Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat?

While all Yuh Gouls ‘N Goblins are Out ‘N Aboot this Halloween night, thought I’d leave Y’all a little surprise...

Bahrain imposes Ban upon All Public gatherings...

Yeah, I know... Especially as the east coast digs itself out from underneath Hurricane Sandy’s destruction; Hmm? Wonder if it did any damage to the Palisades?

Yet I awoke to the news that the tiny Persian gulf Kingdom has just imposed a total ban upon any public gatherings, i.e.; rallies or demonstrations - which seemingly flies in the face of what the FIA and Uncle Bernaughty portrayed as a modern, stable republic in which the Grand Prix must go on...

And I find it somewhat ironic that I heard the story the same day I’m posting my political rant regarding Bahrain and the fine folks at McLaren, just coincidence I suppose... Which will make me struggle further since I’m a huge fan of Sergio’s!

Lamenting Motorsports – Part 1

So it’s that time again... And although it feels like Groundhog Day, that ain’t I-T! NOPE, it’s none other than EEE EEK! E ‘lection (election) time; SIGH... As why are those really corny ‘Lectric Shave commercials coming to mind right now, eh?

Thus, I’ve been sitting on this for an ultra long time now, originally not planning to post it; yet Mary Ellen said why are you afraid to publish it? So what if its NOT a motor racing story per sei, and thus, in honour of this years STUPENDOUS election, I’ve decided to rescue this ‘Mega four-part harmony; Err 4-part story from the nebulous grip of the Death Star known here fondly as the NoFenderz Wormhole Vortex...

 Adelaide, 2011
In a distant galaxy far, far, away - where foreign dignitaries run scared whilst trying to appease Lord Bernard by kissing his feet and worshiping the ground he walks upon... A  wandering ‘vurd Botcherer named Tomaso was freely roaming the city confines of Melbourne, Australia aided mightily by his excellent Sheppard Jake ‘V8...

Yeah, I know I should feel immensely privileged to have just been fortuitous enough to circumnavigate the Globe this past Saint Pattie’s Day and partake in not one but two different racing series. (Having attended my debutant ‘Aussie V8 Supercars race in Adelaide before attending the Australian GP...) Yet unfortunately I must confess that I have been feeling very conflicted about this ever since having purchased my airplane tickets; not over the great company I got to revel in, but the current geopolitical state of “Mesopotamia” we’re still stuck in, most notably the horrendous events occurring in the tiny Island Kingdom known as Bahrain.

About three weeks out from my departure – I was thinking I’d get a spiffy new F1 Constructors T-shirt to model at Albert Park, which has become my Modus Operandi for “Looking sharp” these days. Purusing my speedgear catalog, I’d originally wanted to get some Lotus Racing (Team Lotus 2.0) garb, since as Y’all may know, I’ve become a ‘Mega Fernandes/Gascoyne supporter vs. ‘BaharBoy and the Group Lotus Gorillas, but I digress. As I have NO idea what the latest status upon their legal squabble is...

(‘whale, actually we know that it was settled in Fernandez favour, whom Group Lotus appeased by giving him a stake in the Malaysian National Airlines in order to revert to just one Lotus Team on the grid in 2012, with Fernandez now running his squad as Caterham instead...)

(Although we now know that ‘DizzyD (Dany Bahar) has since been fired and subsequently sued the new owners of Group Lotus for $11m while alleging wrongful termination - as I have NO idea how that lawsuit’s working out Mr. Bahar? Which hopefully the Judges will throw out before going to trial...)

Thus I was overly unimpressed by the lone (2011) Lotus Racing T-shirt offering on hand, which looked way too simpleton to me; GASP! Simply trying to make a buck? As it seems a little more creativity could have been put into it. And thus, my heir apparent choice was a swoopy looking McLaren T-shirt. Yet the only problem with this was that it had Vodafone emblazoned in large letters upon the shirts front. And yeah, I know they’re the team’s title sponsor, but you see; at the moment I’m miffed with Vodafone for their complicity upon turning off their 28.2-million mobile subscriber’s service in Egypt during the uprising against Hosni Mubarak! (Although I understand this was premeditated by the Egyptian Government who also blocked France’s 30-million Telecom SA subscribers from access too...)

Yet in fact this feeling ran so deep that I couldn’t consciously make myself post the really cool/nutty Vodafone ticket sales promo sent to the No Fenders mailbox, which features Lewis and Jenson primping for the camera in a funny video episode. (And all of this was before we even get to Bahrain’s uprising...)

Yet on top of this I simply cannot bring myself to purchasing said Team McLaren T-Shirt which would find me ‘Pimping for Vodafone and thus instead will go retro with my mothballed (mothballs?) Benetton World Champions tee instead. (‘Whale, actually, you’re welcome IMS, as I sported my ’09 Indy 500 polo instead...)

But what I’m feeling most conflicted about is having attended the Cx 500 supercars race on the very same day when instead I should have been in Washington DC alongside Clyde & Karl passively protesting The Obama Regime’s continuing occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq; on the Anniversary of the latest Iraq invasion – March 19, 2003.

Typically I would at least be in Downtown Seattle at Westlake Centre participating in the yearly ANTI-WAR Rally/Demonstration – not to mention listening to my favourite political DJ Mike Malloy’s yearly playing of the 8-9 minute soundtrack of the  Shock ‘N Awe Bombardment that fateful day!

And I’m assuming Clyde & Karl’s weekend in the Nation’s Capitol transpired much better then the time before, when we traveled from Austin to Washington DC in 48hrs nonstop for said Anti-War Rally ‘Circa 2008, only to learn that it had been cancelled when we arrived; SHEISA!

Thus it seems very contradictory to be enjoying the sights, sounds and smells associated with burning rubber and race petrol – which appears to be at the very heart of our continued occupation of Iraq. Not to mention just think what Mr. Obama could do by spending just a third of his record $725-billion fiscal 2011 appropriation; (surpassing his record ’09 Military expenditure...) yeah B as in BILLION (annual) Pentagon Defense Budget on the social Infrastructure of the United States instead...

And that’s NOT even mentioning the President’s total absence from Madison, Wisconsin and the people who duly elected him – as Barack Hussein Obama was busy watching a basketball game the same night that Dirty-pool politics were being carried out in the Wisconsin State Rotunda, as the President, on our dime can fly all the way to Egypt to promote Democracy to the public but can’t make a Pitstop in Madison – WTF?

Hence, perhaps you can see how I’m having a hard time being overly enthused by Motorsports at the moment, eh?

Why do we build the Wall?
We build the Wall to keep us Free
We build the Wall to keep out the Enemy
That’s why we build the Wall...

But who do we call the Enemy?
The Enemy is Poverty
Which is why we build the Wall
To keep us Free

But how does the Wall keep out the Enemy?
By keeping those who have from those who have not
Because they want what we have
That’s why we build the Wall to keep out the Enemy
We build the Wall to keep us Free...
(Lyrics: Anais Mitchell: Hadestown, 2010)

To continue reading, see; Lamenting Motorsports – Part 2

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sayonara Doctor Who...

Receiving another Brickyard brick for fastest speed ever at Indianapolis. From left to right, are Jean Alesi, David Byrd (son of the late Jonathan Byrd), Tim Wardrop and Arie Luyendyk. (Source:
So I got the call from ‘CARPETS around 5PM yesterday - telling me that ‘Doctor Who had died over the weekend; SHEISA! As for those of Y’all who don’t know who that is, his name was Tim Wardrop and he claimed fame as the Flying Dutchman’s (Arie Luyendyk) Indianapolis 500 race winning engineer, amongst other Indy 500 victories...

As IndyStar’s Curt Cavin tweeted the following Monday.

@curtcavin: “The great #IndyCar engineer Tim Wardrop died over the weekend. Was IndyCar's car doctor. Really knew Indy, won with Arie.”

I first met Messer Wardrop ‘Wayback in Twenty-O-seven, appropriately at the Flagroom bar, where I was introduced. Tim was super easy going and willing to engage me in conversation, as we ended up having a great chat about all things motorsports; primarily Formula 1 before saying our farewells, which I tried chronicling in:

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information about Tim readily available, albeit I did run across somewhere that he’d worked for Newman Haas Racing on Bruno Junqueira’s 2004 Indy 500 assault as race engineer - reputedly coming within 10-minutes of winning...

Mark Shamberger, Tim Wardrop, Jim McGee and Bruno Junqueira pose with Newman Haas Racing’s 2004 Indy 500 entry. Photo by Anne Proffit. (Source:
And as I previously scribbled; Wardrop was Willy T Ribbs Indy 500 engineer some two-plus decades ago, while Tim also alluded to working for Ganassi during Juan Pablo Montoya’s reign at Indy.

Yet for me, Tim was the quintessential Englishman, always nattily attired and containing an enormous amount of dry British wit, while always being a true gentleman to me. As he was always willing to talk to me, never tired of my asking silly racing questions and gave me rare insights into the world of Indy Cars I could never see...

As I still chuckle over the story of Willy T introducing him to Bill Cosby and Tim in his typical British witticism saying “I loved your song White Christmas...” Bing Crosby, Bill Cosby; you say tomato, I say toe-mato; Hya!

I last saw Tim this May naturally at the Speedway, first on Thursday night when he was busy hangin’ out with Buddy Lazier and another motorsports cat. As I still laugh at myself interjecting F1 answers into Tim & Buddy’s conversation; then the following day - Carb Day, Tim joined us late afternoon and gave us a frank assessment of just how terribly bad the ‘Luddi-lump (Lotus) was, by claiming it was extremely horsepower deficient! And we pressed him on how working with Jean Alesi was, which Tim was overly positive about - claiming the guy’s a real racer.

As I’ll never forget asking Tim how he thought Alesi would feel about attending a Last Row Party? Which Tim replied in his typical wit; what’s that? Before he decided he’d better go investigate. After all, as Fan Force United’s Chief Engineer he needed to keep up appearances, right?

As somehow I’m guessing that Tim Wardrop was a “throwback” engineer, having worked for a multitude of Indy Cars and Indy Lights teams, along with having been involved in the 2012 IndyCar chassis design contest with BAT, which I thought was a great looking design; I truly wish I could have written a book with him about all of his IndyCar travails, albeit I’m not sure how many could have been printed! As the following story seems somewhat typical of Tim, who’d somehow lost his Brickyard brick...

Fan Force United: Interlude

Monday, October 29, 2012

Bernard Bucked from IndyCar...

Bucking bronco rider in action at rodeo, Strathmore, Alberta, Canada. (Source:
Yeah, I know Y’all are looking for some riveting recap upon the announcement heard ‘round the Open wheel Racing world last night... As I first heard the news on Speed Centre yesterday afternoon, albeit there seems to be some sort of weird pecking order, as the “Breaking News” upon IndyCar came second after you guessed I-T! The latest race in ‘RASSCARLAND’s Chase; BARF!

And it was funny how I wasn’t even shocked or surprised to hear that Randy “The CandyMann” Bernard had been fired, dismissed  or resigned; take your choice - as CEO of the Indy Car Series immediately, especially since NOBODY at Hulman & Co, especially Jeffery “the Walrus” Belskus didn’t have his back since last June...

NO, I was mostly just genuinely mystified; WTF? What in thee HELL is going on at the board of Hulman & Company? As seriously? You’re gonna throw away three years of life support recessitation by a brash, young, new Bull rider? 

Thus, I awaited Robin Miller’s interview on Wind Tunnel, which seemed pretty lame, since it was just a short call-in segment once again followed after you guessed I-T! ‘RASSCAR’s CEO Mike Helton co-hosting the first half hour and pooh-poohing NASCAR’s anemic concussion policy...

Then I waited ‘N waited to hear what The Freaks’ had to say about I-T! As first my usual Sports Byline web link wasn’t working again. Spent copious amounts of time trying to find another source via the Speed Freaks affiliate page and stumbled into the middle of Curt Cavin’s interview which the BLEEPIN’ FOX station in Grand Rapids, Michigan interrupted with a weather/hurricane update; URGH! Thus I waited for the 3hr; HEY! May be that should become Indy Cars new theme song, i.e.; Gilligan’s Island, as I definitely feel like we’re on a Three Hour cruise! As there sure AI’T NO Freakin’ Skipper at the helm right now, right? As I only wish that Mr. Belskus could stomach up the courage to rationally explain the Board’s decision; Chirp-Chirp! Is this thingy on?

As I got to hear the entire Cavin interview wrapping up around 10:30PM Pacific - which was all in a vain attempt to add my two-pesos worth contribution to Ye ‘blogosphere, which naturally all of the east coast Bloggaratzi had beaten me to the punch upon...

As I don’t know ‘bout Y’all; BUTT! First, not one, but two top ranking officials, nee ‘TG & Bernard are fired within nine days of each other... And secondly, who in their right mind would want to become the next CEO of Indy Cars? Because if its some shining light like ‘Ol BillyBob Brazenheartz, (Brian Barnhart) Terry “Whereas duh Beef” Angstadt or any other YES-man, then perhaps its time to cue up the old Disco Ball, turn on the bubble machine, join in a rousing hand of ‘Ol crooner Dandy don’s “turn OUT the Lights, the party’s  OVER!” And throw in thee towel...

As I don’t know ‘bout Y’all; BUTT! I’ve already lived thru one Split, and I don’t wanna go down that road a second time, as I’m too embarrassed right now to say I’m an IndyCar Fan! NOT to mention how long I’ve adored Open wheel Racing stateside... As perhaps David Hobbs summed it up best by noting how IndyCar has a longstanding tendency to machine-gun themselves in the foot when it comes to leadership!

Thus I really have nothing more to say on the matter other than:

As surely we’re the laughing stock of motor racing right now! And we’re gonna send in Barney Fife to clean up the mess? Oh, where’s Sergeant Schultz when Yuhs needs him, as in: I KNOW NOTHING!

As the part I found funniest; Ha-Ha? Was how in Curt Cavin’s IndyStar piece above the very first link my screen-reader came upon was an advertisement to BUY tickets for Indy Cars; WTF? Why in the HE-Double Hockey Sticks would I wanna buy tickets for this Gong Show! Not to mention becoming a potential sponsor of the series? I mean talk about the Cult of Negativity; Oh Never Mind!

SPEED FREAKS: Curt Cavin interview

2012 Indian GP Tidbits

Although the race was a bit anti-climatic, it certainly didn’t lack for drama, but more about that later; as I found ‘Wee Willie Buxom’s (Will Buxton) comments at the opening of Friday’s FP2 on SPEED priceless...

Our intrepid SPEED Pitlane reporter noted how Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) wasn’t sporting a new paint scheme helmet this weekend  after having ordered a Felix Baumgartner replica motif - to which Will said the painters had come back with a Zsolt Baumgartner motif instead! Which had me rolling in laughter; as for those of you unaware of this mostly forgotten Gran Primo Piloto, he’s the only Hungarian to date to race in F1. Having first filled in for the injured Ralph Firman at Jordan and then racing another season at the cash strapped minnowesqe Minardi concern in 2004.

Buxton then followed this up with another zinger saying when asking the Iceman (Raikkonen) how he liked the food in India, Kimi replied in his now ‘legendous Icelandic Kimi-ease: “It tastes just like it does in Europe;” Hooha! Thus its good news that Lotus has just confirmed thee ‘Kimster’s return for the 2013 season, while we await Romain Grosjean’s confirmation...

And it all seems like a blur now, yet perhaps part of the reason I couldn’t see squat for the three days of recorded coverage was partially due to what I believe Bob Varsha noted as heavy smog/pollution which was increased by the relatively high humidity. As I spent the three dazes of starin’ at the Telescreen wondering if the sunshine was overly bright or if my ‘Telie wasn’t working correctly?

As let’s face it, Sebastian Vettel seems like he’s on a different planet right now! Snatching his 35th Pole position - third most poles overall in F1 history, as I was more amused over the reportedly terse radio conversations Rob Smedley was having with his charge Felipe Massa in order to press him to ring the F2012’s neck and scrape into ‘Q3, as the top ten was a bit Noah’s arkish with the two Red Bulls on top once again, followed by the two McLarens and both Ferrari’s, before the remaining front row places were taken by a Lotus, Sauber, Williams and Mercedes apiece.

And while Vettel rocketed off into the distance in his trademark fashion from pole with the rest of the field in his wake, “Fredrico Suave” (Alonso) displayed more of his masterful driving with a brilliant pass on the two McLarens ahead of him. As I’m loathe to admit I’m becoming more & more impressed by Alonso’s driving Clinique’s - ringing speed & performance out of la Scuderia’s F2012 which necessarily aren’t in hand, as I shudder at the thought of Fernando in a Red Bull!

And there was lots of great dicking about for the grid placings of fifth on-back, while ‘Ol Handlebarz (Webber) put in another Yeoman-like drive having to try defending second place against Alonso and then the podium’s final step against “Louise ‘JAGUAR” Hamilton without KERS.

Yet I found Hamilton’s pitstop the most impressive part of the race overall, when the pit crew changed all five wheels as an astounded ‘Hobbo waxed on about - when the team replaced his  steering wheel along with four tyres in a staggering 3.3-seconds; Aye Karumba!

And although I think McLaren will always be a stalwart team at the front end of the grid, I’m starting to think that perhaps Lewis’s move to  Mercedes night not be as bad as I first thought it would be, as McLaren sure seems to have its share of mechanical maladies...

Meanwhile Vettel summarily cruised to his fourth consecutive victory - first time in his career whilst further stamping his name into the record books by becoming the first driver to win three races flag-to-flag since some cat named Ayrton Senna did  so in 1989! And the young German now seems to have the title firmly by the throat after moving within BLOODY ‘NIGE’s record  of leading 232-consecutive laps in Formula 1, having passed some dude named Jimmy Clark for fifth place, as Sebastian has led the last 205-laps and is just one win shy of tying the ‘Wee Scot, aka Jackie Stewart’s victory total of 27-Grand Prix wins,  which once was unassailable, albeit I watched via the Telie “the Professor” (Alain Prost) claim his 28th Grand Prix  victory ‘Way-back in 1987...

Thus Vettel now holds a 13-point lead over Alonso with three races remaining; as I’m truly hoping ‘Zebb is crowned world champion in Austin, Texas - site of his 100th Grand Prix start - with numbers fairly equal or better than Sir Jackie, who retired after 99-starts...


Friday, October 26, 2012

Thinking of Bob Jenkins...

So my thoughts upon Zanardi ant the world were penned yesterday afternoon as I struggle to complete another riveting sports story for Sportyblog-dot-com just prior to listening to Trackside, where I learned  the very unfortunate news that longtime stellar TV broadcaster Bob Jenkins wife Pam had died from her fight against cancer.

As we  all know, this past September  Messer Jenkins bid farewell to us from TV-land in order to focus solely upon caring for his wife of an unheard of 44-years these days... And I cannot even think of the words to type away here to define the loss of a single person’s life, yet then Curt Cavin revealed today that along with his wife, Bob has also just lost his brother along with a very longtime friend of a Beatles tribute band. As it seems irrelevant to write that life’s cruel! As I’ve never met Bob, but have grown to appreciate him more ‘N more over the years of his distinguished broadcasting career - especially enjoying his final three years of calling Indy Cars for NBCSN,  which appropriately were touched upon at Fontana...

Many Condolences, Bob!

Uncle Bernaughty: Another year Older, another year wiser?

Ah, isn’t it nice that the fine  folks at BayernLB, the German bank that imployed the former head risk assessment officer Gerhard Gribkowsky have sent out Uncle Bernaughty, nee Lord Bernard Eccleston an early birthday wish by announcing via the London newspapers that they’d really like to have a few hundred more pounds deposited into their coffers from the sale of Formula 1 six years ago... By stating they plan to sue Mr. E for a cool quarter of a Billion pounds; ($400m) SHEISA!

As this birthday wish arrived early in the post a scant three days before the OLD CODGER turns 82 - as most likely he’ll be celebrating in New Delhi on Sunday after some F1 race called the Indian Gran Prix - when he turns 82...

Belated B-Day thoughts of a fellah name Zanardi...

Don’t wish to sound too melodramatic, yet, I’m struck by the thoughts of how there is simply so much going on in the world right now, and yet as I grow another year older I’m consumed with the thoughts of knowing that a true legend has just celebrated another birthday... Perhaps you know him? As he’s affectionately known here at No Fenders as El Zorro, aka Alessandro “Alex” Zanardi; and hopefully you’ll know that ‘Zorro celebrated his 46th B-Day smugly contempt in the knowledge that he’d just kicked supreme ARSE by winning two gold and one silver medals in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where he bested all competitors upon a track he knew well, having previously driven a racecar around the Brands Hatch circuit in a former life.

Thus I suppose the feelings I’m feeling in regards to having turned one year old-ER, not to mention closing in upon one of life’s milestones - for those of us privileged to make I-T; as Tank Gawd I’m NOT as O-L-D as thee oldest IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips; Hya! I simply felt compelled to mention Alex Zanardi’s birthday, which I’d forgotten... As he’s truly Juan ‘O my true Heros! I mean SHIT! I may not see real Well; BUTT! FREAKIN’ EH RAY! I haven’t had to conjure up my own set of legs; YOWZA!

When will a Female break into the realm of Modern Day formula One?

Trying to look back ‘N forwards - as I’m firmly convinced that Maria de Villota was simply out of her comfort zone and trying to rush too fast into the pantheon of motorsports by becoming the first Femme Fatale in Formula 1 in two decades - when Giovanna Amati drove for the faltering Brabham team; attempting to qualify three times for the past world beaters who had become a mere shadow of their former glory all those years ago...

Obviously zillions of racing drivers around the globe wish to reap the golden nectar of securing one of these very elusive and highly coveted racing seats, surely Maria must have known the odds were stacked against her - as I find it hard to fathom that she’d actually have graduated to a Marussia race drive unless she had a massively large cheque; which in fairness is also how current driver Charles Pic got his ride, right?

And I must confess, I’ve never heard of this driver previously, having stumbled upon her interview as another woman of pressdog; DAMN YOU ‘DAWG! Quit hogging all the ladies, will Yuhs; Hya!

As I wish the young Alice Powell nothing but the best - and would ‘LUV to see her break the dam and land an F1 drive sometime in the future; BUTT! Will she be given a proper chance? As in when will a frontrunner Constructor ever give a female driver a real shot at showing her wares? As I’d presume it would be nothing more then a PR exercise with another Minnowesqe ‘Back marker team, nee HRT or Marussia...

Yet I’d ‘LUV to see either “Symona-Symona” (Simona de Silvestro) Thy Leggy ‘Juan (Katherine Legge) or Cyndie Allemann get a shot at a Formula 1 race seat, albeit I’d suspect that both De Silvestro & Legge are quite happy in Indy Cars currently. Whilst the name Vanina Ickx just sprang to mind as another potential candidate; while obviously I hope for nothing but the best for Maria de Villota’s post-racing career and totally agree with her that F1 needs more female competitors in the near future, as hopefully we’ll see her back at the track in some sort of team capacity with Marussia or another Formula 1 team?

Meanwhile, Team ‘Willy went ahead and pushed the envelope a ‘Wee bit by giving simulator ‘Jockey (development driver) Susie Wolff her maiden run in a  F1 car, when she drove a FW33 at Williams Partner’s Day at Silverstone on October 17th. Although apparently thee Iceman wasn’t invited to the shin-dig, as thy ‘Kimster was busy celebrating his 33rd birthday with his Oomphlats somewherez else. NO word on whether or NOT Jean Todt sent him a bottle of Johnny Walker? Hee-hee-hee...

Wolff, the 29-year old “better-half” of Team Willy’s Toto Wolff has been driving in the DTM for several years now and was the star attraction at the day’s event which also featured the team’s race drivers Pastor Maldonado & Bruno Senna who drove a pair of past Williams Grand Prix machinery...

And lastly, but definitely not least, in another encouraging sign, Peter Sauber has turned over the reigns of his great little Sauber F1 team to Monisha Kaltenborn, who’d previously been named CEO and has now been named as the Team Principal, becoming the very first ever female to hold this position and will return home to India pushing her team to grab another bucket load of points...

So, the future is looking very bright for le Femmes in Formula 1, as hopefully we’ll see one be given a competitive seat at a midfield team one day in the near future...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hamilton goes Gang man style in ‘Joisy...

Nope! NOT that Hamilton, as in thee young “Louise ‘JAGUAR” whose settled upon the fortune ‘N fame of the Silver Arrows beginning next year, and barely squeaked  out a points finish in Korea where he’d been busy spinnin’ his latest TWIT-ER foopah ‘Brakeman Bill style, or was  it Gangsta style? As guess what Louis? I DON’T follows Yuh either; Hya! As I simply Don’t do the TWIT-ER thingy period!

Instead this ‘lil yarn focuses upon a different Hamilton back in an ear when there weren’t any electronic aids and the printing press was the way of making friends & influencing people...

As I’m talking ‘bout that DAMN HAPPY BASTARDO learing at Yuhs every time you hand over somebody a ten dollar denomination... As in a one Mr. Alexander Hamilton; as I’m certainly NOT suggesting anything, yet; perhaps Uncle Bernaughty will wish to choose his words more carefully in the future when it concerns New Jersey and Leo Hindery in particular, as  perhaps Lord Bernardo is unawares of the Hamilton curse?

According to folklore, and most notably a great ‘lil book I’m reading at a snail’s pace, (especially when stopping to poond out these Award Winning ‘Blob stories; Hya!) Called “They Went That-a-Way,” written by Malcolm Forbes in 1988, I was totally unawares of how our $10-bill poster boy’s death occurred...

Apparently Messer Hamilton, (not Lewis) born in 1757 was  a harshly critical person both in speech and print, and so infuriated his colleagues that he decided to resign from his cabinet post as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795.

Thus in his typical aplomb, Alexander apparently was overheard pronouncing Aaron burr basically unfit for duty as the Governor of New York just weeks prior to the election, with his comments being printed immediately and Burr losing the election.

These printed remarks so infuriated Burr that he categorily believed that they had caused his defeat and so enraged - challenged his antagonist to a duel! Yet Hamilton, who’d previously lost a son to this very type of endeavour, had successfully weaseled his way out of many a prior duel by publicly retracting his statements as he wasn’t a man of violence.

But this time Hamilton’s carefully guarded printed apology was to no avail, especially since he really never said he was sorry and Burr wouldn’t back down from his demands.

Thus, in the early morning hours of July 11, 1804, Hamilton and his doctor set off aboard a ship to cross the Hudson River, where Alexander met the waiting Burr upon the bluffs of Weehawken, New Jersey... Perhaps somewhere upon what now has become the Palisades? Hmm? I wonder if there’s any sort of roadside historic marker.

At 7AM that fateful day, Hamilton, who’d previously told others he’d let Burr fire first before firing into the air met his upset nemesis Aaron upon a bluff some 20-feet high, six-feet wide and 20-paces long; where the two men took ten paces before squaring off.

Yet unlike the movies, both men faced each other with their pistoleros drawn and simply fired at each other when the command was given. Burr shot first, hitting Alexander in the chest, cracking a rib and piercing his liver before the bullet came to rest in a vertebra.

Lying face down, Hamilton told his doctor his wound was mortal and to take him away from there before history recorded him as dying upon the shores of Weehawken that fateful day... His doctor obliged and Hamilton was taken back across the Hudson River to New York where he died the following day from his wounds at the age of 47.

Meanwhile Burr fled to the south and 32-years later on his deathbed when asked if he wished to atone for any sins, smugly said, no I have nothing to fear.

Thus isn’t it funny how somebody so callous, rude and arrogant should ultimately wind up with his mug plastered upon our modern currency? As perhaps Mr. E. should take heed to the legend of Weehawken, whilst perhaps the track’s organizers should name the appropriate piece of ‘Ash-fault “Hamilton Corner...”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tony George: Looking for his Lost Stripes - or His last Hurrah?

Yowza! I’m starting to feel like the Rodney Dangerfield of Open Wheel Racing Bloggers here at No Fenders - as Juan esteemed OWR Curmudgeon; NO! Not Robin Miller sez I use 2 much slang, and another sez Ok, if you write ‘Somme-thun ‘bout ‘TG, then DON’T digress; SHEEZ! Ize getz NO respect; Hya!

Thus I promise to try not spilling any personal venom towards tony George, who’s currently rumoured to be leading the charge of some undisclosed renegade group of wealthy persons in a Takeover bid of the Indy Car Series from his family’s private company Hulman & Co who has owned the hallowed grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1945.

Having listened to Trackside via the Podcast last Friday night, I was struck by the two OWR Armchair Quarterbacks Kevin Lee & Curt Cavin’s quest towards trying to understand how this acquisition makes any sort of financial sense, which I’m hard pressed myself to follow.

First of all, how do we, as the CART “Loyalists” get our heads around this? While I’m painfully aware that Tony George did not cause The Split alone, nevertheless you cannot say he didn’t play a very large role in it, and certainly his fingerprints are all over this horrible period in Open Wheel racing’s history. Thus if the reports are true about current and potential sponsors staying away from IndyCar over this uncertainty - then how will this entice them to join another organization with TG involved?

Yet there must be something to this perceived Takeover bid since we’ve now learned that Tony George has resigned once again from the Board of Directors, albeit this time the board  of Hulman & Co in order to clarify the perceived and very real conflict of interest  towards his attempt to purchase IndyCar away from ultimately his family.

As far as I can tell, Open Wheel Racing has flourished and floundered under the auspices of several different ruling parties, sanctioning bodies and individuals per sei, as AAA, USAC, CART, IRL and IndyCar have all taken their shots at controlling the direction of this type of motor racing in the United States, as the only sanctioning body outside the Speedway’s true control was  CART, which we all know was owned and orchestrated by its team owners, who ironically were dissatisfied with the direction Open Wheel Racing was being handled at the time by the sports governing body created by the late Tony Hulman.

And I cannot think of a situation where a failed CEO is recalled to attempt running his/her company once again, which in effect is what George is trying to do in some sort of fashion. While I have no knowledge towards this in either way, my personal belief  is that Tony’s never had to spend any of his own money in regards to running a series - as after all isn’t that the crux of what led to his dismissal from the IMS and Indy Racing League?

Although I suppose I’d have to guess that it was his own money behind the failed attempt of being an IRL Team Owner, (Vision Racing) yet once again how did that work out for him? And yeah I know he’s also behind the extremely more successful Ed Carpenter Racing IndyCar team... but then again how much of the shots is he truly calling there?

Basically it seems to boil down in a nutshell to what Curt Cavin said last Thursday evening on Trackside. These types of issues always revolve around either: power, ego or money - and it seems to me that Tony George is just continuing his role as a spoiled little rich boy who hasn’t gotten his way and is seeking a change in order to re-insert himself into the spotlight regardless of what is best for Open Wheel Racing’s sake.

As I keep hearing how the Indy Car Series is a money losing proposition, which I whole heartily believe, as what’s that saying? Oh yeah, something to thee effect that you need a whole lot of money to make a little money in motor racing! While I haven’t heard anybody discuss the possibility of the Indy Car Series being a potential tax right-off for Hulman & Co?

Yes, I’ll admit that somebody is actually spending wheelbarrow loads of real or electronic dollars each year in order to keep the hallowed grounds of 16th & Georgetown open not only each May but year round - and IndyCar is the series that fills the stadium’s cavernous seats each Memorial Day and Tony George’s band of Merrymen might actually improve upon the series, but how can they drastically change or improve it? And why would Hulman & Co wish to gamble upon losing the series current positive momentum - however small you perceive that to be.

And whatever you may think about the current regime, can Open Wheel Racing afford to regress backwards with Indianapolis once again becoming just another race in somebody else’s series? I mean talk about your negativity, eh?

Mario to drive le Reggie at COTA

Just spotted this ‘lil newsblurb ‘bout Super Mario, a.k.a. Mario Andretti set to be the official ribbon cutter at Circuit Of Thee Americas, (COTA) where he’ll slice thee ribbon aboard a Renault R30 racecar...

Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines grounded...

For some time now, the financial strains of running his Indian airline have
been tenuous at best, crescendoing over the Korean Grand Prix  weekend when Grizzled  ‘Journo Joe Saward broke the news regarding an arrest warrant having been issued for Vijay Mallya over failure of payment to the Indian GMR Hyderabad International Airport - when said cheques bounced! As this warrant has subsequently been rescinded upon payment of this debt “Just-in-Time” to enable Messer Vijay to attend his home Grand Prix if so desired...

And I realize it’s a very small sample group, but; I find it funny that the two Indians I’ve asked about Mr. Vijay Mallya have both drawn a blank. And when I say Kingfisher Airlines is in big trouble one of them just laughed at me and said No Trouble...

Yet that is indeed the case for Mallya’s once vaunted airline business, as the Indian authorities have just suspended Kingfisher’s licenses after the troubled airline was unable to resolve its workers issues over lack of wage payments for seven months and have been on strike while awaiting back-payment; while Mallya had temporarily grounded the airlines operation through October 20th - which obviously has now come & passed.

And I wouldn’t normally be paying any attention to this foreign airline except for the fact that its owner apparently desires to cast the same shadow as some dude formerly known here at No Fenders as “Flavour Flav,” and later “HMS Monogram,” aka Flavio Briatore... Just so happens to own the Sahara Force India F1 Team along with another not-so scrupulous character named Roy Sahara.

Thus the worry I have is for this great ‘lil midpack Formula 1 team’s future, most notably its drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta - not to mention the entire teams staff...

As one must wonder what will happen when Mallya is forced to sell off his prized United Spirits company which reportedly large swaths of its shares have been used as collateral to keep the sinking Kingfisher Airlines business afloat, no foreign investors seem to be interested in his disheveled airline and rival spirit company Diageo is lurking at the door to take over United Spirits...

New Jersey GP delayed one year...

Ah, another typical Friday afternoon bad news story to fly under the radar - as its just been announced that next year’s New Jersey Grand Prix will be delayed one year until 2014 due to construction delays; Yeah, that’s the ticket...

Friday, October 19, 2012

INDYCAR: 2012 Report Card

Although this has been done everywhere - it hasn’t been tried here at No Fenders, albeit I thought about doing it last year, but thought it’d be pretty bleak with the useless DEATH of Dan Wheldon... As I tried starting this a few days after Will Power’s unbelievable Fontana meltdown - hopefully before it all faded away, eh?

Indy 500
Long Beach
Ferris wheels
IMS Radio Network connectivity

(Changing the rules mid-stream; giving John Barnes an undeserved $25k penalty...)
(Randy Bernard airing his dirty laundry via TWIT-ER...)
Aerokits saga
Belle Isle
Long schedule gap
Jay Penske
Lack of SFHR sponsorship
(The insistent WHINING by team owners over the cost of competing in Indy Cars...)
10-grid spot penalties
Faux Red flags
P2P-tinkering Internet Explorer access
(The NEVER ending STUPIDITY over Tony George reclaiming the Indy Car Series...)

There Y’all go - a very UN-scientific report card, which if Yuhs have anything uze wanna add, then please leave your thoughts below in the Comments section...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

F1: 2012 Korean GP Tidbits

Whenever I think of the Korean Grand Prix, I immediately flash back to staying up into the ‘Wee hours at Blogmeister Miguel’s Houseianda during the inaugural race when it poured buckets ‘O precipitation, causing a real Red flag and seeing the Pace Car run P1 the first 17-laps! Not to mention I believe Willie Buxom scribbled about there being snakes ‘N mosquitoes for the photographers to look out for; Aye Karumba! Not to mention reading ‘bout how one team’s refrigerator had the exact same food they’d left in it when they returned a year later...

Cannot say the race up front was overly great, albeit it was a bit of a shocker that Mark ‘Handlebarz Webber was on Pole over Master ‘Zebb, eh? As the Red Bulls seen to now have once again become thoroughly dominant! As I expected nothing less than Vettel winning the race, although the action behind was quite entertaining with lots of great scuffles over positions...

And since I like ‘K-Squared, (Kamui Kobayashi) I won’t repeat what ‘JENSE nicknamed him, while Romain Grosjean stayed out of trouble and now should be firmly out of the spotlight since several others have done their bestest “RoGro” impersonations, eh?

and I found myself not only laughing out loud, but even had a goofy grin on my face when the telephone rang at the end of the race; as I totally think that Red Bull was worried that Seb would go for another Grand  Slam and potentially throw the victory away... As the in-car radio transmissions vs. ‘boothBoyz comments were most entertaining... Pleading with Vettel by saying you won’t know when your tyre goes until its too late which the delayed message was played after he’d just set  his personal best first sector time.

And it wasn’t surprising at all; BUTT! Overly disgusting that once again Felipe Massa was ordered to slow down via a very pointed radio message given by Ferrari engineer Rob Smedley. Yeah, I get I-T! Alonso’s the fair haired numero uno & fighting for the driver’s title; yet let’s please give Massa a chance next year, ok?

As you’d like to believe that Red Bull really is letting its two drivers  race against each other regardless of title contention; as now with four races left it suddenly looks like its Vettel’s title to lose.

And in a perfect scenario, he’ll make history by clinching his third consecutive title in Austin, Texas... Joining the likes of only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher; which would be a great passing of the guard at my last grand prix for the foreseeable future...