Monday, June 28, 2021

LE MANS: Aston Martins Sweep Supporting Classes

But They Won’t repeat in this year’s GTE Pro category…


Author’s Note

Thoust  “rivetin” No Fenders 2020 24 Heurs du Mans Postscript initially weighed in at a Hefty 5 pages, Hence I broke the Prototypes and Saloons categories into separate stories…


Although this year's 88th running of le 24 Heurs du Mans wasn’t anymore riveting Overall than last year's event, El Correctomundo? Nevertheless, 2020’s Tintops supporting Cast provided plenty of action…


And even though those Scarlet Tintops outnumbered Thar LMGTE Pro Competizione 2-1, with four Ferrari 488 GTE Evo's vs. two Aston Martin Vantage's and two Porsche 911 RSR-19's. It was the #97 Aston winning the Class.


Ironically the winning Aston had another ex-Ford GT Refugee on it's Drivers Roll, a one Harry Tincknell, who's Day Job is chauffeuring the Mazda RT24P Prototype in IMSA's Weathertech SportsCar Championship.


As Tincknell was joined by Maxime Martin and Alex Lynn, a former Team Willy', aka Williams F1 Development Driver, who like many, never quite made it into Formula 1.


And Monsieur (Tristan) Gommendy wasn't the only French Open Wheel Racing Driver having a Bad Day at the Office, since I tend to believe I heard reports of le Hamburgular', nee Sealmeister B', aka Sebastien Bourdais spinning his #82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 more than once!


Early on in the TV Broadcast, one of the Announcers emphasized the fact that the Porsche's were now carrying an extra 40 Kilos 'O Ballast from the nebulous BoP (Balance of Performance) regulations, with the Ferrari's now just seven Kilos lighter then the Porsches. While the Aston's not only were lighter, but had been given back more turbo boost!


Which if I've done my Ryth-Muh-tickin' correctly, the 911 RSR's were carrying an additional 88lbs of "Dead Weight," Yikes! Which makes sense that both the Ferrari's and Aston's were Faster overall. Whilst I had Zero Clue if this weight penalty carried over to the "Slower" LMGTE Am Porsche's too?


And even though Ferrari appeared to have a Stranglehold upon the "Slower" GTE Am category, with a Mega Dozen entries comprising more than 50% of the Class, vs. Porsche's eight Panzerwagons.


It was the Aston Martin of TF Sport's No. 90 "Sattelite" Aston Martin winning GTE Am Class Honours with Jonathan Adam, Charlie Eastwood and Salih Yoluç at it's controles.  


As somewhere i read, Err heard Lucy' My Trusty ‘Ol Arse-Steamed Screen Reader Coo to Mwah (before loosing Her to the nebulous world of winDOUGHS 10 and Zoomtext 2020) that TF Sport received "Assistance" from the Aston Martin Factory. As the UK Based Multi-championships winning Sports Car Operation is headed by Tom Ferrier, a former BTCC Competitor, ergo the TF of the racing team's nomenclature.


And lastly, as I wasn't aware of this until far, far afterwards thou Chequered Flag flew. This year's Le Mans event made history with the advent of two 100% Le Femmes Drivers line-ups, one LMP2 Prototypes entry, and one LM GTE Am Tintops' "Saloon."


As the Prototypes entry was the No. 50 Richard Mille Racing Team Alpine A470/Gibson (V-8) with Columbia's Tatiana Calderon, currently contesting Japan's Super Formula series being the only name I recognized. Due to her being an Alfa romeo Racing F1 Test and Development Driver.


Along with Co-Drivers Sophia Florsch, a German Teenager who's campaigning her Rookie season in the FIA Formula 3 championship. And Netherlands's Beitske Visser, who finished runner-up in the 2019 Women's W Series at it's controls. With the trio finishing 13th Overall, and seventh in Class.


While the Gran Torismo entry was the #85 Irox Lynx Ferrari 488 GTE Evo chariot in the "lower" tier GTE Am (Amateur) category driven by Rahel Frey,

Manuela Gostner and Michelle Gatting. They finished 34th Overall, and 55-laps behind the winner.


As Frey's name sounded vaguely familiar to Mwah, before learning that she was part of an All Swiss le Femme's Driving trio Wayback in 2010. Aboard one of Matech Competition's Ford GT1's that I've previously scribbled bout here on No Fenders in a story titled Swiss Misses invade Le Sarthe, ironically on Bastille Day…


Italy's Gostner cut her teeth in regional Ferrari Challenge series and reportedly was a Professional volleyball player. While Gatting is another Dane' cutting her teeth in Sports Car racing - wishing to follow in the Footsteps of Christina Nielsen, a Two-times IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship GTD (Daytona) Class Champion. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

LE MANS: 2020 Race Hopefully last of Toyota's laconic Whitewashes

As I'd like to believe that the forthcoming ACo/FIA Rule Changes to the new Hypercar LMH/IMSA LMDH Prototypes Formulae will improve Thee Show Soon! Albeit next year will be another somewhat Lame Duck season a la Formula 1…


Author’s Note

Another of Ye countless Yarns that got trapped in Ye proverbial No Fenders Worm Hole Vortex’, when encountering the Gravitational Pull of Blooger’s El Fantastico’ 2020 Blogsite redesign, SPEW! Along with your Hapless Scribe Tomaso trying to migrate from his Trusty ‘Ol Windows 7 Confuzer to the Daunting World of winDOUGHS  10 during the COVID 19 Pandemic, Sigh!


Hence this was intended to be Part Two of my Mythical Triple Crown 3 part tome, which Smarmy ‘Ol Fredrico Suave’, aka Fernando Alonso’s No longer Chasing currently, and I still need a Gory Break Away from this Darn-founded Confuzer’ that I’ve been Staring at way too Mucho lately!


And just like last year, albeit for somewhat different reasons, once again this year’s traditional 24 Heurs du Mans has been moved again, this time to August 21-22…



Any Sports Car Aficionado will know that this year's traditional Summer's June running of le 24 Heurs du Mans was postponed until Fall due to the nebulous COVID 19 Pandemic, with the 88th edition of Sports Cars Mack Daddio' event being held Sept 19-20th without Fans.


Whilst on a historic note, this year marks the Golden Anniversary of Porsche's Debutante Overall Victory at Circuit de la Sarthe with its iconic Porsche 917, which I'd hoped to have scribbled something significant, a la last year's Ford vs. Porsche No Fender tome.


But as Y'all know life's gotten very E-E-E-lectronically' Challenging for Mwah here upon thoust Isle 'O Nofendersville, Aye! Especially since I haven't been able to post Blog Stories with my usual Zeal since the beginning of August, Thanks Blooger!


Which in some small part I suppose is why I'd totally forgotten that I'd actually scribbled about Ye legendous Porsche 917's maiden Overall victory this summer here on Gory No Fenders, which seems an eternity ago Mates!


While we should also recall that 1970 was the year some Bloke named Steve McQueen and his Solar Productions movie company not only showed up at le Circuit de la Sarthe for  filming of the epic movie Le Mans, but also ran it's Porsche 908 Spyder in the race as a Bloody Camera Car which was one of the few Porsche's to finish the race!


And although I'm a Fan of the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race, I cannot say I'm a true Historian of it, so these thoughts are just Off ye Cuff. Since I cannot easily conjure up when a lone Automobile Manufacturer had such a Dominance over its relative LMP1 Competizione, albeit Toyota's is quite scintillating, Eh?


As I'd say that the likes of the Almighty Jaguar D-Types faced stiff competition from the likes of Mercedes and la Scuderia, nee Ferrari. Whilst those All Conquering Scarlet Chassis faced fierce Competizione from FoMoco', nee the ford Motor Company.


Not to mention those upstart German's from Porsche Battling against the Mighty Ford GT-40 and Ferrari 512's.


And although Porsche ruled Le Mans with an Iron Grip during the 1980's-1990's with its ubiquitous 962's, at least they were offered in great quantity to Customers.


Whilst I'd hazard that the last Factory effort with such a Stranglehold a la Toyota was Audi, but once again they had fierce opposition in the likes of Peugeot and later when Porsche returned with it's amazing 919 Hybrid.


As it's gotta Smart at least a Wee Bitamyte that Toyota wasn't ever victorious at le Circuit de la Sarthe until the Werks efforts of Audi and Porsche had Quit Sports Car racing, El correctomundo?


As I suppose this lack of true competition for Overall victory against Toyota is what compounded my utter lack of enthusiasm for this year's 24hrs outing, albeit it Aint' Toyota's fault that the other Auto Manufacturers left. And I'm Glad that we had this race commencing, even if without its traditional Quarter 'O Million fans en masse…


Yet even if Thars more "Privateers" vs. the lone Werks' LMP1 effort,

i.e.; two Rebellions and one By Kolles all sporting normally aspirated Gibson V-8 lumps vs. Toy-Yoters' Uber Dominant TS050 Hybrid, Ho-Hum, surely it'll be another Intra-squad Scrum between the two Toy-Yoters' to claim a third consecutive win, Yawn! Righto?


As need I say anymore then simply mentioning  the "riveting" Ho-Ho-Ho latest World Endurance Championship (WEC) Smack-down at Ye Mighty Spa-Francorchamps Wayback on August 15th when guess who won? In what became the final "Tune Up" for this year's Le mans race. Where K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi, Mike “Ice Kice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez led another 1-2 toyota sweep at the Six Hours of Spa, Yawn!


 Yet Arse-sumedly I'll Drop-in occasionally since I'll be pulling for Kobayashi, who I've always liked since his Toyota Formula 1 Days to finally be victorious at Le mans! Along with former IndyCar HotShue’  Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez sharing the cockpit. As the latter would become only the second ever argentine to win besides José Froilán González, who won the 1954 event for Scuderia Ferrari.


This year's event, albeit with many revisions made to its final 59 Cars entry list, consisted of 29 Prototypes, with the majority, i.e.; 24 in the LMP2 category. And 30 Tintop Saloons' seeing a similar divide, i.e.; 8 GTE Pro entries vs. 22 GTE Am entrants, with two in particular grabbing thoust Attenzione due to Thar IndyCar roots.


Whilst Thars' several Prototype entries overall that interest Mwah, my main focus is upon the No. 21 DragonSpeed entry that drafted some former Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner on short notice.


Perhaps you've heard of him? As his initials are JPM, who's also known here on No Fenders as Monty or Mac. And another character known as 'Ol SuperTex', nee A.J. Foyt refers to him as that Montoyer Feller, Hya! Formally known as Juan Pablo Montoya.


As Montoya will Co-Drive with one of his former Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) team-mates from their winning Grand Am Sports Cars days, when Juan joins Memo Rojas in the Oreca/Gibson cockpit. Along with the totally unknown to Mwah Timothé Buret, reportedly making his Debutante start at Le Mans.


Hmm? Once again I'm curious over whether Montoya & Co. won their respective Class, albeit not outright victory. Would that mean JPM would Beat Fredrico Suave', aka Fred Alonso to his Quest for Thee Mythical Triple Crown, Eh? Since Montoya's also won two thirds of Fernando's much Ballyhooed Triple Crown conquest, i.e.; Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500. As may be that's part of Monty's inspiration, Eh?


Meanwhile, the second entry I'm intrigued by is the No. 82 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE Evo in the Big Boyz' saloons category, i.e.; GTE Pro.


As it really Sucks that I can No longer S-e-E what this Awesome Ferrari looks like, since this year's field is filled with 16 of Maranello's latest Tintop racing cars concoction, Aye Karumba!


With four of the Ferrari 488 GTE Evo's entered in the LMGTE Pro Class and an astounding 12 Prancing Horses in the LMGTE Am Class.


What draws me to the No. 82 entry is the fact that it's being driven by le Hamburgular' or the former Sealmeister B', aka Sebastien Bourdais, who's previously contested his Home race behind the keyboard of the now retired Ford GT, which he won class Honours aboard one during the Ford GT's return upon the 50th Anniversary of FOMoCo's inaugural Overall Le Mans win in 1966.


So it's somewhat interesting that Bourdais has now joined Ford's Arch nemesis Ferrari, albeit aboard a privateer entry alongside another Ford GT refugee Olivier Pla.


Whilst the final member of the all French driving trio is Jules gounon, who I've noted before is the son of ex-Formula 1 Pilote Jean-Marc Gounon, and I'm rooting for this car more for Olivier and Jules sakes than Bourdais, who I've never truly been a Fan of, but respect his Open Wheel Racing talent… 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Why Must Sports Announcers Always Shout?

Like Can You Hear Me Now? And why are you YELLING at Me?


Ok I get it, presumably we All need to be “Pumped Up!” Which is why Sports Announcers get excited with their Fake Enthusiasm…


Obviously I’m not a Sports Announcer, nor have I ever been to Broadcasting School, and many will probably also debate my lack of Journalism intellect. Yet that beig said, do they actually teach how to “Get Excited” and feverishly increase Thar Vocal Chords to a Ranting, Foaming, Screaming Pitch at Broadcasting School?


And I know, if Yuhs Don’t have Anything Nice to say, you’re Not supposed to say anything, Righto? But since someone in particular in Ye Blogosphere continues Heaping glowing Praise upon one certain Part time IndyCar lead Announcer, then I can Gory Well Disagree with him!


I’m certain that Kevin Lee’s a very nice person, and I find him to be a capable Pitlane Reporter, but when it comes to him filling in for Leigh Diffey I simply Groan in Displeasure!


And perhaps it’s simply a bi-product of my being Blind? Since after all Blind people do have super Powers, Hya! Hence may be it’s just my increased Hearing powers, Huh, What did you say? Or may be it’s a Midwest Accent thing?


But whenever I hear Kevin in the “Big Chair” All I hear is the annoying screaming tones of Oh No Mr. Bill when he tries mimicking Diffey’s “Enthusiasm,” for which some say they’d like Leigh Diffey to drop the Shouting a notch or two…


As Kevin’s “Excitement” simply comes across as the most Phonies, Hoaky, Pre-manufactured Fake Enthusiasm I’ve ever Heard! Not to mention he sounds like he’s reading from a Cue Card when explaining Motor Racing 101 to us.


Thus I found it pretty S-A-D how I was absolutely Jubilantly Overjoyed, doing my Bestest Pee Wee Herman impersonation of I Don’t have to listen to Kevin Ha Ha! When I was able to Pull-up the IndyCar Radio Road America Broadcast on the Internet instead, when Mark Gravelly’ James voice came Booming in loud ‘N clear on my Confuzer’s speakers when I “dialed Up” WFNI 1075 “the Fan” at 9AM Pacific, Hurrah!


And then I chuckled to myself at race’s end how I got to hear All of the Podium interviews instead of having to race over to NBC Sports Lame Arse RASSCAR’s Back Preamble, Spew!


As I could tell by how the laps were counting down slowly due to the four Cautions the race was gonna Bump Up against NBC Sports Ditching IndyCar’s at 11:45AM (Pacific) in favour of those Taxicab Bombers.


With IndyCar Fans getting Shafted All around again, with the “JV” team calling that  Canned Road America Qualifying show in the middle of Saturday Night, along with being constantly Bombarded by ‘lil Ironhead’ (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) making Musak’ at Nashville TV Promoes. And El Capitano’ (Roger Penske) says IndyCar Needs Eyeballs on It, Oh Never Mind!


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Two Ex-Haas F1 Pilotes’ and IndyCar Castoff have their Own private Road America Skirmish

As I think it’s been a long time since we’ve had a total of five IndyCar Rookies on a Road Course Grid…


Whilst we’re All awash in IndyCar’s current Youth movement with the likes of Pato O’Ward, Rinus VeeKay, Alex Palou, Colton Herta et Al, for Mwah, I suddenly found myself most intrigued over what I’m calling this past weekend’s Road America “Ringers,” a veriable Six Pack ‘O Amazing talent.


May be you’re not as interested in the arrival of the latest Formula 1 refugees Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen who’s Deputizing for the injured Rinus VeeKay, who just had Collarbone surgery after a bicycle training accident.


As they’re both former Haas F1 team-mates, once again competing against each other, swelling thoust ranks of former Formula 1 Drivers making up over a Quarter of Road America’s Grid.


Or the unlikely story of Oliver Askew’s impromptu IndyCar return, now Substituting for his second team in as many races, first as Felix Rosenqvist’s replacement at the IndyCar Team that Fired Him! And now as VeeKay’s replacement, as both were not Medically Cleared to drive at Elkhart Lake. And that doesn’t even include the other Rookie drivers, including one who’s making his IndyCar debut…


Oliver Askew

Ed Carpenter Racing #21

DOB: 12/12/96, Age 24

2019 Indy Lights Champion

13 IndyCar Starts/0 Wins/1 Podium/0 Poles (2020-21)


I suppose it was a “No Brainer” for Ed Carpenter to Draft Oliver Askew as Rinus VeeKay’s substitute, since the pair have raced against each other up the entire Road to Indy ladder battling each other for every Championship title. And we All know how Askew was coldly Kicked Kerbside’ by Sam Schmidt after seeking medical attention for his lingering concussion after a massive crash during his maiden Indianapolis 500.


Thus I’m happy Oliver’s being given a second chance since he’s obviously a talented driver, as it would be great to see him competing Fulltime in a second Carlin entry next season, albeit Funding’s the Key issue Me Thinks…


Funniest bit so far was during a Friday Interview with NBC Sports Pitlane  Reporter Dave Burns asking about his impressive start, where Oliver replied “It’s just like Riding a Bike” before stammering repeatedly he didn’t mean it like that, Horrified over the unintended Pun regarding VeeKay’s injury! To which Rinus wryly replied on Twitter “It’s Not as Easy as It looks!”


Then during the Pre-race Banter, Oliver joked that VeeKay needed to do some “Curls” since the driving suit he was borrowing from the Dutchman was a little tight in the Arms, Hya! As Askew said they’re both about the same size overall…


According to for The Love of Indy’s Raymond Hando, Askew’s Best IndyCar Road/Street Course results from 7 rounds in 2020 are a pair of 15th place finishes: the  first at Road America’s Race-1, and the other at Mid Ohio’s second race. Although Oliver has previously finished third at Elkhart Lake in both U.S. F2000 and Indy Lights.


Oliver was P6 in the final minutes of Friday’s First Practice session at Road America before ultimately finishing 9th, two places ahead of former Arrow McLaren SP team-mate Pato O’Ward.


On Saturday, Askew was P5 in practice, again two spots ahead of O’Ward, but the Mexican got the better of him in Qualie’, with Pato 10th and Askew a disappointing 16th, one place behind ECR team-mate Conor Daly.


On Race Day, ECR elected to put Askew on an Alternate Strategy, which saw  Oliver leading a few laps towards the end of the race before needing to it for Fuel. And then the hoped for Caution came out right after he’d pitted, as Askew finished P12.


 Romain Grosjean

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing #51

DOB: 4/17/86, Age 35

F1 Teams: Renault, Lotus, Haas

179 Starts/0 Wins/10 Podiums/0 Poles (2009, 2012-2020)

5 IndyCar Starts/0 Wins/1 Podium/1 Pole


Won’t dwell upon Romain Grosjean’s Fiery, Scary end to his Formula 1 career, since we All know that story pretty well now, righto? As Grosjean’s best year’s in Formula 1 came during his “Lotus-Lotus” years, where I tend to recall Romain being the Crème filling in a Red Bull Sandwich at the United States Grand Prix at Austin in 2013, finishing runner-up behind ‘lil syd viddle’ (Sebastian Vettel) and ahead of his Bosom Buddy Mark Handlebarz’ Webber in that good looking Black and Gold Lotus F1 (E21) chassis…


As the past several years at Haas F1 had diminishing results, the Frenchman along with his Danish team-mate were both jettisoned for younger drivers for 2021, seeing Grosjean switch to IndyCar’s which has breathed not only a new sense of Happiness racing, but also increased competitiveness, even if driving for one of IndyCar’s Minnowesqe teams. As Romain scored a Shock Pole position and excellent runner-up finish at this year’s Indy GP, after leading much of the race.


Then Romain showed us more Bravado in Sunday’s Belle Isle race when exiting his stricken Dallara-Honda with it’s front brakes on Fire! Grabbing a Fire extinguisher before being moved aside by the AMR Safety team to dose the brakes!


Making his first trip to Road America, Romain Pipped Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay for P1 in the last 30 seconds of Friday’s First Practice. On Saturday morning, Romain was 4th fastest in practice. Then was disappointed to be just outside of the Fast Six Shootout for Pole in P7.


Although overall he only improved two places in the race to finish 5th, Grosjean’s name was mentioned the entire broadcast as he was constantly mixing it up with the big boys! Passing Colton Herta amongst others like alexander rossi, Will Power, etc, even challenging Jack Harvey for 4th place, and making passes everywhere Man, i.e.; High, Low, Inbetween and off track! Ultimately holding off former F1 competitor Marcus Ericsson for 5th.  


Kevin Magnussen

Arrow McLaren SP #7

DOB; 10/5/92Age 28

F1 Teams: McLaren, Renault, Haas

119 Starts/0 Wins/1 Podium/0 Poles (2014-2020)


Kevin Magnussen scored a surprising second place finish on his F1 Debut for McLaren Down Under in Australia some seven years ago, his lone Podium finish in Formula 1, and after struggling in the woeful Haas chassis the past few years and being summarily dropped at the end of last season, Kevin took up the new challenge of IMSA Sports Car racing for thou Cheepster’, (Chip Ganassi) and just won his first race in eight years at Belle Isle.


And I’ll caution against reading too much into Magnussen’s IndyCar debut, since he’s already contracted as a Werks’ Peugeot Sports Car driver for it’s 2022 World Endurance Championship return.

With Zero laps ever in an IndyCar, until Friday’s First Practice session at Elkhart Lake began, Magnussen wound up 23rd, second slowest, ahead of A.J. foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett.


But keep in mind, Kevin’s not use to driving an Open Wheel Racecar without Power Steering! Hence, the Dallara-Chevrolet is a very different Beast! As Magnussen noted it’s a heavier chassis with some turbo lag vs. the (lighter) Hybrid Formula 1 cars with (Electric) power steering he’s used to.


In Saturday’s second Practice session, the Dane’ carved some two seconds-plus off his Friday’s time to finish P20. Then he qualified one position slower in 21st.


Kevin had an interesting race, and thanks to an Alternate Strategy, found himself leading 6 laps of the race before disaster struck! As the car apparently suffered some sort of mechanical malady as Magnussen simply pulled Off track “dead Stick,” with the team asking him if he knew what happened? Which Magnussen replied No Idea, and finished p24 after pulling Off course on lap 33. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

IndyCar’s Road America “Warriors” Rookie Class

Although it should be Obvious which One’s the Best of these three,


Whilst IndyCar’s vaunted Youth Movement continues soaking up the Headlines, with Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward the NTT IndyCar Series Points leader heading into Road America, and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou nipping at his Heels just One “Marker” behind him. Instead with Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen’s arrival, I found myself very intrigued over what I was originally calling them Road America’s “Ringers.”


And while the two former Haas F1 Drivers soak up the limelight as they join other F1 contemporaries like Sebastien Bourdais, Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson, Alexander Rossi and Takuma Sato. The other two “Fulltime” Rookie drivers aren’t exactly Slouches, while a current NASCAR driver makes his IndyCar debut…


Jimmie Johnson

Chip Ganassi racing #48

DOB: 9/17/75, Age 45

7 Times NASCAR Champion

686 Races/83 Wins/374 Top 10’s/36 Poles (2001-2020)


We All know the story of Seven Times NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson, who’s tied with “The King” (Richard Petty( and the late “Intimidator” (Dale Earnhardt) for most NASCAR Championships coming to IndyCar this year as a Part-time competitor, eschewing the Oval tracks.


And although I could Joke about having to Drink a Shot every time Jimmie Spins Ontrack during his Rookie campaign, One must factor in his insanely limited testing time, having never driven an IndyCar before! Even if the novelty of this late career change is presumably wearing off? Nonetheless I think it’s pretty Cool what he’s trying to accomplish, and I like the fact that it proves it’s Not such an easy switch after all!


Johnson who’s got a new “Teacher” with Scotty Scooter’ Pruett in his ear as his personal Driver Coach, made good use of his private Road America test session to finish P21 in Friday’s First Practice session.


Saturday morning saw Jimmie slide down to P24, before improving one position in Qualifying, P23. Johnson brought out one of the races yellow Flags, Me Thinks the first, when he Spun Off track and Stalled with the Car pointing the wrong way, ultimately finishing 1 lap down in 23rd.


Scott McLaughlin

Team Penske #3

DOB: 6/10/93, Age 28

3 Times Consecutive Australian Supercars Champion

253 Races/56 Wins/106 Podiums/76 Poles (2012-2020)


No matter what you think, New Zealander’ Scott McLaughlin was simply a Bad Arse Tintops’ Driver Down Under! Crushing the opposition whilst driving for DJR/Team Penske en route to claiming three titles between 2018-2020, before coming Stateside to take up his new career as an IndyCar Pilote for El Capitano’, (roger Penske) making his IndyCar debut at the 2020 Season Finale at St Petersburg, Florida.


And although some of the “shine” has disappeared since not only scoring his season’s best result (to date) of second place on his Oval debut at Texas Motor Speedway, making History as part of IndyCar’s first ever New Zealand 1-2. The Kiwi’ did claim (ROY) Rookie Of the Year Honours at Mother Speedway, despite a lackluster 20th place finish after a Speeding penalty in Pitlane.


Yet I’ll find it Uber’ Funny if Romain Grosjean wins Rookie Of the Year season’s Honours in IndyCar, despite not running the first two Oval tracks, since McLaughlin should be the clear favourite…


According to For The Love of Indy’s Raymond Hando, McLaughlin’s Twisties’ (Non Ovals) average finish prior to Road America was 14.4, with a lone Top 10 finish of 8th at the Indy GP.


Friday’s First Practice saw the Kiwi’ finish P8, second quickest of Team Penske’s Quartet, besting Will Power (10th) and Simon Pagenaud. (17th)


On Saturday morning’s second practice, Scott was the slowest Penske in 16th, and Qualified one position lower in P17. And McLaughlin’s name wasn’t mentioned very much at all during the race, where he quietly finished P14.


Cody Ware

Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing #52

DOB: 11/7/95, Age 25

NASCAR: 39 Starts/0 Wins/0 Top 10’s/0 Poles (2017-2021)

2019-20 Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Am Champion


Of the six IndyCar Drivers in Thar own virtual race, Cody Ware, son of NASCAR Team Owner Rick Ware is the one I know the least about. And I’d say his roundy Round career is lest than flattering, with only one Top 10 Cup lite finish over his combined 73 Trucks, Cup lite and Cup career to date, being a 7th place finish in the 2020 Charlotte Roval, while Cody is currently contesting his first full Cup season this year.


On a side note, Cody’s height is listed as 6-feet 4-inches, which might make him the Tallest Driver in IndyCar? As he might be a Wee Bitamyte’ taller than Graham Rahal?


Ware made good use of his previous Road America testing on Friday,and wound up P22, the “Meat” of a Jimmie Johnson P21 Kevin Bacon P23 Sandwich!


Cody was Dead last Saturday morning, P25 after a Spin and Stalling, then qualified in the same position,25th. But he kept his nose clean and finished a very respectable 19th, one position ahead of Conor Daly. 

Friday, June 18, 2021

A Few Quick Sports Car Notes

Hmm? Shouldn’t we be running some ‘lil ‘Ol Gory 24 Hours Sports Car race right now?


Damn! IN thoust Blink ‘O Eye, it’s already Sum-Sum-Summertime, not to mention nearly Summer Solstice which Sigh, means the Days will once again be getting Shorter, but I digress…


Which means traditionally we’d either just had the annual running of, or more likely this weekend would be contesting the yearly 24 Heurs du Mans event.


Thus I suppose it was planned to coincide with the (previously) upcoming FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) 8 Hours of Portugal race when Ferrari announced on June 7th that they’d chosen to partner with AF Corse for their forthcoming ACO/FIA Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) project for 2023.


As AF Corse has a longtime  history partnering with Scuderia Ferrari in the International GTE Tintops Ranks, currently contesting the WEC’s GTE Pro category with the evocative Ferrari 488 GTE. Having won the category three times at Circuit de la Sarthe since 2012. As the new venture will be called Ferrari-AF Corse.


Meanwhile the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 007 made it’s Ontrack Debut in the World Endurance Championship with just one car, the #709 driven by past Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Ford Gt Pilotes Ryan Briscoe and Westie’, (Richard Westbrook) along with Romain Dumas. As the team had tested extensively prior to Portimao, including a 30 hour endurance test, where an electrical issue was found.


Thus the team elected to rebuild the car into a newer, lighter version, and we should see two Glickenhaus entries at Autodromo Nazional du Monza in Italy in just over a month’s time on July 18th, as the final Tuen up to Le Mans.


Unfortunately Briscoe was involved in a crash at the two hour mark with the car subsequently “Toasting” it’s Clutch and ultimately finished the race 30th Overall, but did finish, as it’s still early days indeed…


As I enjoyed the Teams Press Release neatly saying Crashed Once, Touched Once and burned Up a Clutch and replaced It, but Did Finish! 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Two Thumbs Up for Andretti, Hunter-Reay and DHL

As I’m Super Impressed by this unique move…


Pretty Funny how Pumped I felt prior to Detroit’s Belle Isle first race Saturday morning after simply reading the ‘lil Blurb on Racer’com over Mikey A’s Andretti Autosport team, with the support of The dude’s longtime sponsor DHL taking up the initiative to adorn Ryan Hunter-Reay’s #28 Dallara-Honda with the Rainbow Flag on his car’s Sidepods and Aeroscreen  for all of the IndyCar’s (three) races in June!


As reportedly this is the first time in IndyCar History that a Team has Supported Pride Month for the LGBTQ community, which I think is Fantastic! Although I’m not surprised that this “Outlandish” move would receive Criticism on Social Media. Since Oh My Gawd! A Rainbow Flag on the Sidepod of a racecar is such a Horrifying thing! Like imagine if Andretti Autosport had been really bold and just turned RHR’s racecar into a Giant Rainbow Flag motif covering the entire car, Gasp!


As My only complaint is that there aren’t more races in June for the car to be seen at, and I suddenly found myself rootin’ for Hunter-Reay to pull into Victory lane, Gasp! Even though he summarily Clouted the Wall during Saturday’s first race, at least the effort for Gay Pride got mentioned by Leigh Diffey on the TV Broadcast.


As Way to Go Mikey A’, Andretti Autosport and DHL!     

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Who will be Andretti Autosport’s Top Banana this Year? Or will it be Banana Splitz?

Although I know the obvious answer, I certainly Hope it Ain’t So, since I’d prefer it being Alexander Rossi!


While Thars’ very few Bloggers I read these days upon Ye Intrawoods’, nee Internet, since Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen says I’m showing my age by continuing to call it thee Internets, and Nobody gets that ‘Ol George The Decider!” Bush reference. And probably thinks I just Don’t know how to speel, but I digress.


Although I’ve tried expanding this by adding Mike Silvers The Pit Window and Patty Nolan’s I Kiss The Bricks to my IndyCar Blogger’s Shortlist of Oilpressure, For the Love of Indy and The Field of 33…


Alas, my new totally button-down, 100% No Nonsense Corporate Biz-Speak’ Screen Reader who I originally nicknamed Ken in deference to “Ken & Barbie,” I think I’ll now call “Him” Mark, as in deference instead to IndyCar’s No. 1 Puffed Shirt! A One Mr. Mark Miles. And NO! That Ain’t No Gory compliment, but I definitely digress further!


As Geo. Phillips of Oilpressure Fame, who’s Ye IndyCar’s Oldest Blogger, Hya! Previously pondered if thou Curmudgeon ‘O IndyCar’s ‘Ol R’, aka Robin Miller had made a typo when pondring ‘bout IndyCar’s Big 4? George started going Team by Team.


Musing over the now rebranded Arrow McLaren SP outfit that I prefer the smarmy acronym SPAM’ for, Hya!


George noted how the Team’s a totally different “Animal” now vs. it’s previous Schmidt Peterson Motorsports incarnation where Symone’ or Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud and Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown had only won a total of seven wins since 2010, with Hinch’s and the team’s latest coming at Iowa in 2018. (Having begun this prior to Pato O’ward’s Breakout Debutante IndyCar W’ at TMS this May)


Hence this got me thinking about Hinchcliffe’s rather lackluster career and how his move reuniting with Mikey A’ would pan out? Along with who’s the Biggest “Cheese” on Andretti Autosport’s “Campus” and their apparent pecking order? (Thru this year’s Indianapolis 500) Which Sadly, I’d say the quick answer is already defined by their current Car numbers, Sigh!


Colton Herta

Car No. 26

Age: 21

First Race: Sonoma, 2018

Wins: 4

Poles: 5



2017 Indy Lights rookie Of the Year

2018 Indy Lights Runner-up


Having finished third Overall in last year’s IndyCar’s Championship standings, along with being the series Youngest ever Winner, plus being the only Andretti Autosport Driver to have won a race the past two seasons following this year’s Indianapolis 500. Obviously the young Phenom is the future of Andretti Autosport which was recently confirmed with his new two year Contract extension. As All of the “Signs” point towards a glittering IndyCar career, potentially as a Multi-times Series Champion with multiple wins whilst chasing that most elusive victory, the Borg Warner trophy!


Alexander Rossi

Car No. 27

Age: 29

First Race: St Pete, 2016

Wins 7




2016 Indianapolis 500 Winner


Full disclosure, of this Quartet, Rossi’s my Favourite, and I’ve been a Fan of his for several years now! And find myself rootin’ yearly for him to not only win his first NTT IndyCar Series Championship, a la like I did until DJ WillyP’ (Will Power) finally closed the Dealio’ in 2014, but to also win another Indy 500!


Surely Alexander had “Designs” of becoming the De Facto Team leader upon signing his latest Multi-year Contract extension, and obviously Bristles over the Fulltime arrival of younger team-mate Colton Big Shot! Herta. But Rossi’s had a nearly two years Brutal streak of everything imaginable going wrong! And hasn’t won a race since his dominant victory at Road America in 2019! And after publicly decrying Nothing less than a Championship this Season is Acceptable, naturally He’s feeling the Heat of becoming Number Two at Andretti is inevitable.


Ryan Hunter-Reay

Car No. 28

Age: 40

First Race: St Pete, 2003

Wins 17

Poles: 7



2012 IndyCar Series Champion

2014 Indianapolis 500 Winner


Must say I’ve never truly been a fan of Hunter Reay’s, and in fact I took to calling him Bully Ray here on No Fenders for awhile after his unnecessary “Turfing” Off Oriol “suitcase”  Servia! That said, I later took to calling him the Dude! As I feel he totally got a raw Deal from former Champ Car Boss Paul Meatheadz’ Getilozzi! But Patty Nolan’s (I Kiss the Bricks) comments of RHR’s Aloofness at the Indianapolis Museum recently does nothing to change my not liking him, But I digress…


While Ryan’s repeated description of the Cartoon Anvil repeatedly Hammering his No. 28 ride is absolutely true, you’ve gotta feel Hunter-Reay’s better days are behind him. And as P3 on Mikey A’s Depth chart, I’d say he blew his biggest chance at Mother Speedway to redeem himself, and this will be his final ear in IndyCar’s. Since I’ve been saying how either Oliver Askew or Kyle Kirkwood, who are both current Andretti Autosport members are eagerly waiting to fill his seat. But then again, I thought Helio Castroneves would never win another Indianapolis 500…


James Hinchcliffe

Car No. 29

Age: 34

First Race: Alabama , 2011

Wins 6

Poles: 1



2010 Indy Lights runner-up

2011 IndyCar Rookie Of the Year

2016 Indianapolis 500 Pole Winner



Can I say about this “quirky” Kuhnuck? Since although I’ve always enjoyed his On Air personality, the lone time I met him in the Aisle of a “Puddle Jumper” flying from Indianapolis to Detroit, I found him to be pretty Snarky!


Obviously I feel like he got Screwed by Sam Schmidt, who’s also tossed  Tristan Vautier and Oliver Askew out like Ye proverbial Cold Bath water! But after his Breakout 2013 season at Andretti Autosport, when scoring his first three IndyCar wins, He’s never really taken off as a true Championship Contendah’, since presumably he went to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in order to not be part of the Multi-car Andretti pressure cooker.


And The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown seems to have excelled better out of the cockpit as an Announcer then inside it, since this year’s return to Andretti has been nothing short of a Nightmare! Having just read he’ll be part of the XRX Announce Crew this summer, how soon before he’s commenting Fulltime? Although I’m Not trying to imply anything there, but you’ve gotta wonder how long he’ll remain Andretti Autosport’s 4th “Wheel” Eh? 

Monday, June 14, 2021

NBC almost Double Faults at Detroit

As now You See ‘em, Now you Don’t!


First off, I’ll freely admit that I was Hoping for NBC to get the IndyCar TV Contract three years ago vs. ABC, and I Don’t want to return to that version of IndyCar television coverage. While I’ve also  been a Huge Fan of Leigh Diffey’s ever since he began calling the Formula 1 races for Speed, and think the pairing of Diffey, Paul Tracy and townsend Bell is one of IndyCar’s Strongest lineups.


That said, and I know others in the Blogosphere have already said to cut NBC some Slack over this weekend’s Double Header at Belle Isle, I cannot say how Annoyed I was with them both days!


As my biggest Complaint was the Tennis match running late, Fault! Which perhaps I missed when going round ‘N round the Dial when IndyCar’s Pre-race Show was supposed to be on. Checking to see if they’d Silently switched over to another NBC Channel for the Advertised Sunday morning IndyCar Pre-race? As I just really wanted to hear the latest update on Felix Rosenqvist.


But as far as   I know, NBC never said during the half hour’s extended Tennis match’s airing verbally that the IndyCar race was being moved over to CNBC. And if you’re Freakin’ Blind, it’s Uber important for such an Announcement! Although I managed to predict this shift and switched over to CNBC exactly at 9:30AM Pacific  when Leigh Diffey began talking to me…


The weirdest part was supposedly just about Halfway thru the race, lap 35 Me Thinks? Diffey welcomed in those who’d been watching the Tennis match on “Big NBC” before they went to Commercial break and sent viewers back to Tennis, Huh? Like were they just then telling Folks where the IndyCar race was? And then on Lap 41 at roughly 10:49AM when going to say it with me folks,

Another Gory Commercial break! The race was moved from CNBC back over to Big NBC, beginning on lap 44 of 70, making for a very disjointed affair to say the least.


As I’ve already lambasted their Botchery of Saturday’s Post race Blackout! As I Applauded the unusual decision to not only stay on Network TV an extra 78mins by my count, but Shockingingly go that entire time without a Bloody Commercial Break! Which just made it Uber Annoying that they had to immediately Switch Off at 2:18PM Pacific, according to my Talking Keychain’s Clock. Like at very least, give up a short winner’s Interview, as I’ve got to wonder would they have treated Colton Herta this way if he’d won?


As Not everybody either has access to, or wishes to Madly Scramble over to your Freakin’ NBC Sports App! Especially if you’re Blind! As you probably cannot See the Gory Fucking App!


And Yeah, it’s great having IndyCar on Network TV an amazing eight, or will it be nine races this season? But as we All learned, like during the Gory ABC/ESPN Days, Stick ‘N Ball Sports always come first, Hence the Stupid Professional Lacrosse game that went into Overtime kept us from seeing the Start of Saturday’s IndyCar race, missing the first seven minutes of Ontrack Action.


And I won’t even go into the usual those who can See and are willing to Pay for NBC’s Peacock Paywall Streaming service, Err almost typed Steaming! Does Nothing to Add viewership to IndyCar’s, which I still cannot wrap my Head round why Comcast would Kill Off a Sports Channel. Oh Yeah, I almost forgot it’s All about making more Money!


For which if IndyCar is really going to “Grow” the Sport, then we need to be able to See both Qualifying and the Races on terrestrial TV…