Saturday, January 28, 2017

ROLEX 24: When SuperTex' pounded the High Banks in a Porsche...

The legendous' Lowenbrau Special Porsche 962, campaigned by the late Al Holbert. (Image source:

As how could I pass up a story with the title 'bout Night Terrors & SuperTex', eh? Or may be I-T should be Tremors 'N Night Sweats?

Once again, your humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso was "Sleepless in Seattle," and hence found Thyself perusing Y'all know what; listening to another story from Car and Driver Magazine via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone news service...

As the title grabbed my Attenzione, as how many of Yuhs recall that 'Ol SuperTex, nee Anthony Joseph Foyt, Jr. not only contested the 24 Hours of Daytona, but has two Rolex winning wrist pieces to show for it!

As funny how I totally remember the Lowenbrau cars of 1986-87 with Al Holbert, Al Unser, Jr. and Derek Bell.

Along with the fact that Monsieur Wolleck and A.J. had won, but don't recall witnessing either of their victories. Or knowing 'bout the Seester' Swap 'N Shop 962, with the likes 'O Thierry Boutsen and 'lil Al's Pappy B-I-G' AL being a member of this squad...

And whilst NOT downplaying AJ's accomplishments, which are simply legendary, but just to give I-T some perspective, "Peter Perfect," aka Peter Gregg has won the endurance classic twice as many times, albeit Gregg's primary focus was Sports Car racing whilst A.J. simply done raced anything with wheels.

As I enjoyed this story, with the author harkening back to his childhood days with a poster of two Porsche 962's in Lowenbrau livery tacked to his bedroom's wall, for which A.J. Foyt was the Pilote of one of these two mighty Porsche's.

As just think 'O thee Terror of 'Ol SuperTex coming up on your six, flashing you with his high beams on DayToner's High Banks before blastin' past Yuhs in his A-L-L conquering Porsche 962C Beer Wagon!

Fooled Y'all! As betcha thought I was gonna say Panzerwagon, Ja Volt!

Whilst reportedly the brand new Cadillac VR DPi's (Daytona Prototype International) are a half mile short of surpassing the magic 200mph mark, and presumably are the Odds-on favourite for victory this year. As A-L-L eyes of thee Motor Racing World will be glued upon the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing and it's guest chauffer, some guy with the last name Gordon...

Although the World Endurance Championship's (WEC) Rebellion Racing P2 Oreca 07 naturally aspirated Gibson V-8 looked extremely stout with Neil Jani at its controls during the Roar Before - with Jani leading five of the seven practice sessions, before being pipped for fastest time by DragonSpeed's Ben Hanley  on the final day, another of the WEC runners...

But still think Yuhs wouldn't want the pressure of 'Ol SuperTex harassin' Y'all when the clock chimes Midnight when scamperin' about Dem High Banks!

As the list reads like a veritable Who's Who of Motorsports, regarding Overall Winners at the Rolex 24, as Jeffrey "Pretty Boy" Gordon's still in pursuit of his first wristwatch, whilst thee Top Kuhuna's' with the most victories is shared between Hurley Haywood and Scotty Scooter' Pruett at five apiece.

As the best Pruett can do this year is add another Rolex time-piece to his dazzling collection as GTD (Daytona) class winner aboard his brand new Lexus RC F GT3...

The Haywood-Pruett duo is followed by the aforementioned Gregg, along with Rolf Stommelen and Bob Wolleck with four wins apiece.

As Wolleck who drove with A.j. Foyt against his wishes, begrudgingly acknowledged the Texan's driving abilities...

 Although fours apparently not a good number, since none of these esteemed drivers are with us any longer. As Gregg committed Suicide after losing His Eyesight! Stommelen died in a Crash at Riverside in 1983. And Wollek was cruely Killed by a Motorist when ironically bicycling to Daytona International Speedway

Triple Rolex 24 winners abound with the likes 'O Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, both scoring all of their victories for The Cheepster', nee Chip Ganassi who's got the record for most overall team victories with six.

A trio of Bloody Brits' are also triple winners, as Derek Bell, Brian Redman and Andy Wallace are in the club, whilst the most unlikely known, with the exception of Diehard Sports Car Aficionados is Butch Leitzinger, which I fondly recall as a longtime driver for Dyson Racing, scoring victory with those Riley-Ford DP's. (Daytona Prototype)

The late Pedro Rodriguez leads the list of two-time winners, being the first to score consecutive wins. Along with the likes of the aforementioned SuperTex'. (Foyt) While there's the late Al Holbert who partnered with 'lil Al, aka Al Unser, Jr. and Jan Lammers, John Paul, Jr, Elliot-Forbes Robinson, Mauro Baldi, Didier Theys, Wayne Taylor and Terry Borcheller. And our latest addition of Scott Sharp, joining this club last year

Four other drivers with two Rolex's, one for each wrist winners include the likes of Scott Dixon, who won't be adding to his overall tally this year, since he's piloting one of Cheeps' GT Le Mans class's Ford GT's.

With le Hamburgular', aka SeaBass', nee Sebastain Bourdais and fellow Ford Ganassi Racing compatriot TK' Follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan both also in a similar predicament, as part of the twelve Ford GT Le Mans class drivers, who've each won the race overall once apiece.   

Yet there's three driver's in DPi Prototypes this year who all stand a chance of adding a third timepiece to their collection. As Caddy' Boyz Christian Fittipaldi and João Barbosa probably have the best chance, with Scotty Sharp's unknown Nissan Onroak DPi being a Darkhorse for now, as who knows who's showing what during testing, eh?

As Y'all better not Slow Down that Mustang Sally; Err Mustang Sampling Cadd-Oh-lac' - as obviously I'm rootin' for the Ford GT's; although I'd enjoy having the No. 19 BMW Art Car upset the GTLM Apple-cart, whilst I'd enjoy seeing the No. 55 Mazda RT24P win the race...

IMSA: A Few Rules Updates announced before the Camera lights G-O On...

This is just a quick, cursory look at a few of the major regulation changes announced previously for this year's Weathertech SportsCar Championship, before Dario throws thou Green Flag and racing appears on Duh B-I-G' Channel F-O-X, for a whopping 3hrs; WOOPIE! As A-L-L 2017 race starts will now be in one H-U-G-E' single pack.

Meanwhile IMSA will take over the Technical Approval process of each and every chassis wishing to contest races, with the creation of the new "Technical Fingerprint" requirement process to validate each competing marque.

While IMSA has made revisions to the Balance of Performance (BoP) rule packages following the Roar Before the 24...

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Familiar IndyCar name is this year's Rolex 24 Grand Marshall

Whale' lookie Thar, isn't that 'Ol Dario REO Speedwagon Franchitti up on the starter's stand waving the green flag?

As I had ZERO clue on whether or not I'd get to watch; Err listen to the first three hours truncated FOX TV coverage Race-day? Or better yet, a la last year, enjoy copious amounts via Zed Internetz' 'O Der Heinenmeire', nee John "Ha-Ha-Ha" Hindhaugh on IMSA's Official Website! Which for Mwah is far Superior to my Non Existent FS2 availability...

As here's who was fastest overall at the Roar Before a few weeks ago, which of course doesn't guarantee a Damn Thingy!

And if Y'all cannot wait 'til  Saturday, as you're on your own to find if and when you might be able to watch the race on TV? As I'm afraid most of I-T will be airing on Fox Sports Douche! (FS2)

Since as far as I know, comca$t still refuses to offer Fox Sports 2 in Seattle...

thus, if you're Jonesin' for some sights 'N sounds of Rolex 24 action, Y'all may wish to check out this In-car video footage of Gunnar Jeannette aboard his brand new Mercedes AMG GT3 - SWEET!

And in the immortal words 'O ze Dom 'O IndyCar Bloggers, thou departed Pressdog, I'm trying to decide what Thy Beer of the Race shall be? As I'm toying with the idea of some Lowenbrau Dark, although think I'll need Somme-thun' stouter than that, like I dunno, perhaps some Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA Ja-Ja? Especially after thee HELL I've endured loading those three monstrous Rolex 24 previews on the P.O.S. platform!

Drink Ye Bastards!

Whilst I've got NO idea what those Zany Grab Bag Sports Boyz' are up to this year, and if they're doing their yearly Bonkers Midnight Movie?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ROLEX 24: Which Brand New Prototype manufacturer will be Victorious?

Can the "little Car that Could!" Mazda's RT24P with the smallest displacement engine be victorious this year? Specifically the No. 55? (Image source:

As who'll make history as the Sport's first new Prototype to win Daytona now that the 'Ol Grand Am DP's have been retired...

The biggest news for this year's 55th running of the Rolex 24 is the new top flight Prototype (P) category, now that the 'Ol Daytona Prototypes (DP) are no longer allowed. With the class being effectively split into two rival factions, the IMSA Daytona Prototype International's (DPi) and the Le Mans LMP2 competitors - with the DPi allowing manufacturer specific Bodywork vs. LMP2's approved suppliers with Spec engine and ECU.

Interestingly, it appears that both groups are represented equally with three manufacturers apiece. And the relative lack of IMSA entrants makes me think of when the Daytona Prototypes were brand new during the Grand Am days before the class steadily increased in size.

As it'll be interesting to see who prevails overall and how equal in performance the two sides 'O thee Puddle are, and who'll ultimately win the race...

According to Zed Internetz', found the following seven entrants listed for this year's Rolex 24...
Cadillac DPi VR
Engine: 6.2-litre normally aspirated V-8
Teams: Action Express Racing & Wayne Taylor Racing
#5) João Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Filipe Albuquerque
#10) Jordan & Ricky Taylor, Max Angelelli and Jeff Gordon
#31) Dane Cameron, Eric Curran, Mike Conway and Seb Morris

Surely A-L-L eyes will be focused upon Wayne Taylor's spiffy, brand new No. 10 Cadd-Oh-Lac', with RASSCAR' legend Jeffry "Pretty Boy" Gordon moonlighting alongside its regular driver trio, which sees The Brother's Taylor joined by Max "the Ax" Angelelli, who'll retire from racing following the event.

Yet (AXR) Action Express Racing's two car squad shouldn't be overlooked, after all having won the last three consecutive Daytona Prototype (DP) class championships, twice with the formable Duo of JB', aka João Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, now piloting their No. 5 "Mustang Sally;" Err Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi, with NO Mach 5 jokes here; Hya! As João 's Countryman Filipe Albuquerque joins the Mustang Boyz for the Rolex 24 event.

the team's Seester' car features the reigning (DP) champs Dane Cameron & Eric Curran aboard the #31 Welland Engineering Caddy, with some Dude known as Mike "Ice-Ice, Baby!" Conway joining them at Daytona.

Whilst Conway's "Union Jack" brethren Seb Morris, a GP3 racer's name just appeared after the Roar Before 24...

Mazda RT24P
Engine: 2.0-litre Inline-4 turbo
Team: Mazda Motorsports
#55) Jonathan Bomarito, Tristan Nunez and Spencer Pigot
#70) Tom Long, Joel Miller and James Hinchcliffe

Suppose the Biggest Name on the Mazda Driver Roll is thee "Mayor 'O Hinchtown" Eh! As the KuhNuck's still fresh upon everyone's radar after finishing runner-up in the latest Dancing With the Stars contest - While last year's rookie IndyCar driver Spencer Pigot who capped off his partial season for Ed Carpenter Racing, (ECR) having just been confirmed for another IndyCar season with ECR, is the other guest chauffer.

And whilst I don't know Nothing 'bout Messer's Long & Miller, Jonathan Bomarito's name was bandied about as a possible US F1 driver - Along with representing Team USA abroad.

While I've been High upon Tristan Nunez ever since Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen read me a story 'bout him in an obscure Portland "Fishwrap" awhile ago, having named him my 2012 nifSTAR winner...

Nissan Onroak DPi
Engine: 3.8-litre V-6 turbo
Team: Extreme Speed Motorsports
#2) Scott Sharp, Ryan Dalziel and Pipo Derani
22) Ed Brown, Johannes van Overbeek, Bruno Senna and Brendon Hartley

Extreme Speed Motorsports (ESM) is ex-IndyCar racer Scotty Sharp's concern funded by Ed Brown and his Tequila Patron patronage, as ESM is the defending Rolex 24 Overall winner's, albeit the team's now campaigning new DPi Prototype's clad in Nissan bodywork.

Pipo Derani  was the revelation 'O North American Sports Car racing last year, with the Brazilian wringing the neck of Tequila Patron ESM's Ligier JSP2 Honda to victory at Daytona when coming from behind! And then duplicated the feat next at Sebring to give ESM back-to-back endurance wins.

Have lamented much over the year's here on No Fenders over how past overall Rolex 24 and Le Mans class winner,  and ultimate BAD ARSE Ryan "Razzle-Dazzle"  Dalziel never got his fair shot in Indy Cars.

Meanwhile, that other Brazilian's name should be familiar, as that's the late Ayrton Senna's nephew Bruno, an ex-Formula 1 Pilote joining the All-Star circus at DayToner - who team owner Scotty Sharp sez' is wickedly quick!

Whilst the fourth Hot Schue on the #22's roster AIN'T NO Slouch either! Since Kiwi' driver Brendon Hartley, not only is a Factory Porsche LMP1 Pilote', but also won the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship aboard Porsche's amazing 919 Hybrid.

As these "Blown" Nissan's are sporting Onroak bodywork, for which Onroak Automotives the parent company of Ligier, which won the race last year. But think the verdict's still out upon the Nissan turbocharged lumps'.

And although I don't expect them to win, suppose they shouldn't be discounted, since perhaps these are proven LMP2 spec units that race at Circuit de la Sarthe?

The FIA sanctioned World Endurance Championship's (WEC) "Junior" )Le Mans Prototype) LMP2 category competitors will only be allowed to race with one of four designated chassis suppliers chosen by the ACO, the governing body of le 24 Heurs du Mans: Oreca, Ligier, Dallara and Riley. while only one engine's allowed, along with a single ECU supplier.

Oreca 07
Engine: 4.2-litre normally aspirated V-8
Teams: DragonSpeed, JDC-Miller Motorsports and Rebellion Racing
#13) Neil Jani, Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin
#81) Loic Duvall, Ben Hanley, Henrik Hedman and Nicolas Lapierre
 #85) Mikhail Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson, Chris Miller and Mathias Beche

Interestingly, the No. 81 DragonSpeed entry is owned by American ex-Formula 1 hopeful Elton Julian, who was the last Yank' to test a F1 chassis for Larrousse in 1994 before Scott Speed finally flew the Stars 'N Stripes in Formula One for Toro Rosso in 2006.

As Loic Duvall,  & Nicolas Lapierre's names are familiar to Mwah, both from competing in the 24 Heurs du Mans, whilst my apologies to the #85 JDC-Miller Motorsports entry, whom I don't recognize any of their drivers.

Yet many eyes will probably be focused upon the All-star quartet of Rebellion Racing's lucky number 13 - with such luminaries as ex-Champ Car, Works Porsche LMP1 Hot Schue and reigning Le Mans winner Neil Jani. Joined by three former Formula 1 Pilotes', most notably "Quick Nick" Heidfeld and the "Two Sebastian's," aka Sebastien Buemi & Stephane Sarrazin. With the latter duo having considerable seat-time in the top-tier LMP1 Hybrid Factory rides for Toyota and Peugeot.

Rebellion Racing's given up upon the LMP1 Privateer class, which only had one lone class competitor vs. the team's yearly intra-squad Scrum for bragging rights as the unheralded champions. Hence, opting in favour of some "True" racing in the much more competitive LMP2 class this year, along with their Debutante outing at Daytona.

Ligier JS P2 17
Engine: 4.2-litre normally aspirated V-8
Team: PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
#52) Tom Kimber-Smith, Jose Gutierrez, Mike Guasch and RC Enerson

This Ligier entry, for what I'm Cornfuzed over. since what's the difference between an Onroak and Ligier Sports Car? See's the No. 52 sporting two familiar sounding names, with the lesser known Kimber-Smith's also from racing in WEC, where I believe he's won LMP2 Honours; which he's achieved three times, most notably for Mwah with Razzle-Dazzle' Dalziel for Starwork Motorsports in 2012.

Also Kimber-smith almost swept the PC (Prototype Challenge) North American Endurance Cup races in 2015, winning that year's Rolex 24, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

As Kimber-Smith won Daytona aboard his current team's past PC class entry with one of his co-drivers being Mike Guasch, with PR1/ Mathiasen Motorsports having stepped up to the B-I-G' BOYZ category this year for Daytona...

But the name that jumps out to Mwah upon this driver's roster is IndyCar phenom RC Enerson, as the 19yr old teenager mightily impressed with his brief outing for Dale Coyne Racing last year, but like many talented youngsters is currently looking for a ride.

Riley/Multimatic Mk31
Engine: 4.2-litre normally aspirated V-8
Team: Visit Florida Racing
#90) Renger van der Zande, Marc Goossens and Rene Rast

Probably the most unknown of A-L-L the Top-tier competitors to Mwah, as I didn't even know Riley Technologies was awarded one of the four LMP2 chassis supplies, which they're partnering Oh KanaDuh's Multimatic to produce.

As Visit Florida Racing is another of the ex-Corvette DP runners a la Action Express Racing & Wayne Taylor Racing who had to upgrade this year after the (Daytona Prototypes were no longer eligible.

As believe last year their guest co-driver was RHR "The Dude!" Ryan Hunter-Reay? Since I know he's driven for them before. While Mark Goossens name is familiar, as he's been around Sports Car racing for awhile now, as I tend to recall him being one tough Hombre who was part of Paul GOOFY! Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing Factory Jaguar XJR GT team during its American Le Mans Series days.

So just how did the DPi runners vs. LMP2 Boyz' stack-up? Y'all can check out Marshall Pruett's typical Yeoman-like assessment in;

The most overlooked and least interesting segment  of IMSA's Weathertech SportsCar Championship for Mwah, is the Prototype Challenge (PC) category, which perhaps is withering on the vine with its scant amount 'O participants this year?

As the biggest name in the category arguably is 2004 Indy 500 winner Buddy "Hot Rod" Rice's return to full-time racing this season aboard the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsport sentry, whom among the quintet 'O chauffeurs for Daytona includes "The Yack!" aka Gustavo Yacamán, a past (2009-2012) Indy Lights competitor who battled vs. James Hinchcliffe - amongst others for championship honours. Peaking with third place overall in 2012, but never quite made the next step to Indy Cars.

As just look for the bright green Gas Monkey sponsored PC entry to find Rice, Yacaman & Company...