Friday, June 24, 2022

HYDROS: 2022 Power Houses. Which of these Two Teams will Prevail?

As it’s Hard to Bet against Jimmy Shane. Although J. Michael Kelly will surely Have something to Say about that!

 

Whilst perhaps Dave Villwock in the U-40 Beacon Plumbing will attempt throwing a Spanner into these two Power House teams contention for another Brace of Championship titles. Nonetheless, on “Paper,” it appears the 2022 season will be a contest between the Miss Madison Racing and Strong Racing teams each fielding two Full season Hydroplanes apiece…

 

As previously noted, there’s four APBA Gold Cup winners in this year’s field. The 112th running of the Nation’s Oldest sporting trophy, first being held in New York in 1904.

 

Whilst making it somewhat Cornfuzing. Apparently Jimmy Shane and the Miss Home Street keep the #1 designation for winning last year’s Teams Championship, while J. Michael Kelly won the Drivers title. Although in other series, it’s the Driver who gets to choose running the No. 1 Plate or not…

 

Miss Madison Racing

U-1 Miss Home Street, Jimmy Shane

U-91 Miss goodman Real Estate, Jeff Bernard

 

Although I tend to recall that Jimmy Shane first drove to prominence for Graham Trucking, not only winning His first H1 Unlimited races along with that year’s National High Points Championship Wayback’ in 2013. The Lion’s Share of His Unlimiteds success has come as the driver of the Oh Boy Oberto and Miss Home Street Bank for Miss Madison Racing when replacing the retiring Steve David in 2014.

 

As Shane won the first of His five APBA Gold Cups driving for the City of Madison, Indiana in 2014 and then won again the following year. Jimmy notched his third Gold Cup trophy in 2017, and then His latest two triumphs were 2019 and 2021. As Shane’s currently tied for fourth most Gold cup wins with the legendous’ Gar Wood at five apiece.

 

Although Jimmy’s got His work cut out for Him, since the legendary Bill Muncey has eight Gold cups to His credit. While the aforementioned Dave Villwock has 10, and Chip Hanauer has the most Gold cup victories with 11.

 

Shane, who’s driving Miss Madison’s newest 2018 Hull has won 20 races to date, along with six National High Points Drivers titles to His credit, including reeling off five consecutive Championships between 2013-2017 before Andrew Tate stopped His Streak. With Jimmy’s latest Driving title coming in 2019.

 

Still totally cornfuzed over why Jeff Bernard and Jimmy Shane split Seat-time in the U-1 Goodman real Estate/Home Street last year at Guntersville, especially since this cost Shane another Drivers title!

 

And it’s Annoying how Difficult it’s to find any meaningful information upon Jeff Bernard or Miss Madison’s second Hull. As from what little I could uncover, Bernard will now be piloting the U-91 for a Full season after campaigning the Miss Madison’s old 2007 Hydroplane in 2019. As Bernard ran the three West coast races, i.e.; Tri cities, Seattle and San Diego behind the tiller of the U-1918 Oh Boy Oberto. As Miss Madison and Oh boy Oberto have had a long, successful partnership.

 

As I’ll confess I’ve never Heard of Goodman Real Estate until beginning this year’s Hydros’ preview, as it’ll be interesting to see if Bernard can give Shane or J. Michael Kelly a run for their “Money” for this year’s Drivers title, Eh?

 

Whilst Race Control’s just given me a One lap Penalty for Jumping the Gun upon Jeff Bernard being a Gold cup winner. Since although Bernard won both of His first Day’s (Saturday) Heats 1B and 2B to lead the standings by 800 points.

 

Yet due to Mother Nature Not cooperating and with Gusty winds of 20-30mph against the current All Day Sunday, causing Whitecaps on Detroit’s river., where apparently Turn 1 was near Belle Isle. Officials were forced to Declare a No contest race outcome for the initial 100th running of the Gold cup race in 2008. This being Due to the fact that Heats 3A-3B and the Final weren’t run, which is necessary to be ruled as an Official Gold cup event.

 

Thus Bernard’s name appears on the Gold cup’s record Book for ’08 only in “Name” for having won the most points during Saturday’s two Heats, for which I Didn’t notice until “reading” the Fine print! But who knows, perhaps Bernard can finally claim His maiden Gold Cup victory this year on Guntersville Lake…

 

Strong Racing

U-8 Miss Tri Cities, J. Michael Kelly

U-9 Lynx Healthcare, Cory Peabody

 

Have already scribbled on No Fenders how Vanessa and Darrell Strong acquired the assets of two former H1 Unlimited Juggernaughts, combining the Elstrom and Jones Racing operations to form the new Powerhouse team last year. As  J. Michael Kelly drove the U-8 to his first National High Points Championship Drivers Crown last season with Bookend wins, i.e.; Guntersville and San diego. As Y’all have to wonder if this will propel Kelly onto a roll? As Kelly will be aiming to claim his second Gold cup victory after notching His first win in 2016.

 

Meanwhile cory Peabody, who I tend to recall drove briefly for bucket List Racing and it’s U-440 entry, wisely moved to this new team and promptly won His maiden H1 Unlimited race last season at Tri Cities. As Peabody’s only apparent potential liability is that He’s driving the Fleet’s Oldest Hull. But it’s a stout Hydroplane that won the 2018 Championship and APBA Gold cup, so who knows…

 

As Strong Racing definitely looks poised to give Miss Madison a run for it’s “Money” once again this season!             

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

HYDROS: Time to Spool Up for the 2022 H1 Unlimited season

As the series known as The Fastest show on H-2-O starts Churning up the water with Thar roostertails again…

 

Reportedly there’s seven H1 Unlimited Hydroplanes slated to compete in this weekend’s 2022 Season Opener at Lake Guntersville, which also will Host this year’s APBA Gold Cup event on June 26th.

 

Also, fir the first time since 2019, Seattle’s Seafair returns to the schedule, complete with it’s revered U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels Acrobatic performance over Lake Washington and the I-90 Floating Bridge.

 

As H1 Unlimited, the sanctioning body for these Uber astonishing turbine Hydroplanes was initially Hopeful that at least one more of the three potential season participants would compete at the Guntersville Hydrofest season Kickoff event. But has now seemed to confirm that only seven Hydros will race in alabama.

 

The Guntersville Hydrofest will also see a fully restored vintage piston powered Allison V-12 Hydroplane run Demonstration laps in Honour of an Unlimited Speed record set 60 years ago on Guntersville Lake.

 

http://www.h1unlimited.com/2022/01/2022-guntersville-lake-hydrofest-celebrating-world-speed-record/

 

By my reckoning, Thars four APBA Gold Cup winners in this year’s field: Jeff Bernard, J. Michael Kelly, Jimmy Shane and Dave villwock. (In Alphabetical order)

 

As here’s a Quick look at some of this year’s Unlimited Hydroplanes Armada. Although for them moment, you’d have to say these are the Pretendahs’, albeit it Pains me to include the U-12 here!

 

Go3 Racing

U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware, Jimmy King

 

This is the only remaining Piston powered Hull in the Unlimited fleet. As the U-3 sports a twin turbocharged V-12 Allison, presumably one turbo per bank of six cylinders behind the cockpit vs. the traditional front engine piston layout of the 1960’s. As driver Jimmy King at Age 61 is the second Oldest Skipper in the fleet and has been driving this boat forever. Although I don’t think it’s run since 2019? And it’ll be interesting to See’ if the ‘Ol Gal’s got anything left in Her tank vs. the turbines.

 

Not sure why, but as I began scribblin’ this, my ‘Ol Noggin’ kept telling me it was 40 years ago when the Pay ‘N Pak turbine boat broke upon the scene….

 

As indeed, Jon Walters became the very first ever driver to win an Unlimited Hydroplane race propelled by a turbine engine on June 14, 1982 on Seneca Lake, New York’s thunder in The Park regatta in the Pay ‘n Pak 2, which ultimately led to the Demise of the Piston Boats. Even though Walters and the Jim Lucero built turbine Sled got off to a rocky start two years prior when suffering a wicked Barrel roll Blow Over in Tri Cities!

 

https://thunderboats.ning.com/page/john-walters-question

 

 Unlimited Racing Group

U-11 JnD’s Hydraulics, Jamie Milsen

 

The U-11 with Jamie Milsen at it’s controls has been plying the waters for many seasons now. And although it’s a fast Boat at times, it perpetually seems plagued by mechanical Gremlins and is typically a Mid-pack boat at Best.

 

Graham Trucking

U-12 Graham Trucking, Andrew Tate

 

Have to say I’m very Disappointed and surprised to Not See this once perennial winning Hydroplane not on this year’s APBA Gold cup entry list. As you’d have liked to Arse-sume that Andrew Tate and the Graham Trucking Boat would be one of this year’s title contenders, but Skipping your season’s opening race, and it’s Super Bowl event Doesn’t instill confidence in Mwah that Tate can recover points-wise by His team’s decision to miss the season’s most important race!

 

Know this Boat’s Fast, since thought I read that J. Michael Kelly won the final three 2019 races aboard it. And Tate’s a proven winner, having won the 2018 National High Points Championship and APBA Gold Cup that season aboard the U-9, which now is the Lynx Healthcare entry driven by Cory Peabody.

 

As Tate’s career seems Star-crossed, since after 2018, the U-9 failed to show up for the season opener, and now History seems to be repeating itself…

 

Bucket List Racing

U-40 Beacon Plumbing, Dave Villwock

 

The Sport’s All-time winningest H1 Unlimiteds Driver Dave Villwock returned to competition last year after a five year layoff. And at Age 68, is the elder Statesmen of the Unlimited Hydroplanes Armada.

 

Villwock currently has 67 career victories along with 10 National Championships and 10 Gold Cup victories, one behind Chip Hanauer.

 

As I believe that Villwock’s on the second year of His two year contract with Beacon Plumbing? And this Boat could definitely be a Spoiler this season.

 

Other Possibilities

U-7 Miss Detroit, Bert Henderson

U-21 Lakeridge Paving, Brian Perkins/Gunnar O’Farrell

U-440 SnuskitushEnterprises, Kelly Stocklin

 

No idea if the U-7 will appear in any races this year, or whether or not the lone Kuhnuck’ pilot Bert Henderson will remain at it’s tiller?

 

In 2019, go Fast Turn Left Racing located in Maple valley, WA, and owned by Greg and Brian O’farrell reportedly raced a brand new Unlimited Hydroplane as the U-99.9 Carstars Miss rock with Dustin Echols at it’s controls beginning at Seafair. As the Mis Rock of Seattle Radio Station KISW 99.9FM is a longtime staple of Warshington’ Unlimited Hydroplanes History.

 

Thus I’m making the leap and Arse-suming that this year’s U-21 with veteran Skipper Brian Perkins at it’s controls is the same Hull? Since it’s also noted that gunnar O’Farrell may share driving duties with Perkins. As I’m guessing we won’t see this Hydro’ until the Tri Cities Seattle races…

 

Sharon and Kelly Stocklin are the Owners of Bucket List Racing situated in Snohomish, WA, now in their second season of campaigning two Unlimited Hydroplanes. As presumably the U-440 is the team’s older Hull. As you’d have to Arse-sume that Dave Villwock has Thar Best Boat at His disposal. And I’ve got No idea when we’ll see the U-440 in action this season?

 

And Thar’ seems to be more Unlimited Hulls floating about unknown to Mwah; like where did Graham Trucking’s second Hull go? And did the U-99.9 become the latest U-21? And if so, where did their Old Hull go? And “So it goes…”

 

Not to mention I’m disappointed that Dustin Echols isn’t back behind the wheel of one of these Big Boats. Although in what’s a reoccurring theme upon le Intrawoods’, nee Internet. I cannot find anything current about this Driver. Not to mention the overall lack of information pertaining to the Drivers and Hydroplane teams in general!

 

 

Whilst it would be nice to see either the U-99.9 Miss Rock return for Seafair, or at lewst somebody carrying the Oh Boy Oberto livery on it’s  Sponsons in Seattle. Hey, I can Dream, Righto? 

Monday, June 20, 2022

HYDROS: Series Stays Afloat During 2021 Season

But the Season’s races sure got Washed Down with No Seafair in Seattle for the Second Year in-a-row…

 

Ok, I’ll admit that I’ve somehow completely forgotten about the Unlimited Hydroplanes the past two Summers, since they didn’t Spin Up any of Thar Lycoming T-55 Turbines during the Cancelled 2020 H1 Unlimited season due to COVID-19.

 

And with this sudden realization of completely forgetting about the Fastest Boats On Water, I just so happened to Drop in for the first time in forever on the Official H1 Unlimited website on the Friday of last year’s Tri Cities Hydroplane race (July 25th) and was very surprised by how much turnover had occurred in the fleet. Or the fact that this was the season’s penultimate round.

 

But first I’ll “Jump the Shark” to note what presumably still known as the APBA National High Points Championship points standings were, entering the season finale at San Diego’s Mission Bay, in what effectively seemed like a proverbial “rubber Match.”

 

J. Michael Kelly led Jimmy Shane by 210 points by my Rith-Muh-tickin’; 4,035 to 3,825 with my memory saying 400 points were awarded for a Heat win. Which I looked up and indeed 1st thru 7th place awards points in the following: 400-300-225-169-127-95-71.

 

While Thars also a sliding scale points payout for Qualifying with a maximum of 100 points to a minimum of 30 for the slowest Hydros’. While those not qualifying above the mandatory minimum of 130mph are awarded 0. Preliminary Heats are three laps each and the final is five laps winner takes All…

 

2021 Season Reset

Shakeup was the theme of the elongated 2020 Offseason, with Mike & Shelly Jones of longtime Jones Racing, owners of my favourite Hull and Driver, the U-9 Les Schwab and Andrew Tate having sold their equipment to previous sponsor Darrell Strong, who along with his wife Vanessa effectively became the new “Powerhouse” team.

 

As Strong Racing, which plans to ultimately become based in Eastern Washington, also acquired the assets of the Ellstrom Racing/Elam Racing operation, including it’s U-3 Hull, Engines, Gearboxes, etc. Being one of the newer Boats which presumably became the U-8 Miss Tri cities with J. Michael Kelly behind the wheel. While the U-9, which I’d read awhile ago was the oldest Hull in the series was piloted by Cory Peabody in the renamed Pinnacle Peak Consultants Hydroplane.

 

The other major change was the return of the Sport’s winningest Unlimited Hydroplane Driver Dave Villwock, who at age 67 made his return to the cockpit of the U-40 Beacon Plumbing after a five year layoff, as part of Bucket List Racing’s two Hull entry.

 

Graham Trucking which previously ran two boats has slimmed down to a single entry with Andrew Tate taking over J. Michael Kelly’s U-12 vacated seat. While I’m still Cornfuzed why proverbial Championship winner Jimmy Shane was reportedly splitting Seat time with Jeff Bernard in the U-1 Miss Home Street.

 

2021 Season Recap

The season began with what’s now it’s traditional opening round on Lake Guntersville in Georgia, where Strong Racing impressed upon it’s Debut, with lead driver J. Michael Kelly winning, teammate Cory Peabody second and Dave Villwock third.

 

Strangely, and I Don’t understand why? The Defending National High Points Team and Drivers Champion Jimmy Shane shared His U-1 Miss Home Street ride with Jeff Bernard. As Bernard drove Heats 1B, 3B and the Final, with Shane just running Heat 2A. As I cannot ever remember such a scenario in the Big Boats…

 

Yet Jimmy Shane claimed his fifth Gold Cup victory in the second round at Madison, Indiana. Then Cory Peabody captured his Debutante H1 Unlimited victory at the Tri Cities race in late July, before the Unlimiteds went on Hiatus until September.  

 

2021 Bayfair Season Finale

The 2021 H1 Unlimited Drivers Championship came down to the wire at San Diego’s Mission Bay last September 19th, between J. Michael Kelly and the Defending Champion Jimmy Shane in a pathetic five Boat field…

 

As Shane Beat Kelly not only in Qualifying, but also in both of Saturday’s preliminary Heats, carving Kelly’s High Points Standings lead to a razor slim 80 points!

 

As Sunday’s final Winner take All Heat was further whittled down to a four Boat field, since the U-11 JnD’s Hydraulics Hydroplane driven by Jamie Milsen had Done Blown Up it’s Lycoming Turbine engine during Saturday’s preliminary Heat, for which the Crew worked late night and early morning to No Avail! AS they engine just wouldn’t keep running.

 

Thus it was Shane in the U-1 Goodman Real Estate/Home Street, the Strong Racing Duo of it’s U-8 & U-9 with Kelly and Peabody respectively, and Villwock’s U-40. And although Shane led wire-to-wire, with Villwock second and Kelly running third. It was quickly deemed that both Shane and Peabody had Jumped the Start and were both assessed One lap Penalties.

 

Then following what appeared to be Villwock’s first W’ since returning to the cockpit. Subsequent review of the Boats “Data Boex’s” (recorder) determined that Villwock had been running too Slow during the five minute Pre-race “Milling” period, where boats need to maintain a minimum 80mph speed. Automatically Disqualifying Him.

 

Hence, J. Michael Kelly was the winner with Shane second and Peabody third, giving Kelly the National High Points Drivers Championship Crown to Him and Strong Racing in their Debut season, with the team also winning three of the season’s four races.

 

As interestingly, Jimmy Shane could have very easily once again been the National High Points Drivers Champion if He Hadn’t missed those three rounds during the Season Opener. Especially since I believe Kelly only won the title by 180 points, and I know that Jeff Bernard at least won Heat 1B at Lake Guntersville… 

Friday, June 17, 2022

LE MANS: No. 7 Toyota Finally Wins, Heartbreak in LMP2 Class

Since like many a racetrack, Futility is a Cruel Mistress at Circuit de la Sarthe!

 

Author’s Note

Once again, your Humble No Fenders Scribe is running way way Behind! Definitely more than “One Lap Down” over Le Mans Mega 8.467 mile layout! As Here’s last year’s report which was supposed to be posted prior to this year’s race…

Tomaso

 

E89 24 Heurs du Mans

Last year’s 89th running of the 24 Heurs du Mans just didn’t feel right to Mwah, I suppose since it was in August, not to mention there being an IndyCar race on later that evening. As I’ll admit I was more intrigued over Romain Grosjean’s Oval track debut thenwhether Toyota would win again, Yawn!

 

Thus I began my 24 Hours of Le Mans casually by switching on Thy Telie’ during a leisurely breakfast by tuning into Motor Trend TV.

 

Alas, having missed Thar introductions, I was left ponderin’ who this “B Team” of Eurosport TV Pundits were? And cannot find their Identities on the All Knowing Intrawoods’, nee Internet. So I’ll just go with Thar first names instead. Firs Thar was some ‘Ol Codger named Chris Something-ruther, may be Parsons? Who proclaimed he’d been Thar in 1965. Y’all know, the last time that Ferrari won outright, Crikeys!

 

Hmm, No idea if this Chris, Charles or Chuck Dude was in any way related to Alan? Y’all know of the Alan Parsons Project, Righto, Hya!

 

As Chuck’, Err Chris Prattled on ‘bout how strange it was seeing Risi Competizione running a “rosso” LMP2 Oreca after their years of running Ferrari GT’s and speculating about may be running a Ferrari (Customer) Hypercar in the future? And then banged on ‘bout how la Scuderia still has “The Iceman’s” phone number, provided Kimi’s (Raikkonen) not busy having an Ice Cream, as that’s my own Joke Thar, Hya!

 

Also said there’s some Dude named Rossi who’s retiring and says he’s always wanted to race at a place called Le Mans. To which lead Announcer Jake “The shark” said if I remember right, “The Doctor,” nee Valentino Rossi was only some seven tenths Off of Michael Schumacher’s times when he tested a Ferrari back in 2006-07?

 

Whilst the Other booth Boy Charlie “Brown” said to Chris, it’s when, not if McLaren will have it’s own Hypercar, since Zak Brown’s a major Shareholder in United Autosport’s who are one of the top LMP2 teams…

 

But Zackery’s Not gonna be Happy! As inexplicably the #32 took out it’s Seester’ #23 United Autosport entry when a passing Shower occurred! With two separate incidents occurring during the sixth hour, as Sophia florsch in the No. 1 Richard Mille Racing entry went Off-track, was Hit by the #26 G Drive who wasn’t paying Attenzione, and then when trying to reverse out of the tyres was Clouted by the #74 who totally missed the waving Yellow Flags!

 

MAGS’, aka Jan Magnussen Quipped that it was a bottle of red wine that put into motion this year’s running with his son Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen, since Jan is racing the ELMS season for High Class Racing and they had a second LMP2 car available. And with Kevin becoming a Werds’ Peugeot Sports Car Driver next year, there probably wouldn’t be another opportunity for awhile.

 

The team elected to replace the No. 49’s Gibson V-8 lump during Thursday’s practice sessions, since even with the two High Class Racing teams running identical set-ups, Kevin claimed they were 6kph down to their Seester’ car on the Straightaways…

 

Hour 3 Me Thinks, ANT’, aka Anthony Davidson in the LMP2 Pole winner #38 JOTA entry, put on Pole by Antonio Felix da Costa,  spun into the “Kitty litter!”

Dropping way down the order, having to wait to be towed out of the gravel trap. As Davidson later said he was Gutted, but the incident had occurred during one of the many rain storms and he thought he’d do it All over again…

 

One of the Pundits Mentioned that Renger Van der Zande was being harried by “Mean Jean” Alesi, who I hadn’t noticed on the Entry list. Whale’ at least it sounded like they said Alesi to Mwah, albeit Don’t think he was racing there.

 

Since None of Us are perfect, especially Myself! Although I noticed that John Hindhaugh still continuously called Olivier Pla Oliver Clark, as I Don’t know what his fascination with Ollie clark is, other than he’s a British racing driver…

 

Also talked about Thee Krakow Kid’, aka Robert Kubica who was making his Le Mans debut for WRT, aboard it’s #41 entry. As the former Polish Formula 1 Driver was hoping to finally finish a 24 Hour event, having failed twice so far, including this year’s Rolex 24 with High Class Racing.

 

Guess I left just before Hour 10? Off to a fairly Chaotic  IndyCar race at Gateway! Then came back to Le Mans after Hour 13. With Racer.com’s Headline noting Yifea Overtakes WRT teammate for LMP2 lead.

 

And that’s as far as my Notes Jotted down during the race went, with the exception of the Magnussen’s LMP2 entry, which I’d Gleamed prior to the race. Whilst it’s a Good thingy’ Father and Son Had that experience, since little did they know then that Kevin would be recalled to the Haas F1 Team just prior to the 2022 Formula 1 season commencing after Rooskie’ Nikita Mazepin was Sacked after Mother Russia’s Invasion, Err Special Military Operation against Ukraine commenced…

 

And It’s Still as clear as Mud on a Rainy Day! But the No. 21 DragonSpeed team won the newly created LMP2 Pro Am category, which must include one Bronze rated Driver and get’s to stand atop the podium a la it’s LMP2 Class winners. So theoretically Juan Pablo Montoya has now become the second driver to win the mythical Triple Crown, Righto? Having previously won the Monaco Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500. Although I’m guessing he still needs to win Le Mans outright…

 

And from this meandering No Fenders story’s title, Y’all know that Toyota’s All Conquering GR010 Hypercar was victorious again. Although the No. 7 finally Cracked it’s Nut, Err Broke it’s Duck! With one of my favourite Sports Car Drivers K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi winning! Along with former IndyCar Ace Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez.

 

But the Drama was in the lower tier LMP2 category, where it appeared that the No. 41 WRT entry was set to lead a Historic 1-2 victory sweep for the Belgian team, with it’s Seesster’ #31 tagging behind. Yet on the final lap of the race, Yifea Ye ground to a Halt at the Dunlop Curve and couldn’t fire the Oreca’s engine that He was sharing with Louis Delatraz and the aforementioned Robert Kubica. Meaning the Polish Driver would go 0-for-3 in 24 Hour races, Aye Karumba!

 

Therefore it was the #31 with Robin Frijns at it’s Keyboard holding off a hard charging Tom “The bomb” Blomquist in the No. 28 JOTA entry by a scant 0.07 seconds at the stripe! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

LE MANS: 2021 Postscript, AF Corse Completes Double in Saloons’ Categories

As it was just plain Weird running at Le Mans in August! Although Not as weird as in September with No Fans!

 

Although last year’s race was run less than a year ago, it now feels like forever, and like this year’s event, my Attenzione was focused elsewhere…

 

89th 24 Heurs du Mans

Otay, I’ll start with the Tintop’ Boyz’ and Girls, since unfortunately the No. 98 Aston Martin with Marco Gomes at it’s controls was the first of a litany ‘O retirements from last year’s overly adventurous race…

 

As I must admit I called it an early night after having left Circuit de la Sarthe earlier in the evening in order to “Watch,” Err listen to the IndyCar race from Gateway on Nothing But Commercials! (NBC) As  I’m really not a Fan of that overly long Wide World Technology Raceway moniker, but I digress…

 

Thus I tuned into the race for another 45mins via Zed Internets before calling it a night with just over 10 Hours remaining. Whilst the few notes I took during the day’s action mostly centered upon the Prototypes instead. Since I only Jotted the following notes below whilst bouncing between Motor Trend TV and Radio Le Mans coverage.

 

Hour 4 the No. 98 Aston Martin Skitters Off-track at Indianapolis corner Slamming into the Tyre Barrier! Pretty sure it was Game Over then, as first lengthy Safety Car period to repair the Barrier!

 

Somebody mentioned that the Corvette, Arse-sumedly the #63? Was running in 4th and was just starting to show it’s potential whilst chasing the class leading Ferrari, as indeed the #63 led for a considerable time during Hour 5.

 

As Tommy Milner in the No. 64 reported he’d been Hit in the Heiny’ by a Ferrari during one of the two prolonged Warm-up laps when the field was behind the Safety Car whilst trying to Dry the track, Crikeys!

 

As think it was the #52 AF Corse Ferrari? Since the driver of the offending Ferrari Apologized, saying he had Fog on his Windscreen and simply misjudged the distance, which I’d say sounds totally logical since the race’s starting conditions  were Atrocious!

 

Actually it was eventual class winner James Calado in the #51 Ferrari who was the culprit that accidently Punted Tommy Milner’s Corvette…

 

Know that the #72 Pole winning Hub Auto Racing’s Customer Porsche 911 RSR-19 dropped like a stone when the Safety Car finally pulled off down to eighth and last in class, while it soon became a game of Leapfrog between the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo and the No. 63 Corvette C8.R for the class lead, with Corvette making it’s much anticipated Mid Engine C8.r debut at Le Mans.

 

But it’s All a Blur now, especially since we’ve just concluded the 90th Edition of le 24 Heurs du Mans. As the No. 51 AF Corse was victorious with Alesandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Come Ledogar behind the Keyboard.

 

As the #63 Corvette C8.R finished second, with the Box Score saying it was behind by 41 seconds, but the Vette’ never really got that close due to the litany ‘O Slow Zones, Full Course Cautions and inclement weather.

 

Whilst the Seester’ #64 Vette’ was never in contention, with Calado’s “Love tap” the Beginning to it’s End. Suffering from Clutch, Transmission and Diffuser problems. While the No. 92 Porsche 911 finished third.

 

AF Corse, which becomes Scuderia Ferrari’s Factory LMH Hypercar team in 2023 scored a Double in the Saloons ranks, when it’s #83 Ferrari won the Hotly contested GTE Am category with Francois Perrodo, Nicklas Nielsen and Alessio Rovera at it’s controls.

 

Don’t think much of anything was mentioned about the #85 Iron “Dames” Ferrari entry of Sarah boby, Michelle Gatting and Rahel Frey, who finished 36th Overall and 9th in Class, some 39 laps behind the winning No. 7 Toyota GR010 Hypercar.

 

Some two-plus minutes behind and finishing runner-up was the #33 TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage AMR, which suffered a litany of problems. And after having clawed it’s way back to the Pointy end of the field, Ben Keating Had to pit early for a misfire while leading, which caused him to exceed His allowable Drive time. But the Aston fiished second.

 

Third Overall was the No. 80 Iron Links Ferrari 488 GT3, which featured former FIA Formula 2 Championship Runner-up and Ferrari Academy Driver Callam Ilot as one of it’s three Chauffeurs.

 

As perhaps Y’all have heard of Him? As Ilott’s now plying His trade in Indy Cars for Juncos Hollinger Racing, and I’ve taken a total “shine” to the 23yr Old Englishman for His tenacity behind the wheel of the Only single car IndyCar entry on the Grid! 

Monday, June 13, 2022

A Jambalaya of Motor Racing

As Summer solstice’s right round thee Corner…

 

It’s Funny How we Change over the course of our lifetimes, since when I first began following Motor Racing in earnest Wayback’ in 1986, I was simply consumed by All things Open Wheel, initially Formula 1 before being told about the Indy Cars race at Portland International Raceway by a supervisor, who also was a member of the local Porsche Club. Although Formula 1 was Top Dawg’ for Mwah then.

 

As I marveled over how inexplicably I found myself “Watching,” Err listening to Baku’s Friday (Free Practice) FP2 session, being the first Formula 1 I’d consumed in over one month, not having “tune In” since that Farcical Faux Monaco GP poundin’ round Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium’s Parking lots!

 

Although I’m told that Miami had something Monaco doesn’t, that being the bevy ‘O Mermaids Suntanning” themselves upon the Hot Rocks jutting the Ash-fault pavement adorning that Lake Miami which featured No Water, Psyche!

 

Thus I found it weird listening to Kroftie’, aka David Kroft prattle on about potential 2023 F1 Driver moves, Huh? As it Ain’t even Summer yet! Yet the traditional (Fathers Day weekend) running of Le Mans Always makes me think of How we’ve already reached Summer’s Zenith…

 

And although I was paying much Attenzione to Circuit de la Sarthe over the weekend, I found myself musing how Le Mans and Road America were both renown for their Camping! Whilst it was Great Hearing, Err reading that Mrs. Oilpressure had finally  escaped the confines of Her Hospital Bed for the Greener Pastures of Road America this past weekend!

 

https://oilpressure.com/2022/06/11/an-ordeal-not-worth-repeating/

 

As it was entertaining reading how Romain Grosjean had told Kevin Lee He’d rather Go for the Brat versus being a Cheesehead, since He wasn’t a Fan of Wisconsin Cheese. But I was more interested Hearing Romain say that Road America reminded Him of thee Mighty Spa’, aka Spa Francorchamps, which are arguably two of the world’s Best Racetracks!

 

While I know both circuits are also known for the wafting fragrences of many Campfires and Cooking, as Colton Herta’s comments are typical of both venues. As Herta mused in a taped recording during the IndyCarr Radio Network’s race Broadcast how much He enjoyed being able to smell Sausages and Bacon being Cooked on the Back Straight of Road America…

 

But back to the racing, as I have to say I was left feeling quite Deflated, since Alexander Rossi seemed to just Fade after having been Beaten Out of the Pits during the first Pit Stop by eventual race winner Josef Newgarden. As Rossi just seemed never able to recover, and then on the race’s final restart, Marcus Ericsson passed Rossi who was frantically trying to keep pace with Newgarden, seeing Rossi finish a Dejected third.

 

As it was a fairly entertaining race, with All of the multiple race (tyre) strategies, while the five Full course Cautions tended to make the race feel somewhat Disjointed. Which led me coming up with a new nickname for Devlin DeFrancesco, calling Him de CrashFesto’ after His run-in with Will Power, Youch!

 

Although I suppose we should have been expecting some Mayhem after the Indy Lights race was Red Flagged for Christian vogel having launched Himself off the Turn 5 Kerbing and taking out some 80-feet of Catch Fencing, Aye Karumba! Causing the remaining 11 laps of the race to be run following the IndyCar race’s conclusion.

 

And know it’s nothing to write Home about, but Kudos to Beth Paretta, Her Paretta Autosport Squad and Simona de Silvestro for finishing 21st after starting last in Her first Twisties’ (Road Course) IndyCar race in seven years!

 

And although I did “Watch,” Err listen to some 10 Hours of le 24 Heurs du Mans, beginning on my Telie’s Motortrend TV channel, I left for IndyCar Qualifying from Elkhart Lake before finally listening in earnest to some seven Hours via Radio Le Mans on Ye Intrawoods’, nee Internet before calling it a night.

 

As I seemed to notice that very little was said overall about the Toyota’s playing Leapfrog with each other, other then noting who was leading. But Shea Adam’s being more intrigued by some Big Red Button in the Toyota’s Pits that could remotely “Send” the Cars spoke volumes over how Dull of a race for the Overall victory was!

 

Since I Didn’t even bother getting up early for the finish. Or checking the results until late Sunday evening, following the replay of the F1 race. Since I was awaiting the Encore Presentation of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with the Mothers Shoe Polish lady, and Didn’t want to accidently find out the results.

 

Which once again, the Clowns at ESPN were playing more Games! Since the replay magically shifted from starting at 4PM to 7:30PM Pacific upon checking my Zap-2-It’ TV Guide again following the conclusion of the Indy Lights race! And then ESPNews “Scared” Me again, since when tuning in around 7:20PM Pacific, instead of some UFC/MMA Super Highlights Show, they were showing a College Baseball Game and I thought Here We Go Again…

 

But they cut to F1 at 7:28PM and Wallah, “It’s lights Outs” in Azerbaijan! As cannot say it was a great race, or even worth waiting until 7:30PM Pacific to “Watch,” but it also wasn’t Boring either.

 

As you had to “Feel” for Ferrari which saw both cars retire. With Carlos Sainz Jr. having a Hydraulics issue and Charles Leclerc’s PU (Power Unit) going Kablamoe spectacularly while leading! As the High track tempuratures apparently weren’t kind to Ferrari powered cars, since Alfa Romeo’s GuanYu Zhou and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen both also had to retire due to PU issues…

 

Meanwhile the Mercedes were still suffering from their massive Porpoising issues, with Lewis Hamilton needing assistance getting out of his car afterwards and complaining of lower Back Pain, whilst Toto Wolff apologized for giving him a Shitbox car! Even though Mercedes finished 3-4 with George Russell leading Hamilton again.

 

While DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo mentioned how His Head felt like a Basketball being Bounced low continuously after the race, saying now He understands what the Silver Arrows Boyz’ are complaining about!

 

But it was pretty Dull over how Max Verstappen put a total Beatdown upon the field, cruising home some 15+ seconds ahead of a Dejected Sergio Perez, even with Red Bull having told Max to not use His DRS in the closing portion of the race. As it was another 1-2 for Red Bull who are now on a tear. As I still Don’t know if Perez’s tyre problems were real? Since I really Hate Team Orders in F1!

 

Although the most entertaining portion was the Kerfuffle between the two McLaren Drivers with Lando Norris Whining Ah-Mighty for His team to tell Ricciardo He’s Faster then You! Before Norris was told to Hold Station with five laps remaining, before we were left pondering if Norris was gonna Pull a Didier Pironi on the final lap? Before Picciardo finished ahead of Norris with the McLaren duo finishing P8-9 respectively.

 

Meanwhile I wasn’t surprised to learn that the No. 8 Toyota was victorious over it’s Sister No. 7, which apparently Dropped to second after a sensor issue with it’s front Hybrid system delayed it momentarily during Hour 16. As Sebastian Beumi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa won Toyota’s fifth consecutive Le Mans 24 Hours race, Yawn! With the #709’s Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Frank Mellaux standing on the Podium’s third step for Scuderia Glickenhaus. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

LE MANS: IMSA Crashes 90th Edition Race

Can the Corvette’s score another GTE Pro Class victory this year?

 

As always, this year’s 90th Edition of the 24 Heurs du Mans features a Bevy of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Drivers jumping Across Ye Gory Puddle’, which I’ll just Highlight some of the Big Names known to be competing.

 

As it’s funny how three fourths of Cheep’s DPi Prototype Chauffeurs are at Circuit de la Sarthe. With Sebastien Bourdais (#10) and Alex Lynn (#23) in LMP2 entries. While Renger Van der Zande’s racing the No. 66 Ferrari 488 GT3 in the GTE Am category. As only Chip Ganassi Racing’s Earl Bamber is skipping the event, while le Hamburgular’, nee SeaBass’, aka Sebastien Bourdais is settling into his new Fulltime Sports Car career…

 

https://www.autosport.com/imsa/news/how-in-form-bourdais-is-nailing-his-normal-transition/10317415/

 

Meanwhile, the IMSA #31 Whelen Engineering AXR Cadillac DPi VR’s main drivers Pico Derani and Olivier Plau make up two thirds of the #708 Scuderia Glickenhaus entry. While the “Mach 5 Mustang Sally’s,” Err Mustang Sampling Cadd ‘Oh lacc’ drivers Richard Westbrook and Tristen Vautier are split between the two Le Mans Prototype Classes, with “Westie” partnering Ryan Briscoe in the Glickenhaus LMH No. 709 entry, with Vautier in the #44 LMP2 entry.

 

Wayne Taylor Racing’s (WTR) Ricky Taylor is Moonlighting aboard the #37 with WTR teammate Felipe Albuquerque (#22) and Meyer Shank Racing’s Oliver Jarvis as part of the two car United Autosports USA LMP2 entry.

 

As it’s the #23 United Autosports entry I’m most interested in, since it features a local Boy from Portland, Oregon at it’s controls. As Josh Pierson, who’ll become the youngest ever to compete at Le Mans at Age 16yrs 117 Days will partner with Oliver Jarvis and Alex Lynn; two pretty Decent teammates…

 

And I’ll confess, that I know virtually Nothing about Pierson, other than He Hails from The Rose City, (Portland) and finished fourth Overall in last year’s U.S. F2000 National championship with five Podiums. With a pair of second places and a trio of third places to His credit.

 

Otherwise, Not really sure what McLaren Racing’s Head Honcho Zak Brown Sees in the youngster, other than saying He’s very Mature for His Age and it’ll be interesting to See how He progresses…

 

Whilst almost forgot, since the FIA World Endurance Championship currently feels a Shell of Itself with just a scant six races yearly. Suppose many IndyCar Diehards Eyeballs will be Ah-Watchin’ the No. 5 Penske Oreca LMP2 entry, with Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr and Emmanuel Collard at it’s Keyboard.

 

As think I saw a Racer.com Headline awhile ago stating this would be their final WEC race before solely focusing upon testing of Thar forthcoming Porsche LMPH Prototype effort for 2023.

 

The Saloons ranks see Corvette Racing fielding two of it’s Big boy GTE Pro Corvette C8.R’s as usual, with the Bowtie Brigade leading the way during this year’s Le Mans Test Day. Along with Riley Motorsport campaigning a Ferrari 488 GTE Evo as the Classes lone Privateer.

 

Cooper MacNeil, who’s Pappy’ owns some company named WeatherTech is competing aboard the No. 79 WeatherTech  Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 GTE Am entry.

 

Whilst another car of interest for Mwah is the No. 88 Dempsey Proton Porsche 911 RSR-19 with former Champ Car Driver Jan Van Hagar’ Heylen of IMSA’s Wright Motorsports as part of the multi car Dempsey Proton/Proton competition/Hardpoint Proton Porsche 911 contingent.

 

As you can read more about the field of IMSA Stars at  this year’s Le Mans race in the following Racer article below…

 

https://racer.com/2022/06/08/imsa-stars-front-and-center-in-le-mans-field/ 

Thursday, June 9, 2022

LE MANS: A Quick look at the 2022 Field

But should We really be surprised that the No. 7 Toyota was Fastest on Test Day…

 

This year’s 24 Heurs du Mans feels seriously Disjointed to Mwah, Arse-sumedly due to having been raptured in All things Indianapolis 500, not to mention that IndyCar races at Road America and Formula 1 competes in Baku the same weekend. Along with the fact that this year’s 90th Edition Le Mans 24 Hours race taking place June 11-12 feels like a Stopgap race to Boot! With only five Hypercars entries comprising of the two All Conquering Werk’s Toyota’s vs. the Grandfathered LMP1 Alpine and the two Privateer Scuderia Glickenhaus mounts…

 

Obviously, the Odds On favourites will be one of Toyota’s two car GR010 hybrid Factory effort winning it’s fifth consecutive 24 Heurs du Mans victory, whilst I’ll be rootin’ again for the No. 7 with K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi to win, along with co-Drivers Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway and Jose Maria Lopez, who finally stood on the Podiums top step last year. With the No. 7 Driver’s lineup remaining unchanged.

 

The Seester’ No. 8 that won three years in-a-row from 2018-20 with Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastian Beumi and Brendon Hartley at it’s controls. With Nakajima and Beumi winning three straight apiece, whilst Hartley, who’s a two times winner has won with two separate teams, i.e.; Porsche in 2017 and Toyota in 2020.

 

As ryo Hirakawa replaces Nakajima, who retired at the end of last year’s FIA World endurance Championship (WEC) season, and becomes Toyota’sRace team Manager.

 

And even though I’d prefer somebody else winning instead, I don’t expect it to happen, especially since the Toy-Yoters’ are the only “all Wheel Drive” (AWD) Hybrid powered LMH entrants in the Anemic five car Hypercars field.

 

But a la last year, I’ll also be cheering for the upstart American team. Since I’m also a Huge Fan of Ryan briscoe’s, who’ll be part of Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus’s Sophomore Le Mans outing with it’s two car SCG 007 entry

 

As Briscoe will be piloting the #709 with team-mates “Westie,” nee Richard Westbrook and Franck Mailleux, who swaps seats with Romain Dumas aboard the “Rear Wheel Drive” (RWD) “Blown” 3.5-litre V-8 twin turbo SCG007 racecar.

 

Meanwhile it’s sister car the #708 sees Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla joined by the aforementioned Romain Dumas at it’s controls for this year’s 24 Hours race outing.

 

Whilst the final LMH entry is the #36 Alpine A480 single car entry, the rebadged Rebellion LMP1 R13, another RWD Prototype propelled by a 4.5-litre Normally Aspirated Gibson V-8 lump that won this year’s Sebring Season Opener WEC event.

 

As the No. 36 features Nicolas Lapierre, the only name I recognize of it’s Driver’s trio. Presumably since the Frenchman’s a two times Sebring 12 Hours winner, along with four Le Mans 24 Hours Class victories. With Lapierre once again being joined by countryman Matthieu Vaxivier and Brazilian Andre Negro.

 

As still seems really weird that Thars Over five times as many second tier LMP2 Class entries, with a robust 27. Whilst the Tintop’ Saloons are similarly structured with seven GTE Pro entrants supported by 23 GTE AM runners.

 

The #1 Richard Mille Racing LMP2 entry’s All Femme Fatale entry of the past two seasons has been revamped following Tatiana calderon’s departure to A.J. foyt Enterprises IndyCar team, where She’s running a Twisties’ Only, nee Road Courses and Street Circuits programme as a Rookie this year aboard the team’s third entry.

 

While Sophia Florsch has moved over to the #47 Algarve Pro Racing’s  LMP2 entry, with Jack “Achey Breaky” Aitken and John Falb as Her Co-Drivers. Leaving only Netherlands Beitske Bisser’s whereabouts Unknown? As perhaps bisser’s returned to the W Series?

 

As this year the entry sports an All French Male lineup of Charles Milesi, Lilou Wadoux and some Rally Guy named Sebastien Ogier, as perhaps Y’all have heard of Him? You know, the reigning Eight Times World Rally Championship winner!

 

As Ogier is the second most successful WRC Driver with 54 wins and 637 Stage wins as of the 2022 Portugal Rally, only one championship title behind fellow Countryman Sebastien Loeb’s nine WRC Crowns…

 

Meanwhile, the GTE Pro Saloons category is comprised of seven  entries, with three Factories doing that Noah Arc’s 2X2 thingy’; with two Ferrari’s Porsches and Corvette’s, along with a Privateer Ferrari entered by Riley Motorsport.

 

The “lower” tier GTE Am entry list sees 12 Ferrari 488 GT3’s vs. 8 Porsche 911 RSR’s and 3 Aston Martin Vantage AMR’s.

 

As the Iron Dames No. 85 Ferrari returns intact with le Femmes Sarah boby, Rahel Frey and Michelle Gatting, the trio’s second outing, while the Iron Dames entry has run the past three 24 Hours of Le Mans races.

 

While the Porsche ranks includes another Hollywood Heart throb racing at Circuit de la Sarthe, with Michael Fassbender making his Le Mans Debut behind the wheel of the No. 93 Proton competition Porsche, with IMSA Co-Drivers Matt Campbell and Zacharie Robichon.

 

The race will be shown live upon Motortrend TV Stateside, with it’s TV Coverage beginning Saturday, June 11th at 6:30AM Pacific. But as Always, Check your local listings.

 

Whilst I’m Arse-suming Y’all can find a Full Field Entry list of All 62 entries and Thar respective 186 Drivers at Racer.com’s Sports Car page, along with a Spotters Guide… 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Rookie Kerfuffle lingers while IndyCar Says Goodbye to Belle Isle

As I’m gonna Miss racing on that Rock…

 

For Thyself, as A Blind Word Butcher’, I now totally prefer listening to the IndyCar Radio Network’s “Call” of the races vs. Nothing But Commercials, err NBC! Thus I found this past weekend’s Internets Broadcast far More enjoyable than the Indy 500 TV Broadcast, which I really feel like I Don’t need to “Watch,” Err listen to anymore, which really makes me wonder why I’m still willing to pay such an exorbitant amount ‘O Dinero monthly for Cable TV, But I Digress…

 

Thus it was a perfect weekend as I got to listen to Qualifying live Saturday morning via IndyCar Radio where I took great delight in Nicky Salt’ Yeoman’s Uber Astute comment regarding IndyCar Rookie David Malukas Driving like Somebody Had Stolen a Trophy from Him! In regards to the laughable Ha ha, Not! Ludicrous awarding of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie Of the Year (ROY) to Jimmie Johnson.

 

As it would be extremely easy to Pile On to the overwhelming sentiments of Ye Blogosphere, and perhaps General feelings regarding this pathetic choice of Johnson over Malukas at Mother Speedway. Which just simply seems to be one more Nauseating Nod to that Taxicab bombers series…

As I really Don’t understand why IndyCar is doing Nothing to promote All of It’s Stars, as there’s so many story lines they could be using to promote All of the Great IndyCar Drivers!

 

Like I’ve said before, I admire Jimmie for what He’s doing, and He seems to be totally Humble and just trying to perfect his Open wheel Racecraft. But the Hype over Johnson just Didn’t warrant His winning the Indy 500 ROY, especially after putting Himself into the Wall Solo! Since at the very least, if my memory’s correct? Johnson and Malukas should have been Co-Rookies Of the Year a la Larry Rice and somebody named Rick Mears…

 

Thus it was even funnier when IndyCar Radio Network Pitlane Reporter Ryan Marin, who’s quickly vaulted to my Numero Uno favourite Pitlane Reporter, who far exceeds either NBC’s Snidely Whiplash or The Wherewolf’, aka Marty Snider  or Kevin Lee! (respectively) Repeated Nick Yeoman’s comment of Driving like Somebody Had Stolen His Trophy after Malukas had made His first ever Fast Six Shootout appearance, for which the 20yr Old Chicago Driver seemed very deferential in His response, before Marin finished the interview by saying that Malukas, who Qualified 6th vs. another tepid Johnson 20-something result was Definitely the People’s Choice!

 

Alas, it’s very funny how much it took me by surprise hearing Mark Gravelly’ James pronounce this being the 30th running of the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle. For which I really shouldn’t have been so surprised, since I still vaguely recall watching that Uber Bad Arse Black ‘N gold John Player Special Lotus 98T of Ayrton Senna poundin’ round those Mean, err lumpy Streets of Downtown Detroit Wayback’ in Gory 1986! Not to mention when Scott Scooter’ Pruett was kicking Arse’ in those Narly Jack Roush Ford Mustang Trans Am “Pony Cars!”

 

 

But I suppose it’s just part of getting Old-ER’ that made me forget we’ve been going to Belle Isle for three decades. Although I did remember that I’d scribbled about the Beautiful Island some six years ago…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2016/06/belle-isle-recollections.html

 

As it’s amazing how far the racetrack at Belle Isle’s progressed over the years, or is it that just the racing’s gotten that much better?

 

Since I can still recall sitting thru an overly long Red Flag period with such luminaries as ‘Ol r’, Ye Curmudgeon ‘O IndyCar’s robin Miller entertaining us as impromptu repairs were being made to the track’s surface. After James Hinchcliffe’s IndyCar’s front suspension had been wrecked after running over a Tar Ball Chunk ‘O Ashfault that had been torn out of the decaying track surface! With some Quick Dry Cement being applied, Aye Karumba!

 

Or how about when that Big GM, nee Chevy Mucky Muck promptly Stuffed the Corvette ZR1 Pace Car into the track’s Jersey Barrier, Whump!

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2018/06/yo-pace-car-driver-better-check-your.html

 

But I’d have to say that it’s mostly down to the brilliant Firestone alternate rubber compound’s rapid, intentional degrading that made Sunday’s race so enjoyable.

 

While I think it was Ryan Marin again interviewing David Malukas Sunday, asking Him if He’d been getting any advice from Coyne Ware Racing teammate Takuma Sato who qualified second how to drive Belle Isle? To which Malukas replied Yes, Taku’ said you’ve got to drive it like a Grandma!

 

Not to mention Michael Young’s comment of How He just couldn’t wrap His Head round how Windsor, Ontario Canada was to the South of Him from His Turn 7 vantage point…

 

Have to say I was totally rootin’ for Alexander rossi, who seemed to be on the perfect strategy for once to finally win a race after nearly three years of futility! Making it even funnier how I was rooting against one of my past favourite drivers DJWillyP’, aka Will Power, who surely His Alternate Red compound Firestones wouldn’t be able to go the distance of the final 20 laps vs. Rossi’s preferred Black primary compound Slicks. Yet it was pretty insane how Power had built up a monster 35 second lead before His final Pit Stop.

 

Thus Power won by a lone second from an unexpecting 16th starting spot, with Rossi coming home second from 11th, and Scott Dixon third after starting P9. Whilst that Malukas fellah finished 11th and ‘Ol JJ’, nee Jimmie Johnson Ho Hum, was P22.

 

Although another rookie I really felt for was Kyle Kirkwood, who I really appreciate His gritting out His injured Hand/Wrist after His Shunt during Saturday morning’s second Warm Up session. Which afterwards, He went off and won the IMSA GTD category for Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Lexus race team, and ran in the Top 5 of the IndyCar race for a long time before making a rookie mistake, which He quickly Blamed upon Himself and Not due to His injury, which I’m Not buying since He spent considerable time with an ice pack on His injured wrist! Not to mention the lack of power steering.

 

Whilst cannot remember which Blogger sagely noted how Fun it would be seeing The Great Santini’, aka Santino Ferrucci driving the No. 14 for ‘Ol SuperTex’, aka A.J. foyt next year as Kirkwood’s replacement.

 

As I guess we’ll have to wait with Baited Breath to “See” how the return to Detroit’s Downtown Streets plays out next year…