Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Tomaso Files: Jolly Green Sea Turtles...

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, or Honu, is listed as an Endangered Species - and thus should NOT be touched...
So it’s been awhile since I’ve scribbled any Fuzzy Wuzzy, Err isn’t that FAST EDDIES new primary sponsor? Or Furry, LUV-able critter stories... Of which No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS is an H-U-G-E Fan of; Hoohah! Hur-hur-hur...

Thus, with your Humble Scribe having just returned from ‘Juan of the most enjoyable 17-day’s Holiday on the B-I-G island of Hawaii... Having had to frolic ‘round in the surf nearly everyday amongst the throngs ‘O swimmers, boogie-boarders, snorkeler’s, etc - which I’m feeling a Snorkel Bob story coming on over his MoFlo II ‘Mega snorkel... It was extremely rough sleddin’ having to swim with the multiple green Sea Turtles who enjoyed buzzing the crowds at White Sands beach on a daily routine! As I even had ‘Juan of these larger creatures swim directly towards Mwah before suddenly being tapped on my thigh three times in rapid succession by its flipper! Hey Dude, you’re supposed to pet me...

Thus having just returned to the infinitely cooler climes of the Pacific Northwest on Turkey Lurkey evening - where the High temperature was nearly 40-degrees COLDER; SHEISA!!! As the Shuttle service had even turned on its heated benches and the pleasant female “Desk Jockey” even inquired if I wanted a “blankey” for my legs...

Thus, having not looked at ANY motor racing websites in two and-a-half weeks; obviously I’m completely outta duh loop of Der ‘Vurld de Motorsporten Ja-Ja! Although I was pleasantly surprised to see that this past weekend’s Brazilian GP was at a most enjoyable 8AM Pacific Time; which CARPETS has informed me is three hours behind Indy/New York/Eastern Time... While Seattle’s only 2hrs behind Hawaiian time currently; but I digress...

I only heard the barest of news ‘bout the Austin F1 Quagmire on November 20th when Ricky G told me the news upon his arrival in Kona... Of which I’ve now read the majority of blog reports on the Mesopotamia occurring at COTA over the dispute of who’s on first, who’s paying the bills and Uncle Bernaughty as always simply sayin’: SHOW ME THE MONEY! (Mrs. Combs) As Bernie was his ever ‘Cheeky self when asked upon the Brazilian GP grid over the Austin situation, quipping to SPEED’s “Willy Buxom” that Austin needs two things: “A pen and money!”

Now having read back to November 18th, I’d haveda say the most surprising Formula 1 news I’ve read is Pedro de la Rosa’s hiring at Hispania F1 next year, as the 40yr old Spaniard will take a page outta DER TERMINATOR’s playbook next year. As Pedro has done a dealio for two years to race for HRT and thus with Michael Schumacher apparently set to fulfill his three year contract with Mercedes GP - thus we’ll have two 40 ‘Somme-thungs on the grid next season; CRIKEYS! As NO disrespect to Pedro, but I fail to see the logic in this... As it seems he had a less than stellar outing for Sauber this season as Sergio Perez’s substitute, eh? (So perhaps? He’s bringing a large cheque to the equation?)

Thus ‘bout the only three motorsports related things I caught whilst on the B-I-G island were thinking ‘bout Tony Renna and Sergio Scaletti’s death - along with obviously the Flying Hawaiian, aka Danny Ongais, which led me to a very brief discussion upon notable Hawaiian athletes... leading me to the name of Eddie Aikau - who I’ve obviously never heard of... While my Pops also threw out Duke “Kuhmaya-maya” Kahanamoku as a ‘Mega Surfer Dude too... Who apparently has the longest name on the island: Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku, which I gleamed from WICKEDpedia...

Eddie Aikau was an interesting Dude, becoming Hawaii’s very first-ever hired Lifeguard who never lost a single life during his tenure before sadly being lost at sea when paddling his surfboard to get help for his stricken shipmates, having reputedly ditched his life jacket which hindered his paddling and sadly was lost at sea in 1978 at the tender age of 31...

And before I left, I wandered into ‘Juan ‘O SPEED’s countless 1hr Barrett-Jackson specials, this one focusing upon the Clive Cussler Car Collection in Colorado... As it had been years since I’d read any of Messer Cussler’s epic action-suspense “Mystery” novels... Thus heading to the library, I decided to see if any Cussler Books-on-Tape (CD) were available? And was happy to snag two current novels to listen to during the brief lulls between incoming waves on the beach; Hmm? Now the only thingy missing is some of those adult beverages with tiny umbrellas in the glasses, right? CRIKEYS MATES! What’s ‘Dat Tagline ‘bout it doesn’t get any better than this; Oh Never Mind!

As the fictional Dirk Pitt of NUMA in Mr. Cussler’s numerous novels owns a bevy of antique Automobiles which are always featured frequently in his books, not to mention the 1929 Ford Tri-motor Aeroplane that Pitt uses to fly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge before flying at a precariously low level along Downtown streets whilst trying to evade being shot down by a renegade World War I German Tri-wing Fokker doing its best Red Barron impersonation! As you get the idea...

Thus it seemed a tad bit Karmic that the first of these two novels I read included the ultimate discovery of Kublah Khan’s burial chamber found via a massive underwater lava tube passage to a long hidden cavern on the Southwest end of the B-I-G island of Hawaii whilst your humble scribe withered away in the chaise lounge chair poolside; Hmm? ‘Somme-thun to do with those funny ‘lil umbrella drinkies, eh?

And I’ve haveda say my most melancholy day was on Tony Renna’s birthday, my final full day in Kona, when we traveled north to the Waikoloa Hilton Resort for a leisurely ‘Walkabout... Where the Eddie Aikau Restaurant & Museum resides, which after a quick stop in the Crazy T-Shirts store where I picked up an awesome long sleeved Ski Hawaii T-Shirt for the upcoming FRIDGID Northwest winter fast approaching... Hey, it’s supposed to be 33deg-f here this week! We meandered over to the “House of Parrots” where I had NO idea that I’d soon be holding a Parrot on my arm before it liked me so much that it’s “Handler” asked if she could place it on my shoulder? And the bird totally got into the action as it began trying to pepper me with love-kisses and even said “WOW!” (Your breath really stinks Dude; Hya!)

Then we had a pleasurable lunch at the Hang 10 Bar and listened to the nearby Dolphins ceaselessly chattering while two family’s went swimming with them before taking a ride on one of the three remaining “Boats” that go around the entire complex on hidden tracks in a man-made channel. Then a drive back home thru a ‘Mega Monsoon tropical rainstorm before catching ‘Juan final glorious sunset whilst bobbing in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean with the yellow-red orangish hues glistening a path a la the yellow brick road atop the mild waves shimmering all the way from Mwah to that small ball called the SUN! Before totally disappearing over the horizon; as we continued bobbing up ‘N down in the waves long past sunset...

Off to Tacoma for a few Dazes to regale countless tales ‘O high stakes adventure on the BIG Island of Hawaii, as I’ll try to rap my head ‘round Der ‘Vurld de Motorsporten beginning next week; Honest...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Webber Breaks thru the Sebastian Logjam

Poor ‘Handlebarz! As Mark Webber’s win yesterday in the Brazilian Grand Prix seemed almost anti-climatic to Mwah... Although I was happy to see the True Grit ‘Aussie score his first F1 victory of the season and first “W” since last year’s Hunga-boring (Hungaroring) GP.

Yet, even Webber seemed less then thrilled with his victory - which surely was aided by Master ‘Zebb’s (Vettel) apparent Gearbox problema, as the Australian seemed overly terse with his victory in-car radio transmission on the cool down lap. Hmm? Perhaps I’m reading too much into this? You Make the Call!

As surely ‘JENSE, “Fredrico” ‘JAGUAR and the resta duh F1 Grid is wondering how in the HE-LL are they supposed to beat the young German, who simply cruises home runner-up with a maligned Gearbox - even wryly commenting during the race how it reminds him of ‘I Airton! (Ayrton Senna) who won the Brazilian Grand Prix 20yrs ago with his McLaren “Slushbox” missing three gears!

Yet you haveda wonder, Err marvel at Vettel’s seemingly limitless talents even further as I can understand Bruno Senna blowing up his Gearbox, but what gives with Lewis Hamilton’s? I mean how come the Brit’s box simply went ‘KUHBLAMOE! Giving the Englishman a box full ‘O neutral’s whilst Vettel serenely traipsed home P2 - with ‘JENSE (Button) securing runner-up in the Drivers title-fight with a fine third place finish after once again re-passing la Scuderia’s (Ferrari) “Fredrico Suave,” (Fernando Alonso) with Webber’s victory garnering him third in the Drivers fight - one point ahead of Alonso...

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Guess I was so impressed over what had already seemed like a foregone conclusion - history in the making... That I didn’t even have the audacity to muster up a YELL at le Telescreen this morning when Master ‘Zebb broke a 19-year old record upon notching up his staggeringly amazing 15th Pole position of the season; Aye Karumba!

Having missed the Abu Dhabi GP weekend, I only became aware yesterday that Sebastian Vettel had tied BLOODY ‘NIGE’s (Mansell) single season Pole-positions record of 14 in 1992 on Yas Isle a fortnight ago...

And Nigel Mansell set his record during his thoroughly dominating ’92 season en route to his lone Formula 1 World Championship at Team ‘Willy, nee Williams Grand Prix aboard the all conquering Williams FW14-B Active Suspension chassis - ironically designed by none other then Adrian Newey.

These were the years of Newey’s crushing Renault V-10 powered cars when Mansell scored 14-poles, followed the year after by Alain Prost’s 13-poles en route to his fourth and final F1 Drivers title. And as SPEED’s Bob Varsha noted today during the Qualifying show, another Newey creation; the McLaren MP4/13 chauffeured by Mika Hakkinen was put to good use in 1998 when the Finn claimed 11-poles en route to the first of his two Formula One Driver crowns...

So while you may argue that the young German’s accomplishment isn’t as statistically impressive as the Brit’s, nonetheless Vettel is simply ‘Juan BAD Hombre! Having scored the most Pole-positions in a single season record wise ever in the history of the modern F1 series (1950-present) and I’d argue the MOST ever - period; Ja Volt! As ‘Seb surpassed the Maestro Juan Manuel Fangio for sixth place for overall Poles today with his 30th; now just three shy of ‘NIGE, Prost and Jimmy Clark! With just some Dudes named Senna and Schumacher off in the distance...  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Lurkey Day!

Whale, if you’re Humble Scribe has figured out how to Post his fastazimaly FAN-tastic ‘N Riveting Blog Posts remotely??? Then thru the wonders ‘O Computer Technology Yuhs should be receiving this ‘lil Holidaze (Cheer) transmission - wait-for-it... Whale as Arlo Gutherie sez in the renowned Alice’s Restaurant; we’re just waiting for it to come back ‘round... Uh, keep waiting Folks; Hya! As DAMN! This means that  I’ll NOT be able to hear that most time honoured tradition of Alice’s Restaurant being played over the Seattle Airwaves  at high noon today; SHEISA!

And somehow, I’ve got a feeling... Xx@%z86! Oh What a Feeling??? That my Aeroplane dinner won’t be nearly as tasty as the traditional Turkey Lurkey faire I’m usually invited to, eh? So perhaps I’d better go stock up on some vino from the selected vintner’s I scribbled ‘bout previously in; Speedy Vintner’s

Happy Turkey Lurkey Y’all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Remembering the Other Open Wheel Drivers...

Tony Renna would have celebrated his 35th birthday today...
While obviously the “Biggest” named current Open Wheeler fatality on our collective radar’s is Dan Wheldon - rightly so since he is not only a Two-time Indy 500 winner, but also a past Indy Racing League champion... Whilst on the other side of the Atlantic, many are grieving the passing of MOTO GP star Marco Simoncelli...

Yet, while listening to a past Trackside with Kevin & Cavin (10/25) now nearly a month ago, I became a little incensed with Kevin Lee’s blather - pining on ‘bout the numerous IndyCar drivers who’d met their maker by rolling off the names of Paul Dana, Scott Brayton and Stan Fox, with Kurty chiming in with the names of Greg Moore and Jeff Krosnoff...

These two then also noted several Horrific Shunts that had enabled the drivers to walk away... In most cases, a figure of speech - with all drivers enduring Hospital trips and substantial recuperations; most grueling obviously being Davey Hamilton’s... While fence climbers Buddy Rice, Kenny Brack and Ryan Briscoe were all mentioned too.

Now I certainly do NOT expect Kevin & Curt to know and name every Open Wheel Racing driver who’s perished in a crash, especially since I myself was totally unaware of ‘Juan lone Piloto listed below named Jovy; BUTT! The part that really cranked me up was how neither have ever-ever whispered the name Tony Renna! I mean C’mon Kevin; if you’re gonna mention Stan Fox who didn’t even die in a racing accident - but garners mention then Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!!! What gives you guys? NO Freakin’ mention of either renna or Gonzalo Rodriguez! Not to mention totally glossing over ‘Zorro’s (Alex Zanardi) death-defying accident at the Lausitzring... Why aren’t the following mentioned?

Edward “Jovy” Marcelo
Born: July 21, 1965
Birthplace: Quezen City, Philippines
Series: CART
Team: Euromotorsports
Death: May 15, 1992
Age: 26

Jovy Marcelo was from the Philippines.  He raced in the Toyota Atlantics from 1990-91; finishing runner-up to Mark Dismore in ’90, along with being that season’s Rookie of the Year.

 The following year Jovy took over Dismore's seat and won the Atlantics Championship - with two wins and beating out Jimmy Vassar by 4-points. Marcelo then moved up to CART in 1992. Did a Pre-season test with Derrick Walker’s Walker Motorsports before joining Euromotorsports, which was owned by Antonio Ferrari...

After having run three CART races: Surfers Paradise, Phoenix, and Long beach, along with having passed Rookie Orientation at the Speedway that May; Jovy died in a practice session crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) upon losing control of his Lola/Cosworth chassis entering Turn-1 before hitting the wall in Turn-2...

Born: January 22, 1972
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay
Series: CART
Team: Penske
Death: September 11, 1999
Age: 27

I remember this driver’s death for all of the wrong reasons... As I’ll never forget being in the Hotel Fini’s tiny downstairs Bar with Phil Hill when hearing the news that somebody had died at Laguna Seca...

And many will say that Gonzalo was nothing more then a “Pay” driver - having bought the ride at Penske Racing alongside ‘lil Al, as recall that this was a period when Penske’s team was on the decline, with wholesale driver changes being made for the coming 2000 season, albeit further tragedy would effect Roger Penske - with Greg Moore’s death later that year.

Yet Gonzalo showed promise while contesting the Formula 3000 series between 1998-99, winning races at the legendary Spa Francorchamps and Nurburgring, along with a further victory in Mexico; before Rodriguez made his CART debut at Detroit - finishing 12th and garnering his first CART/PPG Championship point. Yet during practice at Laguna Seca, Gonzalo ran head-long into the concrete retaining wall at the famed Corkscrew corner at 140+ mph - flipping over the barrier and landing upside down on the opposite side and dying immediately...

Tony Renna
Born: November 23, 1976
Birthplace: DeLand, Florida
Series: Indy Racing League
Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
Death: October 22, 2003
Age: 26

Tony Renna was signed by Kelley Racing in 2001 and made his IRL debut in 2002 - taking over for Al Unser, Jr. (’lil Al) who was in Alcohol Rehab stemming from his 2002 arrest. Renna made seven starts for Kelly Racing between 2002-03, with a best finish of fourth place; having apparently impressed Chip Ganassi enough to sign him to be Scott Dixon's teammate for 2004. Yet unfortunately Renna died during an off season tyre testing crash at the Speedway...   

Pablo Perez
Born: December 11, 1982
Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Series: Indy Pro Series
Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
Age: 28

Am really not sure why I remember this driver so much - other then I guess because it was such a GRUESOME (‘NARLY) crash which made me think of Davey Hamilton’s, especially since Perez’s Footbox was completely sheared off during his debutant Indy Pro Series race at Homestead!

And I seem to recall Messer Hamilton visiting Perez in Hospital; but like all typical news stories - I never heard the outcome of his recovery...

Although reportedly Pablo did attend that year’s Indy 500, albeit in a wheelchair before ultimately returning to his native Argentine where he’d later become the 2009 GT2000 Champion, having apparently decided to focus upon Sports Cars  instead.

Thus, with both The Captain (Roger Penske) and thee ‘Cheepster (Chip Ganassi) having both personally witnessed team driver deaths - perhaps that’s why I found Ganassi’s words so poignant when commenting on Wheldon’s death, where he proclaimed:

. "Everybody in IndyCar died a little today..."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Move over Gordon – Schuey is King of Indianapolis (Con’t)

After the force Majeure shenanigans of 2002, which should have been Michael Schumacher’s second USGP victory at Indianapolis, the German’s win streak was set to commence...

It’s kinda funny how nearly eight years past can seem like such a long, long, time ago, eh? As all I can truly say I remember about this race was reveling in glee over DER TERMINATOR’s arch rival ‘Monty (Juan Pablo Montoya) going up in a proverbial cloud ‘O smoke - along with his championship hopes, as the Driver’s title fight was now just between Schumi and The Kimster, aka Kimi Raikkonen - as JPM had collided with ‘Rubino on lap-3 and a half hour later was assessed a Drive-thru penalty. NO word on whether or not ‘MAC Montoya stopped for any MicDoogal’s French Fries or not; Hya!

Juan Pablo Montoya:
"The race was basically decided by the penalty, that came at the same time as the rain storm and so I had to delay my pit stop to change to wets."

Yeah, Y’all read that correct, rainfall at the Speedway played a crucial part in Michael’s victory - as everybody initially tried Slip-slidin’ away on their mix ‘O dry rubber, i.e.; Michelin vs. Bridgestone. As the Michelin shod runners had the advantage in semi-inclement conditions on their dry grooved tyres. Yet the Bridgestone wet weather tyres proved to be vastly superior as the rain intensified with Herr Schumacher managing to haul himself up from seventh place whilst picking off the Michelin Boyz ‘Juan-by-Juan, - taking over the lead on lap-38.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen’s consolation prize of finishing runner-up meant he still could conceivably become world champion at the Season Finale in Japan by winning the race, as long as Schumacher failed to score any championship points - as karmically, your Humble Scribe would magically be on hand a Fortnight later to witness history being made at Suzuka!

Date: September 28, 2003
Circuit length: 4.912km (2.606m)
Race distance: 73 laps
Pole: Kimi Raikkonen; McLaren-Mercedes
Winner: (2) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Second: Kimi Raikkonen; McLaren-Mercedes
Third: Heinz-Harald Frentzen; Sauber-Petronas

The fifth running of the USGP at Indianapolis was moved to a summer date for the first time, which I can only assume was done in order to “Twin” with Oh ‘KanaDuh’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve event - which the FIA has now come to their senses of twinning next year’s Canadian Grand Prix with Austin during June when Texas is typically OVER 100deg-f! And wisely moving it to November instead...

Yet all I can truly recall ‘bout the ’04 race was that Ralfanzo had a mighty shunt aboard his Team Willy-mobile on lap-9; most certainly a result of the carbon fibre debris littering the track and puncturing his Michelin tyre, as the Williams-BMW clouted the wall heavily ARSE-bacwards I seem to recall and ultimately ended up injuring Ralf Schumacher’s back.

Yet, the real confusion, Err consternation of the race occurred on lap One’s charge into the first corner when Cristiano da Matta slammed on his brakes to avoid colliding with Toyota teammate Oliver Panis and triggered a five-car collision, which claimed the rides of Christian Klien (Jaguar) and Felipe Massa, (Sauber) with Giorgio Pantano (Jordan) and Gianmaria Bruni (Minardi) joining the fracas, whilst Da Matta lumbered around to the Pitlane with a deflated rear tyre.

And while there were some complaints of Herr Schumacher allegedly jumping the races first restart on lap-5, his famous brother Ralf’s accident would seal la Scuderia’s finishing positions when Ferrari called both cars in at the same time - forcing Barrichello to sit idly behind Michael for service, while a late charging ‘TakuSan would ultimately garner the podium’s final stop after “Trulli Scrumptious” (Jarno Trulli) threw away his third place finish in the waning moments...

Date: June 20, 2004
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: Rubens Barrichello; Ferrari
Winner: (3) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Second: R. Barrichello; Ferrari
Third: Takuma Sato; BAR-Honda

All I can say for this race is I remember wildly LAUGHING MY ARSE off Sunday evening outside my hotel nearby Portland International Raceway - as I’d made the decision to go ‘Solo for my very first time in many moons to the Champ Car race... As Randal, another of our ex-yearly Race Gang members and CART/CCWS nicknamer extraordinaire - the man who forever anointed Stefan Johansson “Stevie Johnson,” etc had loaned me  his spare cell pone for the weekend - the very first ever cellular device I’d ever used and thus calling Arizona on Randy’s ‘Dime - future Blogmeister Miguel broke the news of the ATROTIOUS FARCE occurring at Indianapolis, as I hadn’t heard a single word ‘bout it to that point, except for some garbled comments over the PA System interrupted by the ultra SWEET sounding Ford XFE turbo ‘lumps...

And since this ultra smooth “NF64” racing blog hadn’t been born yet - I’ve only managed to scribble on No Fenders about what appears to be Indy Cars FINAL race at PIR in;

Thus, as everybody knows this race was FARCICAL!!! Although ‘MichelinGate was NOT the Speedway’s fault, nevertheless, I simply cannot sum up the  day’s running of six cars for three Podium spots any MORE succinctly then Paul Stoddart did so in;

Date: June 19, 2005
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: (4) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Winner: (4) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Second: R. Barrichello; Ferrari
Third: Tiago Monteiro; Jordan

This was my second and unfortunately last USGP at Indy... As I have several great memories about that  race, albeit many center ‘round the fact that then 87yrs young Aunty Harriet was  attending her very first and only Formula 1 race... Which was a scorcher HEAT wise... As  we sat in the baking sun for several hours only to witness seven cars careening towards us into Turn-1 from our far away vantage point. As it’d be the very last time I saw DER TERMINATOR win a Grand Prix in person - as I still recall doing my Herr Schumacher baton waving Podium Jig afterwards!

As many Thanxs to ClydeOhRama for driving me Coast-to-Coast and making this happen!

Date: July 2, 2006
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: (5) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Winner: (5) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Second: Felipe Massa; Ferrari
Third: Giancarlo Fisichella; Renault

Its funny to Mwah, especially since I know I watched the race - along with screaming at le Telescreen for a young ‘Louise “JAGUAR” Hamilton to NOT let Ferdi-the-Putz, aka Fernando Alonso beat him to the chequered flag! As the two McLaren Boyz were in an almighty Dust-up, with Hamilton fresh off of his debutant Grand Prix victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve the race prior... Whilst Ferdi was seeing his hoped for grip upon Team Leader of the Woking-based squad disappear into the sunset! As I can still hear Fernando ‘Wingeing about how I’m supposed to be Number One Ron!

Thus, with Michael Schumacher’s enforced retirement and the installation of The Iceman Kimi Raikkonen alongside Felipe Massa at la Scuderia, the Ferrari Boyz were left scrapping over Indy’s final Podium step as the McLaren’s were in a  league of their own during that final Indianapolis F1 race, as  it’s hard to believe its been four years now, eh?

And perhaps ‘KOVY, a.k.a. Heikke Kovalainen somewhat pines for those past days - having scored fifth-place points for Renault that day, while I’m guessing I was most captivated by a new driver that weekend instead...

As seemingly the Torch was passed From Herr Schumacher to a fresh faced 19yr old Teenager from Heppenheim, Germany named Sebastian Vettel... who ironically began his now amazing streak of “Youngest Ever” Formula 1 accomplishments by scoring his debutant Grand Prix point whilst substituting for “The Krakow Kid,” aka Robert Kubica at BMW-Sauber upon finishing in eighth-place...

Date: June 17, 2007
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: R- Lewis Hamilton; McLaren
Winner: R-Lewis Hamilton; McLaren
Second: Fernando Alonso; McLaren
Third: F. Massa; Ferrari

So there Yuhs have it, as Michael Schumacher - NOT! Jeff Gordon is truly the King ‘O Indianapolis... As let’s consider the fact that if DER TERMINATOR hadn’t pulled that final lap Shenanigan which gifted ‘rubino the ’02 victory... Then perhaps Five-times would be a moot point with Schuey sitting on six USGP Grand Prix wins instead, eh? While the German also notched up five Pole-positions and two runner-up finishes for a fairly DOMINANT Reign at Indy...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Move over Gordon – Schuey is King of Indianapolis!

WHEW! Now that Jeffery “Pretty Boy” Gordon has come up short once again – as I was rootin’ for the unlikely debutant ‘RASSCAR victory of Paul Menard’s career this past Brickyard 400. (Sunday, July 31st)

As perhaps it’s just Mwah? But I find it incredibly funny that NOBODY ever seems to mention that somebody ELSE! Has already WON five times at the Indianapolis Motor speedway – and it AIN’T NO IndyCar or ‘RASSCAR driver... NOPE! It’s none other then DER TERMINATOR, nee Seven-times Formel Ein World Champion Michael Schumacher! Which always makes me laugh whenever the mainstream media goes into ‘Uh lather over Jeff Gordon’s perceived chasin’ O history - goin’ for a record five victories at the Speedway.

And thus in saluting Herr ‘SkewMawker’s - frenetic ‘Hobbo *David Hobbs) pronunciation twentieth birthday of his Formula 1 debut at none other then the mighty spa Francorchamps, Although once again a ‘Wee-bit late: DAMN YOU NFWHV! (NoFenderz WormHole Vortex...) What better way to celebrate said Anniversary then by scribbling ‘bout another of his numerous Grand Prix feats! As can it already be a further two years since I scribbled;

Y2k (2000)
For the turn of the century, Formula 1 not only returned to the United States for the first time in nine years, but was also making its debutant appearance as a true home of the United States Grand Prix for the very first time ever at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, albeit the Indy 500 was a round of the Formula One calendar between 1950-60.

Yet it was the polarizing head of the Speedway Tony George publicly announcing having done a deal with Emperor Bernardo, Err Bernard Ecclestone in the fall of 1997 to host a round of “Uncle Bernaughty’s” Formula One circus. And thus, Messer George poured copious amounts of ‘Greenbacks into developing a 2.606-mile 13-turn permanent road course circuit inside the hallowed grounds of the Speedway, as “IRV-THE-SWERVE” (Eddie Irvine) described the venue as a cross between Monaco and Budapest...

And I’ll admit I’ve got hazy memories of that initial USGP – since somehow I was maneuvered outta attending the inaugural event and hence would wait a further year before making the trek to Indy.

Therefore, I was unaware of the mastery of the Finn, nee Mika Hakkinen and McLaren’s devious planning of qualifying third in order to avoid the inferior contact patch traction that Pole would afford by running over the Yard of Bricks... Which reputedly Ferrari’s Jean Todt tried requesting that the Speedway sandblast to make less slipperier – to which IMS said GET LOST!

Yet subsequently Ferrari finagled officials into moving the first row rearwards to the third place grid slot thus negating McLaren F1 and Hakkinen’s advantage.

As about all I recall is that poor ‘Ol DC (David Coulthard) jumped the start and was subsequently penalized whilst Hakkinen gifted ‘Schuey his debutant Scuderia Ferrari drivers crown when his Mercedes Benz V-10 went KUHBLAMOE! As Indy was the penultimate round of the championship... Thus allowing Herr Schumacher to run away ‘N hide by a half minute before almost throwing the race away with a spin whilst apparently daydreaming in his office... Yet Michael recovered and made the adoring sea of red Tiafosi wriggle in ecstasy with a Scuderia Ferrari 1-2, as Schumacher led his Wingman, Err Teammate ‘Rubino (Rubens Barrichello) across the Yard ‘O Bricks...

Date: September 24, 2000
Circuit length: 4.912km (2.606m)
Race distance: 73-laps
Pole: Michael Schumacher; Ferrari
Winner: Michael Schumacher; Ferrari
Second: Rubens Barrichello; Ferrari
Third: Heinz-Harald Frentzen; Jordan

As I’ve previously eluded to – 2001 was the year that I finally made my very first pilgrimage to ‘Mecca – the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, albeit having previously vehemently vowed to NEVER attend the Indy 500 due to ‘lil Napoleon’s (Tony George) nefarious 25-8 rule and “The Split,” since I was a bonafied CART/Champ Car Fanatic despising the IRL – which I quickly dubbed Thee “Indee Retirement League;” but I digress...

And I won’t try recapping my most glorious trek from Coast-to-Coast, albeit it was a magnificent 17-day journey which sounding like a broken record... I cannot believe I still haven’t transcribed my notes onto ze Confuzer; Aye Karumba! Which perhaps if I ever QUIT scribblin’ Fulltime for my No Fenders ‘BLOB I’ll get around to doing, eh?

And thus it’s hard to believe its almost ten years ago now that it was Formula 1 that introduced Mwah to the Speedway – and like almost everyone, I was simply amazed with how FUCKING HUMUNGOUS it was! As I can still recall fondly being in the shiny silver aluminum Turn-1 Grandstand seats on a cool fall day as the engines fired to life for the first practice session on Friday morning...

Interestingly, it was on Saturday whilst standing along the Sand Trapp burms of the golf course... Viewing from the track section of “Mickey Mouse” squiggly infield turns that I recognized the shear brilliance of  a relatively unknown rookie named Kimi Raikkonen, as the 21yr old Finnish rookie who’d later become known as The Kimster and The Original Iceman – sorry Scott Dixon; it AIN’T you! Was driving for Peter Sauber’s Minnowesqe Sauber F1 Team; whilst I seem to recall that Mika Hakkinen got a 2-spot grid penalty during qualifying and hence was demoted to P4 on the grid... As I reveled in Mika’s maladies upon his fastest lap being thrown out after he apparently failed to stop for the red light at Pit-out during the mornings final practice session after having wrecked his car during the day’s warm-up.

This infringement elevated both of the BMW-Williams ahead of the Finn, with Michael’s famous brother ‘Ralfanzo, a.k.a. Ralf Schumacher alongside his elder brother Michael, who was once again on Pole – whilst the crowd darling ‘Monty (Juan Pablo Montoya) moved to P3, directly behind his arch nemesis M. Schumacher. As I can no longer recall if this was the very first time ever a pair of brothers had occupied a Formula One front row? Whilst I do remember that the then mighty brewing company Anheiser-Busch was very keen to tap into the home market and promptly did a dealio with Williams in order to place the word BUD in red letters upon their Airboxes...

And I’ll refrain from too much polemics – other then to say I recall being DISGUSTED by the OVER indulgence ‘O patriotic symphonies for something known as Nine-eleven; SHEISA! With the ONLY bright spot in the exceedingly long Pre-race festivities being John Mellancamps NON patriotic song - although reputedly there were 185,000 paying spectators at the very first sporting event after that mongrel 9-11 day!

And thus; They’re Off! As M. Schumacher made his red car’s flank’s exceedingly wide, hence impeding the progress of Montoya, whom attempted to pass for the lead on the outside, but wasn’t able to complete the move and hence we went gallivanting into the first corner GurrRanimal style – sorta Two-by-Two; with the two Ferraris, William and McLaren’s holding down positions P1-6, albeit the Woking Boyz at the back of this six-car caboose. As the train was red-blue-red-blue-green & white squared: M. Schumacher-Montoya-Barrichello-r. Schumacher-Hakkinen-Coulthard respectively...

And although Michael would let Scuderia teammate ‘Rubino ahead into the lead, making it apparent that the Brazilian was on a 2-stopper strategy, it wasn’t known that Monty’s Wingman Ralfanzo was on a similar fuel strategy himself. Thus, when Juan Pablo went sailing past Michael’s red car on lap-34, the Columbian crowd darling was unknowingly setting himself into a race winning position.

Yet all I really remember ‘bout that sunny day was how the air came rushing outta duh joint, a la der von Hindenburg Gran Zeppelin-style as JPM, aka Juan Pablo Montoya came to a grinding halt upon lap-37? (L38) on the front straight just as he was about to take over the lead and most likely cruise to victory... As the Front straight Grandstands went absolutely silent after previously having been Uh Rockin ‘n Swaying from Monty’s ginormous fanbase; Aye Karumba! As even Mary Ellen was crushed by her Man’s demise! Whilst you’re Humble Scribe was quietly salivating to himself over Monty’s Blue Haze...  

And whilst Team Willy and JPM tried vainly casting off his retirement as a “Cough-Cough, Nudge-Nudge” (E-lectronical?) Hydraulics failure, I fondly recall believing that Monty’s Blitzkrieg pace had made his Bavarian motor unit go KABLAMOE instead! Although there was NO denying that Rubinoes Ferrari ‘lump indeed went KABLAMOE! Heartbreakingly just two laps from the end, hence elevating Schuey to runner-up and an unexpecting Scot to P3...

Thus, it was to be Mika-the-Finn’s day instead – which seemed like poetic justice for the FIA Stewards having taken away his swagger, Err Fastest lap time the day prior for his red light infringement – Honest Ossifer – I didn’t see duh light! As I can still fondly hear Mary Ellen telling everyone how unexpectedly happy I was to witness Hakkinen’s triumph... As little did I know then it would be the Finn’s final Grand Prix victory in his Formula 1 career!

While I’ve also forgotten that it was Jean Alesi’s 200th Gran Primo race – capping his star-crossed career for EJ’s team, (Eddie Jordon) as Jean’s teammate Trulli Scrumptious, nee Jarno Trulli’s DSQ (disqualification) from fourth place would gift the Frenchman one point upon being elevated to P6 in his fourth outing for the slowly declining Irish F1 team...

Date: September 30, 2001
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: (2) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Winner: Mika Hakkinen; McLaren
Second: M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Third: David Coulthard; McLaren

The third USGP at Indianapolis will certainly be remembered forever as the year of Michael Schumacher’s infamous “Staged” DEAD HEAT Finish GAFF! Where upon swinging - Swing Low Sweet Cherry, Err wide on the final corner of the races last lap saw the German come up 0.011-seconds BEHIND his unsuspecting Wingman ‘Rubino on the timing monitors... Which was somewhat of a surprise, since arguably Barrichello was always slower then Michael! As I seem to remember SCREAMING at la Telescreen in ‘Udder disbelief - musing to myself what an F%%KING FARCICAL FINISH! As surely this must be payback for that absolutely DISGUSTING Team Orders finish earlier that year at Austria, right? You know when Rubens was instructed to pull over on the final lap whilst leading to enable Herr Schumacher to win while he was dominating the point’s table enroute to his third-consecutive World Championship for Scuderia Ferrari...

And what in the late 1980’s was referred to the Big four in terms of Constructors - the players had not really changed much with the exception of whom the fourth member of this elite grouping was?  As I’d haveda say Jordan, albeit I think the reconstituted Renault F1 Team was nipping at EJ’s heals... As perennial Champions Ferrari, Williams and McLaren were singing that ‘
Ol Sesame Street
song: Which ‘Juan of these (4) DOESN’T look like the other...

As la Scuderia’s season Dominance was apparent with a Ferrari Front row lockout, with team leader Schumacher heading Barrichello. Row-2 saw a pair of Michael’s arch nemesis directly behind him - with ‘Ol SquareJaw (Coulthard) in P3 and JPM Kitty-corner in P4. Row-3 saw DER TERMINATOR’s famous brother Ralfanzo on the inside and rising FINN star Kimi Raikkonen - who’d taken over fellow countryman Mika Hakkinen’s seat on the outside.

Yet the race was really never in doubt until Michael’s FLUB, Err last-lap mistake, as the red cars once again ran away and hid - while Ralfanzo punted rival teammate Montoya on the second lap, as an incredulous Patrick Head watched his Team Willy Boyz performing synchronized pirouettes... With eventual third place finisher DC being concerned over his Mercedes going up in smoke the entire race, while his junior teammate Kimster’s ‘Merc did indeed go KABLAMOE after sputtering round on nine cylinders...

And it was another good crowd with 150,000 in attendance - not too shabby for a Grand Prix race, albeit a drop of 35,000 paying customers from the year before...

And I’d completely forgotten this but the funniest moment (excluding De la Rosa) for Mwah was the latter report of Track Marshals inadvertently directing Jaguar driver Pedro de la Rosa to jump over the barricades during the ‘JagWah’s fiery exit us from the event. The Rub? There just so happened to be a six-foot drop into a drain; OOPS! Sorry ‘bout Dat Pedro - guess we forgot to tells Yuhs ‘bout that drainage ditch below, eh? (FUNNY SHIT BATMAN!)

Date: September 29, 2002
Distance: 73-laps
Pole: (3) M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Winner: R. Barrichello; Ferrari
Second: M. Schumacher; Ferrari
Third: D. Coulthard; McLaren

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