Tuesday, June 30, 2020

MOTO GP: 2020 Season Finally Set to Begin

Although as one fellow member of Ye Bloggeratzi' has already Quipped: Hope Yuhs like Spain!

Was Hunting 'N Pecking around on Ye Trusty 'Ol winDOUGHS 7 Confuzer', to "SEE" if MotoGP had finally issued an updated Calendar, early June and was surprised to inadvertently discover that MotoGP had finally Wised Up! Having totally Missed thou memo that the series along with World Superbike was moving over to NBC Sports beginning this year, AMAZING!

although obviously they'll need to totally revamp their TV Schedule, since the story I found was from February, prior to the season being Discombobulated Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic.

As now the Stilted 2020 MotoGP Season will begin on July 19th in Jerez, Spain, followed by what's becoming the new Norm' in Motor Racing. When the series Hosts it's first Double Header at Jerez the following weekend, July 26th.

As a total of 13 Rounds have been scheduled, All taking place in Europe for obvious reason, i.e.; logistics, Health & Safety and ease of staying upon European soil.

As Jerez will be followed by 11 more rounds comprising of: Back-to-Back races in Austria, Missano, Motorland Aragon and Valencia. Interspersed with single race outings in the Checz Republic, Le Mans and Barcelona, to make up the mandatory Minimum number of 13 Races to constitute a Championship season.

As you can read below for the exact Dates, which naturally are still  Subject to final Confirmation, with the latter four Fly Away rounds, including the Circuit Of The Americas still currently undecided.

Whilst Yuhs can also read Dorna Boss Carmelo Ezpeleta's thoughts upon Juggling the 2020 MotoGP Season below...

And while most of the latest MotoGP News I've managed to wrangle up seems to mostly concentrate upon the 2021 Rider's Silly Season movements, I did come across an interesting article awhile ago regarding current MotoGP lumps' configurations.

With each Manufacturer having their respective engines completely designed is critical since they'll be "Frozen" in their current Homologated state, which I tend to recall occurred prior to the season being Derailed by the Corona Virus Outbreak...

Monday, June 29, 2020

INDYCAR: Zanardi has Second Surgery, Remains in Serious Condition

Today Alex Zanardi underwent further surgery following a Cat Scan to check his prognosis. The surgery lasted nearly 2.5hrs and the Hospital claimed that Alex Zanardi's Family would be issuing a Medical Update statement sometime on Tuesday.

F1: New Aston Martin Factory On Hold

Although it makes total sense, especially logistically and Fiscally...

Ran across a 'lil Blurb 'bout Racing Point F1's plans to put it's intended Brand New Factory on Pause for another year, in lieu of its buildup to becoming the Aston Martin F1 Team in 2021.

Like everybody affected by the Dreaded COVID 19 Pandemic Shutting Down All aspects 'O Life! Naturally commencing Construction upon the planned Formula 1 facility, the Corona Virus threw a Spanner into the Team's plans, and now will defer the project a further year's time, in order to hopefully be able to move into the new premises during the traditional F1 Summer Holiday Break of August 2022.

Yet Racing Point will still transition to becoming Aston Martin F1 beginning in 2021 and will simply have to work out of its currently cramped Silverstone facility which began life as 'Ol EJ's, nee Eddie Jordan's Jordan Grand Prix factory Wayback' in the early 1990's instead...

Meanwhile, F1 Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward is floating an interesting piece 'O Speculation regarding departing Mercedes HPP Boss Andy Cowell and why it makes sense for him to join Aston Martin...

Friday, June 26, 2020

RETRO: Reliving Another forgotten Golden Age of Sports Car racing...

When two European Based Series were definitely more technologically advanced vs. America's "Low bucks" approach!

As Y'all know, many of my No Fenders tomes are notorious for scurryin' down multiple Wabbitholes', and I'm currently stuck on belabouring the point that sports Cars, A la Championship auto Racing Teams (CART) v Indy Racing League *IRL) had Thar own Split, which actually lasted two years longer than the infamous Open Wheel Racing Split; But I Digress...

As it's hard to believe that twenty years ago, we were nearing the end of a golden era of Sports Car racing when V-12 engines were Top of thee Pops! Having had the pleasure of witnessing that most evocative Ferrari 333 SP in action at Yuhs Guessed I-T! Thee Rose City's Portland International Raceway circa 1999.

As History denotes, the race was held on August 1, 1999. And I fondly recall it being a perfect day for motor racing, with five Ferrari 333 SP's competing, along with three BMW V-12 LMR's, giving us a total of eight naturally aspirated V-12 runners interspersed in the 42-car field!
Although it would be one of those Boomin' six-litre V-8 Panoz LMP1 Roadster S's winning the race with Eric Bernard and David Brabham at its controls. As the Top-5 was completely Dominated by the two Panoz and three BMW V-12's, with the best Ferrari could muster being P9. 

Yo Johnny, Johnny Be good? It's funny reading that regardless of 'Ol Johnny Herbert's Quip 'bout V-12's never being very reliable, ironically the 333 SP's 4.0-litre naturally aspirated V-12 lump was derived from one of those Bashed Formula 1 machines, la Scarlet's Ferrari 641 chassis.

Yuhs know, the one that won six Grands Prix during the 1990 Formula 1 season, with "The Professor," aka Alain Prost winning five times and his Wingman Bloody Nige! Red 5 or better known then as Il Lione, nee Nigel Mansell winning once the year that Prost finished runner-up in the F1 World Championship to his bosom Buddy Ayrton Senna after their collision at Suzuka!

As the Ferrari 333 SP scored a Hat Trick at the Sebring 12 Hours, winning twice with Andy Evan's Scandia Racing and once with Gianpiero Moretti's Momo Corse in '98, albeit the record books denote the winning team as Momo Doran Racing. Also the same year this team won the24 Hours of Daytona, Sweeping Florida's endurance events!

Along with noted Engineer Tony Southgate reputedly claiming that the 333 SP's V-12 was one of the most reliable lumps' he'd ever known...

Meanwhile, the year y2k's (2000) second premiere endurance race, Hmm? Suppose it's fitting, Karmic or Apropros that Sebring follows DayToner' in Sports Cars 2020 Reboot this July, Righto?

The 12 Hours of Sebring under the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) sanctioning body that year, also it's Debutante event had 16 LMP1 Prototypes competing, headed by four "Factory" efforts, i.e.; Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Panoz, all 2-by-2, Coom-by-Yah!

DAMN! That's twice as many entries vs. this year's anemic DP Class at DayToner', and just the Factory entrants listed above was one more than the paltry GT Le Mans field at this year's Rolex 24...

With the Audi R8 LMP running a Twin Turbo V-8, Cadd 'O Lacc' running the long forgotten Northstar V-8 turbocharged lump and Crowd Darling Panoz LMP1 Roadster  esses's, those thunderous, rumblin' front engine "Batmobile" 6.0-litre Big Block V-8's were just some of the Prototypes diverse machinery.

Whilst that aforementioned Shrieking twelve cylinder Naturally Aspirated BMW V-12 LMR that I've still not gotten round to chronicling here on No Fenders, was the Defending 24 Heurs du Mans and Sebring winner, since the ALMS was effectively Locked Out of that year's Rolex 24, having based it's series upon ACO Rules. While the 24 Hours of Daytona now fell under the auspices of the rival Grand Am series.

And I can only Arse-sume that of those 16 Prototypes I've previously mentioned, some possibly were of the lower P2 category? While once again Intersport Racing entered its No. 37 Lola B98/10 Ford 5.1-liter V-8 racecar, with Team Owner john Field leading the charge with his two Pals Don & Dale Whittington behind its Keyboard.

Also, interestingly Kevin Doran's Doran Lista concern had decided to swap  la Scuderia's four litre V-12 in favour of a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated Judd V-10 into the back of its aging Ferrari 333 SP, in hopes of better performance and fuel mileage, Momma Mia!

As one can only wonder what 'Ol Enzo would have thought 'bout that, Eh? The Sacrilege of dropping an English lump' in one of his Scarlet machines, Yikes! although they did finish fifth overall and best Privateer, only bested by the Werks' Audi and BMW concerns.

As Audi would score it's first of many 1-2 victories in "Double Ought," y2k or formally known as 2000, with Tom Kristensen, Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro taking the Chequered Flag first.

As Kristensen scored his first Sebring 12 Hours victory the year prior driving for BMW alongside team-mates JJ Letho and Jorg Muller.

As Letho would finish third in 2000 in the lead BMW, whilst Kristensen won again, en route to becoming known as "Mr. Sebring" upon amassing a record total of six Overall victories at Sebring, five for Audi.

Audi would Dominate Sebring by racking up an impressive 11 W's, if I've done my Ryth-Muh-tickin' correctly? Having owned Sebring from 2000-07, winning eight straight times before El Capitano', nee Roger Penske's Porsche RS Spyder Defeated them. Audi won once more in '09 before Peugeot claimed top Honours back-to-back between 2010-2011. Audi then scored its final two victories in 2012-2013 before leaving the scene. Presumably since ALMS & Gran Am merged in 2014 and Audi moved to the FIA's World Endurance Championship. (WEC) Before leaving Sports Car racing entirely under the cloud of Diesel-Gate! And are trying to spiffy up Thar image now in Formula E instead...

As it would be nice to see new manufacturers enter the Global Sports Car scene, since Toyota will basically run unopposed a third straight year at Le Mans, while Thars only three manufacturers Stateside, i.e.; Acura, Cadillac and Mazda, albeit just two Acura's and Mazda's apiece.

thus imagine All four of those makes plus who knows else beside the Minnowesqe Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus concern, with its two car SCG007 entry slated for next year's 24 Heurs du Mans All going Head to Head at Circuit de la Sarthe.

And what'll happen with the Stillborn Aston Martin Valkyrie Le Mans Hypercar project? As why couldn't they farm it out to a Privateer effort instead? since it would be glorious to hear the wail of its 6.5-liter V-12 lump screaming down the Mulsanne Straight! Whilst reportedly Peugeot will return to Sports Car racing in 2022.

Or how Cool would it be to have Gordon Murray's latest creation, the almost Sold Out T50, propelled by a Cosworth 4.0-litre au Natural' V-12 lump' turned into a Le Mans competitor, Eh?