Monday, February 28, 2011

Tradin’ Paint – the Sequel

So I must say that I found it a tad bit ironic that the day I discovered the news, “Pretty boy Floyd” was busy snappin’ his 0-for-66 winless drought in the Valley of the Sun...

What am I ramblin’ on ‘bout you may ask? Whale in case you haven’t heard, sometime this summer Tony Stewart will swap rides with Lewis Hamilton in an event slated to take place at Watkins Glen Int’l Raceway – which would be a blast to witness and hopefully will be open to the public, as I’d LUV to hear that ‘MERC screaming ‘round the joint!

‘Smoke (Tony Stewart) will buckle himself into a full blown 2010-spec McLaren MP4-25 racecar whilst “Louise ‘JAGUAR” (Hamilton) will do his best Rowdy Holmes impersonation behind the wheel of one of Stewart’s Chevy Cup-cars...

Of course this immediately brought back memories of watching Jeff Gordon swap rides with Juan Pablo Montoya at Indianapolis way back in 2003, which apparently was a precursor for ‘MAC Montoya’s future employment, eh? As I can still see Monty drivin’ too hard into the corner in that No. 24 rainbow warrior machine, Gordon pounding ‘round IMS’s road course at very respectable speed in the Team Willie’s blue & white Williams-BMW and still hear the screeching ‘O Larry Mac’s voice in my head... As hopefully SPEED will do another show a la the ’03 Tradin’ Paint episode.

And lookie ‘Dar – I even stayed away from any jokes ‘bout ‘Smoke not being able to squeeze his backside into the McLaren a la BLOODY ‘NIGE; Hya! Hey! You don’t think I wanna have ‘Smoke throwin’ his helmet at me do Yuhs?

F1: 2011 Constructor - Sauber


(Sauber C30; Source: theformulaoneand motorsportsarchive.wordpress.com)

Team
Launch Date/Venue: January 31 - Valencia
Name: Sauber F1 Team
Base: Hinwil, Switzerland
Former Team Names: Sauber; BMW Sauber
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 8th; 44-points
2010 Chassis: C29

Team Principal: Peter Sauber
Technical Director: James Key
Seasons: 18 (1993-Present)
Debut Race: 1993 South African GP
Races: 295
Wins: 1
Poles: 1

Chassis
Model: C30
Engine: Ferrari 056/2011
(Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Ferrari

TECH: Sauber C30 – Launch Detail and Analysis

Drivers
No. 16) Kamui Kobayashi; Japan
No. 17) R-Sergio Perez; Mexico
Test/Reserve Driver) Esteban Gutierrez

Summary
After the botched attempt of selling the team by BMW, fortunately Peter Sauber was willing to step into the void in order to save his beloved F1 team last year. Thus, after a somewhat perilous 2010 season, albeit with brief flashes of success shown by the Japanese Hard Chargin’ rookie “K-Squared,” (Kamui Kobayashi) the team is now in mucho better financial status thanks largely to its new found Mexican connection with Billionaire Carlos Slim.

This relationship was cemented with the promoting of Mexican GP2 driver Sergio Perez to the teams second race seat; who brings his celebrated TelMex sponsorship to the fold – leading to other Mexican companies joining the Fiesta, most notably Tequila Drinks maker Jose Quervo.

Meanwhile Kobayashi now graduates to the team leader role in his second full season of Formula One, whilst rising Mexican Hot-Hot-Hot! ‘Schu Esteban Gutierrez is elevated to the team’s test/reserve driver role. Gutierrez, the reigning & inaugural GP3 Champion will now contest this year’s GP2 season as he seeks to work his way into a fulltime Gran Primo Piloto ride in the near future, whilst serving out his third driver team role.

Hopefully the C30 will be an improvement over the recalcitrant C29, albeit, the little Minnowesqe team could struggle bringing Perez up-to-speed, but I hope to see the Sauber Boyz continue an upward trend towards the vaunted Constructors Title fight, as I’d enjoy seeing them leapfrog past Vijay Mallya...

Sauber launches C30

Sauber C30: Pictures

Sauber C30: Launch notes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kubica moved from Intensive Care to begin Rehabilitation

Severely injured Formula 1 Star Robert Kubica has been transferred from the Intensive Care Ward to his own private large room in the Rehabilitation Wing and is keen to begin his recovery. His doctor says that Robert will stay there to ensure that no infections occur and then be re-assessed in a Fortnight before discussing his next move...

Dr. Rossello happy with Robert Kubica's recovery so far

Economy extinguishes De Ferran Dragon’s flames

This is sad news to me... As I can still recall being overly excited ‘bout the little team that could way back in 2007 – when I even inquired ‘bout trying to obtain a yellow Luczo Dragon Racing hat when some upstart named Ryan Briscoe finished ahead of some Pipsqueak named Princess... Who the following May showed off her famous perma-POUT dance moves to the newly anointed Penske Racing driver whilst having a tizzy ‘N stompin’ down Pitlane before somebody named Major Burns, a.k.a. Charles Burns politely refrained DannaWho?

And perhaps Y’all know I’m a big fan of Gil de Ferran – even having managed to obtain his autograph courtesy of Don Kay when he was still running his American Le Mans Series Sports Car team... Thus it was disappointing to read this morning that De Ferran Dragon Racing has shuttered its IndyCar operation, on the heels of Tony Kanaan’s revelations that he lacked the necessary funding to race fulltime this season.

NO word on what will ultimately happen to Mr. De Ferran, the DDR crew of 15-employees or the related single seater equipment – which frankly – SUCKS!

Pit Pass: De Ferran Dragon Racing closes for lack of sponsorship

Guess Steven Luczo is too busy focusing upon his newest business venture – the Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Vancouver Whitecaps he co-owns with somebody named Steve Nash, whilst perhaps Jay Penske’s gone back to selling rare books instead?

Dragonslayers?

F1 Constructor: Lotus-Renault GP


(Renault R31; Source: f1fanatic.co.uk)

Team
Name: Lotus-Renault GP
Base: Enstone, Oxfordshire; United Kingdom
Former Team Names: Renault Sport; Toleman; Benetton; Renault F1
Prior Years: 1977-2010
Debut Race: 1977 British GP
Constructors Titles: 3 (1995, 2005-06)
Drivers Titles: 4 (1994-95, 2005-06)
2010 Standings: 5th; 163-points
2010 Chassis: R30

Team Principal: Eric Boullier
Managing Director: Jean-Fran├žois Caubet
Technical Director: James Allison
Seasons: 1 (2011)
First Race: 2011 Australian GP
Races: 0
Wins: 0
Poles: 0

Chassis
Model: R31
Engine: RS27-2011
(Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Lotus-Renault

TECH: Renault R31 Front Exit Exhausts (FEE) – Explained

Drivers
No. 9) Nick Heidfeld; Germany
No. 10) Vitaly Petrov; Russia
Third Drivers) Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean
Reserve Drivers) Ho-Pin Tung, Fairuz Fauzy, Jan Charouz
IR) Robert Kubica; Poland (Injured Reserve)

Summary
This once mighty F1 team has been thoroughly involved in the nefarious Lotus moniker anglings that have continued to ratchet-up over the latter portion of 2010 – spilling into 2011 and the Courtrooms of London. In a never ending squabble between Tony Fernandes’s minnowesqe Lotus Racing concern against the might of the Malaysian Government and its pro-Group Lotus support who claim to be the rightful owners of the Lotus moniker – as we tirelessly await the eventual outcome of this legal squabble in London’s High Court sometime this year...

Thus, at the moment, the team which saw former owner Renault sell its remaining 25% share to Group Lotus will be known as Lotus-Renault GP for the time being, having combined forces with Gerard Lopez’s Genii Capitol Investment firm.

The team’s driver line-up remains unchanged from last year, after some public shenanigan’s suggesting that Russian driver Vitaly Petrov may not be retained – but really? Is this venture that wishes to crack the Russian market really gonna send Petrov to Siberia? Meeze-thinks NOT! As the young Rooskie was re-signed for a further 2-years, which coincides nicely with the 2013 season, when Formula 1 enters a new engine formulae...

Look for lead driver Robert Kubica to continue to impress, and possibly even win a race? As the main hope is for Petrov to be more consistent and help the squad retain its fifth place standing or even potentially move up to fourth place in the Constructors championship.

Previous test drivers Jerome d'Ambrosio & Ho-Pin Tung have moved on to Formula 1 and IndyCar race seats respectively. (Still awaiting confirmation upon Ho-Pin Tung’s IndyCar drive with FAZT...)

Jan Charouz apparently remains with the renamed F1 Team, albeit I thought I’d seen a story claiming he’d become another Pawn in the Tit-for-Tat shagging between Lotus2.0 ‘N Lotus3! By moving to rival Team Lotus... Yet LRGP’s website claims the Czech lad will remain on the squad’s books as part of its burgeoning reserve driver fleet this season.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Fairuz Fauzy, formally the third driver at Lotus Racing made the jump to Lotus Renault for a reserve role – I’m guessing with some sorta copious plying ‘O Group Lotus Dinero?

UPDATE
Obviously Lotus Renault’s world was rocked upside-down on Sunday, February 6th when lead driver Robert Kubica suffered his devastating accident while participating in a minor Rallying event in Italy, in which his right hand was severely injured along with multiple fractures to his leg, arm, shoulder and elbow – as the Polish F1 Star will most assuredly mist the 2011 Formula One season while recovering from this frightening accident.

Therefore the team has decided to install the vastly experienced Nick Heidfeld as Kubica’s replacement – having confirmed the German driver on February 16th, the very exact day that Kubica had his final elbow surgery, as its worth noting that ‘Quick Nick was Robert’s teammate at BMW Sauber for a few seasons...

Renault R31 revealed

Renault R31: Pictures

Renault R31: Launch notes

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kanaan in the running for Las Vegas Finale bonus?

Previously I scribbled ‘bout how the 2011 INDYCAR! Season was getting’ Curious ‘N Curiouser... As I not only awoke to a tranquil blanket “O white stuff, a.k.a. SNOW here in the Pacific Northwest... Hey; Seattle ONLY sleeps, Err STOPS! When it snows here! But I digress...

Purusing that fine Indianapolis Fish Wrap known as the IndyStar, mainly duh Sports section... I came upon Kurty Cavin’s breaking news bout TK “Follow-your-Schnoz” (Kanaan) apparently having been unable to seal the dealio to drive for his friend Gil De Ferran’s De Ferran Dragon Racing Team; SHEISA!

Kanaan's ride hits the wall

Thus, I believe this makes Messer Kanaan currently eligible for the vaunted $5.0 million bonus prize for anybody outside of the IndyCar series potentially capable of claiming this ‘Mega cheque for winning the Los Wages Season Finale event, right?

Which also, apparently ANYBODY with a Heartbeat - and I mean ANYBODY; You, your Better Half, your Kids; HELL! Even Fluffy or Lassie (provided they’ve bought any Indy Car Series ticket this season) will be “Eligible” for a FREE ticket to the B-I-G Fall Finale Humdinger Open Wheel event in Sin City... All Yuhs haveda do is get there ‘N find some place to stay...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from February 22nd

F1 Constructor: Team Lotus


(Lotus T-128; Source: adamcooperf1.com)

Team
Launch Date/Venue: January 31 - Internets
Name: Team Lotus
Base: Hingham, Norfolk; United Kingdom
Former Team Name: Lotus Racing
Constructors Titles: 0
Drivers Titles: 0
2010 Standings: 10th; 0-points
2010 Chassi: T-127

Team Principal: Tony Fernandes
CEO: Riad Asmat
Chief Technology Officer: Mike Gascoyne
Seasons: 2 (2010 - Debut Season)
Debut Race: 2010 Bahrain GP
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Poles: 0

Chassis
Model: T-128
Engine: Renault RS27
Gearbox: Red Bull Technology

TECH: Blade Roll Structures – Legality (Lotus & Force India)

Drivers
No. 20) Jarno Trulli; Italy
No. 21) Heikki Kovalainen; Finland
Third Driver) Karun Chandhok*
Reserve Drivers) Davide Valsecchi, Luiz Razia
*NOTE: * = Still awaiting Confirmation)

Summary
Unfortunately, it seems like there’s more press over the ridiculously STUPID name squabble continuing on between Tony Fernandes’s Team Lotus 2.0 vs. Group Lotuses Dany Bahar ‘N his Lotus-Renault-GenII X-P caladrocious racing team...

More Lotus BULLSH*T

Thus, the 2011 season will begin with four racing cars using the name Lotus; two black & gold “JPS-retro” throwback chassis sporting the word Lotus on the rear wing. While Team Lotus perceivably will continue its green & yellow retro paint scheme with the word Air Asia on its rear wing; Oh Never Mind!

Fernandes & Co. have hopefully upped-the-ante (Ontrack) this season by dumping their Cosworth CA 2010 lump along with its unreliable XTrac Gearbox in favour of le Reggie, a.k.a. Renault. As Mike Gascoyne’s merry ‘lil crew ‘O Technicians feverishly puts the finishing touches upon this year’s T-128 powered by the Renault RS27, although reputedly the Hingham-based team won’t be running KERS and thus has reverted to a 2009-spec Red Bull Technology Gearbox, as RBT is supplying the rear end of the T-128 chassis...

Hmm? It’ll be interesting to see if this design philosophy results in a BRAWN GP/Red Bull Racing outcome – or an Ahem – Virgin/Hispania performance deficit, eh?

Meanwhile, the team’s race drivers remain unchanged for the squad’s Sophomore outing, although the mix ‘N match, Err plug ‘N play antics between the two warring LOTI-factions continues on with the swapping of reserve drivers – which seem like nothing more then glorified simulator operators these days... As Group Lotus, Err, Lotus-Renault GP shagged Fairuz Fauzy from Team Lotus – who were probably not too bothered by his leaving, eh? While I’m assuming that Karun “Cowboy” Chandhok’s new Team Lotus leather bomber jacket; which he was caught modeling at Valencia fits him like a glove...

Meanwhile the legal wrangling heads to court shortly, and won’t it be nice when this is all over? Alas – as long as Tony Fernandes is successful! But I digress...

Lotus-Lotus On the Wall

Thus, the teams primary reserve driver will most likely be the dispatched Indian, nee Karun Chandhok, whilst Davide Valsecchi & Luiz Razia will also be on the books, albeit primarily involved as the team Air Asia GP2 race drivers...

Team Lotus launches 2011 Challenger

Lotus T-128: Pictures

LotusT-128: Launch notes

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have You Run Over a Ferrari lately?

Suppose this is old news; BUTT! I did find it somewhat amusing that the fine folks at the “FoMoCo” (Ford Motor Company) felt the urge to sue la Scuderia – who apparently were unawares of some PickemUp truck sold stateside named the F150; OOPS! Sorry ‘bout ‘Dat – Playing thru; FOUR!!!

Y’all know that ‘Feurd’s “Built Ford Tough” F150 is the Darn Blasted bestest selling PickemUp Truck in the USA for 34yrs running, right?

Ford sues Ferrari over use of F150 name

As from NOW ON it’ll be called the F150th Italia – Yeah, that’s the ticket... Have Yuhs driven a Ford lately? Although I could invision some Monster Truck called GraveDigger crushing some Furr-Rari’s; Hya!

Oh Whale – at least Felipe & Fredrico won’t haveda worry ‘bout faulty Airbags, eh?

Austin F1 Project hires New President

Just saw a tiny news blurb ‘bout Austin’s F1 Promoter’s having announced the hiring of Steve Sexton as its new President. For whatever its worth, Sexton’s CV includes having formerly been in charge of some place called Churchill Downs – so he sounds like a good addition to Mwah!

Former Churchill exec Steve Sexton to Formula 1 U.S. as president
Also found a new website which potentially is the "Offical" site of the Austin F1 project, albeit I cannot vouch for how useful it is, since I couldn’t manage to get the January/February 2011 News tabs to cooperate. Then again perhaps it’s in its development stage a la the race circuit; click here...

F1 Constructor: Ferrari


(Ferrari F150th Italia; Source: theformulaoneand motorsportsarchive.wordpress.com)

Team
Launch Date/Venue: January 28 - Maranello
Name: Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Base: Maranello, Italy
Former Team Name: (Scuderia Ferrari)
Constructors Titles: 16 (1961, 1964, 1975-77, 1979, 1982-83, 1999-2004, 2007-08)
Drivers Titles: 15 (1952-53, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2000-2004, 2007)
2010 Standings: 3rd: 396-points
2010 Chassis: F10

Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali
Technical Director: Aldo Costa
Seasons: 62 (1950-Present)
Debut Race: 1950 Monaco GP
Races: 811
Wins: 215
Poles: 205

Chassis
Model: F150th Italia
Engine: Ferrari 056/2011
(Upgraded for KERS installation)
Gearbox: Ferrari

TECH: Exhaust blown starter hole

Drivers
No. 5) Fernando Alonso; Spain
No. 6) Felipe Massa; Brazil
Third Driver) Jules Bianchi
Reserve Drivers) Giancarlo Fisichella, Marc Gene

Summary
La Scuderia got the ball rolling once again – typically being the first Formula One Constructor to launch its new challenger, which it did so at Maranello, before Fredrico Suave (Fernando Alonso) gave the new beast its shakedown “Promotional” run next door on the companies Fiorano test track.

And I will not even attempt describing any of the Technical Rules changes that affect the 2011 chassis, albeit I think the moveable rear wing is a JOKE! Whilst teams are also forced to spend countless millions redeveloping the “Vaunted” KERS system, which is all part of Formula 1’s Code Green mandate.

As we know, (THANKFULLY!) Ferdi-the-Putz (Alonso) faultered in the season finale – losing the Drivers Title fight to Master ‘Zebb, nee Sebastian Vettel, and Ferrari finished third in the Constructors Championship; hence their respective car numbers following Red Bull & McLaren.

The driver lineup remains intact for a second year, while long time tester Luca Badoer has left the Prancing Horse outfit – being primarily replaced by Jules Bianchi, although I saw somewheres that “FishyFellah” (Giancarlo Fisichella) & Marc Gene are still on the Maranello Payroll.

The biggest(?) Shakeup was the restructuring of the Team’s Hierarchy, with Chief Engineer Chris Dyer being sacrificed over the Abu Dhabi shemozzle. Ex-McLaren stalwart Pat Frye will now take over Dyer’s Head of Trackside Engineering duties, whilst Dyer will take up a Factory role instead...

Ferrari unveil 2011 challenger

Ferrari F150-ITALIA: Pictures

Ferrari F150-ITALIA: Launch notes

Monday, February 21, 2011

BAHRAIN GP OFFICIALLY CANCELLED

Upon scribbling the preceding story prior to scouring ze internetz this morning – obviously I’ve come across the following news upon the Bahrain GP.

Adam Cooper:
An official statement from the organisers reads as follows:
The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) today announced that the Kingdom of Bahrain would withdraw from hosting this year’s F1 Grand Prix race so that the country can focus on its process of national dialogue.
Last Friday, Bahrain’s Crown Prince – HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa – initiated a new national dialogue involving all sections of Bahraini society in order to resolve the current political situation in the Kingdom. The Crown Prince informed Formula one’s Bernie Ecclestone of the BIC’s decision by telephone earlier today.


As it seems somewhat amazing – yet hardly surprising how everybody seems to be awash in Damage Control mode... With the FIA’s Jean Todt carefully sitting on the sidelines. (Publicly)

FIA “supports” the Bahrain GP decision

While Bernie Ecclestone still salivates over amassing his multitudes ‘O pounds by potentially hosting the Grand Prix at a later date this year...

The F1 calendar…

Thus, the Formula 1 teams will now scramble to readjust their final test programs with the final Bahrain Test Session (March 3-6) also having been cancelled. Therefore the last Test Session of the year will now take place once again at Barcelona on March 8-11 before all of the team’s machinery is packed up ‘N sent Down Under for the Australian GP on March 27 – which isn’t exactly in rosy financial health itself!

Bernie set to react as MP slams Aussie GP

Meanwhile in Bahrain...

Although the current situation in Bahrain certainly isn’t any laughing matter – I haveda say I find it somewhat bemusing to hear Uncle Bernaughty steadily Backpeddlin’ over his initial comments towards the Gulf state.

Yet whilst some calm has returned to Bahrain, with protester’s now having been allowed back into Pearle Square, nevertheless they’re now calling for the fast approaching Grand Prix to be cancelled.

Bahrain's protesters demand royals cancels F1 race

Don’t know if Y’all caught either of “Willie Buxtum’s” (Will Buxton) telephone reports last night upon SpeedCentre & Wind Tunnel, but SPEED’s F1 Pitlane reporter sounded pretty sanguine ‘bout the chance of the race actually going ahead as scheduled – saying that it appears things aren’t getting overly rosy there; as I think he even mentioned some of the drivers are cancelling their plans to go to Bahrain... Hmm? Doesn’t ‘JENSE (Button) own a residence there? Perhaps he’ll wanna read Joe Saward’s story ‘bout Juan Manuel Fangio’s escapades at the Grand Prix of Havana, eh? (Albeit I’m NOT trying to imply anything will happen to anybody there...)

When politics and racing collide…

Meanwhile there are now plans for a demonstration/march slated for tomorrow;
Amid Standoff, Opposition Seeks Dissolution of Bahraini Government

C’mon Bernie! Do the RIGHT thing ‘N PULL the Plug!

Cinderella visits Victory lane at Daytona

Otay, I’ll fess-up – I watched the last 54 gruwellin’ laps ‘O DayToner... Mostly as an excuse to take a break from poondin’ meeze nucel’s on zees keyboards...

And I haveda say I was rootin’ for that fresh faced kid named Trevor to do the unthinkable ‘N win the Darn Blasted race! After all, how kOOL would it be to see one of the sports oldest teams return to the winners circle, eh? As the Wood Brothers have largely been pushed by the wayside of Has-beens thanxs to the ‘Mega-dollar Juggernaughts named Hendrix, Childress and Roush...

And it was a breath ‘O fresh air to hear the completely SHOCKED 20yr old Trevor Baynhe say twice over the radio: Can you believe ‘Dat? Along with sayin’ I DON’T know where to go – in regards to victory lane... After winning the preeminent RASSCAR event of the year...

Hmm? Does this mean that the ChipSlam is truly DONE ‘N OVER now? As I suppose the win would be somewhat akin to Rahal Letterman Racing or Gasp, Newman/Haas Racing collecting the Borg Warner trophy this may...

The Tomaso Files: Riders On the Storm: Thoughts upon Tom Carnegie, Man’s Best Friend and Crashing Ocean waves...


saw a DEADHEAD sticker on a Cadillac
A little voice Inside my head said,
"Don't look back. You can never look back."
(Lyrics - Don Henley; The Boys of Summer: Building the Perfect Beast)

So those were the words I crooned to Mary Ellen as we began our “Moonlight Drive” southwards towards Highway 101, the Oregon coast and our ultimate destination of a sleepy Seaside town near the undulating Sand Dunes...

Thus I suppose there’s some sorta irony between my riding Shotgun in a 1992 CAD ‘O LACK ‘N Geo Phillips rekindling his relationship with the fickle Mistress ‘O Speed better known as the Speedway that very same year, eh? As I’d probably need to peruse the confines ‘O eBay in order to secure a Grateful Dead Bumper sticker, but I digress;

Now obviously (SNAP!) I’d never met the Maestro of IMS’s Public Address system, that melodically booming Baritone voice of none other than Mr. Tom Carnegie... Although I believe I heard him live upon my debutant visit to the hallowed grounds ‘O 16th & Georgetown – the 2001 USGP Formula 1 race, albeit the event is fast becoming a fleeting memory; SHEISA! Can it already be nearly ten years ago that I partook in that most memorable 17-day cross country journey... Although I cannot recollect what I heard over the Brickyard’s speakers – I can still see those shining silver aluminum bleacher seats as I witnessed the siren song of the F1 circus crackle to life for Friday morning’s practice session! Not to mention being absolutely AMAZED by how LONG the FREAKIN’ straightaway was – not to mention the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex as a whole...

And I’m also guessing I possibly(?) heard Messer Carnegie’s voice once again during the 2006 USGP – although this seems highly improvable upon having just read that “THE VOICE” retired from active duty after that year’s memorable Indy 500...

Yet I was more enthralled in the fact that DER TERMINATOR (Michael Schumacher) WON the race and made history by becoming the first (and ONLY!) five time Indy winner...

And I may have also heard him during the 2009 Indy 500 weekend? As I suppose its somewhat symbiotic that my final mental image of Mr. Carnegie is of him looking most regal in a wheelchair with a blanket covering his lap/legs – a most symbolic pose to Mwah, evoking memories of a one Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his final days at the Yalta Conference with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin during the latter stages of World War II. As I was totally unaware that the two men shared something in common; they both suffered from Polio.

FEB 14: Tom Carnegie, My Friend
The Churning OceanHaving arrived at our destination late Tuesday evening, we were fortunate enough to enjoy three and two-thirds days of sunny, DRY, albeit nippy weather along the Oregon coastline watching ‘N listening to the Pacific Ocean’s tireless churning of incoming waves followed by a symphonic foaming of receding waves.

After having taken many walks upon various beaches, trundling up, down – over ‘N around countless miles of sand, along with enjoying a tranquil view out into the vast oceanic reaches from Cape Perpetchua... The rain that had been promised to arrive the preceding day finally arrived, as Mary Ellen & I traipsed along an ‘Ash-fault trail in a gloomy, dark, mist whilst staring out into the fast approaching twilight towards a nearly perfectly shaped pyramid rock which reminded me of Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach... As I guess the loudly crashing waves that looked like the wind was blowing them sideways should perhaps have been a forbearer of things to come? Along with a subtle reminder of just whose really in control of the planet – As Mother Earth had plucked two somewhat daring, albeit unexpecting teenagers into her ferocious tidal surf. As just days prior to our arrival, two young men, ages 17 & 18 had been taken to Davy Jones locker when frolicking about the rocky beaches of Yachats southern reaches of Smelt Sands State Park. As their friends were unable to rescue them during the Mid-day tragedy...

Returning to our Affable Guest’s houseianna ‘N catching the Saturday evening news – it was pointed out to me that somebody named Tom Carnegie had died – as I did my very poor imitation of “IT’S A NEW TRAAAAAAAACK RECORD!” As the mute button was quickly turned off in order for me to listen to the accompanying story, which was part of the ABC news broadcast.

I tried explaining how Mr. Carnegie was an Indy 500 Institution, having called the Memorial Day classic for six decades – and how I felt cheated that he would miss out upon this year’s 100th Anniversary of the event he so cherished...

Tom Carnegie – The Voice
Man’s Best FriendIt was also upon that most Excellent Adventure to Mecca in 2001 – in the face of uncertainty towards whether or not the USGP would commence after that day known as 9/11, trekking eastwards without any communication capabilities, that ‘Ol Blue was “Loaded for Bear” with a most captivating Canine named Sarah, a magnificent ‘Hoond.

When I first met Sarah, she was part of a two “Mule” team which also included Gypsy, a wonderfully friendly ‘N exuberant Irish Wolfhound breed, with a ceaseless affliction for fetching sticks... Thus it was very sad to hear that she’d passed away on Monday – as I feel extremely fortunate to have gotten to see Gypsy one final time & that she still remembered me after all of these years... Her unfortunate demise was preceded by Sarah’s passing, albeit I can personally say they both lived exceedingly long, healthy and happy lives!

Thus, I’m not sure how all of this ties together, or if it even does? (Especially after the recent violence occurring in Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and elsewhere in the world...) As we made our way back northwards Sunday – the entire drive ensconced in steadily increasing precipitation; CRIKEYS! With “The Krakow Kid’s” seriously NASTY Rallying accident, Tom Carnegie & Gypsy’s deaths and a week away from ze Confuser; Der ‘Vurld ‘O Motorsporten seemed very far away, as the continuous frothing foam of the oceans waves seems somewhat ominous, albeit comforting in the thought that it too like a Timex wristwatch keeps on ticking... Time marches on and soon the roar of single seater racecars will roar to life as the 2011 racing season begins...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

GET ‘ER DONE?


Friday afternoon I walked into my neighborhood grocery store and waited in front of the checkout stands for my typical Courtesy Clerk shopping assistance. Whilst standing there, I overheard Bob-the-Cashier say: “I’m makin’ a LEFT turn...” Then he repeated it before the middle aged female customer he was helpping chimed in: its NOT REAL racing!”

As I couldn’t refrain from guffawing ‘N chortling laughter – saying: Y’all talkin ‘bout DayToner? YEE-HAW! That’s Funny Stuff – Yuhs hear!?!

Then the other two female cashiers simultaneously told me: Cheryl’s NOT here – she called in sick... As Cheryl is my regular Numero Uno helper, so I found it funny when they volunteered Chris, the Assistant Manager to help me instead.

As we set off on my brief grocery run, having grabbed a cart – I told Chris how funny I’d found Bob’s comments ‘bout turnin’ LEFT to be... And even Chris got in on the Hi-jinx; as she told me at the end of the first aisle: I’m makin’ a LEFT turn... And further on, towards the end of my list, she said: I’m makin’ a right turn... Funny SHIT, eh? “Get ‘Er Done, Y’all...” Hya!

And to think I live in a state WITHOUT an Open Wheel race, eh? Although I did notice that the PBR did just visit Portland...

Friday, February 18, 2011

GP2 Asia event Cancellled as tensions remain High in Bahrain

Woke up to the news Thursday morning that the second race weekend of the 2011 GP2 Asia Championship had been cancelled due to the continuing unrest in Bahrain, where the ruling party has acted Heavy handed by mobilizing the military enmasse along with continued police brutality – ultimately causing multiple injuries and fatalities occurring to the peaceful protestor’s.

Reports claim that at least four people had been killed – not to mention the hundreds of injuries after authorities invaded a make shift civilian camp at 2:45AM. As the Newswire claimed that the first two deaths were both young males (early 20’s) who had been shot in the back...

No word yet upon whether/not the slated final round of Formula 1 testing will occur, (March 3-6) or if the Season Opening F1 race (March 13) will commence as scheduled? Yet, if there’s one thing I know ‘bout Uncle Bernaughty, (Ecclestone) the show WILL GO ON! (At ALL costs...) Can you say Yeongam? (S. Korea)

A view from inside Bahrain

NOTE
I suppose its worth mentioning that two-thirds of this year’s GP2 Asia Series season was slated to take place at Bahrain – with rounds 3-4 slated for Feb 17-19 and rounds 5-6 scheduled for March 11-13. Hmm? Perhaps they could shift the cancelled rounds to Melbourne, Australia as their season finale?

What happens to F1 if Bahrain is cancelled?

Lotus Renault GP names Substitute Driver – Kubica has third successful Surgery

By now I’m guessing Y’all have heard that GenieII-Lotus- RenaultGP XP Cal-uh Drocious... Has confirmed Nick Heidfeld as Robert Kubica’s substitute while the Polish F1 Star begins his long haul to recovery and 100% fitness...

Meanwhile “The Krakow Kid” (R. Kubica) underwent his third and final (for the time being...) successful surgery Wednesday to complete repairing of his mangled elbow in a further 8hr operation...

Kubica undergoes third major operation

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

PDM Racing Pictures









The following pictures were sent to me courtesy of Indiana Correspondent ‘N No Fenders Staff Photographer Dave ‘CARPETS O’Brien...

Photos
(Top to Bottom)
1) PDM Racing Car logo.
2) PDM Racing Indy Lights Car No. 18. (Rear end of #18)
3) Numerous pics of Old Cars/Drivers hang around PDM Racing. (These are above the entrance to shop)
4) Silver Crown car driven by Jason Leffler hangs from the ceiling.
5) A.J. Watson Joint sign.

An Interview with Paul Diatlovich


Paul Diatlovich - Kentucky

First of all; thanks for granting me an interview with you Mr. Diatlovich. Please forgive me for not knowing very much about PDM Racing – as I only became familiar with your outfit during your 2007 Indy 500 trials and most recently from Junior Strous’s Indy Lights Season Opening Double-header victories at St. Pete in 2009...
Tomaso (T) So I’ve read from your Team Profile on pdmracing.com that you’re housed in the racing shop that AJ Watson built and still owns; how did that come about?

Paul Diatlovich (PD) I was the last employee of the famed Leader Card Racers. We were based out of the shop owned by the original Chief Mechanic for LCR A.J. Watson. I was fortunate enough to have befriended one of the greatest people in Motorsports Ralph Wilke. After he stopped racing he was nice enough to give us use of his support equipment for our IRL effort. Without Ralph there would never have been an opportunity for PDM to exist.

T) And the four Indy Car drivers you helped win Rookie Of the Year (R.O.Y.) honours with during 1986-89: Randy Lanier, Fabrizio Barbaza, Billy Vukovich III and Bernard Jourdain. Were they all with Arciero Racing - and you’ve gotta feel pretty good about pulling off such an unusual feat?

PD) Randy and Fabrizio drove for me at Arciero while Billy drove for me at Gohr Racing and Bernard at Andale. Four rookies in a row only shows masochistic tendencies

T) How did you get started in IndyCar racing? Was Arciero the first IndyCar team you worked for?

PD) Started out in 1977 for Rolla Vollstedt working on Janet Guthrie’s and Dick Simons cars. Went to SugarRipe with Jud Phillips after that.

T) And you’ve worked with a Who’s Who of drivers - prior to starting your own race team. Do you have a favourite overall?

PD) I have been absolutely privileged with working with some of the best drivers that have ever competed. I have also worked (tried) with some of the dregs. Favorite amongst them, no, the three stellar drivers are Sneva, Emmo and Sam.

T) Tom “the Gasman” Sneva is a sentimental favourite; since he was from Spokane, WA. When did you work with him & what can you tell me about working with him.

PD) Hardest most demanding driver I ever worked with. He demanded 110% effort from us but when he put his visor down he’d give us 120% in return: 1978-79.

T) And I notice Stefan Johansson’s name listed too – was that with Tony Bettenhausen’s team; were you chief mechanic for Stefan and what was it like working with him?

PD) Team Manager while with Stefan. Second time working with Tony.

T) How did you discover Sam Hornish Jr.? Or did he come to you – as I’ve heard he ran with backing from his father’s Trucking Company.

PD) He and his Dad came to PDM during the winter of 99 and we worked out a deal to test and run Sam up to and including the Speedway. We wound up attracting enough sponsor support and some more from the family business to run Sam for the rest of 2000...

T) I seem to recall Jimmy Kite trying to qualify a multi-coloured PDM Racing car with pieces from several different teams? Was that the racecar that started out as the Indy Colts car that the team nixed? Which I think Indiana Ice then replaced them on the sidepods? And did you ever discover why the car’s speed was down in a post-mortem teardown?

PD) Poor Jimmy got hosed. Car was the exact same car we ran the previous year and it wouldn’t go within 10 MPH down the straights as it had the year before. We had Z-Line on our sidepods after the colts said no.

T) Then you switched to American Spirit Racing, (ASR) which I believe was a separate project from Stefan Johansson’s American Spirit IndyCar team? Were you involved with Phil Geebler’s ’08 Indy 500 R.O.Y. effort or just the Cyndie Allemann FIL effort?

PD) No, we always have run as PDM. ASR contracted out to us to maintain and campaign the car for Cyndie. Stefan had nothing to do with it. By the way, Ms. Alleman is on my short list of drivers I would like to work with again. Real deal there.

T) And I’m told that your son Victor works as a Part-time PDM Racing Team member. Does he work on the Indy Lights program and is he still involved? And do your wife & daughter have the racing bug like you do.

PD) It’s no bug, a frickin disease. Yes, Victor works with us during the season; he is a full time student at Purdue. My wife does all the bookwork for the team along with travel and scheduling. Full time. My daughter likes racing but Softball is her forte’ (thank God).

Cyndie Allemann – Indy Lights

PDM Racing - Indy Lights2008: Cyndie Allemann
2009: Junior Strous
2010: Rodrigo Barbosa
2011: TBA

T) Would it be fair to say you’ve had mixed results in the Firestone Indy Lights Series? As obviously your High was Strous’s two victories, while I’m not sure if the car catching fire was your Low? How would you compare Allemann’s or Barbosa’s season vs. 2009?

PD) No, a very popular misconception in this business is that because we ran mediocre last year that the car or effort was different than that of when we won with Jr. It is not! We put in the same effort anytime we unload at a racetrack the only variable is the nut behind the wheel. Catching fire at Long Beach sucked but it happened. No fault of ours, no mechanical misdeed, just a fluke failure that should never have occurred. But this is racing so we paid the ultimate price with a DNF. No comparison between the drivers Cyndie learned listened and improved during the course of the season. Like I said real deal, if I could run her again I think she would turn a lot of heads. Rodrigo, not so much.

T) And how do you think Cyndie stacked up against Pippa Mann and/or Ana Beatriz? As I see that the Original “Swiss Miss” spent last year contesting the European GT1 series.

PD) See previous comments, she’d flat smoke pippa and give Ana a run for her money.

T) Apparently the funding for the season ran out both upon Allemann & Strous, while last year’s driver Rodrigo Barbosa isn’t coming back? How does the funding scheme work for your team? Is it up to the driver to bring the budget or is that something PDM Racing searches for?

PD) Both, since Rodrigo left we are scrambling to find the funding or the driver with funding to continue our program.

T) And according to your website – you had a very positive test at Nashville last November with Michael Ramies, a 19yr old Californian; who I’ve never heard about. Can you tell me a little more about him?

PD) Working on getting him licensed and funded for this year. Good basic instincts, malleable, and should do well if we can get the funding.

T) And how did you discover Michael; (Ramies) as apparently you seem to think he’s ready to compete in the Indy Lights this season – Sponsorship pending...

PD) Through a person that worked for PDM previously. He brought him to us knowing what we can do with a talented driver on a limited budget.

T) And do you enjoy being part of the Road-to-Indy Development Series – or do you still wish to return to the Big Cars? (IndyCar)

PD) Both for sure. I’ve had a lot of fun with the small cars but I do miss running a big car.

T) And I hear you’ve still got some Dallara Indy Cars at your shop. What will you do with them after 2011 and do you have any intentions of purchasing any new 2012 equipment?

PD) No big cars left. I would love to be in a position to get a new car and it all depends on the money.

T) And do you fancy yourself a bit like (either Dale Coyne or) Eric Bachelart – who seem to enjoy the role of discovering new talent and giving young drivers their break in IndyCar/ Indy Lights.

PD) We are better than either of those two. They only have run drivers with money; we have put up our money to run drivers with talent. If you point out that they are still running and we are not, yes, they are thanks to the CART payoff they received before getting here. Give PDM that kind of funding and we’d run for several years.

T) And I’m assuming you’re hoping to run Michael Ramies in this year’s Indy Lights Championship. Any new updates on where your program lies for 2011?

PD) Still looking

T) And lastly, I cannot leave without asking you a question about the legendary “Doctor Who.” (Tim Wardrop) Will he be back with the Indy Lights team as Engineer again this season and any funny stories you can share about him?

PD) Tim has been a friend and colleague for many years. You want stories and I’d have to start a journal.

Once again – Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions and I hope to see the No. 18 at the front of the pack in this year’s Firestone Indy Lights Championship...
You can read all about Michael Ramies Nashville Oval track test on the PDM Racing Homepage by clicking here...


Michael Ramies – 2010 Nashville Test

Michael Ramies
As I said above – I know virtually nothing ‘bout Messer Ramies, other then he’s a 19-year old Californian aspiring to become an Indy Lights racing driver this season... Yet I’d haveda say he’s got some good possibilities; as some Dudes named Rick Mears, Jimmy Vasser, Robby Gordon, Jimmy Johnson and Kevin Harvic all came outta California...

Michael Ramies participated in a Jim Russell race held in conjunction with the Indy Racing League at Sears Point Raceway; won the Skip Barber Western Regional Series and trained with Rob Wilson as an aspiring Gran Primo Piloto upon the USF1 young American hopefuls Shortlist. His About page claims his favourite drivers are some Cats named DER TERMINATOR, (Michael Schumacher) “Fredrico Suave” (Fernando Alonso) and Master ‘Zebb... ” (Sebastian Vettel) Whale that’s not exactly a bad grouping, eh? As this trio only have ten Formula 1 World Championships to their credit!

To read Michael Ramies full bio – click here.

Good Luck to both Michael, Paul & PDM Racing in 2011 – as hopefully they’ll have a successful 2011 Indy Lights campaign!

Kudos to Dave “CARPETS” O’Brien for setting up this interview & making it happen...

INDY 500: Public Remembrance for Voice of Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Tom Carnegie announced...

Today at 4:30PM ET, (Eastern) a public remembrance of what I’m deeming “The Voice of Indy” – the legendary Tom Carnegie, who passed away at the age of 91 on February 11, 2011 will be held at the IMS Hall of Fame museum. For IMS’s press release, click here.

Longtime Indy speedway voice Tom Carnegie dies

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kubica continues long Haul recovery

GOOD NEWS! For those of us who are Krakow Kid fans... The Polish F1 driver has successfully undergone another major round (16hrs) of surgery to repair his foot, arm, shoulder and elbow – with a final elbow surgery slated for Wednesday...

Kubica's condition 'positive' after surgery, say Renault

Duno gets Caught-up in others Wreck

Didn’t have a chance to watch The Wanderin’ Milka’s performance in Saturday Nites Alright for Fightin’ DayToner ARCA race, where apparently Milkalicious was in the hunt for a Top-10 finish... Having rolled off 23rd, Milka Duno ran a strong race before being taken out in “The BIG ‘Juan,” a 9-car pile-up with just 16-laps remaining.

Jon Wolfe - Crew Chief:
“Milka ran a great race today...”

“She did exactly what we asked her to do. We were close to our goal of a top-10 finish, we just got taken out.”

With Cat-like reflexes, Duno escaped two wrecks directly in front of her before clicking off a blistering red-hot smokin’ lap of 190.998mph around the 2.5-mile Tri-oval, nearly 10mph above her qualifying speed!

Milka got as high as P12 before another competitor taking evasive action collected Milka’s No. 63 Dodge in the right front corner ‘N took her out, ultimately winding up classified as 31st overall...

Ode to DannaCar


Toe to toeDancing very slowBarely breathingAlmost comatose…
(pressdog!)
Wall to wallPeople hypnotizedAnd they're stepping lightlyHanging on her every move each night in RaptureBack to backSacrailiacSpineless movementAnd a wild attackFace to faceSadly solitudeAnd it's finger popping
Twenty-four hour shopping
In ‘DannaCar Land!“Flavour Flav HMS Monogram told me everybody's highDJ's spinning' are saving' my mindFlash is Fast, Flash is coolJacke Vanilla sez fast, Flashe' no do
And you try to stop
((Watching’ MAC Montoya, Sam Hornish & ALL those Open Wheel DEFECTORS!)
SURE SHIT!
Just go out to the parking lotGet in your car and you drive real far
Away from the track!
After you drive all night, you see a bright flashing light
And it comes right down and lands on the groundAnd out pops a Girl in a shiny sequin bathing suit from RASSCAR!
And you try to run but She's got a gunAnd She shoots you dead and “She eats your headAnd then you're in the Girl from RASSCAR!
You go out at night, eatin' Racecars
You eat Marches, Reynard’s, Swift’s and Panoz’s too…
And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' Single SeatersThen, when there's no more Racecars leftYou go out at night and eat up Open Wheel Racing series instead
Like Champ Car and the IRL
While ‘Ol timers desperately cling to fantasies of a renaissance…

Face to face, dance cheek to cheek
One to one, man to manDance toe to toeDon't move to slow, 'cause the Girl from RASSCAR is cutting thru
(Excuse me HULIO!)

But Mrs. Hospenthal is through with the competition
‘cause She's been eatin' a ton ‘O snicker barsYeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hallShe's gonna eat 'em allRapture…

Be pureTake a tour; through the sewerDon't strain your brain
Just check out that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue instead!
And then say it real fast
Boog-itee- Boog-itee- Boog-itee!
Paint a train, cause you’ll be singing' in the rain
If dare ain’t some ‘Tin Tops on real soonI say stop throwin those mountain dew cans at Pretty Boy Floyd
Junior Nation!
Just be good ‘ol boyzs and cheer for ‘dannaCar instead!Well now you see what you want to be
Just like Mike, who’s trying to pump up ‘Dem Spin-Car ratings on TV - 'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR won't eat Candy bars when She’s PEAK-ing
In the bright lights…

As now She's gone back up to MARS Where She won't have a hassle with the human race ‘cause now its ‘DannaLand!
And you hip-hop, and you don't stopJust blast off, sure shot - 'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR stopped eatin' RacecarsAnd now She only devours IndyCar
get up; ‘Cause She’s gone HOLLYWOOD!
(Original lyrics: Blondie; Rapture)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sand Dunes

Just a quick note to let Y’all know I’m off to someplace nearby the Sand Dunes of Oregon – wherever that is, eh? Thus, I’ll be taking a brief hiatus from BloggerLand the next few Dazes...

Kubica Recovering

According to Keith’s story yesterday; Robert Kubica underwent a successful 7-hour surgery performed by seven doctors to repair function ability to his right hand, albeit one surgeon said it could take one year for Kubica to recover?

Kubica’s recovery could take one year, Surgeon says

Obviously this will be an ongoing story – which hopefully doesn’t curtail the Polish drivers Formula 1 career...

Kubica’s Manager speaks with driver

VIDEO: Doctor on Kubica’s Operation

IRP under New Ownership




These Pics were sent to me by ‘CARPETS of Indiana – before ICE STORM 2011 occurred... Although I hear that Indianapolis is under another blanket ‘O SNOW... So the above pictures seemed like perfect timing to Mwah.

These were taken at the main entrance to IRP; Yeah, still IRP to many. Notice how the top of the sign still has the O'reilly Raceway park signage. While the "Welcome to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis" is on the electronic sign board underneath it; and YES, that is snow on the ground on an 18 degree Saturday in Indianapolis...

As for myself – NOT even being remotely associated to Indy, its funny how it’ll always be Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) to Mwah – and I’ve never-ever even been there! Although I still seem to think I watched some Craftsman PickemUp Trucks on SPEED beatin ‘N bangin there way ‘round there in some great racin’ on the now dilapidated road course...

But the good news is that the Acting General Manager Wes Collier has been promoted to (permanent) GM status and I believe they’re hoping to restore the road course to full working capacity in the future...

Another round of Snakes ‘N Sushi for KVRT

Err, KV Racing Technology-Lotus, Yuhs here? As perhaps Y’all have caught the news that KVRT/LHF – FRICKENSENSE!!! What is the dealio ‘bout racing teams tryin’ to uze up the WHOLE alphabet, eh? But I digress, as it comes as little surprise that Kevin Kalkhoven & Jimmy Vasser’s ‘KV racing team have announced the return of “TakuSan” (Takuma Sato) and E.j. “SNAKES R-US” Viso for a second year behind their respective No. 5 & No. 8 KVRT Lotus Powered-by-Honda Firestone shod Dallara IndyCars... Try saying ‘Dat fast 5-times, eh? NO word on KVRT’s third driver Mario “Meltz-in-your-Hands” Moraes’s status – as of yet...

Guidepoint keeping Tabs on Penske

So, I’m wonderin’ if I’m the only person who seez the irony in this? As what do former Tax Evasion trials & GPS tracking Stolen Cars have in common? Whale they’ll both have somebody named HULIO at the wheel of one of Roger Penske’s IndyCars...

Guidepoint – a GPS tracking system for locating stolen vehicles has decided to come on board The Captain’s race team this season and will be the primary sponsor of HULIO’s No. 3 racecar for five events, along with being the primary sponsor for Ryan “The NEW IZOD Dude” Briscoe’s No. 6 racecar. And they’ll also be an associate sponsor on both of Penske’s Indy Car & RASSCAR racin’ teamz too...

Jaguar Stepping-up its GT Program


Heard this news in the closing ‘My-nutes ‘O Trackside with Kevin ‘N Cavin last Tuesday during Indiana’s Ice Storm 2011 broadcast... As I’m impressed that Kevin Lee actually likes the ALMS cars – thus giving a quick Shout-out to Paul Gentilozzi’s Factory backed TaTa Motors GT2 program...

What? Y’all didn’t knows that Jaguar & Land Rover are now the property of India’s TaTa Group - the same entity sponsoring thee “Fastest Indian,” (right!) a.k.a. Narain Karthikeyan, and more likely keeping the floundering Spanish Hispania F1 Team afloat! But I digress...

So Messer Lee pointed out that Mr. Gentilozzi had just inked former Champ Car Starz Bruno “WhineyBags” Junqueira, ‘Shorty, nee Cristiano da Matta and P J. Jones as three fourths of his re-invigorated Rocketsports Racing (RSR) Jaguar XKR GT2 racing team, which made its American Le Mans Series debut nearly one year ago at the 58th running of the Mobil 12hrs of Sebring, albeit a single car effort.

I seem to recall scribblin’ that somebody named ‘Scooter, nee Scott Pruett was supposed to drive for the Cat last June at Circuit de la Sarthe, albeit the dealio fell apart as Pruett moonlighted as a guest commentator on SPEED instead. But I was happy to see ex-CCWS driver Ryan Dalziel getting a decent full season ride for a change upon being announced as Rocketsports lead driver.

Yet things have changed for the better, as the team has stepped up to a two car effort for 2011 in the fiercely contested ALMS GT2 Class; which will see the RSR Cats squaring off against the likes ‘O Bobby Rahal’s Works BMW’s, Porsches’ 911 Panzer wagons, GM’s Corvettes, Ferrari’s F430 – and coming soon new F458 Italia model plus two Robertson Racing FordGT’s...

But I’m very happy to see that Da Matta is back in a decent ride, and will be teamed with his ex-rival Junqueira – with the two now being close friends. Recall that Cristiano won the 2002 CART title for Newman Haas Racing before spending two tough years in Formula 1 for the Toyota team before having his ugly testing accident at Road America. Thankfully Da Matta recovered and will now partner the man he beat for the Championship back in ’02.

I last heard of P.J. Jones whilst trying to qualify an underfunded No. 40 Wooshmobile Throwback liveried Dallara/Honda at the Speedway for Team Leader/Dollander Racing for Kent Baker in 2007, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of his father driving Andy Granatelli’s revolutionary turbine car. But P.J. was unable to find the necessary speed to qualify...

Yet my strongest memory of ‘lil Parnelli was back in the waning days ‘O IMSA GTP competition when he was behind the keyboard of that all conquering Dan Gurney AAR Toyota Turbo 4-banger.

No word (publically) on who’ll partner P.J. in 2011 – although I can think of three names right off the bat. RSR could go for an all Brazilian ‘N ALL P.J. Show by adding that Chesnutt fellah from the IRL, Err IndyCar... While ‘RAFA, nee Rafael Matos would be a good choice, albeit I don’t know if Gentilozzi wants to be outflanked by that many South Americans? Hmm? My third pick was gonna be Karun “Cowboy” Chandhok, as he’s got some nebulous linkage to Rocketsports financial backers, right? Oh Never Mind...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Kubica Seriously injured in Rallying Accident


FUCK-FUCK-FUCK!!!

Sorry ‘bout that Folks... Normally I’d be gorging out upon thee Mother ‘O Footenballen games today; BUTT! I’m Boycotting the superbowl due to the NFL & Jerry Jone’s unscrupulous natures...

Thus I was absolutely SHOCKED upon purusing the Blogosphere to discover that The Krakow Kid, nee Robert Kubica has been seriously injured in an accident during his participation in the Ronde di Andora Rally in Italy. SHEISA-SHEISA-SHEISA!!!

As for Mwah, Kubica’s ‘Juan ‘O the good Guys in the sport of Formula One – thus it shocked me upon reading the story about his severe right hand injury – making me immediately Flashback to another colourful Gran Primo Piloto named Alessandro Nannini... Who you may recall his F1 career was cut short by an unexpected Helicopter incident – although I’m NOT claiming Kubica’s outcome will be similar; it’s just what I thought of very first...

Surgeons still working on Kubica’s hand

Kubica suffered multiple fractures to his right leg, arm & hand upon colliding with a Church wall/steel Guardrail on the Rally’s route and was reportedly trapped in his Skoda Rally Car for an hour before being airlifted to hospital. He’s since undergone surgery to repair his severely crushed hand and will reputedly miss up to six months (or more? Since there’s currently NO Timetable for his recovery...) whilst rehabilitating.

Thus I guess it’s a good thing that Lotus-Renault GP just announced Bruno Senna as its team’s First Reserve driver, as I’d assume he’ll now be racing at Bahrain for the very least, eh? Although LRGP has ex-Pirelli tyre tester & GP2 combatant Romain Grosjean on its reserve roles whilst scuttlebutt has also thrown Nico Hulkenberg & Vitantonio Liuzzi into the mix... And while the Iceman, nee Kimi Raikkonen has previously been in conversation with the team prior to Vitaly Petrov’s contract extension. I’d assume The Kimster will remain in the WRC for 2011...

GET WELL SOON ROBERT!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grand Am: 2011 Daytona 24hrs Postscript


So I did the unthinkable... Although some Grab Bag Sports Dudes were apparently hostin’ a BlogAthon – whatever ‘Dat is, your humble No Fenders Head Scribe held a ‘Mega Speedython - Gorging meeze Eyeballz outs upon 12.6666666hrs ‘O SPEED’s 14-hours of Rolex 24 race coverage; CRIKEYS!

And whatever happened to the Good ‘Ol Dazes ‘O Endurance races, eh? When John Wyer told you exactly what lap time to run and NOT exceed it by even ‘Juan blink ‘O the eye! (Back in the David Hobbs era...) As I guess The Cheepster summed it up best by saying its 24 one hour races... Whale at least I think it was ‘Cheep who said ‘Dat? (As I simply “Vegged Out” in order to get away from le Confuzer & did NOT attempt taking any notes...)

And it was pretty entertaining hearing Booby Ruble, Err Bobby Rahal telling his story ‘bout his 1981 victory – when Brian Redman told him do NOT pass one single car, just keep your nose clean – having gone out in sixth place. Several hours later during the driver change, Redmand asked what position are we in? To which Rahal said P1. Redman retorted; “I told you NOT to pass anybody!” To which Bobby said; I DIDN’T! They all fell out...

MAC MONTOYA: What can I say? As even Scott Dixon had a brief chuckle ‘bout JPM during the Post-race interview; saying Yuhs gotta LUV Juan – he just knows ‘Juan speed... Even if he took off 3-noses & 1-splitter during the night hours; Aye Karumba!

As Dorsey Schroder noted how ‘Monty was in KILL mode very early on in the race, as the whirling derbish first pummeled the No. 99 “Red Dragon” (Guess it was outta Fireballs, eh?) and then just minutes later knocked the No. 10 outta-duh-way... Incensing Team Owner Wayne Taylor so much that he could only say some Stock Car driver crashed into us... While Leigh Diffey had an amusing quip ‘bout Chip Ganassi Racing’s Mike Hull telling Juan to SLOW DOWN! To which Leigh said; Good Luck with that!

And it’s become quite fun to me that the race becomes two events – as there’s the first day’s coverage before they go off the air – and whilst I’m Snug as-a Bug in-a Rug... Whilst the drivers hurtle ‘round DayToner under the artificial light – there seems to always be a set ‘O new class leaders the next morning. Not to mention the eventual winners... Whale at least I didn’t haveda sit thru the 2hr 49min Yellow flag period caused by FOG!

NicolasMinassian – pretty entertaining Pitlane interview; talking ‘bout how crazy the bumping ‘N banging is and having fun vs. high pressure of Peugeot Factory drive...

And how ‘bout that ‘lil Team Seattle, eh? As I was very surprised to tune-in early Sunday morning and discover that no less than Patrick Dempsey’s No. 40 Mazda RX8 was leading the GT Class! Although unfortunately it all fell apart – Kudos to the team for dealing with a faulty battery & clutch for the remainder of the event to eventually wind-up on the final Podium step of the GT rostrum. As I’m told whomever this Doctor McDreamy fellah is - was shedin’ tears ‘O joy up thar...

Kevin Buckler’s 786 Porsches... NOT really, but some Alan Wedge Dude in the Blogosphere has been having fun with this, denoting the Panzerwagon known as TRG(The Racers Group) who ran a 5-car armada of Porsche 911’s and won their 496th GT Class victory; Hya! As according to Andy Lally, who was on duh Speed Freaks Sunday night – they too ran without a clutch, albeit for the final 17hrs of the race; SHEISA! As apparently they were within a whisker’s breath of bringing the No. 67 into the garage to rebuild the clutch, but said SCREW IT! When they figured it would cost them 20-laps to do so...

But for Mwah, the drive of the race was unquestionably Joey Hand’s final triple-stint segment when he had to suffer a 30-second Stop-Go penalty for hitting the errant tyre a crew member had forgotten to move outta the way towards the end of the race. Joey, who was making his debut as a Chip Ganassi driver – who’d already complained to the crew his right foot was going numb... Drove like a man possessed – almost like that JPM fellow! As Hand simply put the hammer down and sliced a 52-55 second deficit in half! Handing over to Scott Proffessor/Anchor/Ironman Pruett, who after some sage Pitstop strategy leapfrogged Scott Dixon in the No. 02 for the victory...

Thus, I found it somewhat amusing how The Graminator, (G. Rahal) – as Kurty Cavin noted – scored his easiest Rolex timepiece by being part of the winning crew... As I spent the weekend thinking how little Graham musta been driving – since I never heard a peep ‘bout him being behind the wheel. Guess he got the midnight/early morning shift? But I’m happy he at least seemed to be keeping his lips closed ‘N letting all of the other drivers do the talking.

As Scott Pruett summed it up best on Speed Freaks, saying; “To put it in perspective – I’ve got a 22yr old daughter & Graham’s 22...”

As I know Pruett has been pounding ‘round the DayToner High Banks an awfully LONG time – I vaguely remember watching him in those uber DOMINATING Roush BAD ASS Mustangs... Along with the likes ‘O Dorsey Schroder & Calvin Fish... As Pruett admitted his first time to race in the Daytona 24hrs was 1983; Aye Karumba!

And I really wanted to see the Action Express Boyz ‘O Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Max Papis & Christian Fittipaldi BEAT those pesky Ganassi Starz... As I found it amusing how much Facetime Papis got during the weekend’s broadcast. While Christian sounds a lot alike somebody named EMMO to Mwah...

Thus I found myself growlin’ at le Telescreen – Get him Joey! GO PRUETT! As I didn’t wish to see the No. 02 Ganassi car win. I means, Dario’s won everything, Dixon’s got a low pulse, JPM is a HotHead – apparently having become fully immersed in the slogan Racin’ is Rubbin;’ CRAP! And I didn’t wanna see McMurray join Mario & A.J. in the only two drivers to have won the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24... Although I was MOST pleased of all to see poor ‘Ol Jimmy Johnson’s race fall by the wayside; Ah Shucks – NOT!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

INDYCAR: 2011 Season getting Curious ‘N Curiouser...

So the Dale Coyne Memo sitting in the No Fenders Mailbox came as quite ‘O surprise to Mwah... As the title sez: ‘Hamburgular ‘N Plowie to DCR? Say What; WTF? As in apparently ‘Ol PT’s Bosom Buddy: SeaBass,” a.k.a. Sebastian Bourdais has just had his first run in an IndyCar in 3-years at a Sebring test session Monday.

Sebastian Bourdais:
“The car was very good and it really felt good to be back in an Indy Car,”

“I was not sure what to expect, but I was impressed with the way the car handled, and look forward to putting together the pieces to get back into Indy Car racing. I really believe in what Dale is doing with his team and it can be a great workable opportunity for both of us this year.”

Meanwhile, Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) also ran Indy Car Series hopeful Martin “Plowie” Plowman - granting the Brit his debutant running in a Big Car (IndyCar)

Martin Plowman:
“I am very pleased that everything went exceptionally well today. The car was very stable and quick right out of the box, allowing me to improve our times all day long.”

As DCR noted that Bourdais set the quickest test time at Sebring to date, whilst Plowman wound-up in P3. (No word on how J.K. Vernay did for Conquest...)

Meanwhile, Andretti Autosport also pulled a Rabbit-outta-duh-Hat by announcing that 27yr old Englishman Mike Conway has been inked to a full season ride in AA’s fourth racecar – that was previously thought to perhaps be filled by Danny-boy ‘SPIKE Wheldon?

No sponsors were announced as far as I can tell... Which is somewhat bemusing – especially since are Yuhs ready? Penske Racing is reportedly rolling out some more new for 2011 sponsor’s tomorrow afternoon. (East Coast time...)

So, I don’t know what it means – if anything, eh? But it looks like seats are rapidly dwindling in the Big Boyz ranks, and I have NO idea what these developments mean for either Dan Wheldon or Alex Lloyd? Wonder if Dryer & Reinbold will bulk up to a four car effort?

Hmm? Wouldn’t it be funny if some ‘Ol Champ Car rivalry between the blue caped masked crusader Paul Tracy was to end up applying a refresher ‘Chrome Horn treatment to le Hamburgular; say perhaps at Edmonton? Hya!

F1: Winter Testing begins

Although we’ve now passed the Dark Dazes (Doldrums) ‘O NO Formula One... Are Yuhs feelin’ it yet? As I’ve been feverishly tryin’ to put out my “HoneyDew” – Err, No Fenders Action Items list and thus, here’s a look at the final two Test Sessions held at Yas Isle Marina Circuit way back on November 16-17 & November 19-20, along with a ‘Quickie look-see at the start of this year’s Winter Olympics...

F1 Young Drivers Test
(Yas Marina Circuit: Abu Dhabi, UAE; Nov 16-17, 2010)
Not surprisingly, Red Bull picked up exactly where they’d left off during the 2010 Formula One Season Finale – which saw Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) come out on top, along with having captured its very first Constructors Title.

Thus, it shouldn’t be too surprising that RBR test driver Daniel Ricciardo blitzed the field whilst running 83-laps with a top lap time of 1:39.616; McLaren’s Oliver Turvey clocked up the second quickest time after running 85-laps with a time of 1:40.725; and Antonio Felix da Costa Finished third for Force India with a fast lap of 1:41.381.

Hispania ran future Williams F1 race driver Pastor Maldonado for a total of 94-laps and surprisingly, HRT wasn’t last on the Timesheets, as Maldonado posted a lap of 1:43.750 for 11th overall – even one place ahead of Jules Bianchi’s Ferrari...

Meanwhile Sauber Motorsports Esteban Gutierrez posted a time of 1:41.432 for a fine fourth overall on Day-1, with Sergio Perez finishing the test with a time of 1:41.894 on Day-2, whilst Virgin recruit Jerome D'Ambrosio garnered valuable extra seat time at Renault on the test’s second day, after passing his audition with Virgin the day prior. As the Belgian vaulted to P3 on the Timesheets behind Ricciardo & Bianchi respectively...

Young Drivers Test: Day-1 Results

Young Drivers Test: Day-2 Results

F1 Pirelli Tyre Testing
(Yas Marina Circuit: Abu Dhabi, UAE; Nov 16-17, 2010)
Scuderia Ferrari’s Felipe Massa & Fred “GFYS Vitaly” Alonso topped the Timesheets during the two days respectively; whilst reportedly some heads turned when DER TERMINATOR, nee Herr Schumacher vaulted into P2 on the Timesheets... But this was later disallowed as Michael had decided to shortcut a chicane and was relegated down to seventh place – being sandwiched between a trio of Test Drivers...

Pirelli Tyre Test: Day-1 Results

Pirelli Tyre Test: Day-2 Results

F1 Winter Olympics
This year I’m gonna refrain from any “Testing” coverage – since it’ll be splattered all over BloggerLand, the times most likely won’t mean a whole lot and I’ve got too MANY other stories to scribble; I MEAN HE-LL, I haven’t even begun my first round of vaunted 2011 F1 Car launches...

La Scuderia, nee Ferrari was first to the dance – as typical with its unveiling of its F150 on January 28th at Maranello, whilst Sauber & Genii-Reggie-Loti-X-P-Caladrocious took the covers off at Valencia on January 31, before heading Ontrack – and were followed by Red Bull’s ‘lil Seester Scuderia Toro rosso on February 1st, along with the brand new Williams FW33 sporting an interim livery – prior to its official launch later in February...

Meanwhile – the other ‘Playerz: Force India, Hispania(?)McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull & Team Lotus, (with an Internetz only launch slated ironically at the same time as its Kissing Cousin Group Lotus...) will take part in the first test at Valencia: 02/01-03; with updated 2010/11 Hybrids before debuting their semi-definitive (new) 2011 challengers at later dates; most prior to the second test session at Jerez: 02/10-13. Testing then shifts to the Circuit de Catalunya: 02/18-21 before wrapping up at Bahrain: 03/03-06, where Hispania will reveal it’s hoped for cosmic rocket F111 livery to inspire some much needed pace...