Saturday, April 30, 2011


Roland Ratzenberger
Nationality: Austria
Birth: July 4, 1962 - Salzburg
Death: April 30, 1994 - Imola

Max Mosley:
'Roland had been forgotten, so I went to his funeral because everyone went to Senna's. I thought it was important that somebody went to his.'

Friday, April 29, 2011

Move Over Locker – It’s ‘HotRod Time...

So last night, in a rare moment of Stick ‘N Ball euphoria – I let Geo-Phillips of Oil Pressure fame know he’d took my QB! As in his be-LUV-ed Tennessee Titans had just drafted UW’s TOP ‘DAWG (University of Washington Huskies) Quarterback Jake Locker No. 8in the NFL’s first round of the 2011 Draft... Umm? Y’all recall the Nat’l Football League which is having some sorta work stoppage right now; but I digress...

Thus I lay down for some peaceful(?) slumber content with the thought that Friday would be T MINUS 30 ‘til Wabash Day... (Although I certainly hope the tide recedes on the Wabash before then, eh?) As I believe its 30-days until the green flag drops upon this year’s Indy 500 race. And as I called it an evening, there were still Six Draft Picks remaining for this year’s vaunted Centennial3.0 I500...

(6) TBA Entries
No. 8) Dragon Racing; TBA
No. 16) TBA; Simon Pagenaud
No. 19) Dale Coyne Racing; TBA
No. 44) Panther Racing; TBA
No. 57) Sarah Fisher Racing; TBA
No. 89) China Racing; TBA

Thus imagine my surprise upon awakening this morning to find the IndyStar chock ‘O-block of smatterings from Kurty Cavin who’s spending the weekend home in Indiana while his sidekick Kevin’s schlepping his way up ‘N down Pitlane covering ALL 26 racecar’s in Sao Paolo; Hya!

The Top News was the late evening announcement that with its 44th-selection in the I500 draft - Panther Racing has chosen Buddy “HotRod” Rice as the chauffer of its second Indy 500 entry.

Psst! has anybody told Mr. Barnes that Buddy’s creeping up towards the elder age of 4-Oh; Oh Never Mind!

And speaking of the number 8, (Nice tie-in, eh? Can you say Jake Locker...) Yet the most shocking pick to Mwah is Dragon Racing’s decision to trade-up for the rights to having the first ever Chinese driver in Indy Car or the Indy 500 – by selecting Dutch-born Chinese Ace Ho-Pin Tung!

And although I know for certain that the No. 16 will be piloted by “Symone Pagenoe,” a.k.a. Simon Pagenaud – driving for his ALMS backers Highcroft Racing in partnership with TBA, it’s rumoured that those steadfast denial-denial’s by Luczo Dragon De Ferran Racing ex-P-calladrocious... Could now instead see Dragon Racing running two cars at Indianapolis this May?

Meanwhile, I’m guessing jay Penske’s pick has upset the Apple-cart over at the virtually unknown China Racing, who has the No. 89 selection... As I’m guessing Dragon just took its driver, eh?

And Dale Coyne Racing – who’s got the No. 19 selection overall, is said to be highly keen upon the services of Alex ‘PINK Lloyd as The Hamburgular’s (Sebastian Bourdais) substitute on the Roundy-round’s this season...

That just leaves Sarah Fisher Racing on the clock, as SFR holds the No. 57 selection, which SFR ‘Mum Sarah sez; we’re only gonna select a driver once we know Eddie “Fuzzy Wuzzy” Carpenter’s securely made the field...

Air Asia’s Newest Can-Can Girl?

Whilst I’ll have my eyes firmly affixed upon le Telie – as there’s some ‘lil single seater race goin’ on at Sao Paolo... Sunday... A most exotic Air Asia long haul flight from London to Kuala Lumpur will be lifting off into the air with none other then a very privileged smattering of 160 lucky passengers having bid for the opportunity, along with winning wagerer Mr. Tony Fernandes – not to mention the Guest of Honour... A one Sir Richard Branson who’ll be donning his Air Asia Stewardess outfit in full regalia... As now comes word that the British Billionaire will be auctioning off to some lucky passenger the opportunity to shave his legs; Ooh la-la Mon Cherie!


As the Dean ‘O IndyCar Bloggaratzi, Err Historics... NOT to be confused with Hysterics – whom liken’s himself as the OLD-EST Indy Car blogger; YIKES! And I enjoy calling him Geo-Phillips knows, its almost his favourite month of the year; as in the Month of May, I dunno? Somme-thun to do with a ‘lil racetrack situated at 16th & Georgetown I reckon...

Thus, unlike Indy, which is now just a two week affair, you can catch The Talk of Gasoline Alley the entire month on 1070 The Fan at its new time of 8PM ET M-F and weekends at  6PM ET.

According to Kevin Lee of Trackside fame – who’s in the midst of completing his very first Aeroplane flight over 3-heurs duration: SHEEZ! It takes me LONGER then that just to fly from Seattle to Indy! (Not to mention the 19hrs+ to Adelaide – SUCK IT UP KEVIN!) Who should be back from Sao Paolo, Brazil Bright ‘N Early Monday morning! Claims he’s set up a brand new email address for Y’all to send in your questions for IMS Historian Extraordinaire Donald Davidson at:

Never heard of that chap Davidson? Check him out here;

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Announcing the New & Improved Caterham Team Lotus...

At least that’s what I think they’re calling it now, eh? As Y’all may have heard the news that current Team Lotus (2.0) Enterprise Bosses Tony Fernandes and Kamarudin Meranun have just recently acquired control of Caterham Cars, (having been publicly named to its Board of Directors a Fortnight ago...) which I have a somewhat fleeting connection too... Having the privilege of meeting its founder Graham Nearn once before his untimely demise...

Thus today, in what was not exactly a secret – it was publicly announced that Caterham Cars is now officially under the control of Team Lotus Enterprise; Hmm? Anybody else catch the subtlety of the word Enterprise having been affixed...

As Fernandes & Co apparently are seeking to utilize the spiritual Lotus Cars connection linked to Caterham in their efforts to crack the automotive marketplace after the current Lotus Cars was unwilling to play ball; as I like Grizzled ‘Journo Joe Saward’s ‘Quip bout Fernandes & Co just patiently waiting in the wings to swoop-in and pay 1-ringet for the bloated ‘N broken Group Lotus from PROTON – who haven’t exactly moved the marque anywhere so far...

Team Lotus finalise acquisition of Caterham

JOWT goes Primetime...

Returning Y’all to our somewhat normal state ‘O broadcasting here at No Fenders... I spotted this interview with Ryan of Junior Open Wheel Talent over at B.O.P., (Brits On Pole) not to be confused with B0C; Oh Never Mind! But, in the immortal words of THEE ‘DAWG, (pressdog) Zoom over ‘N check it out!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chernobyl: 25 years after

Today marks the 25th anniversary of what is touted as the worlds worst nuclear power plant catastrophe – although Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi complex too has been classified as a seven on the scale of Disaster rankings, the same that was given to Chernobyl...

And it’s hard for me to recall a quarter of a century ago – as I was yet to have experienced watching my very first Grand Prix, as I tend to cling to the memory of Ayrton Senna aboard his ultra sheik looking JPS Lotus Renault turbocharged racecar.

Thus, it is daunting to me trying to even imagine the horrors that countless thousands of civilians were forced to endure; which I suppose makes Japan’s ongoing struggles with Fukushima Daiichi even more eerier, or perhaps Mother Earth’s way of reminding us of Mankind’s potential destructive forces, eh? As it was chilling to read the stories of photographer’s illicit attempts to divulge Chernobyl’s accident while the once mighty USSR’s Government concealed the disaster, the countless occurring deaths of first responders and the fact that Ukraine is currently struggling to find the necessary funds to build a new containment structure...

From a very quick perusal of ze Internetz, I’ve discovered that the San Marino GP was held upon April 27, 1986, which indicates to me that Chernobyl’s accident occurred upon a Saturday – while most of the world slept, and apparently it was Business-as-Usual in Der ‘Vurld de Motorsporten, as ironically none other then Senna was on Pole-position for that days Grand Prix, in his sinister black Lotus...

Yet it wasn’t to be, as it would be The Professor, nee Alain Prost aboard his McLaren TAG/Porsche leading home Nelson Piquet’s Williams-Honda, with Gerhard Berger finishing third aboard his Benetton-BMW.

And if you’re still reading this – perhaps you’re saying; isn’t this supposed to be a racing blog? As what’s the dealio with the Chernobyl stuff? Whale can you say Nuclear Power? Which my comments towards HVM’s newly announced title sponsor seemingly sent multiples of my readers away in droves...

Yet a quarter of a century ago; Hmm? I’ve just realized that it’ll be Boobie Ruble’s, Err Bobby Rahal’s 25th anniversary of drinking the milk in Gasoline Alley this May. Whilst the Iron Curtain would welcome Uncle Bernaughty’s Formula 1 circus to Budapest for its inaugural Grand Prix; as obviously, I certainly have NO answers towards solving the world’s energy needs – it’s just hard for me to swallow a racing team proudly proclaiming it’s the nuclear CLEAN AIR energy car... WTF? Radiation in the Jet Stream equals; Oh Never Mind! As NOBODY seems willing to discuss the facts that  it took Three Mile Island 14yrs to clean up its disaster, NOT to mention that its nuclear waste still sits in casks awaiting disposal somewhere in the world, as President O’Bama has quietly taken the Yukka Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository site OFF of the table.

Or how ‘bout the fact that Entergy Nuclear just so happens to be the company suing for extension of the Vermont Yankee clipper nuclear power plant site whose backup power cables were known to be submerged under water at the same time they were pushing for approval of the plant’s operating license’s extension – as Entergy just so happens to be the owners of this GE Mark I boiling water nuclear power plant, the exact same models in Japan’s current predicament!

As I certainly hope that Keith Wiggins got a very large cheque for his troubles – as I certainly wish to see Simona de Silvestro continue to Shine On...

And that’s not to mention the countless unseen effects upon humans – as Thyroid cancer seems to be the most popular form of health defects for populations surrounding nuclear powerplants worldwide – while Governments continue to deny such claims, or pay persons effected medical bills...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Remembering Alboreto...

Just ran across the headline that today marks the tenth anniversary of the late GREAT Italian Formula 1 driver Michele Alboreto’s untimely and all too soon passing – at NO less the LausitzRing; which in just short of a further scant five months nearly claimed the life of Alex Zanardi.

Unfortunately I cannot say too much ‘bout the affable Italian, whose greatest F1 career moments all occurred prior to my involvement as a “JAFO” in the sport. Although I like the idea of how Michele defeated all comers in his “lowly” Tyrrell 012 chassis on the slower street circuits that dotted the F1 landscape in North America during the 1980’s, as Michele grabbed his debut GP win at the notoriously unloved “Go Kartish” Caesar’s Palace parking lot’s Los Vegas Grand Prix in 1982 for Uncle Chopper’s (Ken Tyrrell) outfit.

And it was none less then Alboreto who secured the venerable Ford Cosworth normally aspirated 3.0-liter DFV’s victory in Detroit in June of 1983. As I can only surmise that  I did indeed see Messer Alboreto toiling behind the keyboard of a Formula One racecar  in the Iceberg Grand Prix – ‘Circa 1989-91. But I’m jumping ahead of myself here...

Actually it was the last gasp DFY variant that Michele utilized to score the venerable ‘Cossie lump’s 174th Grand Prix victory on the streets of Detroit.

Yet, Alboreto’s greatest moments in Grand Prix racing obviously were his four years at la Scuderia: 1984-88, where he replaced the departing Patrick Tambay, who’d moved onto Renault. With Michele scoring his final three Grand Prix victories with Ferrari, and even finished runner-up in the Drivers Title fight to Alain Prost in 1985 – having actually led the championship before mechanical woes at Maranello let him down...

Yet my fondest Scuderia memory of Michele is that most improvable 1-2 victory sweep at the Italian Grand Prix led by Gerhard Berger with Alboreto as his wingman in ’88, just weeks after Enzo Ferrari’s passing...

But back to The Valley of the Sun, as Yep, Alboreto was indeed there, having just returned to Tyrrell in 1989, being classified as Retired-Gearbox on that oppressively HOT (104deg-f) race day.

Alboreto was next spotted in the spring of ’91, which although Phoenix was the season opening race, it was to be the city’s final Formula 1 event, as Michele lumbered ‘round the tail end in the uncompetitive Footwork-Porsche V-12, once again being classified as Retired-Gearbox.

And I’m sure I watched it? But I’d either forgotten or was unaware that Alboreto won the 1997 24 Heurs du Mans in a TWR-Porsche alongside “Stevie Johnson,” a.k.a. Stefan Johansson and Tom Kristensen. As I’m guessing that was the Joest run Open-top Tom Walkinshaw Racing car...

Thus sadly, it was 10yrs ago that he perished in that fateful High-speed testing accident aboard an Audi R8 LeMans Prototype when its tyre let go...

INDYCAR: Long ‘Beech Quips

Takuma Sato and Terry Angstadt support the With You Japan charity. Source: IZOD Indy Car Series

Funniest part of the whole Saturday afternoon qualifying coverage was Ryan “The Sundrop Kid” Hunter-Reay’s reply over NOT being happy by missing out on Pole by 8-one hundred’s of a second to “DJ Willy P,” William Power’s new handle according to Mr. Innucci of One Lap Down... Which, News flash; I’ve just realized its initials are O.L.D., as in OLD, get it? Not to be Cornfuzed with Versus’s previous incarnation as the OLN Network, but I digress...

As Hunter-Reay lamented during his Post-qualifying interview; NO! I’M NOT HAPPY with second; anytime you can jump up and (SLAP-SLAP-SLAP) PUNCH Penske and Ganassi in the face – you’ve gotta take advantage of it! CRIKEYS! Careful Mate, I think perhaps somebody name Ryan “The NEW IZOD Dude” Briscoe may still wish to give you an “Hertz Dounghut” for last week’s takeout at the Barber’s, eh?

Kiwi Cringing...
And what’s the dealio with Scotty “Kleenex” Dixon’s continuous WHINING! As recently I posted a story title: Kiwi ‘Wingeing... To which Mary Ellen said, did you explain what “Wingeing” means? Whale it’s something I picked up Down Under, which I came to interpret as slang for Whining, which is exactly what Dixie’s been doing the past 2-weeks; C’mon Mate, get on with it, will Yuhs!

As Dixon whined ‘bout being blocked by Will Power during qualifying, albeit when pressed ‘TK “Follow your Schnauz” Kanaan mentioned he’d been blocked by a ‘Juan Messer Power too, although Kanaan was quick to point out that it was NOT an allegation, just an observation... To which Davey Hamilton was quick to jump all over saying; that’s two for Power, while In-booth partner Mike King piled-on saying; whale there’s one driver who’s NOT saying it was a possibility, eluding to Dixon, WWHHHHAAAAHaaaaaaa...........

Where’s the Lasses?
And isn’t it interesting that NO Femme Fatales made it into the weekend’s second round ‘O qualifying, even with the new & improved “easier” Odd-Even grouping’s for the first two ‘Qualie sessions, as Simona-Simona (de Silvestro) was highest with a P18 starting position. Second Fiddle; Err, Second-best was DannaWho? In P20, whilst ‘BIA was P26 – whom I thought shouldn’t have been running this weekend. As Ana Beatriz only added fuel to the fire of a rushed return by spinning Solo on the Warm-up lap and then adding insult-to-injury, stalled it on the Safety Crew’s first restart...

What About Those Fast Six?
And speaking of qualifying, it is amazing that the 12th, 13th, 16th & 18th quickest drivers after three rounds of practice were all in the Fast Six Shootout, while a very discontinlent Briscoe sounded absolutely “Gutted” during his Post-qualifying interview on missing the Fas Six Shootout by just that much! As Briscoe had been fastest of ALL after the first two days of Practice, but failed to advance to the final round of qualifying...

King ‘O Thee Beach
And DON’T Y’all forget it! (Mused some Cat named ‘lil Al...) As I’m surprised nobody corrected my gaff upon The King of the Beach’s win tally, as I heard that ‘lil Al (Unser Jr.) actually has six victories at Long Beach – NOT five as I alluded to,

And I seem to vividly remember Danny Sullivan going on to victory in his Molson blue racecar after taking out teammate Al Unser Jr. who hence, may have had seven victories along
Shoreline Drive

Meanwhile two multiple LBGP winners named ‘PT and the Hamburgular, a.k.a. Paul Tracy and Sebastian Bourdais, with four and three wins respectively, seemed to have seen their “Glory Days” go out with the tide? As SeaBass rolled off P21 in the lowly Dale Coyne Racing entry, whilst The Chrome Horn’s (Tracy) Dragon Racing entry started P25, with only Ana Beatriz and J.R. Hildebrand slower... As we all know about Marco and Sebastian’s coming together, not to mention Tracy’s controversial penalty!

Captain Frapachino?
And speaking ‘O “Captain America,” (J.R. Hildebrand) I see he’s continued making friends with THE GRAMINATOR, nee Graham Rahal – who sounded pretty livid after having had his final qualifying run SCREWED by J.R., as Graham didn’t mince words ‘bout how that’s two weekends in-a-row that all JR’s been able to say is: I’m sorry... Hmm? Suppose Rahal won’t be sending him any Christmas cards, eh? Especially after having read ‘bout how The Son ‘O Stash mighta been tempted to toss a Frapachino his way; Hya!

Ebony & Ivory?
And lastly... Whale! I’ll leave it to Y’all to decide which ‘Juan’s Michael and witch ‘Juan’s Paul; Err, Ebony or Ivory? Hya! As I can only guess why somebody’s astute observations during the Long Beach weekend brought a Goofy-grin to my face... Let’s see, Goofy, Los Angeles, Disneyland; Oh Never Mind!

Jeff Innucci:
Final Thought:Saw an awful lot of Tony George at the track today. For a while he was in Takuma Sato's pit area. Then he was talking with Katherine Legge. Then he was sitting at a timing and scoring area... next to Robin Miller. They weren't talking so it wasn't exactly cats and dogs living together, but almost.”

That’s what Mr. Innucci wrote in his Saturday at Long Beach post... As lets see if we can connect-the-dots, shall we? As in One: Hopefully Mr. George was visiting ‘TakuSan (Takuma Sato) to give him a healthy donation cheque for his With You Japan charity campaign. Two: TG’s hoping to ink Thee Leggy ‘Juan to a long-term multi-year contract for his defunct Vision racing team whilst searching for the next Milka duno; Err, scratch that (MEOW!) DannaWho’s replacement, eh? And Three: Robin Miller sez: NO COMMENT! As what’s that ‘Ol saying ‘bout know who your friends are – but keep a closer eye on your enemies... Hya!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So, is HULIO really ‘Cactus?

Funny slang words I heard whilst Down Under in Melbourne recently at the race track involved the words Butcher’s Picnic and Cactus... which both seem to aptly describe a one Mr. Helio Castroneves, whom I prefer to call HULIO!

Both of those entertaining catch words were used to describe various events during the final days V8 supercars race, as first the PA system’s announcer crackled out over the din of how it was a real Butcher’s Picnic in describing the seven car pile-up that had just occurred, ultimately taking out five of the competitors due to unrepairable damages.

Then later in the same race, when the leader who’d dropped to second place and still needed to make  his mandatory Pitstop to change rubber... Just prior to said Pitstop the announcer said his race was truly Cactus, as he’d be dropping like a stone to ‘round P20 after completing said Pitstop... Thus after I finished laughing over the OZ verbiage – I took the term Cactus to mean TOAST! As in his race was literally toast, eh?

And I’m NOT claiming any great talents of Voyeurism, Err wait – that’s NOT what I meant! I mean any great forseer of le future; BUTT! I did enjoy hearing Kurty Cavin profess on Trackside Tuesday evening what I concluded immediately after Edmonton last year... That HULIO IS CACTUS! As in Will Power has HIS number and is BETTER then he is, not to mention younger...

Whale I suppose I should clarify that actually Cavin said Helio’s pressing to keep up with Will Power, like everybody is right now on the Twisties; Uh DUH!

And I’ve tried NOT reacting to the lump ‘O foul smelling brown stuff ‘lil Al dropped on ALL of us after the Long Beach Shenanigan’s revolving around Juan ‘O the Indy Racing League’s; Err, INDYCAR Series Golden Child’s, a.k.a. “Twinkle Toes...” (NOT to be Cornfuzed with Princess PermaPout...)

Do I think the series favour’s HULIO? WITHOUT A DOUBT!!! And does ‘lil Al’s feigned comments of “We’re watchin’ Yuhs Helio!” Really gonna put the fear of Brian Braveheart or whomever into him? Psst, HULIO; You’re now officaly on Double Secret Probation... So you’d better watch-it buster, or Uhm? We’ll may be, just may be have to do Somme-thun?

Of course Butcher’s Picnic is what exactly Castroneves created in St Pete, Uh gee Brian, I didn’t see Marco braking; Yeah, that’s the ticket! While he certainly was Cactus after Long Beach, as I still don’t understand this he wasn’t trying to “Wink-Wink, Nudge-Nudge,” PASS Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson; Huh? You mean he was just out for a Sunday drive? Oh Never Mind!

And perhaps I’m taking this way too far? But has anybody besides me noticed how Helio has NEVER once called Will Power by his name during any of his Post-race interviews over his comings together with his Penske teammate... I dare Yuhs to go watch his interview after both Edmonton and now Long Beach where he can only refer to Power as “HIM.” And DON’T give me this gibberish ‘bout his English not being good, as he had absolutely NO Problema with Ryan’s (Briscoe) name – as surely HULIO know’s Will’s name, as what’s that saying ‘bout keeping your enemy’s closer?

Ok, sorry ‘bout the RANT – but like Meesh sez in What’s good for the Goose... I just wanna see FAIR Officiating in the series... I mean, if I wanna watch contrived penalties ‘N phantom cautions, alls I’ve gotsta due is flip over to RASSCAR! (YOUCH!)

The optics of playing favorites

F1: 2011 Malaysian GP Highlights

(Sebastian Vettel + Nick Heidfeld; source:

Round 2 of 19
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: April 10, 2011)
Once again your humble scribe is running a Day late ‘N several dollars SHORT! As we’ve already completed Round 3 of this year’s vaunted Twenty-eleven Formula One season... Nevertheless, here’s some of my selected thoughts upon the first two rounds. (With ‘Qualie & Race positions from Malaysia...)

Top Ten Qualifiers - Malaysia
Pole: Sebastian Vettel; Red bull, 2nd: Lewis Hamilton; McLaren
Row 2
3rd: Mark Webber; Red Bull, P4) Jenson button; McLaren
Row 3
P5) Fernando Alonso; Ferrari, P6) Nick Heidfeld; Renault
Row 4
P7) Felipe Massa; Ferrari, P8) Vitaly Petrov; Renault
Row 5
P9) Nico Rosberg; Mercedes, P10) Kamui Kobayashi; Sauber

Top 3 Finishers - Malaysia
Winner: Sebastian Vettel; Red bull
2nd: Jenson Button; McLaren
3rd: Nick Heidfeld; Renault

Other Top Ten Finishers - Malaysia
P4) Mark Webber; Red Bull, P5) Felipe Massa; Ferrari, P6) Fernando Alonso; Ferrari, P7) Kamui Kobayashi; Sauber, P8) Lewis Hamilton; McLaren, P9) Michael Schumacher; Mercedes, P10) Paul di Resta; Force India.

Race Drive of Sepang
So long ago – that I’ve kinda forgotten this race - so I’ll give it to ‘Quick Nick (Heidfeld) who apparently took quite a-lotto grief in Melbourne for being outshone by his less experienced ‘ROOSKIE teammate Vitaly VO5 Petrov... Although apparently many were overlooking his unforeseen calamity, having been crashed into heavily by Sebastien Buemi in his Toro Rosso on lap-1 after having been mired in traffic during qualifying and forced to start from P18... But it all went up in carbon fibre shreds as Buemi smashed the fast approaching Heidfeld, who’d made his way up to 12th place before the collision.

 Thus it was refreshing to see Heidfeld slot into P2 at the end of lap-1 as I cheered for him to hold off the lurking ‘Aussie “Handlebarz” (Webber) for the final podium step at Malaysia...

Force India: VJM04-Mercedes Benz; No. 15) Paul di Resta
Australia: Q) 14th; R) 10th
Like I said earlier, I thought I’d heard the reigning DTM Champion being interviewed early on during the race after retiring. Thus, I was somewhat surprised to learn he’d not only finished the race; BUTT! With the Stewards assistance – vaulted from 12th to P10; joining the small group of Formula One debutants scoring points in their Grand Prix debuts...

Malaysia: Q) 14th; R) 10th
Cannot say I really remember anything ‘bout the Scot’s second race, albeit once again he netted a point for his troubles – although apparently in the closing laps he was nipped for ninth place by Herr Schumacher’s Mercedes, as the German apparently had fresher tyres then Di Resta did...

Sauber: C30-Ferrari; No. 17) Sergio Perez
Australia: Q) 13th; R) DSQ – Rear Wing (7th)
I was most pleasantly surprised by Perez’s exceptional performance over the weekend during his inaugural Grand Prix – as I’m assuming many thought he’d be overshadowed by both di Resta and Maldonado. Yet Sergio was the top qualifier of the rookie quartet and should have been the top point’s scorer with a most impressive seventh-place finish. Alas, it wasn’t to be as the team fell afoul of a somewhat minor, albeit illegal rear wing. Better luck in KL Dude!

Malaysia: Q) 16th; R) Retired: Damage
Just heard the news during Shanghai’s Saturday ‘Qualie show that reputedly the young Mexican’s Sauber was stricken by what at the time the team believed to be a piece of loose ballast discarded from one of the Scuderia Toro Rosso cars, which if true would be a big NO-NO, since said ballast is supposed to be completely secured... Thus after denying any such wrong doing, Toro Rosso asked Charlie Whiting to inquire with all F1 constructors over any missing ballast? As the chassis damage was unrepairable and a new Monocoque Tub needed to be shipped out to Shanghai for the season’s third “Flyaway” race...

Sauber still in the dark about Perez' Sepang incident

Virgin: MVR-02 Cosworth; No. 25) Jerome d'Ambrosio
Australia: Q) 22nd; R) 14th (-3 laps)
Although I never saw the Belgian Ontrack – he can take solace in knowing he completed his very first Grand Prix, being the last classified runner of the event in P14. Hey! When was the last time two (three) rookies finished ahead of DER TERMINATOR! (M. Schumacher)

Malaysia: Q) 22nd; R) Retired: Electronics
Like the Lotus Renault GP’s of both ‘Quick Nick & ‘VO5 – Jerome suffered a massive front upright suspension failure in FP1. And although the team feverishly scrambled to repair said chassis in time for the second Free Practice session, their efforts were to NO avail – just missing out by mere minutes.

Yet the Virgin crew had Jerome’s car Good-to-go for qualifying, albeit as typical, the Virgin’s remained mired down in the Q1 ‘Qualie session with it’s other two Newboyz brethren Lotus and Hispania, as d'Ambrosio managed to stay out of trouble during the race until it’s latter stages when he managed to hit a kerb so HARD that it immediately toggled the ignition switch to the OFF position, thereby ending the Belgian’s race...

Williams: FW33-Cosworth; No. 12) Pastor Maldonado
Australia: Q) 15th; R) Retired: Transmission
With both cars falling out from Transmission failures – with Pastor claiming the car simply died on lap-9, I’m still gonna assume these  recurring problems with Williams Drivetrain are related to its over-aggressive ultra “Lowline” driveshaft...

Malaysia: Q) 18th; R) Retired: Misfire
Don’t think I ever saw the Venezuelan Ontrack – as according to Pastor, he began experiencing an engine misfire on lap-3 before ultimately coming back into the pits and retiring on lap-9...

Hispania: F111-Cosworth; No. 23) Vitantonio Liuzzi
Australia: Q) 23rd; R) DNS
(Vettel’s Pole laptime = 1:23.529 – Liuzzi’s = 1:32.798)

Unfortunately, ‘Tonio will be hard pressed to drag the uncompetitive Hispania up-to-speed, as the team was basically giving the HRT-F111 its baptism under fire, having run ZERO laps in winter testing, along with the car’s initial 2011-spec front wing having failed the mandatory FIA crash test, hence having to run with it’s old nose, as both Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan were unable to crack the 107% time barrier and thus forced to sit on the sidelines...

Malaysia: Q) 23rd; R) Retired: Rear Wing
Although I seem to recall ‘Tonio getting very little Facetime, except for being lapped I believe, the days good news was that he, along with his teammate managed to qualify for their very first race of the season. The bad news; Vitantonio spent the majority of the race fighting a “Loose” car, as the rear was drifting all over the place, and sadly, Liuzzi was forced to retire just 8-laps shy of the finish as the team found a problem with the rear wing and decided it was safest to retire the F111 – especially since they probably DON’T have a lot of spare parts, eh?

Lotus: T-128 Renault; No. 21) Heikki Kovalainen
Australia: Q) 19th; R) Retired: Water leak
I was unawares ‘til watching Friday’s Malaysian GP FP2 (Free Practice) session that ‘KOVY had been knocked out of the OZ GP due to an inherently Buzz-saw like vibration which caused radiator to crack, with the impending water leak making Heikke’s “NOTUS” (What my Tour Guide Jake named them at Albert Park...) to pack-up!

Malaysia: Q) 19th; R) 15th (-1 lap)
And the weekend in KL didn’t start off too much better for the Finn – who suffered a Differential failure due once again to the cars overly Buzz-saw-like vibrations being transmitted thru le “Reggie’s” lump and Gearbox.

Yet ‘KOVY claimed it was a fairly straightforward race, apparently even potentially having rundown a Toro rosso in the races waning moments and giving Team Lotus a single-car finish... 

Virgin: MVR-02 Cosworth; No. 24) Timo Glock
Australia: Q) 21st; R) Retired: Unclassified
Timo claims to have gotten around Trulli Scrumptious’s (Jarno Trulli) Lotus before having to drive back into the pits when his left front wheel came loose – ultimately damaging the drive pegs; Hmm? Why does that make me assume that would imply the rear wheels which propel the car... As apparently the wheel was not properly installed during the first Pitstop – when Timo had to limp back to the pits and then after repairs, fought a wobbly Virgin the remainder of the race...

Malaysia: Q) 21st; R) 16th (-2 laps)
According to The Glockster – he had another  good tussle with Trulli Scrumptious’s Lotus, as the pair played Leapfrog at the start, with Glock passing Trulli before being overtaken by the Italian before repassing Trulli during the Pitstop, a la Melbourne, ultimately finishing ahead of  him...

Renault: R31-Renault; No. 10) Vitaly Petrov
Australia: Q) 6th; R) 3rd
What an absolutely amazing performance by this ‘ROOSKIE! Not only did Vitaly outperform his vastly more experienced teammate – ‘Quick Nick (Heidfeld) with 172-starts who’s been designated the team leader in The Krakow Kid’s (Robert Kubica) absence. But also made history by becoming the sports very first Russian to stand atop the podium... And oh yeah, he also finished ahead of You-know-who once again; Hmm? An almost carbon copy performance of last season’s Abu Dhabi finale, albeit NO report if Ferdi-the-Putz (Fernando Alonso) told Petrov he’s Numero Uno by flipping him The Byrd once again?

Malaysia: Q) 8th; R) 17th:DNF – Accident
All I recall from this race, along with the Russian steadily falling backwards was that massive crash he endured... As Vitaly’s ‘Agro-work saw him hitting the ground so hard that it clean-sheared two major bolts and broke the steering Colum! Which Professor (Steve) Matchett seemed most perplexed by... And then later I thought I caught wind of Petrov’s kerb hopping, agricultural grading, car damage being attributed to having found another pesky drainage cover hidden offcourse; Aye Karumba! As Bob Varsha waxed on ‘bout how it was shades of Timo Glock’s nasty accident at Suzuka – which also involved a drainage cover...

Sauber: C30-Ferrari; No. 16) Kamui Kobayashi
Australia: Q) 9th; R) DSQ – Rear Wing (8th)
Another excellent performance by “K-Squared,” who both outqualified and finished ahead of some seven time World Champion named Herr Schumacher. Unfortunately, Kobayashi, like his teammate fell afoul of a technical infringement which saw both Sauber’s DSQ’ed immediately after Post-race scrutineering. 

Malaysia: Q) 10th; R) 7th
I vaguely recall K-Squared having some good battles with DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher, along with mixing it up with ‘Handlebarz (Webber) and overtaking both drivers with some good passing maneuvers. Kobayashi utilized a two-stop tyre strategy to help him secure his first points of the season, as the Japanese driver continues to shine in his sophomore season...

This season I’ll attempt to cover another slightly different angle – as we all know who the Heavy Hitters are, i.e.; Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes – thus, I won’t follow their individual preferences, instead focusing upon a talented rookie quartet, plus some other selected “Midpackers.” Also being keenly interested to see how Tonio turns around the continuously struggling Minnowesqe Hispania Racing outfits... fortunes...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

INDY 500: Mann ‘ing Up for this Years Centennial Race

So it was announced today that Pippa Mann will be contesting this year’s Indy 500 for Conquest Racing, in what’s gotta be Juan ‘O the WORST kept secrets... As it’s been suggested for months now that Pippa was hoping to seal-the-dealio with Conquest after previously making her debutant test in a Big Car (IndyCar) with Eric Bachelart. Thus Pippa will be behind the keyboard of Conquest’s second entry, the No. 36, previously listed as TBA.

Meanwhile I’m waiting with baited breath for Simon Pagenaud’s B-I-G announcement of who he’ll be chauffeuring the bleu No. 16 for also at this year’s Centennial 3.0 I500, as this affable Frenchman; NOT to be Cornfuzed with Frenchmen, right Mr. Innucci? Hya! Claimed that he’d be leaking the news on Tuesday, April 19th, on another INDYCAR Tuesday PR Release Day...

And James “The G-Mann”of 16th & Georgetown claims there’s only six TBA’s remaining for this year’s Indianapolis 500 list.

Hmm? Hopefully the Trackside Boyz who’ll be going Head’s Up vs. Don Kay tonight via le Internetz... Will be able to fill in the blanks... As my initial guess was gonna be AFS Racing, yet they seem set with ‘RAFA instead. So could it be a second-car entry at Dragon Racing amidst numerous denials? Or perhaps Dreyer & Reinbold will join the Mikey Andretti 5-card Monty; we’ll see, perhaps tonight? Hmm? Who to listen too; Oh Never Mind Danny!

I swear I heard it mentioned some where’s that Davey Hamilton will be campaigning the No. 11 this year instead of the No. 21 for Dreyer & Reinbold – as obviously this number became available with Tony Kanaan’s departure from Andretti Autosports - which I now see James has updated...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leader’s Schmeder’s or Leaderhosen?

So I couldn’t resist the Leaderhosen quip, as it occurred to me, as I spent the Versus IndyCar Central Showtime purusing le Internetz instead... Needing a break from duh BoobTube... How apparently this wasn’t the weekend to be starting on the Pole – ShuhZamm! Lookie ‘Dar NO Princess jokes following my Pole remark, eh? Oh Never Mind!

Thus in an Der Wienersnitzel OVER-dosage de Motorsporten; Ja Ja! I noticed the following traits from my “Mega View-Athon of motor racing, as first up; ‘Master Zebb (Vettel) who started from Pole for the third race in-a-row was  defeated by “Louise JAGUAR” Hamilton, who’d started the Shanghai event from P3.

Then I watched my very first Versus Indy Lights race – where NOT one, but two leader’s crashed out all on their own - Peter Dempsey, (P2) and Josef Newgarden (P3) respectively, as fourth place starter Conor Daly led Pole-sitter and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri home in a 1-2 finish.

Thus, the stage was set for Will Power’s demise... As I was personally rootin’ for Ryan Briscoe, who after his shearing at the Barber’s last week, I worried ‘bout his continued tenure at Penske Racing... Although obviously I couldn’t predict that ‘HULIO would take out Power for the second time; Can you say Edmonton?

Thus it was thoroughly refreshing to witness Mike Conway’s debutant win in the Indy Cars, as the Englishman had rolled off P3 after coming outta NOWHERE to advance to the Fast Six Shootout after being mired down in 16th during practice...

Meanwhile, earlier during the broadcast, I flipped over to FOX Just-in-Time to see Jimmy Johnson win the days outing at Talladega, Hmm? I’m sensing a pattern here, as wasn’t Jeff “Pretty Boy-Floyd” Gordon the Pole-sitter? As Johnson started from alongside Gordon on the outside of Row-1 (P2) while Mark Martin was third and Dale IronHead Junior Earnhart Jr. was fourth... Just the third time ever in RASSCAR history a team has locked-out the grid’s first two rows, the last time being in Fontana, CA by The Cat in the Hat’s (Jack Roush) crew.

Then during the countless commercial breaks during the IndyCar race, I flipped over to SPEED to see Carlos “THE BULL” Checa lose both rounds of this weekend’s World Superbikes action at Assen TT, in the Netherlands... As Checa settled for third in race-1 and runner-up in race-2...

So I guess that’s why they run the races, eh? As apparently the Pole winner doesn’t always win the race...

INDYCAR: Young Lions line-up for Barber’s chair...

Otay, so I was trying to be somewhat clever about Shave ‘N Haircut at the Barber’s, as in Barber Motorsports Park, site of last weekend’s GP of Ala-bammie, which I don’t know ‘bout Y’all, but the announcement of the Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’s signing plus Symone PageUno” really got me Fired-up for the weekend’s outing, after what I thought was a pretty lackluster season opener. Of course Barber’s a pretty hard track to pass upon, unless there’s some Double-wide, Err Double your Trouble restarts, eh?

So I wasn’t expecting too much from this pretty Sweet class of rookie’s, albeit they performed pretty nicely, as just what does “rookie” status entail? Whale, in my book at least – it implies having started NO more then 3-races in a season, hence Ana Beatriz’s Non-rookie status. Along with the Hamburgular, nee Sebastian Bourdais, whom I believe I heard Kurty Cavin explaining his having prior Ovaltrack experience, albeit brief in Champ Cars excluded him from this status in Indy Cars this season...

Chip Ganassi Racing: No. 83) Charlie Kimball
Start: 21st; Finish: 10th
ICS Starts: 2

“The Nodo Nordisc Kid” comes thru with flying colours in only his second ever BigCarz start... As Kimball was the second highest finishing rookie behind Pagenaud. And not ONLY did Kimball out finish “THE GRAMINATOR,” his vastly experienced “Brownsburg Bunch” Satellite-squad Stable-mate, i.e.; Graham Rahal... He finish one position ahead of some Cat I refer to as the Hamburgular, a.k.a. Sebastian Bourdais. Yuhs know, that four-time consecutive Newman Haas Racing Champ Car Champion! Who managed to keep the Boy Scouts car on the Isle this weekend and follow Charles home in P11...

Start: 26th; Finish: 26th
ICS Starts: 3

Really haven’t heard much about S2 – as he starts Caboose upon the field for the continuously struggling Minnowesqe race team. Sheez, you know you’re struggling when DannaWho out qualifies Yuhs on a Road course, eh? As Saavedra appears to becoming fastly the Milkalicious of 2011? YIKES!

Actually Saavedra had a strange weekend – first trundling Offcourse during qualifying, in Turn-12 I believe... As this action mystified Davey “STUD!” Hamilton during the webcast. Then Sebastian apparently lumbered back to the pits after having done some ‘Agro (Agricultural) work upon the lush, BEAUTY-FULL! BMS grounds... Hey “S2,” haven’t Yuhs heard how the grounds are already immaculately manicured, right?

Hmm? Wonder if Eric Bachelart is ruing his choice of Saavedra vs. Bertrand “Uhm-Uhm Fresh!” (Sandwiches) Baguette, eh?

Dale Coyne Racing: No. 19) James Jakes
Start: 25th; Finish: 25th
ICS Starts: 2

I still really don’t know anything about this driver whom apparently came outta nowhere to buy his ride at the Minnowesqe DCR outfit. As the Englishman had a “Squirrely” race by all accounts, first making a trip thru the Sand Dunes, Err “Kitty-litter,” nee run-off. And then retiring after radioing into his Engineer that his backside felt warm... As the car mysteriously had erupted on fire! Thus Jakes retired immediately upon roastin’ his Acorns...

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: No. 24) Simon Pagenaud
(I/R-Ana Beatriz)
Start: 23rd; Finish: 8th  
ICS Starts: 1

I was very pleased to see “Symone PageUnoe” (Simon Pagenaud) finally make his long overdue IndyCar start, albeit under somewhat dubious circumstances – as the French Sports Cars Ace was standing in for the injured Ana ‘Bia Figarito Beatriz, who ran an most amazingly gutsy race at St Pete while driving nearly the entire race with a broken wrist! (Or fractured scapeloid for those of you technical jargon wordsmiths, albeit I AIN’T gonna spend precious hours “Gogglin’” the term, Jeffie; Hya!)

Although the Brazilian had surgery performed on March 29th, the Twisty demands of BMS were simply too great for her to return prematurely... As I’d hazard a guess she may also sit out Long Beach? (If she was smart...) As obviously ‘Bia will want to be back at 100% for her upcoming Home race in Sao Paolo on May 1st.

But back to “Symone,” who I’ve been a huge fan of, ever since his Champ Car days – where he raced for Derrick Walker’s Team Australia outfit alongside somebody named Will Power... As Symone is blisteringly quick and I’m hopeful he’ll soon become a regular IndyCar fixture, perhaps in 2012, eh? But I digress... As Pagenaud actually had the best race of all “True Bleu” rookies by finishing eighth overall, chasing ‘HULIO all the way to the stripe. Way to GO Simon!

Newman Haas Racing: No. 06) James Hinchcliffe
Start: 8th; Finish: 24th
ICS Starts: 1

Without a doubt, hands down the most impressive rookie of the weekend; at least thru practice and qualifying... Just one of two drivers making their IndyCar debuts, albeit the Mayor ‘O Hinchtown vastly outperformed Pagenaud’s qualifying pace... Although to be fair, I believe it was Pagenaud’s inaugural outing – who had never tested a Big Car before, whilst Hinchcliffe had multiple test days at the Barber’s.

Yet it wasn’t to be ‘Hinch’s day during the race, having first made a “Rookie” mistake by spinning harmlessly on lap-1, before becoming entangled in EJ “What, Me Worry?” Viso’s contretemps with “Simona-Simona.” (de Silvestro) As Good For You Hinch – for laying it out there; NOT mincing any words upon just how you felt ‘bout Viso’s STUPID mistake.... Uhm? Word James! Be careful, Viso owns snakes... Just ask Mr. BRUT Arute-Arute ‘bout that; Hya!

Panther Racing: No. 4) J.R. Hildebrand
Start: 15th; Finish: 13th
ICS Starts: 4

With all the Hoopla for Mwah surrounding Hinchcliffe and Pagenaud, it almost seems like Captain America, a.k.a. J.R. Hildebrand got overlooked, as he’s the latest Indy Lights Champion out of this Quintet, with Pagenaud being the only other ex-Lights Champion of the bunch...

Yet, J.R. too spent some time doing ‘Agro work, along with making friends (and contact) with THE GRAMINATOR, giving The Son ‘O Stash a bent Tie-rod in the process, as I’d haveda admit Hildebrand’s race seemed pretty haggard, albeit he did rebound to finish P15 – which was ahead of somebody named Princess...

 Conquest Racing: No. 34) Sebastian Saavedra