Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So You wanna build a Street course?

Then you may wish to check out the NY Times story below over what are just some of the items being carried out to host the inaugural Baltimore GP this upcoming weekend...

As although I’ve known about the constant Problema’s loose manhole covers can cause, as I had to search the Internetz to confirm my hazy recollections of a Porsche Panzerwagon, nee the All-mighty 962 being destroyed by said manhole cover - recalling it being a Walter Brun entry...

As this significant accident did indeed occur during the 1990 World Sports Prototype Championship round for the FIA’s Group C Sports Cars being held on Il Notre Dam, aka Circuit Gilles Villeneuve - and occurred on lap-59 when Brun’s 962C with Jesus Pareja at the Keyboard struck a portion of a loose Manhole cover that had been extricated by a competitor ahead of Pareja.

When Jesus struck the debris, it punctured his Porsche’s fuel tank which promptly caused the stricken 962C to immediately burst into flames - with the chassis ultimately being written off, although Jesus was saved by track marshals and emerged unscathed...

Adding further insult to injury, Walter Brun who was Jesuses co-driver that day saw a sister team car also damaged in the ‘Mont-royal event, of witch Brun threatened to institute legal action against the race organizers... And then for further insult - Brun’s Sports Car team was obliged to write off another chassis at the following race outing in Mexico, although NO word on whether or not Jesus was driving that day? (Hmm? Why do I feel a Larry The Cable Guy moment coming on here...)

As the name Walter Brun may ring a bell if you’re an Oldtimer F1 Aficionado like your Humble No Fenders Scribe is. As Messer Brun was half of the Minnowesqe EuroBrun Formula 1 racing team in name and partnership ‘circa 1988-90, before the F1 Constructor’s demise. As Messer Brun himself was an accomplished Sports Car driver back in-the-day - winning a few races aboard his various 956/962 entries...

But back to our be-LUV-ed Manhole covers, eh? Which have caused a number of accidents, including the still publicly unresolved incident with Sergio Perez at Sepang - at the beginning of this season; when said unidentified object destroyed his Sauber’s floor and necessitated a new monocoque tub being flown out to Shanghai... Not to mention poor ‘Rubino’s (Barrichello) contretemps at thee Principality (Monaco) last year. Or how  ‘bout ‘ANT’s (Anthony Davidson) Up Close & Personal encounter with some sorta furry critter aboard his Super Best Friends racecar during the 2007 ‘Kuhnadiun Grand Prix; ZOINKS! As Meesh would say, eh?


And I also seem to recall manhole covers being a problema during Detroit’s Formula 1 days as well, not to mention the rare occurrence of M “N M’s (Mario Moraes) KV Racing Technology IndyCar sucking out one of  the Speedway’s famous bricks during a 2009 practice session; CRIKEYS!

So good luck Baltimore, as there’s obviously a little more involved in just lining the circuit’s public streets with Jersey barriers...


Thanxs to the all knowing Keith Collantine of F1 Fanatic for providing the definitive answer upon Manhole Cover STOPS race! Which you can read/check out pictures by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. We just walked the course and all the manhole covers have fresh welds on them, so I think they should be good. Also all of the slick road markings have been sanded down to remove the sheen.

    -Mark Brady

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