Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Tomaso Files: Mirages in Thy Valley of Thee Sun...

Lookie Thar Ishmaels, Sufferin' Succotash! I see water; Err SWEAR I S-E-E Indy Cars goin' round in circles at Phoenix Int'l Raceway! That definitely must be a mirage, right? Oh, hope that's NOT Somme-thun simply bein'  stirred-up by another Haboob'...

It's funny how not one, but two new developments have crept over thee Horizon of Thy Valley of thee Sun, both of which are welcome additions for Open Wheel Racing fans, primarily IndyCar enthusiasts.

I first became aware of an O-L-D Name coming out of Blogging retirement from whom I've taken to denoting as thee OLD-est IndyCar Blogger, aka Geo. Phillips of fame who recently "Penned" the story; Err wrote the Post titled:

As George's Post's title makes me laugh somewhat since we've certainly needed Boats up here in Thy Pacific Northwest after experiencing the wettest winter on record, having over two feet of precipitation drench us between December-to-February, the most W-E-T stuff dating back to 1894; Aye Karumba!

As that was before the Horseless Carriage had arrived to stay, whilst most certainly Arizona's desert was awash with Wagon trains, Cattle Rustlers, Gunmen and Gold Miners in search of The Lost Dutchman Mine amidst Thy plethora 'O Saguaro cactus dotting the landscape 'Wayback then, Eh!

Thus I won't pontificate too much over Jeff Iannucci's  much welcomed return to the IndyCar Bloggeratzi, other than I've had the pleasure of hangin' out with him at Mother Speedway NO less, where he introduced Mwah to a totally unexpecting Paul Page, who surely; Don't call me Shirley! Enjoyed my Quip 'bout him and Sam Posey; Hya!

As Y'all can check out Jeff's IndyCar blog One lap down(dot)com, with his introductory Post titled: Before we go Green on thisThing

Meanwhile, everybody knows that Indy Cars are returning to The Valley of The Sun after an eleven years hiatus...

Which gives me Thy briefest glimmer 'O Hope of IndyCar someday returning to Portland; Nah...

Where surely the Indy Cars will break one of 'Ol Arie "The Flying Dutchman" Luyendyk's records - Whilst speeding round Phoenix International Raceway's one-mile banked Oval some 5-0 miles per hour faster than Dem RASSCAR Taxicabs; CRIKEYS!

As Luyendyk currently holds the record at 19.608-seconds aboard one of those year old CART chassis; the Jonathan Byrd's Fred Tredway Racing "Blown" Reynard 95i/Cosworth Rocketships! The same Beast Arie was piloting in '96 to Mother Speedway's current One and Four lap records!

The year prior to those IRL CRAPWAGONS! Paul Tracy's words, NOT mine; Hya! Becoming en vogue in the Indy Racing League...

Alas, I've only ever been to Phoenix International Raceway twice, with the first time being an eternity ago, witnessing my first ever Oval race 'Wayback in 1994. The year when I swore 'Ol Jack Vanilla, aka Jacques Villeneuve tried to take out the then Goodyear pedestrian infield walkover bridge!

For which one of the unsuspecting victims of Villeneuve's crash was local PacWest racer Dominic Dobson, along with another of our Portland Darlings 'King Hiro! (Hiro Matsushita)

And being just before The Split, and having grown-up at Thy Twisties' tracks of Kent, Washington's then Seattle International Raceway, (now Pacific Raceways) Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, BC's Molson Indy Street race, I simply wasn't  impressed by the dizzying speed of poundin' round 'N round in circles, as I've never realized a quarter of a century would pass before my second ever outing to an Oval track race, the '09 Indy 500; YIKES!

Otay, so I-T was only 15yrs instead, but! It definitely felt like a quarter century whilst I've never proclaimed bein' a Mathematician...

While my second and latest visit to Avondale, AZ was for a very entertaining, enjoyable and most Excellante ride round PIR in one of The King's, aka Richard Petty's Driving Experience 2X Seater racecars! Which I scribbled 'bout back circa 2013 in;

And my latest trek to thee Desert was so brief this past January, I simply didn't have time to go visit my Numero Uno haunt in Scottsdale, AZ, for which I've visited multiple times - Anchored in The Penske Auto Group's Mega Dealership, where rightly 'El Capitano, nee Roger Penske has located his fabulous 'lil Penske Racing Museum!

For which I've posted the story about my debutant visit many moons ago, whilst NO idea if the museum will be missing the mainstay of its exhibit since Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Hall of Fame museum is hosting a 50 Years celebration of Penske Racing for the time being...

Monday, March 28, 2016

Formula E Sweeping Long Beach Streets...

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" or not?

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 Wheel," eh?

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; Hya!

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,  Mahindra 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..

ARSE-Sumin' De 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...

2) Sam Bird; UK
25) Jean-Eric Vergne; France

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 seat.

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...

#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!

Oliver 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; Switzerland

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 (WEC) trail.

Sebastian Buemi's 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.

Yet Buemi 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...

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.

Salvador 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!

Salvador 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.

Hmm? 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.

Sebastian Buemi 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            76
3. Sam Bird                        60
4. Jerome d'Ambrosio   58
5. Loic Duvall                    44

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Tomaso Files: Midnight to Morning, Dawn to Dusk - Where's the Motor Racing being shown?

Got Milk?

While Y'all would think I'd be ecstatic since the motor racing season has truly up shifted into fifth gear after a pretty ridiculous Offseason, I came away feeling slightly dizzy, tired and simply Cornfuzed over thee lack of decent Airtimes offered or worse yet, Thy lack of overall availability...

It's definitely been a wild 'N wooly two weekend's now of turbocharged motors; Uhm, PU's (Power Units) and sorts throb-throb-throbbing into life, since although I've already lamented the less than stellar results of trying to listen to and the ending of the season opening St Pete race upon thy Golf Channel, nonetheless, at least it  was available at a civilized time, or even better yet, simply available!

As I reluctantly understand the push "O convenience; Err Capitalism, by having everyone addicted to their Smartfones and the golden cash stream  they entail. Nevertheless, if you're gonna push us onto "live" Streaming, then you've got to have robust enough platforms to sustain the demand!

Funny, how Leigh Diffey's splittin' hairs, as think it's almost four months since November 29th's Season Finale in Abu Dhabi, but whatever, eh? Although it did seem rather funny that after Thy Wait; Hmm? Diffey's quip 'bout Three and a half months is HALF of Indy Cars STUPENDOUS 7mos OFF-Season; CRIKEYS!

Actually what stood out to me in Thy middle 'O night, was the hilarity over Melbourne's inclement weather, nee precipitation along with thou wind Ah-blowin' mightily, messed considerably with cars running On-track during Friday's two Free Practice sessions preventing many from going out for a spin since they didn't have many spares worth risking! Not to mention Nico  Rosberg's Hydroplaning!

And apparently I made the right choice by electing to go to bed vs. watching another middle 'O night telecast, since I was pretty miffed that the F1 Qualie show had been reduced a half hour's length... Whilst sounds like everybody was miffed over the STUPIDITY of the new & improved "Musical Chairs" qualifying format that's now been rightly scrapped!

Hmm? Musical Chairs, like when's the musak gonna stop upon Uncle Bernaughty's (Bernard Ecclestone) constant Knackerin' of thy Sport? Whom after all, perhaps should take heed of what his elder Murray's got to say...

Yet besides the less than palatable air-times, albeit the ease of access plus stability of NOT Dumping midstream! Isn't I-T amazing what a really good TV Broadcast crew can do vs. meanderin' mediocrity, i.e.; NBC Sports Network vs. Thy Rumblin-Stumblin; Err Buildin' thou Foundation Eddie Cheever; but I digress...

As  biggest race takeaway obviously was seeing "Fredrico Suave" (Fernando Alonso) walk away from that horrific shunt with Esteban Gutierrez!

So I'd been searching 'N searching continuously the entire week-plus prior on my TV Guide listings provided via Thy NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service and just getting nowhere; FRICK! Is I-T on in thou middle 'O night a la Formula 1? Or tape delayed 'til Monday? As surely it'll be on Stateside Terrestrial TV, right? Hmm? May be its on the B-I-G' FOX Taxicabs' channel? NOPE! That's NOT I-T! And Fox Sports-1 is Chock-Oh-Block, or should that be Chop Suey; Hooah! Of Somme-thun' called UFC; SHIT!

As isn't it amazing? Then again perhaps it's just one more sign of how much they like their motor racing Up North Eh! Since as much as I enjoy teasing my fellow Hosers, you've gotta give it UP to 'Dem KuhNucks  for being motor racing MAD! As it certainly would be nice if we had some sort of Seattle Newspaper semblance; Oh Never Mind! As Geo. Phillips comments 'bout his local Nashville's ThinahSeein' comes to mind...

But it sure would be nice if some local entity would actually give us upcoming previews of A-L-L motor racing, besides thou requisite Roundy-round 'RASSCAR mention.

As its just downright S-A-D that the only voice telling me about the impending MotoGP Season Opener NO less from Qatar comes via Thy Mayor 'O Hinchtown's Hometown, nee Toronto; YIKES!

"Now, while talking about world motorsport, I have bad news for MotoGP fans. Unless you go to the website and sign up for live streaming, you will not be able to watch this weekend’s opening race.
And that’s because MotoGP has signed a contract for North America with something called BeIN TV, a very obscure channel. I don’t know which cable or satellite company carries it, if any.
Despite rumours that the race will be on Fox Sports 1 in the United States on Sunday, that is not true."

As Y'all can read the full story by clicking here,   which even though it regards last weekend's racing action on thy Telie, it does also talk 'bout their Boy TAG', nee Alex Tagliani's latest Indy500 ride...

'Whale as Louis Black would say, you're driving me BAT SHIT CRAZY! IMSA! As cannot believe I-T, but the FUCKING Internetz' webcast prolifically Dumped at 6:53PM Pacific after I'd been contently listening for some three hours plus with ZERO interruptions and only 1-2 very short commercial interruptions...

Can you Hear me Now Verizon IndyCar series on the Advanced Auto parts Radio Network live from the Firestone Studio sponsored by Sunoco; Oh Never Mind!

But Alas, the webpage just kept saying" over 'N over for 40 excruciating minutes: The video could not play, please try again later - every time I tried re-loading Thy "Tune In" Webpage; FUCK!

As I finally managed to hear John Hind Ha-Haugh's voice telling me there was four minutes remaining; FUCK!  As the webcast went BLANK for Mwah for 40+ minutes meaning I really don't know what happened, nor did I get to hear Pipo Derani's second scintillating pass for the lead!

As I came back On Air at 7:37PM Pacific with a whole different complexion to Thy race... Since before the webcast inexplicably Dumped! My Homeboyz' Team Seattle's #23 with whom Shea Adam called "Super Mario," aka Mario Farnbacher, who'd been reinserted into the cockpit had taken the lead during Pit stops from Richie Stanaway in the No. 98 Aston Martin.

So for Mwah, the final tally was Two OUTS upon live-streaming Webcast's, whilst Terrestrial television  is still the most viable way to G-O! But it needs to have decent announcers, i.e.; Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett! As I'm looking most forward to Peacock-lite's, nee NBCSN's upcoming IndyCar broadcast, for which I must say I was most impressed over how many times the TV Commercial promoting I-T on Phoenix International Raceway's "Bullring Oval" (Saturday Night, April 2nd) played during the weekend's Formula 1 race coverage!

thus, call me 'Ol School, NOT liking change or Whatever, but! Kudos to F1 and Indy Cars availability for entire race broadcasts on Terrestrial TV, with getting a D grade in my book for Thy 45min Brown-out! Whilst MotoGP can simply GO FISH! As guess that'll be one less series to try paying Attenzione too, eh? And BOO-HOO-HOO Yuhs Poor Advertisers...

Not to mention enjoying skipping those dreadfully RIDICULOUS O.M.F.G. DARK 30 wake-up times; Hurrah!