Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Formula One’s Brat Pack: Young Turks’ – Soaring with Eagles, Or?

Uhm, Ain’t Thar something about Turkeys that goes with that Soaring line?


Whenever I think about Eagles Soaring, I instantly think of ‘Ol robin Trower’s signature Day of The Eagle sgon! Not to be Cornfuzed with an Chandler, Arizona Ostrich Festival massively Outdrawing the inaugural Iceberg Grand Prix in Phoenix Wayback in June, 1989!


Perhaps it’s just Mwah getting Old-ER’, but I have a Mucho Problema with today’s F1 Brat Pack! And Yeah, I realize they’re All extremely talented Open Wheel Racing Drivers. And who cares what a tottering ‘Ol Blogger has to say? But Hey You Kids, Get Off My Lawn!


Since this current F1 Brat Pack that I define as Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and George Russell simply rub me the wrong way! As I find All four to seemingly believe they’re indebted Everything! That Racing should mimic the video games they play. And when it goes wrong, they Whine, Cry and Complain like Spoiled Rotten Children!


As All four have easily come across during Formula 1 races as raging Hot Heads via their In Car radio messages! Most notably it seems like Lando’s Always Defending Himself a la Lewis Hamilton’s pointed Barbs against His Silver Arrows team whenever the strategy goes Pear Shaped! Whilst George Russell Didn’t do Himself any favours when I scribbled about His joining Formula One’s Pariah Club nearly some 18 months ago!


Thus with All of the controversy over Oscar Piastri’s Declaring He wouldn’t be driving for Alpine next year, naturally I have to wonder if the 21yr Old Aussie’ prodigy will soon be joining this illustrious F1 Brat pack? Which Ain’t necessarily a Good thing…


Maximus Hothead, ergo Verstappen has obviously been a pretty “cool Cucumber” this year, but why not? Since He’s simply been Crushing the Competizione All season long! As He seems to become more Smug each race, and Seriously Max? You needed to winge on ‘bout Having the Team tell Sergio to Pull Over for you so you could totally Decimate Him by some Gory 18.5-20 seconds at Spa-Francorchamps, Seriously?


Whilst Leclerc shows some signs of improvement with His Mea culpas, but seems to be doing this too much lately. As the Monegasque Falls Further ‘n Further Behind in the Points race!


With Lando’s not doing Himself any favours by proclaiming He has No Sympathy for McLaren teammate DannyRick’, aka Daniel Ricciardo! As I eagerly relish the day that Norris starts getting Waxed by His fellow McLaren teammate! Uhm, could that be a one Messer Piastri shortly?


And Russell’s gone relatively silent lately, mostly due to Mercedes woeful performance this year…


Thus whilst I always enjoy Rootin’ for the Underdogs, naturally I find myself rooting for Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz Jr. these Days! Along with other such notables as Kevin Bacon’ Magnussen, Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon.


Hence, in a different Zip code Age wise, suppose you could say that Ricciardo’s No “Spring Chicken” at Age 33.


yet initially it seemed somewhat predictable that Daniel will soon be rejoining Alpine in essentially a straight Seat swap with Piastri for 2023. Although it now seems that Alpine’s Upper Management has some reservations over this…


And Don’t get me wrong, as I’m a Big Fan of DannyRick’s, But! Following Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying, where Alexander Albon “Knocked” Ricciardo out of the Q3 Top-10 Qualie’ session. I mused to Thyself how it would be Great seeing albon in an Alpine seat next year!


And Yeah, I know Albon’s already signed at Team Willy’, ergo Williams F1. Meaning if Alpine’s truly wishing to focus upon developing future F1 Star talent, then I’d suggest they Ink Nyck de Vries as Alonso’s replacement!


Although I don’t understand why FIA Formula 2 Championship elect Felipe Drugovich’s name isn’t being considered? As it would be good having a Brazilian back upon the Formula 1 Grid next year. But Drugovich’s name is seemingly being whispered as possibly joining IndyCar’s instead…


But I also would Hate to see Formula 1 lose the services of Ricciardo! Who I always recall ‘Ol Professor (Steve) Matchett’s assessment of the Aussie’ nicknamed the “Honey Badger!” Calling Ricciardo the Smiling Assassin! With His Mile wide Aussie Smile with a Dagger firmly clenched between His teeth!


As I Heard some far ranging Scuttlebutt during the Spa weekend suggesting Ricciardo’s Best bet for next year’s F1 Grid would be at Haas, Arse-sumedly as Mick Schumacher’s replacement, Huh, Say What?


Even going so far as to suggest that Mick could inherit Pierre Gasly’s Scuderia AlphaTauri seat if Alpine’s able to Buy Out the Frenchman’s contract.


While we await the outcome of the FIA’s

Contract Recognition Board’s (CRB) ruling following the Belgian Grand Prix…


Although it’s sounding more ‘N more like Alpine’s determined to bring Gasly into their Fold for 2023. And as Racer’s Chris Medland notes, that doesn’t even take into consideration whether or not AlphaTauri will retain Yuki Tsunoda next year?


And now that the CRB has unanimously ruled in McLaren and Piastri’s favour, announcd on Friday’s first day of F1 Practice at Zandvoort. The $64k Questione is who will Alpine sign now? Since regardless of what they’re saying publicly. It sounds like the pairing of Gasly with Esteban Ocon will be akin to Oil ‘N Water! A la Ocon v Sergio Perez at Force India. Where ironically, I’m 98% certain that Otmar Szafnauer was the Team Principal then… 

Monday, October 3, 2022

F1: Alonso Moves into P1’

But can the Spaniard ever win another Grand Prix?


Recently perusing the various Formula 1 Fodder during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. I ran across one Headline noting how Fredrico Suave’, aka Fernando Alonso had Chirped Piastri, Piastri, Piastri was Alpine’s Focus! I simply couldn’t help but chuckling over this Nonsense! Really Alonso? As the Sport’s Elder Statesman at Age 41, you cannot understand why Alpine would be coveting fresh faced 21yr Old Oscar Piastri, Seriously? For which I scribbled Here upon No Fenders about the current Changing Of the Guard upon Kimi Raikkonen announcing His retirement from Formula 1 just over a year ago now…


Yet the mention of Alonso’s name triggered another Factoid I’d been paying loose Attenzione to this F1 Season, that Fernando Has Raced More Grands Prix than You Kimi, Please Confirm!


Since by my Unscientific reckoning, Fernando will have just completed His Staggering 350th Grands Prix Start at this past weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix. Eclipsing the record for most Grands Prix Starts by Kimi Raikkonen, who had Broken Rubino’s, nee Rubens Barrichello’s record of 322 Grands Prix Starts at the Nurburgring’s Eiffel Grand Prix on October 11, 2020. As Kimi and His Oomphlats were set to become the first F1 Driver to make 350 Grands Prix Starts before testing positive for COVID-19 prior to last year’s Dutch Grand Prix. And finished His F1 career with 349 Starts to His credit.


Rubino’ Held the record for some 12-plus years before Raikkonen surpassed His Feat. Although Kimi in His typical Non-plussed self, said He Didn’t care about Records! And was probably Busy Having an Ice Cream…


Whilst Barrichello was the first F1 Driver to surpass Riccardo Patrese’s once staggering sum of 256 Grands Prix Starts that the Italian Held for 15 years!


As Patrese was the first Formula 1 Driver to make 200 Starts at the 1990 British Grand Prix, and also the first to make 250 Starts at the 1993 German Grand Prix.


Yet with the constant push of Liberty Media to monotize it’s Return On Investment by Adding More ‘N More Grands Prix to the F1 Calendar every year, now projected at an Outlandish 24 for next year! Patrese’s accomplishments Diminish each F1 Season. Since Lewis Hamilton just became the Sport’s sixth F1 Driver to make 300 Grands Prix Starts at this year’s French Grand Prix.


As Patrese has now slid down to ninth Overall on the Career Grands Prix Starts tally. With Alonso leading the way. Followed by Raikkonen, with Hamilton set to soon leapfrog Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button’s tie for 306 Starts at this year’s Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) U.S. Grand Prix. Along with ‘lil syd viddle’, aka Sebastian Vettel, who was busy making His 291st  Start at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. While Felipe Massa retired with 269 Starts.


As Alonso becomes Formula One’s first Driver to make 350 Grands Prix Starts. And with His two year Aston Martin contract, and Liberty Media’s Greediness! Alonso theoretically could become the Sport’s first ever Driver to make an Insane 400 Starts?


Yet Barrichello surpassed the previous Ironman Holder Riccardo Patrese’s record of 256 Grand Prix Starts Wayback in June, 2008 which I scribbled ‘bout Here upon No Fenders Wayback then. As Patrese Had surpassed Graham Hill and Jacques Laffite’s then record of 176 Grand Prix Starts Wayback in 1989!


As Graham Hill had held the Starts record for more than a Decade after His final start at the 1975 Monaco Grand Prix before perishing in a Plane crash later that November.


And then Laffite tied Hill’s record in His final start at the 1986 British Grand Prix, where the Frenchman suffered career ending injuries to both legs during a bygone era where f1 Drivers lives expectancy and career longevity was in a Far more Different Zip code than today’s modern Formula 1 era! 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Some Interesting Thoughts upon Foyt Racing’s current Irons’

Although something Doesn’t Quite Add Up here…


This is Not intended to be critical of either rookie IndyCar Driver Kyle Kirkwood or A.J. foyt Enterprises. Instead it’s just that I’m curious over Kirkwood’s seemingly lackluster rookie season results. And further, if ture? How the perpetual Back-marker IndyCar Team expects to move itself forwards by taking on a further Distraction?


First ‘N foremost, I really like Kyle Kirkwood as an IndyCar Driver. So I won’t try delving into His litany of problems this season, for which Ye IndyCar’s Oldest Blogger Geo. Phillips of Oilpressure fame has already punctuated by telling us to Not look solely at the box Score! Since you could say that Krkwood’s Had a myriad of issues stemming from poor Pitstops and Race Strategies. To Equipment Failures and Oh yeah, youthful exuberance…


Heading into Gateway, the season’s final Oval event, Kirkwood trailed Andretti Autosport’s rookie Devlin DeFrancesco 159-144 points wise. With DeFrancesco 23rd Overall and Kyle in 24th.


Yet it was Kirkwood to large extent who Shellacked the Indy Lights field enroute to His third consecutive Road to Indy championship, with the exception of fellow IndyCar rookie Classmate David Malukas. As DeFrancesco finished a Distant sixth in last year’s Lights Championship.


This makes me wonder if this is a true indicator of just how Bad the A.J. foyt Enterprises team is? Or is that an underlier of How Kirkwood and Foyt are actually “Punching” above weight vs. the might of Andretti Autosport?


Having already scribbled here upon No Fenders about Kirkwood’s meteoric rise thru the Junior ranks. Winning five successive titles, i.e.; U.S. Formula 4, FR Americas, U.S. F2000, Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights, All as a Rookie No less!


Not to mention ting J.R. Hildebrand and Greg Moore’s series winning records in U.S. f2000 and Indy Lights. Along with amassing a staggering win tally of 55 of 88 races! Obviously Kyle knows not only How to Drive, but Win!


And although I do Not believe this, it seems almost like Kyle’s success came to easily for Him? Although He had plenty of stiff competition, like Malukas last year. But it’s like  the step up to Indy Cars has been to a whole another Planet. And that He’s simply placing too much expectation upon Himself to perform better while languishing as the lowest placed full season rookie! As I really Didn’t expect Him to be fifth, behind Devlin DeFrancesco!


As DeFrancesco finished 23rd Overall with 206 points vs. Kirkwood’s 183, netting Him P24 Point’s-wise. While even more Galling Has to be Callum Ilott’s Gritty performance for Juncos Hollinger Racing, the only Single Car IndyCar entry.


As Ilott, who Broke His wrist at Indianapolis and missed the next race at Belle Isle. Finished 20th Overall with 219 points, with one fewer races to His credit…


Meanwhile, I’ve been hesitating to scribble ‘bout this on No Fenders, after having read Racer’s Marshall Pruett’s article Wayback in mid-July. Although I rely upon Marshall for much of my motor racing news, it just seems to be out of left field…


Perhaps Y’all read Marshall’s July 13th story over who potentially will be Porsche’s second 963 Customer in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year? For which we already know that the Werk’s Porsche operation will be run by El Capitano’s, nee Roger Penske’s Porsche 963 Squad.


While Chip Ganassi will campaign Cadillac’s, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing the BMW M Hybrid V-8 entry, and Meyer Shank Racing one of the latest Acura’s.


This seemingly just left Andretti Autosport and Arrow Mclaren SP willing to fork over the $2.9 million fee for a customer Porsche 963! And that’s just to get your Mits upon one of these Chassis!


Yet Michael Andretti  is rumoured to be lining up for a future Alpine/Nissan IMSA GTP entry. As I say Nissan since Alpine Doesn’t sell cars Stateside, which would probably be 2024 at earliest?


Whilst McLaren’s Big Kahuna Zakery Brown seems a little busy right now sorting out All of His 27 Driver Contracts! Not to mention probably wishing to keep the $7-10m as in Millions! Season Operating cost according to Marshall in reserve for His impending Lawyers Bills!


Hence Pruett speculates out of the current ten IndyCar teams, it’ll be surprise! A.J. Foyt Enterprises who’ll be the winning selection for the second coveted Porsche 963! And that it’s lead driver would be J.R. Hildebrand…



And whilst I know the parking of Foyt’s third IndyCar this year is solely due to RockiT Not Honouring it’s Sponsorship obligations, where does this leave Tatiana Calderon, who’s Hoping to continue Her IndyCar career next year with Foyt?


And why would Foyt want this Added Distraction? Especially since they’ve Not sorted out Kirkwood’s replacement next year, when Kyle moves back to Andretti. And they really need to find somebody who can move the team forward, with No Disrespect to Dalton Kellett.


Although then again, I suppose this could be a welcome transition for the No. 11 IndyCar’s Crew members, Eh? And presumably keep them intact to run a third Foyt entry at some place called Mother speedway…


But you’d have to say that the obvious $64k Questione is where’s the Money coming from to potentially run this Sports Car endeavour. And will it Happen? 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

IMSA: 2022 Petit le Mans Preview

As it’s time to bring thoust curtain Down upon the DPi era…


Author’s Note

Full disclosure, this No Fenders Yarn’ was scribbled several weeks prior to this year’s race, and therefore will most likely Not include the latest Driver/Team Chane Developments…



As noted, this is just a “Best” Guess at who you might See running at this year’s 25th unning of the Motil Petit le Mans race this Saturday, October 1st. Which Arse-sumedly you’ll be able to catch various portions of the ten Hour race on Big NBC, USA Network and Frick, Peacock! But I’ll leave it up to Y’all to figure out the How ‘N When to play Chase the TV Broadcast over multiple outlets…


Starting with the Big Boyz’, in what will be the series Swan Song for the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) racecars, which will be replaced next year by IMSA’s GTP Class, although currently known as LMDH, i.e.; Le Mans Daytona Hypercars,. Thar will be seven entries competing for the Overall win. With the two Acura’s fighting against five Cadillac’s.



The Championship leading #10 Wayne Taylor Racing (WTR) entry features Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque, along with Endurance Specialist Will Stevens.


Whilst Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) #60 will be piloted by Tom “the Bomb” Blomquist, Oliver Jarvis and presumably MSR IndyCar Drivers Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud will be on Hand?



The “Mach 5 Mustang Sally,” err Mustang Sampling No. 5 JDC Miller Motorsports features “Westie,” aka Richard Westbrook and Tristan Turbo’ Vautier at it’s controls, presumably with Loic Duvall once again as it’s Endurance specialist.


Whelen Engineering’s (AXR) #31 entry is comprised of Pico Derani, Olivier Pla and Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway. With the Seester Action Express Racing (AXR) Allied No. 48 entry seeing Jimmie Johnson and His All Stars, i.e.; K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi and Mike “rocy” Rockenfeller at it’s Keyboard.


Lastly, Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) two car entry sees it’s #01 entry piloted by Renger Van der Zande and le Hamburgualr’, nee Sebastien Bourdais presumably paired with Scotty the Iceman 2.0’ Dixon.


While the #02 sees Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn paired with potentially Marcus Ericsson?


GTD Pro/GT Daytona

Thars’ simply Way too Many Gran Torismo entrants to attempt chronicling! As the GTD Pro and Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) entrants All competing in GT3 Saloons, albeit the Corvette C8.R’s have been “reversed Engineered” from Thar GT LM (Le Mans) Specs to comply. While the Pro designation stands for All Professional Driver lineups…


Some entries of Note include the No. 9, Number Nine, Numeral Nein? FAB Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with it’s All Porsche Penske Motorsports trio of Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet and Felipe Nasr.


Whilst former IndyCar Co-Owners Top Jimmy’ and Sully’s Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3 Squad runs one Lexus in each category. With No Clue if (Townsend) T-Bell’ will be Moonlighting aboard the No. 12? While I’d expect to see IndyCar Driver Kyle Kirkwood once again in the #14 GTD Pro entry alongside Ben Barnicoat and Union’ Jack Hawksworth.


And then Thars’ for whatever will be my Homeboyz’ “Team Seattle’s” Heart of Racing Team now campaigning Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT’s, with it’s iconic No. 23 with Ross gunn, Alex riberas and Maxine Martin in the GTD Pro category. With it’s Seester’ NO. 27 entry of Roman De Angelis, Ian James and Darren Turner? In the “lower” tier GTD Ranks.


And you can never count out the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan “Van Hagar” Heylen, Ryan Hardwick and Zach Rubichon.


And suppose I should also mention Good ‘Ol Bimmer Billy’, aka Bill Auberlen in Turner Motorsports Shiny, New BMW three litre inline six turbo M4 GT3 Chariot with Robby foley and Michael Vinan? At it’s Keyboard… 

Monday, September 26, 2022

IMSA GTP: Can Yuhs Taste it?

As we’re inching closer to the Dawning of Sports Cars future Generation beginning at next January’s 24 Hours of Daytona…


Presumably one of the many “Story lines” of this weekend’s upcoming Petit le Mans race will be about it being the Daytona Prototype International (DPi) category’s Swan Song. For which the current DPI Prototypes Class have raced since their introduction at the 2017 Rolex 24.


And although it’s early days yet, it’s already reported that we’ll have an 50% increase of Fulltime Competitors next year with a total of ten Shiny, New IMSA GTP competitors.


And Yes, if that GTP Moniker sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s what IMSA used during it’s “golden years” of Prototype raceing. When the IMSA Camel GTP series brought us some of the best competition ever with those iconic Porsche 962’s, TWR Jaguar’s, Electramotive Nissan GTP ZX-T’s and Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) Eagle Mk III’s before the series went Defunct at the end of 1993. With the new IMSA Exxon GT World Sports Car (WSC) series bringing us the Open-top Prototypes such as the iconic Ferrari 333 SP and Riley & Scott Mk III beginning in 1994.


IMSA GTP Competitors

Ultimately there will be a total of four Porsche 963’s along with a Noah’s Arc two-by-two Congo line of Acura’s, BMW’s and Cadillac’s, with a total of four IndyCar Teams competing in Sports Cars next year.


El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske will run the Werks’ Porsche Penske Motorsports squad, with two Porsche 963’s apiece contesting the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship. (WEC)


Porsche’s first customer for it’s nearly three million 963 ($2.9m) has already been announced as JDC Miller Motorsports. Whilst we All wait with Baited Breath over who’ll snag the second and last customer 963 entry.


Although due to the world’s never ending nebulous Supply chain issues, Don’t expect to see all four Porsche 963’s at Daytona next January, or who knows when these two Customer cars will come “Online?”


Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and Action Express Racing (AXR) will each campaign a single Cadillac entry Stateside, albeit Ganassi’s ultimately running two Caddy’s a la Penske’s dual Universe’s, ergo IMSA and WEC.


While I find it interesting that I’ve “seen” Nary a Peep over whether or not AXR will be running it’s second car with ‘Ol JJ’, aka Jimmie Johnson and His All Stars in the #48 at the four Endurance events next year?


Longtime BMW entrant Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will campaign the Werks’ BMW M Hybrid V-8 two car entry under the banner of BMW Team RLL, which see’s the German manufacturers return to top flight Sports Car Prototype racing since it’s V12 LMR last raced in 2000! While Belgium’s WRT, a perennial WEC LMP2 Frontrunner will run the BMW M Hybrid V-8 in the WEC beginning in 2024.


And Meyer Shank Racing and Wayne Taylor Racing will once again campaign a single Acura ARX-06 Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) entry apiece.


Chassis Specifications

The four manufacturers Chassis are All FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 Based Designs, albeit each manufacturer is allowed to imput unique Styling Designs Ques into their individualchassis for Brand Distinction.


The Acura ARX-06’s chassis supplier is Oreca and presumably utilizeds it’s current 3.5-litre V-6 Twin Turbo engine.


Actually it was just divulged during the Acura ARX-06’s public unveiling at The Quail outing during Monterey’s prestigious Vintage Car weekend, the new Acura deploys a 2.4-litre 90-degrees V-6 Twin Turbo unit that will rev to the maximum 10,000RPM limit! And is said to also incorporate Brake by wire technology.


The BMW M Hybrid V-8’s chassis is built by Dallara and utilizes a “Clean Sheet” 4.0-litre Twin Turbo v-8 derived from it’s previous DTM engines.


Cadillac’s GTP Project is also built by Dallara and is the only competitor utilizing a normally aspirated engine. Although the 5.5-litre V-8 is a brand new engine with DOHC Architecture. Along with what’s All the Rage now, ergo Flat Plane Crank technology, presumably?



And lastly, Porsche’s 963 is built by Multimatic and sports a 4.6-litre Twin Turbo V-8.


And it seems like the regulations are still quite fluid, or that there’s just not a whole lot of up to date information available? Since I thought that the maximum Horsepower was relegated to 680bhp? But John Oreovicz IMSA Hybrid 101 article from April claims that Horsepower will be between 643 and 697bhp, with the Spec Hybrid system developing a peak of 50bhp, for which I thought was being regulated to 40bhp? Or may be I’m Cornfuzing my numbers with the WEC’s impending regulations?


Although the BMW M Hybrid V-8 claims to produce 477KW or 640bhp with it’s “ICE,” ergo Internal Combustion Engine Only. And 500KW or 671bhp with ICE and Hybrid combined. So Messer Oreovicz’s info is presumably more correct than mine? Since Acura also claims the 500KW figure for it’s ARX-06…


Yet Marshall Pruett’s August 29 Racer article notes that the Acura’s “AR24E” 2.4-litre Twin Turbo V-6 Endurance motor is meant to have much in common with it’s upcoming IndyCar Hybrid 2.4-liter motor. And that Acura’s targeting 640bhp output with a Maximum of 680bhp with Motor and Hybrid systems combined. So I now feel that my “numbers” are more correct vs. Messer Oreovicz’s. Whilst I’ll save my comments upon the possible Monoblock Acura lump’ for another day…


But at least we know that All competitors will be utilizing the Single Spec Hybrid system produced by Xtrac, Bosch and Williams Advance Engineering. As Xtrac provides the new Gearbox which has to mate to the four different engine configurations. While bosch is responsible for the Motor Generator Unit (MGU) and Electronics inside the Gearbox. And Williams Advance Engineering provides the Battery Pack, All of which drives just the rear wheels. Whilst I’ll save the other major differences between the IMSA’s GTP and FIA/ACO’s Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) Rules convergence for a later, rainy day…


Although it’s worth noting that following Petit le Mans, IMSA will Hold a three day test between October 2-5 for the purpose of having All four competitors Ontrack together for the first time! Which I’d Arse-sume is partially in order to gather Data for the forthcoming Dreadded BoP (Balance of Performance) implementation beginning with next year’s 24 Hours of Daytona… 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

HYDROS: How many Boats will show Up in San Diego?

And is Jimmy Shane’s blue & White U-1 Miss Home Street the New, Dreaded “Blue Blaster?”


Following the Madison Regatta Governor’s cup race in Indiana, the H1 Unlimited Fleet returned to Warshington’ for the start of it’s traditional West Coast swing, i.e.; Tri-Cities and Seattle, followed by San Diego’s season finale.


Due to the severe damage that the Strong Racing’s U-9 Hull sustained during Cory Peabody’s wicked Double Summersault at Madison, the team elected to pull the championship winning Hull for the remainder of the season in order to rebuild the boat.


Thus Strong Racing elected to rename it’s U-8 Hull as the U-9 with driver J. Michael Kelly at it’s controls in a single boat entry for the remaining three races. Now known as the Lynx Healthcare presents Miss Tri-Cities entering it’s Home race.


Not surprisingly,

Jimmy Shane and His U-1 Miss Home Street continued flexing Thar Muscles at Kennewick, WA, where Shane was the fastest qualifier with a staggering lap of 164.039mph! The Fastest lap time since Fuel-Flow restrictions were introduced some twenty-plus years ago.


While the repaired U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing with Dave Villowck at the Helm was right behind Shane with a speed of 163.294mph.


J. Michael Kelly in the aforementioned U-9 led the final three boats to Qualify with a speed of 159.371mph. Followed by Jeff Bernard in the U-91 Miss Goodman real Estate at 158.016mph. While the Fan favourite U-3 Griggs presents Miss Ace Hardware piloted by Jimmy King ran 157.455mph.


As the U-3 is the only remaining Piston owered Hull on the H1 Unlimited circuit, propelled by a twin turbocharged Allison V-12World War II engine. While Jamie Nilsen in the U-11 Joker’s Casino failed to Qualify due to mechanical issues. And Nah, No Joke’s On Them Quips Here, Hya!


Yet another Unlimited Hydroplane Flipped during a preliminary Heat, this time Dave Villowck being the victim! As the U-40 y sustaining severe Damage and obviously being Done for the weekend. And then the U-3 threw a propeller also on Saturday, seeing Jimmy King on the Sidelones also.


Hence the HAPO Columbia cup on the mighty Columbia River was pretty much a dud! As Shane romped easily wire-to-wire over His other three competitors.


As the biggest drama involved Shane’s teammate Jeff Bernard who was early to the start and had to run an extra lap. As J. Michael Kelly got tired of seeing the Wall fo Water Jimmy’s Hydro was throwing up and went from inside lane two to the outside lane four, albeit never bothering Shane, enroute to His 22nd H1 Unlimited victory. While Jamie Nilsen motored home third, and Bernard was foruth.


Have to say that the Emerald City’s return to Unlimited Hydroplane racing after a three year Hiatus was Uber Disappointing! As Seriously? Only five Boats? Since I understand the U-3’s absence, due to being damaged the week prior and being an “East coast” entry…


But I Don’t understand why either the U-12 Graham Trucking with Andrew Tate or the U-21 Lakeridge Paving weren’t entered in their Home race?


In what now’s become the “Norm,” Jimmy Shane once again was P1 in Qualifying Friday, at 153.539mph. Followed by Dave Villwock, Jeff Bernard, J. Michael Kelly and Jamie Milsen.


Saturday’s Final Qualifying saw the five Hydroplanes in the exact same order, albeit Shane upped His Average Speed to 157.143mph. Before the day saw Match Racing used to make up for the pathetically small Fleet. Which featured a series of One on One two lap Heats before a LCQ’, aka Last Chance Qualifier Heat followed by the Winner Take all Final Heat.


Not surprisingly, Shane led Wire-to-Wire ahead of Villwock, who in turn was followed Home by Kelly and Bernard.


Yet once again on Sunday, when it was “Money Time!” For the second time this year, Shane and Villwock were early across the “Stripe” and both the U-1 Miss Home Street and U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing Hydros’ were Docked a One lap penalty. Effectively Handing the race to J. Michael Kelly in the U-9 Boitano Homes Hydroplane. As Kelly notched His second, consecutive Seafair trophy, having won the last time in 2019. And His fourth Seafair victory Overall.


Jeff Bernard in the U-91 Goodman Real Estate’s was second and Shane ultimately third. As Villwock and U-11 Miss The Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse’s  Jamie Milsen were both subsequently DQ’ed (Disqualified) afterwards for having Not maintained the minimum 80mph speed during the five minute “Milling” period. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

HYDROS: A Season Full of Promise Ends at San Diego

But Can anybody Beat Jimmy Shane and the U-1 Miss Home Street?


Author’s Note

Otay, full disclosure here folks. I was busy packing on race day, getting ready to effectively go on a three weeks extended Holiday! So I don’t know the outcome of this year’s Sand Diego Bayfair Regatta or who won the bill Muncey Cup?



The 2022 H1 Unlimited Hydroplane season started out so promisingly, albeit it was an unexpected Driver-Boat Combination that looked set to give Jimmy Shane His biggest Challenge for another year’s Championship. Since I’d Arse-sumed that it would be J. Michael Kelly in the U-8 Miss Tri-Cities giving Shane Headaches All season long.


Instead it was Kelly’s Strong Racing teammate Cory Peabody in the U-9 Lynx Healthcare that was pushing Shane’s buttons! Having noted in my No Fenders Season Preview that these were the two teams to watch this year.


The season began on Lake Guntersville Wayback at the end of June, with the Sport’s most prestigious trophy, the gold cup being Held there. Although when I think Gold Cup, I immediately think of Detroit instead, the modern day (Post World War II) “Ancestrol” Home of the Nation’s Oldest trophy.


Yet my Hometown of Seattle Had Mucho to say about that during it’s Heated East-West Coast rivalry during the 1950’s and 1960’s!


Guntersville saw a “massive” seven Hydroplanes field contesting the Gold Cup with two Hulls apiece from the aforementioned Miss Madison and Strong Racing outfits. Plus single Boat entries from Bucket List Racing, Griggs Racing and Unlimited Racing Group, Although I’ve still got Zero clue what happened to Graham Trucking and Andrew Tate this year? Whilst initially expecting the most Hydros to show up for this year’s return to Seattle’s Seafair regatta…


Having taken to simply “Watching,” Err listening to the Final Heats via H1 Unlimited’s Youtube channel, I recall that whomever the main Announcer is? Noted how Jimmy Shane aboard the U-1 Miss Home Street had come to an unexpected, temporary stop during the five minute “Milling” period and we’d need to keep an Eye upon that. Which would turn out to be prophetic words…


Meanwhile Dave Villwock, Skipper’ of the U-40 Miss Beacon Plumbing had mirrored Shane’s march thru All of His preliminary Heats Undefeated. Also coming from behind to win a la Shane was also DQ’ed in the Final! As Villwock, the Sport’s Elder Statesman at Age 68 would be Disqualified for going outside the course boundries during the Milling period.


But I’m getting ahead of myself Thar Mateys!


As the Starting Gun sounded, five Whooshing, screaming  Lycoming (Chinook Helicopter) turbine powered Unlimited Hydroplanes funneled into turn one with Jimmy Shane leading the pack. As the U-1 Miss Home Street would lead All five laps seemingly enroute to Shane’s sixth gold Cup victory, breaking His tie with the legendous’ Gar Wood.


Yet Race Officials determined following the race that Shane had Dipped below the minimum 80mph threshold during the aforementioned Milling period and thus was instantly Disqualified! Meaning that Cory Peabody behind the tiller of the U-9 Lynx Healthcare who’d originally finished Runner-up behind Jimmy Shane was the winner of the 112th running of the APBA Gold cup! With Peabody averaging 147.829mph over the race’s five laps.


Official second place finisher was Jeff Bernard in the U-91 Goodman real Estate, and Jamie Neilsen in the U-11 Misss Colleen was third. Whilst I cannot remember what happened to J. Michael Kelly, albeit I think He was the “Trailer Boat,” but Not Classifie.


And if that wasn’t enough Drama for Yuhs, then like Good ‘Ol Derek Daly says: “Hang Onto Your Hollyhocks!” As it’s about to get real bumpy for one of our competitors!


The following weekend’s Madison Governor’s Cup on the Ohio River in Indiana saw U-1 of Shane and U-91 of Bernard. Along with both the U-8 Miss Tri-Cities of J. Michael Kelly and Peabody’s U-9, plus Neilsen in the U-11 for the Final Heat. As Villwock had earlier Hit a unseen log at some 150mph! Shearing it’s propeller and doing serious damage to the U-40 Hull, which made a Beeline Home to Snohomish, WA for repairs!


Shane and Peabody Had an epic Mano e Mano Duel the entire Heat! As perennial winner Jimmy Shane couldn’t shake Cory Peabody from His Six! With Peabody reportedly never veering less than four boat-lengths behind. And with the duo taking the white flag on lap-4, and Peabody pressing Shane Hard. Suddenly Cory’s U-9’s nose began catching Air and pointing skywards! And then in an instant, Peabody’s Hydroplane went Airborne with the U-9 completing two Summersaults in-a-row before thankfully landing Upright!


The race was immediately Red Flagged, and with AllHydros having completed three laps, Shane was declared the winner, His 21st Unlimiteds victory.


While the Box Score denotes that Bernard was second, Neilsen third and Kelly fourth, it really didn’t seem to matter! Although fortunately Peabody was Checked, Cleared and Released from the Infield Medical Center afterwards! 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Welcome to Zak Brown’s “Wheel of Fortune”

Are there any A’s Vanna? Yes, there’s two. and a O and U, but No I’s. yes, I’d like to solve the Question…


Normally I would have Heard the News via my ESPN Online Motorsports Headlines News Feed first thingy’ Wednesday morning via NFB’s Newsline for The Blind’s telephone service.

But unfortunately they’ve been “trying” to restore it for an agonizing two months now…


Thus it was pretty Funny listening to the Indianapolis Star’s Sports section’s article instead about How things might be changing between Chip Ganassi Racing and McLaren Racing’s ensuing lawsuit over the services of Alex Palou next year…


With the Dateline being Salinas, CA and giving somewhat of a timeline regarding the Palou Saga. Pointing out How now McLaren Racing’s Pied Piper Zakery Brown Had simply issued that June 23rd Press Release confirming Felix rosenqvist to a long term McLaren Future in either Indy Cars or Formula E simply to put Felix’s mind at ease. And then some long willowy Platitudes about How He’d Never keep a Driver from Driving where He wanted too. Which made me immediately Bellow Out You Lying Sack of Shit! Even though I know I’ve gotta take Zak’s words at Face value…


Naturally Brown wouldn’t be drawn on McLaren issuing a “Paper tiger” Press Release when Rosenqvist wasn’t signed to anyting long term. And as revealed over the Laguna Seca weekend. The Clock was Ticking on Mclaren’s option for Rosenqvist, expiring at Midnight, October 1st.


As I believe it was Racer’s Marshall Pruett who noted awhile ago that All of the Palou Gate Saga simply felt like a really Bad version of Speed Dating gone Wrong!


We’ve also learned via McLaren Racing’s other Court Case, that McLaren Had signed a contract with Oscar Piastri to drive for McLaren F1 on July 4th of this year, over one week before the Chip Ganassi Alex Palou McLaren Racing Twitter Spat erupted publicly on July 12th. For which I also recall it being Marshall noting how one IndyCar Team Owner Had told Him that Palou must have been Crapping His Pants when the Piastri story Broke!


Nathan Browne’s IndyStar’ article notes what Pruett reported previously. That Brown and CGR Managing Director Mike Hull were seen meeting Sunday morning at Laguna Seca. Along with that Palou and His Boss and good Buddy Cheep’ spoke at Portland. And that Ganassi was asking for $10 million to release Palou to McLaren Racing next year.


But Wednesday morning, it was All Sunshine, Rainbows ‘N Bunnies! With multiple reports noting How this time there were No Dueling Twitter statements. And that Alex Palou Had tweeted He’s very Happy to Have a Job Next year. Uhm, That He’s staying with Chip as the Driver of the #10 Next year.


While Arrow McLaren SP (AMSP) subsequently announced that Rosenqvist would be retained aboard the No. 7 for 2023.


While Ganassi also announced that Palou would be Free to Test other forms of racing as long as it Didn’t interfere with His IndyCar commitments for 2023. As Palou and AMSP Driver Pato O’Ward were both in Barcelona busy Poundin’ round in a year old McLaren MCL-35M Formula 1 chassis  during a McLaren F1 Private Test when the News was announced.


As I Don’t know ‘bout Y’all, but it sounds like Zak’s busy trying to mend Fences, Uhm a lot of Broken promises, err Bruised Ego’s from All of His Hocus Pocus Magic tricks! And I have to wonder if Palou was “Used” to Divert Attenzione away from Mclaren’s Piastri signing? Or Did Brown simply think that Palou was a Better solution than Rosenqvist?


Whilst most interestingly for Mwah, is that both Palou and Rosenqvist’s amended “Deals” only state 2023, with No word about either being the now de riggour “Multi-year” statement, i.e.; two year contracts. With Marshall and others also having noted there’s multiple Driver “Opening” for 2024…


But I’d say this is Good News for IndyCar, as now we just await the Drama of Colton Herta being courted by Scuderia AlphaTauri and a seat in F1 next year. Even though Colton Doesn’t Have the necessary points to Qualify for an F1 Super License, and I Don’t see How that will Happen. Especially since Formula 1 Has shown itself to be a European Boyz’ club Only! Even if Colton’s testing for Alpine F1 next week in Hungary, taking the seat that was initially reserved for Piastri. Yet somehow I just don’t see Herta being in F1 next year… 

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

INDYCAR: Laguna Seca Season Finale Championship Edition

Come On Will, Sing It! We Are the Champions of the World…


Yeah, Y’all know the Championship outcome by now. As it was Showtime in Monterey with the title on the line. As the talk All weekend long was about how Mega’ the Tyre Deg’, nee Degradation was on the Gritty, Course Sandpaper Ash-Fault! With Scott Dixon saying He thought it was Detroit Bad! (Belle Isle) And Helio Castroneves said He thought the track was the same since He started coming Here Twenty Years Ago! While the track will be repaved next year.



Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden served notice during Friday’s first Practice session by being Fastest with a time of 01:11.4103, with teammate Will Power down in seventh, some five tenths-plus adrift.


As Power was eclipsed by three Andretti Autosport runners, with Colton Herta, Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi P2-3-4 respectively. With Colton just  some four tenths-plus adrift of Newgarden.


Whilst Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Rookie Callum Ilott was an impressive P5! And Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud was sixth, one spot ahead of former Penske teammate Power.


Marcus Ericsson was the Quickest of the Chip Ganassi Racing Boyz’ in 10th, with Penske’s ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin P11. While Scott Dixon was P17, and obviously has some work to do…


David Malukas who trails Christian Lundgaard in the Rookie Of the Year battle by five points was ninth, with the Dane’ winding up P15 on Day-1.


Saturday morning’s practice session saw a few Red Flags brought out. Most notably for Pato O’Ward going Off-track at  Turn 10, the bottom of the Famed Corkscrew, Me Thinks? As the team spent considerable time with All of the bodywork Off trying to Dislodge All of the Sand and Gravel He’d Injested!


Uber Funny how Mark Gravelly’ James was Opining over How Team Penske testing at Portland vs. Chip Ganassi Racing’s test at Laguna Seca was working out with some three minutes left. With Alex Palou P1 at 01:11.3847, and Dixon sixth, whilst Will Power and Josef Newgarden were languishing P22-23 respectively. And then as soon as They looked at their Timing Monitors, Shuhzamm! Power and Newgarden were P3-4, with Dixon still sixth!



So, you’d have to say the first Domino fell during Round-1, Group 1’s Qualie’ session. When Newgarden High-sided Himself on the Turn 8’s Kerb’s entrance to the world famous Corkscrew. Bringing out a Red Flag, which appeared to run Out the Clock, with Dixon also on the Outside. Yet IndyCar Race Control gave everybody left one final lap.


As I Bellowed at my Confuzer’s Speakers for Dixon to Not Advance outta His Round-1 Qualie’ Group, since He’s the Enemy this weekend! Taking Delight over first his CGR teammate Ericson Bumping Him Down to P6, and then Simon Pagenaud Knocked Dixon Out of Qualie’, Yeah Baby! Have I mentioned I’m Rootin’ for Will Power to win the title lately?


As Newgarden refused to speak to IndyCar Radio’s Ryan Marin after a short, terse interview with NBC. And will Roll off P25! Whilst Dixon will start 13th. Giving Will Power sufficient “Breathing Room” on the Race’s start.


Then in Round-1, Group 2, Colton Herta inexplicably took Himself Out of advancing to the Fast 12 Shootout when running Off-track, seeing three of Power’s staunchest competitors for Pole out of the running.


As I began crossing my fingers and Rootin’ for Power to Throw Down upon the remainder of the Field and claim His record setting 68th Pole position at Laguna Seca before the Fast Six Shootout! Which is exactly what Power Did!


As Kudos to SuperMario’, aka Mario Andretti for not only being on Hand, but immediately Shaking Power’s Hand after Breaking His record in Pitlane!


As I loved Mario’s answer on what it takes to claim that many Pole positions? Saying, How Badly do You Want It? If I knew what it took, I’d Bottle It and Sell It!


And I Don’t understand why IndyCar Radio Didn’t speak to Callum Ilott, who claimed His best ever Qualie’ finish in second! Instead talking to Romain Grosjean who rolls off P4, with Alexander Rossi third. While Row 3 features Palou and O’Ward.



Obviously, it’s easy to say after the fact. But I really did tell myself that I wanted Alex Palou to win the Season Finale a few days after attending Portland’s race. As I thought it would be the perfect “Fly in The Ointment” for a Driver who’s possibly driven His last race for Ganassi? And I was laughing so Hard and sticking my finger in the Air and making the Sizzling sound when water Hits a Hot rock! That I Didn’t Hear exactly what IndyCar Radio’s Dan rusanowsky asked Palou? Something ‘bout if He’d be sitting down with Chip afterwards? To which Palou said with mischief in His voice: Yeah Sure, if Cheep’s picking up the Bill! No, Only Kidding…


For which I think sums up the whole crux of the Ganassi v Palou Spat! And it’ll be Sad if Palou Has to sit out a year from IndyCar’s!


Initially I kept saying whilst listening to the Radio Broadcast, you’re giving Me a Heart attack Will! But it also seemed obvious that Will simply let Newgarden go when being passed for second, the first time. And I think I was getting sucked into the Announcers doing their job of creating Drama.


After the race, the more I thought about it, Power knew  what He needed to do to clinch His second IndyCar Championship. And with Palou simply Disappearing from the entire field, Power’s job was made that much “easier.” Although I’m Not saying it was an easy race for Will, but He managed it superbly All Day long! And when Romain Grosjean momentarily threatened His third place, Power closed up on Newgarden and said I’m Here, so Giddy Up!


As you already know about Power being the first IndyCar Champion with only One win in 25 years since Tony Stewart’s 1997 IRL Championship. While you’ve gotta give Newgarden credit for driving the wheels off His #2 Penske with His unpreferred four stop Pit strategy, seeing Him finish second after starting a lowly P25!


Whilst I enjoyed the Karmic Whip snapping Scott Dixon, after the Kiwi’ Had apparently been playing Mental Mind Games with Team Penske at Portland when Questioning their Not using Team Tactics to give Power the Win and a Bigger Points lead prior to Laguna Seca. Hmm, Did anybody see Dixon Sunday at Laguna Seca? Uhm, where did He finish?


As I thought it was a Good race, probably Far more Gripping due to the title fight vs. the actual race. Especially since Palou simply put a Beatdown on the entire field with a thirty second lead over Newgarden!


Which was even more impressive after Palou Had to take a Six place Grid penalty for an unapproved engine change agter Qualifying…


While we All know that Newgarden Had the most wins of the season with five vs. Power and Palou’s One! Not to mention Power’s teammate ScottyMac’s (McLaughlin) Breakout season with three W’s!


But it was another Great Year, and now another Stupendous 351 Days Offseason looms large! While I suppose Thars still formula 1, but I’d say that Championship’s already Toast! With Max Verstappen being crowned World Champion Any day now…


Oh Yeah, almost forgot the IndyCar Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Battle. As Groan, Congrats to Christian Lundgaard who drove from 16th to finish fifth. Whilst David Malukas went Backwards from starting sixth and finishing P13 seeing the Dane’ clinch ROY Honours in the season’s final race.


Congratulations Will Power, Job Done!