Thursday, January 31, 2013

British Driver takes Final lap...

Funny thingy, the old-ER I get, the more I tend to believe I know less ‘bout F1, as have Y’all ever heard of the name Colin Davis? But if you’re a ‘Bloody Brit then you’re not included in the questione - since you’ve probably heard the news on the BBC’s “Red 5” live, or somewhere else - as it’s too bad that you only learn about somebody via their obituary, eh?

As I was unaware that Messer Davis competed in Formula 1, albeit during its infancy of the modern era, when he trundled about la Autodromo Nazionale Monza for what I’d say is probably a pretty unknown entrant these days, the Privateer Scuderia Centro Sud team. As Davis drug his outclassed Cooper-Maserati to eleventh place at Monza in 1959 following his proper F1 debut at that year’s French Grand Prix.

Yet I do recall this Minnowesqe team, as I tend to believe I’d seen Reg Parnell’s name - not to be ‘Cornfuzed with ‘Ol Rufus Parnelli Jones; Hya! Behind the wheel of one of its Maserati 4CL’s; yet as I quickly puruse the team’s honour roll of drivers, Parnell’s is not listed, albeit I recall that he’d served as an Alfa Romeo factory piloto in the series inaugural Grand Prix at Silverstone where Alfa entered four cars...


But the list seemingly reads like a Who’s Who, with a multitude of names, including the likes of: Giancarlo Baghetti, Lorenzo Bandini, Lucien Bianchi - whose Grand-nephew is the current Force India F1 test driver Jules; Joakim Bonnier, Maria Teresa de Filippis - Formula 1’s first female driver; Masten Gregory, Troy Ruttman, Carroll Shelby, Alejandro de Tomaso and Wolfgang Von Trips just to name a few.

While the aforementioned Parnell did indeed drive non-works Maserati’s, albeit not for Scuderia Centro Sud’s revolving cockpit, Reg would later become an F1 team owner along with being team manager for Aston Martin when victorious at Le Mans; but I digress...

And although Davis did indeed compete in Formula 1 briefly, he’s known better for his best racing accomplishment being victorious in the insanely difficult Targa Florio rally, which apparently only six other British drivers did so in the rally’s history, as Y’all may have heard of some of them? With the likes of Peter Collins, Vic Elford, Graham Hill, Stirling Moss, Brian Redman and Cyril Snipe as the rest of this Super-7 ‘Bloody Brit winners...

As Davis’s 1964 win links him in the history annals with an F1 world champion and another known as the best never to win the crown With Graham Hill being double world champion with 14-wins, whilst Sir Stirling Moss finished runner-up four times en route to claiming 16-victories.

 Collins was a multiple Grand Prix winner for Scuderia Ferrari - notching three wins for Enzo, where he became good friends with eventual British world champion Mike Hawthorn; whilst Collins  himself was positioned to win the title before handing his Ferrari over to eventual 1956 title winner Juan Manuel Fangio at Monza that year.

Elford & Redman’s names are synonymous with Sports Car racing as both drivers claimed the winner’s laurels in the prestigious Sebring 12-hours and Daytona 24-hours races, whilst Elford also claimed victory in the Monte Carlo Rally, and Shuhzamm, viola! Speaking of the great Brian Redman, lookie thar - Gordon Kirby just magically posted a story about the Brit’s trifecta at Daytona just days after Davis’s obituary…


As six of these seven drivers all made starts in F1 races with the only exception being - at least during the sport’s modern era was the totally unknown to Mwah Cyril Snipe, who reportedly took a two hours nap and still claimed victory in the 1912 Targa Florio…

Yet Davis who mainly raced in Italy and hence went largely unnoticed was shrewd enough to say ‘Fini and simply walked away from motor racing in order of self preservation upon noticing the alarming rate of fellow competitors dying - retiring to South Africa and a broadcasting job instead…

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breaking news - Sorta...

Dogs playing on the field during Puppy Bowl IX. (Photo credit: Animal Planet - Source: photos.denverpost.com)
So having scribbled the following posts in advance of departing for Arizona, naturally thee news ‘O thy weekend broke when Danica Patrick finally revealed publicly that she’s got a new boyfriend whose name is Ricky Steinhouse Jr. Ah Shucks, I’m just wunderin’ what’ll happen when Danica gets PEEVED when she tinks ‘Ricky-boy done turned her, eh?


Yet the really breaking news for Mwah, was the discovery of the annual Puppy Bowl that I’d never ever heard of... Thus, if Y’all are hunkerin’ for something different then just another game ‘O smash mouth pigskin this Sunday, then I suggest you dial up the Animal Planet channel and drop in for this year’s Puppy Bowl instead! As I’m sure that ‘GURR-ranimalz ‘LUV-er CARPETS will definitely be checkin’ I-T out, right Dave? Dave? Dave’s NOT here; Oh Never Mind!


GO BUTTERSCHOTCH!

Off to Visit Thy Princess...

’Whale at least I’m off to thee Valley of the Sun, a.k.a. Phoenix, Arizona where I think Princess Danica still lives? Yep, according to Arizona Bureau Chief MJ - Danica & Mr. Hospenthal filed for divorce in Maricopa County and both had signed Pre-nuptials... Hey Danica just don’t let ‘Ol Sherriff Joe knows yours available; Hya!

And somehow I’m doubting seriously that I’ll manage to swing by The Gasman’s ‘lil shooting range; (golf, NOT pistoleros...) Y’all know, where he keeps the world’s fastest golf cart, right? Although most likely I’ll (hopefully) manage another trek to The Captain’s - not Tenille’s museum instead...


And I’d thought it would have been truly ironic if I’d manage to arrive “Justin-time” at ‘Blogmeister Miguel’s housianda for Souper Dooper Bowl-47 and the Seattle Seahawks had somehow managed to GO ALL THE  WAY? But alas it wasn’t to be, as instead we’ll be watching ‘Dem San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens this weekend instead.

As GULP! Even though I should be rootin’ for Jimmy No. 4 Harbaugh, ex-co-owner of Panther Racing... Instead I’m hoping the Ravens are victorious - for Joe Flacco’s sake and everyone else besides “Ray-Ray!” (Lewis)

Thus I’ll leave Y’all with a few little longish yarns I’ve carefully poonded out ahead of time, while I highly doubt I’ll manage to run into Miss Danica, who’m I’m told is the fastest girl in town; Hya!

Missing Pace car found!


’Hulio’s May 24 2009 Indianapolis 500 Pace car camaro at Penske Racing Museum; April, 2012. (AZM Photos)
’Whale I’m not exactly sure I-T was ever missing? Especially if I saw it at thee ‘Captain’s ‘lil museo in Scottsdale, AZ last year, as apparently Roger has some sorta arrangement with his drivers to keep their winning Pace cars, eh? Since Blogmeister Miguel pointed out this ‘Hulio-mobile to Mwah last April... As the impetus for this ‘lil yarn was the entertaining story about ‘Ol Rufus Parnelli Jones cowboy hat being found after missing for 50-years; YIKES! Now ged-along you ‘lil cow-pokies; Hya!


(Photo Courtesy No Fenders ‘Blogmeister Miguel)

F1 gets set to launch the Balloons and go Pre-season testing...

Otay, so I’ve managed to go away “Justin-time” to miss this year’s riveting Formula 1 car launches along with the first round of the 2013 F1 Winter Olympics.

Pre Season Testing
Test-1: Feb 5-8; Jerez.
Test-2: Feb 19-22; Barcelona.
Test-3: Feb 28 - March 3; Barcelona.

Also, prior to the run-up of the first test session, eight teams will launch their new 2013 challengers with McLaren leading the way on Jan 31, followed by Ferrari, Force India, Sauber, Red Bull, Mercedes, Scuderia Toro Rosso and Caterham; While Williams has elected to wait a further ‘Fortnight before pulling off the wraps upon its FW35 on Feb 19.

Meanwhile currently (at the time of writing) both Lotus and Marussia were TBA, although I’d ARSE-sume they’d  wish to be present at the test sessions, as Team ‘Willy will run an interim chassis at Jerez and I’d expect at least Lotus to do likewise, whilst I’m sure Marussia’s newest rookie Max Chilton could use all the pre-season mileage possible before making his debut at Melbourne on March 17th, whilst I was surprised to read the announcement of thee ‘Glockster’s, nee Timo glock’s sacking by Marussia just a scant 15-days prior to the first test session. As there’s NO word on his replacement, albeit scuttlebutt suggests fellow ‘Rooskie Vitaly ‘VO5 Petrov taking over the seat...

Hmm? Does this suggest that ‘KOVY (Heikki Kovalainen) will remain in F1 at Caterham, or will they go for the cash instead and take on “Guido-the-Dutchman” (Giedo van der Garde) instead? While Force India could use a second driver to partner Paul di Resta - as it’d be nice to know the full grid line-up pretty soon...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rolex 24: Thoughts upon the Race ‘N More


The No. 61 R.Ferri/AIM Motorsport Racing with Ferrari - Ferrari 458 Italia with Max Papis at speed. (Source: motorsport.com)
So it’s funny how much I’m theoretically slipping... As in winters past I’d have watched a ton ‘O Memorex of past Formula 1 races to fill in the Downtime, yet CRAP! I haven’t even bothered to carve out time to watch my tape of last November’s inaugural USGP at Circuit Of The Americas; CRIKEYS! Whilst its even funnier how as I poond away on thy keyboards my favourite ‘Kuhnadiun rock band RUSh’s Limelight serenely plays in the background...

Thus it was with GURR-REAT!!! Anticipation that I eagerly awaited the green flag flying at Daytona for this year’ s Rolex 24, which for Mwah always signals the start of a new racing season!

And a zillion thought bubbles occurred; as I’m happy to see that Brian Till has moved into Leigh Diffey’s announce spot, who Y’all might recall my pining for as Bob Jenkins replacement last year... While I marveled at the thought that Justin Bell was kind enough to grant me an interview - as he looks set to become an integral part of SPEED’s Sports Cars broadcasts, provided FOX doesn’t obliterate the channel in favour of stick ‘N ball sports when conveniently their portion of ‘RASSCAR expires this August, eh?


And Juan ‘O Oil Pressure’s favourites, ‘TK, thy original ‘TK as in Tommy Kendall succinctly mused ‘bout his first ever rubber chicken autographing experience, which Bob Varsha asked if he still had his famous Chicken car, to which Kendall quipped has its own Facebook page; Hoohah!

And then there appeared to be the No Fenders jinx, as four of my top picks ran into mechanical troubles immediately, with the No’s 00, 60, 61 & 73 all experiencing maladies early in the race; SHEISA! As I found myself rootin’ instead for the No. 2 Starworks DP of le ‘Hamburgular, Razzle-Dazzle & thee Scottish Terrier; although I also found myself marveling over how much I like “Symone Pagenoe” (Simon Pagenaud) as they stuck a microphone in his face after he’d just completed a double stint...

And I also found myself finding some new appreciation for ‘Dashley LePew (Dario Franchitti) after another typical non-plus interview after his driving stint; effectively saying sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield when describing the ebbs ‘N flow of racing in traffic...

And there was the brief interview with ‘Ol SuperTex, aka AJ Foyt, who took pity upon a past charge of his named Brian till. While as always it’s the drivers & celebrities that get A-L-L the attention, as I read somewhere that Continental tyres would have 85-crew members working on their rubber for the duration of the event. And they’d need 17-semi truck trailers to house the 12,000? Sets ‘O majik black ring thingys - and some further crazy statement like they’d be pumping out 200-sets of tyres every two minutes during the heat of the battle; Aye Karumba! As I know many think Continental is the scourge of motor racing after trying to maneuver their way into IndyCar; but, Y’all gotta respect this monstrous effort, eh?

And that’s just one tiny example of the countless behind-the-scenes efforts that occur that we’re not privy too - as I know I’ve not typed anything yet about the action upon the racetrack, but there’s simply way too much going on to try typing a running diatribe here...

As I found myself agreeing with 15 Days in May’s Mike Knapp about how I always marvel about how I can go to sleep at night and arise 8hrs later somewhat fresh ‘N rested whilst having sugar-plum dreams ‘bout how those 56-enteries have been racing around the clock while my sleepy head lay upon its pillow!

And I got big laughs outta the amusement over putting Juan Pablo ‘MAC Montoya behind the wheel of the #01 this year, as ‘Monty promptly incurred a speeding penalty upon leaving the pits for his first stint, ah, shade ‘O Indianapolis and the Brickyard 400, eh? As hopefully he won’t hit NO jet dryer’s on the high banks this year; Hya! Although ‘Monty stormed backed to the point quickly - as I think he did a triple-stint? As I know he was leading overall when SPEED went off the air at 8pM Pacific...

Think the No. 61 “MAD MAX” Ferrari 458 Italia was leading the GT class at this point, although I lost track since I was busy guffawing over James Hinchcliffe’s Kimi Raikkonen impersonation; thank you very much! As thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown was in his usual rare form while having lots of extra free-time on his hands since his #70 Mazda 6 Diesel had been retired, as two of the three GX class Mazda’s had tossed their lunches; Err thrown pistons, as Hinchcliffe noted how they’d only managed to do eight consecutive laps at a time; YIKES! Although in fairness to Mazda, this was a brand new program and they’re the very first ever diesel’s to run at ‘DayToner and I wonder if the high banks 31-degree banking had anything to do with their engine maladies?

Hence, as fireworks lit up the sky near 11PM ET - and the Telescreen as Bob Varsha signed off, I wondered if the ‘Chebbies were gonna come outta nowheres? As Tommy Kendall had the best ‘Juan-liner of the day by saying how the only more sand bagging that the Bow Tie brigade was doing was at Hurricane Sandy! As I know Wayne Taylor was a very accomplished driver, but his whiny pitch makes me instantly think of Jim Harbaugh...

Daylight Returns
Trying to decide whether or not to arise at 6AM Pacific to find out who’s leading as daylight returns on the east coast after the racers & crews have toiled thru 13-hours of darkness - the alarm clock rang way too early for Mwah, rising at 5:55AM in order to try opening my eyes ‘N watching at least the very first segment to find out what had gone on during the night...

Ho Hum; URGH! The Freakin’ Ganassi car is leading still; Yawn! And thus my new found enthusiasm for the season went POOF! As I stumbled back to bed instead, as I awoke hours later and just flitted about listening to the time being counted down; 3hrs 13mins, 3hrs 3mins, 2hrs 45mins, 1hr 43mins before as many claim, it became an interesting sprint with the final hour plus remaining - as I finally turned my attention 100% to the finish of the race with one hour eleven minutes remaining...

And what a battle royale between ‘MAC Montoya, Max-the-Ax Angelelli, A.J. Allmendinger & Joao Barbosa, with the latter two deciding Racin’ is Rubbin’ after the Booth Boyz had droned on ‘bout fuel saving strategies - as I still don’t understand why Barbosa was given a one-minute penalty... And I cannot recall so much ‘Wingeing ‘bout unfair horsepower advantages, as NO one claimed they could beat the ‘Cheepster’s Boyz in a straight-up fight, saying the BMW had a clear advantage this year, which makes you wonder why Grand Am took away 300-revs from the Ford’s and slightly corked the Chevy’s air restrictor-wise, eh? As it simply was Monty’s race to lose.

Yet it was a real nail biter down to the last five minutes of the race not knowing whether the Suntrust No. 10; Err new sponsor this year, but just doesn’t seem right calling Wayne Taylor’s car anything else would be able to make a surprise win upon fuel mileage? Nope, they had to make a splash ‘N go with just a scant four and a half minutes remaining and hence, Juan Pablo ran to the chequers to claim his third Rolex timepiece, whilst Scott “Scooter” Pruett tied the legendary Hurley Haywood, ironically this year’s Grand Marshall for five overall victories, who gave a nice post-race interview on duh Freaks! Mentioning how his bum ankle was a result of that horrific brake failure IndyCar testing accident he endured all those years ago back in the CART dazes with Trusport...

Yet how ‘bout that GT battle, eh? Going down to the wire with Audi almost making a clean sweep of the podium in just its sophomore campaign at Daytona Beach! As unfortunately Marcus Whinklehock’s third placed Audi R8 ran out of fuel on the very final lap; Aye Karumba! As I know I watched the race that’s the answer to Andrew Marriot’s trivia question. What race did Marcus lead in F1? As I know it was a Spyker, and he led the race at the red flag due to the horrific “Allskate” weather conditions... Gulp, was it Hockenheim by chance?

And who the HE-LL is this Filipe Albuquerque
?  As somebody quipped how he’d beaten everybody including DER TERMINATOR, nee Michael Schumacher, and more impressively Master ‘Zebb (Vettel) in a past year’s ROC; (Race Of Champions) 2010, and NO less on their home soil in dusseldorf Ja Volt! Hmm? Will this propel him to future single seater stardom a la Paul di Resta?

Otay, I’m exhausted just from typing all of this, and looking very forward to a nice break away from Zed Keyboard, as I haven’t been pacing myself very well so far this year, as after all it is Sunday which is supposed to be a day ‘O rest, right? Which means I’m NOT supposed to be on this DAMN thingy!

Yet I did listen to a great interview with Dario & Jamie McMurry on Speed Freaks later that evening which Y’all might wanna check out...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Y’all might be a Redneck?

Was reading a news rag I typically don’t bother fishing in - USA Today’s Sports section where I stumbled upon the extremely funny writings of Jeff Gluck’s interview with Mikey “ah Shucks” Waltrip’s hired gun Clint “fisticuffs” Bowyer and the part that had me LOL’ was picturing Bowyer trying to explain what a Redneck was to a German journalist...

As I can picture smooth talkin’ bowyer layin’ on his thickest Redneck southern drawl when sayin’; You might be a Redneck if... ‘Whale if Y’all wear western cowboy boots when driving a Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am GT car upon the high banks ‘O ‘DayToner; Yuck-yuck-yuck! And Y’all gotta wear your drivers suit tucked in too Yuhs hear? Hya!


And speakin’ O  Redneck’s - I noticed that I left ‘Ol Scotty Sharp out of my vaunted 2013 Rolex 24 preview, as after all it is Sharp’s Ferrari the Extreme Speed Motorsports Boyz will be driving this weekend; as you might be a Redneck if you loop your pole position IndyCar on the pace lap; Hya!

And speakin’ further upon this Redneck Hillbilly theme... Have Y’all ran over to Grab Bag Sports for this year’s epic Blogathon? As I’m thinking that perhaps, just perhaps one of their illustrious scribes could fit this category for not including my ‘Homeboyz Parkplace Motorsports #73 on their GT Preview list, I mean C’mon, it’s a Porsche with factory driver Patrick Long and hot-schue Spencer Pompelly on its driver roll... Naw, just joshin’; butt seriously? NO mention of Patrick Long; Oh Never Mind!   

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rolex 24 on SPEED this Weekend!

Just a reminder to Y’all that SPEED’s live Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway TV race coverage starts this Saturday at 3PM ET; which I think is high noon or 12PM Pacific, right Dave? Dave? Dave’s NOT here; Oh Never Mind! While there’s some sorta 24hrs preview show beginning at 2PM ET.

So set ‘Dem remotes on SPEED and leave ‘em there - where you can check out the bevy ‘O B-I-G NAME racing drivers from the worlds ‘O IndyCar, F1, NASCAR and the Sports Car series, as I for one cannot wait to see the green flag fly...

Don’t forget Grab Bag Sport’s Blogathon this weekend...

Still haven’t managed to participate in this ‘Mega Blogathon, since I’m not up on all of this high tech group clustering thingy’s, but; Y’all may wish to run over to those ‘Hipsters at Grab Bag Sports; Sheez! Not sure if anybody else in the Bloggeratzi actually types the name of No Fenders in one of their posts twice; Hya! But I digress...

As once again they’re showing another epic movie, ‘Whale actually watchin’ I-T somewheres in the middle ‘O thee night? As Y’all can check it out here by following the link below; although I have NO idea if it’ll be as riveting as last year’s choice; Yuhs know that cinematic masterpiece starring ‘Sly Stallone as Joe Tanto in ‘Drive? Hur-hur-hur...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Holy Retirement Funds Batman!

BAM! ZAP! BASH! KA-POW! BIFF!

Was all I could think of as I’d magically managed to tune-in “Justin-time” to see the most revered Batmobile go up for auction live on SPEED last Saturday night, actually having tuned-in ‘bout a half hour before the B-I-G event occurred...

Holy Crowd Hysteria Batman! As there was absolute pandemonium over the No. 1 original Batmobile owned by the renowned 87yr old car customizer George Barris going under the hammer - with lead auctioneer Tom “Spanky” Assiter whipping the bidders into a frenzy, along with the usual C’mon, give us more money pitches by the Barrett-Jackson lead cronies, as I felt somewhat sorry for the Shelby Mustang preceding I-T! Although Lot #5036 didn’t do to shabby, bringing a whopping $225,000!

And from my hurriedly scribbled notes - I jotted down the following, as so much for the fiscal cliff we’re all peering down, eh? As what economic recession? I mean Holy Greenbacks Batman! As I watched some Italian concept car hammered away for a cool $1.25-million prior to the Super Saturday’s star take center stage.

And at first the throng of admirers upon the stage were so stout, they could barely get the 19-foot creation affectionately known as  the real McCoy - Batmobile No. 1 on stage as everybody wanted their picture taken with it, as SPEED’s Mike Joy claimed the crowd was 15-deep; WOW! And they played the iconic Batman theme music as the car was finally presented on stage - with even Miss Hurst Shifter Linda Vaughn replete in Cat Woman costume; MEOW! Although I’d still haveda say that Michelle Pfeiffer was the best Catwoman of all; but I digress...

And it took George Barris several minutes to make it to the microphone due to the crowd, in order to pump up the potential bidders by talking a little bit about the car before the bidding got started and simply just went ballistic as the $100,000 increments spun by like miles upon an odometer; Err Bat-odometer, right? As the crowd erupted every time the million dollar mark threshold was crossed!

And even ‘Ol ‘Spanky - Barrett-Jackson’s lead auctioneer got into the act by saying BAM! KA-POW! BIFF! Each time a new bidder raised his paddle, even stopping once and asking the entire crowd to sing Nana-Nana-Nana-Nana Batman! As the final bidding apparently went down between two gentlemen, as Bob Varsha said into the Telescreen: Wait a minute, what’s this? A coin toss to decide who’ll win the car? As 56yr old Rick Champagne, a logistics officer from Arizona was the winning bidder - and proudly claimed he’d had absolutely NO doubts the car was his tonight! And he’d be putting it in his living room;

Holy Coffee tables Batman!


Thus I’d say that Mr. Barris made out pretty darn good, having originally paid Ford Motor Company’s Lee Iacocca $1 for the concept car! As I found it funny that I’d happened to drop into SPEED twice, the first time seeing Ralph Sheheen interviewing Barris and pleading for his chance to sit in the Bat car, which Ralph got to do live on the ‘Telie, as it was fun hearing the excitement in his voice... Then this was followed up by the genuine surprise of Varsha telling us he’d been pooh-poohing all of this nonsensical hypefest over the Batmobile as he was truly shocked over the car’s ‘legendous status and the spasmodic response the auction had brought, by saying he needed to apologize! As I also enjoyed hearing the disbelief in his voice over what just happened?

And the hits just kept on rolling on afterwards, as the next car after the din finally subsided was a 1957 Factory Supercharged Ford Skyliner that brought a ‘Mega $300k, to which Varsha quipped surely is a record for a skyliner?

Then there was some Dude named Rick Hendrick successfully winning three cars in-a-row; the first being the most successfully campaigned L88 Corvette road racer, which he nabbed for a cool million. Next he snapped up the rights to the number one production 2014 Corvette C7, with the all important serial number ending in 0001 - for just a tick north of $1.0m. And finally he grabbed a big block Camaro, think it was a ’67/69 Drag Car? Was still reeling over Ricky-boy having just shilled out $2.05-million for two ‘Vette’s and didn’t get the scoop upon the latter Camaro...

These were followed by a trio of ‘Stangs, as first up was a 1968 Shelby KR500 convertible that went for a low-low $130k, followed by a custom ’65 Mustang with 427cid V-8 pumping out an astounding 740bhp! That went for over $200k! And was followed up by a ’07 Shelby Mustang that had been widened by four inches and only had a scant 630bhp on tap and sold for a relative bargain of $70,000 - as A-L-L of these multiple zeros were too much to take and thus I turned off the ‘Boob-tube whilst still marveling over just having seen the iconic Batmobile being sold...  

Monday, January 21, 2013

ROLEX 24: 2013 Daytona Classic - Questions abound over Defending DP winners

As typical, this coming weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway; January 26-27 will once again kick off major motor racing in the United States and feature another bumper crop of B-I-G name drivers, with several Open Wheel Racing Starz competing, not to mention luminaries from the Sports Car world along with ex-Formula 1 and ‘RASSCAR drivers in the mix...

 And I said questions abound over the reigning overall champions of Michael Shank Racing (MSR)  since upon my initial crack at this year’s preview (Dec 31) Shank’s two Riley-Ford DP’s, (Daytona Prototype) the No’s 6 & 60 were both listed as TBA.

As I’m ‘ARSE-sumin’ there was some lingering doubts over AJ Almendinger’s inclusion? Although in his defense, NASCAR did reinstate him from his substance abuse infraction, not to mention that he made multiple starts for the Minnowesqe Phoenix Racing team in the latter stages of the 2012 season... Thus, there should be NO Problema over Almendinger being eligible to defend his Rolex title in 2013, as hopefully AJ will be reunited with co-winner Justin ‘BIG UNIT Wilson once again, while I just noticed that Marcos ‘Tazzy Ambrose was slated to test with MSR in The Roar Before on Jan 4-6...

IndyCar Participants
Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti will once again be part of the two car Target Armada; this year being paired with Jamie McMurry & Factory BMW DTM driver Joey Hand behind the keyboard of the No. 02 Riley-BMW DP.

Meanwhile Juan Pablo ‘MAC Montoya will be reunited with Scott ‘Scooter Pruett, Memo Rojas & Rolex debutant “G2” driver Charlie Kimball in the No. 01.

As always, looking like a strong contender for victory is “le Hamburgular” (Sebastain Bourdais) aboard the star-studded No. 2 Starworks Riley-Ford DP

“Symone Pagenoe” is another Frenchman worth looking out for, as Simon Pagenaud has always been brutally quick whilst piloting the ultra competitive Peugeot’s at Circuit de la Sarthe (Le Mans) and surely must be a factor at the controls of the No. 42 Riley-BMW DP this year.

Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown, aka James Hinchcliffe will return to Daytona Beach once again competing in the newly created GX Class aboard a Mazda 6 diesel; co-driving the No. 70 with Marino Franchitti, Jonathan Bomarito and Sylvain Tremblay - looking to be the class favourite.

Ex-IndyCar driver ‘Rafa Matos will be part of the four man “Squadra  Brasilia,” spending seat time behind the wheel of the No. 64 Squadra Corsa GT Ferrari 458 Italia.

And although I’d ‘LUV to see Pagenaud atop the podium this year, my sentimental pick for winner instead will go to the most likely unheralded  No. 5 Action Express Racing’s Corvette DP with ex-CART racer Christian Fittipaldi alongside ex-Formula 1 competitor  turned ‘PickemUp racer “Nielsen Pickett Junior,” aka  Nelson Piquet Jr. sandwiching rising star Felipe Nasr in the cockpit.

On the final day of Twenty-twelve, Doran Racing confirmed that thee irrepressible “Thrill from the West Hill,” a la Messer Chrome Horn, aka Paul Tracy or simply ‘PT would be joined for this year’s Rolex 24 by Dr. Jim Lowe, Jon Bennett and Colin Braun Behind the wheel of the team’s No. 77 upgraded “Gen-3” Riley-Ford DP machine.

And the hits just keep on coming as another late announcement was that ‘rubino  (Rubens Barrichello) will be making his Rolex 24 debut alongside his “Younger Brother” ‘TK “Follow-your-Schnoz” Kanaan in the GT Ranks.

And once again, Memo Gidley will co-drive the No. 99 Bob Stallings Racing Corvette-DP, as the “Red Dragon” looks to break their Daytona 24hrs jinx...

Last Minute Announcements
And although I’d already discovered that ex-CART winner Massimiliano “MAD MAX” Papis would be back at Daytona aboard the No. 61 AIM Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia in the GT class, it was announced on Jan 3 that this would now become the squad’s “All starz” car with Mad Max pairing with Jeff Segal and Ferrari Factory drivers “Fishy-fellah” (Giancarlo Fisichella) and Toni Vilander.

Also announced the day prior to the pre-season test was the additions of RHR, nee Ryan Hunter-Reay to the Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Corvette DP line-up, while ‘TAG, aka Alex Tagliani was announced as one of the drivers for the No. 8 Starworks Riley-Ford DP entry - with his co-drivers still not being revealed.

And Justin Wilson was indeed back behind the wheel of MSR’s No. 60 Riley-Ford DP, joined by Oswaldo ‘Ozz Negri, John Pew and Marcos ‘Tazzy Ambrose; while A.J. Allmendinger showed he’d lost none of his winning form by putting the No. 60 atop the timesheets on Day-1 during a 12-lap stint.

MSR’s ‘Seester-car, the No. 6 will once again feature Indy Lights drivers Gustavo Yacaman and Jorge Goncalvez partnering with Michael Valiante and Chris Cumming.

Bruno Junqueira apparently tweeted he’d gotten just 4-laps in due to some sort of issues, but he liked it! Uhm, you like it now, you’re gonna learn to ‘LUV I-T! Hee-hee-hee... (As I saw the tweet on the Grand Am website upon Day-1 testing activity) As look for the SFHR substitute driver to be paired with Simon Pagenaud in the Team Sahlen No. 42 racecar...

Viva la France
On top of my favourite French twosome - I notice that it looks like the ex-Peugeot hired guns have come Across-thee-Pond to attack the high banks of ‘DayToner... Having spotted discarded CART driver “McNicholas” (Nicolas Minassian) and ex-WRC racer St├ęphane Sarrazin; both competing in the Big Boyz category aboard the appropriately named 8-Star Motorsports team’s No. 3 Corvette DP, alongside ex-Peugeot teammates Pedro Lamy and ‘ANT, nee Anthony Davidson, as Venezuela’s Enzo Potolicchio must truly feel like the team’s 5th wheel of this ex-French Factory Works driver quartet. Then again since Enzo owns the team, may be it’s the Peugeot Boyz who feel somewhat adrift? Now if only “Nicky” could find his passport!

Reigning Indy Lights champion, and hopeful IndyCar rookie this year; Tristan Vautier will team with two other rising stars: FF2000’s Spencer Pigot and Team USA Formula Ford champion Tristan Nunez aboard the No. 00 VISIT FLORIDA Racing/SpeedSource/Yellow Dragon with  Yojiro Terada and Joel Miller also co-driving the Mazda 6 diesel in the GX class. As I think it’d be awesome to see these young whippersnappers beat up upon the class rival No. 70 entry...

GT Class
There’s at least four B-I-G NAMES competing in the GT ranks this year; ‘Whale obviously more than that, yet I’m guessing the focus will be upon the aforementioned duo of TK & Rubino moonlighting in the No. 21 Dener Racing Porsche 911. While once again Mikey “Ah Shucks” Waltrip will bring his Ferrari 458 Italia to the party along with team driver Clint “Fisticuffs” Bowyer in the No. 56.

The No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro has a pretty stout driver quintet featuring the likes of past Star Mazda and Toyota Atlantics champion John Edwards, (not the politician) ultra BAD ARSE GM Factory Boyz ‘MAGS, nee Jan Magnessen, multiple Grand Am winner Robin Liddell, Tommy Milner and the relatively unknown Daniel Graeff.

Locals
This is just a small smattering ‘O local talent, as I know, what about all of the ‘KuhNucks from next door Vancouver, BC, eh? Hey! You try typing down everybody’s name; Otay? Thus I just kept to my home state, along with some ‘Ol Crooner from Oregon; Hya!

Not sure if there’s any homegrown talent behind the wheel here, but Parkplace is a local car dealership...

No. 72: Parkplace Motorsports - Porsche GT3 Cup
Chuck Cole, Grant Phipps. Mike Vess and Alex Whitman.

No. 73: Parkplace Motorsports - Porsche GT3 Cup
Patrick Lindsey, Jason Hart, Patrick Long and Spencer Pumpelly.

No. 99: Bob Stalling Racing - Corvette-DP
John “CCR” Fogarty; Bend, Oregon. (Transplanted Californian - Two-time Toyota Atlantics champion...)

Ex-Champ Car Boyz
No. 21/23: Dener Racing - Porsche 911; Max Wilson? (Since it appears his name mysteriously disappeared off the entry list on Jan 7th...)
No. 87: Vehicle Technologies - Dodge Viper; Jan “Van Hagar” Heylen

My Picks
Currently there’s 17 DP’s, 34 GT’s and six GX’s entered for the race, which I attempted counting from the semi-official entry list found upon Zed Internetz.

As once again I’m torn between Justin & AJ vs. Dalziel’ & McNish, although I’d prefer seeing the “Brasilian Bombers” No. 5 of Fittipaldi, Nasr & Piquet win overall. With my second choice being the TCH (Team Chrome Horn) No. 77 while my third pick goes to the Dynamic Scottish Duo behind the keyboard of the No. 2 Starworks entry, or should I root for an unlikely repeat victory by the No. 60?

Yet I’d enjoy seeing either of my Dark Horse picks of France’s Dynamic Duo “Gene Gerard + le Hamburgular,” nee “Symone & Sebastain,” France’s “S-squared.” As I’m not sure who’d be Inspector Cluesoe or “Kato?” Of this Frenchie Open Wheel Racing tour de force win, albeit on paper ‘SeaBasses driver line-up looks far more stout than Pagenaud’s No. 42; HELL! Even le French twosome’s No. 3 looks far stronger, as who’d uh-thunk I-T? That I’d actually be hoping for Bruno ‘Whineybags Junqueira to join Pagenaud behind the wheel.

While I’ll definitely be rootin’ for the No’s 72 & 73 of local exotica car boutique dealer Parkplace Motorsports - and would ‘LUV seeing my “Homies” (that’s ‘Dawgstah speak...) Western ‘Warshintonian entrant pull off the unthinkable with a class victory... You’ve gotta be somewhat more realistic, albeit I’ve never heard of any of the #72’s drivers and alas, I’d have to go with the stronger line-up of the ‘Seester #73 car instead. Hey, you can’t go against Porsche Factory “Hot Schue” Patrick Long, and Spenser Pumpelly is no slouch either...

thus my first choice is the No. 73 to take the wood to the TRG Porsche Panzerwagon armada; with my second choice being the No. 61, with my final podium  position for class victory being a three-way tie between the No’s 31, 57 & 64, albeit not necessarily in that order. As how can you not root for Boris Said, Rafa, Edwards or ‘MAGS!

And I’m definitely pullin’ for the double ought, No. 00 to be victorious in the newly created GX class - as I still don’t fully understand this classes objectives, as it pits three clean diesel’s vs. Porsche Cayman GTR’s and a lone Lotus Evora; but Zoom Zoom; Err GO number Zero-Zero...

Friday, January 18, 2013

AUTOS: Blastolene - Say What?


The stunningly beautiful A.J. Watson Roadster driven to victory by Jim Rathman in the 1960 Indy 500. (DOB Photos)
Ah, the synchronicity of it all; Nah, not that this story was abducted by the NoFenders Wormhole Vortex; Hya! But that I’d be off to thee Big Island just a month after watching a Clive Cussler Barrett-Jackson 1hr special episode on SPEED, (10/02/11) where there was a bit on a wacky 8,400lb Blastolene IndyCar-style  special chassis that was 25-inches shorter then Jay Leno’s original “Tank Car;” Huh?

This second Blastolene Special took a ‘Mega 4,000 man hours to complete, with its wheels alone costing $15k; patterned after typical Watson Roadster kidney bean Halibrands and sold for a whopping $255,000! (Not including the auction & seller’s fees...)


This monstrous Roadster made me think of my favourite car during a past ‘Walkabout at the IMS Hall of Fame museum. (Yep, Y’all guessed I-T! Another pending story in the NoFendersville story hopper...)

This car ‘O lore turned out to be a glittering Watson Roadster devoid of any wings, Airboxes, wide tyres and overly annoying sponsor ‘Deckles; (decals) just a gorgeous Aqua (blue) chassis. As it was the 1960 winning A.J. Watson Roadster driven by Jim Rathman.

To which I’ve typically been not overly fond of Roadsters during the past, considering myself a ‘tail man, (wrong type ‘O tail boys; Hya!) Err, as in I’ve always been a fan of the rear engine monsters - since that’s what I grew up with, yet Rathman’s Watson Roadster chassis just simply captivated me with its beautiful colour and simplicity. As I’ve now become quite enamoured with certain versions of these late 1950’s - early ‘60’s front engine Roadsters, quite enjoying another such example currently on display at the LeMay-America’s Car Museum...


And perhaps Y’all have been watching the 427hrs of nonstop TV coverage of this year’s Barrett-Jackson auction currently taking place in Scottsdale, AZ, eh? (Jan 13-20) As who knows what’ll slide across the block during Super Saturday, (tomorrow) as you can check it out on SPEED  right now - as there’s some ’67 survivor Shelby up for grabs shortly...

Meanwhile, as for Messer Cussler, this show led me to go ‘N grab a few of his always entertaining books of the fictional Dirk Pitt for my sojourn to Kona, which if Y’all are really desperate? Yuhs can read about I-T in the following story...


(Photo Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)

Former Forti Formula 1 Founder dies...

I read one stories account of  the late Guido Forti’s F1 team Forti Corse being denoted as a “Cellar Dweller,” which sadly I find to be quite the hilarious term, although it may be true, nevertheless how many of us have actually achieved the overly daunting task of creating our own Formula 1 team? And unlike thee House ‘O Windsor, aka Peter Windsor, Guido’s Minnowesqe team actually made it onto the grid and ran some races to boot; YOUCH!

And although I did partake in the years Guido’s cars sometimes ran, I must confess I really don’t remember them at all, most likely since they were backmarkers after all, indeed failing to advance out of the nebulous pre-qualifying on many occasions. As surely the Forti’s didn’t do any good to “Super Sub” Roberto Moreno or Pedro Diniz’s careers, eh?

As it was the driver Diniz’s family connections along with shopping carts full of dinero that enabled Guido to launch his F1 dream, yet also take it away the following year when Diniz took his Papa’s money to Tom Walkinshaw Arrows Grand Prix team instead. As poor Guido is just one of several Italian’s who dared to create their own Gran Primo teams upon the world’s largest stage...

Arrivaderchi Guido!

F1 Teaser: New vs. Old Tech Highlights

Found this article somewhat interesting, as after all Y’all probably know that the biggest ‘Tech gain of 2012 was the oft discussed Coanda effect - you know which ‘Hobbo, aka David Hobbs so brilliantly pointed out to Professor (Steve) Matchett his misses had figured that  out a long time ago when trying to pour some milk into a smaller container; Hya!

This along with the somewhat controversial Mercedes “Double DRS” device seemingly were the major talking points of 2012, so what’ll be this year’s biggest Tech gains? Uhm, somehow I doubt Adrian Newey’s gonna tell us, right?

The Best Technical Innovations of 2012

Meanwhile, I found James Allen’s glimpse into the future 2014 engine change far more intriguing - since it reveals many insights towards the new regulations I wasn’t aware of, i.e.; single tailpipe exhaust, lower fuel capacity and higher KERS output, which Y’all can check it out in;