez all three Mercedes-runners will utilize the current iteration of KERS this season...

Mercedes launches MGP W02

Mercedes MGP W02: Pictures

Mercedes MGP W02: Launch notes

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Red Bull seeing Red

Otay, I shied away from the obvious Punch-line ‘O Too Infiniti ‘N Beyond; Hya! As I must say I fell afoul of the premature media speculation over Red Bull Racing rebadging it’s Reggie lumps into Infiniti’s – as apparently they’ll just be soaking up some of Nissan’s Yen by having the Infiniti brand emblazoned all over the racecars, equipment, team Kit, drivers overalls ‘N helmets instead.

The Nissan tie-up will run thru 2012 while la Reggie (Renault) will continue on as the engine supplier for the foreseeable future. (Whale, at least until the end of the 2012 season – I’d assume...)

Schmidt to go really FAZZT in Indy Cars

Here’s another news blurb that seemingly came outta left field to Mwah... As Kurt Cavin broke the news this morning that Sam Schmidt has purchased the FAZZT Race Team; HOLY BOWERS ‘N SEALS BATMAN!

Not sure what exactly triggered this move, but Cavin notes that Sam Schmidt will retain the services of Alex Tagliani as the team’s lead driver, whilst Schmidt’s previously announced triumberant of Wade Cunningham, Townsend Bell and Jay Howard will continue on with their previously announced limited schedules. No idea if this will morph into a revolving second car a la Dryer & Reinbold Racing last year, eh? As I’m guessing the deal may put the kybosh upon Ho-Ping tun’s arrival in IndyCars?

Bell & Howard are both slated to race One-off’s at Indianapolis for Sam Schmidt Motorsports; along with Bell running a further late season oval, albeit there was some conjecture upon the Autosport Radio Show that Howard may be farmed out to the Rahal Letterman Racing team for the month of May instead? While Cunningham is slated to run Kentucky, the Texas Twin 329km’s and Las Vegas...

F1: 2011 Constructor - Red Bull

(Red Bull RB7 – Source: adamcooperf1.com)

Launch Date/Venue: February 1 - Valencia
Name: Red Bull Racing
Base: Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire; United Kingdom
Former Team Names: Stewart Grand Prix, Jaguar Racing
Prior Years: 1997-2004
Debut Race: 1997 Australian GP
Constructors Titles: 1 (2010)
Drivers Titles: 1 (2010)
2010 Standings: 1st; 498-points
2010 Chassis: RB6

Team Principal: Christian Horner
Chief Technical Officer: Adrian Newey
Seasons: 7 (2005-Present)
2010 Standings: 1st: 498-points
First Race: 2005 Australian GP*
Races: 107
Wins: 15
Poles: 20
(Note: Statistics from 2005-Present)

Model: RB7
Engine: Renault RS27-2011
((Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Red Bull Technology

TECH: Red Bull RB7 – Sidepods and Cooling

No. 1) Sebastian Vettel; Germany
No. 2) Mark Webber; Australia
Test/Reserve Driver) TBA

Obviously, as the reigning Constructor & Drivers World Champions – the target is now firmly affixed to the Austrian Energy Drinks, Adrian Newey and Sebastian Vettel’s backsides. As the rest of the field comes ‘Big Game hunting for them...

For what I can tell, the team returns 99% intact, as the only name I’ve heard of moving on is Neil Martin, who’s become the new head of Ferrari’s R&D Operations Dept. Otherwise Master Zebb (Vettel) now sports the coveted No. 1 plate alongside his ever present Mate Mark “Handlebarz” Webber – whose Not too Bad for a Number 2 Driver, eh? Haven’t heard who’ll ultimately become the team’s Test/Reserve Driver, perhaps the promising Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne? (Since ‘Aussie Daniel Ricciardo has been confirmed at RBR’s ‘lil Seester Toro Rosso...)

As for the RB7, according to the ultra renowned Aerodynamicist Newey – the two largest areas of change were the repackaging of KERS and the new moveable rear wing. And although the team ultimately chose to campaign the 2009 season without the energy recovery system, nevertheless – they did develop a version of it in conjunction with le Reggie (Renault) and feel they’ll definitely need it this year to ward off the competition.
Over the final days of February, there was vast speculation upon le Internetz suggesting that Red Bull would henceforth be propelled by 2.4-liter Normally Aspirated Infiniti V-8 lumps, essentially rebadged Renault’s. As everybody knows that Infiniti is the upscale “Luxury-brand” of parent company Nissan, which is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, albeit a media blackout upon the subject was supposed to be maintained until 12AM-midnight Tuesday morning.

Yet, the official PressSpeak rollout occurred at the Geneva autoshow where instead it was publically announced that the deal was strictly a branding & technology partnership instead, as the Infiniti moniker will simply adorn everything Red Bull – but NOT the Renault’s valve covers, as the team will still be running Reggie powerplants in 2011. (And most likely 2012 too...)

Hence, it simply appears to be another way of wooing potential customers to a different – more expensive product – as Nissan seeks to broaden its potential to uncork the European marketplace...

Red Bull launches RB7

Red Bull RB7: Pictures

Red Bull RB7: Launch notes