Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Japanese Racing's resurgence




The forlorned, sponsorless "Planet Earth" Honda RA108 F1 racecar. (Image source: Richards F1/ motorsportm8.com)
Originally intended to be part 'O Thy clever Pearl Harbour story, but Alas, as typical here in Nofendersville, the story mushroomed into two part harmony...

Surely Y'all recall how several years ago, about eight long years back, eh? How the land of the Rising Sun's major Auto manufacturers were A-L-L rapidly pulling out of motor racing under the guise of economic duress...


Although as I  scribbled Wayback then, it seemed like some of Japan's Heavy Hitter's, notably Honda and Toyota were conveniently using the financial pinch to save face and pull the plug upon their vastly disappointing and Uber expensive Formula 1 programmes, as both were hemorrhaging multi-millions simply for the privilege of racing in the pinnacle 'O motorsports with less than stellar results; think Honda's sponsorless "Planet Earth" racecar which was rated one of the ten ugliest F1 liveries...


Yet nearly a decade ago, when last visiting Japan, I enjoyed a most wonderful outing to Toyota City with Yutaka as my personal guide, where two of Toyota's Formula 1 TF105's sat on static display as part of the excellent Toyota Automobile Museum.


Yet as we all know, except for your humble No Fenders scribe, who missed getting Duh Memo, albeit for racing series long devoid of Stateside television exposure, aka World Rally Championship, (WRC) the tide's seemingly turned towards the high side once again. Although NOT to be Cornfuzed with that term High-siding; Hya!

As I'd totally missed hearing 'bout Toyota's returning to WRC for 2017 with its Yarus chassis, whilst Hyundai's apparently stepped up to the WRC plate as well. Whilst Toyota will hope to atone for its devastating last-lap "Handgrenading" upon Circuit de la Sarthe this coming summer.

And Toyota, as a fully fledged "Works" entrant will dive into IMSA's ever burgeoning GTD (Daytona) class ranks with two Factory Lexus RC F GT3's campaigned by Paul GOOFY' Gentilozzi's 3GT Racing squad, with the likes of recent IndyCar drivers Sage Dangerboy' Karam and "Union Jack" Hawksworth joining team leader Scotty Scooter' Pruett and the lesser known Robert Alon.


While I've already mentioned how Michael Shank Racing's (MSR) became Hondres' Acura NSX Works team for its two car GTD effort, for which The Freaks had a lighter side interview with all four MSR drivers recently, which as typical was pretty entertaining, along with taking mild swipes at the Delta Wing racecar...


And when I think of Honda and Acura, naturally I flashback to the mighty McLaren-Honda F1 era along with Ayrton Senna developing the original NSX, for which sadly, albeit partially of his own doing, the eponymous Ronster', nee Ron Dennis is in thou midst 'O enforced Gardening leave...


Although I can firmly say I've never been a fan of Ron's, still able to vaguely recall muttering "niceties" towards Dennis as his abstentious Mercedes Benz Saloon forced its way into the Paddock at Phoenix, AZ, with I believe Gerhard Berger alongside him? Since after all that was at least a quarter century ago; YIKES!

As I find the stories making the rounds 'bout his Micromanaging style leading to his Downfall somewhat entertaining, as Dennis was so controlling that every room at Woking was set to his favourite temperature of 21C, for which I've NO idea what's that in Fahrenheit?

Then again, may be there's a reason I'm writing a blog from a basement cellar dwelling and Dennis's estimated wealth is in the half-billion range, along with having built McLaren into a nearly one billion per year industry!

As I firmly believe Ron's correct about not being able to win Formula 1 championships these days unless you're aligned as a "Works" entity regarding PU's, and I totally hope to see McLaren break it's long victory drought in the near future...

for another story regarding today's date in history, see; A Day of Infamy, 75 Years ago...

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