Monday, August 29, 2011

Triple ‘S Power Play: Spa, ‘Scooters and Sonoma

Giorgio Pantano at Silverstone; GP2, 2008 (source:
Whew! What a HARD Day at the No Fenders Office; Hya! Starting off the morning by watching le Memorex - a fairly frenetic Belgian Grand Prix, which I managed to finish just one quarter hour before the “live” Moto GP race from the Speedway began... Then a lunch break followed with the afternoon’s ‘Nightcap - a nice bottle or three of Napa Valley Chardonnay from the Wine Country’s Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma...

And although there apparently was some “Argie-Bargie” goin’ on with the top teams over having to start on their blistered rubber, (Pirelli’s) the Stewards said Play On Boyz! NOT to be Cornfuzed with that much cherished Have At It Boyz! Wail that’s a major racing Battle-cry over here Stateside, eh?

Thus, it was somewhat poetic that Herr Schumacher - who a mighty fuss was  being made over this weekend started dead last after his rear tyre departed him on his very first ‘Out-lap of the Q1 ‘Qualie session... Hmm? Here’s your Sign Michael! It’s time to move along to your Senior’s Tour outing in DTM. Although Schuey did display some of his old majik by finishing fifth...

Yet there was a very scary accident that brought out the Safety Car when Louise ‘JAGUAR Hamilton clouted the tire wall with a mighty bang after having not quite cleared the lurking ‘K-SQUARED’s (Kamui Kobayashi) Sauber; to which thankfully Hamilton walked away from unscathed!

But the day once again belonged to Pole Sitter Master ‘Zebb, aka Sebastian Vettel, who becomes just the fourth driver to win from Pole the past 12-starts; joining the likes of Mika-the-Finn; (Hakkinen) 2000, M. Schumacher; 2002 and The Iceman; (Kimi Raikkonen) 2007. As Vettel stretches his virtually unassailable Points lead over second place teammate  Mark Webber  to 92 - with everybody else ‘Scrumming over third!

Next up, I enjoyed watching the ‘Scooters, nee Moto GP brigade terrorize the Brickyard - as those hand built Prototype Motorcycles are absolutely outta this world, while their respective Jockeys are FREAKIN’ INSANE! Hanging their bodies halfway off the bike to aid its direction whilst dancing with the Devil, Err brakes - from 200mph at the end of the long straight while diving into corner one; SHEISA!

And although Captain ‘kOOL, nee Ben Spies was nearly the fastest all week; Whale Ok, second quick to the ‘Aussie (Casey) Stoner - who broke the track record in qualifying... Unfortunately Spies pulled a Mark Webber-ish like start and dropped from P2 to P9 at the end of lap-1 before recovering to capture the final podium step in third place. As NOBODY could keep up with Stoner and his Honda who won by 5-seconds over teammate Dani Pedrosa enroute to becoming only the second rider ever to win both Laguna Seca and Indy in the same year - “The Doctor” (Valentino Rossi) being the first.

Then with the vino suitably chilled; Hya! It was time to switch on the IndyCar Boyz at sleepy ‘lil Sonoma, where it was a pretty somber race, with the Captain’s Men (Roger Penske) having swept the Top-3 grid positions in qualifying with Will Power on Pole, ‘HULIO (Castro-nervous) alongside in P2 and Ryan Briscoe in third place with current IndyCar Points leader Dashley LePew (Dario Franchitti) starting fourth.

And the “Toowoomba Toranadoe,” or DJ WillyP (according to Jeffie of One Lap Down...) clearly showed his Will Power this weekend by virtually leading Flag-to-Flag except for Pitstop rotations - enroute to a maximum point’s tally of 53-markers to cut Dario’s lead to 26-points. As contrary to Kevin Lee’s gaff in Victory lane, it was the first Penske 1-2-3 clean sweep of the podium since Nazareth, PA on November 28, 1994 - NOT 1944; OOPS! As perhaps ’44 is Kevin’s birth year?

Meanwhile Castroneves went Hollywood again during his runner-up interview with a PATHETIC cue-card Tinkle Toes tap dance of a man desperately trying to renew his Penske Racing contract... Whilst I spent the whole afternoon SHOUTIN’ ATTA BOY RYAN! For Briscoe holding off Franchitti... As its kinda funny how Mike  “Yippee-aye-Eh!” King mentioned Saturday on the IMS Radio Network broadcast how this was Target’s coming out party with 400 members on hand to see the two red cars hopefully finish 1-2; so take ‘Dat ‘Cheep; Hya! NO word if Power can apply the $10k Pole cheque to his double fisted BillyBob Brazenheartz fine? (Cymbol crash please...)

Oh, and by the way, although I was rootin’ for “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) who keeps getting thrown into the DEEP END! Uh, Simon can you catch a plane Thursday night from Barcelona to fill in for ‘Simona-Simona (de Silvestro) Friday morning? Who somehow managed to not have her Visa approved for re-entry to California from Switzerland; WTF?

And thus; How ‘bout Dat Giorgio Pantano, eh? Six years since he’d been in a  very different Indy Car chassis; a ‘05-spec Panoz-Toyota, running two road courses for the recently sacked Darren “DangerMouse” Manning at TCGR. Along with reputedly being two years since he’d driven anything at all - last contesting the European Superleague series in 2009...

As Pantano did a Yeoman’s job for the injured Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson, even applying the coup de grâce - a signature Chrome Horn appliqué upon le Hamburgular, a.k.a. Sebastian Bourdais in the final laps to come home “Best-in-Class” (P6) behind the three Penske’s & two Ganassi’s; NICE JOB GIORGIO!