Wednesday, November 30, 2022

F1: Mauro Forghieri, Distinguished Ferrari Designer Dies at 87

As this tall, lanky Bespectacled Engineer was responsible for much of Ferrari’s Glory…


What more can I say to sum up the remarkable career of the late Mauro forghieri, who took the Chequered Flag on November 2nd. Besides The Guardian’s Obituary noting His being the last Man to be capable of designing World Championship winning racecars from Chassis and Suspension, to Engine and Gearbox.


Most notably, Mauro’s known for leading John surtees, (1964) Niki Lauda (1975, 1977) and Jody Scheckter (1979) to their Formula 1 World Championships for Scuderia Ferrari.


Along with Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni, Carlos Reutemann and Gilles Villeneuve winning Grands Prix behind the wheels of His Ferrari F1 Chassis. In total winning 54 Grands Prix, four Drivers and seven Constructors F1 Championships.



Forghieri was also responsible for two of my All-time favourite Ferrari racecars, the Ferrari 312T2 and 512M. As reportedly, the Scuderia’s 312T for it’s Transverses Gearbox was the most successful F1 chassis, garnering an impressive 27 wins! And I was fortunate enough to see the 1975 312T’s of both Lauda and Regazzoni in action during the 1994 Monterey Historics.


And while I should be impressed over Mauro’s Monoposto F1 Designs beginning with the 158, to being the first to introduce a rear wing onto a Formula 1 chassis in 1968. Along with creating the stellar 312T series to His final creation, la Scuderia’s first turbocharged 126C chassis. I’m also suitably impressed with His Sports Car CV.


Reportedly Mauro began by redesigning the suspension on the most evocative 250 GTO, before being responsible for the 250P, Ferrari’s first rear engine Sports Car Prototype that won the 1963 24 Heurs du Mans. Followed by the 275P taking a 1-2-3 Sweep the following year. Along with ultimately la Scuderia’s final Le Mans triumph to date, the 1965 race with the controversial 250LM, albeit in the hands of Ferrari’s North American “Customer” team…


As forghieri was responsible for All of la Scuderia’s Sports Cars from 1963 to 1973, i.e.; 250P, 275P, 330P, 512M and 312P and other variants.


As Mauro’s Sports Cars won Le Mans, the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and the famous Targa florio to begin with, along with countless other Sports Car races. As reportedly His favourite Sports Car was the 330P3/4 which fought a losing battle vs. Ford’s All Conquering Ford GT40’s!


Mauro was born on January 13, 1935 in Modena, Emilia-Romagna Italy and went onto earn a Mechanical Engineering Degree from the University of Bologna. Although interestingly, Airplanes were His first passion and He’d originally planned to take up a career working for the U.S. Northrup Aircraft company instead.


Yet Enzo Ferrari who’d kept track of Him, with Mauro’s father being a Ferrari employee, Hired the young Forghieri in 1960 as an Apprentice working in the Engine Shop. And the rest as they say was History.


At Age 26, Mauro was unexpectedly promoted to Chief Designer and Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari following the Great Walkout of 1961. When Ferrari’s top eight Engineers were summarily fired by Il Commendatore, nee Enzo Ferrari following a Heated dispute over the previous firing of la Scuderia’s Production Manager.


Thus led by previous Technical Director Carlo Chiti, these men along with Ferrari F1 World Champion Phil Hill created the rival ATS Formula 1 team which failed due to miserable results in 1963…


Yet Ferrari weathered the storm, along with Forghieri leading la Scuderia to it’s 1964 F1 World championship.


Following the arrival of Dr. Harvey Postlethwaite at Ferrari in 1981, Forghieri was essentially pushed out of His leadership role at la Scuderia, albeit spending the next few years designing the Ferrari 408 Prototype Road Car, before leaving Ferrari entirely.


As I tend to recall from a long ago Sports Car Illustrated magazine, the 408 was a study by Ferrari upon how to bond Carbon Fibre to an Aluminum/Steel car’s chassis…


Mauro’s services were then snapped up by rival Italian Automobile Manufacturer Lamborghini, now owned by Crysler in 1987. Being commissioned to build a 3.5-litre normally aspirated V-12 Formula 1 engine, which was raced by Larrousse, Ligier, Lotus, Minardi and the Stillborn Modena F1 Team with fairly unimpressive results. As I believe the Lambo’s weakness was it’s thirstiness for petrol.


Although Aguri-san’, aka Aguri Suzuki scored Lamborghini’s lone F1 Podium when becoming the first Japanese Driver to stand atop the podium. Appropriately finishing third at the controversial 1990 Japanese Grand Prix.



Yet upon revisiting the Chrysler-Lamborghini connection, it triggered my memory into recalling that McLaren had tested a “Mule” version of it’s 1993 chassis, known as the MP4/8B, which Ayrton Senna was said to be most impressed with! Especially the Lambo’s superior Horsepower over the customer Ford HB V-8 the team was utilizing that  season.


Unfortunately thee Ronster’, aka Ron Dennis opted for the vastly inferior Peugeot V-10 lump’ for ’94 instead, and Crysler then killed it’s F1 involvment.


Next Mauro who would only work in His Hometown of Modena, went to work for the revitalized Bugatti concern, where He worked upon the EB110 Supercar, before creating His own Design company, along with remodeling His 18th century villa.


As ironically, Mauro Forghieri passed away following the public unveiling of la Scuderia’s first factory Prototype, the 499P, which will make it’s Competizione debut 50 years after Forghieri’s 312P was raced by Jacky Ickx and Mario Andretti… 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Some languid, tepid IndyCar Cheer

    As what’s NXT? Gene Simmons singing  “I am Indy” Justin-time’ for Ye Holidays, Fa la la la lah…


First off, I’ll admit I scribbled this a Fortnight before this year’s Turkey Lurkey Day. As I’m not sure what it was exactly that knocked Ye Wind outta My Sails? That it was the Dreaded Offseason when everybody makes Pigskin analogies. The Outright Ho Humm Boring nature of The Max Show in formula 1, or the vauted Braintrust’s at Penske Entertainment decided to Obliterate their storied Indy Lights Championship?


Although I’m guessing the latter Had much to do with my lethargic feeling, since I believe it was Racer’s Marshall Pruett whom so succinctly noted this Snazzy Name change was akin to somebody Pooping in the Punchbowl!


And as I’ve said before, I totally realize that winning the Indy Lights Championship shouldn’t be an Automatic Graduation to the Big Leagues, ergo IndyCar. Yet after all, that is the point to the vaunted Road to Indy ladder system, El Correctomundo?


Thus perusing this year’s IndyCar Grid, I’ve come up with a total of four former Indy Lights Champions currently racing. With Scott Dixon being the Oldest! Along with Josef Newgarden, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Kirkwood.


As Scotty Thee Iceman 2.0’ Dixon being an anomaly, having won the title in 2000, and being tied with Helio Castroneves for currently longest tenure Fulltime IndyCar Drivers, both beginning in Gory 2001, Aye Karumba!


Newgarden won the 2011 title for Sam Schmidt Motorsports. While O’Ward and Kirkwood won the Championship both driving for Andretti Autosport in 2018 and 2021 respectively.


Although I suppose it’s not so different on the opposite side of Ye Puddle, EH? Since over the past decade, Thars just four FIA Formula 2/GP2 Series Champions on this year’s Formula 1 Grid.


As the most current is Mick Schumacher, the 2020 FIA F2 Champion, albeit the German is expected to lose His Haas F1 ride at season’s end, and probably be out of F1 completely.


Schumacher “Junior’s” followed by Mercedes GP 2018 F2 Champion George Russell. With Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc being the inaugural F2 Champion in 2017. While finally, Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was the final GP2 Series Champion in 2016.



Yet if we factor in Lewis Hamilton, who’s another anomaly’, being the 2006 GP2 Champion, the current Formula 1 Grid “Swells” to a Quarter of the Grid being former F2/GP2 champions…


Yet interestingly, Nyck de Vries, who’ll finally make His F1 Season Debut next year as Gasly’s replacement at AlphaTauri, Had to wait four years to graduate to the Pinnicle of Motorsports, i.e.; Formula 1! As the 2019 F2 Champion instead went directly to formula E due to Thar being No openings on the F1 Grid.


And then there’s the plight of 2021 F2 Champion Oscar Piastri. Y’all know the Aussie’ whom successfully landed a seat at Messer Zakery Brown’s Roundtable. Aftert rival Alpine thought they’d done enough to keep Him as Frederico Suave’s replacement next year. As it’s become somewhat de riggour for the reigning Formula 2 champion to sit on the Sidelines for a year, or more…


As lastly, this year’s F2 titlist, Brazilian Felipe Drugovich has already signed to be Aston Martin’s F1 Test and Reserve Driver. Apparently “Banking” on Fireworks to erupt between Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll next year…


In the past Decade, a total of six GP2/F2 Champions have graduated to Formula 1, with the aforementioned above, minus Sir Lewis. (Hamilton) With 2014 and 2015 GP2 titlists Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne joining this very select group.


Although Jolyon, son of Jonathan Palmer spent 2015 as the Lotus F1 Test and Reserve Driver before racing for le Reggie’, aka Renault between 2016-17. Whilst Vandoorne graduated directly to F1, driving for McLaren from 2016-18.


Yet Indy Lights has a Higher success rate of 89% vs. Formula One’s feeder Series 60% Graduation Rate. As every Lights Champion, with the exception of this year’s Champion Linus Lundqvist Has ultimately raced in Indy Cars, albeit Not All of them landed Full Season rides.


Beginning with the 2012 Lights Champion Tristan Turbo’ Vautier, followed by Sage Karam, Gaby chaves, Spenser Pigot, Ed Jones, Kyle Kiser, Pato O’Ward, Oliver Askew and Kyle Kirkwood. With NO 2020 Lights Season due to COVID-19.


As All of the Lights Champions got an Advancement Prize commiserate of three guaranteed drives in IndyCar, including the most cherished Indianapolis 500! Meaning that Lundqvist is simply getting Screwed! And that Roger Penske’s next move should be re-establishing this prize if He’s truly trying to promote the Next Generation of IndyCar Drivers!


As I suppose it just really boils down to that I, like almost everybody? As I’d say it’s pretty universal that the new Indy Lights Moniker STINKS! Can You Hear Me Now Roger?


Although I’m guessing that El Capitano’ and Penske Entertainment are pretty Happy Having Jim Irsay’s Holiday Bon Fire to roast All of His Indianapolis Colts members right now!


While the Formula 1 ladder system is now Far more easier to understand, i.e.; F4-F3-F2-F1, and definitely more palatable!

Picture Courtesy of Blogmeister’ Miguel

The wonderful, large picture Hanging on Display at the Penske Racing Museum of Roger Penske Joyously Spraying Champagne! Following Gil de Ferran scoring The Captain’s 100th IndyCar victory at Nazareth Speedway on May 27, 2000. (The Tomaso Collection) 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

BOOKS: Some Brief Exploits of the USS Astoria during World War II

Where the Crew of the “Mighty 90” earned it’s Due!


The third actual USS Astoria was launched at the Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding concern in March, 1943, and commissioned by the U.S. Navy on May 17, 1944, with Captain George C. Dyer in command. Following the Ship’s Fitting Out, it began Sea Trials also during May, 1944, before being commissioned.


During it’s maiden Shakedown Cruise in June, she Quickly encountered the first of Her two Steam Turbine failures due to faulty Bearings. And finished the Shakedown cruise on partial propulsion.


Dyer Had thought it would be a good idea to have any of the remaining, surviving Astoria II Heavy Cruiser (CA-34) “Nasty Asty” crew brought aboard to help boost morale, along with Helping break in the “Green” Sailors, which ultimately Fails. With some five-six former USS Astoria members being ordered to report to Philadelphia.


The book details how Petty Officer Russo Lemon I believe? Who’d survived at Sea after being Sunk Had decided He wasn’t going back to the War. As He’d had enough Hazardous duty to last Him a Lifetime!


As Lemon as the “ring leader,” leads a group of Nine Men to essentially go “AWOL” during the Ship’s repairs to it’s second Turbine failure in San Francisco, during Her several weeks layover. Since the Turbine had to be removed by Cutting it Out of the Ship!


Thus during His 14 Days Liberty, Lemon thinks He’s gotten away with another cushy Shore duty “Spell,” after reporting for Duty  at His former New Orleans base.


Dyer was a Navy “Career Man” through ‘N through. Having graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy’s accelerated class of 1919 a year early in 1918. And was an early submariner, who proudly wore His dolphin insignia upon His uniform and served aboard two Battleships Sunk during the War. Although No mention is made of His serving aboard the USS Arizona, presumably before Pearl Harbor. While He also served as the Executive Officer aboard the USS Indianapolis, which Sadly was the last U.S. Navy Ship sunk during World War II.


Alas, Dyer a strict disciplinarian. Loudly Complains about Russo’s Deceit all the way up the chain of command. Also wanting the New Orleans Base Disciplined for it’s lax Handling of such matters. And implicitly wants Russo returned to the Mighty 90 to make an example of!


As Dyer eventually gets His wish, although it takes several months of transferring Russo from vessel to vessel at Sea. Before Lemon is finally sent across to the Mighty 90 at Sea in the typical Bosun’s Chair transferring maneuver between two Ships at Sea!


As Lemon repeatedly pleads with Captain Dyer to be Punished by Captain’s Mast. But Dyer refuses everytime, saying instead, He’ll let the Crew decide His Punishment!


Yet dyer, who ultimately molds the Mighty 90’s Green Crew into a “lean, mean, fighting Machine, Hooah!” Also knows He needs to do certain things to make His Crew more cohesive and keep it’s morale up.


Hence Dyer allows the creation of a Ship’s Newspaper, the Astoria Morning Press News. Along with allowing the most controversial aspect of the Daily “Fish Wrap”  to proceed. As Artist Joseph Aman prominently makes a popular cartoon character known as Joey Fubar, the latter being the polite acronym for “fouled Up Beyond All recognition!” Makes  Fun over the mockery of Daily life aboard the Mighty 90 with it’s Satirical Whit!


As the latter nickname for the Ship was also Dyer’s idea that was voted upon by the Crew’s choices drawn from a suggestion box…


The Ship finally sees it’s first action at Iwo Jima, before being forced to endure 79 straight days of Nonstop Combat Duty during the Occupation of Okinawa!


Expounding upon it’s “Picket Duty” as Escort protection for the USS Essex (CV-9) Aircraft Carrier and the Horrors of defending Against the Japanese’s newest weapon, the Kamikaze!


Along with detailing how the Japanese pilots were skilled enough and took to flying low above the water between the U.S. Navy’s Battle Group formations causing Ships to rake one another with Deadly Friendly Fire!” And How the Astoria devises having an extra Officer to tap othes when to Quit firing their weapons after Astoria Has Shot at another Navy Ship! As I know the book mentions how the USS Enterprise was Shot Up this way…


And there’s brief excerpts from Herman Blodgett’s Diary, the Ship’s lone Diesel Mechanic, who spent two years working on the Ship’s Steam Turbine engines instead.


As many Sailors kept “Secret” Diary’s during the War, even though they were supposedly Forbidden, in Fear of there falling into Enemy Hands and giving away Ship’s movements, Formation numbers, etc. Since after all, “Loose Lips Sink ships!”


As Petty Officer Fred Lynn, who was one of the Ship’s Gun Fire Controllers also kept a Diary with extensive notes. With Lynn recounting the sleeping Quarters being racks of four bunks stacked. And His top Bunk Sucked because you could Never escape the Ships incessant



As Lynn notes How “rank” the smells became, along with the Men being so exhausted they just slept with their clothes on for the constant beckoning to General Quarters! And How Lynn managed to get His time of getting to Station Down to 45 seconds from originally two minutes…


And there’s the Harrowing recounting of Captain Armitage being swept Overboard during a Typhoon! With Die markers being thrown into the rough Seas to mark His location and fortunately being plucked out of the Heavy Seas! And the Destroyer returning Him taking to the time honoured tradition of asking for Ransom for His return. For which the Mighty 90 sends over copious amounts of chocolate Ice Cream!


As I believe this was the very same Typhoon that Captain Dyer had pleaded with Admiral Halsey’s Staff to change course which they refused to do, until much later when it was too late to evade the Typhoon which cost the lives of some 800 men!


In December, many months after Dyer had been made Admiral and transferred command of the Mighty 90 in June, 1945. (After His year’s command of the Astoria) Presumably that same year? Newly “minted” Admiral Dyer ran into Fleet Admiral William “bull” Halsey, Jr. after Halsey’s return from Tokyo.


As a Steely Eyed Halsey gruffly shook His Hand said menacingly: Wouldn’t you just be the son of A Bitch with the right course, 180 Degrees True! And then Stomped off


And I marvel over how at just over two Football Fields long, i.e.; 610 Feet, with a Beam over Six Stories wide (66 Feet) and Draft of 25 Feet. ! How in 1946, the USS Astoria (CL-90) spent time cruising the Pacific as a “victory Ship.” And even carried that year’s Portland, Oregon’s Rose Festival Queen down the Willamette River! Along with also cruising the “Mighty Columbia” and was the first U.S. Navy Ship to visit it’s Namesake, Astoria upon the Columbia River…


Initially the two separate USS Astoria Crews begin holding yearly reunions in 1973 on the West and East coasts respectively, since they’re Not getting any Younger! Before I believe the final two years were Held between 1995-96 at Gearhart, Oregon, nearby Astoria.


Lastly, there’s much written about the Mighty 90’s Official Photographer Herman Schnipper, who being Jewish, is forced to Deal with tons of Antisemitism during His entire service aboard the Mighty 90. Having to endure endless Anti-Semitic “taunts” from other Sailors while asking to Have their pictures taken. And How Schnipper who apparently “Cracks” during their 79 Days of Nonstop combat duty, says something wrong to an Officer and ultimately loses His Photographer’s Mate ranking and is Demoted back to Seaman First class.


Which seems to be an overly Harsh reaction, for which the Navy never reinstated Schnipper, even with Dyer’s pleading.


As Schnipper who remained in the Navy Reserve, would serve as Photographer aboard one last cruise upon the Battleship USS Wisconsin in 1947. While the USS Astoria would serve the Navy until being Decommissioned on July 1, 1949. Then spending two Decades “Mothballed” before being Stricken from the U.S. Navy records in 1969.


As Schnipper would be the only former Sailor on Hand to take one last photograph of His former ship sitting proudly behind razor wire Chain link Fencing, when being towed off for Scrapping in early January, 1971.


As Schnipper kept a negative of every print He made during His Mighty 90 service, which provides a rich pictorial History of the Mighty 90. Since the U.S. Naval Archives only decided to keep a scant 26-27 images from His vast collection!


As much of Schnipper’s Photography can be viewed upon the Ship’s Mighty 90’s excellent website at the link below. 

Monday, November 21, 2022

BOOKS: The Beginnings of the latest USS Astoria during World War II

Which ultimately became fondly known as the “Mighty 90!”


Although initially I was a bit apprehensive about “reading,” err listening to this book due to it’s title. I’d have to say that Days of steel rain: the epic story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze, by Brent E. Jones was Hands Down the Best of the four World War II ‘Ol School CD Audiobooks I’ve recently read.


What I liked about it best was it’s portrayals of the Men serving on the Ship and their various roles and how they interacted. As the two leading characters seemed to be the Ship’s first Captain, George Carol Dyer and Marine Captain Gerard T. Armitage.


As I was unaware that during WWII, since I Don’t know if the practice’s still carried out today? But a small Marines compliment, 42 men total I believe, were assigned to serve as the Ship’s Security Detail. Providing Security for the Ship’s Captain, along with being in charge of the Brig and general Security.


Although both Men Held the same rank, Dyer was the Senior in rank. Yet both Men formed a strong bond of Admiration, and Armitage took warmly to Dyer simply calling Him soldier, which apparently were typically “fighting” words to Marines then…


Both Dyer and Armitage overcame physical injuries incurred previously during the war,. As Dyer suffered a serious Leg injury while aboard the USS Biscayne in Salerno, Italy when being attacked by German aircraft. Yet Dyer was consumed with recovering in order to gain command of a ship, since He desperately wished to achieve the Fleet rank of Admiral, and at Age 45, saw His chances waning Fast. Having to Skip accepting two commands while recouperating…


Armitage suffered a Broken Back when upon a Liberty ship that I think was torpedoed by a Japanese Submarine? As Armitage served at Guadalcanal and spent considerable time on the Island with His Back against a Palm Tree awaiting transportation Home. As Armitage would spend a year becoming physically fit to return to service.


Before Armitage’s Doctor said, you’re the first patient I’ve Had that wants to Go Back to the War!


The Author Brent E. Jones, who I’d never Heard of before, writes a wonderful “Nuts & Bolts” account of the individuals involved in taking the Delayed Light Cruiser to Battle in the last year of WWII. As the USS Astoria (CL-90) took 1,000 Days to build, and was the most costly and over budget Light Cruiser built during the War.


As it’s Funny How the “Statute of Limitations” has apparently run out after some 75 years plus, which the Author details, in a book that He spent ten years researching! Beginning with describing how Bad the William Cramp & Sons  Shipyard in Philadelphia was, being constantly beset by workers Striking! Along with the low morale, and describing one Enlisted Shipmate’s attempts at Gaming the System to keep from returning to War.


The third USS Astoria, eventually known simply as the Mighty 90. Was named after Her predecessor, which was Sunk in 1942. Although many Sailors believed this to be a Bad Omen and flirting with King Neptune.


Captain Dyer is Not impressed by the looks and workmanship of the Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding concern when being on Hand for the Christening of Cleveland light Cruiser USS Oklahoma City (CL-91) in December, 1942. As His USS Astoria (CL-90) who’s Keel was laid down in September, 1941 sits unfinished and Overlooked in another of the Shipyard’s “Berths.”


As Dyer tasks His “XO,” (Executive Officer) Erasmus W. Armentrout Jr. to begin filling the Astoria’s roster. Which I believe was comprised of 1,100 Enlisted Men and some 110 or more Officers, since I’ve seen numbers ranging between 1,263-1,285 total compliment.


The Cleveland Class Cruisers were derived from the Brookland class Cruisers, and was larger than Her New Orleans Class Cruiser Namesake’s predecessor with an Overall length of 610 Feet One inches. Her Beam was 66 Feet Four inches wide and She drew a Draft of 24 Feet Six inches.


She weighed in at 11,744 Long Tons, (11,932 T) which I finally got curious about this measurement I’ve seen quoted several times. Learning that a Long Ton is the Imperial measurement or short, the Metric amount vs. Standard Full Tons being U.S. measurement. And Fully loaded, she weighed in at 14,131 Long tons. (14,358 T)


As where’s ‘Ol Professor (Steve) Matchett to tell us about New Money vs. Old Money…


Her Armament consisted of 12 Six inch 152mm and 12 five inch 127mm Artillery Guns. Sporting two Six inch and one five inch Turret Fore and Aft. With the remaining Five inch Turrets being Midships. Along with sporting 28 40mm Bofors and 10 20mm Oerlikon Anti Aircraft Guns.


Propulsion was generated from four Steam boilers providing 100,000 Shaft Horsepower to Her four GE Westinghouse Steam Turbine engines each turning one “Screw,” (Propeller) with a Top Speed of 32.5 Knots.


She was also equipped with a compliment of four Vought OS2U Kingfisher Floatplanes being launched from two stern Steam Catapults. And I swear as a Wee’ lad that I built a plastic model kit of this rugged Floatplane.


As the Kingfishers weren’t equipped with folding Wings and therefore, obviously took more storage space aboard their ships.


As there’s many snippets about one of the Astoria’s Float plane pilots named Chuck Tanner. As Tanner and Armitage became fast Friends thick as Brothers, since I believe they both Hailed from the same City.


As Tanner and two other Floatplanes are tasked with making a twilight rescue of Downed airmen in Japanese territory, which wasn’t a normal mission. And the other two Floatplanes run low on AvGas’. (Aviation Gasoline) Forcing All three to set down and wait for Daylight.


Sadly, the other Crews are lost at Sea, since Tanner was the only one to Have a Sea Anchor in order to ride out the Night. While Tanner decides the next morning He’d better try getting Out of there. Since if He can See the Enemy’s shoreline positions, then obviously they can See Him!


As Tanner goes out on the main float and cleans the Fouled Sparkplugs in Hopes of being able to restart His engine!


Taking off, Tanner’s forced to land since the propeller’s stuck in low speed Pitch setting and will burn more petrol. Landing and crawling out on the main float once again, Tanner manages to Hammer the propeller into High pitch mode and quickly Departs again.


Using His Instruments and Dead Reckoning from Charts. Tanner runs into a thick Cloud Barrier and determines the Kingfisher will run Out of Gasoline in Six minutes Flying time. Pulling back the canopy after setting his watch’s timer, Tanner prepares to Bail Out and Parachute for what He Hopes is “Friendly” territory.


And while the USS Astoria’s Crew believes that Tanner’s been lost at Sea. The “Cucumber Cool” Float plane pilot who’s motto is “Low ‘N Slow.” Is then rescued by Friendly Coast Watchers who Help Tanner “Island Hop” back to Safety and ultimately be reunited with the USS Astoria. 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

BOOKS: The Exploits of the First two USS Astoria’s

As I’ve always been intrigued by the History of Fort Astoria, who’s founder ironically died upon the titanic…


What did ‘Ol George Hannibal’ Peppard of The A-Team Fames say? “I love it when a Plan comes Together!”


Nah, won’t go too Overboard on the unplanned synchronicity of “reading,” Err listening to Days of steel rain: the epic story of a WWII Vengeance Ship in the Year of the Kamikaze, by Brent E. Jones. Which I just so happened to finish 72 Hours prior to attending this year’s Grand Prix of Portland! Wayback’ on September 4th, Remember that Y’all?


Nor will I go too far down another Wabbit’ Hole over the obvious connection between the Ship’s name, the USS Astoria and that Dusted Off Astor Cup, or is it the Astor Challenge Cup? Yuhs know, whatever “Cup” that Good ‘Ol DJ WillyP’, aka Will Power Hoisted at Laguna Seca, His second time in eight years on September 11th, Awesome Job Will!


Having scribbled about it’s Benefactors in Thoust long ago No Fenders two parts Astor

Cup tome.


Funny, the more I Dug into “researching” this wonderful book’s subject matter, naturally the more I learn. Like the fact that originally I was only aware of the two USS Astoria’s Navy Cruiser, before learning of the third, which was apparently the first U.S. Vessel named Astoria.


Although I’ll skip focusing too Heavily upon that first USS Astoria, which was a Coal powered Cargo Ship. Nonetheless, it’s got an interesting History. Beginning life in 1902 as the British SS Burbo Bay. Before being bought by a Hamburg, German Shipping concern just before the outbreak of World War I.


Having been renamed the SS Frieda Leonhardt, the vessel sailed to Jacksonville, Florida to wait out the War, since the United States wasn’t currently involved, and was Neutral. Yet that changed in 1917, when the Ship was seized by U.S. customs and summarily turned over to the U.S. Navy for refitting for Military service, becoming the first USS Astoria (AK-8) in late 1917.


Having been Decommissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1921, the Ship began Commercial service as the Astoria I. Interestingly the Freighter ran aground in Grays Harbor, Washington in 1927, but was re-floated and returned to service. Then in 1943, the Ship met it’s end, when running Aground at Bantam Rock, Sheepscot Bar in Maine where it sank.


In 1929,  the U.S. Navy ordered and awarded the contract for the second USS Astoria to be built. With the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard at Bremerton, WA being awarded the building of this New Orleans Class Cruiser. With the Ship being laid down in September, 1930 and being launched on December 16, 1933.


The Ship was named in Honour of Astoria, Oregon. Having been sponsored by Miss Leila McKay, related to Alexander McKay, who was part of the John Jacob Astor expedition that established Astoria.


Later to be reclassified as a Heavy Cruiser, She weighed in at 9,950 Long tons. (10,110 Tons) Her length was 588 feet, wit a Beam of 61 feet and Draft of 19 feet. Her  eight steam Boilers provided power to the four Westinghouse Turbines for a top speed of 32.7 Knots.


Reportedly She carried a compliment of 104 Officers and 785 Enlisted Men, beginning Her Military service upon being Commissioned in April, 1934. With a variety of standard Navy duties during the seven years of Peacetime leading up to that “Day of Infamy” on December 7, 1941.


Yet Astoria also participated in two unique events during 1939. The first being dispatched to transport the Ashes of Japanese Diplomat Hiroshi Sato back to Japan. With the USS Astoria entering the Harbour of Yokohama on April 17th.

Afterwards, Astoria made port in Shanghai, China, and during Her return to Guam, took part in the unsuccessful search for the missing author Richard Halliburton, who’s Chinese Junk had disappeared at sea on His journey from Hong Kong to San Francisco.


Having been redeployed to Pearl Harbor in 1939, on December 5, 1941, Astoria was at Sea with the Task Force supporting the Aircraft Carrier USS Lexington, enroute to Midway Island with a compliment of Marine Aircraft.


After returning to Pearl Harbor, She took part in the Battle of Coral Sea, first serving as Anti-Aircraft support to the Lexington and later, the USS Yorktown.


Astoria next saw duty in the Battle of Midway Island, before being reassigned to Task force 62, (TF 62) providing protection to the U.S. Marines landing craft forces at Guadalcanal.


Having taken up “Picket” Duty as part of a four ship compliment assigned to protect said U.S. forces from attack by the Japanese, Astoria and company were caught Off-guard during the night of August 8-9, in what is known as the Battle of Savo Island.


Unfortunately the Japanese’s superior naval force which had arrived undetected, would sink three U.S. Cruisers and one Australian Cruiser in the early morning hours of August 9th, in a daring Night time Attack.


Having taken direct Hits Amidships with a raging fire, Astoria soon became an easy target for the Japanese Ships due to Her raging Fire illuminating the stricken vessel! Yet the Astoria would become the fourth and final Cruiser sunk that morning.


As the Australian Cruiser Canberra, along with the U.S. Navy’s Quincy and Vincennes were lost initially. Yet following determined efforts to save the Astoria by attempting to put Her Fires out, a Salvage Party went back onto Her early morning in attempt to save the stricken Ship.


And although gallant efforts were made to save Her, a few internal explosions from deep in Her Hull sealed the USS Astoria’s Fate! As the Ship began listing more and more seriously before finally Sinking on August 9, 1942. Ironically exactly three years prior to the day of the United States Dropping of the second Atomic bomb upon Japan at Nagasaki… 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

New Lamborghini Movie comes to Big Screen

As this Tractor builder would Audaciously take on Enzo Ferrari!


Thanks to Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen, I just learned about a brand new movie about Lamborghini being released this Friday, November 18th. As the movie’s titled Lamborghini: the Man behind the Legend, which is all I know about it. As I’ve never heard of either  of it’s starring Actors Frank Grillo and Gabriel Byrne.


While Hopefully it’ll be available in Bumfiddle’ Florence, albeit not that Florence, but the one on Ye Oregon Coast. As you can learn more about it in the link below, which I believe includes a Movie Trailer tease… 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

When Motorsports collides with Nature

As what’s that ‘Ol Kansas song about “We’re Only dust in the Wind!”


Recently, when Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen, Alex and Her Furr-rocious’ Hoond Hang 10 Hilo were visiting. We went for some scenic viewing of a few of the Oregon coast’s natural beauty. And although I’d heard of it before, I’d never been there. As we set off for Cape Perpetua’s Devil’s Churn.


Naturally, being Blind, we weren’t certain how well I’d fare upon the dilapidated steps (without any Handrails) leading down to the Volcanic rock’s edge of the Devil’s Churn. And with Alex stating that the bottom steps seemed pretty “Sketchy,” I asked Mary ellen if there was someplace akin to a Railroad’s “siding” where I could stand Off of the Stairway and wait for them to return.


Standing alone with my White Cane in Hand, and facing the Ocean. I stood Thar listening to the wonderful, frenetic crashing sounds of Mother Nature, and more impressively, the Pacific Ocean. Yet unfortunately, my mind was soon filled with thoughts of how Churlish Max Verstappen had behaved at the Mexican Grand Prix! Which I’d only learned of after the fact.


Perhaps Y’all have heard of how ‘lil Maximus Hothead’, nee Max Verstappen, Who was quickly joined by Red Bull’s Christian Horner, Helmut Marco and Sergio Perez, would Not Speak to any of Sky Sports F1 TV Broadcast team. As Max was upset over how Sky Sports Pitlane Reporter Theodore, Not Lenny’ Krabitz had so derisively noted how Lewis Hamilton Had been Robbed of a record setting eighth F1 World Championship at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during the previous round at Austin.


Yet surely Max is well aware that it’s the Media’s job to stoke controversy, Eh? Since Controversy is the Media’s Currency!


As I’ve scribbled here upon No Fenders, I’ll forever be a Fan of DER TERMINATOR’, aka Michael Schumacher, and Hence I Don’t wish to see Michael’s last, lone remaining record broken by Sir Lewis. Yet that said, I’m also not a fan of either Golden Child, aka Lewis Hamilton or Verstappen “Junior!” Since I was once a Fan of Jos “The Boss” Verstappen, but those days Have also passed!


As the very first words I uttered when listening to the news via my NFB Newsline for The Blind’s telephone service was WWWHAAHHHH!


As Max was having another Hissy Fit and acting like a Spoiled rotten Snot throwing another Tantrum!


Yet what I Don’t understand, is why doesn’t Max realize by acting this way, He only re-energized the story and gave it legs!


Then A Man came up the stairs and said Howdy to me, stopping my internal discussion, before I went back to listening to the Crashing Surf Smashing into the rocks! Which sounded like they were right in front of me on the opposite side of the Hill I was facing.


And as I stood Thar with my white Cane, like on Sentry Duty. Just standing there facing the weathered concrete steps perpendicular “At Ease” with both feet spread slightly apart. I tried clearing my Head of All thoughts regarding Motorsports.


Then a couple stopped next to me and the Man said I bet it sounds really Spectacular! Which I said yes, it sounds like it’s right in front oof me, as I pointed forwards. Before the woman said it’s in several places, regarding the Churn’s 80 foot Chasm before they continued walking up the stairs.


As the sounds were amazing, like an apartment’s Complex’s Garbage Dumpster being Dumped! Or when somebody let’s the heavy metal lid Slam Down when closing it! When the waves Hit the Devil’s Churn directly! With water crashing All around before far to my right, where the water went. I Heard two low rumbling Booms that reminded me of somebody’s car passing by with it’s Bass reverberating from it’s Speakers…


And feeling the uneven, aged concrete steps with my feet before Hearing Mary ellen yell Ahoy from below, I began pondering if the trail to the Devil’s Churn had been built by the CCC in the early 1930’s? As that’s the Civilian Conservation Corps for those unaware.


As the recorded History of Cape Perpetua spans back to March, 1778 when Captain James Cook bestowed the name upon it in honour of Saint Perpetua. Although the Native American Alseans lived their for century’s before being forcibly removed.


It became part of the newly created Siuslaw National Forest in 1908, under the U.S. Forest Service’s jurisdiction. Then a wooden bridge was built over the Yachats River connecting it to Florence.


Indeed, the CCC established a Camp at the base of Cape Perpetua in 1933, and were instrumental in creating it’s Campgrounds, several miles of trails, various Rockwork Walls and the west Observation Post. Which sits atop the 800 foot tall Volcanic formation.


Walking back up said concrete steps that potentially could be nearly a Century Old? I told Mary ellen what I’d been thinking about, and how it’s annoying that I’d let various Motorsports thoughts encroach this tranquility…


Interestingly, when I ask Mary Ellen such dubious questions, it always amazes me how She’ll immediately reply would Michael Schumacher Have acted like that? Which Always leads to me promptly saying No!


And No, I haven’t drunk the Saint Michael Kool Aid, totally aware of His being a Ruthless Bastard! Although I’m curious how Herr Schumacher would have behaved in the age of today’s Social Media?


And whilst I agree with Max, Lewis and Sergio over how Toxic today’s Social Media is. I have to say I’ve got a bit of a problem with Max’s “Creditability.” Since after all, His Father Jos has been Arrested multiple times for Domestic Violence charges. While His partner Kelly Piquet’s Father is totally Afraid of Homosexuality!


But then again, does it really matter? Since being at the Ocean inevitably makes me think of my immortality, and how Insignificant us Humans are vs. Mother Nature! And how Max, Lewis, Michael and others will just be Footnotes in History… 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Penske Entertainment’s NXT Great Marketing Blunder!

Read All About It! Get your Peanuts ‘N KrackerJax’, Hurry!


May be it was just because I could Smell the Noxious Wafting of Bull Manure when “Zoey, the Princess Warrior,” my current (Zoomtext Fusion 2022) Screen Reader began reading me the Superfluous, El Stupidio Press Release of Penske Entertainment’s ridiculous rebranding of Indy Lights Thursday evening, November 3rd. Was why I went so Balistic!


As I just could Not understand the Sheer Stupidity of this Stupendous Name Change! As what in the Hell is NXT supposed to mean? And if we’re supposed to be Slap Happy saying Indy NXT by Firestone, than sorry Roger and whomever the other Braintrust that came up with this, Bite Me!


As I’d really, really wanted to use FUBAR in my No Fenders Post’s title when I first began scribblin’ this! Which “FUBAR” is an actual acronym that actually Stands for Something! And was All I could think of when “reading,” Err listening to the Bright Shiny lights ‘N Smoke bombs flash Bang Gee Whiz PR Buzz Kill Speak being forced down our Gullets!


Uhm, Have I mentioned yet how Horrifically Stupid of a Marketing idea this is? Not to mention the insult of trying to Dumb Down your “Premiere” Feeder series, by telling your existing Fanbase it’s for a Younger and emerging Consumer Audience. And is designed to engage an “elite” Next Generation of Aspiring Drivers an Opportunity to Advance to Indy Cars…


Ok, let’s begin with the Obvious, Shall we? As the easy, low Hangin’ Fruit is that Indy Lights, Err, Uhm INDY NXT, Can You Hear Me Now Roger? Currently utilizes the Dallara IL15 Chassis, as in 2015! Although at least it’s three years Newer than the current Big Boyz’ Dallara DW12 chassis…


But the most Brazen, and more importantly El Stupidio part of this rebranding exercise is the fact that IndyCar has wrongly decided to jettison a storied legacy of History and the provenance that the name Indy Lights carries with it!


Even though it began as the American Racing Series (ARS) Wayback’ in Gory 1986, it’s first run as the Firestone Dayton Indy Lights Championship Harkened from 1991-2001, with some Kiwi’ bloke named Scott Dixon being it’s Champion in Y2k, aka 2000! And then Thar were those Nissan Indy Pro years before the series rightly returned to being called Indy Lights upon reunification in 2008, for which it’s been known as ever since, until this November’s NXT Mutilation!


As I’m Not a Marketing Professional, but cannot say that Any were used for this Marketing Blunder, and why would you wish to Discard some nearly 40 years of History with it’s completely defined, universally known Brand Name?


Lastly, since otherwise I’ll just keep bashing on and on over this Stupidity! Ahem, if you’re telling us All about the exciting “Opportunity” for Young Drivers to Advance to the rarefied ranks of IndyCar. Uhm, I meant your Next Generation…


Then shouldn’t you Not be Sticking the Knife in the Back of your current, reigning Indy Lights Champion? Since after all, Linus Lundqvist should rightly be part of your vaunted Next Generation, Kapishe!


As I Don’t know ‘bout Y’all, but when the Indy Pro 2000 Series Champion’s “Advancement” Prize is $114,000 Dollars larger than the Indy Lights Champion’s, then Roger, We’ve got A Problem! As what’s NXT?


As Y’all can read the putrefied, nauseating PR Spin press release below… 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Just How Much should roger Penske do for Indy Lights?

Besides restoring the annual Prize Fund for it’s Champion to Pre-2022 levels and more importantly Higher! Along with reinstating the three IndyCar rides including the Indianapolis 500!


Like others in Ye blogosphere, and feeling fairly uninspired to scribble ‘bout anything since the Racing Season’s pretty much Done ‘N Dusted! I turned to the Racer Mailbag to “see” if something caught my Attenzione, or tripped Thy No. 4 wire?


Not surprisingly, there were two questions in the October 26th Mailbag about the “Health” of Indy Lights, or more pointedly, the lack of Help by it’s parent Penske Entertainment Corporation to Help it’s Series Drivers to reach the top level of Indy Cars. Specifically this year’s Lights Champion Linus Lindqvist who appears to be not moving up to IndyCar next year.


Initially, I Didn’t know the exact details that caused Racer’s Marshall Pruett, or just MP in the Mailbag’s outburst. But Pruett effectively Slammed Penske Entertainment by writing that the Lights Prize is a Joke!


Subsequently learning after initially scribblin’ this prose, appropriately on Halloween, Uhm Trick or Treat? Like talk bout Bobbing for apples…


That Penske Entertainment at El Capitano’, nee roger Penske’s direction had trimmed it from it’s previous $1.2 million by more than 50%, Yikes!


Now am I saying it’s roger’s responsibility to fully Fund and ensure that each year’s Lights Champion gets a Full season Ride in Indy Cars? Absolutely Not! And I’m also not trying to insinuate how Roger should spend His money. Especially since Thars a very good reason that Roger’s a Billionaire and your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso is a Basement Dwelling lowly Blogger! Hey Mom, turn on the lights, Chirp chirp, Bueller?


Yet I’m not sure why I could remember this? But I was positive that 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Champion Simon Pagenaud’s prize was far larger than today’s Lights champion’s winner’s Cheque. For which indeed, the 22yr Old Frenchman won a $2.0 million prize award for winning the title ahead of Graham Rahal. For which in today’s dollars would be wort $2,944,523.81, or more than twice what Indy Lights pays out today! Roughly equivalent to 2.5 times the Lights Champions award, when using Marshall’s previous number…


Yet Marshall seemed to agree with the Mailbag writer who pointed out How Indy Lights doesn’t seem to have a Marketing Department to Help foster Business to Business (B2B) Deals between potential Sponsors and Aspiring Drivers/Teams.


For which another Hot topic seems to be the continued Bashing on about lack of Quality Key Personnel in Indy Cars, i.e.; Engineers, Mechanics, etc. For which I’d surmise that Lights is also a prime training ground for such Personnel. But who knows what’s NXT, Eh?


While is the switch this year to Firestone rubber just one more Cost cutting measure? By spreading the costs between IndyCar and Lights to use the same company’s tyres?


As Roger’s already chiseled in Stone that Indy Lights will not run the Freedom 100 anymore! Which was the Series marquee event, albeit eight Lights cars running around Mother Speedway at “reduced” speeds isn’t exactly saying much about the Health of your Series!


While I’d Arse-sume you could say basically ending Double Header weekends is another cost Cutting move, Eh? Although in fairness to Penske and Company, Pruett correctly points out how Roger just so happened to Buy IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor speedway and IMS Production just before COVID-19 Shut Down Motor Racing around the Globe! And that Roger’s fiscal Conservatism is simply a biproduct of trying to Stabilize things…


As Hopefully we won’t have to Hear Penske Entertainment’s No. 1 Puffed Shirt Mark Miles crowing about how much Lights has improved for 2023 because of it’s increased Car count. Which after all, is largely inflated by the massive Nine Car Armada that HMD Motorsports will run next year! And what Happens if/when HMD pulls it’s Lights plug a la Sam Schmidt did a decade ago?


Yet it wasn’t until reading For the Love of Indy’s Musings from the Weekend Halloween post that I learned about the massive Lights Advancement Prize fund being Slashed! While Raymond Hando further notes How it appears that Penske Entertainment is possibly Dismantling it’s Hugely popular Road to Indy ladder system! And whether or not there will be a Huge Chasm or Disconnect between Lights and Anderson Promotions UF F2000 ladder series?


While Racer’s Marshall Pruett noted in September How Asinine (My Words) it was that the series final Indy Pro 2000 Champion Louis Foster received a Prize of $614,000 to Advance to Indy Lights vs. Lights Champion Linus Lundqvist’s paltry $500k prize!


Whilst Pruett notes that Indy Lights is now paying a monetary Prize Fund Award of $735,000 to the Top four Finishers over the series 14 races. Yet surely either All or the Bulk of this money is going to the Teams, and Not the Drivers! And How Penske Entertainment has Robbed Lundqvist to Pay the Lights Teams His extra $720k the previous Lights Advancement Prize Fund Paid!


As Seriously Roger Penske and Penske Entertainment, Y’all can not come up with a measly $1.0 million to correctly Bump the Lights Champion’s Advancement Prize to a respectful $1.5 million? Not to mention reinstating the three race Dealio’ including the Indianapolis 500!


As Penske Entertainment should be massively Embarrassed that that it’s only paying Lundqvist One Sixth of what Simon Pagenaud’s 2006 champ Car Atlantic Prize was Worth! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Lights Drivers Lost in the IndyCar shuffle

And why did Penske Entertainment ridiculously Slash the Annual Indy Lights Champions Advancement Prize Fund?


As Laguna Seca seems a really long time ago now, eh? Y’all know when Sophomore Indy Lights Driver Linus Lundqvist was Crowned this year’s Indy Lights Champion. Having scored seven Poles, five victories and nine podiums during the season’s 14 events. Finishing with nearly a 100 points advantage: 575-483 over series Runner-Up Sting Ray Robb.


Third Overall was Mathew Brabham, followed by Rookie Hunter McElrea and Benjamin Pedersen rounding out the Top Five.


As Lundqvist and Pedersen both effectively drove for HMD Motorsports. Albeit Lundqvist piloted one of the HMD with Dale Coyne Racing entries, and Pedersen drove the Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports entry. respectively.


Robb led the Andretti Autosport Quartet, followed by Mattie B’, (Brabham) McElrea and Cristian Rasmussmen, who finished sixth Overall.


Brabham and His Rookie teammates McElrea and Rasmussen All scored two wins apiece, with Robb, Pederson and HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing’s Danail Frost All claiming their maiden Lights victory.


 Why do I bring this up? Whale’, I was fairly certain (before going on Holiday) that the top three finishers were All guaranteed an post season IndyCar test, for which I don’t believe has occurred? Unless I missed thee Memo while away on my three weeks Sabbatical. Whilst the series Champion was supposedly guaranteed a three race IndyCar Dealio’, including the series Mack Daddy event, the Indianapolis 500 thanks to His $1.25-3 million prize!


Although that was before I learned that Penske entertainment Had Slashed Lundqvist’s prize amount by nearly two thirds to a Paltry $500,000!


Which may be is why I Haven’t Heard anything about the Top Three Finishers getting their Championship rewards! Not to mention Penske Entertainment just Hoping to Quietly Sweep this Underneath Ye proverbial Rug…


Yet Racer’s Marshall Pruett recently wrote about Lundqvist’s struggles to find and ultimately land a Fulltime Big Boyz’ IndyCar ride for 2023, which now makes more sense to me! Not to mention it’s Sad that Lundqvist thinks He needs to stay Silent over His unexpected Funding Cut by Penske Entertainment upon Fulfilling His part of the Agreement!


With Marshall noting that effectively Thars’ just three potential Full season Gigs’ available, with the most coveted being the fourth chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) seat that ‘Ol JJ’, nee Jimmie Johnson’s inhabited the past two seasons.


But that fourth CGR drive requires a massive Budget which Lundqvist Doesn’t have. And although current Team Willy’, nee Williams Racing F1 Driver Nicholas Latifi’s being Coy about his destination for next year, Odds seem to favour Latifi landing the ride. Especially after Marshall recently noted on one of His Week in IndyCar Podcasts, Cheep’ (Ganassi) Doesn’t Pay for Drivers! They come with Full Budgets instead…


And it seems Ditto for the expected second Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) No. 78 ride, implying once again that Linus Doesn’t have enough Dinero’ to be Callum Ilott’s teammate next year…


Thus to Mwah, it appears the most possible scenario would be Lundqvist “ride Sharing” the Vanna I wants to Buy a Vowel! Dale coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s, ergo Coyne Ware Racing’s No. 51 with Takuma Sato. With Taku-san’ running an Ovals only programme and Lundqvist being it’s “Twisties” Specialist. Although this would require HMD/DCR/RWR to run a third IndyCar at Mother Speedway. Or possibly four, since Coyne & Co. typically run a third “One Off” entry already.


Although Marshall seems pretty steadfast that Coyne and Company will have a new Full season Driver in it’s second No. 19 entry with Sato in a third Ovals Only No. 51 entry.


As Here’s what I scribbled on No Fenders some threes years ago about the Curse of being an Indy Lights Champion in Indy Cars.


And while the verdict’s still “Out” upon last year’s Dominant Lights Champion Kyle Kirkwood, who’ll  Arse-sumedly have a much better Sophomer season with Andretti Autosport. It’s worth noting that 2019 Lights Champion Oliver Askew is long gone from the IndyCar lanscape! While the 2020 Lights season was cancelled due to COVID-19.


By my Spur Ye Cuff run thru the impending 2023 IndyCar Grid, I quickly came up with the following 11 Drivers, Uhm maike that 12. Damn, I keep Adding more as I think about it. Although I’m currently stuck on the number 12.


As I’m fairly certain these IndyCar Drivers have previously raced in Lights, which I’m listing in Team order, beginning with A.J. foyt Enterprises Rookie Benjamin Pederson. Followed by Colton Herta, Kyle Kirkwood, Devlin DeFrancesco, Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Scott Dixon, Conor Daly, Rinus VeeKay, Helio Castroneves, Jack Harvey and Josef Newgarden.


Whilst Simon Pagenaud and Graham Rahal came from the Champ Car Atlantic ranks, and I’m only focusing upon Full season Drivers…


Meanwhile, Marshall also noted that Taku-san’ would like to do one more Full season, which would obviously cause problems for Linus. Whilst FIA Formula 2 Driver Marcus Armstrong’s name seems to be most mentioned regarding drivers looking for a seat in Indy Cars, especially since He reportedly Has $4m (million) in pocket! And Danail Frost, who finished seventh in Lights this year, just impressed when testing for Coyne in their IndyCar. So who knows who’ll fill the final three seats?


But it would be a Shame if Lundqvist is forced to race next year in Sports Cars instead of getting a proper chance in IndyCar! Seeing the Age Old criteria of One’s Budget mattering More than the Driver’s talent!


And if Lundqvist does end up in Sports Cars, then Hopefully He’ll at least be in a GTP entry.