Friday, September 30, 2011

A little more Insight on the Jean Alesi Lotus-Lotus Indy 500 Adventure...

Last Sunday evening on duh Speed Freaks, I couldn’t help from bursting out in laughter over the following comments...

Kenny (‘Sarge) SSargent sez: “Where will He (Alesi) Put his Cane?”

TWEET: “Gentleman John” (John Andretti) is 1yr OLDER and Davey Hamilton will be 2yrs OLDER then Jean Alesi next year...

Sarge: Whale, then it’ll be a DAMN AARP Convention... To which he followed up by saying Jefferey “PrettyBoy” Gordon (Age 40) drives the AARP-car; HooUh... Cymbol crash please!

Thus, I proceeded to do a little further digging upon the matter and discovered the following info;

Jean Alesi: June 11, 1964  (Age 47)
John Andretti: March 12, 1963  (Age 48)
Davey Hamilton: June 13, 1962  Age 49)

Whale, perhaps I scribbled down that Anonymous TWEETER’s tweet incorrectly; as obviously Hamilton is two years older then Alesi period...

As “Gentleman John” has the most starts of this AARP Trio - provided all three drivers participate in next year’s event; as Andretti has 12-starts, which is one more then Davey Hamilton’s 11. While Alesi would be a Rookie - contesting his very first ever Ovaltrack at the tender age of 47! (Which I have NO idea if that’d be a  record for rookie drivers age-wise?

Yet a few other ‘Ol Codger’s come to mind, most notably ‘SuperTex, nee A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti and ‘BIG AL, aka Al Unser Sr. who ironically are the three most experienced drivers to ever circumnavigate the Speedway’s fabled 2.5-mile Oval...

A.J. Foyt Jr.
 (Age 76)
Born: January 16, 1935
Last Indy 500: 1992
Total Starts: 35
Wins: 4

A.J. ran the last of his astounding record 35-starts at the tender age  of 57 in what became his trademark black Copenhagen No. 14 special...

Al Unser
 (Age 72)
Born: May 29, 1939 
Last Indy 500: 1993
Total Starts: 27
Wins: 4

Oldest ever I500-winner: Age 47 upon winning his fourth Indy 500 in 1987; and while A.J. was running his final race, ‘BIG AL was busy finishing third in a lowly Menards Lola/Buick V-6 - arguably the ‘lil OVER-boosted Stock Block’s highest finish. As Al would run his final Indy 500 the following year at the spritely age of 54 - one day after his birthday...

Mario Andretti
 (Age 71)
Born: February 28, 1940
Last Indy 500: 1994
Total Starts: 29
Wins: 1

“Super-Mario” was in the midst of his Arrivaderchi Tour when he ran his final Indianapolis 500 - which apparently ties him with ‘BIG AL as the second OLDEST competitor at Indy? As both of these talented “Geezer’s” were 54 during their respective final Brickyard assaults...

Roberto Moreno
 (Age 52)
Born: February 11, 1959
Last Indy 500: 2007
Total Starts: 3
Wins: 0

The man affectionately known as “SuperSub,” the affable Brazilian was a modest 48yrs old when he made his third and most likely final I500 start for the little known Chastain Motorsports team. As Moreno was filling in for the team’s original driver “Stephen George,” Err Stefan Gregoire - as the entry was honouring Tom Chastain’s tenth Anniversary from beginning his IRL race team, which was the impetus for running a car that year...

Al Unser Jr.
(Age 49)
Born: April 19, 1962
Last Indy 500: 2007
Total Starts: 19
Wins: 2

‘lil Al ran his last Indy 500 four years ago - a most pathetic showing in the second A.J. foyt enterprises car at the age of 44 and now spends his days in Indy Cars Race Control helping Brian Barnhart sometimes “make” racing calls...

Michael andretti
 (Age 48)
Born: October 5, 1962
Last Indy 500: 2007
Total Starts: 16
Wins: 0

Not to be outdone by his  Arch-rival ‘lil Al, Michael made the final start of his Indy 500 career four years ago also while age 44 - having wanted to race alongside his son Marco. And as we all know, Michael, who can be seen occasionally “Steuging” on camera over Race Officiating has fared far better at Indy as a team owner vs. driver - having been to Victory lane twice in 2005 & 2007...

Paul Tracy
 (Age 42)
Born: December 17, 1968
Last Indy 500: 2011
Total Starts: 7
Wins: 0  (1 - 2002*)

Otay, sorry Folks - BUTT I couldn’t resist throwing in that asterisk for the controversial 2002 I500 finish which theoretically had ‘PT leading ahead of ‘HULIO, albeit ‘lil Napolian, a.k.a. “Ronnie” (Tony) George told Barry Green you CANNOT Appeal my ruling after having let Green FLUSH $150,000 DOWN the toilet trying to overturn Brian Barnhart’s ruling...

Thus the Thrill from the West Hill has driven for a variety ‘O teams beginning with his 1993 Speedway debut for The Captain. (Roger Penske) before moving over to the then Powerhouse Newman Haas Racing squad... And after that memorable(?) 2002 race for Team KOOL Green - The Chrome Horn has plied his trade with a Smorgasbord ‘O Midfielders, i.e.; KV Racing Technology & Dreyer & Reinbold respectively. As I’m assuming he’ll be back for at least ‘Juan more crack at the elusive Borg Warner trophy in Twenty-twelve, eh? Potentially with Dragon Racing who failed to make the cut this year...

But the knock upon Alesi’s PressSpeak has more to do with the question of  whether or not the Loti’ Quotient will actually make the starting grid at all, as currently questions abound over who’ll be running the John Judd Engine Developments Ltd “Lotus” badged 2.2-liter turbocharged ‘lumps next year?

And contrary to one report - if Lotus does indeed partake in the 2012 Indy Car Series season, it’ll be as a  Dallara “Safety-cell” with Dallara Aerokits; as the Body-by-Mennen multiple AFX Aurora Aerokit era won’t be ushered in until 2013 at the earliest - after the ICS Team Owners put the Kybosh upon the league’s plans for “Different” (Aerokit) Chassis in 2012 upon sighting that the cost would simply break them...

And just who will Alesi drive for? Hmm? Interestingly Michael Shank Racing (MSR) is claimed to have placed an order for a single 2012 Dallara chassis which SPEED’s Marshall Pruett noted would most likely be Judd powered... Which I find appropriate, since when I think of Lotus - it AIN’T as an engine manufacturer!

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