Friday, June 28, 2019

HYDROS: 2019 H1 Unlimited Season Kicks Off this Weekend

But how many Hydros' will show up down South, Y'all?

Once again it's Summertime, which invariably means it's time for the Unlimited Hydroplanes to spin up Thar Turbines 'N G-O Racing, by kicking off Thar season this weekend in "Sweet Home, Alabama..."

Yet once again, the sport seems to simply be treading water, with my very unofficial count of H1 Unlimited Hulls competing this season being in the Single digits for the first time in years I can remember. With a paltry nine Hulls currently listed upon the sport's Official H1 Unlimited website.

Although by my very unscientific count, I'm expecting only six boats to arrive in Guntersville, Alabama for this year's southern cup Lake Guntersville Hydrofest taking place June 28-30th. Since I'm unsure of two Hydro's status,  Thee U-3 Go Fast Racing sponsored by Grig's Ace Hardware, the only remaining Piston powered Unlimited Hydroplane in the Fleet. Propelled by a twin-turbocharged Allison V-12 powerplant. along with the U-7 Spirit of Detroit; presumably as partial season competitors? While the newly anointed U-99.9 Miss Rock won't debut 'til Seafair.

Although it's great news learning that Rob Graham, owner of the U-12 Graham Trucking has stepped up financially, not only buying the old Miss Rock Hydroplane after its previous owner unexpectedly died! But will also campaign two Hydros' this season with the addition of his team's second entry, the U-98.

As hopefully the battle for this year's National High Points Championship will be a three boat race between the newly anointed U-1 Delta/REALTRAC, which I prefer knowing as the Northwest's Les Schwab Boat with my favourite Driver Andrew Tate at its controls, vs. Jimmy Shane and his U-6 Miss Home Street Bank and the aforementioned U-12 with perennial winner J. Michael Kelly at its tiller. Which naturally, this trio were at the top of the Testing Time Sheets.

Arguably, these three Hulls will run circles round the U-11 J&B's presents Reliable Diamond Tools, with Tommy Thompson at the controls, which has worked its way up to being the fourth fastest Boat.

Followed by the U-440 Bucket List Racing and the U-98 Graham Trucking American dream with the season's only Rookie Pilot Onboard, which is an unproven commodity at the moment.

As All of this uncertainty over Boat count is part of the reason that Detroit elected to forego holding the Sport's Holy Grail, the historic APBA Gold Cup this year, due to concerns over the lack of Hydroplanes contesting it's storied race.

While Detroit's annual Hydrofest will Host the lower tier Grand Prix Boats as Thar Headliner Act instead, which I guess Y'all could consider as the Indy Lights contingent of Hydroplanes, Eh?

Lastly, it seems odd that the State's only Hometown entity, the former U-27 Dalton Industries Hull driven by Cal Phipps, which last competed at Seafair last year, running as the U-1861 in commemoration of Seattle's longtime association with Fan favourite Jerky Boat' Oh boy Oberto.   Is apparently not contesting it's Home race? Since I cannot find any information pertaining to either Wiggins Racing, Headquartered in Rainbow City, Al or Cal Phipps current status...

Just prior to publishing this story, I finally discerned via H1 Unlimiteds somewhat annoying for "My Gal" Lucy', my ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader to Navigate website, Hey! Just put All of the Freakin' News in the News section wills Yuh! but I digress...

Indeed as predicted, jus six Hulls are entered for this weekend's Season Opener, with the most glowing omission being the defending National High Points Champion U-1 of Andrew Tate, due to a scheduling conflict; WTF? As that's not a good way to start off your Championship Defense!

While Thee only KuhNuck' Boat Driver in the field, Bert, "Not Ernie!" Henderson and the U-7 Spirit of Detroit will make their H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes debut outside of Michigan...

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Two Series on Two Continents, Same Outcome, Different Results

Bobby Rahal's 1994 Lola/Honda CART PPG IndyCar on Display in the Paddock at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin's 2019 Road America IndyCar race. (Image source:
With the only thing in common being they both Don't have Fenders...

As Ye OLD-est IndyCar Blogger Geo. Phillips; Hya! Of Oilpressure Fame so succinctly wrote" If you're an Alexander Rossi Fan then you were Happy about the Beatdown he put upon his IndyCar Brethren at Road America.

But if you're Not a Fan of Rossi's, or just a Casual Fan Dropping into Sunday's IndyCar race, then you were either Not Happy or found it to be a Boring race...

For which the man I refer to as Golden Child, aka Lewis Hamilton similarly Decimated the Formula 1 field at Circuit Paul Ricard, during the French Grand Prix the very same day.

When having untypically turned off Thy Telie' with an hour's programming left of the Encore Presentation Sunday evening. Hamilton was leading by a Gory Damn 13-plus seconds, over his Silver Arrows Wingman Valtteri Bottas; YAWN!

As I'm left questioning Thyself over why Rossi's Beatdown of nearly 29-seconds over second place Will Power of Team Penske was so enjoyable, and Hamilton's similar exploit was so Boring?

As I suppose part of it was marveling over Will Power, arguably one of Indy Cars greatest Road Racers saying he Never Saw Rossi all day long, and that was All he Had; YIKES! Reveling in the fact that somebody other than Scott Dixon had Decimated the Penske Death Star in such a resounding fashion...

Whilst a large part of my consternation over the regurgitated Sky Sports F1 Broadcast on le Duesh', aka ESPN2 was the willy-nilly erratic carving up of the programme with annoyingly Disjointed Commercial Breaks, and coming back to lead Presenter Kroftie', aka David Kroft laughing like a Hyena at his own terrible Jokes!

Since Although I Don't know Hamilton's ultimate margin of victory, Rossi won by nearly as much as twice as much time as Lewis did when I switched off around 8:30PM Pacific. so theoretically, Rossi's victory should have been twice as Boring as Golden Childs, Righto?

And as Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen's asked me multiple times over the past several years. Why was I so Gory Damn Ecstatic over DER TERMINATOR', nee Michael Schumacher's utter Domination of Formula 1, yet I now find Hamilton's similar reign so Gawd Damn Boring!

Although part of what initially drew me to Indy Cars was the fact Wayback in the Championship Auto Racing Teams *CART) era, Thar were literally a Dozen Drivers who could potentially win on any Bloody Damn Sunday!

While I suppose a large part of this weekend's Disappointment with the Sky Sports F1 TV Broadcast was the ultra lack of attempting to make the Broadcast somewhat interesting, since the Announcers; Err, Uhm Presenters simply seemed to be spending the whole Broadcast telling Bad Jokes to themselves since the race was an Ultra snoozer!

While the NBC Sports Television Booth Boyz' managed to keep us entertained, along with calling a good race and keeping us interested throughout, with the exception of Thar Colton Herta LUV-fest...

Meanwhile, suppose if I was clever, or poondin' away even more Madly than typical, I'd have managed to post Somme-thun' riveting about the Short lived Ligier IndyCar project coinciding with the just concluded French Grand Prix.

Having only learned about this abortive IndyCar Team effort construed by Guy Ligier & Co. earlier this year via a very small Nugget buried in another of F1 Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward's yearly Fascinating F1 Factoids.

Graham Rahal's current RLLR Dallara-Honda in 1994-esqe Throwback livery. (Image source:
Whilst another Wee Bitamyte 'O Nostalgia garnering much Fanfare at Road America was Thee Graminator', aka Graham Rahal running a Throwback Retro livery paying Homage to Senor Stash, nee Bobby Rahal's 1994 Miller Genuine draft (MGD) Lola/Honda - which was on Display in the IndyCar Paddock, as part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) celebrating Honda's 25th Anniversary in Indy Cars.

And stretching thou tangents 'O racing Nostalgia even further, it was that Fine Kuhnaidiun' lass Meesh's favourite IndyCar Team Owner Boobie Ruble'; Err Bobby Rahal who employed a young Racecar Designer by the name of Adrian Newey some 35 years ago. Who was responsible for Designing that year's March 84C IndyCar, along with being bobby's race engineer, with the two forming a close bond.

As March would win the first of five consecutive Indianapolis 500's beginning in 1983 with The Gasman, aka Tom Sneva, thru 1987, when Big al', (Unser, Sr.) won aboard a year old March 86C Showcar.

Not to mention Newey's creations won the 1985-86 CART PPG IndyCar World Series Championships with Al Unser and bobby Rahal respectively.

Alas, thoust Isle 'O Nofendersville was once again soaked by thou Seas 'O synchronicity, as I posted a picture of my Leyton House March/Judd F1 print, apparently indeed with Ivan Capelli's signature upon it - acquired 30yrs ago in Phoenix, AZ, during my Debutante Formula 1 race outing.

Posting said image here on No Fenders Just days prior to learning the news that the man responsible for steering March Engineering Stateside, and sagely engaging Messer Newey to Head its IndyCar Chassis design
took thoust Chequered Flag this June.

As I've wanted to belatedly acknowledge the passing of one of March Engineering's Founders Robin Herd, who led March's customer Single Seater Chassis efforts on both sides of Thee Proverbial Puddle.

Having just realized that two of England's most prolific Single Seater chassis producers, i.e.; Lola and March, whom both never found success in Thee Pinnacle 'O Motor Racing, nee Formula 1 didn't fair too Badly in Indy Cars instead...

(Images Shamelessly pilfered from

Monday, June 24, 2019

INDYCAR: Herta Hypefest vs. O'Ward Obscurity

Patricio "Pato" O'Ward's Carlin No. 31 during Friday practice at the Oh, so Bootyful' Barbers, nee Barber Motorsports Park, AL. (The Tomaso Collection)
As just imagine thou Fireworks that would be occurring if they were both Team-mates with equal equipment at Harding Steinbrenner Racing...

Perhaps it's just Mwah, since after all I'm Hugely Biased in favour of Pato O'Ward, who I've chosen as my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver this year ahead of Alexander Rossi and Felix rosenqvist, But...

What in Thee Hell is up with the Peacock Booth Boyz' continuous slobberfest over Colton Herta? As I grow increasingly tired each 'N every race over the Hype over Herta "Junior" constantly ratcheting up; BARF!

Hey, I'm not saying that the teenager Colton's not a very good Rookie IndyCar driver, but seriously? so he's now fortuitously won One IndyCar race & Pole position, Breaking previous Youngest ever Status held by Graham Rahal; Buh-Buh-Buh-Big Dealio!

As Rahal Jnr' hasn't exactly been an IndyCar Prodigy! Whilst Herta's currently tied for victories with another Celebrity named Danica; BFD!

As NBC Sports Talking Headz' Leigh Diffey, PT' (Paul Tracy) Townsend "T-Bell," Kevin Lee and Marty Snidely Whiplash Snyder! All Fawn over Colton like he's the Second Coming of 'lil Al (Unser, Jr.) or Mikey A' (Andretti) during their Championship winning years at Penske and Newman Haas respectively; SPEW!

Although at least T-Bell' was the only announcer to mention Pato O'Ward's On-track position during the Road America race...

Meanwhile, Mexico's Patricio O'Ward seemingly get's a Bum Steer. Probably having the most challenging Rookie campaign as an IndyCar Pilote', having first been Shafted by Harding Steinbrenner Racing, (HSR) before seeking refuge at Carlin. Now trying to recover from his Disappointing Month 'O May, where he, Max Chilton and Oh Yeah, some Dude named Fernando All Failed to Qualify for this year's Indianapolis 500.

As is it really that simple? Are what us Yanks' call Shock Absorbers the main "X-Factor" in Indy Cars? And where would HSR be without its Technical Alliance with Andretti Autosport, along with utilizing Dampers from Andretti Applied Technology, Eh? Or Herta having the luxury of Debriefing with the four Andretti Autosport Drivers?

As reputedly O'Ward's Stellar IndyCar Debut at Sonoma last year, where he waxed Colton was due to his having the team's allotment of new Shocks vs. Herta running older spec Dampers...

As I've got Zero Clue who's Dampers Carlin's utilizing? Although hopefully they're buying Shocks from Team Penske? Since the engine manufacturers Hondre' and Chevy seem fairly evenly matched on Horsepower. Albeit the Honda's seem to be more evenly matched vs. Penske having a performance advantage over the other Bowtie runners.

Whilst hopefully O'Ward, who's been saddled with Sponsorship woes all season long will be able to continue racing this year in Indy Cars, since he's obviously got talent. And last time I checked thou record books, Patricio won the 2018 Indy Lights Championship ahead of somebody named Colton, Ci!

So Kudos to Max Chilton's father Graham and Trevor Carlin for continuing to Dig into Thar Pocketbooks and keep O'Ward on the Grid. Who responded this weekend by Qualifying 13th at Road America, ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Fellow Rookies Marcus Ericsson, Felix Rosenqvist and Santino Ferruci. Along with veteran Tony Kanaan and Oh Yeah, his veteran Carlin team-mate Max Chilton, who rolled off P22!

Yet to Max's credit, he managed to finish one position ahead of Pato, 16th Overall at Road America, although Positions 16-17 aren't nothin' to write Home about!

Yet All the Camera Eye could focus upon was Herta's Dirt Trackin' Rodeo Ride 'em Cowboy Racin's Rubbin race finish; Yeehaw!

While I'd say that Indy Cars lack of overall Mainstream Media Creditability, which Hiding it's product behind NBC's Gold Paywall is Detrimental! Since Formula 1 not only shows their practice & qualifying on Linear TV, but airs Qualie' entirely Commercial Free!

And thus Indy Cars lack of exposure these days is a far larger issue vs. the PR Spin of Colton Herta during NBC sports IndyCar TV Broadcasts...

(Photo c/o George Phillips of Fame)