Saturday, July 31, 2021

Former Japanese Formula 1 “One Hit Wonders”

As how many of Y’all will recognize these virtually Unheard of F1 Drivers? Beside Raymond Hando…


Obviously a lot has occurred since I originally penned my two stories about Japanese Open Wheel Racing drivers over a Gory Decade ago, first in my (2007) nod to F1 in Japan and Formula 1. Then followed by my ’08 No Fenders tome Japanese Open Wheel warriors.


As that’s a total understatement with the horrendous outcome of the long forgotten 2014 Japanese Grand Prix, where Jules Bianchi collided with a track recovery vehicle and ultimately Died from major Head Injury. As can it really almost be seven years ago that happened? Since Nobody talks about that anymore…


yet having scribbled those stories some Gory 13-14 years ago, prior to the withdrawal of the Japanese Auto manufacturers from Formula 1 and the World Rally championship (WRC) during the Economic Recession of 2008. Along with the departure of its top flight Open Wheel racers from the pinnacle of Motorsports, seeing F1 devoid of any Japanese drivers for the past six years-plus, (2013, 2015-2020) I thought it was High time to update this languishing story with Us now being firmly ensconced in this year’s delayed summer Olympics and ironically, Honda once again leaving Formula 1 at season’s end.


As Y’all may wish to visit my long ago “Penned” story chronicling Japan’s involvement in Formula 1 in the following No Fenders tome…


As I left off with Takuma Sato then plying his trade for who Professor (Steve) Matchett coined “Super Best Friends,” aka Super Aguri in Formula 1 during the 2007 F1 season.


Whilestateside, I regaled Y’all about Hideki Mutoh  driving his final IndyCar season for the quickly fading, now long defunct Newman Haas Lanigan Racing outfit in 2011 after beginning his IndyCar career at Andretti Green Racing in ’08.


As Y’all can read ‘bout the Cavalcade ‘O former Japanese Open Wheel Warriors in the following No Fenders tome…


Takuma Sato

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

DOB: 1/28/77, Age 44


Formula 1

Teams: Jordan, BAR, Super Aguri (2002-2008)

First Race: 2002 Australian Grand Prix

Last Race: 2008 Spanish Grand Prix



Teams: KV Racing Technology, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Andretti Autosport, RLLR (2010-Present)


Like the majority of my No Fenders tomes,, (including this one) whilst trying to “Briefly” Chronicle Takuma Sato’s racing career, it was simply getting way too long in thoust Tooth and hence, I’ll post Sato’s bio in a separate No Fenders story.


For the 2006 formula 1 season, Honda hastily convinced Aguri Suzuki to become a Team Owner with Honda’s “b Team” primarily in order to keep Takuma Sato in Formula 1, due to the Uproar by the Japanese Public over Honda’s “Sacking” of Sato! With Suzuki’s intentions of running an All Japanese F1 Driver line-up.


Yuji Ide

Birthplace: Saitama, Japan

DOB: 1/21/75, Age 46


Formula 1

Teams: Super Aguri (2006)

First Race: 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix

Last Race: 2006 San Marino Grand Prix


Yuji Ide could arguably be viewed as a Formula 1 “Punching Bag” reference, having apparently been named one of the five worst Formula 1 Drivers in a 2009 issue of F1 Racing Magazine. Yet it’s worth noting that Team Principal Aguri Suzuki later noted that Yuji had had only 200km of F1 testing experience upon being drafted  into his Formula 1 team!


As Yuji began Go Kart racing in 1990 and won multiple Titles before graduating to Cars in the ’94 All Japan F3 series, and finished runner-up in the 2005 Formula Nippon Challenge before his unexpected Call-up to F1 the following year. As Yuki wasn’t your prototypical F1 Rookie at Age 31, having little European Single Seaters experience and lacking proficiency in English!


Ide did little to impress in his scant four Grands Prix outings, with a best Qualifying position of 21st on Debut in Sekir, as Kimi Raikkonen Failed to Qualify, starting Dead last in P22. With Yuji failing to finish in his first two Grands Prix.


Yuji’s One and Only finish was 13th at Melbourne, albeit 2 laps behind. Ide was also blamed for Blocking Rubens Barichello in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix and made multiple Spins over the weekend.


Yet following his fourth and final Grands Prix Start at Imola, the team demoted him to Test Driver, promoting Frank “the Tank” Montagny as Takuma Sato’s team-mate for the European Grand Prix.


Following the FIA talking to Team Boss Aguri-san’ and saying they felt Yuji needed more experience. Being largely due to his first lap collision at San Marino with Midland F1’s Christijan Albers, causing Albers to Barrel Roll several times and land Upside Down! With Ide’s FIA Superlicense being subsequently revoked and he never raced again in Formula 1.


Sakon Yamamoto

Birthplace: Toyohashi, Japan

DOB: 7/9/82, Age 39


Formula 1

Teams: Super Aguri, Spyker, HRT(2006-2007, 2010)

First Race: 2006 German Grand Prix

Last Race: 2010 Korean Grand Prix


Sakon Yamamoto began his Karting career at the Suzuka Circuit School and steadily moved up the ranks and ultimately became a Jordan Grand Prix Test Driver for the Japanese grand Prix weekend in 2005. In 2006 he was named as super Aguri’s Test Driver, taking the role after his compatriot Yuji Ide had been vanquished from Formula 1. Yet Sakon was quickly inserted into a race seat as Frank Montagny’s replacement since Aguri Suzuki wished to run an All Japanese F1 Outfit.


Yamamoto struggled mightily in the fairly uncompetitive Super Best Friends machinery, including crashing one of it’s brand new SA06 chassis at Hockenheim during his F1 debut weekend, and remained largely unseen as a Tail Gunner Charlie for the remainder of the season, losing out to Ant’, aka Anthony Davidson for the team’s second seat for 2007.


Yamamoto remained with Super Aguri as the team’s Test Driver for ’07 before Christijan Albers left Spyker mid-season. As Sakon was named as his replacement in July and made his debut at the Hungaroring. Once again Yamamoto toiled in relative anonymity in another Backmarker F1 Team.


For ’08 Sakon was named as one of the Renault Test Drivers, albeit just making Public Demonstration runs, while Romain Grosjean and Lucas de Grassi would participate in selected F1 Practice sessions. Midway thru 2008 e returned to the GP2 series  with ART Grand Prix and finished 9th Overall in the 2008-09 GP2 Asia Championship.


In 2010, Hispania Racing Team (HRT) selected Yamamoto as it’s Test Driver along with F1 Free Practice sessions, making his F1 return at the Turkish grand Prix during practice.


The team elected to install Sakon as Bruno Senna’s substitute for that year’s British Grand Prix, before he replaced the team’s other race driver, current Sky Sports F1 Pundit Karun chandhok beginning at the German Grand Prix for the remainder of the season.


Suffering a bout of Food Poisoning, new Test Driver Christian Klein Deputized for Sakon at the Singapore round, before Yamamoto capped his Formula 1 career with one final Home race at Suzukand the following South Korean round before Klein took his seat for the season’s final two races. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A Brace of Japan’s current Formula 2 Drivers

But will either of them make it to Formula 1?


Are Y’all Ah-Buzz’ over the impending 2020 Summer Olympics? You know the one taking place in Tokyo a year later without Any Spectators. As we move into the Individual Competitions, i.e.; the 100 meter Hurdles let’s say, shall we?


Continuing to chronicle the latest batch of Japanese drivers ascension towards thou Pinnacle ‘O Motorsports, nee Formula 1, in the five years of the rebranded FIA Formula 2 Championship beginning in 2016,. By my very unofficial count, there’s been a total of five Japanese drivers competing in the series, with one making it to Formula 1, but we’re jumping the gun so to speak.


Nobuharu Matsushita

Series: GP2, FIA Formula 2 championship

Years: 2015-2017, 2019-2020


Nobuharu spent five years in Karting, beginning in 2005, and claimed the ’08 Open Masters  ARTA Challenge title and finished third overall in the 2010 KF1 category of the All Japan Kart Championship before graduating to Single Seaters in 2011.


Matsushita’s maiden “Cars” campaign was in the Formula  Piloted China series before moving onto the Formula Japan Challenge the following year, where he captured his first Championship title while scoring five wins and 10 Podium positions in the season’s 12 races.


In 2013 Nobuharu joined the All Japan Formula 3 Championship where he spent two seasons, claiming the championship with six Wins, five Poles and 9 Podiums in 2014.


For 2015 Matsushita moved up to the GP2 series with ART Grand Prix, claiming his maiden “W” with a Sprint race victory at the Hungaroring en route to 9th in the championship. He remained at ART Grand Prix a further two seasons, with season’s results of 11th and 6th Overall respectively.


In February, 2016 Matsushita was named a McLaren F1 Development Driver, and then the following year he tested for   Sauber during the Post Hungarian F1 Test session, naturally due to Honda’s wishes to place a Japanese driver with one of it’s supplied engine “Partners,” albeit the Sauber Honda deal ultimately fell thru, with the Swiss based team remaining a Ferrari customer team, while Red bull took up the Honda supply deal for it’s Formula 1 “B Team.”


In the inaugural 2017 FIA Formula 2 season, Nobuharu claimed a further two Sprint race wins and finished 45 points ahead of rookie team-mate Alexander Albon, who became a Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 driver in 2019 before being obliterated by Red Bull Racing’s De Facto Numero Uno Max Verstappen between 2019-20.


For 2018 Matsushita returned to Japan to contest the Super formula series, presumably in part to the Sauber Honda engine, Err Power Unit (PU) deal faultering? Before returning to F2 with Carlin for 2019, arguably his best Formula 2 season on the basis of winning the Austrian and Italian Feature races enroute to a second sixth place season’s finish.


Now in his fifth season in F2, and having been previously passed up by Red Bull in favour of Albon who finished third overall in 2018 for the Toro rosso Hondre’ ride, Matsushita spent his final F2 campaign with MP Motorsport, but Quit in September following the Mugello round, claiming P15 in the championship standings.


Returning to Japan, Nobuharu like those before him is now splitting his time between driving “Saloons” in the Super GT series along with contesting the Open Wheel Super Formula Championship.




Marino Sato

Series: FIA Formula 2 Championship

Years: 2019-Present


First ‘N Foremost, don’t be Fooled by that last name, as Marino is Not related to Takuma Sato, Y’all know that guy who’s won some ‘lil ‘Ol 500 miler’ Oval race at Mother Speedway twice!


Marino began his Single Seater career competing in the Italian F4 Championship between 2015-16 with Overall finishes of 10th and 18th respectively, along with claiming his lone series victory in 2016.


For 2017 Sato graduated to the F3 European Championship, again with less than flattering results, finishing 19th and 16th Overall.


For 2019 Marino moved onto the Euro Formula Open Championship which he thoroughly Dominated wit an impressive nine wins en route to the title, along with helping Motopark, who he’d raced for the past two years in the F3 European Championship to also win the Euro Formula Open Teams Championship.


Following the annual Formula 1 Summer Break, Sato made his Formula 2 debut for Campos Racing at the Mighty Spa’, (Spa Francorchamps) as Arjun Maini’s replacement for the remainder of the season, finishing  22nd.


Marino contested his first full F2 season with a switch to Trident Racing where he finished a modest 8th place. Sato was retained for another Formula 2 season with Trident, alongside his new team-mate, the rookie Niederlander’ Bent Viscaal for 2021.


Sato took part in the 2020 Season’s end Formula 1 Young Drivers outing at Abu Dhabi for Scuderia AlphaTauri alongside countryman Yuki Tsunoda, where he finished a respectable P13. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Some Japanese Open Wheel Drivers You’ve Probably Never Heard of

Thus, should we just consider them as One Hit Wonders?


Like many story ideas here at No Fenders, this one’s been simmerin’ a long, long time on Ye Isle ‘O Nofendersville. But I finally thought I’d take it off the Stove so to speak since after all we’re All supposed to be in a Tizzy over the Delayed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, who are doing their Bestest impersonation of Mother Speedway and Circuit de la Sarthe racing without any Fans last year…


Presumably there’s many more Japanese Open Wheel Racing Drivers currently competing around the Globe, but I no longer have the energy, or more suscintly the time to try ferreting All of them out, especially since Japan runs a Derth of Open Wheel Racing series, most notably Super Formula, where current IndyCar Points leader Alex Palou came from.


Thus I’ll just focus on this Trio of presumably Forgotten aspiring Open Wheel Racers, whom I’m Arse-suming it was one of Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward’s blog posts several years ago where I gleamed Thar names from.


As these three virtual Unknowns, who raced in the former World Series Formula V-8 3.5 series and FIA Formula 2 championship never quite made it to Formula 1.


And I’ll let Y’all ponder in this veritable exercise of Nation building, as the world watches the Tokyo Olympics with Baited Breath. Does it matter if Japan, and more specifically Honda has a future Japanese driver in IndyCar’s after Takuma Sato finally retires?


Thars’ the Gun, And there Off!


Yu Kanamaru

Series: World Series Formula V-8 3.5

Years: 2015-2017


As ‘Ol Sargent Schultz would say, “I Know Nothing” about Yu Kanamaru, whom somehow I discovered Wayback in the languishing days of the once prolific World Series by Renault 3.5 series, after it had lost it’s Renault Funding and has since ceased operations in 2017. As I’m guessing this was because I was very interested in Pietro Fittipaldi’s title challenge when the young Brazilian won the final Formula V-8 3.5 Championship that year.


Kanamaru graduated to Single Seaters in 2012 from Karting and took a surprise victory at Spa francorchamps in that year’s Formula Renault 2.0 NEC series before bouncing around in several other lower tier Open Wheel Feeder series.


Kanamaru then made his Formula Renault 3.5 series debut in 2015 with a finish of 18th Overall as a replacement driver for Meindert Van Buuren. As Yu continued in the World Series Formula V-8 3.5 Championship for the next two years with finishes of 8th and 7th Overall respectively.


Next, Yu moved onto the Japanese Formula 3 series, Touring Cars, the F3 Asian and Formula Regional Japanese Championship  Open Wheel Racing Feeder series the past few years.


Nirei Fukuzumi

Series: FIA Formula 2 Championship

Years: 2018


Like the majority of today’s aspiring Open Wheel Racers, Nirei began Go Kart racing in 2010 before graduating to Single Seaters in 2014, contesting various Japanese F4 Championships.


In 2015 Fukuzumi contested the Japanese Formula 3 series, where he won two races during his Rookie campaign en route to fourth in the championship.


For 2016 Nirei moved to the then GP3 Championship, joining ART Grand Prix where he collected three podiums  and  finished in 7th place during his Rookie season. Staying with ART Grand Prix another year, Fukuzumi claimed two Feature Race wins, finishing an impressive third overall behind team-mates George Russell and Jack Aitken, with Russell winning the title.  


For 2018 Fukuzumi moved up to Formula 2, driving for BWT Arden for one season, finishing a modest 17th overall, ironically scoring 17 points.


For the past three years, Nirei has split his time between racing “Saloons” for Autobacs Racing Team Aguri along with racing in the Super Formula series for Dandelion Racing.


And Yeah, that Tintops team is run by Aguri Suzuki, a former Formula 1 Driver. As Fukuzumi won the Japanese GT300 Series title in 2019 behind the wheel of an Acura NSX.  


Tadasuke Makino

Series: FIA Formula 2 championship

Years: 2018


Tadasuke is another “Mystery” driver to Mwah, and any in depth background on his racing career seems hard to find. Presumably he began Go Karting at an early age, with the 2015 Japanese F4 Series as his Single Seater Debut, where he claimed six Wins, four Poles and 11 Podiums en route to runner-up in the Championship.


For 2016 Tadasuke graduated to the Japanese Formula 3 series where he recorded one Pole position and four Podiums en route to finishing fifth overall. Next, Makino moved up to the FIA F3 European Championship in 2017 with modest results, recording just one Podium and finishing 15th overall.


Tadasuke then joined the reigning FIA Formula 2 Team Champions Russian Time Racing for 2018 and claimed his maiden F2 win at Monza’s Feature race, finishing P13 Overall before leaving the series.


Like Fukuzumi above, Makino has since focused upon splitting his time between Domestic Saloon racing and the Super Formula series. He’s the reigning Super GT Champion,

Albeit making his series debut in 2016 when he contested three events. Whilst Tadasuke has just won the latest (2021) Super GT round at Motegi with Co-Driver Naomi Yamamoto… 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Why is IndyCar Trying to Make It so Difficult to Follow their Sport?

Like previous IndyCar Title Sponsor Verizon used to say, Can You Hear Me Now? Uhm, where’d they Go?


Presumably by the time I finally post this on No fenders, it’ll already have been a Done Dealio’. (Since it’s been Obvious for weeks or months now, especially since the only “remaining” competition Pulled Out a long time ago…) And while I have very little against NBC’s production of IndyCar races, I have many issues over where they and IndyCar seem to be driving us, regardless of how GURR-REAT! Thar TV Ratings are.


Or no matter how loudly IndyCar’s No. 1 Puffed Shirt Mark Miles tries positively Spinning the new “TV” Deal. Since if It was truly as Fantastic as Miles will Pontificate, then not only would the entire season be Shown on Terrestrial TV, but they’d also be showing live Qualifying on Mainstream Cable Television…


The Funniest Ha Ha? Part about All of this is how El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske said himself in a recent Indianapolis Star interview with Motorsports reporter Nathan Browne, that IndyCar Needs Eyeballs on IT! Which is something I’ve been saying for quite awhile now.


Thus taking that into consideration, is this simply “lip service?” Kind of like the Drivers have been instructed to Always “Thank the Fans” and include their major Sponsors whenever speaking publicly.


Since regardless of what anybody in Ye Blogosphere says, the previous NBC Sports gold and Peacock TV Streaming services are nothing more than Paywalls! And no matter how “little” these services cost per month, that’s missing the point of how this completely Marginalizes IndyCar! As just take a look-see how much the Viewership numbers have Dramatically Dropped for Countries Across thou Puddle that have put Formula 1 behind TV Paywalls!


And countering  the Argument I get really tired of, with those in favour of Paying Extra to watch IndyCar’s vs. us “freeloaders,” there’s No such think as Free TV! And hasn’t been since the era of Ye trusty ‘Ol “Rabbit Ears” Television antenna could Freely pick up the Big 3 Television Networks!


Thus either we “cut the Chord,” which is solely a response to the Never ending monetary Increase in monthly Cable TV service Fees, or the consumer Pays More per month for the same basic Cable TV programming they were previously receiving, Seeing the Capitalistic Behemoths like Comcast effectively “double dipping” their revenue Streams!


And if you’re paying more, then shouldn’t you be getting the entire IndyCar season with the “A Team,” ergo Leigh Diffey, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell vs. the Junior Varsity Squad of Kevin “Howling At the Moon” Lee and Townsend “I’m the Smartest” Bell?


Presumably being the only Blind IndyCar Blogger, I feel I have an unique insight into how the Digital World is further excluding those of us who cannot See the ever shrinking Colour Coded boxes that need to be selected, as just listen to Leigh Diffey’s Nauseating promo’ for How simple it’s to Use Peacock TV, BARF! As Just Scroll Down and select Detroit IndyCar race, Oh Never Mind! And that doesn’t even address the possibility of the User being Colourblind…


Hmm, may be this will be a good thingy’ After all. Since I’ve had to give up on listening to Friday IndyCar Practice sessions year’s ago when the previous TV Contract precluded them being available on the IMS Radio Network. And now, I suppose instead of waiting All day Saturday’s to “Watch,” Err listen to the Canned Qualie’ TV Broadcasts at Midnight interrupted by 69 Freakin’ Commercial Breaks for Glow In the Dark Helicopters! I can simply Quit wasting time on Saturdays too and just “focus” upon Sunday races instead…


Meanwhile, when trying to escape this Madness and go ‘Ol School and simply listen to the IndyCar Radio network via Zed Internet, or the nightly Trackside with Cavin and Keving, or Beyond the Bricks programmes during the Month of May, I simply gave up in Disgust with Emmis Communications Putrefied website!


First it was trying to make me Sign Up for something that my Zoomtext Fusion 2021 Screen Reader Software couldn’t recognize and “Read” to me. As I won’t just Click Ok blindly!


Then after several attempts at different Search Queries, I finally got onto their website, but when I repeatedly clicked upon the Listen (now) tab Nothing Happened!


And is the Emmis Communcations 93.7/107.5 The Fan website really that Retarded? As my Screen Reader repeatedly told me that I needed to Scroll All the way Down to the very bottom of the page’s right hand corner in order to select Play, WTF! As I needed to keep paging Down ‘N Down through every single individual episode of both Trackside and Beyond the Bricks which is absolutely Stupid! So I promptly gave up on trying to listen to either of these programmes this past May, buggers!


Then after waiting All day without “looking” at any Websites or listening to any of my NFB Newsline for The Blind telephone news, waiting until Gory 9PM Pacific to “Watch,” Err listen to the Canned rebroadcast of IndyCar’s Road America qualifying, I once again tried “googling” for what Radio Stations Host IndyCar races to No avail!


Which was after Growling in dismay when listening to the Indianapolis 500 via WFNI 1075 “the Fan” via a “Backdoor” Internet web address and repeatedly hearing “Promos” for the “New & Improved” Indycar Radio website, SPEW!


And not so fast Indianapolis Motor Speedway! Although your website may be slightly improved? And I use the words may be loosely! Especially since I haven’t been to your website now for the past several years since it hasn’t been Screen Reader “Friendly” in an eternity, Sigh!


Nonetheless when I tried searching for Fast Friday’s event schedule, I got stuck in a repeated loop of whenever I clicked on Next, since I couldn’t get past Thursday even though I’d specifically querried Fast Friday! It kept kicking me back to Previous, i.e.; Thursday’s schedule, Bite Me!


And then like I mentioned, there  was the annoying promos’ for IndyCar Radio’s “New & Improved” website during the Indy 500 Qualifying weekend, although I think this redesign was done by the same people who made keeping your Indianapolis 500 Ticket Order the Same this year so G-Damn Difficult! El Correctomundo?


Or is this part of the vastly “Improved” advent of title sponsor NTT? As first when visiting the Official IndyCar website, which naturally isn’t conducive with my Screen Reader, Urgh! The first thingy’ that happens is being redirected to the new IndyCar Radio website. And every time I went Thar, it immediately made me try signing up for something that once again, Y’all know the Drill, my Screen Reader couldn’t Tell Me what it was? And like I said, I’m pretty adverse to just Blindly signing up for something unknown these days!


Yet if this unknown “Pop Up” was circumvented, then  the El Stupidio website would only allow me to Download the App, which I Ain’t running a mobile device and do NOT wish to Download some Friggin’ App on my ‘Ol School Desktop!


Ok, so I’ll just (Blindly) try going around this Bullshit and querry what local Radio Stations broadcast IndyCar races live, Righto? And the very first option that comes up for local Radio Stations is a Blank page that says coming for the 2020 St Pete race, see list below. Which of course Thar Ain’t Any Radio Stations listed and last time I checked, it’s past the halfway point of the year 2021!


But fortunately, after spending way too much time vainly trying to find a simple, easy to use and simply begin Streaming when I open the website like other progammes I listen to via Ye Intrawoods’ (Internet) like the Speed Freaks via Dallas’s 105.3FM The Fan.


Although it’s begun a Nasty Habbit of running an extra commercial randomly during the Broadcast, wiping out whoever they’re interviewing, Crap! Or Ahem, IMSA Radio which plays Zero Commercials during their entire Broadcast! But I digress…


Alas, I’ve finally managed to Crack Zed Internets and successfully listen to the Indy 500, Road America and Mid Ohio All via WFNI 1075 The Fan whilst IndyCar’s pontificating about How Great their current TV Ratings are, which just makes me really wonder how large of a “Disconnect” Thar is, and if it’s All just Noise in order to improve both negotiating Parties economic success since there’s only one major TV Network willing to continue Airing IndyCar, and surely I’ll get a Refund on my Cable TV Bill when NBC Sports Disappears…     

Monday, July 19, 2021

F1: Historic Sprint Qualifying Race is A Dud!

As the second fastest car starts on Pole…


While I typically enjoy The Guardian’s Formula 1 Beat Reporter Giles Richards articles, I was totally unimpressed with the Headline imploring his take upon this weekend’s “Historic” Sprint Qualifying format. Seriously, is this considered History making?


And like Ye Oldest IndyCar blogger Geo. Phillips time honoured motto proclaims: “change is Bad!”


As Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with the results, since I’m totally opposed to Golden Child’s (Lewis Hamilton) continuous winning of every bloody thing! As it was pretty Funny that Sir Lewis was Denied an record equaling eighth Pole position at his Home track of Bloody ‘Ol silverstone!


But sorry ‘Ol Billybob’, (Martin Brundle) who proclaimed towards the latter stages of the “Electrifying,” NOT! Sprint qualie’ race, “If it Quacks like a duck, then It’s a Duck!” To which All I’ve got to say is Quack Quack, Gobble gobble, Duck turkey!


Although Brundle did have a very entertaining One liner ‘bout the combined ages of Fredrico Suave, aka fred Alonso and ‘lil Syd Viddle, nee Seb Vettel being 74 years “Young,” Hya! As the two longtime protagonists were furiously scrapping over ultimately 7th place, with the duo improving Thar Friday results.


As Max Verstappen Blitzed Sir Lewis off the line, beating the Pole sitter into Turn One and never looking back, despite his front Brakes catching on Fire when waiting for the lights to go out from P2!


As did this really Spice Up the Show? Uhm, I’ll go out on a limb and say Not Really!  Since the first two cars to improve Thar positions, besides Hamilton and Verstappen inverting positions were the two McLaren’s, thanks solely to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez’s “Tank Slapper,” seeing the Mexican demoted to P20 on Sunday!


And the “Adoring” British Fans wintnessed Team Willy’s George Russell demoted One position from P8 Friday, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz had a lurid Qualie’ race after being “Punted” by Russell’s Williams, before recovering to finish 11th, two positions behind his Friday results. While Aston Martin’s Vettel rounded out Friday’s Top 10 first Qualie’ session in 10th, one place ahead of Bosom Buddy Alonso.


Although  I suppose the midfield “dicking” was entertaining, but once again the Fans ultimately get Cheated, since presumably  15 minutes of Ontrack action was lost on Saturday, i.e.; Knockout qualifying vs. Sprint Qualifying race duration.


As Saturday’s Sprint Qualifying Top 10 results were as follows: Verstappen, Hamilton, Mercedes Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Vettel, Russell and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.


But George Russell was subsequently handed a three place Grid penalty for causing the collision with Sainz and will now start P12, with Ocon, Sainz  and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasley moving one position forwards.


Whilst it Pains me Ah-Mighty’ to actually agree with ‘lil syd Viddle for once, Ouch! As Sebastian Vettel has correctly pointed out how for the first 71 years, or 72 Seasons, Pole position has Always been determined by the Fastest Car’s elapsed time during the myriad of Qualifying formats utilized. As Nico Rosberg also Heartily agreed with Vettel’s sentiments, saying Pole position equals the Fastest lap, Not who wins the race!


Thus how does this effect the History Books? As I’d say it simply waters down this Statistical category, and makes it semi-meaningless. Although I suppose you could argue the same thing about the Points structure constantly being tinkered with, but then again does Anybody care how many points a Driver scores during his F1 career?


Lastly, I’m a tad Bitamyte’ Dismayed over how Nobody in the Media’s willing to say anything Negative about this new, Farcical Qualifying format, as what’s next? Reverse Starting Grids? Lucky Dog Wave-arounds, Joker laps or Sprinklers Ontrack? Oh Never Mind!


Since I had a really good Chuckle over 1996 F1 World Champion Damon Hill’s Quip about how there had been More Action during lap 1 of Sunday’s British Grand Prix then during the Entire Sprint (Qualifying) Race during the ensuing Ref Flag after Lewis Hamilton Punted Max Verstappen!


As C’mon Gory Liberty Media, Quit Mucking Up the Sport! 

F1: Hamilton Nerfs’ Verstappen!

As I was  gonna say Another competitor…


So I turned off Thy Telie’ in total Disgust the moment Golden Child passed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc for a undeserved win at Silverstone! Since I absolutely didn’t want to hear Sir Lewis’s cockamamey Bullshit on how he was “sorry” for touching Max Verstappen in Copse corner…


As I wanted to Throw my TV Remote at Thy Telie!


As I was pretty disappointed with Martin Billybob’ Brundle taking the High line and just declaring it a racing accident, WTF? Ok, yeah technically it was a racing accident since it occurred Ontrack, but! At least both former Formula 1 World Champions Jenson Button and Damon Hill were willing to call a Spade a Spade on TV, as both said it was Hamilton’s fault and he deserved a penalty. As Button was the most eloquent by saying that Lewis never was ahead of Max or ever had the corner’s Apex.


As for Mwah, who cannot See a Gory thing, whenever a trailing car’s front left tyre strikes the leading car’s rear right tyre it’s 100% the Fault of the trailing driver, which in this case once again would be Lewis Hamilton! Since that was Downhill Skiing Etiquette 101 for Mwah a Gory lifetime ago…


As Punting your fiercest rival Off track into a 51G Shunt isn’t worthy of a Seven Times F1 World Champion! And any way you try to Spin it Lewis is simply Bullshit! Especially since you had a Bloody Cracked Front left Wheel Rim!


So I could mentally hear Lewis Thanking the Fans, I just love you All, your support is so important to me, even if I live in another country that’s a Tax Haven, or the fact that I Thank the Fans at every track I win at, Blah Blah blah! Even with my television switched off before the chequored flag was thrown…


And Sir Lewis proclaimed He’s got Nothing to Apologize for, as I’d say Hamilton’s broken the Mutual Respect the two F1 title rivals have been talking about, and presumably the Gloves are Off now for Verstappen who watched in Disgust Lewis feverishly celebrating his win whilst in Hospital!


Since for once Red Bull’s Pied Piper Christian Horner got it right, what a Hollow Victory that was, Lewis!

Friday, July 16, 2021

The ever Shifting Sports Cars landscaped

Although we’ll have to endure one further year of IMSa’s current Spec machinery…


Have to say I was caught offguard by Peugeot unveiling it’s 2022 Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) last week, which I noticed when perusing’s Sports Car news, especially since testing won’t begin until December.


Even more surprising was the radical route they’ve taken with their Design philosophy, eschewing the de riggour rear wing in favour of claiming the necessary downforce from the car’s underbody, in what presumably is a most evocative shape.


Other scant details included in the unveiling is that it’ll b propelled by a 2.6-litre twin turbo Hybrid powertrain, incorporates current Peugeot design queues, colours and it’s cockpit was designed with imput from it’s drivers, whom include Kevin Magnussen. As you can read All about it in the Racer article that includes photographs.


And Thars good news on the continuing ACO/FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship’s Le Mans Daytona Hypercar (LMDH) Convergence, with the two parties having just signed a Rules package to provide the Framework for both separate categories to not only compete at Circuit de la Sarthe in 2023, but also allow All participants to also contest IMSA’s Stateside races beginning with the 2023 24 Hours of Daytona.


Thus a potential of nine current manufacturers, excluding Alpine, who’s future plans are currently unknown, since it’s “Grandfathered” rebadged Rebellion LMP1 chassis isn’t eligible for WEC competition in 2022 could lineup for the 2023 Rolex 24.


On the IMSA side, Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche are all committed to race Rear Wheel Drive (RHD) Single source Spec 40bhp KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery( Hybrid chassis.


Whilst Across thou Puddle, Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot and Toyota have more leeway, since they’re allowed to compete with either Hybrid or Non-Hybrid powertrains regulated to a maximum of 680bhp. As the Glickenhaus SCG 007 is the only chassis not running what Racer’s Marshall Pruett denotes as an All Wheel Drive (AWD) Hybrid powertrain layout.


While Marshall notes that All of these convergent philosophies will be governed by a raft of Balance of Performance (BoP) rules that include all chassis undergoing mandatory Wind Tunnel testing either at the North Carolina’s Windshear facility or Suaber’s Wind Tunnel in Switzerland, as Y’all can read the “fine Print” in Pruett’s Racer article.


Meanwhile, in what seems inevitable for Formula 1, the latest Japanese motor race to be Cancelled is the WEC’s Six Hours of Fuji at Mount Fuji Speedway, following the previous cancellation of the Motegi round of the MotoGP calendar. All due to the travel restrictions regarding the continuing Covid 19 Pandemic occurring in Japan, despite the Olympics needing to go ahead to appease it's massive Sponsorship requirements…


As the Japanese WEC round has been replaced with a Double Header event at Bahrain, with a Six Hour race on October 30th and it’s previous 8 hours race on November 6th. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Carlos Reutemann: 1942-2021

As another Scuderia Ferrari driver crosses the finish line…


By now, Y’all have probably heard of Carlos Reutemann’s passing at the age of 79 on July 7th. And perhaps I’m wrong, since the Argentinian raced before my Formula 1 Baptism. But I’ve always considered him to be what my late Awnty’ Harriet called a Fat Head! Presumably from reading how he tangled with Niki Lauda and ignored team orders at Williams to gift team-mate Alan Jones a victory.



Since what did Bloody ‘Ol Churchill say about History being Kind to the victors? Whom after all get to write the History…


And I’m not gonna try giving a Blow-by-blow recap of his Formula 1 career, albeit he drove for three of the sport’s most luminous 1970/1980’s teams, i.e.; Ferrari, Lotus and Williams, along with beginning his F1 career driving for some bloke known as Uncle Bernaughty here on No fenders, aka Bernie Ecclestone’s Brabham outfit.


Reutemann claimed his first four Grands Prix victories driving Gordon Murray’s brilliant Brabham BT44 machinery, which I’ve always considered one of the best looking F1 chassis in it’s sparkling white Martini livery.


Then he moved to la Scuderia in 1976 originally as Niki “The Rat” Lauda’s replacement, as the Austrian struggled for his life after his near death experience at the “Green Hella,” nee Nordschleife!


As things got off to less than a rosy start when Niki miraculously returned quickly to the cockpit at Monza, where Ferrari was obliged to run three cars for it’s two regular season drivers Lauda and Clay Regazzoni, plus Reutemann who’d jump ship from Brabham and it’s unwieldy Alfa Romeo V-12 lumps in ’76 to Deputize for the injured Lauda.


And you’d have to say he had a pretty turbulent time at Ferrari, albeit he finished third overall in ’78 with four victories before an ill-timed move to Lotus the following year as Ronnie Peterson’s replacement.


Sir Frank then convinced Carlos to move to Team Willy’ between 1980-82 in what was another acrimonious campaign vs. World Champion team-mate Alan Jones, who vowed not to help Reutemann’s title defense at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 1981, where the Argentine ironically lost the title by one point to Brabham’s Nelson Piquet.


Reutemann abruptly quit Formula 1 after just two races in 1982, partially due to the Falklands War and being an “Outcast” in a staunchly British F1 team!


As Carlos capped his Formula 1 career with 12 Grands Prix victories and 6 Poles in 146 races, ironically the very same number of wins to his tally as somebody named SuperMario’, aka Mario Andretti. Not to mention his Bosom Buddy Jones, while Reutemann’s the last Argentine to win a Grand Prix.


Yet I was unaware that Reutemann dabbled in the World Rally Championship, (WRC) making two starts, first for FIAT in 1980 and then again in ’85 for Peugeot. And impressively finished third overall in his home rally of Argentina for both manufacturers. He was the only Formula 1 driver to score points in both Formula 1 and the WRC until Kimi Raikkonen finished 8th in the 2010  Jordan Rally.


I also didn’t know that Carlos contested the 24 Heurs du Mans once for Scuderia Ferrari with Tim Scheken as Co-driver.


After his racing career, Reutemann went into politics, first becoming the Governor of his native Santa Fe and then later as a Senator.  


 But the part that most interests me about Reutemann I suppose is a Wee bitamyte’ maudlin, but I’m intrigued over how the Argentine becomes the fourth Scuderia Ferrari driver to die from la Scuderia’s 1970’s Flat 12 renaissance years. Joining Lauda, Clay regazzoni and Gilles Villeneuve. Along with Gilles Arch Nemesis Didier Pironi, the latter two leading another Ferrari resurgence in the early 1980’s Turbo era. Whilst arguably the greatest Ferrari F1 driver known here as Der Terminator’, aka Michael Schumacher’s still Asleep At the Wheel, wherever he is… 

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Unfourth Fourth: Mid Ohio Meanderings

Cause like that ‘Ol Commercial saying goes: “Sometimes You Feel like A Nut, Sometimes You Don’t!”


Although this year’s IndyCar Series season has felt like a virtual Rollercoaster to Mwah, I’ve look forward to each ‘N every race, especially with the Depth of Different winners along with enjoying Team Penske’s struggles. Hence, somehow I thought I’d never say this, but! I’m actually looking forward to a month Off of IndyCar’s, Zoinks! Especially since it Dovetails nicely with All of my Company arriving shortly…


As I’ll surmise these feelings are largely due to it being Summertime and once again having to Bug Out of my Humble Bungalow By the Sea in order to Not go FUCKING DEAF during Florence’s El Stupidio BOOM BOOM Stupid Fourth ‘O July Fireworks Display! Being just blocks away from where they’ll be Exploding, Sheisa!


Along with getting increasingly Peeved with NBC’s Willy Nilly treatment of IndyCar TV Coverage this year, which surely is a sign of things coming, El Correctomundo? Now that Thar Biggest Race of the year’s Done ‘N Dusted, and it somewhat feels like the same Blasé treatment ABC gave to the series during it’s latter years excluding Mother Speedway.


As I try “Supporting” NBC/NBCSN buy “Watching,” Err listening to their Gory TV Broadcasts, but lately, especially now that they’ve gotten their “Magnificent” Indy 500 TV Ratings, Tuh Duh! Uhm, like what would you expect after lifting the Indiana TV Blackout? But I digress…


First Thar was waiting All day until Nine Friggin’ PM Pacific to listen to the Junior Varsity team’s Call of Road America Qualifying and then another extremely Disjointed Mid Ohio Qualie’ Broadcast.


And even though Leigh Diffey was back in the Booth with the Biggest Brain On Campus Townsend Bell, it’s just Not the same without ‘Ol “Sugar Ray Tracy, nee PT’, The Thrill from The West Hill or Mr. Chrome Horn,” , aka Paul Tracy commenting. And thus I elected once again to listen to the race on WFNI 1075 The Fan via Zed Internet instead.


The Tape delayed Mid Ohio IndyCar Qualifying started 4mins late by my unofficial Talking Keychain clock. And Seriously? Six

Freakin’ Commercial Breaks during the 1hr programme, WTF? Eating up nearly one third of the Broadcast, as you’re nothing but Greedy Bastardoes Comcast!


As they couldn’t even show the paltry 10mins first two Qualifying groups without cutting to commercials in the middle of each 10min session: Start-Stop-Start-Stop, Rinse, lather, Repeat, G-DAMN YOU NBC Sports!


Thus we’d endured four commercial breaks in the first 30mins of the Tape Delayed Broadcast! Not to mention Qualie’ being run directly at the same Gory time as Tony Stewart’s SRX race at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis was being shown on a rival Television Network, Oh Never Mind!


Ok, if you’re still reading this, you get the picture, Righto? Thus it was better having seven IndyCar Radio Network members calling the action at Mid Ohio vs. NBC’s paltry four, especially since Radio has to actually Describe the Action vs. just Arse-suming the TV Viewer can See what’s happening, which if your Blind, but I digress further…


As the IndyCar Drivers decided to make some Fireworks of their own on the race’s first two abortive starts! Bringing out two Full Yellow Cautions for six laps ultimately knocking three competitors out of the race. The first coming when The Mayor ‘O Hinchtown said Pardon Me Playing Thru to Andretti team-Mate Ryan Hunter-Reay, The Dude! With Arrow McLaren SP “Punching Bag” Felix rosenqvist having nowhere to go and BAM!


Actually Raymond Hando of For The Love of Indy sez’ that Romain Grosjean “Punted” the Swede! As both Hunter-Reay and Rosenqvist suffered broken Tow links and circulated at the end of the field for the remainder of the race after their respective Pit Crews made repairs.


Then following the race’s second start, DJ WillyP’ called Smoke On, or more likely lighted a Smoke Bomb of his own when going Mano e Mano with Scotty “Thee Iceman 2.0” Dixon, who reportedly clipped the Aussie’s front wheel, seeing Will Power do his bestest “Ol Hollywood’ (Danny Sullivan) impersonation with a 360-degrees Ontrack pirouette. Yet Power definitely didn’t “Spin ‘N Win,” as his Smoke Bomb caused a Hapless Ed Jones to not be able to see the stricken Team Penske car and B-A-M! As Power would ultimately be classified 26th and Dead last at Mid Ohio.


And it’s funny how I cannot remember the last time I “Watched,” Err listened to a Mid Ohio IndyCar race, since I know for some reason I missed the  2019 event, and I can’t remember last year’s Double Header, although I know Will Power won Race-1 and Colton Big Shot! Herta Race-2, but presumably I suffered from Covid 19 Race Overload-itus, Eh?


Although Josef Newgarden effectively led Wire-to-Wire from Pole, it was a pretty entertaining race with All of the competition for positions from second place backwards, excluding the Dixon Freight train as the Kiwi’ seemed to be holding up much of the field All race long! As I chanted to No Avail for Alexander Rossi to get past Dixon, which never happened.


But as chronicled elsewhere on Ye Blogosphere, Romain Grosjean, Pato O’Ward, Santino Ferrucci and Takuma Sato All had impressive days by moving up multiple positions to finish P7-10 respectively.


And I was chanting at race’s end for Marcus Ericsson to get past Newgarden for another improvable win, which didn’t happen but the Swede finished just a scant 0.8-seconds adrift in second place while current Points leader Alex Palou came home third, one position ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Team leader Dixon with Rossi finishing fifth for his season’s first Top 5 finish.


Also much has been made out of the fact of it being the 50th Anniversary of El Capitano’s (Roger Penske) then Penske Racing winning it’s first IndyCar race with Mark Donohue at the Helm at Pocono on July 3, 1971. Whilst I also heard somebody mention it was Penske’s 220th Win! As in 220 Freakin’ IndyCar victories, Aye Karumba!


And the Fireworks kept ah-comin’ since everybody in the Media was in a tizzy over Ye Cheepster’s (Chip Ganassi) decision to sell his two car CGR NASCAR team to Justin Marks and Co-Owner Armando Christian Herez, who’s better known as the Rapper Pitbull, which will become Trackhouse Racing after season’s end.


As I’m 86% certain that Marks Co-Drove with SuperMario’, aka Mario Farnbacher for Mike, Uhm Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 86 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar GT Daytona Class Championship winning Acura NSX GT3 Evo effort.


Which Justin indeed did  in 2019, when closing out his Sports Car career that season as an Endurance Specialist in what’s now known as the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds of Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta.