Monday, February 29, 2016

As Thy Great White North calls, Crunch time looms for aspiring Open Wheel Drivers

Although not racing related per sei, nonetheless I'm looking forward to my latest jaunt across Thy Border for some great comedy...

Naturally, I'd presume when Y'all ponder Canadian Open Wheel Racing Drivers, names like Villeneuve, Moore, Goodyear, Tagliani and Carpentier come to mind, eh? While Vancouver, BC these days always makes me think of the late, great Greg Moore.

As I'm 99% certain that Jacques Villeneuve is the only KuhNuck' to have ever won the Indianapolis 500, whilst Scott "What Pacecar?" Goodyear has come Oh, So tantalizingly close more than once! Although he's only officially finished runner-up twice - as just ask Arie, Jacques and 'lil Al, who've A-L-L finished ahead of him.

Whilst I've had what I consider his best ever drive at Mother Speedway, from 33rd to second by scant inches finish depicted in an excellent Randy Owens lithograph of the 1992 Indy 500 hanging on Thy wall forever, albeit mine's right side up Scott; Hooah!

And when I said comedy, I wasn't referring to Dudley Duright or those stoic Mounties, aka Thy RCMP, nee Royal Canadian Mounted Police! As they don't take kindly to any Keystone Cops inferences; Hya!

Nope, instead I was referring to the great comedian Louis Black who's the impetus for said trip, as Hey, we A-L-L need some comedy now and then, right? As perhaps Mr. Mark Miles could take some pointers on loosening up from the very funny, and apparently personable Mr. Jay Frye; but I digress...

Yet  taking poetic license, this 'lil Yarn is now redirected towards Thy plight of today's aspiring Open wheel Racing drivers, primarily spawned by that LUV-able' Curmudgeon 'R, aka Robin Miller and his succinct story 'bout thee Cheepster's letting go of Sage "Dangerboy" Karam in favour of Max Chilton after one partial season behind the keyboard.

As I realize that today's a whole different Ballgame when it comes to motor racing. As take whom presumably was Oh Canada's first Indy 500 driver, a one Mr. Pete Henderson who contested the 1916 and 1920 500-mile International Sweepstakes races.

Reportedly, Pete and his brothers began as Duesenberg mechanics before Pete became a driver for Captain Eddie Rickenbacker's Maxwell Motors racing team, finishing twice in the Top-10, with a career best of sixth place in his rookie debut.

While I only know of another "NO-NOX' NAME" Canadian Indianapolis 500 racer; NO! Not the oft forgotten Ross Bentley or John Jones, but Eldon Rasmussen, who contested three 500's, i.e.; 1975-77-79. Amazingly all aboard his very own racing car dubbed the Rascar; GULP!

As I only know of Eldon's name due to his being a regular attendee of Don Kay's 'lil Autosport Radio Show, where Don always mentions that Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame driver Eldon's in the House, as Rasmussen has primarily toiled as a fabricator after his racing career in the Indianapolis area.

Thus, although originally I wasn't a fan of Sage Karam's, finding him to be overly brash! Yet somewheres' along the way, I realized he's a pretty decent racer and he kinda reminds me of somebody named 'PT, better known as thee Thrill from the West Hill! Aka Paul Tracy.

As nobody seems to remember how much equipment Tracy tore-up driving for El Capitano, nee Roger Penske during his formative years, yet Tracy, given time, turned out to be a pretty decent driver, eh?

Yet I won't rehash Josef STUD! Newgarden's development at Fisher Hartman Racing, or thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown's (James Hinchcliffe) formative year at Newman Haas Lanigan Racing alongside a pretty good team-mate named Oriel "Suitcase" Servia.

Whilst I simply hope that Conor Daly gets more than a single season to cut his teeth Fulltime in Thy B-I-G CARZ', since there's little time for maturation in Indy Cars these days, as it seems to be more about how big the cheque is?

Not to mention how long will current Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot be given to land a Fulltime drive? Or another talented Indy Lights lad' chasing Thy ever elusive sponsorship Dinero named Jack Harvey landing a ride, as countless Indy Lights drivers never get their due chance.

And then there's Formula 1, the ultimate single seater arena, where its 'Uber critical to align ones-self with either a F1 Constructor or even better yet a Manufacturer. As  case in point is the career path Pascal Wehrlein's taken en route to landing one of the back-marker Manor Racing seat's this year.

Although aligning ones-self with a major manufacturer isn't a sure-fire bet towards gaining entrance into Formula 1, as just ask Thy Young Wicky', nee Robert Wickens who'll be contesting  his fourth season as a Works Mercedes Benz DTM Pilote' this year.

As Renault F1 and reigning GP3 champion teenager Esteban Ocon will be nipping at Wickens heels as the newest member of Mercedes eight-man DTM squad - which also includes the likes of past DTM champions Paul di Resta and Gary Paffett amongst others.

Meanwhile, as Oh Canada's Dalton Kellett and Zachary Claman DeMelo battle for Maple Leaf supremacy in Indy Lights racing for Andretti Autosport and Juncos Racing respectively this year, obviously hoping to join Messer Hinchcliffe as Indy Car drivers shortly, I'm looking forward to seeing Sage Karam getting another crack at Mother Speedway this May.

As I'm guessing Karam's car will be hard to miss, since it'll presumably be adorned in radiant Gas Monkey Garage green, not  to mention sporting some type of in-your-face motif!

As it appears to Mwah, that Karam's departure for Thy land 'O Tintops' in IMSA Sports Car racing may well be Indy Cars loss, especially if Nissan decides to follow thru upon returning to Prototype racing in 2017 - for which Sage may have lined himself up smartly for with this year's outing alongside one of Sports Car racing's legends Scotty Scooter' Pruett in the Works Lexus GT3R program.

And lastly, surely I'm not the first to come up with this, eh? But how much will Cheep' (Ganassi) be laughing over newby' Chilton smashing up chassis? Since after all he is sponsored by that legendous' Watermelon Smasher comedian Gallacher, right? Hooah!