Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidaze from Up North Eh!

No Fenders Head Scribe Tomaso and his two trusty Speelchequor's, the late Mad Molly & Thou Pixolator hard at work roasting Chessnutz' at Honeymans State Park. (The Tomaso Collection)

Uhm? What's that 'Ol song some Kuhnaidiun Rocker named Geddy Lee crooned so long ago, eh? Y'all know, the Juan' on Bob & Doug McKenzie's Hit Album...

Otay, I'll quit lamenting the demise of 'Ol Mad Molly from now on, but, it'll be a somewhat Blue X-Mas without her, as I'd hoped she'd last a 'lil while longer, like A-L-L of us, eh?

As your humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso thought he'd be throttlin' back; HA-HA, NOT! On Ye BLOB' stories, with the remaining titles just needing to be populated to the nefarious Blog platform; like why are uze gOOgle BASTARDOES always mucking with I-T!  With the following stories awaiting publication: When Abu Dhabi's Big Top Quits Spinning, who'll land where, King 'O Cool's Youngster Speaks, Shooting Starz'' 2016 edition - Indy Lights series Shines On', Shooting Starz' 2016 Eurocentric edition (With the exception of knowing who'd won the GP2 & GP3 titles...) and Shooting Starz' 2016 Eurocentric edition rumbles on 'N on...

 A Day of Infamy, 75 Years ago... Naturally morphed into two part harmony, followed-up by spotting Somme-thun' entertaining 'bout Lapo Elkin. Whilst naturally, the Bimmers' invade ACM story got Super Sized, ultimately splittin' into three parts, - and naturally falling further 'N further down thou No Fenders rotation...

And then there's the Esteban Gutierrez Gesticulating being Thy internal code for the Mexican's Glove Tossing tantrum; Hmm? What was that Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward said 'bout the media and infotainment, Ci!

Thus leaving the month 'O December more busy than I'd hope for, typing ceaselessly. Still having failed to finish recounting my most enjoyable visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, which will always be the Hall of Fame museo to Mwah; Yada-Yada-Yada! As I just feel like I'm perpetually running on thou Treadmill, ore more succinctly Zed No Fenders Mobious-strip; ZOINKS!

No Fenders "Mule Team" walking in a dog train along Heceta Head beach near Florence, OR. Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen has her 2 dogs on a leash and is pulling Mwah forwards with my white cane as usual. The late Mad Molly is leading the pack on the right. Then Pixie the Wonderdog, Mary Ellen and Tomaso bringing up the rear as usual! (The Tomaso Collection)
Although this year I'm making a different Tack, as I'm currently Up North Eh! Somewheres' nearby "Victoria Island" as Lewis Black so cleverly coined I-T this past February when I had the good fortune of seeing him perform live in thee GURR-REAT White North!

Henceforth, like that long defunct black 'n white paper magazine I subscribed to yearly two decades ago known as Ontrack, I'm taking a two weeks Winter's Slumber and will return on Monday, January 9th, 2017, with the exception of two canned stories already planted in Nofendersville...

And as always, Thanxs to all three  of my loyal readers; Hooah! Err, a B-I-G' THANK YOU SHOUT OUT to everybody who's read, continues reading and supporting  No Fenders over the past Decade - and see Y'all next year...

Salutations, Felice Navidad and Merry Kringle, Y'all!

Or like those fabulous Hosers' Bob & Doug from Up North say, this one's empty, so Take Off Eh!

And please come back next year for another riveting season's worth of No Fenders scribblings' Y'all; Ho-Ho-Ho!

(Photographs Courtesy of Clarity Pictures)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Kringle (2015 edition)

‘Twas the day before Christmas, when through all of the paddocks.
Not a motor was idling, not even a single Cosworth “Lump” could be heard.

The garages were swept and tidied with care,
In hopes that Roger Penske soon would be there;

The mechanics were nestled all snug in their beds.
While visions of Championship bonuses danced in their heads.
(Not to mention HULIO dreaming of what might have been, if only he hadn't crashed over that 'Yump in Houston)

And “Princess” in her negligee, (Or was that her Cowboy Hat 'N swim suit?) Along with Paul Tracy in his crash bucket, had just settled down for a quick tryst in the sack.
(Hey! I hear that Danica’s still available, right 'Ricky-boy? Likes Yuhs better not loose Danica's number...)

When out on the lawn there arose such a racket, ‘ol PT sprang from the bed to see what “TAG, Suitcase Servia, Whiney Bags and Bad Bobby D’ were groaning about.

Away to the window Tracy flew like a demon. Ran over the back markers and punted the Hamburgular clear outta the way.

The smoke from between Sea Bass’s ears. Glistened like a smoke signal, without a glow. When, what to PT’s wandering eyes should appear but a Ferrari ENZO followed by an armada of Prancing Horses in tow.

The ENZO was piloted by an ex-Formula 1 driver, still brutally quick.
That Tracy knew in an instant it must be Michael Schumacher.

More rapid than a grid full of Bridgestone alternate “soft rubber tyre’ Formula 1 chassis in “Qualie Two” light fuel tanks mode. The seven times World Champion whistled and jeered, and called them by name;

Now, Mika now, Coulthard! Now, Rubinoe and Ralfanso!
On, Heinz-Harald! On Villeneuve! On Damion and Irvine!

To the front of the grid! To the head of the pack.
Now burn rubber, burn rubber baby, burn rubber quick!

As tyre tracks that leave ominous black streaks behind. While Herr Schumacher leaves another competitor further behind!

So up to the roof-top the Prancing Horses flew. With trunk loads of presents and Schuey too. And then, came a banshee wail of the ENZO, high atop the roof.

The revving and idling of each assorted Ferrari. As PT rubbed his hands. Down the chimney Schuey forlornly came. He was dressed all in Scuderia Red, from his head to his foot.

And his Nomex driver’s suit was all tarnished with ashes and soot;
an assortment of winning trophies, he’d stuffed into his back pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! His rosy cheeks, how they glowed.
His hair as always was perfect, (by Loreal...) his jaw like a chisel! His lips clenched in a mischievous smirk. As the smile was reminiscent of a Cheshire cat;

The remains of a Cuban cigar hung limply from his teeth. As clouds of Smoke encircled Schuey's head like a wreath;

He had a taunt face and washboard abs. that still showed his youthful physique when he laughed at the dumbfounded PT. He was strong and fit as an ox, a festive and jolly elf; Thus Paul could only laugh when he appeared

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head. Soon gave TRACY nothing to fear. As Schuey spoke nary a word, but went straight to his work. Filling all of the stockings with various racing trinkets. (Such as the 2002 Borg Warner Cup, a new three year contract signed by P.L. Newman & Carl Haas along with some of the Hamburgular’s secret winning sauce…)

Before Messer Chrome Horn could wipe away his astonishment, the famous German turned Quickly, laying his finger aside of his nose. And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his idling ENZO, and to his waiting minions gave a whistle. And the screeching of tortured Ferrari lumps could be heard as they burst away like rocket ships! But ‘Ol PT heard Schumacher exclaim, as he power-slided out of sight;

"Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good-night."

Merry Kringle Y'all!

(Originally written by Tomaso – December, 2007; last modified on Dec 17, 2015)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

RETRO: When BMW first went Grands Prix racing

The late Elio de Angelis, who at just age 28 lost his life thirty years ago from a testing accident upon the full length Paul Ricard circuit behind the wheel of the Brabham BT55-BMW. (Image source: images)
Perhaps Y'all could somewhat call I-T a veritable C' Change? Since a strange changing of The Old Guard was taking place this fall...

As typical here in Nofendersville, a single story grain multiplies, and hence, as I was labouring to get round to working upon my epic Bimmers' invade ACM tome, whilst purusing Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward's Joe Blogs F1 site, he noted the passing of somebody's name that rang Alarm Bells upon my Anti-collision controls...

As the name in Questione was Paul Rosche, whom I recalled as the man behind Munich's Inline four cylinder F1 turbo engine's development as BMW Motorsport's boss.

BMW Motor Racing
I will not attempt to chronicle every aspect of BMW's prolific motor racing exploits, with reports of BMW Specials contesting Formula 2 as far back as the early 1950's, then rejoining the modern F2 championship in the late 1960's before winning their first F2 races in '70.

Next came the European F2 Championship title in 1973 with the "Works" March Engineering with Jean-Pierre Jarrier at the wheel. As BMW M Power entries  were en route to multiple championships as one of the series strongest Contendahs' until its demise in 1984.

Yet your humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso's predominantly interested in how many Grands Prix W's the Bavarian outfit's won over the years, which shies in comparison to such Juggernauts as Cosworth's ubiquitous DFV lumps' staggering tally of 174 victories, Ferrari, Renault, etc.

HELL! Even the mighty Mercedes have won a demoralizing 51-of-59 races (to date) during the (2014-16) Power Unit era...

Formula 1 Turbo era: 1982-88
Although BMW wasn't the first turbocharged motor in the sport, nor first to record victory. Yet instead, they were the first to win the Formula 1 championship in 1983 and were also rumoured to have the highest-ever (bhp) Horsepower output on the F1 Grid, with an astounding 1,500bhp rumoured with the boost dial turned U-P to 11; Hya! Err, maximum boost setting.

As this was Brabham's Glory Days, a short lived dynasty when the Milton Keynes outfit was owned by a one Mr. Bernard Charles Ecclestone, who chose to have somebody named Herbie Blash run the team, as Herbie would go onto become Charlie Whiting's Deputy Director, after hiring him to work at Brabham, with the pair inseparable for some two-plus decades...

As I particularly like the part 'bout Brabham running two separate powered cars at once, with Patrese getting the old car, nee BT49-Ford/Cosworth V-8, while team leader Piquet had the new BT50 BMW turbo at his disposal. With the team scoring a most unlikely 1-2 with these pair 'O chassis before BMW said QUIT Screwing around Bernie!

Longtime Brabham Designer Gordon Murray unleashed the first of his successful Turbocar's', the BT50 with BMW's Inline 1.5-litre four cylinder turbocharged lump' at the season opening 1982 South African Grand Prix before reverting back to the prior year's BT49 Cosworth DFV V-8 whilst sorting out reliability issues, with Riccardo Patrese winning the Monaco GP aboard the year old Brabham.

With Munich turning the screws literally, to resolve it's reliability issues, during its inaugural F1 campaign. Two races later, Nelson Piquet scored BMW's maiden Formula One victory at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. With Patrese soldiering home as Blocking Back P2' (second) aboard the year-old naturally aspirated Cossie' (Ford Cosworth) BT49 mount.

Sadly, this triumph was overshadowed by the horrific first lap shunt which ultimately cost 23yr old Italian F1 rookie Riccardo Paletti his life aboard the back-marker Osella.

Later in Austria Piquet would record Munich's first Pole position, along with the "Blown" (Turbocar) chassis capturing three fastest laps.

Nineteen eighty three was BMW's most successful season, having already noted Piquet securing his second F1 Drivers Crown with Brabham; being the first ever to win the championship with a turbo motor. As the Brazilian notched a total of three wins, with Wingman Patrese scoring another to give BMW a total of four W's along with two Pole positions and four Fastest laps with the championship winning BT52/BT52B.

The following year saw Piquet supported by the Fabi brothers, as the upstart Italian Teo had shocked CART and Americre' the previous year when winning the Pole for some 'lil 'Ol Oval-race at Indianapolis! With his younger brother Corrado deputizing for him when his IndyCar commitments clashed.

Arrows became BMW's first customer engine team in '84 and would run the 4-bangers' until the end of the sport's first turbo era ended at the close of the '88 season.

And although the BMW still apparently was the most boosted engine on the grid, with Piquet taking most Poles with nine. Nonetheless, the TAG-Porsche V-6 turbos of McLaren won most of the races, as Nelson could only stand atop the podium twice.

Having passed their zenith with the onslaught of McLaren's A-L-L conquering TAG-Porsche's, 1985 saw Brabham's demise begin in earnest with Piquet only capable of scoring one Pole and a lone victory that season, Brabham's final Grands Prix victory; with the BT54 failing to record any Fastest laps.

Piquet left for the greener pastures of Team Willy in '86, with the discouraged Elio de Angelis bolting from Lotus to get away from somebody named Senna! Yet Murray's pencil nosed BT55 "laydown" chassis would cost the Italian his life during testing, which ultimately sealed the fate of Brabham's ultimate demise in '92, long after Ecclestone had sold the team,

Sorry Elio, almost forgot that this past May was the 30th Anniversary of his death, although when I think of Brabham, inevitably that ill-fated radical laydown BT55 chassis and De Angelis passing comes to mind...

And how could I forget? Especially since I'm greeted daily by the Anne Peyton lithograph print of that most striking Benetton "World 'O Colours" B186 on Thy bathroom's wall; CRIKEYS!

a second supply deal was acquired by an upstart F1 Constructor named Benetton, who'd taken over Toleman. With Gerhard Berger giving the team it's maiden Formula 1 victory and the 'lil turbo motor it's last three decades ago in Mexico City.

Poles: 15; Fastest Laps: 13; Wins: 9

Formula 1 Demise...
While BMW effectively quit F1 at the end of the 1986 season, with Munich selling the engine rights to what would become known as Megatron under Arrows guise, while Brabham and Ligier also used these motors during the waning years of the turbo era, nee 1987-88, BMW had already departed F1 and wouldn't produce a naturally aspirated V-8 lump for the new 3.5-litre era commencing in '89.

More BMW Motorsports Ambiguity
As I tried putting this story to bed, I stumbled into the first New Zealand Herald Motoring story posted upon thou NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service I puruse daily...

As the cynic in Mwah wondered if the report of some McLaren "Boffin" offering the Freelance photographer copious amounts 'O Dinero for his Memory-card, in order to keep a lid upon the incident was some weird, twisted way of deflecting Attenzione away from the sacking of Ron Dennis, eh?

As it seemed somewhat symbiotic that the story in Questione included two past Brabham employees and a BMW V-12 used to propel a rival company's Supercar to success at Circuit de la Sarthe.

As thee Ronster', aka Ron Dennis cut his teeth at Brabham during the Sir Blackjack Days, having followed Jochen Rindt from Cooper to Jack Brabham's fledgling F1 team in 1969 as a mechanic, and the rest is history as they say, before Dennis was given his "Woking" papers when being put on Gardening Leave just weeks ago.

Gordon Murray continued his winning ways at McLaren under the employ of Dennis, designing those A-L-L conquering McLaren Honda's in the late 1980's - before designing the McLaren F1 Supercar kitted out with a 6.1-litre normally aspirated BMW V-12, which an McLaren F1 GTR won Le  Mans overall in '95, before BMW was lured back into Formula 1 as Team Willy's' (Williams F1) engine partner in the early 2000's...