Thursday, September 15, 2011

Zanardi - Ten Years later

Once again your Humble Scribe’s goin’ into le ‘Wayback machine... Whilst everybody was celebrating Harbour-side on the shores ‘O Baltimore, perhaps with a cuppa Uh Chowdah? Over the inaugural running of GASP! Another Street race, i.e.; the Baltimore Grand Prix on Labour Day weekend; Hmm? Why does IndyCar name many of its race events Grand Prix’s - as I thought that was a Formula 1 thingy; but I digress...

Alas, while I’m ‘Uber pleased that Will Power SPANKED the Competition - my head “N heart were somewhere else the whole weekend long... As Ten years ago, Tomaso was spendin’ the Labour Day weekend Up North Eh! At what had become a Semi-yearly tradition for Mwah; ‘Circa 1990-2001 - before Denver STOLE Vancouver’s Holidaze date... The final Labour Day race of what’s now Uh LONG defunct Temporary Street Circuit fondly known as the Vancouver Molson Indy... Which ALL of the Championship Auto Racing Teams Driver’s useda RAVE On ‘N on ‘bout! (The wonderful Atmosphere & devout Fans - as I’m not so sure of their thought’s coursewise, eh?)

Having been dropped off by Mary Ellen at the entry gates to spend the afternoon’s portion of thee Practice & Provisional Qualifying sessions Solo - I can still vaguely recall what would be a karmic occurrence as I stood there at the Science World chicane - on a bright, sunny and pleasant fall day watching all of the CART machinery flick thru the quick little right-left-right kink corralling all of the hustling Reynard’s vs.  Lola’s; (when there were truly DIFFERENT chassis & engine manufacturer’s competing...) as the chicane was a Fan favourite and very popular for watching the racecars pass by... Always having a crowd on hand, albeit a brief wait could usually allow you to work your way to the front of the ‘Queue against the Jersey barrier topped by catch fencing...

And there I was standing alongside said Jersey barrier watching the various CART Gladiators’ Zoom-by when what occurred directly in front of Mwah?

It was none other then the No. 66 Mo Nunn Racing Reynard01i/Honda/Firestone racecar of ‘Zorro, aka Alex Zanardi making a lazy half spin directly in front of us, then reversing out of the way and sitting there idling while impatiently waiting for all of his fellow competitors to ‘Zoom-by before ultimately stalling the 2.65-liter turbocharged Honda ‘lump!

As I think I mumbled something to myself ‘bout how Zanardi wasn’t cutting it anymore? Being largely uncompetitive in his CART comeback - although to be fair, the likeable Italian was in the midst of his first year with the constantly struggling and underfinanced Maurice “Mo” Nunn Operation after having been on sabbatical the year prior, after his flop at Team Willie, nee Williams F1, when Sir Frank dumped him in favour of a fresh faced British rookie named ‘JENSE - future F1 World Champion Jenson Button...

Yet I suppose on the flip-side you could counter that point by noting it was Zanardi and the team’s 15th race outing that weekend, which should have been plenty of time to potentially ‘Gel, right? Then again DER TERMINATOR (Michael Schumacher) hasn’t exactly set the F1 world alight in his second season of racing for Mercedes GP...

Afterwards, I met Mary Ellen at a nearby Beer Garden where we met up with some of my fellow CART Aficionado’s to revel in the day’s activities before we left the circuit with Zanardi nearly an afterthought - returning race day with Auntie Harriet and Uncle Bill in dueling Wheelchairs... As I’d secured seating in the Handicap seating area, which was situated in a great vantage point alongside one of the many sweeping corners - leading towards the Pits I believe? To which I can still fondly recall how we’d be treated to “SuperSub” Roberto Moreno completely wafting us in multiple smoking victory doughnuts directly in front of us in his bright orange Visteon sponsored Patrick Racing car a la Alex Zanardi’s signature CART victory celebration...

And I can still see ‘Zorro in his Pioneer sponsored Reynard-Honda trundling excitedly out of the Lausitzring Pitlane jerking along on the restraining Pit-speed  limiter whilst leading  and quickly trying to resume the lead in the race’s waning laps before apparently ‘Gassing-it a wee too bit hard, breaking traction on his “COLD” ‘Flinstone rubber and spinning outta control directly in front of the oncoming hurtling traffic - as Y’all know the unfortunate rest - when the hapless ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) had NOWHERE to go and careened into the spinning racecar!

As reputedly Alex lost three-quarters of his blood before trackside doctors Terry Trammell and Steve Olvey heroically used safety worker’s belts to form two makeshift tourniquet’s to ultimately save Alex’s life; SHEISA!

And instead of trying to rewrite my previous salute, which you can read in; Salute Cavalryman

I’ll instead just touch on a few of my thought bubbles - as everyone knows about THEE PASS! When ‘Zorro blasted around Bryan “High speed Hurdles” Herta at the Corkscrew on the races final lap; BUTT! Did Y’all know that Zanardi’s inaugural CART victory actually occurred earlier during the 1996 season when he won at Portland International Raceway... PSST MR. BERNARD! PORTLAND’S STILL AVAILABLE...

And I still think it’d be an AWESOME idea to make ‘Zorro next year’s Indy 500Pace Car driver! Having originally pitched Alessandro’s name to the Trackside Duo when it became apparent that IMS was overly concerned ‘bout Duh Trumpster’s coif getting in his way and potentially Wadding-up its shiny new Chebbie Camaro Pace Car...

And although I’ve somewhat kept his name alive - after hearing repeatedly how Zanardi had wanted to be ‘Juan “O the Five Chosen One’s for Randy “The CandyMann” Bernard’s Los Wages World Finale Albatross - personally I’m grateful that ‘Cheep (Ganassi) and the resta duh IndyCar field wasn’t willing to put Alex in a seat for this Farcical Indy Car Series season ending Finale.

Yet an even better idea - especially since they’re in cahoots with Dallara Automobili as half-owners of the new Speedway, Indiana factory being built as we speak... Would see Synden Racing, Err the Indy Racing Experience outfitting one of its 2X Seaters - preferably Honda powered with the necessary Hand Controls to enable ‘Zorro to be the pilot of IZOD’s FASTEST Seat in the House for next year’s 96th running of the Indianapolis 500! I mean C’mon, there should be plenty ‘O obsolete 2003-11 Spec Dallara-Honda’s available, right? NOT to mention how this would be a huge coup for Indy Cars - as who doesn’t like Alex? Albeit this may have to wait until ’13 since Alex will potentially be busy riding his Hand-bike in the 2012 London Paralympics?


Thus, perhaps somebody - I dunno, say Ye ‘Ol Windbag Dave Despain could ‘Ketsup with the affable Italian on an upcoming segment of Wind Tunnel to see if its still on his radar and how his preparations are coming along...

Or may be ‘R, a.k.a. Robin Miller or his protégé - my “friend” Kurty Cavin instead could do an article upon Zanardi’s latest exploits? As the last time I recall seeing his Mug on  TV was when I had the pleasure of watching Zanardi on the ‘Telie over in Jolly Old London during the summer of ’09 when he unexpectedly won the Czech round of that season’s WTCC Championship.

Along with the aforementioned Post NY Marathon Last Call segment I’ve previously scribbled ‘bout ‘Circa 2007; SHEISA! Can that already be nearly 4-years ago when I listened to Dave Despain ‘Chat Up Zanardi; CRIKEYS!


As I just enjoy mentally cataloging Alex by his ‘Uber outgoing Panache, quick wit and that great smile of his! NOT to mention him being BLOODY QUICK!

Salute Alex!

No comments:

Post a Comment