Monday, November 8, 2021

Slip Slidin’ Away, Time Marches On

As Motor Racing Never Sleeps…


Playing Ketsup over what happened in Der Vurld de Motorsporten Ja-Ja whilst I was away from the All consuming Keyboard, I’ll just try giving a brief rundown of some of the key disciplines I follow. Although the one that seems most important is the proposed Andretti Sauber Gate implosion, which I’ll save for a further No Fenders post.


IndyCar apparently saw a flurry ‘O Testing activity, beginning at Ye Barber’s in Alabama, where a multi-car test session was held. Led by Rookie David Malukas in Dale Coyne’s #18, where he’s expected to occupy the cockpit for the upcoming IndyCar season. Fellow Indy Lights competitors Kyle Kirkwood and Devlin DeFrancesco tested aboard the Andretti Autosport’s No.s 26 and 29 entries respectively. The Dude! Aka Ryan Hunter-Reay tested favourably for Ed Carpenter Racing and Formula 1 refugee Nico Hulkenberg made his IndyCar debut with Arrow McLaren SP.


Although the 34yr old Hulkenberg has since Tweeted He’ll Not be pursuing an IndyCar career after all, making me think He’s angling for a European Factory Hypercar drive instead?


While Malukas, Kirkwood and Linus Lundqvist, the Top-3 Indy Lights finishers got their IndyCar tests aboard Team Penske and Andretti Autosport’s rides per 2021 Indy Lights incentives at Mother Speedway on November 1st, albeit only Malukas who finished as the Series Runner-up seems to have “locked-up” a Fulltime IndyCar seat for 2022…


Christian Lundgaard was indeed confirmed as the third and final driver at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and will pilot the #30 entry beginning next year as Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward predicted prior to the Formula 1 race at Austin.


As according to Marshall Pruett in the newly “relaunched” Racer Mailbag, Lundgaard was the Unicorn All IndyCar Teams chase, by not only being Fast, but also reputedly bringing a Hefty $3.3-5m as in Millions Dowery from Renault/alpine! With Marshall claiming that Santino Ferrucci could only muster up a Cool $2m at one time, whilst this year’s Indy Lights Champion Kyle Kirkwood only has his $1.3m Indy Lights prize money.


Formula 1 competed at the Circuit Of The Americas in Austin, which I totally missed the entire weeks activities since I was on Holiday and Nowhere near a television. (by choice) Although I was happy learning that Max Verstappen not only won another True Pole position, Not one of those “Showtime” Show Me the Money  Sprint Qualie’ Jokers! But also the race to go 12 points ahead of Golden Child, aka Sir Lewis, nee Lewis Hamilton! As I’m rootin’ for Verstappen to stop Hamilton’s F1 Championship reign.


Yeah, know that F1 just raced at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, which I thoroughly enjoyed since I was able to “Watch,” Err listen to All of Saturday & Sunday’s action live at very reasonable hours, even with the Fall time change Ariva-Ariva-Ariva…


Oh yeah, McLaren’s DannyRic’, nee Daniel Ricciardo got to drive his Hero’s Dale Earnhardt Sr’s 1984 Monte Carlo Wrangler livery Stock Car at COTA, having won his “Bet” with team owner Zackery Brown, who promised the Aussie’ a drive in his car when he scored his first F1 Podium this year, which Ricciardo did in stellar fashion when winning the Italian Grand Prix!


In Sports Cars news, another poorly kept secret was confirmed when Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Sebastien Bourdais, Earl Vamber and Alex Lynn have been signed to fill out it’s two car IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship Cadillac DPi VR Prototypes programme next year.


As this will serve as CGR’s preparations for 2023, when Cheep’ runs one Caddy apiece in IMSA and the FIA World Endurance Championship with (LMDH) Le Mans Daytona Hybrids, Err Hypercar variants alongside Cadillac’s Seester Action Express Racing entrant.


No News on who’ll become Renger Van der Zande’s team-mate next year, when Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen joins the Peugeot 9X8 WEC Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) project as one of it’s Werks’ Drivers. While SeaBass’ still waits to see if Larry Foyt will call him back to drive the No. 14 next year, albeitBourdais would have five IMSA races conflicting with Indy Cars schedule. And I’m hoping now that Kirkwood will get the call instead.


And speaking of AXR, (Action Express Racing) the team announced the signing of Tristan Nunez as Felipe Nasr’s replacement next year. As Nunez, a Mazda Factory Prototypes Driver has been racing in IMSA’s LMP2 Prototypes category this year due to Mazda cutting back to a single DPi entry before leaving the Daytona Prototypes category at the end of this year.


Lastly, thanks solely to For The Love of Indy’s Raymond Hando’s comments about MotoGP having two Dead Rubbers’, this alerted me to the fact that Fabio Quartararo clinched his maiden MotoGP World championship at the Missano round in Italy, giving Yamaha it’s first title since Jorge Lorenzo in 2015, Aye Karumba!