Friday, March 30, 2012

Bahrain and F1 - Black Tar is The Colour of Money

If you’re a frequent reader of this ‘lil ‘BLOB thingy, then Y’all know I am less than impressed with Formula 1’s desires to return to the Kingdom of Bahrain during its current Political climate, and thus, whilst I’m not one bit surprised, nevertheless I find it sickening that Uncle Bernaughty has enticed the F1 Teams into returning this April, not to mention now having my first beef with Master ‘Zebb (Sebastian Vettel) who’s apparently drunken some of  Mr. E’s Moonshine along with his elder Statesman - by publicly stating that he thinks F1 should race in Bahrain; Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?

As all I can say is I sincerely hope that Uncle Bernaughty will borrow some of the cash from the $1-billion “loan” he just brokered for his CVC Bosses and dole it out upon all twelve teams as Casualty Pay - along with paying everyone’s Insurance premiums - I mean C’mon Bernie, they cannot be that expensive. After all it’s just a bunch ‘O Kids causing trouble, right?

Houston returns to IndyCar fold...

Interestingly, whilst Formula 1 seeks the riches of Black Tar gold in the sands of Bahrain and elsewhere... Randy Bernard and IndyCar have managed to broker a deal with Royal Dutch Shell which sees Shell and Pennzoil as the primary sponsors of the Houston Grand Prix, which will return to the bumpy confines of Reliant Stadium’s parking lot beginning in October, 2013; Hmm? Now all we need is to entice Budweiser and G.I. Joes into sponsoring a return to Portland, right?

OOPS! That’s right Budweiser is out of racing ‘cept for  ‘RASSCAR and Joes pulled the G.I. off of its name and I haven’t heard Jay “BuzzCut” Buhner pitching any stores in quite awhile... So perhaps The Captain can put in a call to his good friends who own Freightliner, who also once sponsored the race - as I believe Mercedes Benz parent company Daimler AG still owns Freightliner; as Ilmor previously built Indy Car and Formula 1 engines for Mercedes before they bought out this portion of the company...

Under the Open Wheel Bigtop

As Indiana Bureau Chief Daniel Baines Cooper was quick to point out to Mwah last Sunday that during those Kodak postcard moment backdrop shots that the networks use to show off a particular cities landscape when going into or coming back from commercial breaks, (please Mr. Director - can we have another?) ‘Juan particular shot showed a Ferris wheel in the background of the street courses facilities, which inevitably leaves room for all sorts of comments, eh? As in was the racing so exciting that the promoters felt the need for distraction? Although I personally have nothin’ against Ferris wheels, albeit I’m not sure if I’d wanna ride either the Singapore Flyer or the London Eye upon the riverbank of thee Thames; but if this is what it takes to keep the ‘Kiddies entertained, then perhaps they’re not focusing upon the racing cars?

And I won’t try recapping the past weekend’s races - which I’ve been dually Harangued over my lack of race reports - having even gone so far as to post a picture of a Monster Truck; YIKES! Nor will I critique the TV coverage, albeit I found it most sublime - letting my mind wunder mightily as the race seemed little more then a procession - along with Marty “Muskrat Luv” Reid still managing to work his sweetheart Danica’s name into the broadcast, albeit was it just Mwah or? I don’t recall seeing a single When Yuhs PEAK! Yuhs win Danicker commercial on; Hya!

And as we all know, Thy Dancin’ Fool ‘HULIO, aka Helio Castroneves won the race, which was surely a relief for him, since I’d previously noted how I thought ‘Ol Twinkle toes was definitely TOAST in;

As Shane Rogers from Down Under got the following statistics read upon last week’s Trackside with Kevin & Cavin - as the resident from Oz dually noted how the “Toowoomba Toranadoe,” nee Will Power has simply spanked Captain Twinkle toes and fellow teammate Ryan “the Izod Dude” Briscoe - not to mention everybody else when it came to pulling out Bonsai Qualifying laps, as DJ WillyP is set to garner his 25th Pole position in roughly HALF the time it took for a one Mr. Castroneves to accomplish!

Indycar Stat: Number of starts at 25th pole position start

And I wouldn’t expect the Indy Car Boyz & Girls to play as nicely this weekend in Ala-bammie... As I’m guessing they all wanted to make it thru the first race back from Las Vegas, ironically at Dan Wheldon’s Hometrack cleanly! Although as “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) pointed out on Autosport Radio, the Hondas and ‘Chebbies are so closely matched, with the Lotuses a little bit down-on-power, and the fact that they currently do not have the vaunted P2P (Push-to-Pass) capability at the moment, that its gonna be downright hard to simply blast past one another - while Barber Motorsports Park was designed for ‘Scooters, nee Motorcycles and hence is a very difficult track to pass upon...

But that’s NOT to say that passing doesn’t occur, as I was disappointed that very little was mentioned ‘bout Symone carving his way back up to his original starting spot after having been penalized 10 grid spots for a precautionary engine change. As Pagenaud said he was hoping the same would be handed out to ‘Symona-Symona (de Silvestro) for this weekend’s event, although I have no info upon this...

Januaryy 2012 Indianapolis Walgreens Store Opening
(Photo Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)

And having been chastised for the blue & white sponsorless flanks of Joseph Newgarden’s car - having said that Sarah fisher Hartman Racing was trying to woo Walgreens as a potential sponsor - another eagle-eyed IndyCar observer called into Wind Tunnel Sunday evening to say how Newgarden & SFHR deserved to have a sponsor after his impressive 11th place finish on his B-I-G Car debut, which I wholeheartedly agree with, although hopefully it’ll be something a little more palatable; Err substantial then what I’m told is FAST EDDIE’s latest sponsor - Drumroll please... Tuh Duh! HooiserMama, albeit I haven’t seen the Press Release yet, so hopefully I’m not biting on somme-thun here? FISH ON!!!

Although if true, how many jokes do you think this will spawn? As I already know two jokes ‘bout Indiana; Oh Never Mind!

Although I did tell ‘Ol DB that I simply thought Sarah Fisher and Wink Hartman were not running a green hue this weekend ‘cause they didn’t want to upstage Ye Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’s Who’s Your Daddy debut; Hya! Hmm?  Perhaps it has ‘Somme-thun to do with not wanting to clash with HVM’s Loti green? Although that shade glows in the dark!

Whilst perhaps it was just Mwah; BUTT! Did Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson get any Facetime during the race? Other then being mentioned mired down in 18th, with NO explanation, as I hope that he’s not gonna suffer all season long for having decided to go with a Minnowesqe team, eh? As the only camera time I think Dale Coyne Racing received was for James Jakes testing out the new front wing’s strength upon the tyre barrier...

And unfortunately - I’m guessing the Rookie Of the Year title fight will be a two pony affair, with Pagenaud going blow-for-blow with Newgarden, as Thy Leggy Juan, nee Katherine Legge is fighting an uphill battle this year, having not driven a single seater in four-plus years, nothing last year and a single half-day plus testing before jumping into the recalcitrant Lotus-by-Judd Dragonmobile Sunday... But hey, wasn’t le ‘Hamburgular, aka Sebastain Bourdais running P2-3 at one point in the race? Which will make it kinda funny if Jay Penske & the Dragonflies outperform the “Pseudo-Works” team; Yuh’s know Lotus DRR - formerly Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, right?

Thus, you’d haveda expect the Usual Suspects to gravitate towards the sharp end of the grid this weekend at Alabama; Y’all know, names like Power, Dixon, Franchitti, Castroneves, Kanaan and Briscoe. Although I’d look out for others such as Pagenaud, Wilson, Hinchcliffe & Conway - as after all this is the opening “Twisty” portion of the season, while it appears that Chevrolet may have the upper hand driver-wise, with thy ‘Cheepster’s 4-car Monty taking on the might of Penske, Andretti and KVRT - as I’m somewhat more ‘Stoked that I’ll get to witness ‘rubino’s debutant Ovaltrack race somewhere in May over the fact that the IndyCar season has finally begun, albeit I’m ‘Jazzed over Pagenaud, Newgarden and Barrichello all being in the mix...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

IndyCar TV Schedule

Otay, this AIN’T exactly a story; BUTT! Since your humble No Fenders scribe is running several ‘Lincolns ‘N Dazes short, not even having made up my yearly Racing Calendar yet, here’s some possibly helpful info regarding when those new Aerospace CanAm machinery; Err the Dallara DW12’s BULBUOUS flanks will appear upon television.

And NO, I won’t lament over the season opening TV coverage on the Dizney Shopping Networks, nor Marty ‘Doublewide Reid or Scott Somonex Goodyear - as I still haven’t decided if I wanna tune in for an overly LONG winded 45-minute Preamble on duh Peacock Lite this Sunday. As I know I’m Old School; BUTT! The Pre-race should be a maximum of 30mins and read out loud the entire starting grid. (And that goes for you too SPEED, as I see you’ve tried duming it down the first two broadcasts this season...)

More from thee Tomaso Blotter - Have You hugged a Blogger recently?

Yeah, I know you’re already saying, get on with it lad, we’re here for the scintillating racing news and not all of that Fluffy stuff you so cherish Mate. Nevertheless, I just had another interesting moment whilst ‘Oot ‘N Aboot! (After posting that riveting Eleven Days in Thy Wilderness story on Monday...)

As I entered the local Sandwich pub, all I heard from behind the glass partition was: Call the Police??? WTF? So I ignored it, took off my Moose hat &  gloves, unzipped my raincoat and stepped up to the counter, where  a second woman immediately asked me: Do you know how to get to the High School? Oh that’s simple I said, standing there with my trusty white cane in hand, I thought I clearly explained the directions, which were take a left, go up the street approximately 11-blocks and it’ll be on the right; you cannot miss IT! To which she asked the Deli worker for a telephone book instead.

Hmm? How can a blind person be able to give such concise directions? I mean he can’t even see, right?

As the elderly lady stood there talking in an overly low toned voice that I wasn’t able to hear - and I’m supposed to have Super Powers; Shuhzamm! While the first female worker who’d been pining to phone the ‘Coppers instead now asked me if I wanted a cookie? Apparently because of my excessive delay? Before I finally said me? As this was almost as bad as the Flight Attendant who thought I could SEE ‘N read her lips when asking me if I wanted my 6-peanuts - before finally getting my attention on my way home from Phoenix by saying Excuse me Mr. Ducati! (As its funny how matter of fact everyone having vision is becoming these days...) Thus, after I declined my (FREE?) cookie; Uhmm-uhm-uhm, sprinkles! She finally asked me what I wanted and we politely side-stepped the senior citizen...

Now I’m not suggesting that this was the lady’s position upon my direction giving, nor am I intending to make fun of my elders, as lord knows I’ve spun some real doozies and always chuckle over how I can explain something perfect and the receiving party will interpret it 180-degrees backwards; kinda like when somebody tries telling me which way to turn when they’re facing me and hence I’ll need to do the opposite; but I digress...

Thus, I’ve decided to use this story to loosely tie-in with a fine ‘Kuhnadiun lass named Meesh’s latest story, which I found a ‘Wee bit disturbing! Otay, so Meesh might enjoy dropping ‘Juan or MORE “F-Bombs” in a story, which is just her preferred writing style, but, I enjoy her points-of-view for several reasons and thus was disappointed to hear her contemplating whether or not to attend another IndyCar race? (Of which I sincerely hope she’ll do...)

So for GAWD’s sake Man, get to the point you may be saying; Chirp-Chirp! Herroe? Is this thingy on??? Testing 1-2-3...

As I have realize a multitude “O things recently during my self-imposed Internetz Sabbatical; like Mother Speedway probably really doesn’t give a flying rip what I think - since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has survived for 102-years now on her own...

And it’s a Dawg eat Dawg world out there, as I even recall getting mildly annoyed over IMS’s newest COO (Chief Operating Officer) Marc Koretzky dividing the IndyCar Fanbase into three distinct sections. The most coveted 18-34 male demographic, the “Y-Factor;” (or perhaps better - the Y chromosome!) Hmm? Cannot recall this segment, perhaps thee little people? Hey, I’m getting old-ER; Otay? And lastly, all of us ‘Ol Timer Diehard loyalists... Which I’ve spent many an afternoon discussing what happens to Indy Cars when we dry up ‘N blow away with thy Indiana Bureau Chief D. B. (Cooper?)

Thus, I’d like to think I’m not thought of as a basement dwelling CART Crybaby who comes up for daylight every sixth day, like that overly sardonic Chap named Tony over at Popoff Valve has so richly described in many a rant.

Whilst I’ll NOT name all of my Bloggaratzi Peeps, albeit we’ve lost one of the Great ‘Juans, not once but twice. As where are you Mr. Innucci?

As I liken to think of my eclectic Open Wheel Blogger Pals as constituents of my ‘lil Mayberryish haunt known as NoFendersville, which is a poorly disguised takeoff of Ye Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’s fine establishment...

And I know this probably won’t come out sounding right, or even possibly be correct - as I was gonna say that I only know of two Femme Fatale Bloggareesta’s which ironically both hail from Up North Eh! In some tiny metropolis known as Toronto; YIKES! As in Meesh of So Here’s What I’m Thinking, or SHWIT according to the Dean ‘O IndyCarz bloggers; Hya! And ‘Stef from More Front Wing, of whom I both thoroughly enjoy their work. Although I was somewhat exposed to a new gal named Jill of on the most recent blogger Night on Trackside.

Whilst a fourth female scribe named Suzan all too infrequently pens us her thoughts over at Thee Oldest IndyCar blogger George’s Oil Pressure site.

Thus, I’m not sure of what the exact problema Meesh was experiencing prior to this past weekend’s St Pete outing, and I’m not gonna try delving into it, as Y’all can simply read her latest post here if so desired. Yet unfortunately it sounded a little bit like another female not being appreciated in the trenches? Of which I’m certainly not implying anything here; BUTT! I did find it amazing that women were NOT allowed into the Speedway’s Pits & Garages until 1971; CRIKEYS! Which I unearthed while reading a book the old fashioned way recently...

So hopefully Meesh will remain an active member of the Blogosphere - amongst her other racing activities; ‘cause like I said earlier, what happens when IndyCar loses the remaining Diehards... You know those left over Hard Core Aficionados from the 15-20 million LOST Souls (Fans) Randy Bernard sez that ‘lil trench war called The Split caused to go away!

So, in the immortal words of My Name is IRL: Have You Hugged A Blogger lately?

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Tomaso Files: Eleven Days in thy Wilderness...

Whale, NOT exactly, as you’re humble No Fenders scribe has just endured his first self-imposed hiatus from ‘Ye Weavasphere, nee ze Blogosphere - as I’d taken ‘Lucy in for her first annual checkup... As the ALL knowing (CPU) Central Collection Point; Err Ministry of Knowledge, who keep a tight grip upon the inner workings of Lucy’s cranium - which appeared to be going on the fritz? Prompted me to take her in for a diagnosis...?

Hmm? Lookin at ‘Dat catchy title above ‘N thinking I’d better ad some sorta wildlife picture for GurrRanimals ‘LUV-er CARPETS, eh?

Obviously I wasn’t expecting Lucy’s 72hour exam to Supersize itself into an 11-Dazes sojourn; CRIKEYS! As why has this happened two years in-a-row just prior to the season opening Grand Prix? Well Uh Duh! Them Smarmy BASTARDOS at le gOOgleMunster AIN’T gonna Rollout any funky-arse blockpoint changes during Krystmas - Y’all know the most important Shopping Holiday period of the year; but I digress...

As I had an entertaining experience last March whilst Down Under - having asked Blogmeister Miguel to post a few stories for Mwah, which he dutifully did, yet his microSOFT ‘dub-U 7 changed my blogs format internally upon my return, which I can only surmise is some sorta weird disconnect between ‘dub-U 7 and my lower microSOFT XP Operating system. As this change has now been referred internally as the Born On Date of No Fenders V3...

Thus as you’re all aware of? Recently I had to upgrade ‘Lucy to 2012-specs - being forced to purchase ZoomText 10.0 which so far to date, is far LESS superior then ZT9.0; which was purchased prior to launching this Award Winning ‘BLOB. Yeah, I can already hear Yuhs sayin’ Somme-thun ‘bout OLD Dawgs and new tricks; URGH!

Thus, the trip to the Witch (“Confuzer”) Doctor was quite thee experience, having told me Lucy’s initial exam would only require 3-4 days max. So of course I fretted all day Saturday, which was Day-4 - without having heard a darn blinkin thingy... And the Confuzer Boffin George had warned me that the phone number was changing soon - but he didn’t know the new number, which of course you guessed IT! Happened over the weekend, as I was stuck listening to the old number go directly to voicemail all day Monday, with its mailbox full; SHEISA!

AnyHoo, LONG story cut short - Lucy came home 11-dazes later having checked out with a completely clean bill ‘O health, as the Boffin said: I cannot charge you for having done nothing to your machine besides having updated a myriad of programs, most notably to my sound card & flash player; Aye Karumba!

As thus, with Mary Ellen’s invaluable assistance, as she re-connected ‘Lucy to thee Grid, nee Al Gore’s World Wide Web thingy... NOT one, two but three strange thingys occurred. As first all I did was try repositioning the monitor & keyboard’s positions which had become askew and viola! The screen went completely DARK; WTF? Racing outside before she departed, I beckoned Mary Ellen to return to see what in tarnations I’d done now? As I’d never known for nearly six-years my monitor had an On/Off switch - which I cannot see, but had magically managed to find IT! Thus with everything restored back to normal? I bid Mary Ellen A-deu.

Then for reasons forever unknown, my OLD school Outlook Express email inbox decided to majikally delete everything from my Inbox WITHOUT ANY warning upon having some sorta meltdown whilst compacting the disk space; CRIKEYS!

And this is on top of the fact that basically ALL of my text/grammar issues with Lucy (NO SMARTY PANTS! This AIN’T in regards to my masterful Tomaso TexMex English...) still remain, like  you know; when you take your vehicle to the mechanic ‘cause its making a funny noise that won’t go away - only the mechanic cannot find a single trace of IT!

Thus the long winded ramble to why perhaps the No Fenders BLOB hasn’t been so “Verbose” lately, thanxs Konrad, as I’ve just learned a new word; Whale actually two - as that Cheeky Willie Buxom (Will Buxton) threw down upon us during Australia that ‘JENSE had been imperious during his Melbourne victory...

And thus, I won’t bore Y’all with the details of what occurred the past 11-dazes just that I managed to miss two episodes apiece of Autosport Radio and Trackside, along with one episode of Speed Freaks. As it was HILLARIOUS that Lucy’s doctor’s appointment was the very same afternoon that reportedly Don Kay was gonna have thee ‘CandyMann, aka Randy Bernard on his ‘lil radio show and potentially ask Mr. Bernard why IndyCar won’t return to Portland?

Not to mention I managed to turn into duh Freaks last night and had to pull the plug after The ‘sarge rambled on ‘bout Monster Trucks being the BADDEST FREAKIN’ SHOW on the planet; URGH! You’ve gotta be freakin’ kidding right Kenny? As this rant followed after another sublime interview with RG, aka Robby “DirtMann” Gourdoun (Gordon) who’d just won the weekend’s Peppermint 400 Dessert Offroad race aboard his Humdinger Trophy truck. As DirtMann laid out the “Scoopage” that he’s goin’ Monster Truck racin ‘cause it’ll pay the bills better than his RASSCAR ride currently does! Which I only stuck around thru Kenny S’s tirade in order to hear Stattmann’s Skatt which rightly pointed out how Formula 1 ISN’T boring whilst pointing out the significance of Sergio Perez’s impressive drive at Sepang, but that’s a story still to be poonded out upon ze keyboard’s, as there’s only so much your humble Keyboard Warrior can tipe in a day, as hopefully Justin Bell’s interview is now available on the interwoods as Meesh harkens it,  who hopefully had a ‘Mega weekend in St. Pete...    

As for my ‘STEAMED Screen-reader ‘Lucy, why is the Stones song She’s SO COLD - My hands just froze playin’ on my mental soundtrack right now, eh? As I’d like to pull a Master ‘zebb and rename her, BUTT; Oh Never Mind! Think I’d better go for a ‘Walkabout before our ALWAYS present precipitation arrives...

Paar Scratches from Team Willy

So this morning, whilst trying to see if the Mainstream Media had done its usual “Shock ‘N Awe” job of reporting and then moving on before telling us the story ending... I dialed-up my local Seattle Times Fishwrap (newspaper) to see if there was any further news upon the outcome of MLS Houston Dynamo’s Colin Clark disparaging Gay slur towards a Seattle Sounders FC Ball boy who didn’t retrieve the out of bounds ball quickly enough; Crikeys Mate - I hope Major League Soccer throws the book at you!

And although there appeared to be no follow-up upon the matter, hence instead first thingy this morning I discovered the surprising news that Team Willy, aka Williams F1 CEO Adam Paar had resigned for Family reasons, yeah that’s the ticket - although unlike many Formula 1 Chief Designers, I’m not expecting Adam to show  up on the F1 Greens anytime soon after what is affectionately known as Gardening leave...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Guess Who’s Birthday it is?


Yes indeedie - that’s right folks - as once again Dan Wheldon will be colliding with that Go Daddy girl more commonly known as Danica Patrick;  YIKES! As IndyCar cannot seemingly cut its ties with Mrs. WunderBar... Whose turnin’ thee B-I-G 3-Oh today, ironically the very same day that thee Indy Car Series kicks off its 2012 season in those Dallarer DW12 chassis at the late, great Dan Wheldon’s Hometrack...

Happy B-Day DannaCar!

My little Go Daddy Girl!

Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl
Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl

I cannot escape this feeling for my Go Daddy girl
As I feel a wreck without my ‘lil Go Daddy girl
When I hear her heart beating loud as thunder

Seeeing planets crashing

And I'm a mess without my llil Go Daddy girl
Waking up mornings - where's my llil Go Daddy girl?
Before I hear her heart's beating loud as thunder
Seing Dem Satellites crashing down

I feel overly-tragic - almost like I'm Clint Eastwood
When I look at that Go Daddy Girl
I could pretend that nothing really meant too much
When I look at that Go Daddy girl in the mirror

I stumble into town just like a scared cow
Visions of Miss Blue Dress  in my head
Who’s got plans for everyone
It's in the whites of Danica’s eyes
You know, my llil Go Daddy girl!

As you shouldn't mess with her
Who'll ruin everything you are
As she'll give you endless television commercials
While she bats those pretty blue eyes at you
With countless men who cannot stop drooling over you know who

And when I get excited
My ‘lil Go Daddy girl sez’
Oh baby just you shut your mouth
She says ... sh-sh-shhh...

Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl
Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl
Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl
Oh oh oh ohoo ‘lil Go Daddy girl

Original lyrics: China Girl by David Bowie
(Lets Dance; 1983)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dallara DW12: Curb-feelers Optional!

So thanxs to thee world’s oldest IndyCar blogger; Hya! I finally got to seem some live action shots of the new Dallara DW12 IndyCar, which I still say is UGLY! Yet, that said, it wasn’t as hideous as I’d mentally made it in my mind, yet don’t think I’m sayin’ it’s a sweet ride either...

And hence, these initial thoughts hit me when purusing thru the photos George Phillips posted.

I think all of the ‘Chebbie drivers should be required to run with curb feelers; may be a set of nice shiny chrome ‘bling-bling wheels and all of their respective drivers sporting gold chains... Hey, this isn’t your Daddy’s Oldsmobile - and Oh Yeah! They’ll also be required to leave one turn signal blinker on the entire duration of the race - you know like several “Hipsters” do whilst toolin’ along in their ‘Caddy’s. And perhaps Marco, ‘HULIO & ‘Bully-Reay could go for the Mr. T gold chain look too?

The Honda’s? Well not really sure but may be they should all haveda run those hideous Dumbo wings that their F1 brethren made famous...

While instead of the entire Loti fleet running in black ‘N gold, minus that Glow in the Dark Benjamin scheme - perhaps Juan of ‘Dem could run a Munster’s theme? Or perhaps in order to honour the late Dan Wheldon, that bulbous flank could have  been used to feature his shiny teeth, although I’m not sure if a gleaming white crest toothpaste car would look that attractive?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 Formula 1 Grid line-up - Down Under

Whale uze know duh drill - as I’ve been purposely holdon’ off on my annual F1 Car launches - since I’ve been eagerly awaiting for our last two ‘Johnny-come-lately’s, i.e.; Hispania and Marussia to actually manage to bolt their new challengers together and pass thee audition; Err the mandatory FIA crash tests - ALL 18 of them; thus whilst I haven’t paid much attention to this year’s “Winter Olympics,” here’s what should at least have been the season opening line-ups Down Under in Melbourne, Mates! Along with what were my initial thoughts upon this years Contenders, Pretenderz and everywhere else in-between - so kick back and see how close your humble No Fenders scribe’s predictions were?


(Listed in order of 2011 finishing position in Constructors championship)

(Constructor’s: Team/Chassis/Engine)
 (1) Red Bull Racing
Chassis:  RB8
Engine: Renault
(Car No. + Driver)
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber
(Test/Reserve Driver)
T/R: Sebastian Buemi

What can you really say about the currently dominant two-time reigning Drivers & Constructors champions? Who arguably have the greatest designer penning chassis for the greatest current driver? And although the team has suffered various niggling new car issues, you really don’t expect anyone to dethrone Master ‘Zebb from his current perch as Numero Uno - do Yuhs? While Messer ‘Handlebarz, aka Mark Webber will be his usual tougher-then-nails to overtake self and thus once again the Bulls seem the team to beat!

(2) Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Chassis:  MP4-27
Engine: Mercedes Benz 
3. Jenson Button
4. Lewis Hamilton
Reserve Drivers) Gary Paffett; Oliver Turvey

McLaren once again appears to be Red Bulls biggest threat towards defending its titles, as ‘JENSE (Button) has been singing the company line all winter long about how much better this chassis is - with NO testing  gremlins, and hence ultra reliable. Meanwhile Louise “JAGUAR (Hamilton) is coming off of his worst season to date, having re-aligned his management and seems ready to rebound -as he seems to be one of the fastest Gran Primo Piloto’s currently on the grid...

(3) Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Chassis:  F2012
Engine: Ferrari
5. Fernando Alonso
6. Felipe Massa
Reserve Drivers) Giancarlo Fisichella; Marc Gene; Davide Rigon

So there’s been lotso grumblings all winter long about how la Scuderia is not well, behind the pace and having problems getting the car up-to-speed... As I’m just left wondering if this is the ultimate ruse ‘O Sandbagging or what? As surely Ferrari cannot be that far off of the mark, eh? While Ferdi plans to continue his dominance over Felipe - whose seat at Ferrari is currently under threat this year...

(4) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Chassis:  MGP W03
Engine: Mercedes Benz 
7. Michael Schumacher
8. Nico Rosberg

Really don’t know what to think or say about the ‘Merc - as I’ll begrudgingly commend DER TERMINATOR for his sheer determination to honour his entire 3-year contract, as HELL! Surely this has to be Herr Schumachers FINAL Swan Song, right? Whilst ‘Brittany, aka Nico Rosberg continues to outshine his elder teammate, we simply have to wait ‘N see how the chassis performs this year, although I thought I heard Norbert Haag already making his excuses by saying the team won’t contend ‘til 2014?

(5) Lotus F1 Team
Chassis:  E20
Engine: Renault
9. Kimi Raikkonen
10. Romain Grosjean
T/R) Jerome d'Ambrosio

Obviously the biggest news here is the return of The Iceman, a.k.a. Kimi Raikkonen after his two year sabbatical after having been bought out by la Scuderia and opting to go play in the WRC and ‘RASSCAR before deciding to return home. As I’m hoping thee ‘Kimster will return to his winning form, whilst another F1 refugee makes a bit of a return - as the reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean returns to the grid after his dismissal from the team’s old guard...

(6) Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team
Chassis:  VJM-005
Engine: Mercedes Benz 
11. Paul di Resta
12. Nico Hulkenberg
T/R) Jules Bianchi

Unfortunately the entire Off-season and beyond - into the present disturbingly centre’s around Flavour Flay’s protégé Dr. Vijay Mallya Esquire and his faltering fortunes, primarily the sinking ship known as Kingfisher Airlines - not his luxury liner... And thus nothing much seems to have been spoken about the team per sei - except for the marauder known as Subrata Roy Sahara - who doesn’t really care ‘bout Formula 1; YIKES!

Whilst the other Off-season news centered ‘round ex-Force India piloto Adrian “Bubbly” Sutil and his Mate “Louise” giving him the cold shiver over his ‘lil Nightclub incident in Shanghai... Thus giving way to thee ‘Hulkster, aka Nico Hulkenberg, while I find it somewhat intriguing that Nicholas Todt’s young charge and future Ferrari shue? Jules bianchi has taken over the Friday test driver role; Hmm? Perhaps this is some actual racing seasoning a la STR’s Daniel Ricciardo participated in last year at HRT...

(7) Sauber F1 Team
Chassis:  C31
Engine: Ferrari
14. Kamui Kobayashi
15. Sergio Perez
T/R) Esteban Gutierrez

Nothing of much to report here, as everything’s the same with the only bad news being the departure of Technical Director James Key just prior to this year’s C31 rollout. Hopefully the team’s “Young guns” can continue their upward trajectory - as I expect both drivers to continue scoring points this year...

(8) Scuderia Toro Rosso
Chassis:  STR-07
Engine: Ferrari
16. Daniel Ricciardo
17. R-Jean-Eric Vergne
T/R) Sebastian Buemi

Team boss Franz “Hertz-doughnut” Tost once again laid down the law by tossing out his previous driver lineup - along with the bath water to make way for new charges Ricciardo and rookie Jean-Eric Vergne, who finished runner-up to Robert Wickens in last year’s World Series by Renault championship. Yet the Frenchman is tipped for big things in the future - as potentially these two young Hotshue’s will deuk-it out for ascension into Mark ‘Handlebarz Webber’s Red Bull seat when the ‘Aussie decides to leave...    

(9) Williams F1 Team
Chassis:  FW34
Engine: Renault
18. Pastor Maldonado
19. Bruno Senna
T/R) Valtteri Bottas

As we all know, the biggest news was the uncelebratory dumping of ‘Rubino (Rubens Barrichello) from Team ‘willy after 19-years in formula 1 en route to amassing the most career starts ever at a staggering 322! As I think the only one close to joining him in the 300 club is Herr Schumacher? Thus a more robust in the wallet younger Countryman with the Surname of Senna has taken Rubens seat instead, as his name is Bruno Senna. While all I can say is Thank You Frank, as F1’s loss is definitely our Indy Cars gain...

(10) Caterham F1 Team
Chassis:  CT01
Engine: Renault
20 Heikki Kovalainen
21. Vitaly Petrov
Reserve Drivers) Giedo van der Garde, Alexander Rossi

Guess I’ve gotta be careful of what I wish for, eh? Since I got my way over the NOTTSOE ‘Scrumptious ‘Juan , aka Jarno Trulli getting the boot from Team Lotus; Err Caterham in order to make way fir inserting the ‘Rooskie Vitaly ‘VO5 Petrov as ‘KOVY’s (Heikke Kovalainen) teammate this season. And although the new car has languished down at the dull end of the field, the Caterham’s should be improved with the addition of KERS for the very first time, while adding two new testers in American Alexander rossi and Dutchman Giedo van der Garde, as I’ll expect Caterham to break its Duck and score its maiden Grand Prix points this season...

(11) HRT F1 Team
Chassis:  F112
Engine: Cosworth
22. Narain Karthikeyan
23. Pedro de la Rosa
; T/R) Dani Clos

Don’t know what to say about this Minnowesqe team, other then I hope they last the entire season, as their transformation into an all Spanish team has been less then smooth, and they still seem to be on shaky financial grounds? Not to mention having signed the second oldest driver on the grid - Pedro de la rosa with thee “Speediest Indian” chaffing at his heels; with the two drivers not having gained any considerable testing mileage this winter...

(12) Murussia F1
Chassis:  MR-01
Engine: Cosworth
24. Timo Glock
25. R- Charles Pic

Marussia found out the hard way that perhaps ousted Technical Director Nick Wirth wasn’t all that far off the pace after all? Having endured the rigours of NOT being able to pass ALL 18 mandatory FIA crash tests until after winter testing was over, and hence rookie Frenchman Charles Pic will decidedly be behind in his quest to outshine countryman Vergne - not that I’m suggesting the Marussia is anywhere in the same zip code as the Toro Rosso STR-07... While I feel a little bit sorry for thee ‘Glockster, a.k.a. Timo glock who surely must pine for those brighter days at Toyota, eh? Now I just hope that the team made the MR-01’s fuel tanks large enough...

And thus, while if I was a betting man, I’d haveda bet on red and definitely pick Master ‘Zebb for the win, although I’d enjoy seeing the Homeboy ‘Handlebarz being victorious - as I’ve never seen such devoted loyalty by his country, as I was cautious to mention I was rooting for Vettel last year whilst traipsing ‘round Melbourne. Thus I’ll go out on a flyer here and throw out my podium selections...

P1: Vettel; P2: Rosberg; P3: ‘JENSE

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The perfect St Patty’s Nightcap

Still cannot believe its already 1yr ago today that I was touching down in thee Land of ‘Oz - literally for the very first time, having the good fortune of staying at “jenke’s Manor in Adelaide... Justin-Time for the V8 supercrz shuffle and then hopping over to Melbourne for you guessed I-T! And henceforth, while I should be pouring myself a Guinness tonight, I might haveda raise Fosters Oil Can or three? In honour of watching the ‘Austrialn GP LIVE on the ‘Telie at 10:30PM Pacific...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shame On You ALMS: Bring back the races to Celestial TV!

So a year ago I tried scriblin’ a can ‘O Whoop Arse on American Le Mans Series (ALMS) PATHETIC sucking up to thee Disney Networks and effectively NEUTERING the once live Flag-to-flag BRILLIANT SPEED coverage of the Sebring 12-hours Sports Car race.

And remember ALL of the Fanfare over how ‘Mega this year’s 50th running of the Rolex 24 was? Whale gee Wally, guess what? It’ll be Sebring’s 60th Anniversary, while the grand Mademoiselle; Err whatever they’re calling those sheik young things in Gay Paree these days? Le Circuit de la Sarthe will host its 80th running of the 24 Heurs du Mans this June; but I digress...

Why all of the fuss? Well guess what Buckaroo’s - you AIN’T gonna be watching ANY live coverage of this year’s Sebring race on television - as guess what ALMS? I DON’T WANNA TRY WATCHING IT ON SOME IDDY BITTY SMARTFONE!!!

Nor do I want to try attempting to logon to espn393 or whatever it’s called! I just wanna be able to turn on the blinkin’ Telescreen and viola; Err Shuhzamm! There IT is... As I useda to be a ‘Mega Fan of ALMS - still prefer it over Grand AM; BUTT! I’ve thrown in the  towel upon this series, as at least C’mon - let SPEED air the World Endurance Championship (WEC)rounds, which don’t get me started on that; as they’re running two split championships this weekend with NO qualifying in order to accommodate the 64 entries divided between the WEC & ALMS; Oh Never Mind!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Gooday Mates! Whale out here on thee Left Coast it’s almost that most cherished time of thee year; NO! Not when Uncle Sam comes ahKnockin’ upon your door, as that’s not ‘til April 15th; Hya! No, out here on the left Coast we stand upon the preface of the Pinnacle of Motorsports kickin’ off late this evening from Down Under in Melbourne Mates! As Crikeys, turn up the volume indeed! I know I will - hopefully disturbing the Drunken Bowfines residing above me; but I digress...

Although I found this past yarn quite amusing, nevertheless we won’t have the irrepressible Sir maXXum schlepping drinks for Uncle Bernaughty on this year’s Qantas flight!

The 2012 Formula 1 season kicks off tonight late evening Pacific or Friday AM Eastern on SPEED with Bob, ‘Hobbo & Professor Matchett calling the practice from their booth in Charlotte - with Willy Buxom, nee Will Buxton roving the Pitlane from Melbourne and potentially on Sheila watch too, eh? So check your local listings and set ‘Dem DVR’s...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Formula Ones next Danica? Not Really...

Cyndie Allemann; source:
In case Y’all haven’t heard the news? Female driver Maria De Villota has been announced as Marussia’s Test & Reserve Driver - in what surely is nothing more then a PR exercise, as even the Happy-Happy, Joy-Joy Media-speak from Marussia denotes how the 32-year old Spaniard won’t actually drive the car ‘til the Young Drivers test at Abu Dhabi next December? As the test won’t occur until after the Brazilian GP on November 25th, unless it’ll occur whilst the teams are at Yas Island previously? Hmm? This seems possible with the Abu Dhabi GP on November 4th and the debutant COTA event at Austin, Texas a Fortnight later on Nov. 18th.

Yet the whole point of this rant is NOT to condemn Maria or women in general, as it’s surely high time another Femme Fatale made waves in Uncle Bernaughty’s circus, eh? It’s just the fact that is De Villota really the right candidate? As reportedly she lacks a FIA Superlicense - perhaps part of the reason she won’t be taking part in any Friday morning testing? As Maria’s CV highlights seems to be prattling ‘round in the Superleague, albeit the Lotus-Renault XP Caladrocious gang gave her some seat time in one of their F1 chassis last year.

Hmm? Perhaps the original Swiss Miss, nee Cyndie Allemann, (Age 25) the ex-Indy Lights driver who’s currently languishing in relative obscurity in the Japanese GT series would have been a better choice? Not to mention what happened to ‘KanaDuh’s Great White hope thee Young ‘Wicky, aka Robert Wickens, you know the reigning World Series by Renault (WSR 3.5) champion. Or does that simply speak volumes regarding the real reason behind Marussia’s inking of De Villota?

Monday, March 12, 2012

INDYCAR: Will Lotus answer the Bell?

Otay, so that headline makes the Lotus IndyCar engine program sound a little worse off then I believe it actually is; BUTT! There certainly seemed to be a frothing occurring over last weekend’s “lack” of “Lotus-by-Judd” powered racing cars at Sebring’s open test Group-1 outing. (Mon-Tues) Yet the Group-2 running of three; count ‘em, three Loti-badged Dallaras Ontrack for the very first time ever I believe - certainly must be A New Track Record, eh?

When the Bryan Herta Autosports (BHA) entry of Alex Tagliani in their own chassis shared track time  with Oriel Servia - now driving the lone Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (DRR) entry during the morning session, saw Lotus double its output, albeit I was led to believe that this is a Lotus test mule chassis, and therefore I’m not sure if that means its got the same Judd ‘lump from the back of “Symona-Symona’s” (de Silvestro) HVM chassis or not? Since until now reportedly Lotus has been racking up frequent-flyer miles by shuttling a lone engine from test venues to England ‘N back - while the third Loti was the Dragon Racing car with Thy Leggy Juan, aka Katherine Legge at the controls; having finally gotten on track, albeit two days late.

As I’d read earlier SPEED’s Marshall Pruett noting that the Dragon dilemma on not having its two cars equipped with engines for its drivers prior to Monday’s first day of open testing was in regards to funding issues having not been fully sorted out between the two parties - before the powers-to-be At Lotus gave the go-ahead for a single engine to be flown out to Sebring on Wednesday; noting that the Dragon-flies would be pulling an all nighter in order to get a car up ‘N running before the end of Friday’s testing, with Dragon reportedly only having secured a single engine lease to date...

Therefore, it appears that there’s currently only three or four(?) Lotus 2.2-liter V-6 turbo ‘lumps in existence? Which surely doesn’t ooze confidence for the season opener, since there’s supposed to be five Loti’s on the grid, right? Hmm? Dragon has two chassis, with BHA, DRR & HVM having one apiece. Thus surely le ‘Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais must be questioning himself slightly? Although I’d presume it’s still his best option - especially with thee French Lion’s demise.

And now having read on TSO that all of the Lotus ‘lumps will be flown back Across thee Pond after testing, (minus one-lump) it  seems to me they’re gonna need some more engines; I mean, what happens if ‘Juan done BLOWN UP! During practice or qualifying? Although Honda and Chevy haven’t been without their own teething issues either. With both Target Boyz suffering maladies Thursday afternoon and Will Power playing Fireman Monday and then having a repeat episode of “Bowtie Rotisserie” on Tuesday...

Yet as I said before, Engine Developments Ltd is a very reputable engine manufacturer, just not exactly on the same solid financial backing of a “Parent” company at the moment, as I’d be quite happy to see Bourdais, Servia, ‘TAG (Alex Tagliani) “Symona-Symona,” although I’ve got a HUGE issue with her sponsor! Or HELL! Even thy Leggy Juan give the Honda & Chevy runners grief this year! Just remember that Katherine Legge hasn’t raced an Open Wheel Racing car in five-years or been in a car in a year-plus, so give her a chance...

Joe Berkemeier of Trackside Online was nice enough to reply to my question about whose Loti ‘lump was in the back of DRR’s car - saying he thought all three teams were now utilizing their own engines; while ‘Kurty Cavin reported in Pit Pass that Dragon has now secured engine leases for both drivers...