Tuesday, June 28, 2022

How Many Know about the late Roberta Cowell?

As She led a most Fascinating life…

 

Author’s Note

Once again, your Humble No Fenders Scribe is running extremely way behind the Pack, Uhm Race! Since this story’s been gaterin’ Moss Here upon thou Oregon Coast the past two years now. But like the late Kurt Vonnegut famously said: “so it goes…”

Tomaso

 

Pride Month

I first listened to The New York Times Obituary article about Roberta Cowell Wayback’ in June, 2020, when All sorts of Mayhem was occurring! Not to mention my own struggles to migrate successfully to my new, cough Cough, Ahem! Improved, Yeah that’s supposedly the ticket! Windows 10 Operating system, which simply was a Nightmare!

 

As I’d hoped to tie this No Fenders story into that year’s Annual Pride Month, But Y’all Know thee Drill here in Nofendersville. Now aiming to post it on the Anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots instead, which Y’all can learn more about in the following link.

 

https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots

 

Whilst Ye Waves ‘O Synchronicity splashed upon thoust once again, when “Reading,” Err listening to The New York times Obituary section earlier this month about the totally unknown to Mwah Clela Rorex,

Who became the first U.S. County clerk to issue a Marriage licence to a Gay Couple in Colorado in 1975.

 

https://www.losangelesblade.com/2022/06/19/clela-rorex-first-u-s-county-clerk-to-issue-gay-marriage-licenses-has-died/

 

Another Pioneer…

As we All know now, the typical, yearly Pride Month Festivities were completely wiped out two years ago due to the Deadly COVID 19 Pandemic, with just over 133,000 Americans succumbing to the Corona Virus when I initially began typing this…

 

Whilst as a Nation, we’ve “Moved On” from Covid, albeit I know we’ve long surpassed the One Million Death mark from this Deadly virus! With No idea how soon, or if we’ve already eclipsed 1.2 Million American Deaths from COVID-19? Which by my very rudimentary Math would equate to More than 20 times the U.S. Military’s total Vietnam Casualties of 58,000!

 

And couple this with the Gruesomely Heinous Death of George Floyd on Memorial Day (2020) no less! And it's easy to see why that year's June's Annual Pride Month went virtually unnoticed.

 

Yet obviously this is why Roberta Cowell's long forgotten Death was finally published that June in the New York Times obituary section in it's series of Overlooked persons Deaths nearly a Decade after her passing, Say What?

 

As Y'all may be Sayin' what's All ye Gory Fuss over Roberta Elizabeth Marshall Cowell? Well she was actually born Robert Marshall Cowell on April 8th, 1918 before becoming Roberta in the early 1950's, which at that time was extremely Taboo in Bloody great Britain! And was the first known Trans Woman to have Sex Reassignment Surgery in 1951.

 

Yet I suppose I wouldn't have become so infatuated by Roberta's exploits if not for learning that she was a British Racing Driver, along with serving as a Pilot in the Royal Air Force during World War II.

 

Roberta's interest in Fast Cars reportedly dates back to her early School years at the Whitgift Boys School, where She was a member of the School’s Motor club before leaving School at Age 16. Roberta then briefly served as an Apprentice Aircraft Engineer before leaving to join the Royal Air Force in 1936 as a Pilot Officer on probation before being discharged due to Air sickness.

 

Yet I suppose Military service was in Her DNA, since Her Father Major-General Sir Ernest Marshall Cowell was a prominent Surgeon who served in both of the “Great Wars,” i.e.; World War I and World War II. And during 1944 was made Honourary Surgeon to King George VI.

 

Also during 1936 while studying Engineering at University College London, Powell began motor racing in earnest. Winning Her Class at the Lands End Speed Trial that year, whilst Cutting Her Teeth as a volunteer Mechanic at Brooklands.

 

As Powell’s Highwater mark in motor racing came when participating in the 1939 Antwerp Grand Prix, a Sports Car race, before WWII consumed All of Europe.

 

Having obtained Her Private Pilot’s license prior to the outbreak of War, Powell first was commissioned as a pilot in the Royal Army Service Corps in 1940. Then transferred to the RAF in 1942, and eventually was flying reconnaissance missions in a Spitfire PR.XI variant.

 

Roberta made a lucky escape on June 4, 1944 when suffering an Oxygen system failure at an Altitude of 31,000 feet! As Her Spitfire continued flying for an Hour’s time with the pilot now Comatose! Before regaining semi Consciousness at low Altitude and safely returning  to Base.

 

Later flying an Hawker Typhoon RF IB on November 18, 1944, Powell wasn’t as lucky. As Her Typhoon reconnaissance Airplane had it’s engine knocked out by German Anti Aircraft fire. And upon making a Dead Stick landing, Powell was captured by German troops.

 

Failing to escape twice, Powell was sent to Stalag Luft I, where She lost 50lbs during Her five months internment before Stalin’s Red Army liberated the Camp on April 30, 1945. 

Roberta Cowell: A Life in Transition

As it’s really Hard to believe it took Almost a Decade for this News to reach U.S. shores…

 

Author’s Note

Per Tipicali Here upon thoust Isle ‘O Nofendersville, your Humble Scribe cannot manage to scribble a Short Story. Hence I’m decided to break this No Fenders tome into two part Harmony…

Tomaso

 

As noted in Part One, Roberta Elizabeth Marshall Cowell was Born Robert Marshall Cowell, one of three Children of parents Sir Major-General Ernest Cowell and Dorthy Elizabeth Miller in 1918.

 

During Her Engineering Studies at University College London , Robert met fellow Engineering Student Diana Margaret Zelma Carpenter, who became the University’s (UCL) first Female to Graduate in Mechanical Engineering, with the couple Marrying in the Summer of 1941. They would have two Daughters, Ann and diana before the couple first separated in 1948, and ultimately Divorced in 1952.

 

Post World War II Transition

Following the War, Cowell formed a Motor Racing Team that contested events all across Europe, including taking part in the Brighton Beach Trials and the Grand Prix at Roeun-less-Essarts.

 

Suffering from Depression and having separated from His Wife, following sessions with a second Freudian Psychiatrist, He discovered that His inner self was more Female and that He’d been suppressing these feelings for most of His life.

 

Which makes me believe Roberta must have already subconsciously known this. Since in Her Autobiography, She mentions how She felt uneasy during Her captivity as a Prisoner of War and how come of the Allied Airmen seemed to be propositioning Her. Not to mention immediately refusing to play the part of a Female in one of the Camp’s Plays, for Fear it would signal Her potential Homosexuality!

 

Thus by 1950, although still living as Robert, She was taking large doses of Estrogen and became a close friend of Physician Michael Dillon, the first Trans Man.

 

Wit the Help of Dillon, sir Harold Gillies, renown as the Father of Plastic Surgery in the UK, plus American Surgeon Ralph Miller. Robert had successful Sex Reassignment Surgery and became the first Trans Female in Britain in 1951. Even legally having Her Gender reassigned on Her Birth Certificate in May of the same year.

 

By 1954, Roberta’s Business ventures, a Racecar Engineering firm and Clothing concern have ceased trading, along with  Roberta’s identity made it impossible to continue in Grand Prix racing!

 

News of Her Transgender Surgery garnered Worldwide attention after the Magazine Picture Post published Her story that March. Paying Roberta a sum of $8,000 Pounds. Equivalent to $230,000 British Pounds in 2021. And Roberta also shortly after published Her Autobiography, earning another $1,5000 Pounds. (Approx. $43,000 British Pounds in 2021)

 

With this new found Stardom, Cowell received some publicity in Motor Racing circles, specifically making Headlines upon winning the 1957 Shelsley Walsh Speed Hill climb. And remained involved in Motorsports thru the early 1970’s.

 

In 1958, Cowell obtained an surplus World War II De Haviland Mosquito sands engines, that She planned to use in attempting a Speed record across the South Atlantic.

 

Yet due to lack of funding, and being unable to find sufficient engines, the Mosquito sat Derelict and eventually was scrapped in 1960 after Cowell had gone Bankrupt in 1958 with Debts of some $12,500+ Pounds.

 

As Roberta basically faded from the limelight thereafter, albeit appearing in a  1972 interview when claiming to be working upon Her second Autobiography that was never published. As Cowell Died in October, 2011, with only six people attending Her Funeral, with instructions requesting No Public Notice be given of Her Death. As Her Death wasn’t be reported until some two years later when a story about Her was published in the Independent Newspaper.

 

Modern Day Pride Month

Have to say I was really impressed by ‘lil Syd viddle’, aka Sebastian Vettel’s Activism and Outspokenness Pro LGBTQ’ stance at last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, for which I wholeheartedly Hope that Vettel wears His Pride colours Just Say Love T-Shirt,Rainbow Sneakers,  etc. Again at this year’s event, even if it’s in July. While Vettel has also said publicly He thinks that Formula 1 would Openly welcome a Gay Driver now, which you’d Hope so since it’s Gory 2022!

 

While I know that the W Series has already Had it’s first Gay Female Driver stand Atop the Podium, not to mention another “Out” Transgender racer named Charlie Martin was competing in Sports Cars and aiming for Glory at Le Mans in 2019.

 

As C’mon F1’s Brat Pack, i.e.; Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Lando Norris, Y’all too should be supporting Sebastian in this endeavour…

 

While Kudos to Michael Andretti and DHL for running their Pride theme livery upon Romain Grosjean’s No. 28 Andretti Autosport entry at IndyCar’s biggest race of the year.

 

https://www.andrettiautosport.com/news/dhl-delivered-with-pride-returns-for-greatest-spectacle-in-racing

 

As my only Disappointment with this Sponsorship is the fact that DHL and Mikey A’ weren’t willing to run it thru the month of June! Which after all, is National Pride Month.

 

And Y’all know it’s Ah-Comin’, as was it just sheer coInky-Dense? That our wonderfully Liberal U.S. Supreme Court Overturned Roe v Wade in the month of June? Or that they did it the Cowardly way by trying to Bury it in a Friday News Dump. Since How can we progress as a Nation with such Backwards thinking?

 

Meanwhile, as I was heading towards the Chequered Flag upon this story, shuzamm! The New York times ran an Obituary article about Chicago Transgender Icon Gloria Allen, albeit some two weeks late! As the 76yr Old Black Chicagoan was known as Momma Gloria and spent Her life trying to instill Hope, Pride and Personal Satisfaction in other younger LGBTQ+ members by setting an unwavering example of Beauty, Grace and Dignity as a modern Role Model, including running a Charm School…

 

https://www.losangelesblade.com/2022/06/14/chicagos-black-transgender-icon-gloria-allen-has-died-at-age-76/ 

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?


For the remaining two H1 Unlimited Teams, i.e.; Miss Madison and Strong Racing, please visit the following No Fenders link below…

 

http://www.nofenders.net/2022/06/hydros-2022-power-houses-which-of-these.html


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.