Monday, April 29, 2013

Bahrain: Stop the Rhetoric!

As Y’all might imagine, I’m growing increasingly frustrated over the rhetoric of how GURR-REAT! The Bahrain Grand Prix is for the healing and prosperity of the tiny Gulf Island nation. And I’m even further disappointed over how Grizzled ‘Journo Joe Saward seems to have taken the ‘Mickey and drank the spirits of Uncle Bernaughty & Co. in having become Pro-Bahrain Grand Prix by exuding the positives of the monarchy having hired women to its ruling party... Uh, gee Joe, some guy named George Bush hired Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, and Barrack Obama hired Hilary Rodham Clinton...

Thus if this event is the showcase for how far the Kingdom has  truly progressed in its transparency towards Democracy and Freedom, then how come the ruling party just cancelled Juan E. Mendez’s planned visit AGAIN; TWICE! According to the United Nations’s special rapporteur on torture,
Mr. Mendez has since released a statement contrary to the Bahrain Government’s insistence that he postponed his planned visit in cooperation with them, to which Mr. Mendez points out how the Bahrain rulers conveniently sent him a message cancelling next month’s planned visit in a letter delivered just days after the Grand Prix!

No, No, move along Y’all, there’s NOTHING to see here, we’re just hosting a Grand Prix, the weather’s fine and you really should come and see the racing; WE DON’T TORTURE ANYBODY HERE, HONEST!

Gee Bernie, Jean Todt and A-L-L of the other Pro-Bahrain GP faction, isn’t the timing of this visit originally conceived in Sept, 2011 and subsequently postponed in Feb, 2012 and now again conveniently just days after the most recent Grand Prix ironic? I mean isn’t it ironic; Hmm?


Paddock Blotter: April 29th edition

Been awhile since I’ve done Juan ‘O these - yet this time I’m trying a slightly different angle, just a few bits ‘n pieces, or is that Kibbles ‘N Bitz; Hya! As here’s a few items that’s caught my attention lately, but just haven’t’ been able to scribble ‘bout I-T...

‘Blackjack turns 87
First off, although having already occurred, nevertheless I noticed that Sir Jack “Blackjack” Brabham celebrated his 87th birthday recently, which is good news since I believe he’s not only the oldest living triple World Champion, but oldest living World Champion period...

Teammate Tusselz
Yeah, ok, I’ve already pretty much moved on; but, read this entertaining article about the ten worst teammate tantrums which was inspired by the Vettel-Webber shenanigans at Malaysia. And although I vaguely remember that Rene Arnoux pulled a Vettel/Pironi upon teammate Alain Prost, I’d somehow missed out upon Alan Jones & Carlos Reutmann doing something similar...

Back In the Kitchen, Missy
Oh Sir Stirling, how quaint of you to say that women just don’t have the mental ‘Kahoona’s to drive & race Formula 1 racecars... As I suppose you’d just like them to stay in the kitchen, fix your supper and put a spot ‘O tea on for Yuhs, right?

As yeah, that was an easy Juan, as obviously some pundit seeking controversy knew exactly where to look, and certainly how one of the sports O-L-D Guard would pontificate upon I-T as thee ‘Wee Willie Buxom (Will Buxton) rightfully points out in his point of view titled;

As I’d personally like to see the likes of “Symona-Symona” (Simona de Silvestro) or thee original “Swiss Missile” Cyndie Allemann be given a shot in Formula 1, while I’m not exactly certain if toto Wolff’s squeeze Susie ‘Q has the chops to cut it as a top tier F1 chauffer, albeit certainly has the ability to race a Grand Prix car...

Kimball Speaks Out
That’s Charlie Kimball Y’all, as here’s an interview the third year IndyCar driver recently gave...

Red Bulls next Stunt?
And while we’re taking the shine off of some Stirling sod, I find it funny that there has been remarkably little press about Red Bull’s latest Junior Driver hiring, which was a female... As in 18-year-old Netherlander female race car driver Beitske Visser whom I’ve never heard of before...

And let’s not forget about the promising young British lass Alice Powell, who that dastardly ‘Dom ‘O IndyCar Bloggers, i.e.; thee ‘DAWG, nee Pressdog once again has already  scooped out an interview with the aspiring female F1 prospect last September and now reports on her latest triumphs in;

The Original ReinMeister?
Spotted this during the Chinese GP weekend, noting how it was 20 years ago that Ayrton Senna thoroughly decimated the field in a soaking  wet, soggy, downright diabolical British GP at Donnington Park in his inferior McLaren Ford/Cosworth V-8 vs. the mighty Williams-Renault’s and the rest of the runners...

Don’t know if it’s just my O-L-D browser or what gives? As it makes total sense how Formula 1 won’t even let you view a stinkin’ video from 20yrs ago and they wonder why they’re losing viewers...

Panther DRR to Lose its Tail?
Was pretty surprised to hear the news that the owners of Panther DRR, Robbie buhl and Dennis Reinbold have told its staff and driver Oriel Servia that they’ll be out of work after this year’s Indy 500 unless some much needed sponsorship can be found; YIKES!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Top 10 Formula 1 Crapwagons?

Ferrari F2012: The Ugliest Ferrari racecar ever? (Source:
Fortunately for Mwah, as Y’all know by now, my eyesight is CRAP! And hence, I cannot really make out those atrocious looking Ant Eater noses which have become de riggour in F1 for the past two seasons.

And as typical, here’s another story that’s been laying  dormant in NoFendersville-land, as I simply cannot manage to type everythingy stuck inside my story vault fast enough to get it onto the Intrawoods...

Thus, having tried to choose one chassis from each of the major historic Constructors, i.e.; Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren, Williams, etc, along with some other oddities, here’s my list of entries, with NO help or advice from the man who came up with the term “CRAPWAGON;” Hya! As I know we’re still in the happy, fuzzy-wuzzy portion of the 2013 campaign; BUTT! I haven’t heard the term Crap Wagon used lately; although I’ve just read a somewhat snarky reference towards the Kardashian Humpmeister’s; Hooah! (Thanxs solely to Derek Daly for forever implanting those luscious words towards the Dallara DW12...)

Cannot recall which exact model it was, but there were some pretty ugly looking chassis during the early 1970’s as the proliferation of Airboxes just grew ‘N grew - overshadowing some of their respective drivers before the FIA mandated low Airboxes in ’76.

And I’m sure there are far more chassis then ten that fit this topic, as many would be quick to note the BAR-01 “Zipper Car,” which I for some reason have always liked, even having procured a Jacques Villeneuve 1/18 Minichamps version several moons ago. Thus, here goes nothin’

10) 2004 Williams FW26
The Team Willy “Walrus Tusk” Car seemed quite obnoxious with its overly wide, girthish protruding front nose pillars, which always made me think of a lumbering Walrus, and  hence my naming it this, albeit I’m apparently not alone on this thinking.

After a superb ‘Twenty-oh-three campaign, the team was hopeful of wrestling the Drivers & Constructors crown’s away from la Scuderia, with ‘MAC Montoya tipped as a title rival. But the short stubby overly wide front nose and twin keel design made setting up the car fairly inconsistent - seeing le ‘Reggie, (Renault) BAR and Ferrari all quicker then it, as Juan Pablo’s frustration towards trying to drag the Wooly Mammoth to the top of the points table saw the Columbian leaving for rival McLaren at the end of the season...

9) 1994 McLaren MP4/9
Although probably not its worst car, the storied Woking Constructor surely hit a very low point indeed with the lackluster MP4/9, most notably to being powered by the uncompetitive Peugeot V-10... Really McLaren, did you think that this engine would be competitive? As the Peugeot ‘lumps were never known for their reliability. As I seem to vaguely recall Martin “BillyBob” Brundle having a bunch of his ‘lumps go KABLAMOE!

Then add to the fact that “Mika-the-Finn” had that horrific shunt in Monaco which nearly ended his life - with Philippe Alliot filling in for the stricken Mika Hakkinen who made his return at the season ending Australian GP, and you have a pretty dismal car indeed...

8) 1992 Ferrari F92A
My first choice was the 1980 312T5, yet I chose this chassis instead since I believe its ‘Juan ‘O thee Tiafosi’s picks, albeit I think last year’s F2012 chassis was actually voted worst Ferrari ever...

Yet I’ve always liked this car, even having gone so far as having a print of it with the mercurial Frenchman Jean Alesi at the wheel adorning my wall. Guess its something to do with being fascinated by its double-floor concept which turned out to be a bust... Although supposedly Scuderia Toro Rossso tried its own adaptation of this philosophy - which first appeared on the 2011 STR-6 and continued on with the STR-7 before new  Technical Director James Key put a stop to it upon this year’s STR-8...

7) 1979 Lotus 80
Flush on the heels of Colin Chapman’s all conquering and revolutionary ground effects type 79, which Mario Andretti utilized to capture the 1978 F1 Drivers title, the team’s designers under Chapman’s tutelage sought to exploit the ground effects theory to its ultimate capability by building the Type 80 chassis with single flowing bodywork from nearly nose to tail which didn’t require any wings!

Yet the car’s ground effects were so stunning that they were basically overpowering the chassis and causing severe porpoising which couldn’t be cured, to which ‘New-boy Carlos Reutmann refused to drive the car!

Mario Andretti soldered on for three races with the beast, even after Chapman had attached a conventional front wing to it which had no effect upon the unwieldy chassis, ultimately causing the team to abandon the Type 80 and revert back to a hastily updated year old Type 79 instead with little avail, albeit the Lotus 80 would cause further controversy when morphing into the stillborn Type 88...

Jenson Button, Honda RA108, Barcelona, 2008 pre-season testing. (Source:
6) 1985 Lola THL1 HART (415T)
The Haas/Force F1 project with major American backing from corporate giant Beatrice, Lola branded chassis designed by Neil Oatley, John Baldwin and Ross Brawn, an exclusive three year contract for Ford Motor Company’s brand new V-6 turbo’s along with ex-world champion Alan Jones coming out of retirement surely looked like winners on paper.

Yet forced into utilizing the little engine that could, privateer Brian Hart’s underfinanced straight four cylinder single turbo lump during its debutant (partial) season while awaiting the overdue Ford TEC V-6 turbo lump, Jones only managed to run three races, making the team’s debut at Monza, Italy, but retired from all three events.

Once again the Ford TEC powerplant was delayed and the team was forced to revert to the Hart powered car in 1986 at the beginning of the season. And although ultimately Jones and teammate Patrick Tambay would score the team’s best finish of 4-5 respectively at Austria during 1986 in the new THL2’s, a change of management prior at Beatrice saw them pulling their funding of the project and Carl Haas was forced to shut down the company in October, while Benetton ran the TEC V-6 lumps for a further season in ’87 with little success...

5) 1984 Toleman TG184
Yeah, I know this is the car that garnered Ayrton Senna his first brief flash ‘O fame as a future world champion upon finishing runner-up to future teammate and arch nemesis Alain Prost in the somewhat controversial Monaco Grand Prix. Not to mention Senna scored another two podiums with the chassis; third places at Silverstone and Portugal.

And I realize that Rory Byrne was simply taking advantage of a loophole in the rules by putting a double wing upon the car’s rear flanks, but although I can somewhat enjoy this car, I also find its rear wing ruins the whole design aesthetically...

4) 2008 Honda RA108
Although I’m not sure if the “Earth Car” was worse than its predecessor, the RA107, especially with its much discussed “Dumbo Ears” solution vainly trying to claw back any semblance of front downforce...

But while I should have reveled in Honda’s decision to go totally devoid of sponsors ‘Deckel’s (decals) mucking it up, this car just seemed to be absolutely lost in the hinterlands and I’m sure that ‘JENSE (Button) was loathe to drive I-T! Not to mention the fact that it was so bad that Ross Brawn shifted the entire team’s focus onto the forthcoming ’09 design, which ultimately became world champion as the Brawn BGP001 after Honda had thrown in the towel!

Mika Salo rides the kerbs in the distinctive Tyrrell 025 X-Wing chassis. (Source:
3) 1990 Life L190
Apparently, this chassis’s engine was ahead of its time, as ex-Ferrari engineer Franco Rocchi designed a radical W12 - which sought to have the power of a traditional V-12 yet utilize the space of a more compact V-8.

Yet, the team truly was behind the eight-ball from the outset, having opted to utilize a year old stillborn FIRST Racing chassis, which had failed its mandatory FIA crash test the year before, not to mention having been designed for the mid-range conventional Judd V-8, and hence Gary Brabham was so despondent over the hopeless project that he quit after just two races!

F1 Fanatic’s Keith Collantine notes the listless L190 chassis was totally devoid of any life, routinely running some 20-seconds adrift of the front runners and failed to ever advance past the mandatory Pre-qualifying stage during its agonizing single year lifespan...

2) 1997 Tyrrell 025
For Mwah, the ’97-98 x-wing mirrors chassis, including the Tyrrell 025-Ford - which were the innovators of this technology were quite hideous and this is one of the few good thingys MAD MAX Mosley did, by outlawing them in ’98.

Sadly, this chassis designed by the late Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite was a fairly well balanced car with a brace of good drivers in Mika Salo and Jos “THE BOSS” Verstappen who were forced to battle for best in V-8 class honours with Minardi the majority of the season, with Salo’s fifth place finish in the X-Wing car being Tyrrell’s last ever points scored in Formula 1...

1) 1979 Arrows A2
Hands down, without a doubt, my choice for most hideous Formula 1 chassis of recent times is that most ugly looking Warsteiner Skirt Car, even in its gold livery, its wingless shape along with vacuum cleaner side skirting simply looks horrible to me!

And I’m guessing the car was a Dud also, since I think that it was replaced by its predecessor midway thru the season while design work was rushed ahead upon its replacement, the A3, which reverted back to a conventional front nose design...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bahrain? G-O Fish!

In case Y’all didn’t get thee Memo, in what is now becoming my yearly tradition, once again I’m Boycotting any television viewership or Scribblin ‘bout I-T here upon Ye ‘BLOB...

Also, due to having gone to a fantastic concert of a never heard  of before singer named Leila Downs Saturday evening, I have also failed to watch ‘N listen to any IndyCar action from Long Beach, while I’m hoping to catch the MOTO GP replay from COTA Tuesday morning. Thus, I’ll be way behind on any riveting insights over this past weekend’s Open Wheel Racing & ‘Scooterz action, although perhaps Queen Danica will finish twelfth again and reap some more monstrous presage, eh? Hya!

Back Shortly...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bahrain GP, not Politicalized, really?

Seriously, who are we trying to fool? That this weekend’s F1 Circus rightly or wrongly isn’t squarely in the crosshairs of a major political battle that’s been occurring for over two years now in the tiny Gulf Island Kingdom... As why were activists being arrested prior to the Grand Prix this week?

Second Annual Bahrain GP Boycott

In what appears to becoming a yearly tradition, once again your humble No Fenders scribe will NOT participate in this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix in any way, shape or form, i.e.; purposely NOT recording/watching any of the weekend’s track activities nor reporting upon the race.

Do I think my tiny gesture of not watching Uncle Bernaughty’s circus will do anything? Certainly not as its ‘Uber clear how a one Bernard Charles Ecclestone is only interested in one thing, can you say money! As I highly doubt anything in the Kingdom will change with America’s Fifth Naval fleet based their to protect the strategic asses of the desert’s liquid gold... Yet surely that doesn’t mean I have to condone the Gulf Kingdom’s ruthless killings of countless civilians for simply trying to assemble peacefully...

Last of Minardi’s Two Hundreder’s...

NO Son, You haven’t done Bad for a Number Two Driver at All! (Image source:
While the majority of the viewing public was aghast over Master ‘Zebb’s (Vettel) “You’re Breaking Up” radio antics; the most celebrated Minardi F1 Team Alumni was making a farce out of his 200th Grand Prix start, when “Fredrico Suave,” aka Fred Alonso badly misjudged the damage to his Ferrari’s front wingplate  and went skating off into the Kitty-litter el Pronto!

Now its time for Take Two! As arguably the lil Minnowesqe Italian squad’s second most successful Gran Primo Piloto Mark Webber is celebrating his 200th Grand Prix start this weekend in Bahrain.

Alonso        Webber
Year started: 2001                 2002
Starts: 202                              200
Wins: 30                                 9
Podiums: 87                           35
Poles: 22                                 11
Fastest laps: 19                       14
(Stats as of 2013 Malaysian GP; EXCLUDING Race Starts)

Obviously Alonso is Minardi’s greatest driver ever, being the only one to go on to capture the world championship twice to date, while I believe Webber is P2 having scored nine Grand Prix victories to date - which would have been ten if Sebastian Vettel hadn’t pulled out his earplugs in Malaysia...

Other notable Minardi Alumni include the likes of Pierluigi Martini, who singlehandedly scored nearly 50% of the team’s coveted Constructors points, wracking up 16 of the 38 total tally.

And there were at least two F3000 International champions who cut their teeth at Minardi, Christian Fittipaldi and Justin Wilson. Along with four other B-I-G Italiano names from the Minardi roll: Michele Alboreto, Alessandro Nannini, Jarno Trulli and Alex Zanardi, while two popular Dutchman have spent time with the team on both sides of the pond - their names being Jos “THE BOSS” Verstappen and Robert Doornbos, who later became known stateside as “Bad Bobby D.” Not to mention the sport’s last “Niederlander” Cristijan Albers spending his Formula 1 rookie season with the squad before “Guido-the-Dutchman,” aka Giedo van der Garde made his F1 debut this season with Caterham...

Both Alonso and Webber made their F1 debuts for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix, albeit Alonso had moved onto greener pastures - effectively making way for Webber’s arrival by moving to le Reggie (Renault) to spend a year as its test driver before replacing ‘JENSE  (Button) who moved to BAR-Honda. Ironically I believe both of Renault’s drivers were under the management of Flavour ‘Flav, (Flavio Briatore) who’d also been reinserted as the Team Principal, as Renault had bought out the Benetton team that he’d previously managed; while Webber’s still under the spell of “HMS Monogram” (Briatore) for management services...

And the rest as they say is history, as Alonso went on to become Double World Champion (2005-06) with Renault; had an acrimonious one year term with McLaren before scurrying back to the faltering ‘Reggie before ultimately being lured away to la Scuderia, nee Ferrari.

Meanwhile, Webber seemed to be a man casting adrift by going to teams who seemed to be on the downward leg of the F1 Constructors trough by signing on with Team ‘Willy after it had lost its might with the powerful factory BMW ‘lumps, and then moving to Jaguar which seemed in a similar state of disrepute while trying to live up to the Eddie Irvine glory dazes while Ford seemed to be losing interest with the sport before ‘Deeter Majestik bought it and rebranded it Red Bull Racing...

Or potentially Y’all could say that  el Zorro, nee Alex Zanardi was Minardi’s second most successful driver? Although the Italian had less than a favourable Formula 1 career, as I still seem to recall having a black & white magazine  picture of him smashing his head against his Team Lotus cockpit in a monstrous crash...

Yet without Zanardi coming to America to drive for who he called ‘Cheep, (Ganassi) we’d have NO celebratory victory doughnuts - which became his signature trademark every time his red Target racecar won in CART; not to mention what’s simply known as: “THE PASS!”

As Alex would dominate the Championship Auto Racing Teams landscape from 1996-98, wracking up 15-victories en route to winning two championship titles back-to-back (1997-98) before unwisely returning to Formula 1 with Williams who’d just lost their Works Renault V-10 supply.

But Zanardi is the only alum to have won two gold & one  silver medal in the Paralympics, which he captured in London during the 2012 Summer Games...

Justin Wilson’s time in F1 might have been short, but he’s made a pretty good show out of his Open wheel Racing career  stateside first in  Champ Car and then later in IndyCar, where he’s collected a total of seven victories to date, including Newman Haas Racing’s final victory plus Dale Coyne’s only two wins ever. As the lanky Brit’s stature has earned him the moniker ‘BIG UNIT, as I’ll always fondly recall Wilson and Webber dwarfing the shorter Scott “Scooter” Pruett when they were teammates briefly at Jaguar and Pruett was driving a bud Light ‘Jag as well; while I’m ARSE-sumin’ that Wilson’s the only team alum to have won the Rolex 24 at Daytona...

Michele Alboreto notched up all five of his Grand Prix victories before coming to Minardi at the twilight of his F1 career before retiring - then unfortunately lost his life testing an Audi Sports Car at the Lausitzring, which also proved diabolical for Zanardi. Yet I’m guessing that Michele is the only Minardi alum to have won the 24 Heurs du Mans, eh?

Dorrnbos took up residence with Minardi Team USA  in Champ Car and promptly reeled off two victories in his rookie season, which he also won the 2007 Rookie Of the Year honours en route to finishing third overall in the championship - but was unable to make the jump successfully to the Indy Racing League when it merged; Err took over Champ Car in ‘Tweny-oh-Eight, as he seemingly torpedoed his career there by dumping Newman Haas in favour of the now defunct Conquest Racing team and hasn’t been heard of since...

Christian Fittipaldi’s lone win came in CART at Road America, where afterwards Chief Steward Wally Dallenbach (Senior) had to eat his hat - or something to the effect from a bet he’d made with the young Brazilian...

Alessandro Nannini’s career was cut short by a helicopter accident after he’d won the controversial 1989 Japanese Grand Prix for Benetton, his solitary Grand Prix win, with thee Trulli ‘Scrumptious, aka Jarno Trulli becoming Minardi’s initial 200 Grand Prix club member with a final tally of 252-starts - currently the fourth most ever, albeit just seeing the chequered flag once for Renault in the Principality. (Monte Carlo)

And with the little Italian team that could being sold by Paul Stoddart to Dietrich Mateschitz and henceforth being renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso, Mark ‘Handlebarz Webber will close the books upon Minardi 200 GP Starts inductees, who’ll hopefully break into the double digits for career victories soon...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ecclestone: Bahrain Must Go On!

Formula 1 Czar Uncle Bernaughty, nee Bernie Ecclestone is being his usual churlish self by refusing to back down over continuing on with the Bahrain Grand Prix despite its Political ramifications... Uh, gee Wally; can Y’all say 40-million British pounds! Like Bernie’s gonna pass up upon that?

While ex-World Champion Damon Hill has called the FIA’s Jean Todt out upon the matter, although in typical Todt fashion, he’s been absolutely 110% SILENT! As we all know that; The Show MUST GO ON...

MOTO GP Invades Texas

Qatar Motogp - Ben Spies. (Source:
Otay, so the season’s already begun with its yearly evening race under the Desert stars of Qatar - having awaited the replay last Tuesday morning, since I’d been watching the IndyCar race instead when it originally aired in the same time slot - thus I spent the corresponding Sunday night and Monday in a semi-news blackout state in order to not hear the results; SHUSH!

And what a Barn Burner I-T was! Thus if Y’all have some extra scratch to part with and are anywheres in the vicinity of Austin, Texas’s COTA this weekend, then Y’all might wanna saddle up and mosey on over to watch some of the Baddest Bad Arses on the planet drag their knees, elbows and other body parts including humongous sized Attachments around the pristine three-plus mile race track... 

Thus, my quick picks for the season were made prior to watching the race or reading 1993 GP500 World Champion Kevin Schwantz’s MOTO GP preview; as obviously George Lorenzo has to be the hands-on favourite for repeat champion this season, right? With his title rival most likely being Dani Pedrosa - provided he can stay healthy for an entire campaign.

Then there’s The Doctor, aka Valentino Rossi who’s returning to Yamaha this year alongside his arch nemesis Lorenzo, as these two had a strained relationship in the past which saw Valentino depart for a miserable two years  with his home country’s marque Ducati. Thus can thee Doctor return to his past form and challenge for the title aboard his ‘YamaHopper?

Meanwhile The Kentucky Kid , nee Nicky Hayden continues his turbulent times at the ‘Duc (Ducati) now being joined by ‘DOVY, aka Andrea Dovizioso who takes over his departed Countryman’s seat, while surely the mighty ‘Duca’s should improve now that they’re under the ownership of Audi AG.

Ben ‘ELBOZ Spies who got unceremoniously dumped from his Factory Yamaha ride by Rossi had originally announced his intentions to retire from the sport, a la Casey Stoner, albeit Spies’s career doesn’t hold a candle to the retired Australian rider to date - who’s gone ‘TinTop racing instead.

Fortunately for Mwah, Spies reconsidered his hastiness to depart the pinnacle of two wheeled racing and instead found refuge at the Privateer Ducati Pramac Racing team, which would seem to make him a long shot for victory this year, but could he be sticking around to move up to the factory “Works” team in the future?

Cal Crutchlow is another rider to keep an eye out for, as he seems like a Hard Charger aboard the Monster Tech Twah Yamaha, while I’ve never heard of this upstart rookie Marc Marquez, who I did hear was fastest in Friday’s practice session.

And by sheer luck I stumbled into the re-broadcast of the race which I thought was an hour earlier, since SPEED cannot tell you which series of the MOTO GP classes its showing; URGH! As I cannot say I was overly surprised by the victor, as George Lorenzo simply disappeared into the Desert and serenely ‘WALKED I-T Home! Leading flag-to-flag en route to building up a seven second lead. Yet the race was extremely exciting as there was ‘Juan Helluva Donnybrook over who’d finish runner-up, as for some reason Pedrosa’s Honda seemed to be holding up the passel ‘O riders behind him, with his new teammate Marquez nipping at his heels, along with Crutchlow, while Rossi had to abort an attack upon third place early in the race and dropped like a stone back to seventh before we were treated to some vintage Valentino carving up the field upon his Scooter...

Meanwhile Marquez & Crutchlow were all over each other like two mangy ‘Hoonds scrapping over a bone for the final podium position while Pedrosa seemed barely able to hold them at bay; as there definitely didn’t appear to be any Marquez is FASTER than you radio instructions being issued from the Honda pits, while Marquez did seem cognizant of the fact that it might be unwise to turf off his teammate in his debutant B-I-G Bikes race.

And then I think it was with about five laps remaining that all HELL broke loose over the runner-up position, as Lorenzo had done checked out and as Gavin Emmett said; was totally unawares of the massive scrum for second going on behind him...

First Marquez passed Pedrosa for second place finally and appeared to be somewhat checking out whilst Crutchlow sniffed around the languishing Pedrosa like a hungry blood hound who’d found the scent for third place. Yet Rossi came racing into the picture like a  shark smelling blood in the water and swiftly pounced first upon the frustrated Crutchlow, then picked off Pedrosa and gave the upstart rookie Marquez a nod as he passed him - saying who do you think you are boy?

But I was absolutely amazed by the audaciousness of the 20-year old Spaniard, as the two-time MOTO2 champion was having none of I-T and pulled a ‘Mega Balls to the Wall outbraking pass into corner one upon a somewhat unexpecting Valentino, who then subsequently repassed Marquez and rode like the devil whilst trying to seek some respect from Mark’s elder, not to mention apparently MOTO GP’s elder statesman... While Marquez seemed content to consolidate his amazing third place finish upon his debutant MOTO GP outing, with Pedrosa a disappointed fourth and Crutchlow surely a dejected fifth place, albeit the Brit should take solace in being the first Satellite Scooter amongst the leading Factory bikes.

Nicky Hayden and Ben Spies each improved their respective starting grid spots by three positions apiece with Nicky winding up eighth and Ben tenth, as I was totally unawares that Spies has had shoulder surgery, apparently to repair a ligament in his right shoulder, as I think it was Greg Kramer relating how ‘ELBOZ was suffering from the mostly right hand turns on the Lasalle circuit and would be recuperating for awhile.

Meanwhile, the elder statesman of American Scooter pilots Colin Edwards, a.k.a. the “Texas tornado,” who’s 39, (five years older than Rossi) is once again contesting the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) ranks, which are second tier bikes compared to the Crème del la Crème MOTO GP machinery, and thus Edwards and his entire class seem mostly overlooked...

Thus, I can’t wait to see the action on SPEED from the Circuit Of The Americas this Sunday, although I don’t think you can get quite as close to the action as I did some two-plus years ago at Indianapolis. As I cannot describe the sensory overload of standing along the front straight fencing watching miniscule coloured blobs hurtling past Mwah at 200mph! While I’m certain Spies’s rookie season and debutant pole position upon the factory Yamaha ride seem a lifetime ago, eh?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Only in Texas...

Funny how when I went to The Circuit Of The Americas they told us we couldn’t bring any weapons to the Grand Prix, i.e.; shotguns, assault weapons, handguns, knifes, etc. Thus I find it overly ironic that a 42-year old man took it upon himself to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head at Saturday night’s NASCAR race whose title sponsor was the National Rifle Association...

F1: Fernando paints Shanghai red

So it was a pretty exciting race, albeit how much of it was manufactured due to tyre management? As Y’all have to wonder what was the real reason behind playing ‘JENSE’s (Button) radio message asking do you want me to race (the Mercedes) or hold station? As in what is our tyre strategy?

And I was a bit disappointed by Leigh Diffey going A-L-L PC on us over the ‘Kimster’s in-car transmission asking “What thee HELL he’s doing?” In regards to his contretemps with Sergio Perez’s McLaren, as Leigh said we’ll leave one word out for you; Huh? Since when did HELL become such a horrific word? Yet it was perfectly ok to air ‘Ol Squarejaw, nee David Coulthard implying Alonso would be doing some ‘Shagging tonight when saying on world television: “There’s your girlfriend below and we know you’ll do some private celebrating tonight...”

Was happy to see the “Incredible Hulk” (Nico Hulkenberg) leading for Sauber, albeit I’m presuming he wore out his Pirelli rubber in the later stages when dropping down to tenth.

While good on you Mate! As Daniel Ricciardo scored his best career F1 finish in P7 for Toro Rosso, which was the polar opposite of his elder countryman, eh? As what more can you say about Mark Webber’s unforgettable weekend? As one headline read from Multi-21 to last on the grid - due to the team not filling up his fuel tank properly during qualifying. Then he tussled with ‘Seester team driver “JEV” (Jean-Eric Vergne) suffering a cut tyre before ultimately retiring when his right rear tyre fell off ontrack; YOUCH!

And as much as I’m not happy over the Master Clinician ‘Seb Vettel’s I was confused antics, yeah that’s the ticket; BARF! He did show why he’s the reigning triple world champion by taking eleven seconds out of Lewis Hamilton at the end of the race en route to coming up a scant 0.2 seconds adrift of overtaking Hamilton for third place, with Raikkonen finishing a fine runner-up with his front nose askew while Alonso simply checked out for the majority of the race en route to his 31st career victory, which ties him for fourth overall with Bloody ‘Nige...

Oh yeah, further back in the pack, once again the two nuveil Frenchies, aka Jules bianchi and Charles Pic continued their early season boxing match with the rookie Bianchi and his lesser Marussia finishing ahead of sophomore driver Pic’s Caterham - as I believe that gives Bianchi a Three-Nil (3-0) score as best finisher of the Tail Enders battle to date...

‘Asta Lavista Sanchez

Al Hobert and the Lowenbrau Porsche 962 were synonymous with winning in IMSA GTP during the 1980’s including victories in the Miami Grand Prix. (Source:
Saturday morning prior to watching the tape of F1 Qualifying I learned of Ralph Sanchez’s death at the relatively young age of 64 via the New York Times, which although I’ve never really been a fan of Homestead Miami Speedway or intrigued by Ovals per sei, I do realize that this track would have never been built without Sanchez’s vision - not to mention motor racing occurring in Miami in general.

And when I think of racing in Miami, my mind conjures up the name Tamiami Park which hosted CART races in the late 1980’s, along with those dreaded IMSA GTP Porsche 962 Panzerwagons blasting down Biscayne Boulevard with some (Jaguar) ‘Cats nipping at their heels in the Miami Grand Prix between 1983-93.

Not to mention ‘’Ol Hollywood, aka Danny Sullivan starring on an episode of Miami Vice circa ’86 which revolved around those same Sports Cars scene - as it pains me knowing I eagerly anticipated watching that episode live some 27-years ago; CRIKEYS!

Whilst I recall being absolutely gutted over Will Power’s first failure to claim the IndyCar crown at Homestead, along with the most nerve racking season finale being the ’09 episode where Dario snookered Ryan Briscoe...

And along with Sanchez’s determination to bring motor racing to Miami, we’ve also got to tip our hat towards the Cuban refugee whom enticed somebody I used to mockingly call “Emmoloe” who’s better known as EMMO, nee Emerson Fittipaldi out of retirement and a Open wheel Racing renaissance culminating with two Indy 500 victories...

Friday, April 12, 2013

He’s Winning the Race...

Cannot exactly say why, but this song has been running in my head all day long - flooding my thoughts while watching the Friday F1 Free Practice session from Shanghai - while listening to A-L-L of the banter over Master ‘Zebb’s infallible Multi-21 Cock Up at Malaysia...

“He's going the distance
He's going for speed

As they speed through the finish, the flags go down
The fans get up and they get out of town
The arena is empty except for one man
Still driving and striving as fast as he can
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up
And long ago somebody left with the cup
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns

Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse
He's going the distance
No trophy, no flowers, no flashbulbs, no wine
He's haunted by something he cannot define
Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse
Assail him, impale him with monster-truck force
In his mind, he's still driving, still making the grade”

Because He's going the distance
He's going for speed
Move over Webber
And let ME lead!
(Song Lyrics from The Distance by Cake)

As all I could think of during the show was how I believe that Vettel’s favourite TV Show growing up was Hogan’s Heroes and his favourite character was Sergeant Schulz, Y’all know: I KNOW NOTHING! I see nothing; hear nothing Yada-yada-yada...

And what is this Multi-21 Sebastian? We Have Ways of Making You Talk... Huh? Is there a race going on this weekend? Oh Never Mind!

VIDEO: The Distance