Friday, November 14, 2014

USGP: Vettel Rustles Up Another Record at Austin's 2013 F1 Race - Fini!

Continuing on with this ramblin' story, forgive me for I-T being a bit thin upon the racing action, as I've simply managed to not scribble anythingy substantive since returning last year, as where does the time go, eh?

FRI, 11/15
So once again it was off to the Racetrack bright 'N early, with my only complaint about this year's transportation, 'Whale Otay, two complaints, the fact that it wasn't FREE anymore, but the biggest drawback was  that we could NO longer catch the very convenient shuttle busses at 15th & Trinity and instead were  forced to go all the way Downtown to 4th & Trinity instead, where we entered the Austin transit building and purchased two $15 3-Day shuttle bus passes - which apparently were supposed to be  peeled off and worn upon your wrist for three Dazes; huh? As the nice lady clerk said most people were simply stuffing them into their ticket holders instead a la the one round my neck - which I fretted 'bout pulling out accidently the next 3-days; CRIKEYS!

And its A-L-L a bit foggy now; Err Pun intended...

As I recall upon having arrived at the circuit "Justin-time" for Friday's Free Practice-1 (FP1) session to begin, being somewhat cool 'N foggy - and with the track being eerily silent, and remember telling one passerby, that they couldn't start practice 'cause the fog was most likely preventing the medical helicopter from being able to fly! As this strange silence would be extended a further three 10min periods before the track finally went Green some 40-odd minutes later...

Black 'N Gold Lotus F1 Showcar at 2013 Austin Fan Fest. (N & C' Photos)
While I'd previously scribbled 'bout how bummed I was that thee 'Kimster wouldn't be present, having opted for back surgery instead. after Kimi Raikkonen had started off the season convincingly with his second win for Lotus at Australia - along with impressively remaining in the Top-3 points standings 'til his "retirement" at the end of the season.

And although I've always been a Fan of 'KOVY's, nee Heikke Kovalainen, who inherited Raikkonen's seat in order to hopefully help Lotus remain towards the top of the Constructors points table, nonetheless, I'd liked to have witness some new blood in Formula 1, a la Lotus Reserve Driver, and then reigning GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi getting the nod instead!

As why does Kovalainen's, remember him? Last minute inclusion at Lotus  in the hopes of procuring thy Almighty euro; Err Constructors finishing position make me think of another aspiring racer named Luca Badoer who got thrown to the Sharks when substituting for Felipe Massa at Ferrari 'Wayback in 'Twenty-oh-Nine, eh?

Later on, heard Greg Kramer saying that F1 cars were burning 2.88 kilos of petrol each lap and for every 10 kilos burned lap times decreased by 0.38-second's, and with 56-laps scheduled, the cars would be carrying approx. 350lbs of "Pump Gas" petrol, which somehow I doubt Y'all can get at your local Gasoline station, right?

Whilst I also recall catching Messer Kramer say there'd been 58,000 in attendance, (Friday) as he gave us the obligatory "Thank the Fans" message over the PA.

Tomaso with the two bud light beauties carrying a blue sign that reads: "This is why we love Austin!" (N & C' Photos)
For that evening's entertainment, Tres Amigos' were off to the bestest FREE music concerts in the world; Austin Fan Fest! As I'd chosen to see one of my favourite Rockabilly groups, which I'm still chided over speeling their name incorrectly when calling 'em Los Loney Boys; OOPS! Err Los Lonely Boys, yeah, that's the ticket! Which surprisingly, I wasn't aware that they're a local band!

As they were preceded by Los Lobos, pretty sure that it was in-between the two bands, i.e.; Battle of the Loces'; Hya! Whilst awaiting Los Lonely Boys arrival that Nelie took me into the Shell tent hurriedly! Saying C'mon Tomaso, there's an F1 driver talking!

As she handed me a glass of what  apparently was fruit punch? Felipe Massa was indeed speaking inside the Shell tent, mentioning how it'd be his last time doing this, as I listened in earnest, as Felipe's always been one of my favourites, ever since his Sauber days, and thankfully he's got a pretty darn good ride at Team Willy right now!

Ferrari F1 driver Felipe Massa from afar at 2013 Austin Fan Fest. (N & C' Photos)
Yet out of the three bands we heard that night; Oh Yeah, almost forgot! As I stood there in the  dark listening to Foreigner's former "Front Man," a  young woman put her hand upon my shoulder 'N asked me if I could H-E-A-R the concert as I stood there with white cane in hand. (Wearing ear-plugs...) To which I simply couldn't resist and turned to her and said HUH? To which she told me Don't Yuhs GO There Honey! As FUCKING EH RAY! I'm blind NOT DEAF! And even if I was, Y'all could have heard the music as far away as Pflugerville, which is miles away; like, can you hear me now Austin?

Although I'd come for Los Lonely Boys; Hands Down, even at his advanced age for "Rockers," Lou Graham was by far the best of the evening's three acts! As I simply marveled at how he wasn't trying to SCREAM the high notes anymore and his back-up band  was incredibly tight! Along with the fact that  the Sound-board technician had actually gotten the mix right, unlike Los Lonely Boys who's sound was messed with the entire concert...

Lou started off with a song everybody in the audience knew; Double Vision, from Foreigner. Then a solo song appropriately called "Here I Come Ready or Not!" Before launching into a bevy 'O Foreigner songs including: Cold As Ice, Urgent, Hot Blooded and Foreigner's only No. 1 hit: I Want to KNow what Love Is, as this Dude simply ROCKED! And was the perfect  tonic for ending the day!

VIDEO: Here I Come

SAT-SUN, 11/16-17
As I've really got to QUIT stalling for a year's time to scribble these thoughts; CRIKEYS! since its A-L-L GONE now, as I simply cannot type fast enough; Ariva-Ariva-Ariva!

Hence, I'll defer to the race recap provided by others, since I don't recall what happened, other than being somewhat disappointed by KOVY's (Heikke Kovalainen) 14th place finish, especially when his team-mate Grosjean was runner-up. As ironically Kovalainen's finishing position was where 'Brittany (Nico Rosberg) started; as what a year and a different PU (Power Unit) make, eh?

Hence, A-L-L I remember now, besides it being pretty warm, loud, dusty 'N crowded! Was watching; Err listening to Seb' Vettel doing his signature, celebratory 'El Zorro (Alex Zanardi) victory doughnuts directly in-front of us, just past the apex of one of the later turns; Turn-9 perhaps? With Vettel  doing these without stalling before continuing onwards to Parc Ferme! As reportedly his race engineer informed the young German that they (Red Bull) weren't picking up any fines this time!

As how poetic "TWINKIEBOYZ"  (Vettel) words were over his in-car radio which has subsequently been played on later TV race segments; when he told the team "We Need to Remember these Days! They WON'T Come Forever..."

Not to mention wistfully wishing for Romain Grosjean to notch his debutant Grand Prix victory, albeit Vettel was  simply stretching his lead every lap by, counting to nine-ten-eleven before the second placed black Lotus arrived with "TWINKIEBOYZ" Bosom Buddy Mark Webber hotly on Grosjean's tail!

As I'm certain that Vettel's not the only one craving last year's performance - when Romain Grosjean finished in an excellante second place for Lotus, who've simply had a Nightmarish 2014 season! While I'd be willing to bet that the Mighty Pastor (Maldonado) won't beat Kovalainen's then disappointing finish of 14th-place this year. (and yeah, I predicted that before returning from Austin this year...)

Tomaso poses with Ferrari Challenge Car at 2013 Austin Fan Fest. (N & C' Photos)
MON, 11/18
And thanks to Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen's diligence, having  spotted an Advert' for the following one-day ONLY showing of my Numero Uno Rock Band "the Power Trio," aka RUSh, and her insistence we attend, symbiotically, I got to experience the concert I'd blown off the year prior, in order to attend the Grand Prix, as RUSh  had been playing at Seattle's Key Arena on November 13, 2012 - the very same day I flew to Austin for the forthcoming inaugural F1 race at COTA.

RUSh Clockwork Angels
This Documentary style film about the Clockwork Angels tour started off with all three band members: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart talking to the camera, along with interviewing the members chosen to make up the string ensemble, a first for the band, for which I'm told they were Rockin' Out on a raised platform behind the band, naturally.

The first half of the concert was devoted solely to new songs (Clockwork Angels) and then I counted six Oldies' (songs) being performed - as I can only remember two of these being the instrumental YYZ and Spirit of the Radio.

Out of the seven songs Me Thinks they played off of Clockwork Angels, the song I liked the best; Headlong Flight; for which I'd simply scribbled down 'Big Steel Wheel as my Numero Uno favourite. Having just listened to I-T again, it's the quintessential RUSh song as it made me think of that timeless classic, Working Man.

While another of our favourites was titled Wish them Well, as it made us think about life in general, which I think the song's about, right?

"wish them well, turn around and say good-bye,
All you can do is wish them well,
All you can do is wish them well..."

As that  was Claudio's favourite song from the then somewhat "New" (Clockwork Angels: 2012) album, which I hadn't heard to that point, and it's now my heartfelt sentiments towards the Band, having told Claudio' afterwards; I"M DONE! I DON'T need to ever S-E-E RUSh perform again, 'cause Geddy's LOST his voice!

Having first seen RUSh perform over some 30+ years ago, along with seeing them live nearly 20-times... I think part of the issue with Geddy's voice is as RUSh  Aficionado's , we know every word to every song and what exact pitch it's supposed to be in, and DAMN IT GEDDY! You're NOT allowed to change! Yet that being said, I think he's finally toasted his vocal chords  a la Steve Perry  of Journey after SCREAMING  for some four centuries, while ironically 2014 is RUSh's official 40th Anniversary...

TUES, 11/19
And then I-T was time to go home, which I've already scribbled 'bout the day's tribulations 'O flying in the previous story titled -Aero-plane Travel 101; as I'll try chronicling my '14 thoughts upon returning home this time...

(All photo's courtesy of Austin Correspondents Nelie & Claudio')