Monday, November 11, 2013

Sports Cars for Brits while Spanish Riders Scoot away...



So it's that time again, when the current racing season starts winding down around the globe, having already seen the soon to merge American Le Mans and Grand Am series seasons finish with their respective champions crowned; ditto for the Indy Car Series, while I believe that the GP2 and GP3 championships have also concluded - whilst "TWINKIEBOY" (Seb' Vettel) and Red Bull have clinched their fourth consecutive F1 titles respectively with just two races remaining...

Thus a perusal of the various newswires around the globe revealed to me that another championship winner had been crowned, with thee "Scottish Terrier," aka Alan McNish becoming the first Bloody Brit to win the Sports Car championship since 1992 when another ex-Formula 1 driver had done so. He was Ayrton's friend; NOT! As his name was Derek Warwick who won the final FIA World Sportscar Championship (WSC) for Peugeot Talbot Sport alongside another former F1 driver, Yannick Dalmas as his co-driver and co-champion.

McNish proclaimed the title's significance by stating: "It is the cherry on the top of the career cake." Having won it for Audi with the help of his No. 2 co-drivers "Mr. Le Mans," nee Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval on the back of three victories (Silverstone, Circuit Of The Americas) including this year's 24 Heurs du Mans, McNish's third victory while Kristensen extended his record to nine, yet neither driver had ever won a championship title! As the pressure's off now and the trio can go for a further victory at the World Endurance Championship finale at Bahrain...


I also came upon the day's results for the season ending MOTO GP race from Valencia, Spain, where Rookie 'Scooter prodigy "M & M," aka Mark Marquez had captured his ninth Pole I believe, and thus a  quick check of my TV Guide told me what I'd ARSE-sumed, the race was airing at 5AM (Pacific) live Sunday morning, which I decided to get up 'N watch since I'd be needing to awake at an even more ABSURD time in a scant few days for my trek to Austin...

And I could only chuckle over hearing that proper British euphemism, when we were told it was a "Cracking Sendoff!" In regards to this year's title decider, as  Marquez led the points chase by 13 over reigning Double MOTO GP champion George Lorenzo who'd be rolling off alongside Marquez in P2.

And it was also nice to hear Greg Kramer's voice in the 'Wee morning hours, since he was last year's COTA PA Announcer and hopefully will reprise his duty this year again? As Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa vaulted into second and put on a 'KURR-RACKING duel with Lorenzo for the lead, as Lorenzo had to win outright and hope for the younger Spaniard Marquez  to finish worse than fourth to claim the championship.

thus the 20yr old Rookie seemed content to watch Pedrosa and Lorenzo go Hammer 'N Tongs over the lead, with the two even bumping into each other - as the announcer chimed in he's got the best seat in the house! (P3)

After their coming together, Marquez vaulted into second behind Lorenzo while Dani Pedrosa dropped back to fifth before rebounding to third place and then ultimately slipping past his younger Repsol Honda teammate to finish runner-up to Lorenzo who claimed his eighth victory of the season. Yet with Marquez finishing upon the podium's final step in third, the Rookie Spaniard wasn't to be denied of doing the unthinkable by becoming the sport's youngest ever champion! (By a 4-point margin)

Having won six races and 16-podiums, Marquez snatched away the record for youngest ever champion which had currently belonged to 'Yank "Fast Freddy" Spencer who'd won his first GP500 title in 1983 at the age of 21. And to put it into perspective, that was the year that Tom Sneva won his lone Indy 500, having his face minted onto the Borg Warner trophy... While Marquez also became the first Rookie to win the title since "King" Kenny Roberts did so in 1978 - the year that 'B-I-G AL won his third Indianapolis 500; CRIKEYS!

thus has the torch been passed from "the Doctor" (Valentino Rossi) to Marquez? Only time will tell, but it's interesting to note that the 20yr old Rookie took over the seat vacated by the shock retirement announcement of two-time MOTO GP champ Casey Stoner at the age of 26 last year... As Marquez  has now won three titles in the last four years, having previously won the 125cc and Moto2 crowns on his ascension to the top!

Meanwhile, ironically with this year's title coming down to the final race, a sold out Spanish Flair, it was seven years ago since the last MOTO GP  title came down to the season finale which thee "Kentucky Kid," nee Nicky Hayden won aboard a Honda, as the Valencia round marked Hayden's final ride aboard his 'Duc (Ducati) which he's soldiered about upon for five years - mostly alongside Rossi, as Hayden will begin a new motorcycle racing chapter on Monday when he test's his new Honda production racer...

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