Monday, November 7, 2022

MOTO GP, IndyCar and Sports Car Roundup

As two more major Racing series Crowned Thar Champions Sunday…


Now that we’ve lost another Hour of “Sunlight” Here in Ye Pacific Northwest with the ending of Daylight Savings Time. Greeted by a Hydrologic Outlook Dumping some potential 1.75 inches of Rain! As it’s Funny how the Weather forecasters No longer use the phrase Pineapple Express…


Along with most Racing series being Done, it feels like we’re once again fully ensconced in a Dreary winter’s Slumber. As Indy Cars will be Silent for another 87 days until Spring Training at the Thermal Club.


The MotoGP Season finale at Valencia was another Nailbiter, albeit I don’t think anybody saw the two protagonists Beatin’ and Bangin’ coming! As title rivals Fabio Quartararo started fourth, with Points leader Francesco Bagnaia starting from eighth.


Yet the Sold Out Stadium’s 95,000 Fans surely were Delirious over Spaniard Alex Rins rocketing from fifth to first by Turn-1! Leading an All Spanish top three with Pole sitter Jorge Martin second and Marc marquez third, with Ducati’s Jack Miller P4, whilst Quartararo and Bagnaia Banged against each other with Bagnaia’s right front winglet being knocked off when tussling over fifth place!


And although Bagnaia sensibly settled down and let the nipping pack behind Him pass. Fabio was never able to find His way to the front, needing a win to have any chance at all of defending His Championship. With Bagnaia only needing to finish a lowly 14th to be crowned  this year’s MotoGP World Champion.


As Rins claimed His second MotoGP win on Suzuki’s Swan Song, with the Japanese Manufacturer leaving MotoGP, Quartararo finished fourth, where He’d started. While the ride of the race had to be KTM’s Brad Binder who finished a tantalizing runner-up ahead of Martin.


But All eyes were upon Bagnaia, including The doctor’, nee Valentino Rossi who was on hand to witness the first of His VR46 Academy Riders be crowned MotoGP World Champion! As Bagnaia crossed the “Stripe” ninth, giving Ducati it’s first Riders title in a staggering 5,524 Days! Last completed by Casey Stoner 15yrs ago! While Bagnaia becomes the first Italian to win the MotoGP World championship since Valentino Rossi claimed His seventh and final title Wayback in 2009.


And it’s Sad how predictable we’re as an Audience for the various “beat” Writers. Case in point was Racer’s Marshall Pruett going for the sure fire subject when pronouncing that Bumping for next May’s Indianapolis 500 was already on the “Cards” some 200 Days Out! Since we’re apparently being All Sunshine, Bunnies and Rainbows, and Not discussing How it appears that Penske Entertainment is Carving Up it’s once vaunted road to Indy ladder system! Which I’ll scribble more ‘bout in a further, NXT No Fenders post…


Pruett notes that we’re Already at the magical, nythical Hallowed 11 Rows of three, ergo 33 Indy 500 entries, noting the following Car Count.


A.J. foyt Enterprises, (2) Andretti Autosport, (5) Arrow McLaren SP, (4( Chip Ganassi Racing, (4) Dale Coyne Racing, (2) Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, (2) Ed Carpenter Racing, (3) Juncos Hollinger Racing, (2) Meyer Shank Racing, (2) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (4) and Team Penske. (3)


This gives us 16 Chevrolet and 17 Honda engine entries, with Pruett noting He’s expecting to see an entry list between 34-36 entries, albeit more likely 34-35. As a third Foyt entry, a fifth Ganassi entry and a third entry from Dale Coyne’s alphabet Soup Brigade are All possibilities. But we’ll have to wait ‘N see what Santa brings us, Righto? And Who’s been Naughty or Nice, Ahem Mr. Zakery Brown!


And Score One for Marshall, who accurately wrote that Tony Kanaan would be Arrow McLaren SP’s fourth Indy 500 entry, along with the NTT Data sponsorship moving to AMSP for next year. When both moves were made Official on November 1st.


As Kanaan will carry NTT Data as  His primary sponsor at Mother Speedway, while Felix rosenqvist’s No. 6 AMSP entry will sport NTT Data colours for 10 races. Then Arse-sumedly NXT, when Alex Palou joins AMSP in 2024, He’ll be reunited with NTT Data sponsorship in the team’s No. 6 entry, leaving Rosenqvist a “free” Agent…


Another item I was unawares’ of, was that Leigh Diffey’s been signed to a multi-year contract extension to remain “The voice” of Indy Cars, IMSA Sports Cars along with Track & Field assignments. And this is Great News to Mwah! As I’ve liked Diffey ever since first Hearing Him fill-in for my All-time Numero Uno Racing Announcer Bob Varsha on Formula 1 Broadcasts. Then Diffey took over being the lead Announcer for Grand Am Sports Cars before becoming a fixture at IndyCar.


Some say that diffey SHOUTS too much, for which All I can say. Is that at least Diffey’s Shouting sounds Genuine to Mwah and Not the Uber Nauseating, Faux, Shrill, Phony SHOUTING Kevin The Werewolf! Lee does when filling in for diffey!


Meanwhile, I almost missed the Memo over la Prancing Horse, aka Ferrari announcing it’s total “Clean sheet” 499P Hypercar. As Maranello has produced another visual Stunner for it’s brand new Le Mans Hypercar, (LMH) with an evocative twin Horizontal rear wing!


As the 499P is powered by it’s new 2.9-liter “Wide-track” V-6 with it’s twin turbochargers nestled inside it’s 120 degrees Vee architecture. And Nah, No Wider is Better ‘Ol Pontiac Jokes Here, Hya!


As this is derived from the same lump’ it’s brand new 296 GTB/GTS Hybrid Sports Car utilizes. While the 900 volt electric motor provides extra power to it’s front wheels, thru it’s ERS Hybrid system. With the  rear wheels main drive mated to a seven speed Xtrac Gearbox. Along with using the fast becoming de riggour electronic Brake by Wire technology, with much input from it’s Formula 1 Team…


As the Ferrari 499P will make it’s competition debut at the FIA’s World Endurance Championship (WEC) Season Opener at Sebring’s 1,000 mile endurance race next March. Which Hopefully IndyCar hasn’t scheduled the Texas Motor Speedway’s Oval race for the same weekend again!


As Ferrari currently only plans to run two Werks’ entries campaigned by AF Corse, presumably with it’s Cadre of current sports Car drivers. With Ferrari reporting that 7,500 miles, or was that Klicks? Kilometers of testing has already been carried out.