Monday, April 30, 2012

Power dominates while Sato drives the wheels off en route to his first IndyCar podium...

So after everyone played nice for the races opening green flag in Sao Paolo - Will Power once again crushed the competition... As the NBCSN ‘’Boothjockeyz pointed out how infuriating it must be for the ‘Aussie to simply motor away from the competition on primary black sticker tyres vs. ‘Bully-Ray (R. Hunter-Reay) falling behind him on the faster, stickier, gooier alternate ‘Reds; CRIKEYS!

And as much as I enjoyed seein’ Power simply cruise off into the sunset; Whale, at least it didn’t rain down South, eh? I was more intrigued by SFHR’s Joseph Newgarden’s early race pace... Not to mention ‘Taku-san (Takuma Sato) definitely having the drive of the race! As the Japanese pilot drove from P25 to his first-ever Indy Car Series podium with a fine third place finish for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. HELL! ‘Taku even out braked; Err pulled off a fine Kamikaze pass on Dashley LePew (Dario Franchitti) and ‘HULIO (Castroneves) to go from fifth to third in the latter stages of the event.

And how ‘bout that Oriel Servia, eh? Pretty good result for his last time out with the recalcitrant ‘Luddi lump,) Lotus) which reputedly the team had to scramble to repair the motor which had an issue with its oil pan before the race... As Servia finished a fine 11th place, one spot ahead of le ‘Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais; Yeah, I know that 11th & 12th place finishes usually aren’t anything to crow about; BUTT! I’d like to believe that the Lotus-by-Judd ‘Boyz ‘N Girls are getting stronger each race. Now if we can just have 33-cars for Indy...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Penske Racing Museum - Inaugural visit

Whale lookie here folks; Tuh-duh! Another Meisterbrau; Err Masterpiece has managed to escape the tenuous grasp of that all conquering nebulous black hole diabolically known here as the NoFenderz WormHole vortex; Hya! As in honouring El Capitano, aka Roger Penske, Thee Captain an his 40th Anniversary of his debutant Indy 500 victory this May, (Mark Donohue - 1972) thought I’d post this long lost classic (story) in the No Fenders archives - especially whilst I’m playing ‘Ketsup in Der ‘Vurld de Motorsporten Ja-Ja! Having just returned from goin’ round ‘N round in the Dessert...

I vaguely remember copying the following paragraph from the Penske Racing Museum’s website page - which I recall, being semi-difficult to navigate, (and is even WORSE now, as its NOT Screen-reader compatible...) as the following paragraph seems quite quaint now, albeit obviously out-of-date. And although not as magnificent as the IMS Hall of Fame museum, nevertheless - thanxs to my Blogmeister’s willingness to take me their on a yearly basis, not to mention the price is right: “FREE!” It’s Juan ‘O my favourite Arizona hauntz...

“Come celebrate 40 years of winning racing tradition at the Penske Racing Museum.  Located at the new 41 acre North Scottsdale Auto Mall, owned and operated by United Auto Group, Inc.
The Penske Racing Museum celebrates nearly 40 years of the winning tradition of Penske racing, showcasing an amazing collection of vintage race cars, racing trophies, and various racing memorabilia.  The world-class collection at the Penske Racing Museum includes 11 of the 13 Indy 500 winning cars, several NASCAR vehicles, and Indy 500 pace cars.  Drivers featured include Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran of the Indy Racing League, as well as Rusty Wallace and Ryan Newman of NASCAR.”

Faithfully watching Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, during the weekend of the (2005) Phoenix ‘RASSCAR” race, I watched with bemusement as “The Captain” (Roger Penske) stoically defended his newest “Gun.” While being interviewed from his new museum in Scottsdale, AZ, Penske categorically dismissed any rumours that defending “NUTCAR” champion Kurt Busch wouldn’t be taking over Rusty Wallace’s ride next year as planned...

Roger Penske:
“Kurt had a run-in with the Sheriff and we intend to do everything possible to make something positive occur from this unfortunate situation.”

That’s the infamous “Sherriff Joe,” (Arpaio) self-proclaimed “toughest Sherriff in America” - as Roger went on to mention that they had a few of his Indy 500 winners on display and that approx. 50,000 people had been through the museum. Hey! I’m going to be in Scottsdale shortly - for the Turkey Lurkey (Thanksgiving) holiday and I wanna go see I-T and check it out! (As it seems overly ironic to read how Kurt “GFYS!” Busch was thee ‘Captain’s man some 7yrs ago, eh? As I’m much happier with Busch’s replacement, i.e.; A.J. Allmendinger...)

First Museum Tour
(Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005)
Staying at my brother’s ‘Housianda in Scottsdale, Miguel asked: “How do you know about that?” Even more humourous was the fact that it was just 10 minutes (approx.) north of his house.

Entering the parking lot, Miguel spotted a brand new red Ferrari F430 parked outside; this must be the place, eh? After snapping what would become the first of many zillion pictures, (80) we sauntered over to view a “Fly-Yellow” 2002 Maserati Spyder parked next to a 2005 Corvette. The “Maser” was listed at a “kOOL $66.5,” marked down to ONLY $59,900.00.

Before entering the museum I had to get my picture ‘Turr-aken in front of the Ferrari F430. As my brother attempted to take my “mug-shot” the building’s automatic glass doors opened and a woman dressed in a smartly looking blue blazer told us: “If you’re going to take a picture of that car... Then you definitely need to come inside and take a picture of the half million Porsche!” As parked in the showroom’s display window sat NOT “Juan but two of Porsche’s latest Supercar, the Carrera Porsche. (Red, silver; with a $OLD sticker on it)

Walking inside I told the woman that we were just going to the museum. She replied:This is just like the museum except you can BUY these cars...”

Turns out she was the receptionist for the flagship portion of the UAG Arizona (Penske) “Superstore” Auto Mall, the “Used Cars Dept.” We ended up having a pleasant 5-10 minute conversation with her as she sat behind her desk. Standing there while surveying the “Used” cars... She corrected herself by referring to them as “Pre-Owned Cars.” While she was raving about the Bentley they’d just acquired from New York with 17k miles on it, suddenly a sight totally unexpected jumped out at me, as I noticed a brilliant yellow car with twin black stripes on it! Is that a Ford GT, I asked? It sure is she replied... It’s even the preferred colour option; SHEISA!!!

My brother asked her about if she enjoyed her job and what type of clientele frequent the showroom? The majority of our customers aren’t here to buy a car. They already have several. They’re coming here mostly to buy a “TOY.” Usually the Ferrari buyer’s look likes they “Just fell out of bed.” (Was she referring to mwah? Yeah that’s me, Mr. Ferrari buyer, right? In a frumpy sweatshirt and having let my face grown long...)

I wandered over to a lone black Ferrari 360 Modena, and then took a serious look at the Ford GT. What a FREAKIN’ AWESOME car! (Ford definitely hit a HOME RUN with this magnificent re-incarnation of the original GT 40!) As the aura of the Ford GT made me simply pay ZERO attention to the Aston Martin DB9 behind it... As it’d sound even better when we had to drive in behind a black Ford GT at Indy for the ’06 USGP; Aye Karumba!

Then we meandered around two more “garden-variety” Aston Martin’s, a red Ferrari F355 GTS, and a black Lamborghini Gallardo along with a gaggle of four different Ferrari 360 Modena’s.

Can you say: Oh What a Feeling!
As Miguel took a photo of “Juan ‘O” the 360 Modena’s, a salesman entered the showroom. Turning around I noticed he was flaying his arms & legs, saying, “I wanna be in the picture.” When viewing the photo’s on Miguel’s Confuzer the following day, the salesman was caught fully in air doing a perfect Toyota “Oh what a feeling” jump!

Finally we forced ourselves outside to gawk at the purple Bentley Continental GT. What a wild machine... (6.0 liter Twin Turbocharged V-12) Forlornly looking abandoned sat a “Nasty” red 2003 Porsche 911... The Porsche looked menacingly “slammed and ALL business!” And that was before we ever made it to the Racing museum - double SHEISA!!!

Penske Racing Museum
Tearing ourselves away from the “Fanta$y Garage,” we walked next door to the museum. Entering from the rear of the 8,000 square foot building, the very first car to greet us was the magnificent Sunoco Special! Marveling at the AWESOME gleaming Sunoco Blue paint, I couldn’t believe that I was staring at the actual 1972 McLaren M16B that Mark Donohue drove to victory at the Indy 500... This was the first of Roger Penske’s (Record) 13 Indianapolis 500 victories. (This was prior to Sam Hornish’s 2006 & Helio Castroneves ’09 victories. Not to mention some chap named Donald Davidson informing me years later that this Sunoco special was a replica...)

As Miguel began to take a few pictures of the car, another woman in a blue blazer approached us. You may take photos of all of the cars EXCEPT for the Red & White Marlboro cars. Also NO photos of any Marlboro memorabilia on the walls behind the cars or anywhere in the museum... How come, I asked? Because of the possibility of lawsuits; there are countless amounts of litigation occurring over Tobacco sponsorship; as I exclaimed that I was highly disappointed, since part of the whole reason I had come was to take pictures of the “BAD HABBIT$ carZs.”

She replied that most museums wouldn’t even let you take any pictures... My brother countered by saying “Don’t shoot the Messenger.”

Opposite the Sunoco McLaren sat Rusty Wallace’s 2005 “Last Call” Miller Lite Dodge Charger and ‘Pardenerin’ the Dodge was the 1963 Pontiac Catalina that Roger Penske drove to victory in the Riverside 250. What??? Roger Penske won a ‘RASSCAR race? Unbelievable!

The center of the museum featured two rows of four racecars divided by the main aisle. Across from the Rusty “BARK at the MOON” Wallace (Stock Car) ‘Bomber sat the Norton Gould liveried 1981 Penske PC-9B, driven by Bobby Unser. (B. Unser’s 3rd Indy 500 victory) alongside is the bright yellow “Pennzoil Special.” The 1984 March 84C was piloted by Rick Mears.  (Mears 2nd Indy 500 victory) Next is the first of five BAD HABBITZ (Marlboro) chassis. The 1993 Penske PC-22 which garnered “emmaLOe or ‘EMMO” (Emerson Fittipaldi) his second Indy 500 victory... And at the end of “Winner’s Row-1:” was the second banana yellow charger. The 1988 Penske PC-17 piloted by Rick Mears to his third Indy 500 victory.

The “kOOLest” part about this row of Indy winner’s was that these four race car chassis bodywork were removed and hanging above each racecar respectively. As it’s always amazing to look at how these missiles are packaged so compactly!

Directly across from these four cars is the museum’s main entrance, with receptionist desk and three more chassis facing inwards. The woman who’d earlier “scolded us” asked if we’d like to sign the guest register while offering us brochures. A man decorating a large Christmas tree “chimed-in,” asking: Where are you from and how did you hear about the museum? I replied that I’d seen Mr. Penske being interviewed on Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain from this museum.   Yes, the receptionist said: He sat right there at the end of the museum in front of the Miller Lite car.

I mentioned how he was talking about his newest driver (Kurt Busch) who’d had a little trouble with Sheriff Joe of Maricopa County... To which the woman replied: “Lots of people have trouble with Sheriff Joe!”

Moving along towards the three racecars beckoning our attention, quite amazing was the stark contrast between the 1974 Penske PC-1 Formula 1 chassis and the 1977 Penske PC-5 Indycar, parked side by side. The F1 chassis utilized much smaller diameter, wider width tyres compared with the Indycar. Mark Donohue & John Watson drove this F1 chassis, as sadly Donohue died from accident injuries incurred while piloting a Penske F1 car in 1974.
Tom Sneva, ex-school teacher from Spokane, WA, piloted the Norton Spirit PC-5; as Sneva, known as “The Gasman” was a recent co-host of Wind Tunnel, (Robin Miller spins a great yarn about Sneva stealing a school bus when CART traveled to Mexico City in the early 1980’s…) became the first person to qualify above 200mph at Indianapolis aboard this car... And rounding out the row sat the 1979 Penske PC-6 piloted by Rick Mears. (Mears maiden Indy 500 victory)

Perched on an engine stand sat the all-conquering Mercedes Benz 500i “Push-Rod” motor. Taking a page from Donohue’s book: The Unfair Advantage, Penske and Mercedes exploited a loophole for Indy “Stock-Block” engines; with the ‘Merc ‘lump producing 1,024bhp, it was the first engine to claim both pole position and victory in its debut race with Al Unser Jr. decimating the field. (1994) The Speedway promptly banned this engine the following year...

Tucked into a cubbyhole against the wall sat a very impressive three racecar grouping. First was the famous “Spin & Win” chassis. Danny Sullivan spun the 1985 March 85C 360 degrees while attempting to pass race leader Mario Andretti. “Sully” recovered undamaged to win the ’85 Indy 500 upon making his second pass on Mario stick…. This fame led to his cameo appearance on Miami Vice...

Pennzoil racecar with Rick Mears helmet
In the middle was the “Hertz-Doughnut” yellow Cummins Diesel 1987 March 86C piloted by “Big Al” (Al Unser Sr.) to his record tying 4th Indy 500 victory. Interestingly the car had been a show car prior to the “Month of May,” hence being a year old chassis, with the second Bad Habits car filling out the row.

 The 1991 Penske PC-20 piloted by Rick Mears also made history when Mears became only the third driver in history to win four Indy 500’s. An Ilmor-Chevrolet 265A engine accompanied this row of winners, with another left-over Chevy ‘lump (motor) floating about the museum...

The final row of four vehicles was a mixed euphoria, which seems to mirror the current state of open wheel racing. I found myself mesmerized by the beautiful red & white non-Marlboro liveried #68 Dallara IRL chassis. Perhaps it was the side view profile? Or the fact that this car seemed to closely mimic the style of today’s current F1 designs?

Alongside the #68 was the now full Marlboro liveried Dallara also piloted by ‘Hulio Castro-nervous, who drove both Penske Bad Habits cars to consecutive victories in 2001-02.The final race car was the 2003 G-Force driven to victory by Gil de Ferran, garnering Toyota’s first Borg-Warner trophy. What a really “kOOL” sight to see three BAD HABITZ chassis parked together! As I was highly tempted to have Miguel snap an “ILLEGAL” picture of three IRL cars… (Am I LOSING my mind, eh?) Looking absolutely LOST and out of place was the 2003 ‘Chebbie SSR Pace truck at the end of the row. What an absolute WASTE of display space!

Alongside the Sunoco McLaren was the corresponding 1972 Hurst/Olds Cutlass Pace car and a 40% wind tunnel Marlboro Penske Indycar.

Finally walking upstairs, the second floor seemed to lack the luster of downstairs. Situated around a circular hole in the floor sat six wonderful 40% scale wind tunnel replicas of various Indy cars in individual display cases... Along the wall was a small display of trophies, including 2001 F1 Gran Premio Brazilia and 1999 Belgian GP Spa Francorchamps Constructors trophies... (As my sensory-overloaded “64k confuzer” has just figured out that these were the winning Constructors trophies that Ron Dennis accepts on the podium. Ilmor Engineering built the Mercedes Benz F1 engines prior to being “bought-out” by Mercedes)

The far corner featured a triangle shaped room serving as the gift store with various Penske “knick-knacks” for sale, i.e.;  T-shirts, Coffee mugs, etc. (Which weirdly NEVER has any attendants in it whenever I visit! As I guess they want you to do your shopping online?)

These trinkets were interspersed between other various memorabilia, with the most interesting item for sale being a single side front speedway wing section autographed by Sam Hornish Jr. & Castroneves for $1,000.00...

Securely tucked against the wall was a mammoth Vanderbilt Cup trophy engraved with 2000-01 Champion Gil de Ferran. (CART Driver’s Champion) Further along the wall was a Honda “ChumpCarzs” valve cover in recognition of Penske’s 100th Champ Car victory. Also for sale were two Carousel 1/18 diecasts... The newly released 1972 Sunoco Donohue: $140.00; 1-of-3,600 pieces, (My latest acquisition) and a 1976 Cam2 red McLaren hand-signed Mario Andretti for $120.00.

Outside the gift shop resided a lone racecar, the 2004 NASCAR Dodge Intrepid of Ryan Newman, and you could actually touch this car, as it sat without ropes or gates around it. To which I must admit they’re pretty “bad-ass” looking cars, whilst I could only imagine planting my foot on the gas pedal of this 775bhp gorilla, snapping into several doughnuts before smacking the wall! (Sounds like a seen straight out of Days ‘O Blunder with Cole Trickle behind the wheel, right?)

A full-length wall display case is filled with various trophies, including a pair of “Texas-sized” gold plated boots - while for some reason several Monterey Grand Prix (Laguna Seca) winners’ trophies dominated the display case...

Prior to walking back downstairs I spotted the BESTEST! Photograph of Roger Penske I’ve ever seen... (At the head of the stairway) The 6-foot by 4-feet photo captures Penske jubilantly spraying champagne at the camera while celebrating his record 100th Champ Cars victory. The entire team is on one side of Penske all adorning 100 WIN hats, with joyous fans on the other side behind the winning Gil de Ferran chassis. Penske looks so “stoked!” (I want that picture!) 

Returning downstairs to quickly count the number of Indy winners... We counted twelve: With the only chassis MISSING being the 1994 Penske PC-23 Al Unser Jr. car which I assume must be in the brand-new Unser museum in Albuquerque, NM, eh? (As this visit was prior to the ’06 Indy 500...)

Then a quick jaunt outside to the adjoining Land Rover test track, Yep, that’s correct... A “wicked” test track of every off road obstacle imaginable including a waterfall... “Juan” last dash back through the “Used Cars Dept;” Err Pre-owned cars led us back outside for “Juan” last mug-shot beside a black Hummer H2 before forcing ourselves to leave...


I guess I’ve been a “Pe$ke-Basher” for several years… Since Penske always seems ‘Juan ‘O” the team’s to BEAT…  And thus I’d detested Roger Penske’s DEFECTION to ‘lil napoleons (Tony “Ronnie” George) irL (Indy Retirement League) in 2002 and regularly lambasted Rodger’s exploits by spelling his name “Pe$ke” as he happily took Marlboro’s millions on his way back to the Brickyard...

The Captain wrangled Emerson Fittipaldi along with the Marlboro ssponsorship away from Pat Patrick in 1990 as Penske Racing scored three more Bad Habitz speedway victories including Marlboro’s final CART Indy 500 victory in 1994. Al Unser Jr. triumphed from pole.

Going “From Hero to Zero,” Penske’s team was unable to qualify his cars the following year. Yet having sat out five runnings of Indy as a loyal CART owner, Penske returned in 2001 with Non-Marlboro liveried chassis before becoming the first major CART ‘Domo (owner) to jump ship full time to the rival Indy Racing League.

In late 2004 A Penske “penned” Editorial appeared in a prominent East coast newspaper pleading for the reunification of the two rival leagues. Vainly trying to bring “The Split” full-circle, Penske’s effort failed as the two sides seem determined to stay at loggerheads, as ironically Roger was instrumental in forming CART in 1979.

Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) was formed in order to break away from Indy’s United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioning body - as the team owners had felt that they weren’t being treated right... And now Roger was trying to re-incarnate open-wheel racing - as fortunately the two whimpering, warring factions finally reunited in 2008...

Watching Penske’s interview on Wind Tunnel, (some six-plus years ago) I chuckled to myself over how impressed I was by “The Captain,” noting how much of a class act he was and how business ALWAYS comes first.

And on my final day of vacation, after mondo burritos for lunch at Chupatas with Miguel, I found myself back at the museum once again, picking up a few extra brochures. (Which I thought I’d do something clever with - like may be framing ‘Juan?) Of course another “walk-about” was mandatory. This time I noticed that every Indycar had the respective driver’s helmet sitting on the left-hand sidepod.

While checking sponsors of the three yellow “Hertz-Doughnut” chassis, we discussed how the “Spin & Win” Miller Beer March 85C racecar had the most obliquely bulbous square nose! Being totally unique, the nose cone was blunt, unlike the expected pencil sharp pointed noses on the rest of its contemporary speedway brethren - of which I was certain this, was a road course ‘Snauzage. (As I seem to recall that I did learn that the Indy configuration was indeed different...)

Also noted was the severe “lowness” of the Penske PC-20. This chassis had the lowest ground clearance of all the Indy cars present. It appeared to have approx. one-inch ground clearance from the nose to the start of the cockpit before transitioning to two-inches approx.

Once again talking to the museum’s staff, my “eagle-eyed” brother inquired; where is the Donohue Porsche RSR IROC car shown in the brochure? To which we were informed that the car had just left last week when the Sneva car arrived after its restoration... It’s currently being displayed in the new ALMS shop.
(Penske’s main facility: Penske South in Mooresville, NC, alongside the 225,000 sq. ft. NASCAR operation) Oh, you mean the LMP2 Prototype? Yes, the DHL car. (As this was prior to Penske Racing relocating the Indy Car operation from Reading, PA and consolidating Operations in Mooresville...)

Penske will campaign the entire 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season with a pair of Porsche RS Spyders after winning the LMP2 category during its debut at the Laguna Seca season finale. (“Juan” can only speculate that this will eventually lead to Porsche’s return to Lemans for overall victory in the LMP1 category, eh?) Porsche plans to have Penske build and sell RS Spyder’s to wealthy “privateer” teams beginning in 2007 with a projected base price of $1.25 million… (Approx. four times the cost of a Porsche 911 GT3!)

Once again, Miguel commented how it just didn’t feel right to be climbing back into his “daily driver.” Look, they moved the Ferrari. (F430) Asking is that the same black Lamborghini we saw yesterday? Yeah, it must be... Look at that car, it’s freaking AWESOME!

Pulling up to the “Lot-Jockey” Miguel asked him if that was the same car that was inside yesterday? Yes, he replied while casually polishing a fender. Then he climbed inside and started the Lambo.BBBURRAPPP- BBBURRAPPP- BBBURRAPPP-VROOMMMMMMMMMM....... As the Gallardo sat idling, we watched with shear humility as he drove back inside the dealership. SHEISA!!! I want that job... “I’ll just be gone for about one-our while I go down the street to get some petrol!”

I was TOTALLY blown away by this AWESOME museum nestled inside the LARGEST MEGA Auto dealership I’ve ever been too - with the museum exuding typical Penske perfection.

The funniest part of my first two visits before flying home was that after my sentimental favourite (the 1972 Sunoco Donohue McLaren) I could NOT quit marveling, gawking and commenting how AWESOME the 2001 Dallara IRL chassis looked... SHEISA!!!

Although I still despised the ‘irL - which I promptly nicknamed the inDEE retirement League, and ALL of the “Heavy-Hitter’s” (Ganassi, Rahal, Fernandes, etc) who DEFECTED from the sinking ship (CART ) to follow Penske’s example of switching leagues, I still applauded Champ Cars resurgence circa ’05 - refusing to admit that NOBODY beats Indianapolis... Although it seemed pathetic that the two rival leagues would both be running chassis built by the same raceing car manufacture in 2007, (Panoz) while this year (2005) both series will be powered by single-source engine suppliers (Cosworth: Champ Car World Series, Honda: Indy Racing League) Thus, It sure would be nice if ‘lil napoleon & The Three Musketeers’ could return to the “Glory Days of the mid-1980’s & early ‘90’s. “Can you say “Consolidation?”

Shortly the UGLY DUCKLING’S of Sports Car racing (Grand Am: endorsed by ‘RASSCAR, hey! NOT only were they members; BUTT! They liked the series so much that they bought I-T! (France family) will launch the 2006 Motorsports season with another running of the Rolex 24. (Daytona 24hrs)
With the DREADED start of another SPN-CAR season waiting to rear it’s Godzilla-like girth upon “mainstream America” beginning at Daytona in February, SPEED will soon revert back to it’s 800+ hour weekly allegiance ‘O Roundly-Round…
The Open-Wheel Feud looks set to continue once again with a new wrinkle. PKV & Rocketsports Racing have both tested Katherine Legge in winter tests at Sebring recently. Legge, whom unlike Danica Patrick, WON a race last year in Toyota Atlantic’s…Look for the “Battle of the Sexes” to heat up when the “Cheeky Brit” Katherine takes on Danica.

Can you say “Cat-Fight - Meow...?

Old School Chevrolet Ilmor 2.65-liter V-8 turbocharged CART engine

Fall, 2005: PRM-Cars on Display

This is the list of vehicles I noted  whilst making my debutant visit to The Captain’s Cathedral ‘O Speed - which the vehicles on display has changed over the years since, albeit the Indy Cars, Formula 1 & engines remain the same - their locations do tend to change..
1963 Pontiac Catalina: 421 cid Pontiac Super Duty V-8

2004 Dodge Intrepid: 358 cid Dodge V-8; 775bhp

2005 Dodge Charger: 358 cid Dodge V-8; 800bhp

Pace Vehicles

1972 Hurst Oldsmobile Cutlass: 455cid V-8; 300bhp

2003 ‘Chebbie SSR Pacetruck: 5.3 liter V-8; 300bhp


Mercedes Benz 500I V-8
Ilmor Chevy 265A V-8
Ilmor-Chevy 265(?) V-8

Indy cars
1972 McLaren M16B

Turbocharged Drake-Offenhauser Inline 4; 850bhp @ 9,000RPM

1977 Penske PC-5
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 800bhp @ 9,000RPM
1979 Penske PC-6
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 800bhp @ 9,000RPM
1981 Penske PC-9B
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 600bhp @ 9,800RPM
1984 March 84C
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 700bhp @ 10,000RPM
1985 Penske March 85C
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 700bhp @ 10,000RPM
1987 Penske March 86C
2.65 liter Turbocharged Cosworth DFX V-8; 700bhp @ 10,000RPM
1988 Penske PC-17
2.65 liter Turbocharged Ilmor-Chevy V-8; 720bhp @ 11,000RPM
1991 Penske PC-20
2.65 liter Turbocharged Ilmor-Chevy V-8; 720bhp @ 11,000RPM
1993 Penske PC-22
2.65 liter Turbocharged Ilmor-Chevy V-8; 720bhp @ 11,000RPM
2001 Dallara IR1
3.5 liter Ilmor Oldsmobile Aurora Indy V-8; 675bhp @ 10,700RPM
2002 Dallara IR2
3.5 liter Ilmor Chevy Indy V-8; 675bhp @ 10,700RPM
2003 G-Force GF3
3.5 liter Toyota Indy V-8; 675bhp @ 10,300RPM

Formula 1
1974 Penske PC-1: 3.0 liter Cosworth- Ford V-8; 450bhp @ 10,000RPM

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vintage racing Films now showing in the Flagroom...

This racing story comes from Indianapolis courtesy of ‘Offical No Fenders Photographer ‘CARPETS...

Last Thursday evening I went by the Flag Room, a well known watering hole & eatery nearby the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - where Barb Hellyer has started showing old racing movies in there on Thursday nights.

Barb grew up with racing in Pennsylvania. She worked for A.J. Foyt, USAC, NHRA, Indianapolis Raceway Park, and who knows how many other places.  Last Thursday night the movies featured Sprint cars and tracks around the country. Some went back as far as 1929 but most were 1960's-70's.

One of the tracks was Jungle Park here in Indiana; where two of the turns were dirt with the other two being asphalt. Drivers such as “Super Tex,” (Foyt) Mario, (Andretti) ‘Gordie, ( Gordon Johncock) “Lone Star JR,” (Johnny Rutherford) Lee Kunzman, Pancho Carter and Eddie Sach's were some of the starting field there... Can you imagine today's IndyCar drivers doing that?

Seated at the table with us was Johnny Parsons, Jr. and it was pretty cool listening to him and Barb tell about the different tracks.  I’ll be going back this Thursday evening.

So if you’re looking for something to do in Speedway, Indiana this coming Thursday night, then you may want to check out this event - as I’m assuming it starts sometime around 7PM Eastern? *Although I don’t know the specifics...)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bahraini Kingdom sweeps Nations divide underneath rug as F1 Sells Out - Again...

For those of Y’all who read my ‘lil ‘BLOB thingy frequently... Then you’ll know that I’ve been highly opposed towards Formula 1’s return to the Kingdom of Bahrain this year - and have vowed to not give the race any coverage in any way as I think it’s a pitiful excuse by Uncle Bernaughty - wishing to simply line his pockets whilst letting the Monarchy’s ruler use the event as a thinly guised veil for bringing Democracy to their theifdom! As surely Mr. Ecclestone will be front ‘N center at the event; I mean after all Bernard, its just 10-or-15 young lads tossing firecrackers about, right?

As why does an ominous cloud form above Mwah - making me flashback to another of life’s ironies, as I attended my debutant Grand Prix in The Valley of the Sun; the Iceberg Grand Prix on June 4, 1989, While halfway around the world a different race of sorts was occurring... Although nobody seems to wish to talk about it, as the ironies trice - since the GROTESQUE MASSACRE of civilians was occurring in China’s Tiananmen Square... You know where Marshal Law was enacted over the city of Beijing as countless soldiers repeatedly opened fire upon hundreds of civilians which ended in an obscene number of KILLINGS! (The irony being my scribbling this upon the Chinese Grand Prix weekend taking place in Shanghai...)

Thus, perhaps it was some sort of karma? Without having planned I-T! I’m magically away in The Valley of the Sun partaking in some fun-in-duh Sun; Crikeys Mates - its HOT here!

As I understand the basic guise of Capitalism and the need to squeeze out every red cent from willing victims; Err Nations wishing to host a Grand Prix; NOT to mention wallpapering over a countries problems publicly - in hopes of FOOLING the Camera Eye that ALL is well, there’s nothing to see here, so go about your business... As business is very very good indeed, Sir!

BUTT! This is simply the first time ever that I can recall purposely REFUSING to watch or attend a Formula 1 event since I began my F1 odyssey 26 years ago!

And although I’ve missed a few over the years due to being on Holiday; most notably the 1994 San Marino GP when I was in Los Wages instead - attending the final installment of POCA’s (Pantera Owners Club of America) ‘Mega event on the (Old) Strip, nee Freemont St and the 2005 USGP whilst watching ‘Shorty (Cristiano da Matta) win his final Open Wheel Racing victory at Portland Int’l Raceway...

Nevertheless, whilst I’ll be sucking in ‘Somme fine petrol fumes, not to mention hot metals, warm fluids and burnt rubber in Avondale, I will NOT be watching the F1 circus this weekend!

As really Mr. Ecclestone, how much is it worth financially to you for the single life of anyone participating in your F1 Circus show - as how much will you pay for the possibility of some ‘lowly Hispania or Marussia’s mechanics death? Or that of some devoted journalist, reporter or photographer covering the event in order to ultimately line your wallet, not to mention the life’s of Bahrain citizens...

Friday, April 20, 2012

No Fenders on Formula 1 TV Strike...

Although in years past I’ve sat up until the ‘Wee hours of the morning watching a rain delayed Korean Grand Prix amongst others from the Valley of the Sun whilst on Holiday - yet I will do NO such thing this weekend, in regards to the GLASTMACY of the Kingdom’s rulers & Uncle Bernaughty’s unscrupulous desires to ram thru the Bahrain GP - in hopes of pulling the proverbial wool over us whilst bringing Democracy to Bahrain; NYET!

As I firmly believe that Abdulhadi al-Khawaja’s recent transfer to a military hospital was done solely to feed him intravenously in order to keep him alive until after the glorious Grand Prix show has concluded, as I’ve never heard of Mr. Ecclestone’s picture being burned publicly to denounce the grotesqueness of Formula 1 - primarily its leader. Nor have I ever read before a picture caption that said F1 - racing on the blood of Martyrs... Hence, I’ll leave you with this most concise editorial to ponder the fait of hosting an F1 race in a country under political quagmire; NOT to mention the countless civilian DEATHS!

Bahrain Grand Prix: Formula One demeans itself with this event

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Off to a Left-turn adventure in the Desert...

So I’ll let Y’all ponder that awhile, as I’m certain I’ll be dually Harangued by everyone, especially my few remaining Open Wheel Racing friends & family members once I ‘Officaly let my adventure outta duh bag... As all I can say is its gotz ‘Somme-thun to do with turnin’ left! As I’ll be makin’ a return to a certain Oval track in Avondale, Arizona this weekend for the first time in 14-years; as this is Artiste Dave’s affair, who assures Mwah that we’ll russle up some darn good Yarn ‘bout Me and The King to post upon my return...

Formula 1 rewind?

In a story to be told at a later date... I missed the past weekend’s Chinese GP - which I’d intended to watch the SPEED replay Tuesday morning at 9AM Pacific, ‘cause I made the goofy decision to record the Long Beach Grand Prix instead, since I wouldn’t be able to make it back home before the Monday afternoon replay began.

Does anybody know if SPEED or Comcast archive the Grand Prix’s for watching at a later date? As I’d ‘LUV to see “Brittany” win his debutant Grand Prix race after six years of trying...

Please leave me a comment if you know the answer to this?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Woody’s returning to Le Mans

It’s funny to think I learned this ‘lil tidbit via thee Mole - who I think I actually know who he is; BUTT! Y’all know that indelible saying: If Ayes Tells Yuhs, I’ll Haveda KILL Yuhs, right?

Yet, what better way to KILL two Birds with ‘Juan stone; Whale, actually its three birdies now - or perhaps more likely bogeys; can you say FOUR Tiger! Err, cobble three somewhat intertwined stories into one, with the news that that semi iconic marque, i.e.; Morgan - thee maker of those legendary three wheeler “Woody’s” is returning to Le Mans 50yrs after its last class victory.

As the English concern will return to le Circuit de la Sarthe this June with Oak-Pescarolo LMP2 based chassis propelled by Judd engines which will be called Morgan’s.

As its funny how I’ve never been a fan of Morgan’s - I suppose mostly because of my distaste towards those Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang wooden lookin’ antiquated three-wheelers... Yet I found the following obituary, albeit a ‘Wee bit old now, in regards to the late Chris Lawrence - who I’d never heard of before; ironically the father of that Morgan +4 that won its lemans class a half century ago along with spearheading Morgan’s latest Lemans adventures to be most interesting, as I’d also never heard of the Aero-8 project...

All of which tied in nicely with The Mole’s smattering of news leaking Morgan’s return to le Sarthe nicely... and the ‘Co-inky-dences continued on when forlorned IndyCar team owner Eric Bachelart announced not only his switch to the American Le Mans Series this year, but also that he’d be the official North American Oak- Pescarolo importer.

Yet the Conquest Racing Endurance press release recently sent to the No Fenders mailbox - a Q+A session with Messer Bachelart noted how they’d barely had any time to prepare the car for Sebring upon its only arriving days prior... Although the Morgan teams did manage a shock Pole position for their World Endurance Championship class, along with a spot upon their respective podium.

And now comes word that Bachelart will provide assistance to Andretti Autosports fifth-wheel; Err fifth team entry for this year’s Indianapolis 500 with ‘BIA, aka Ana Beatriz behind the wheel. Hmm? Could this be a step towards Bachelart realigning himself with Chevrolet in the future for Martin ‘Plowie Plowman, a la  Ryan Briscoe & Simon Pagenaud’s Sports Cars sojourns pre-Indy Car? Or is it just another way of Bachelart keeping his crew together until more Lotus ‘lumps are produced; after all the Morgan’s are running Judd’s - the very same producer of the lamented Loti IndyCar ‘lumps...

Friday, April 13, 2012

F1: South American squabble?

Prior to the start of this year’s Grand Prix season, I had an entertaining conversation with Indiana Bureau Chief Daniel Banes Cooper who inquired is Bruno Senna simply living off of his Surname? And what are his credentials to merit his inclusion into Formula 1. And thus, it seems somewhat fitting that I’m finally posting the story on Friday the 13th; Hya!

World Champions
Fernando Alonso; Jenson Button; Lewis Hamilton; Kimi Raikkonen; Michael Schumacher; Sebastian Vettel.

Race Winners
Heikki Kovalainen; Felipe Massa; Mark Webber.

And while much fuss has been made over the fact that we’ll have six World Champions on the grid for  the first time in history; one-quarter of the grid, we’ll also have six Paying drivers - which equally represents one-fourth of the competitors...

Pay Drivers
Pastor Maldonado, $29.5m; Vitaly Petrov and Bruno Senna $12m apiece; Sergio Perez 7.5-10m(?) and Narain Karthikeyan and rookie Charles Pic at $5m apiece. (All figures in British Pounds currency)

Thus my immediate reply was that Bruno has won races in the Ferrari Challenge and GP2 - along with finishing runner-up to 2008 GP2 Champion Giorgio Pantano, who has not been seen since trying to kick start his Open Wheel Racing career in Indy Cars in 2011 with a few paid outings... As Pantano was trying to make the switch a la ‘Rubino this year - so I’m not sure how much of an endorsement that is for Senna?

Yet don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked Bruno since his GP2 days and it’s not like he exactly had decent machinery to contest his rookie campaign in Formula 1 when struggling behind the wheel of the Hispania. Nor was last seasons replacement drive at Lotus-Renault GP spectacular. Yet once again they had the only fire breathin’ front exhaust blown chassis on the grid - which the team has gleefully discarded this year and thus, I’d haveda say the verdict’s still out upon the young Brazilian.

Yet I find it ironic that it was Bruno bumpin ‘N bangin wheels with countryman Felipe Massa in the recalcitrant Ferrari F2012 Down Under in Melbourne, as we all know that Felipe isn’t that bad of a driver to be fumbling ‘round at the tail end of the grid... As I’m sick ‘N tired of hearing all of the scuttlebutt over how Massa’s days at la Scuderia are numbered, potentially seeing Mexico’s Sergio Perez as his replacement. As I winced even harder at the suggestions in an AP story about Perez being compared to El Magnifico, nee Ayrton Senna - which the sophomore Sauber F1 driver wisely played down...

Yet Danny’s question strikes me as funny, since why didn’t he question Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado’s involvement - who’s seat at Team Willy comes courteous of his countries national Oil company PDVSA - who reportedly have written the biggest cheque amongst the known “Paying” drivers - as I’d assume there are others on the grid who’ve needed to bring some sort of personal finances along?

And the even funnier part is that while Maldonado’s credentials are better - being the reigning GP2 Champion, along with potentially outperforming Senna. Nevertheless, its Bruno who’s scored more Grand Prix points for Williams to date capped with his excellent sixth place finish in the wet-dry Sepang affair...

And I’m a huge fan of both Sergio and Felipe, having liked the latter since his Sauber days prior to becoming DER TERMINATOR’s (M. Schumacher) teammate at Ferrari. Yet, does one race simply make a driver? As it’ll be entertaining to see how the young Mexicali does in Shanghai, eh? Albeit Perez seems to be more masterful with conserving his Pirelli rubber then Massa does.

And I know Formula One is a cruel world with NO time for coddling drivers, teams, etc, yet I feel that Scuderia Ferrari is partly to blame for Massa’s demise - having effectively kicked him in the groin at Hockenheim in 2010 by ordering him to PULL OVER for Ferdi-the-Putz; you know that infamous radio call:

“Fernando is FASTER then You; can you please confirm…”

To which I see that “Willie Buxom” (Will Buxton) got into quite a lather over some Bloggerheads chortling on ‘bout the “coded” radio call for Sergio to be careful when running behind eventual Malaysia winner Alonso’s Ferrari... To which I simply ignored, as I took the DELAYED radio call to simply remind him to NOT throw the position away or make any stupid overtaking attempts upon Fernando... Zip, nada, bingo! END of story; as in you can pass him - just simply don’t crash both cars out…

Thus is Bruno worthy of a Grand Prix drive? ABSOLUTELY! As in NO disrespect; BUTT! If the “Speediest Indian” (Karthikeyan) and Monsieur Pic are worthy of rides, then by all means is Bruno, as after all there’s a reason they call it the Pinnacle of Motorsport; not to mention being the aspirations of thousands of drivers over the past six-decades...

And while many have purchased their ways into the sport, I still suggest that even a paying driver needs to have the requisite skills to pilot said Landsharks or they’ll be nothing more then footnotes in Grand Prix history, and can even prove detrimental to their teams long-term viability. As how many F1 Constructors have crashed ‘N burned do to the inability of these paying chauffeurs to score points whilst crashing exorbitant amounts of machinery?

As why does the KV Racing Technology team and its Venezuelan driver EJ “What, Me Worry?” Viso come to mind. You know the IndyCar team that wrecked some 35+ chassis last year...