Wednesday, January 29, 2020

RETRO: Doin' thee IndyCar Time Warp'

Tomaso posing with just three of the many racecars on Display at the Penske Racing Museum during Fall 2019 visit. ((The Tomaso Collection)
"In Another Dimension, Time's Fleeting, Madness Takes Control! It's Just A Jump to the Left, Put your Hand's on your Hips, Let's do The Time Warp again..."

Once again, your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso's burrowin' down another Wabbihole', which Y'all should really be used to by now, El Correctomundo?

As several thoughts struck me upon returning to my Numero Uno Arizona Haunt in Scottsdale; Uhm, can Y'all guess what it is? Yeah, it's the Penske Racing Museum, which I first learned of its existence via that long ago, Defunct TV Show called Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain. When Ye 'Ol Windbag' held court with El Capitano', nee Roger Penske live from thou museum Wayback circa 2005; Aye Karumba!

Cannot recall the last time I stepped foot into the museum, albeit several years ago now, while I'll admit I had mild reservations 'bout going this past November since I knew I would most likely not be able to see the cars, although I've seen most of them previously, especially several of the "Classic" Indianapolis 500 winners, i.e.; 1972, 1984-85-87-88, etc.

But what I enjoy most 'bout visiting, is there's always something new I haven't seen before on display, which case in point was the Mario Andretti 1979 Championship winning IROC Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. For which I'll confess I was momentarily Cornfuzed by...

As I pondered out loud to my museum Sherpa, No Fenders Blogmeister Miguel that I didn't think 'Ol SuperMario', nee Mario Andretti drove for Thee Captain that season since I knew he was busy defending his Formula 1 World Championship title for Lotus that year.

Mario Andretti's 1979 Championship winning IROC VI Camaro. ((The Tomaso Collection)
Although it Hit Me like A Two Ton Heavy Thing! Last May whilst the Media focused Magnanimously upon the 50th Anniversary of Mario's lone Indianapolis 500 victory, it was his eventual Team Penske replacement Rick Mears 40th Anniversary of his first of Four Indy 500 Wins! Which seems to have gone largely unnoticed.

As Y'all might enjoy my take upon Team Penske's racing pursuits, albeit labourisly Scribbled here on No Fenders now a Decade ago; Crikeys! Hmm, may be a sequel's warranted?

And perhaps I missed another Memo? As I've also now realized that it was also 40 years ago being the final season of McLaren Racing's exploits in IndyCar's.

Which I suppose I'm thinking of this largely due to that Mario IROC Camaro and the year 1979, Righto? although may be Thars' Somme-thun' eluding to that in the following video? That I Don't recall having watched last year when McLaren touted it's return to IndyCar with the No. 66 on its flanks.

Having previously chronicled the exploits of McLaren's original IndyCar endeavours in another of my many No Fenders tomes...

Continuing on this Wayback' theme, although I thought it prior to the occasion. Perhaps it's just Mwah, but isn't it ironic with the Official Completion of Roger Penske's purchase of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, January 6th. After the Shock announcement of this transaction late 2019.

Ironically, one of the Key Figures in the formation of then rival IndyCar Series CART, nee Championship Auto Racing Teams, which held its Debutante Season in 1979 was also a one Mr. Penske!

As we All know that CART would Feud with somebody with the initials TG', and his rival Indy Racing League, Most famously when Tony George infamously Decried his 25-8 Rule favouring his IRL Brethren at his family's hallowed Speedway in what ultimately became known forever as The Split!

And then four decades later, Shuhzamm! He'd sell the Whole Kit 'N Caboodle, nee Mother Speedway, the IndyCar Series and IMS Productions to El Capitano'; Strange Days indeed. As what A Waste!

Lastly, speakin' of Roger, McLaren and the number 66. I left the museum ponderin' if the Mark Donohue Porsche Carrera RSR I've seen previously there, albeit not on display this time round, perhaps was Donohue's 1974 IROC Championship winner?

Which I'm now 100% totally convince it is, as it's Funny how when I previously saw the 911 Panzerwagon I never wondered what it was? Or its significance in the scheme 'O Donohue's career, especially since it's his final Championship winning racecar.

But since I'm Not a RASSCAR' Fan! Which is essentially what I recall the IROC Series evolving into, I'm guessin' this had some unknown Knock-on effect upon my previous lack of Curiosity, perhaps?

And for those who Don't Know, Donohue, who won Penske's first Indianapolis 500 in 1972 did so in an McLaren M16 Offenhauser with the No. 66 on it.

And if Fernando Alonso does indeed run the third Arrow McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet IndyCar at Mother Speedway this May, will it once again sport the No. 66 this time in the correct hue of Kiwi Orange?

Let's Do the Time Warp Partial Song Lyrics taken from The Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie, 1975.

Racecars trio photo includes: Rick Mears 1984 #6 Pennzoil Special March 84C/Cosworth Indy 500 winner, Mark Donohue's 1974 #28 First National Travelers Checks Penske PC1/Cosworth DFV Formula 1 chassis, and the aforementioned Mario Andretti 1979 IROC Camaro.

(Photos c/o No Fenders Blogmeister' Miguel)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Corvette Racing's Rolex 24 Debut goes far Better than Detroit Sibling's does!

Psst, Do you remember where I parked our car?

Prior to this weekend's 24 Hours of Daytona, where Corvette Racing's first ever Mid-engine Vette' was making it's racing Debut, I came across an entertaining article in Car and Driver magazine via my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone service.

Although, arguably it wasn't entertaining for whomever the hapless driver of presumably a Pre-production C8 Vette' was, since the vehicle was spotted in Detroit up on Cinder Blocks and Missing it's rubber bits; SHEISA!

Meanwhile the brand new Corvette C8.R's were having Thar own Fun around Daytona International Speedway, where the No. 4 suffered an extensive Oil leak, causing the racecar to go many laps down, although it came back out to run its remaining laps as a test session.

As I believe this is the car that John Hindhaugh claimed looked very stealthy, a la an F-16 Fighter in its menacing silver gray paint scheme!

Whilst I believe that the traditional Banana Yellow No. 3 Vette' finished P4 in class, sandwiched between the winning BMW M8 GTE, the two Porsche 911 RSR 19's and the Seester' M8 BMW which suffered its own mechanical gremlins finishing ahead of the second Corvette.

Still not sure exactly what All this Babble over the new Vette's Flat Plane Crank means, but Y'all can check out the radically different sounding Beast in the story link below...

Saturday, January 25, 2020

ROLEX 24: Updated Entry List, BoP Refinements Announced - and Resources Guide

As what would 'Ol Bob Varsha say? turn U-P the Volume!

Thirty-eight entries are slated to take the Green Flag this Saturday, Jan 25th, with NBC's television coverage beginning at 10:30AM Pacific, before switching to NBC Sports, (NBCSN) along with IMSA Radio also available.

As a second LMP2 entry has scratched due to heavy crash damage during the Roar Before the Rolex test, leaving just 5 LMP2 competitors to battle for class honours.

Apparently Indianapolis 500 Specialist James Davison Done Crashed the lone Riley Mk 30/Gibson V-8 #2 Rick Ware Racing entry, which will not contest the race.

Also, the GTD #54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 suffered heavy impact during Thursday morning practice and is undergoing a Thrash to hopefully complete repairs in order to contest the Rolex 24, but no word on whether they'll answer "The Bell?"  

Meanwhile, I won't try explaining it all, since it seems a bit too Antiseptic for Mwah, stealing Der Heindenmeier's words regarding BoP, which stands for Balance of Performance. When IMSA Artificially tweaks each entry's "Absolute" performance to ensure close racing between each Classes discipline.

Lastly, Y'all can peruse Racer's Resource's Guide to follow along for this weekend's epic 58th running of the vaunted Rolex 24 live from Daytona International Speedway.

As I know I'm looking forward to tuning in for copious amounts of race coverage via IMSA Radio, as it's good to hear John Hindhaugh & Companys voices once again! whilst I'll drop into NBC's TV Coverage in order to hear Leigh Diffey and presumably Professor B', aka Jon Beekhuis...

Whilst Qualifying for the four respective Classes took place on Thursday, with Oliver Jarvis in the #77 Mazda once again capturing the Overall Pole, but does it really matter for this 24 Hours race?

Friday, January 24, 2020

ROLEX 24: Roar Before Daytona Test Highlights Lamborghini Armada Chasing History at this year's Race

Can one of the three Grasser Racing Teams Lamborghini Huracan's give the Austrian GTD squad an unlikely Three-peat at Daytona? (Image source:
But who knows who'll actually win Thar respective categories this year? And I'd Arse-sume' the Odds are against Lamborghini...

Although playing a "Supporting Role," Hey Ain't It Oscar Time, El Correctomundo? Making up the Bulk of the Field are the Tintop Boys'; Err Saloon Drivers, since Thars' One All Femme Fatales Chariot on thoust Grid.

(GT LM) GT Le Mans Class
The Tide seems to be going Out upon this Gran Torismo (GT) Category, which is reduced to a paltry Two-by-Two of Works entries from BMW, Corvette and Porsche, with a solitary Ferrari interloper thrown in.

Day-1 of testing saw Boobie Ruble', nee Bobby Rahal & Company's GT LM BMW M8 GTE Squad's IndyCar Darling Colton Herta running second fastest aboard the #25 behind one of the Porsche 911 RSR's.

Then Colton finished the first day P1 before the mighty Porsche 911 Panzerwagons flexed Thar Teutonic Muscle, ending the 3-Day Test quickest of the GT Le Mans runners.

Speakin' of Herta's, ran across the interesting news via Racer that BHA, nee Bryan Herta Autosport has reunited with former IndyCar Driver Gabby Chaves, expanding its Michelin Pilot Challenge Hyundai "Velociraptor" squad to three cars, along with former Indy Lights racer Ryan Norman.

As the Michelin Pilot Challenge series appears to be the "Indy Lights" version of IMSA Touring Cars to Mwah, making me ponder if BHA will one day move up to IMSA GTD competition? 

But back to the Big Boyz' of GT Le Mans,
, albeit this category's highly diminished with thou absence of Chip Ganassi Racing's brace 'O Ford GT's!

And although the Porsche's most likely will win again, many eyes will be focused upon the Debut of Corvette's first ever Mid-engine racecar, while the Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE may wish to throw a Spanner in everybody else's Party!

(GTD) GT Daytona Class
With this category comprising of nearly 50% of thoust Grid, I simply AIN'T Gonna even attempt covering all of them in Depth; CRIKEYS!

Other then I'll note Thars' 2 Acura's,  2 Aston Martin's, 1 Audi, 1 BMW, 1 Ferrari, 5 Lamborghini's, 2 Lexus's, 1 Mercedes and 3 Porsche's on thou entry list; Aye Karumba!

Acura NSX GT3 Evo
Engine: 3.5-litre V-6 turbo
Team: Meyer Shank Racing Nos. 57 & 86

SuperMario', nee Mario Farnbacher returns as the Defending GTD Champion with new Co-driver Matt mcMurray, who'll be partnered at DayToner' by Jules Gounon, son of Jean Marc Gounon, former Minardi & Simtek Formula 1 Driver, and Shinya Michimi.

The #57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing sports an All new Driver line-up with Misha Goikhberg and former MSR Standout Alvaro Parente this year, with the Damaged NSX having been repaired Justin-time' for the Rolex 24.

Once again the #57 sees 'Ol Walldinger', nee NBC Sports Talkin' Headz A.J. Allmendinger playin' Ketsup by Moonlighting behind its Keyboard, with Trent Hindman filling out the Driving roster.

Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3
Engine: 4.0-litre V-8 Turbo
Teams: #23 Heart of Racing & #98 Aston Martin Racing

Although I'm not expecting much from the brand new Aston Martin's this year, naturally I'm hoping for good things for my Home Team's #23 Heart of Racing/Team Seattle effort which I've previously scribbled bout here upon No Fenders.

While the No. 98 Factory effort seems to be playing Ketsup since one of its Works Drivers, Paul Dalla Lana had to Scratch due to injury suffered during a Skiing accident, and a last minute replacement found, with AMR Junior Driver Andrew Watson Deputizing for the injured Dalla Lana.

Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo
Engine: 5.2-litre normally aspirated V-10
Teams: #11 GRT Grasser Racing Team, #19 GRT GEAR Racing Team, #44 GRT Magnus Racing Team, #47 Precision Performance Motorsports and #48 Paul Miller Racing

While Y'all cannot count out past GTD Champions Paul Miller Racing or the Magnus Racing Boyz', who've now merged with GRT Grasser Racing to form an Austrian Three-piece Lambo' "super-team!" I'm most interested in the newly reconstituted #19 Hurricane Squad.

As Thy Leggy Juan', nee Katherine Legge and Cristina Nielsen have moved Thar le Femmes' Driving Squad here with a brand new 100% Femme Fatales effort under the Girls Empowered Around Racing (GEAR) Banner!

As Legge & Nielsen who'll contest the Full-season will be joined at Daytona by aspiring Formula 1 Alfa Romeo Racing Test Driver and  FIA F2 racer Tatiana Calderon and Rahel Frey.

As I believe that Frey, who I've never paid Attenzione to before is a last minute replacement for BIA', aka Ana Beatriz, whilst ironically Rahel replaced Legge in DTM. And the 43yr old Switzerland Driver who's carved out a career in Sports Car racing is probably tired of hearing 'bout fellow Swiss "Simona-Simona's" (de Silvestro) exploits, Ya Sure Yuh Betcha!

As I say I haven't paid Attenzione to Rahel Fray since ironically, I did include her name in a brief No Fenders story I penned a decade ago regarding Tres le Femmes contesting le 24 Heurs du Mans, when the only Femme Fatale Driver I knew then was former Firestone Indy Lights competitor Cyndie Allemann...

Lexus RC F GT3
Engine: 5.0-litre normally aspirated V-8
Team: AIM Vasser Sullivan Nos. 12 & 14

Arguably the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan (AVS) racecar with some good 'Ol Roundy Round Taxicab Driver by the name of Kyle Busch is the race's Biggest Star? Not to mention the GT Daytona classes Biggest Name, with All eyes focused upon 'Ol "Rowdy!" Who'll assist the regular Driving tandem of "Union" Jack Hawksworth and Parker Chase. With Michael De Quesada filling out the Daytona Quartet 'O Drivers.

But certainly thou Seester' #12 with NBC Sports Booth Boy (Townsend) T-Bell' and Frankie Montecalvo will have Somme-thun' to prove vs. that Taxicab Driver. As they'll have their own Star onboard with Thee Giz', nee Aussi V8 Supercars Star Shane van Gisbergen running another Rolex 24, along with Aaron Telitz at Daytona.

Porsche 911 GT3R
Engine: 4.0-litre Flat-Six, normally aspirated
Teams: #9 Faf Motorsport, #16 Wright Motorsports and #54 Black Swan Racing

Have read via Racer, Arse-sumedly from Crack Motorsports Reporter Marshall Pruett - hat those adorable Hosers from Up North Eh! The FAF Motorsports Crew have Ditched Thar Plaid Lumberjack look in favour of a new "softer" livery; Hya!

With Zachery Robichon being the only Holdover from last year's squad, as he and Scott Hargrove gave the #86 MSR Acura NSX Boyz' Fits last year, pressing them hard for the title before finishing runner-up in class if I remember correctly? so watch out for that Number Nine, No. 9, Number Nein; Ja Volt!

Other GTD entries...
Or should these be denoted as the "One Hit Wonders?" As Thars the #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, the #74 Mercedes/AMG Team Riley with Robinson Racing Merc' GT3 Evo, the #88 Audi Sport Team WRT Speedstar Audi R8 LMS Evo and the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 All in thoust Fray, or is it Fringes?

Although one should never count out 'Ol Bimmer Billy', nee Bill Auberlen, his able Full season co-driver Robby Foley & Co. in the #96, since after all, Auberlen's Hell Bent upon Besting Scotty Scooter' Pruett for most Overall IMSA career victories, which they're currently tied upon at 60 apiece!