Funny, but whilst the modern day "silent
Sam's" are whistling down Shoreline Drive and brushin' aside 'Ol Hobbo's (David
Hobbs) famous 'Clag! Their IndyCar counterparts will be runnin' circles round
Phoenix International Raceway...
Naturally, it seems somewhat comical that
Formula E will be cleaning off Los Angeles Metropolis's thoroughfares in
preparations for the forthcoming 42nd Long Beach Grand Prix a Fortnight later,
which features Indy Cars as its headlining act - ironically racing the same day
in (Avondale) Arizona, albeit at night.
And how the mighty have fallen? As I was
chagrined to hear Thy wondrous voice 'O Bob Varsha wrapping up the latest
Formula E race from Mexico City, albeit surely ensconced in the studios
somewheres' in Thy South? As Messer Varsha noted he'd be filling in for the
upcoming Long Beach round, albeit NO idea if he'll actually be "live"
And it's been a longtime since I've paid any
Attenzione to Formula E, having previewed the series first season ahead of its
inaugural race 'Wayback in the fall of 2014, which obviously has seen much
changes since then.
As Reuters has teased us with
the following stories recently, for which I'm totally opposed to, which
probably is ironic since their technology is aimed supposedly at helping us
visually impaired Chaps, along with Thy aging Baby Boomer generation, et al.
Whilst even more disparaging
is this 'lil gem from the series leader (CEO) Alejandro Agagg, as what's next?
Mechanical Dog racing? Remote Control Air Racing? Automatic braking systems? Like
what was that 'Ol Nige said 'bout "Monkey's behind the Steering
But enough of this Futurama, let's try
examining what those laid back Californians will be watchin' upon Thy streets
of Long Beach, since after all, isn't L.A. renowned for its hazy skies? And
thus they'll be able to breathe easy with hardly a Peep being made on Race-day;
Alas, like all racing series, Formula E's
also in an apparent state 'O constant flux, Pun intended; Hooah! Get I-T? Flux,
Flux-capacitor; Cymbol Crash please - Thank You, Thank You very much...
As the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) has
just rubber-stamped approval of tenders for a single chassis and battery
supplier for next season and beyond...
Originally there were ten teams entered, but former
Toyota F1 driver Jarno Trulli withdrew his Swiss based Trulli Grand Prix at the
beginning of the season...
ABT Schaeffler Audi "Sport; Germany, Amlin Andretti Formula E,;
USA, Dragon Racing; USA; DS Virgin Racing; UK,
Racing; India, NEXTEV TCR Formula E Team; China, Renault E-Dams; France;
Venturi Grand Prix; Monaco and Team Aguri; Japan.
11) Lucas di Grassi; Brazil
66) Daniel Abt; Germany
Obviously the team is centered around its
namesake Daniel Abt, an accomplished Sports Car racer with ex-Virgin F1 driver and
current Audi LMP1 chauffer Di Grassi presumably the quicker of the two - with
the team under Audi's umbrella in order to have a foot in the electric arena...
27) Robin Frijns; Netherlands
28) Simona de Silvestro; Switzerland
Somehow I missed the Memo that
"Symona-Symona" (De Silvestro) had made the switch to Formula E, as
this can only make me wonder if she'll be driving a fifth Andretti Autosport
entry at Mother Speedway this May? Hmm? May be with Amlin, whom Mikey A's
swiped from Aguri-san's (Aguri Suzuki) team.
Meanwhile, Robin Frijns, who was once Thy
Niederlanders' aspiring hope to become its next Formula 1 Ace surely looks wistfully
at the "Kid!" Aka Max "Dutchboy" Verstappen, as Frijns rise
thru the junior Open Wheel ranks was meteoric - culminating with the 2012
Formula Renault 3.5 series championship as a rookie before apparently falling
afoul of Thy dreaded Sponsorship noose..
Silvestro's still racing? Although she's currently mired in 17th in the points
standings with a Goose-egg while Frijns is seventh with 31-points...
6) Loic Duvall; France
7) Jerome d'Ambrosio; Belgium
Yep, this is Jay PISSENBOOTZ' Penske's team,
son of El Capitano', nee Roger Penske, for which perhaps Jay's wife Elaine
Irwin, now that she's done sharing fashion tips with Katherine Legge will join
the beautiful people of La-La land in Thy Paddock! Unless the sun might varnish
her complexion; Hya! Since after all it's a home race for the couple.
But back to racing, as the team's gone for
two Speedsters, with Loic Duvall being an Audi LMP1 Prototype Ace and Jerome a
former F1 hired gun, as D'Ambrosio
last drove for one of 'Dem Lotus team's, substituting for
Romain Grosjean who'd been given a one race ban for his wild driving 'Wayback
in 2012 at Spa Francorchamps - deputizing at the following Italian Grand Prix and is the series most recent winner...
DS VIRGIN RACING
2) Sam Bird; UK
Sir Richard Branson has joined forces with Citroen
this season, hence the DS nomenclature, as the team, like several on the Grid
sports a pair of once aspiring Formula 1 drivers.
Sam Bird's single seater career apparently
plateaued at GP2, the final rung to Formula 1, where he finished runner-up in
2013 for Russian Time Racing before lacking the necessary budget to grab an F1
Jean-Eric Vergne is one of many of Red Bull's
cadre 'O aspiring drivers tossed away like Helmut Marko's cold bath water! Part
of Toro Rosso's revolving door, having spent three seasons at Thy 'lil Bulls
alongside first Daniel Ricciardo and then Daniil Kvyat,
who've now both moved up to Red Bull Racing whilst Vergne made way for the
current Young Guns duo of Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Jr. While I'm pretty
certain Vergne's still a Ferrari development driver this year at least, and
perhaps has even moved up to reserve driver status...
21) Bruno Senna; Brazil
23) Nick Heidfeld; Germany
This Indian team has gone for the services of
two former Formula 1 Pilotes' this year. As the name Senna should be familiar
to Y'all, although it belongs to Thy late Ayrton's nephew Bruno who briefly
raced in Formula 1, at Team Willy' (Williams F1) NO less.
And like his team-mate, presumably
"Quick Nick" (Heidfeld) thought he'd still be racing his former F1
colleagues, most notably thou "Iceman," nee Kimi Raikkonen - who he
bested during one season of the pair's tenure at Sauber...
TCR FORMULA E
#1) Nelson Piquet, Jr; Brazil
88) Oliver Turvey; UK
Reigning Formula E champion Nielsen Ho's
(Piquet Jnr) biggest claim to fame is as whistle blower upon Renault's Crash
Gate saga, when HMS Monogram, nee Flavour Flav, aka Flavio Briatore had Nelson
purposely crash during the '08 Singapore GP in order to enable team leader
Fernando Alonso to win the race. For which the young Brazilian subsequently
made public after Flavio fired him!
Turvey's best known as a longtime McLaren F1 "Simulator
Jockey," nee Development driver for which I'm no longer certain if he's
still with the Woking based squad or not?
8) Nicholas Prost; France
9) Sebastian Buemi;
Yessiree Bob! That's Nicholas Prost as in son
of "The Professor," four-times Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost,
which Dovetails nicely with Poppa's links with Renault providing a place for
his son to race when not busy traipsing around the World Endurance Championship
another chewed-up 'N spatted out Red Bull prodigy, who like others, raced for
the Seester' B-Team, aka Toro Rosso for three seasons alongside teenager, and
then youngest ever F1 driver Jaime Alguersuari, who replaced somebody known here at No
Fenders as le 'Hamburgular, nee Sebastain Bourdais.
kept his foot in the F1 door as test and reserve driver for Red Bull & Toro Rosso between
2012-15 and now concentrates upon his World Endurance Championship Sports Car
gig for Toyota's LMP1 concern...
VENTURI GRAND PRIX
4) Stephane Sarrazin; France
12) Mike Conway; UK
This Monaco based team is led by actor Leonardo
DiCaprio, and this season started off with Thy celebrated Jacques Villeneuve
trying his hand in thou silent world before departing from the team and being
replaced by Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway, who's Day Job consists of
wheelin' a Factory WEC Toyota LMP1 Prototype.
Monsieur Sarrazin tried his hand at Formula 1 by making a single race
outing a zillion years ago for Minardi... Before focusing upon Tintop racing
instead, most notably having been part of Peugeot's Works Le Mans squad and has
also contested the World Rally Championship recently...
55) Antonio Felix da Costa; Portugal
77) Salvador Duran; Mexico
Antonio Felix da Costa was another of Thy Red
Bull Junior Drivers ultimately discarded whilst attempting to claim a seat in
the promised land, aka Formula One after having shone brightly in his late
season call-up to Formula Renault 3.5, winning four of the final five races
while Robin Frijns was en route to the title. Afterwards, both drivers took
part in the Abu Dhabi Young Guns F1 test for Red Bull Racing, before diverging
upon different career paths. As the Portuguese driver, who also won the Macau
Grand Prix is currently a Factory BMW
chauffer in the DTM series.
Duran is totally unknown to Mwah, although this Mexicali pilote has a ton of
single seater experience, most notably as Team Mexico's chauffer in the long
defunct A1 GP series, having won both rounds at Laguna Seca 'Wayback in '05!
NOT Duran-Duran; Hooah! Presumably was brought onboard for the Mexican round,
Ci? Having been part of Thy "Trulli Scrumptious's" folded Formula E
team - along with having deputized for Thy Leggy Juan' (Katherine Legge) during
her Formula E season for Aguri-san, and should also appease the Long Beach
crowd as well.
Somehow I overlooked Salvador's biggest racing accomplishment to date, when he
was part of Cheeps' (Ganassi) winning '07 Rolex 24 lineup alongside some Catz'
named Scott Pruett and Juan Pablo Montoya; Ariva-Ariva-Ariva!
Currently, we're just past the halfway
portion of the 2015-16 season which began last October 24th in Beijing. After
Long Beach teams will travel to Paris, Berlin, Moscow and wrap-up the season in
London on July 3rd.
presently leads the Drivers championship, 22-points clear of Lucas di Grassi who should be leading, but dropped to second
after being DSQ'ed (Disqualified) in
Post-race scrutineering at Mexico City,
giving the win to Jerome d'Ambrosio instead,
the second time Di Grassi's "Gifted" Jerome victory!
1. Sebastian Buemi 98
2. Lucas di Grassi
3. Sam Bird 60
4. Jerome d'Ambrosio 58
5. Loic Duvall 44