Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Another Enjoyable Visit to My Favourite Scottsdale Haunt

As how can you go wrong when you’re surrounded by a veritable Treasure Trove of vintage Indianapolis 500 winners!


Returning to The Valley of The Sun for the first time in nearly three years last October, naturally another visit to the Penske Racing Museum (PRM) was warranted. As here’s what I scribbled’ following my 2019 visit.


Thus obviously, I was very Happy when Snowbyrd MJ’ asked me if I wanted to go visit the Penske Racing Museum, to which I playfully replied, Uh Duh! Where Blogmeister’ Miguel joined us for our afternoon visit.


The Penske Racing Museum is nestled inside the multiple Auto Dealerships of the Penske Auto Group’s Scottsdale campus, with a total of 13 Brands. Which includes the likes of Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Land rover, Jaguar and Porsche. Not to mention the insane Off Road Land Rover test course behind the museum! Along with a luxury “Used Car” Dealership that always has a smattering of Ferrari’s to Drool over…


While best of All, Admission is Free, Bravo! Since I can still recall when I used to pay only three Smackeroos’ ($3) for Penske’s other museum at some place on 16th and Georgetown. Which now will se Yuhs back $15.00, but I digress…


And like many stories Here upon Ye Isle ‘O Nofendersville that get stranded in the Driftwood. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten some of the details from this now fading, but enjoyable visit, but will try to recollect my best…


Feel like Yuhs can never go wrong by having one of my all-time favourite Penske Racing Indy Cars on “Point,” aka the museum’s entrance. As it’s the ultra Sweet 1972 Deep Blue Mark Donohue #66 Sunoco McLaren M16B/Offenhauser Indianapolis 500 winner, which I’ve seen many times before thankfully! Since have I reminded Y’all I’m blind lately?


Hmm? While who’ll be running that fabled Number 66 this May for His Last, lat, last, may be? Indianapolis 500 race, Eh?


And I’m fairly certain that that year’s Indianapolis 500 Pace Car was also on display. This being the ultra rare 1972 Hurst/Olds Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible in Cameo white with Gold reflective stripes. For which reportedly only 130 Convertibles were built from the Uber low production of 629 total Hurst/Olds that year!


Whilst my current favourite Indy 500 Pace Car was on display as usual. Which is Funny since I always remember Will Power saying it’s His wife Liz’s car! This being the Dark Blue 2018 Corvette ZR1, which I think is currently the latest ZR1 Vette’ available?


Most of the racecars on display were the same, i.e.; multiple Indianapolis 500 winners, Penske’s Formula 1 chassis and “The Gasman,” ergo Tom sneva’s 200mph Indy 500 Qualifier. Along with the liberal sprinkling of IndyCar engines on stands, trophies, etc.


As I know there were various Chevrolet CART 2.65-litre V-8 turbocharger lumps to Gawk at. Along with the 1,000 Horsepower 1994 Mercedes “Stock block” V-8 engine to admire…


In what soon became a game of Stump Tomaso! With Miguel simply telling me a year and colour, or sponsor to see what your Old-ER’ Blogger could remember?


This litmus test included the 1985 “Spin ‘N Win” Indy 500 Danny Sullivan winner. Various “rocket Rick” Mears Indy 500 winners, i.e.; 1984 Pennzoil “Yellow submarine” and 1991 Marlboro liveries. Also think Big Al’s (Unser Sr.) 1987 yellow Hertz winner was there? And perhaps some other “Bad Habits” (Marlboro) Indy Cars? Since I tend to think may be Gil de Ferran’s 100th IndyCar winner was On-hand…


Along with “the Gasman” Tom Sneva’s 1977 McLaren M24/Cosworth V-8 DFX. Which Sneva officially became the first person to exceed a lap of over 200mph at Mother Speedway in. Plus I recall Snowbyrd MJ’ marveling over the fact that one of the racecars was sponsored by first City travelers Checks! Which was the 1975 Mark Donohue Penske PC1 Formula 1 chassis.


And El Capitano’s, nee roger Penske’s NASCAR Riverside winning 1963 Catalina was on display as always, for which I’ve just read on the Penske Racing Museum website is a replica. While there was one really weird, tiny Ferrari replicar on display. For which the friendly receptionist told us was being held there until it could be safely delivered to it’s client…


There were also a few Roundy round Taxicab Bombers on display, for which I cannot remember what the first one was? Although I think it was a Curt Busch car.


And then I correctly guessed Joey Lagano’s #22 Pennzoil racecar, which I think could have been His 2018 NASCAR Championship car? Since I know we later marveled over how massive and impressive the Harvey J. Earle NASCAR Champions trophy was!


As very impressive how Penske won last year’s IndyCar and NASCAR Championships in the same season for the first time ever.


And perhaps it was just some Good ‘Ol Karma of having one of “Sliced Bread’s” Taxicab Bombers on display. Since Joey Lagano would go onto claim His second NASCAR Championship that November appropriately at Phoenix International Raceway!


While there’s a stairway leading up to the second floor, which primarily holds various scale IndyCar Wind tunnel models in their complete liveries, matching the real winning Indy 500 racecars below. Along with a gift Shop and CafĂ©, for which both were Closed, due to Staffing Shortage. Whilst I’ve got Zero Clue if the Gift Shop merchandise can be ordered Online?


Photo C/O Blogmeister’ Miguel

Arizona Bureau Chief Snowbyrd MJ’ and Tomaso pose during the start of our Penske Racing Museum visit. (The Tomaso Collection) 

Monday, March 20, 2023

A Few, New Racecars on Display at Penske Museum

But who knows How long they’ll be on Display, before something else get’s rotated in…


Like I’ve already said before, How can you go wrong when you’re surrounded by a veritable Treasure Trove of vintage Indianapolis 500 winners! Even if you cannot See ‘em? Although if I try Hard enough, surely I can feel their amazing Aura. Not to mention the voices of Tom Carnegie, Dave Calabro and Bob Jenkins over Mother Speedway’s PA system.


Along with Good ‘Ol Jimmy Nabors Crooning some ‘Ol song about the Wabash Back Home somewheres’ in Indiana…


But what I enjoy most about returning to the Penske Racing Museum whenever possible. Besides the obvious, like simply being in a building surrounded by Awesome racing cars! Is you never know what new choices will be On-hand in the ever changing rotation of Display vehicles…


As my latest visit last October included three new Indy Cars for Mwah that I’d never seen Up Close ‘N Personal before! And Hopefully Blogmeister Miguel will eventually teach me How to load Images back onto the new Blogger platform, since they had to Bugger everythingy’ up, Urgh!


Although I cannot figure out how to get Blogger to work correctly, Sigh! I did figure out another labourious “Work Around” to load single images separately. Although I cannot see where the miniature Add Caption tab is, but I digress…


The first was totally unknown to Mwah,  albeit I guessed the year and who it was correctly. Being Josef Newgarden’s 2017 IndyCar Championship winning mount. As the All Black No. 2 Dallara Chevrolet was resplendent in HUM by Verizon sponsorship, Who?


Yet upon “consulting” with Ye Elders Statesman of IndyCar Bloggers Geo. Phillips of Oilpressure Fame. George told me that Juan Pablo Montoya had run this livery briefly during 2016, along with Newgarden once or twice the following year.


And from what little I could garner off of Ye All knowing Intrawoods’. (Internet) HUM was, or still is? Verizon’s “all in One Connected Car System,” ergo Automated “Wired” Automobiles system, that could monitor your vehicle’s performance and tell you when you needed to change the Oil, etc.


As it would have been nice to be able to “See” this racecar, since it was the last year of the DW12 sans Aeroscreen and IR-18 Universal Aero Kit. The last true Open Wheel IndyCar replete with an “Airbox.”


The second was another Beauty! Will Power’s 2018 solid black Dallara Chevrolet Verizon Indianapolis 500 winner! Which is the last Indy 500 I attended in person, coInky-dense? As I’d also like to be able to “See” what a current Spec Dallara IR-18 with Aeroscreen looks like! But I’d have to let the museum Staff give me permission to do the Helen Keller method of Tactilely touching it to form an image in my mind…


Yet I can still Hear Power’s emphatic Screaming over His In-car radio Show Me some Respect Mother fokkers! Upon crossing the finish line that triumphant day!


As His wife Liz’s 2018 blue Corvette ZR1 Pace Car’s been On hand before, but I’ve never known of Will’s Indy 500 winner being on Display


 And it was a nice gesture having Penske Drivers Power and Newgarden, who finished 1-2 respectively in last year’s NTT IndyCar Series Championship racecars being on Display, along with both representing one of Penske’s longtime sponsors Verizon…


Lastly, as we were getting ready to “Exit Stage Left!” Blogmeister’ Miguel said didn’t we already see that Sunoco car? Then wait a My-nute’, Thars two Sunoco racecars! Although I believe this one’s white with blue Sunoco sponsorship instead?


As I immediately Arse-sumed’ it must be Mark Donohue’s 1969 (4WD) Four wheel Drive Lola T152 after Miguel simply muttered 1969 to me. For which indeed it was Donohue’s, and more importantly. El Capitano’s, nee Roger Penske’s Debutante IndyCar entered the Team’s maiden Indianapolis 500! For which Donohue captured Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours upon finishing seventh.


As the old Lola T152 Chassis has been painstakingly rebuilt by Penske restorations between 2016 to 2022, and apparently just went on Display at PRM last April. So it definitely was a new racecar being shown at the Penske Racing Museum last Fall…


as Y’all can read about it and it’s Seester’ Leader Card chassis raced by “Uncle bobby,” aka Bobby Unser in the following link I found upon this Old Racing Cars(dot)com website below.


Photo C/O Blogmeister’ Miguel

Two legendous’ “Bad Habits” iconic Penske White with Day-glow Red Marlboro livery Indy Cars. Believe one of these is possibly Gil de Ferran’s 100th IndyCar victory Winner? As De Ferran scored Team Penske’s 100th IndyCar victory at the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth Speedway on May 27, 2000. (The Tomaso Collection) 

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The FIa’s Hypercar Era truly Begins

Although the $64k Question is will Toyota continue Dominating this Category?


And although I doubt it was planned. Nevertheless, the FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) for which Racer’s Marshall Pruett enjoys playfully calling the “Weckity WEC!” Kicks off it’s inaugural Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) race, the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on St Patty’s Day no less.


As the LMH Class replaces the “Space Age” LMP1 category and is designed to see the convergence of the IMSA’s Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH( GTP Class compete against the LMH Hypercars, for which we’ll get to finally see our first look of the Porsche 963 and Cadillac V-LMDH racing against the likes of Ferrari, Glickenhaus, Peugeot, Toyota and Vanwall.


And I feel certain I’ve already scribbled ‘bout it Here upon No Fenders, but will try briefly “Walking” thru it once more. Especially since I’m still a ‘lil Fuzzy upon All of the various rules differences.


On the IMSA GTP side, for which the Porsche 963 and Cadillac V-LMDH racecars come from, since Alpine, BMW and Lamborghini, and certainly Acura all won’t compete in the WEC until 2024. The LMP2 derived chassis from four Homologated Manufacturers utilize the single Spec “Hybrid” Energy Recovery System (ERS) supplied by Xtrac, Bosch and Williams Advanced Engineering.


The ERS is capped at a maximum 50Bhp driving the Rear wheels Only, for which I may have previously incorrectly noted. And requires what’s now becoming de riggour in Motorsports, i.e.; Brake-by-Wire technology to the rear wheels. While the front wheels still utilize modern caliber disc Braking


The ACO/WEC LMH Hypercars are custom built racecars that may incorporate the use of Hybrid power to drive their Front wheels, in conjunction with the Rear wheels. For which I recall previously denoting as All Wheel Drive. (AWD)


While All Chassis are capped at a maximum of 1,030 Kilos in “New Money” as ‘Ol Professor (Steve) Matchett was fond of saying. Or for us Yanks’, in “Old” Money 2,270lbs. Along with a maximum combined power output of 670Bhp total from the Internal combustion Engine (ICE) and ERS/Hybrid system.


Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) will run it’s lone No. 2 Cadillac V-LMDH WEC entry, with it’s same three drivers that raced in this year’s Rolex 24. And it’s normally aspirated 5.5-litre V-8 is the largest displacement engine racing.


While Porsche Penske Motorsports will field a pair of 4.6-litre Twin turbocharged V-8 963’s, the Nos. 5-6, since Toyota already has the Nos. 7-8 assigned to it.


And if I’m reading the “Tea leaves” correctly, Dane Cameron whose “Day Job” is driving the No. 5 WEC entry will be doing Double duty this weekend? Since I know He’s also listed as the Penske’s IMSA GTP #6 Endurance driver. And Ditto for Michael Kristensen.


Since this weekend features another “Super Sebring” weekend with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring on Friday, and the 12 Hours of Sebring Saturday.

Toyota continues with it’s All conquering GR010 AWD 3.5-litre Twin turbo V-6 Hybrid racecar, with it’s Drivers line-ups unchanged.


And then Thars the car that everybody wishes to see, the brand new Ferrari 499P! For which is running the “same,” similar 3.0-litre Twin turbo “Wide-track” V-6 found in it’s 296 GT3 racecars. Yet it’s mated to a Hybrid system driving it’s Front wheels a la the Toyota and Peugeot entries.


The two car 499P entry will be campaigned by AF Corse, and Arse-sumedly sporting Scarlet colours. With the team selecting the Nos. 50-51 in deference to it being 50 years since la Scuderia’s last official Werks’ Sports Car entry in 1973. When Scuderia Ferrari campaigned it’s highly successful 312 PB.


Peugeot debuted it’s radical 9X8 at last year’s Six Hours of Monza, and is the only Sports Car having elected to go without a traditional rear wing. As the 2.6-litre Twin turbo V-6, the smallest displacement lump’ on the grid racecar generates it’s Downforce from it’s Underbody instead.


As Peugeot will run the Nos. 93-94, and presumably will be Toyota’s biggest challenger, since the Ferrari and others will be needing to get over new car teething issues. A la what the Porsch 963 and BMW M Hybrid V-8 models endured at this January’s Rolex 24.


While the Customer Porsche 963 teams JOTA and Proton Competition will miss at least Sebring, since they’re still awaiting the arrival of their $2.9m racecars…


And then there’s the two Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Only Non-Hybrid LMH single car entries of Vanwall and Scuderia Glickenhaus. As I’d say that the Vanwall will be getting much Attenzione due to it’s “Mystique” and Driver lineup. The team is owned by the Father-Son duo of Romulus and Dr. Colin Kolles and run out of Kolles German Factory in Greding.


After a long, drawn out process, they’ve successfully won the rights to use the famous Vanwall name, known for it’s formula 1 History. And after being denied entry last year, will campaign their No. 4 Vandervell 680, utilizing a “Spec” Gibson 4.5-litre normally aspirated V-8.


IndyCar Fans should know two thirds of the Drivers line-up, that being Esteban Guerrieri and somebody named Jacques Villeneuve! As Guerrieri was an Indy Lights Standout driving for Sam Schmidt Motorsports who finished Runner-up between 2011-12. Whilst Messer Villeneuve needs No introduction…


The team’s third driver is Frenchman Tom dillmann, whose name I must know from His driving at Le Mans for the former ByKolles Racing Organization. While the newest iteration of Dr. Colin Kolles, of Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India and later Hispania/HRT Formula 1 Fame will operate under the Floyd Vanwall Racing Team Banner.


Meanwhile Glickenhaus has Downsized to just a single entry this year. Being it’s same SCG 007 modle,powered by a 3.5-litre Twin turbo V-6, for which the only driver listed when scribblin’ this was Romain Dumas.


Both series run on Michelin tyres, but I believe they’re allowed to utilize three different sets of tyre sizes. One for the IMSA GTP runners. One for the Hybrid LMH Cars, and the widest, stickiest rubber compounds for the Non-Hybrid LMH Chassis? And there’s also rules regulating the LMH Hybrid systems deployment, Mega-Jewels Energy recovery, etc.


Which right Now is Clear as Mud on A Rainy Day! 

Monday, March 13, 2023

Reminiscing briefly over the Great Bimmer Billy’s Amazing Sports Car Career

As the ever youthful Californian Has made A lot of Lemonade out of driving for BMW in Sports Cars…


Yeah Kiddoes’, know you’ll All be Delighted! That your Humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso has decided to Dust off another aging No Fender yarn that’s been vermintin’ in Ye Cavernous No Fenders Story Cellar for several years. As I think it’s Ok now to uncork a 2018 vintage story, Righto?


Nah, No Forrest Gump soliloquy's here. But I did find it Karmic how once again, thoust Seas of Synchronicity were Washing over Mwah, when listening to the Speed Freaks, Wayback’ on Sunday night, May 5, 2019, Aye Karumba!


Wayback when I used to listen to them on a weekly basis. When Statmann' Caruthers interviewed Bimmer Billy, aka Bill Auberlen at Mid Ohio. As Auberlen was then closing in upon Scott Pruett’s record of 60 career IMSA victories. Having just tied Pruett Me Thinks?


And it wasn't that long ago when Auberlen was reportedly retiring to become a BMW Brand Ambassador instead. But apparently ‘Ol Racing Drivers never really hang-up Thar Driving Suits. Especially since Aubelen’s been racing steadily since supposedly being “Eased” Out of the Seat…


Since Auberlen had been on thou mind, mostly due to what’s become another languishing No Fenders tome I first "tucked into" nearly some five years ago now when initially reviewing Bimmer Billy's racing exploits.


As Auberlen was half of the driving Duo that gave BMW it's first Sports Car Prototype W' when claiming victory in the 1998 Professional SportsCar Racing Championship series season finale at Laguna Seca in BMW’s first Le Mans Prototype (LMP) V12 LM chassis.


Since I’m fascinated over BMW’s former LMP Prototype that won lee 24 Heurs du Mans some 24yrs ago, when Auberlen was part of the No. 18 Price + Bscher entry that finished fifth Overall with Thomas Bscherand Steve Soper aboard their year old BMW V12 LM racecar, but I digress…


It’s old news now that Bimmer Billy has indeed broken Scott Pruett’s IMSA Career Wins tally, when capping His 61st victory at Virginia International Raceway on August 22, 2020. And I believe He’s currently got 64 W’s?


And having capped His 400th Start for BMW Wayback’ in 2017, He must be closing in upon 500?


Yet Auberlen began His professional racing career spending six years racing Mazda RX7’s in IMSA’s GTU Class. Before spending more seat time in a variety of Porsche 911 Panzerwagens, and the list goes on ‘N on…


As Racer’s Marshal Pruett did a Great Interview with Bimmer Billy some three years ago, when celebrating Aubelen’s 61st victory.


As Auberlen tells a great story about His first actual win in Japan. Along with mentioning driving briefly for Kevin Doran aboard His Ferrari 333 SP, for which sadly one of His Co-Drivers Never showed up with the Cheque and Auberlen ended up driving a completely different Prototype chassis at Daytona instead.


Also mentioning how He thought He was just doing a “One-off” for the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002 with my Homeboyz’ Ferrari of Washingtion race team. Noting how He, Cort Wagner, Constantino Bertuzzi and some Day-toner’ 500 winner named Derrike Cope ran a Ferrari 360 Modena at Daytona, where they suffered a Gearbox failure. Yet, Auberlen ended up running the whole year with Wagner and they narrowly won the GT Championship that year.


Auberlen also discusses driving the Panoz LMP01 Evo in 2002, for which David Donohue and Gunnar Jeannette were His teammates at Circuit de la Sarthe. But said it was pretty embarrassing getting passed by the Older Panoz chassis that wasn’t even competing! Just running as a Camera Car that year, Yikes!


And one of the Bombshell’s Auberlen drops is how during 1998 He was negotiating to race in Indy Cars for Hogan Racing! For which the seat went to a former BMW teammate of His named JJ Letho instead. And then the following year somebody named Helio Castroneves drove for them, during His rookie season in CART.


Yet Auberlen muses how BMW offered Him a three year contract at that time, which has now spanned nearly three decades! Not to mention BMW placing Him into one of those ultra Bad Arse Mclaren F1 GTR’s for his Debutante 24 Heurs du Mans outing in ’98.


For which Auberlen’s gone onto spend considerable Seat-time racking up multiple wins for BMW aboard the likes of Prototype Technology Group (PTG Racing) in those dominant BMW M3’s. Along with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Turner Motorsports. Where He’s currently piloting the #95 BMW M4 in the GTD Pro category.


As here’s the link to Marshall’s lengthy, but great Interview about Bill Auberlen’s Racing Life, Which is definitely worth a listen! 

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Tintop Pilotes’ Near and Far

As what did ‘Ol Bonn Scott of AC/DC Croon about “It’s A long Way to the Top, if You wanna Rock ‘n Roll!”


Forgive me for Dusting Off another languishing No Fenders tome. But what’s that ‘Ol sayin’ about whilst the Cat’s Away, those Mice definitely Play!


As I’m Hoping that last Sunday, I did indeed get to listen to the St Pete IndyCar race via the IndyCar Radio network, while “On Holiday,” again. Meaning No riveting race recap here Y’all. And that both Juncos Hollinger Racing Boyz’ had a good race! And that Argentine Touring Cars Standout Augustin Canapino had a good debut IndyCar outing.


Since by my very unofficial “rolodex,” I’m pretty sure that Canapino is only the second ever Argentine to race in Indy Cars, Ci? Following Juan Manuel Fangio II, nephew of the country’s greatest ever racer! Where all I recall of Fangio II was driving for Dan Gurney’s All American Racers (AAR) concern during 1996-97. First in an AAR’s Eagle Mk-V Toyota chassis, and then aboard a year old Reynard 96i Toyota.


Yet I’d forgotten that Fangio II’s Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART( IndyCar career actually began in 1995 when driving for my Home team Pacwest Racing as Danny Sullivan’s replacement. As ‘Ol Hollywood’ (Sullivan) broke His pelvis amongst other injuries at Michigan that year, leading to His retirement. With Fangio II beginning at Mid Ohio with a seventh place finish.


Yet after two Full seasons in IndyCar, Fangio II told his friend and Boss Dan Gurney He no longer could bring 100% commitment to the sport and left Open Wheel Racing, before completely retiring in 1999.


Forgive Mwah for also having sat upon this story for nearly some six years now, Aye Karumba! But Lucas Auer’s name came screaming to my Attenzione, like many others upon breaking His Back during practice for this year’s Rolex 24 behind the Keyboard of the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo GTD entry.


Since I’d previously begun scribbling about how another aspiring DTM Chauffeur was getting set to make His Formula 1 debut in a test outing for Force India, but would it lead to Formula 1?


Although I'd previously read some rumours of this F1 Test occurring Wayback’ in gory 2017, Yikes! I must say that I simply Knew Nothing! About this then 22yr old Austrian Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) Tintop driver Lucas Auer. For which you could say even having an Uncle named Gerhard Berger doesn’t guarantee you landing a Formula 1 ride…


As Auer tested alongside another “rising Star” that summer who ultimately earned the Dubious nickname of MazzaSpin’, Youch! Formally known as Nikita Mazepin. With the pair testing for Force India at the HungaBoring’, Err Hungoraring on August 1, 2017.


As Auer seemingly was “Peaking” in the DTM that summer. Having won two races and trailing Mattias Ekstrom by only two points in the title fight, before apparently fading. Since Auer ultimately finished sixth Overall that season with three wins, while Rene Rast won the title ahead of Ekstrom.


As the Austrian’s primarily spent His Tintops’ career racing in the DTM and other Touring Car categories. And finished a career best in the DTM last year driving for Team Winward Mercedes, finishing runner-up to Sheldon van der Linde. While His Team Winward links have enabled Lucas to race at the Rolex 24 on multiple occasions…


And it was interesting to Mwah back then, how the DTM seemed to have become somewhat of a training ground for Mercedes drivers to graduate to thoust Pinnacle 'O Motorsports, nee Formula 1. With the two Mercedes Werks’ DTM HotSchues’ Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon graduated to F1.


As Wehrlein who won the DTM title in 2015, was the first to be promoted to the Back marker Manor Racing team, albeit  naturally just plodding along as a Tail Gunner Charlie!


And then Pascal spent His second and final season in Formula 1 racing for Sauber, before returning to DTM. And since has found refuge in Formula E, where He currently competes for Tag Heuer Porsche. Having just won both rounds of the Diriyah ePrix, on the city streets of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Esteban Ocon was even “Faster” tracked into F1. With Mercedes also placing the Frenchman alongside Wehrlein at the struggling Manor Racing outfit. Beginning at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix, following the traditional F1 Summer Break.


Ironically Ocon was replaced by current Indycar Driver Felix Rosenqvist in DTM. While Ocon went onto race for Force India between 2017-18.


Although Ocon had to sit out the 2019 season of Formula 1 after being the Odd Man out at what then became Racing Point. Ocon’s currently the only driver to graduate from the DTM that’s still in F1, now starting His fourth season for Alpine.


And there’s probably more than I can recall. As the names of Bernd Schneider, Gary Paffett and Paul di Resta come to mind as DTM Chauffeurs who made their way into Formula 1, albeit briefly. Although I tend to recall that Paffett only ever was an McLaren F1 Test Driver…


Fast forwarding to Indy Cars. Obviously Canapino has a rough transition to make. And having V8 Supercars Superstar, and Triple series Champion ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin on the Grid has to be somewhat Daunting to the Argentine driver!


But then again, and with No Disrespect towards Juncos Hollinger Racing. Obviously JHR Ain’t No Team Penske! And I just wish for both Canapino, Callum Ilott and JHR to have a successful season this year.


Oh Yeah, naturally along with Lucas Auer having a Speedy recovery and returning to Touring Cars racing shortly… 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Gone Kayaking!

No Fenders Tacoma Bureau Chief and Kayak Guide Mary Ellen leading Tomaso on a brief paddle on one of the nearby Fjords off of Ye Isle of Nofendersville. (The Tomaso Collection)


Yeah Kiddoes’, once again your Humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso has gone on Holiday, Again! Like are you really surprised? Since after all, I think it’s still Spring Break?


AnyHoo’, not exactly sure when I’ll Return? So per usual, I’ll leave Y’all with a few “Canned’ stories to tide Yuhs over.


Not to mention, Thars Always the Voluminous No Fenders Archive to peruse…




Friday, March 3, 2023

Andretti Autosport Used Car lot


Slightly Used, low mileage Vintage eligible Open Wheel Racing Cars Now Available, All Offers Welcomed! (Engines Not included)


Obviously, Mikey A’ will be expecting better results this Sunday vs. their 2020 St Pete IndyCar race’s outcome. Where 50% of His team’s entries ended up behind the Wall! Including race leader Alexander Rossi!


For which I’m Hoping that Kyle Kirkwood, the new Chauffeur of the Andretti Autosport #27 Has a Solid first race outing…


Photo C/O Offical’ No Fenders Photographer CARPETS’

The Crashed cars of (#98) Marco Andretti and (#27) Alexander Rossi sitting behind Barrier (Turn-6?) during the October, 2020 St Pete Season Finale IndyCar race. (The Tomaso Collection) 

2023 IndyCar Preview: Which of these “lower” rung Teams will Impress this year?

And is this Finally the season that A.J. Foyt enterprises gives us something to Smile about? Besides Thar Good lookin’ paint jobs…


Whilst everyone’s getting Jones Over IndyCar finally going racing, beginning with today’s practice sessions at St Pete. It’s worth noting two major changes to this year’s NTT IndyCar Series Championship. The first being the cancellation of Double Points for the Indianapolis 500, Hurrah! Although the Bonus points structure for the Top-12 Qualifiers for the Indy 500 remains intact, which I suppose rewards teams for their hard work at Mother Speedway.


Secondly, this year sees the introduction of Shell’s 100% Renewable Fuel being implemented. With “Gen 2” Sugarcane waste being the primary ingredient sourced from Brazil. With Shell V-Power Fuel being the sole source of Indy Cars Ethanol racing fuel.


While here’s a quick look at our remaining three IndyCar Teams on this year’s Grid with Driver changes.


Dale Coyne Racing

Wins: 0

Drivers: #18 David Malukas and #51 R-Sting Ray robb


Thanks Dale, for continuing to be the longest “Vanna, I wanna Buy a Vowell!” Racing Team names on the Grid, Hya! As I’m Hoping David Malukas in the NO. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports can continue impressing! As David quickly became my second favourite IndyCar Driver last year! And now being 21yrs Old, can “legally” Drink Champagne on the Podium this year, when scoring more podium finishes…


But the biggest concern is how Malukas and His new Race Engineer Alex Athanasiadis, according to Racer’s Marshall Pruett do?


Meanwhile Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 entry is filled by rookie Sting Ray Robb, who finished a distant runner-up to Indy Lights Champion Linus Lundqvist last year, Chirp-Chirp, Bueller?


But I know that IndyCar Radio Announcer Davey Hamilton is ecstatic to have a fellow Idaho native on the IndyCar Grid this year, albeit I really Don’t know what to expect from Sting Ray. While this tandem forms the youngest IndyCar duo and should be fun to watch.


Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR)

Wins: 0

Drivers: #77 Callum Ilott and #78 R-Augustin Canapino


This is the team I’m most Hopeful for. Since I’ve always been a Fan of Ricardo Juncos, especially building a team from nothing! And I quickly became a Huge Fan of Callum Ilott’s last year, and I expect more good things from the “Plucky” Englishman this year, since both He and JHR seem to Always be “Punching” Above their respective weight!


Not surprisingly, Ilott finished ahead of Jack Harvey, Devlin DeFrancesco and Kyle Kirkwood in the season standings. And that was along with missing one race after breaking His wrist at Indianapolis. And I’d like to Arse-sume that Callum will finish ahead of His P20 results during His rookie campaign.


Yeah, I’d have liked to have missing Indy Lights Champion Linus Lundqvist in JHR’s second seat. But the reality is that the Swedish HotSchue’ didn’t have any Budget to go racing, thanks Penske Entertainment!


And although I Know Nothing about Augustin Canapino other than He’s won an insane amount of Argentine Touring Cars Championships., like 15! I have to say that I’m most impressed by His tenacity to become an IndyCar Driver!


Not only has He never driven an IndyCar before, not to mention presumably on Ovals. He’s also just immersed Himself in a three months crash course to learn English! And Yeah, I know it was only Spring Training. But check out the names He finished Ahead of, Ahem Helio Castroneves…


Thus although I Don’t think it will happen. Canapino gets my nod for second choice for Rookie Of the Year Honours following Marcus Eric, Err Armstrong!


As let’s just give the Argentine rookie Canapino a chance Y’all!


A.J. Foyt enterprises

Wins: 0

Drivers: #14 Santino Ferrucci and #55 R-Benjamin Pederson


And last again, albeit Hopefully this may be the year that the Foyt team actually moves forward? Since every year is slated to be the year that the perpetually underperforming Foyt team is going to improve…


Thus I’m guessing Y’all know about how respected veteran Engineer Michael Cannon left Chip Ganassi Racing this winter, moving to Foyt to Head up it’s Engineering Department. Along with multiple other staff changes. Meaning it would be nice to think that Foyt will improve this season.


Cannon will be reunited with the Great Santini’, ergo Santino Ferrucci in the No. 14 car. As the pair worked together with good results previously at Dale Coyne Racing.


As this will be Ferrucci’s first Full season IndyCar Gig since leaving Coyne for the supposedly “Greener” pastures of ‘RASSCAR-land at the end of 2020.


And you’d have to think Ferrucci will carry the storied #14 further forward than Kyle Kirkwood did last year, with No Disrespect towards Kirkwood. But Thars got to be a certain amount of pressure driving the iconic No. 14, el Correctomundo?


Meanwhile really Don’t know what to expect from rookie Benjamin Pederson, whose Indy Lights seasons were fairly “Pedestrian,” if being Honest. Finishing fifth Overall with His maiden Lights win last year. Makes me think of Devlin DeFrancesco, who finished sixth Overall in Lights before moving up to Indy Cars last year.


Not to mention driving for Foyt, which Ain’t exactly known for enhancing racing careers! So we’ll have to wait ‘N see what Pederson can do in the “double Nickel” Coyote Orange Dallara… 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

2023 IndyCar Season Preview: Which of these 3 Contendahs’ will Come Out on Top?

Especially since Mr. Zakery Brown plans to Crash the Party!


Continuing my elongated No Fenders Look-see’ at the upcoming IndyCar season. Here’s the first Half of the Six IndyCar Teams with Driver changes that obviously All intend to be fighting for Top bragging Honours…


Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR)

Wins (4) Scott Dixon: 2, Marcus Ericsson: 1, Alex Palou: 1

Drivers: #8 Marcus Ericsson, #9 Scott Dixon, #10 Alex Palou and #11 R-Marcus Armstrong/Takuma Sato

2022 Indy 500 winner: Marcus Ericsson


Typically each year, Scott Dixon is in the Championship Hunt frame. As the legendous’ Kiwi’ finished a somewhat distant third Overall last year. And it will be interesting to see how Dixon and His new Race Engineer Ross Bunneel “Gel.” Yet I’d expect Dixon to once again be fighting for His record tying seventh IndyCar title this year.


Although both Marcus Ericsson and Alex Palou finished the season with one win apiece, I’d say they had somewhat polar opposite seasons. With Ericsson winning at Indianapolis, and Palou’s Firestorm over Not driving for CGR in 2023! Although we All know how that flushed out…


Naturally I’ll expect both drivers to have another strong season. Although I somehow doubt that “Tall Marcus” will challenge for the Astor Cup this year. While Palou should be overly motivated, even if it’s No secret He’ll be moving to Arrow Mclaren next year. But what better way to say Thanks Cheep!


Where I’m most interested with CGR is how the “Short Marcus,” aka Marcus Armstrong fairs during His Rookie campaign. Which sadly He’s only doing the Twisties’ portion of the calendar, i.e.; road Courses and Street Circuits. Presumably due to lack of a Full season budget.


As I’ve been immensely impressed with the New Zealander in the few interviews He’s done with Racer’s Marshall Pruett! And is already my choice for Rookie Of the Year, (ROY) even though He’ll miss out on five races.


Yet I also have to say that I’m Happy that we’ll have Takuma Sato around one more year, even if it’s a new situation for the affable Two-times Indianapolis 500 winner running an Ovals only programme for the first time in His career.


Thus it shouldn’t be too difficult to Arse-sume that Dixon, Ericsson and Palou should All win races once again this year.


And will Dixon finally claim His second Borg Warner trophy after His various misses whilst dominating the past few years? Although new teammate Taku-san’ Had something to say about that back in 2020! And obviously is salivating over the chance for a third Indy 500 winners ring!


Arrow McLaren

Wins (2) Pato O’Ward: 2

Drivers: #5 Pato O’Ward, #6 Felix Rosenqvist and #7 alexander Rossi


The Big News for now what’s just Arrow McLaren is the bulking up to a three car operation with the arrival of Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi. For which we’re All curious how this will pan out?


As I’m really not sure what to expect from the team this season? Since it seems like they’ve got a Big Hole to fill with the departure of Tyler Kiel. Even if they’ve reorganized the Team’s Overall structure with Gavin “Love Boat” Ward and BillyBob BrazenHeartz’, aka Bryan Barnhart as Racing Director and Managing Director respectively.


Obviously Pato O’Ward will wish to stamp His authority as the team’s Defacto “No. 1” by leading the way and winning the most races for the team. Along with fighting for the IndyCar title again.


Yet what will Rossi have to say about that? While unfortunately Felix Rosenqvist is “Auditioning” for a Job next year while keeping His NTT Data sponsored Dallara’s seat warm for Alex Palou’s arrival in 2024…


Andretti Autosport

Wins (2) Colton Herta: 1, Alexander Rossi: 1

Drivers: #26 Colton Herta, #27 Kyle Kirkwood, #28 Romain Grosjean and #29 Devlin DeFrancesco


The $64,000 Question is whether or not Mikey A’s team, long known as Ond of the Big 3,” ergo Penske, Ganassi and Andretti, can rebound from it’s past few year’s of futility? Not to mention how Zak Brown and Arrow McLaren are firmly chafing at the Bit to join this exclusive “Pecking Order.”


With Rossi’s departure and Colton Herta being signed to a new long term contract. The soon to be 23yr Old Yank’ who was a Hot Commodity in Formula 1 last year, looks set to become the new Team leader.


Obviously I’d Arse-sume this is a “Make or Break” year for Romain Grosjean, who didn’t exactly have a rousing first season at Andretti Autosport. Other than giving His teammates Love Taps during races!


As perhaps the Frenchman is hedging His Bets by becoming a Factory Lamborghini Sports Car driver this year?


Much noise has already been made over how will Kyle Kirkwood do, now that He’s driving for a top team and seemingly got the Bugs worked out at A.J. foyt Enterprises expense?


Since we All know that testing in Palm Springs doesn’t determine anything. But Kirkwood was quick both days and seems to have come out Hungry with this fresh start! And looks poised to show His potential this year.


And then there’s Devlin DeFrancesco, who settled down after His rocky start as a rookie last year. Yet I really Don’t expect much from this sophomore IndyCar Pilote, other then to occupy the Mid-pack.


While who knows if His Father’s “legal” troubles will be a distraction at all for the series lone Kuhnuck? 

Monday, February 27, 2023

2023 IndyCar Preview: Will Team Penske Stay on Top?

And will they continue Monopolizing the Top step of the Podium this year?


Holy Six Months Offseason Batman! Are we really about to go racing once again some 175 days later? With the 2023 Season Opener at St Pete this Sunday, March 5th, which Y’all can watch on Big NBC.


This year I’m doing things a Wee Bitamyte’ different. Annd will look first at the four IndyCar Teams whose Driver lineups remain unchanged.


Team Penske

Wins: 9

(#2) Josef Newgarden: 5, (#3) Scott McLaughlin: 3 and (#12) Will Power: 1

2022 IndyCar Champion: Will Power


Whilst it’s not impossible for Will Power to become our latest consecutive IndyCar Champion, I’d say the Odds are firmly against Him repeating this season. Since the last driver to do so was Dario Franchitti between 2009-2011. And only six drivers have done so in the 44 years since the formation of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in 1979. Those being Rick Mears, Bobby Rahal, Alex Zanardi, Gil de Ferran, Sebastien Bourdais and the aforementioned Dario “REO Speedwagon” Franchitti.


Even more against Power’s Odds was His uncharacteristic winning the title with just one single victory, which I believe the last person to do that was Big Al’, aka Al Unser in 1985.


Yet with Team Penske retaining it’s overly potent lineup, it has to be one of the Odds On favourites to win the IndyCar title again.


As I’d really enjoy seeing ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin win His first Open Wheel Racing Crown this year. But I suspect it will be Josef Newgarden instead, becoming a Three times IndyCar Series Champion. Since you’ve just gotta think He’s super Hungry after last year’s defeat to Power.


Rahal Letterman Lanigan racing (RLLR)

Wins: 0

Drivers: #15 Graham Rahal, #30 Jack Harvey and #45 Christian Lundgaard

2022 Rookie Of the Year: Christian Lundgaard


The Big News over the ridiculous Offseason was the swapping of Car numbers between Jack Harvey and Christian Lundgaard, which surely was done in Hopes of having the Hy-Vee Car Up front more this year. As Harvey had a miserable first year at RLLR. And while some are saying one of the unspoken stories this year is how will Kyle Kirkwood do? I’d say an even bigger storyline is what will Harvey do this season?


Graham Rahal remains as the team’s leader and is Hoping for a big improvement this year with the return of His former race winning Engineer Eddie Jones, seeing Allan McDonald move over to Harvey’s #30 ride. Yet it appears that it’ll be Christian Lundgaard in the No. 45 leading the way for this Mid-pack team once again., provided He doesn’t suffer a Sophomore Slump…


Meyer Shank Racing (MSR)

Wins: 0

Drivers: #06 Helio Castroneves and #60 simon Pagenaud


Longtime readers of No Fenders will know that I totally Despise that ‘Ol Dancin’ Fool Hulio’. And even though the unofficial “Spokesman” for Just For Men has just won His third Rolex timepiece at Daytona. Along with saying all the right things about His upcoming second Full season at MSR. I’m sorry, but this will be another lost year for Helio Castroneves!


As I’ll even predict it’s His final Full season ride in Indy Cars. And if MSR Doesn’t put Tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist into this car next year, then I Don’t know what MSR’s thinking?


Symone’, aka Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud’s No Spring Chicken either. As the affable Frenchman who was my favourite driver for years will turn 39 ten days before some 500-miler’ Oval race this May. Preceeded by His teammate, the Elder Statesman of IndyCar turning a robust 48 on May 10th. Giving MSR the Oldest Driver tandem on the Grid!


As I really Hope that Pagenaud can improve His results this year, and give MSR something to be excited about. As you’d think having a technical alliance wit Andretti Autosport should produce better results, other than it’s single Indy 500 victory…


Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR)

Wins: 0

Drivers: #20 Conor Daly and #21 Rinus VeeKay


Really not sure why ECR is struggling? As I like both of these drivers who are returning for their second Full season together. But Rinus VeeKay finished 12th Overall. With Conor Daly finishing P17 Overall, behind the Top two Rookies, i.e.; Christian Lundgaard and David Malukas!


Surely Thar Engineering Staff isn’t that bad, but I can only surmise this is where the team’s lacking in performance? Along with having a smaller budget vs. the other three teams with no Driver changes…


And I left out the Boss Fast Eddie’, aka Ed Carpenter. Who’ll continue His Ovals Only programme in the team’s third No. 33 entry, since I’m just focusing upon Full season Drivers instead. Which Arse-sumedly will one day be the bridge to ECR running three Fulltime entries.