Wednesday, August 30, 2023

F1: The Plight of Daniel Ricciardo

    Although I suppose it’s Not as Bad as Simon Pagenaud’s lingering Concussion predicament…


Typically steer away from what I consider Puff pieces, unless it regards one of the cadre of racing drivers I like.


Case in point was deciding to “read”, Err listen to a Puff piece upon Me Thinks? About how “Pumped” DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo was about the upcoming second half of this year’s Formula 1 season. Noting how He’d spent the Summer Break training to get Himself Fit for the forthcoming stretch ‘O races.


As Ricciardo had been Red Bull’s reserve driver and getting His “Mojo” back by working on their simulator, along with being a Red Bull Ambassador, before replacing the rudely discarded rookie Dutchman Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, after the Dutchman had only been given a paltry ten races to “impress” the likes of Der Helmut’, aka Dr. Helmut Marco.  


As I, like Arse-sumedly many others have been guessing that Ricciardo’s return to F1 at Scuderia AlphaTauri is simply a tune-up for replacing Checo’, nee Sergio Perez at Red Bull next year, Righto?


Since Marco did little to quelch this speculation by stating prior to the Dutch Grand Prix that Sergio wasn’t 100% certain for next year…


Naturally I felt bad for Daniel after ironically He broke His Hand whilst taking evasive action to not Slam into Countryman Oscar Piastri at Zandvoort during Friday practice.


As the rookie Aussie’ who replaced DannyRic’ at McLaren this season had spun on the blind, banked Turn-3 corner ahead of Ricciardo. With Daniel reportedly not being able to remove His Hands from the steering wheel quickly enough before impacting the wall!


I first learned about the incident when perusing my NFB Newsline for The Blind’s Reuters Motorsports News feed Friday morning. But what I found annoying was that Reuters, London Telegraph, etc. Noted that Ricciardo had broken His wrist. And others like The Guardian and Racer were saying He’d broken His Hand.


As I really get tired of this Shoddy, misleading reporting. Like is it His Hand or wrist Dudes?


Thus after looking up what a Metacarpal is, technically both descriptions are correct. Since apparently the Metacarpal are the Bones between one’s fingers and wrist, connecting each other. But still, it would be nice for everybody to say the same Gory words…


AnyHoo’ regardless, Ricciardo was not medically cleared to compete and was summarily replaced by the team’s reserve driver Liam Lawson. Although reportedly sacked Nyck de Vreis was still on AlphaTauri’s Driver’s “rolls”, and would have been a popular choice at Zandvoort.


Yet Red Bull further stuck the knife into de Vries when the team elected to give the 21yr old New Zealander His debut Grand Prix start instead.


While Ricciardo flew to Barcelona to undergo surgery to “Clean-up” His Metacarpal break in order to recover as quickly as possible.


With rumours initially suggesting that Ricciardo would be targeting a return to the cockpit at the Singapore Grand Prix, despite it being a highly physical race.


Ricciardo’s Hand surgery was successful with a plate and screws being inserted to aid recovery, with Red bull haveng subsequently said that rookie Lawson will “Deputize” at this week’s Italian Grand Prix, and until ricciardo’s ready to return to His AlphaTauri cockpit.


Thus I can only Hope DannyRic’ makes a speedy, but Full recovery before returning to action either at Suzuka or Austin later this season. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Penske-A.J. foyt IndyCar Technical Alliance Announced

Meaning Bosom Buddies ScottyMac’ (Scott McLaughlin) and everybodies favourite IndyCar driver Benjamin Pederson will now be “Working together!”


Like IndyCar that was in a Thunderstorm ‘n Rain Delay last Saturday, your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso’s also been shuffling planned “Posts” here upon Ye Blob’, as Thy late Awntie’ Harriet called it…


Found this to be very interesting news, which I first spotted during my daily News Trawl on last week. Wit Marshall Pruett noting how the previously discussed Technical Alliance between Team Penske and A.J. Foyt enterprises had been rekindled upon Larry Foyt making a phone call to Tim Cindric.


As Foyt should improve with technical feedback on “go Fast” parts. Arse-sumedly most notably those All critical Dampers programme. (Shocks) Along with other engineering expertise, albeit Foyt’s main man Mike Cannon Ain’t exactly No Slouch! With No Disrespect towards any of the other Foyt Engineering Staff.


Where it got interesting for Mwah was Cindric openly talking about where do they place a Miles Rowe or Ernie Francis, Jr. in the future if either is ready to graduate to IndyCar from Indy NXT? Noting how Penske typically doesn’t insert fresh face rookies into it’s team.


Not to mention the alliance will allow Penske to also develop staff for future promotion, i.e.; Engineers and Crew members.


Cindric said it’s a work in progress and they’ll work out the long term details as they go along. For now just helping Foyt as much as possible over the final three races.


While Pruett mentions how interest has already percolated regarding potential future drivers for Foyt due to the new technical alliance, a la Andretti Autosport and Meyer Shank Racing on the Honda side of the equation.


And it seems that Marshall’s mentioned the possibility of new technical alliances being formed, mainly with Arrow McLaren if it decides to expand to a four car operation next year? Since they’re not moving into Mikey A’s current race shop until 2025 when Andretti moves to it’s new Fisher’s complex.


Butt I’d Arse-sume McLaren’s plans for four Fulltime IndyCar entries has been delayed now that Zak’s Boy Alex Palou has changed His mind, again. With Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) seeming to be the most logical Bowtie’ runner choice.


Yet Pruett noted over the WWTR weekend that He was keeping an “Eye” upon a possible Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) technical alliance “tie-up” with McLaren instead. Although noting that Callum Ilott was one of the drivers on McLaren’s “shopping list” to fill the vacated No. 6 Palou seat…


And although I know it’s not the same situation. Nonetheless, I’m old enough to remember how Tony Junior’s Bettenhausen Motorsports Sharp lookin’ IndyCar team ran year old Penske’s exclusively during the early 1990’s, when Penske Cars were building their own IndyCar chassis in Bloody Poole, England. Notably when ‘lil Stevie Johnson’, aka Stefan Johansson was running those Alumax sponsored PC chassis Indy Cars…


As just think of how this alliance should remarkably help the Great Santini’s, aka Santino Ferrucci’s overall performance. And how Ferrucci’s prowess on a one, certain 2.5-mile Oval. Some place that El Capitano’ owns potentially benefit Team Penske! Which I prefer calling Mother Speedway…


Whilst the idea of B-Teams isn’t anything new, since Scuderia AlphaTauri has been Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 Defacto B-Team since 2006! While I think Mercedes has had linkage with Williams over the years. Not to mention turning the long defunct Manor Racing team into it’s B-Team with AMG Mercedes DTM chauffeurs Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon…



Whilst waiting out the Rain Delay at WWTR last Saturday, I read Marshall Pruett’s latest Silly Season update. With Marshall noting that Santino Ferrucci was still unsigned for Foyt next year, with teammate Benjamin Peterson being on a multi-year contract.


Think it would be a shame if Foyt didn’t retain Ferrucci! But with Pruett also noting how Fast Eddie’, nee Ed Carpenter doesn’t like being “Ghosted!” Which possibly David Malukas will end up doing to Ed? Ferrucci in the ECR No. 20 entry would be a great “Change-up”. Or may be as an unlikely addition to either Meyer Shank Racing or Juncos Hollinger Racing who both could benefit from Santino’s Oval prowess, Just Sayin’. Especially since the 2024 IndyCar Silly Season is far from being done! With everyone besides Team Penske still having potential vacancies… 

Friday, August 25, 2023

NASCAR’s Crossover Stars Highlights Double Header IMS weekend races

Even if the Cup “Regulars” Stole the Show…


Although your Humble, or should that be Haggard No Fenders Scribe Tomaso was still on the road during the IndyCar-RASSCAR’ Double Header weekend at Mother Speedway. Ensconced at Ye Apple Orchard on Vashon Island. Where Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen dutifully tuned into IndyCar Radio’s coverage of both Qualie’ and race day for the enjoyable summer’s IndyCar GP Doce , which I enjoyed “Flag-to-Flag”. Finding myself inexplicably rootin’ for Graham Rahal to somehow get past Scott Dixon to break His six years victory drought to No avail, Sigh! Along with rootin’ Vociferously for Sparky’, aka Devlin DeFrancesco to Hold up thee “Iceman 2.0”, since Graham Himself had been previously Held up by traffic…


I find it ironic that today on Marshall Pruett discusses how IndyCar discussed working on a future “Charter” system a la RASSCAR, reminding Mwah I hadn’t posted this riveting story yet!


Hearing IndyCar Radio’s lead announcer Mark Gravelly’ James Jawin’ with Arse-sumedly PRN (Performance radio Network) lead announcer Doug Rice sometime during the IndyCar race broadcast about the upcoming marquee Brickyard 200 event, Youch!


Although perhaps Mary Ellen was correct when retorting to Mwah that NASCAR must be paying El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske several Brinks Armoured Cars Full of Dinero for Thar premium Billing! Ad Nauseum media coverage and preferred Garage status…


With Rice noting the likes of such racing luminaries as Bloody Jense’, aka 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button, The Giz’, aka Shane Van Gisberegen, Mike Rocky’ Rockenfeller and what caught me totally off-guard, the mention of K-Squared’, nee Kamui Kobayashi! Along with the totally unknown, other Supercars Star Brodie Kostecki taking part in Sunday’s race.


If I’d been home I’d probably have switched on Thy Telie’ to “watch”, Err listen to the race, since this is one of the few RASCCAR events I’m willing to partake. Although I haven’t watched a NASCAR race since the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) Crash-fest! And Nah, Ain’t gonna spend anytime on Felipe Massa’s ridiculous 2008 Crash Gate frivolous lawsuit, but I digress…


As Button was making His third and final season’s start aboard the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang. With “The Giz” (Van Gisbergen) making His second start behind the keyboard of Trackhouse Racing’s No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Rocky’ (Rockenfeller) was sawin’ the wheel in the No. 42 Legacy Motor Club Chevy, whilst I believe two others were making Thar Cup debuts.


As K-Squared’ (Kobayashi) was piloting the third #67 23/XI Racing Toyota Corolla; Err, Uhm, Freudian slip Thar! As I meant Camery. And current Supercars points leader Brodie Kostecki was driving the third Richard Childress Racing #33 Camaro.


Ironically Kostecki led the Supercars points standings with 1,590 points vs. Will Brown’s 1,549 and Van Gisbergen’s 1,536 with five rounds remaining. Including the legendous’ Bathurst 1000 October 8th, with the season wrapping up in Adelaide on November 26th.


I say ironic since Van Gisbergen’s just been released from His Supercars contract a year early to pursue His dreams of becoming a fulltime NASCAR Cup Star next year. With Triple Eight Race Engineering having announced the signing of Will Brown as His replacement next season…


As Van Gisbergen was Top of Thee Pops for the “All Stars”, finishing tenth overall, followed by Supercars compatriot Kostecki in 22nd. Rockenfeller was P24 and the first driver One lap down. Followed by Button P28 and Kobayashi P33 of the field’s 39 contestants.


Much talk has been made of how this apparently will be the third and final IMS Road Course Double Header, since it’s a mere formality before the Brickyard 400 makin’ Four lefts returns on the hallowed 2.5-mile Oval for it’s 30th Anniversary next year.


Since even though I’ve never been impressed by the second teir status IndyCar’s forced to endure over this weekend. I feel it’ll be a shame to cease this Double Header weekend format between IndyCar and NASCAR.


As Raymond Hando of For the Love of Indy’s already pointed out, Watkins Glen would be the ideal replacement track to continue this unique once a year weekend race format. And it doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult for Indy Cars to run the ‘Boot” long track configuration with the Cup cars running the shorter version the day after.


And I Hate saying it, but it seems that NASCAR’s making All of the right moves with this International lineup, even if some contestants were ineligible for Cup points. Making me ponder how IndyCar could do something similar?


And although I’m totally aware it’ll never happen. I’m guessing the main sticking point for IndyCar would be the vaunted, albeit ever shrinking Leaders Circle prize fund vs. RASSCAR’s Franchise, Uhm Charter system.


Thus IndyCar would have to run a Non-points event, which I hope the proposed Argentina race won’t be! In order to entice each of the Big Three or Four to run a guest All Star driver in place of one of their regular drivers. Or enter an extra racecar for said “guest” Driver.


As Hell, we know that Mr. Zakery Brown wouldn’t have a Problema coming up with an extra driver, even if the double talking Alex Palou cannot make up His mind where to drive next year…


Although I think to fully garner the right media Attenzione’, this would have to be a stand alone event devoid of Cup cars, with Mother Speedway’s permanent road course being a perfect venue.


Or my choice for this IndyCar All Star event would be Road America, or make it the Laguna Seca or Heaven’s forbid, the Thermal Club’s Winter Kickoff event.


And I say road course since we know that Jenson Button has said He’s not interested in running an Oval IndyCar race, while how cool would it be seeing The Iceman Kimi Raikkonen driving a Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry? And whomever else you could Dream up for such a mythical event… 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The ever reciprocating Wheels of Motor Racing

Sing it Billy Preston! Will It go round in Circles?


Yeah, forgive Mwah for playing Ketsup’. As I’m El Mucho behind on this, especially since I was off in Ye proverbial Bush with Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ellen and Hang 10- Hilo the past three weeks, Butt?


Upon the News of thoust proverbial tossing of another talented Formula 1 driver like Cold Bathwater by Der Helmut’, aka Dr. Helmut Marco. Since Y’all have presumably moved on from that Firing Wayback’ on Wednesday, July 12th, El Correctomundo?


It nawed at Mwah that former FIA Formula 2 and Formula E Champion Nyck de Vries had previously tested an IndyCar for Meyer shank Racing? Which indeed He did so at Sebring Wayback’ in December, 2021. As what an impressive Quartet went testing that day.


When then Mercedes Formula E teammate Stoffel Vandoorne tested for Arrow McLaren SP. Callum Ilott Arse-sumedly for Juncos Hollinger Racing. (JHR) And if memory serves your aging Blogger correctly? Jack “Achey Breaky” Aitken tested for Ed Carpenter Racing. (ECR)


As De Vries was quickest of the four that day. And presumably Mike Shank’s already made a phone call immediately afterwards, Righto? To the unceremoniously Dumped Scuderia alphaTauri F1 Driver about piloting one of their two IndyCar entries next year?



Whilst you presumably also know that De Vries was replaced by DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo. Whose being “loaned” to AlphaTauri for the remainder of the season as De Vries’s replacement. With Ricciardo claiming He’s “Stoked” to be back in Formula 1, Uh-duh!


As I’m sure others have already lined up the “Polka Dots” of Ricciardo’s return as a tune-up to replacing the currently beleaguered Checo’, nee Sergio Perez at what Austin F1 sherpa Claudio denoted as the Big Bulls’, ergo Red Bull Racing for 2024. Since Herr Marco and Company have already well documented how much signed contracts mean to them, Ja Volt!


And was this just a neat way to get Ricciardo some “Seat-time” along with Alex Palou slotting into the vacated AlphaTauri or whatever it’s new moniker for next year will be?


As does Palou have visions of Grandeur of one day driving alongside Max Verstappen? Even if noise was being made at Bloody Silverstone about Marco meeting with Lando Norris’s “Agent”. (Manager)



Naturally All Hell broke loose whilst on Holiday, again! Since we All know now that Alex Palou is staying put at chip Ganassi Racing for 2024 and beyond. With Tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist being announced as the driver next season for Meyer shank Racing’s #06 entry, with Helio Castroneves moving into an Indy 500 Only role with the team next year.


While reports noted de Vries having a “Coffee” with Herr Crying Wolff of Mercedes fame in Ye Principality’, nee Monte Carlo awhile ago now. With the Dutchman apparently keen upon staying in Europe with rumours claiming He’d been talking to Nissan about a Formula E drive for next season.


Although Thars’ still the potential of an IndyCar Drive, as Arrow McLaren and Zakery Brown have plenty ‘O suitors for the potentially vacated No. 6 seat next year! Or de Vreis could fill out an impressive lineup at RLLR aboard it’s #30 entry… 

Monday, August 21, 2023

The ever continuing IndyCar silly Season Scrum’

As I’m 98% certain that “Free Agency” began on August 1st…


Prior to is it just TO’ Up North, Eh? Err Toronto Qualifying, I scribbled the following Silly Season conjecture below. Since Thanks to Alex Palou, whose simply continues Shitting Gold Bricks! Seems like we’re All more interested in the 2024 Silly Season vs. finishing the Championship this year, Eh?


Which obviously Palou’s totally turned next year’s “silly Season” upside down and on it’s Head with His decision to now stay at Ganassi instead! Making me wonder if Marcus Ericsson will wind up in the Arrow McLaren No. 6 ride instead?


And that was before Palou’s “Midas” touch saw His Front wing being Held intact by just some sponsor Deckels for nearly 40-laps, Aye Karumba!


As I came up with at least One-third of the field being replaced or in different Homes next year. But think I can get to at least 11 drivers On the Bubble! As here’s my list, albeit Don’t know if Thars’ been any earth shattering announcements since I’ve been Out ‘n Aboot’ since Iowa. Like Take Off eh!


A.J. foyt Enterprises

No changes expected. Since possibly the series most popular rookie on the Grid Benjamin Pederson brings the Sexton sponsorship? And The Great Santini’, aka Santino Ferrucci definitely returns.


Well I’m guessing whomever this Global Motorsports Group that Pederson runs for supposedly in Sammamish, WA seems to have money, and who else would Hire Him?


Andretti Autosport

Devlin DeFrancesco had already been announced as leaving at season’s end, prior to Toronto. Whilst Romain Grosjean is definitely on the Hot Seat. And guessing that Marcus Ericsson takes over the No. 28 DHL ride, since Grosjean’s stock seems to be continuously Freefalling! And that was before the Frenchman said that the wheel had “slipped” outta His Hands on the Bumpy Streets of Toronto, Butterfingers!


Thus, I’m guessing it’s a good thing that Romain’s already signed to drive the Factory Lamborghini SC63 Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) IMSA GTP Prototype next year, or will He be seeing FIA World Endurance Championship duty instead? Leaving just the No. 29 open for somebody new to take over.


Arrow McLaren

Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi are both staying. And the worst kept secret is Alex Palou bringing His Astor Cup and taking Felix-the-Cat’ Rosenqvist’s No. 6 ride.


Chip Ganassi Racing

Alex Palou is leaving CGR as soon as the Laguna Seca season finale finishes! And most likely Marcus Ericsson’s gone too. Leaving Cheep’ with at least two seats to fill. Marcus Armstrong wants to remain as a Full season driver next year, but needs to come up with more cash. So I’ll say there’s just two open seats at Ganassi to fill, with Armstrong continuing. But don’t know  who winds up here?


According to Racer’s Marshall Pruett; Don’t expect former FIA Formula 2 driver Robert Shwartzman to find His way to Ganassi. Even though He had a promising test, Pruett says Shwartzman’s lined-up for some Ferrari Sports Car Gig instead…


Dale Coyne Racing

David Malukas announced He was leaving during the Mid-Ohio weekend. And Sting Ray Robb seems most likely gone, since He Ain’t exactly moving the “Needle”.


As it’s always interesting to see who Coyne picks from obscurity to fill His rides. Although I can somehow “See” Sparky’, nee Devlin DeFrancesco filling Robb’s seat…


Ed Carpenter Racing

Count Dracula’, ergo Rinus VeeKay has one more year on His current ECR contract. Hey, that’s the new nickname I came up with for thee Nedierlander’ after spearing Alex Palou in the Pits during the Indy 500. Not to mention many drivers, including ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin aren’t impressed with His Herky Jerky driving style!


Arse-suming the dude! Nee Ryan Hunter-Reay won’t return to the No. 20 cockpit and we’ll have to wait ‘n see who’s left available for Fast Eddie to Hire? But Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) would be a good, solid Hire here…


Juncos Hollinger Racing

“Team Leader” Callum Ilott moves onto a “Bigger ‘n Better” IndyCar team, whomever that is? While Augustin Canapino returns for His second year.


Ilott could land at either Ganassi or Andretti, which I think the latter would be a better fit, although Ilott and Armstrong are good friends, Ilott Don’t have any money to give Cheep! And Meyer shank Racing wouldn’t be a bad place either…


Meyer Shank Racing

Scuttlebutt suggests that it’s a mere formality before Toronto IndyCar rookie Tom “the Bomb” Blomquist replaces Hulio’ for next year. With Helio Castroneves going to MSR’s sports Car team and running a “One-off” Indy 500 entry next year.


Think Pageantry’, nee Simone’ ergo Simon Pagenaud’s also gone from MSR next year, and also moves to sports Cars fulltime. And would be a much better choice over Hulio! But it’s worth noting that Mikey A’ and Wayne Taylor are expanding to two Acura GTP entries next year and Simon’s got a long history with Honda. So I’ll pencil Him in in one of the Acura’s next year…


Thinking this is Malukas’s best bet to “Move” forward on the Grid.


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Graham Rahal and the driver No Fenders Offical’ Photographer Carpets’ nicknamed Looney Guard or was that supposed to be Christian Lundgaard, Hya! Will both return to RLLR next year. Odd man out is Jack Not Bloody Nige Harvey! Who I think will be hard pressed to remain in IndyCar next year.


As I’d like to see reigning Indy Lights champion Linus Lundqvist get the nod, but guessing it’ll be a Pay Driver landing here, and Linus don’t have any dineor…


Yet following Toronto Marshall Pruett noted that Lundqvist is “inching” Closer to a possible three race Dealio towards season’s end, including the Gateway Oval and two other Road/Street Course races. As I’m guessing that Lundqvist makes His IndyCar debut with RLLR…


Team Penske

The only IndyCar team 100% definitely not making any changes. And won’t have a driver vacancy until DJ WillyP’, aka Wonderful Will (Power) leaves for Sports Cars.


As that’s what I’m aware of, but Don’t have a Clue who’s gonna fill what seat or going where? As we’ll just have to wait ‘n see who’s the first announcement…

Thursday, August 17, 2023

F1: Comparing Max, What’s All the Noise about?

Especially since you’ve got a long ways to go to catch some Dudes named Schumacher and Hamilton…


Perhaps it’s just Mwah? Or is there a lot of noise being made over how G-R-R-R-Reat’ Max Verstappen is? Along with being compared with the pantheon of the Sports elite?


Since now that Ye Formula 1 Brat Pack member whom I’m simply calling MaxiMillions’ these days has surpassed the late Ayrton Senna’s F1 career tally of 41 wins, which Max Verstappen tied by winning this year’s Canadian Grand Prix. Dovetailing nicely with Red Bull claiming the “Ton” for Grands Prix victories, i.e.; 100 F1 wins.


Red Bull becomes only the fifth Formula 1 Constructor to do so. Behind Ferrari’s 242 W’s, McLaren’s 183, Mercedes 125 and Williams 114. With Red Bull being able to tie Williams by season’s end if they sweep the entire season, Youza!


As here’s the numbers I gleamed between Senna and Verstappen as of the Canadian Grand Prix. Since we All know that Max has claimed another two Poles and Wins at the subsequent Austrian and British Grands Prix. And was then only eight wins shy of tying “the Professor”, aka Alain Prost. And ten shy of tying ‘lil Syd viddle’, aka Sebastian Vettel ( With Prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix).


Stats                Senna  Verstappen

Starts               161      171

Wins                            41        41

Poles                           65        25       

Podiums          80        85

Fastest laps                 19        24

Championships           3          2



Ayrton Senna: 1984-1994

First Win: 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix

Last Win: 1993 Australian Grand Prix


Max Verstappen: 2015-Present

First win: 2016 Spanish Grand Prix

41st win: 2023 Canadian Grand Prix


Although for Mwah, having actually seen racing in person whom I fondly rmember as the “four Horsemen!” Aka Ayrton Senna, alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet. The answer to the Question is simple. NO Max, you’ll never be as great or greater than Senna!


Since although I rarely dwell upon it. I’ll never forget the one and only time I stood some three feet apart from Ayrton Senna on the Downtown streets of Arizona!


Thus, in ten fewer races, when Formula 1 seasons were shorter, therefore meaning a Driver’s career tended to be shorter. Especially vs. today’s disgusting push by Liberty Media to Suck out All the Cash possible from F1 by expanding to a ridiculous 24-25 Grands Prix preseason!


Even so, in ten fewer races, Ayrton won three F1 World Championships vs. Max’s two. Not to mention the jarring discrepancy of Pole positions, as in 40 Freakin’ more Poles, Aye Karumba!


And this doesn’t even take into consideration that Senna spent His first year driving for the Back-marker Toleman. Or the next two seasons with the under-performing Lotus, before finally moving to McLaren!


As it’s pretty amazing that McLaren’s record of 11 consecutive Grand Prix victories with Senna and Prost’s “magical” 1988 season, winning 15 of 16 Grands Prix has stood some Gory 35 years, before being broken by Red Bull!


Not to mention this Ain’t a fair comparison, since it’s obvious Senna would have gone onto win more races and Championships at Williams had it not been for that fatefall day at Imola…


As I totally agree with the commentator’s points about overall greatness vs. plain Statistics regarding who the Best formula 1 Driver is? Although I’m not sure if Senna would be my All-time Greatest? Since Juan Manuel Fangio and Jimmy clark come to mind! As here’s the Youtube video of why Senna’s the Greatest F1 Drivers.


As I especially like the point about how Senna had three Million grieving Brazilians line the streets for His Funeral. Which I highly doubt would happen for Max!


Not to mention how many millions did Ayrton donate to His Countries Poor? Which what has Max done?


Yet it seems pointless to compare formula 1 Greats or any other drivers across the countless generations. Since the more I think about it, I’m just Uber impressed by El Maestro! Formally known as Juan Manuel Fangio.


As Fangio didn’t begin wrasslin’ a front engine Formula 1 roadster until Age 37 in 1948. Arse-sumedly withot power steering! Not to mention Drum brakes, etc. until Age 47! And in only 52 entries  or 51 Starts, won an incredible 24 Grands Prix. The best ever winning percentage of nearly 50%, noted as 46.15 Freakin percent!


Along with then an unassailable five F1 World Championships won over just seven years! For which somebody named Der Terminator’ here at No Fenders, aka Michael Schumacher claimed his sixth F1 World Championship 46 years later at Suzuka in 2003. A race your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso just so happened to be present at!


Or winning His five titles driving four different Marques, i.e.; Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Mercedes, Ferrari and Maserati once again.


With His 1954 F1 championship impressing me most, since He won driving for two different manufacturers in one season, beginning with Maserati before switching to Mercedes; the only time ever done.


Not to mention recuperating from a broken Neck in 1952! Along wit contesting the grueling Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Carrera Pan America or countless other trechorous Rally races in Argentina…


Or how about Jimmy Clark? Who surely would have won more than two F1 Championships if not killed racing in a Formula 2 race. Being just one of three Formula 1 World champions to win the Indianapolis 500!


Or Jackie Stewart simply retiring from F1 after the death of His teammate Francois Cevert. Another of the multitudes of racing drivers perishing when safety was fairly non-existent. Along with the gritty determination of Nicky “the Rat” Lauda?


As I could go on ‘N on, but I think Y’all get the point! Yes,Verstappen’s a very good F1 driver who’ll surely surpass Prost and Vettel to become the third All-time Grands Prix winner. But what does it mean? And how much credit does Adrian Newey, whose F1 Chassis have now won a staggering 200+ Grands Prix! Plus the entire Red Bull Racing Organization deserve… 

Monday, August 14, 2023

RETRO: Iconic Ford GT Racecar Bows Out for Third Time

As will we ever see a fourth iteration of this venerable, iconic Sports Car on Racetracks around the Globe?


By now, especially since it was nearly Gory four years ago, Zoinks! I'm Arse-suming Y'all have totally forgotten that the October 2019's Petit Le Mans signaled the end of the much vaunted Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Werks' Ford GT racing programme. When those two IMSA Grand Touring Le Mans Spec Ford GT's crossed the finish line with Ryan Briscoe behind the Keyboard of his No. 67 mount gamely chasing the class winning #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, El Correctomundo?


As Briscoe finished 11th Overall, with the Seester’ #66 finishing 17th Overall…


Yet in for a Pound, in for a penny? Here’s what I’ve gleamed for the final three year’s of Cheeps’ wonderful Ford GT Werks’ programme.



The second year of Ye Cheepster’s, nee chip Ganassi’s Werks’ Ford GT racing programme started off with a Bang! When the No. 66 CGR Ford GT with Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and le Hamburgular’, Sealmeister B’ ergo Monsieur Bourdais winning the season opening Rolex 24's GT Le Mans Category. With Hand & Mueller claiming Thar second W' later that season at road America.


Across thoust Gory Puddle in what Racer’s Marshall Pruett enjoys calling the “Weckity Wec”, nee FIA World Endurance Championship. (WEC) The season got off to a great start when CGR’s No. 67 was victorious with Pipo Derani, Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx behind it’s Keyboard at Bloody Silverstone’s opening round.


Once again for Le Mans, (Round 3) CGR entered it’s four cars. With it’s No. 67 Ford UK WEC entry finishing P18 Overall and second in class, behind the winning No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage.


With it’s Seester’ No. 66 WEC entry finishing P27 overall and 10th in class.


Whilst it’s two IMSA WeatherTech sportscar  Championship (Ford USA) Nos. 68-69 entries finished in lockstep with each other. With the No. 68 finishing sixth in the LMGTE Pro class and 22nd overall. And the No. 69 finished 23rd overall and seventh in class.


Then at Round 8 at Shanghai, the Ford UK entry of Tincknell and Priaulx scored the No. 67’s second and final WEC victory of the season.



For Year three, the Ford GT won it's second consecutive 24 Hours of Daytona race, this time with the #67 piloted by it's regular crew of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, with some Cool Kiwi Bloke commonly referred to as The Iceman, aka Scott Dixon as it's third driver.


The Seester' #66 won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s Watkins Glen Six Hours Enduro with regulars Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, followed by the two cars playing Leapfrog upon the Podium's top step. As the No. 67 won next time out at Mosport, followed immediately by the No. 66 at Lime Rock, followed by the #67 winning at Road America - with the Ford GT's sweeping Four races in-a-row!


Meanwhile, making things messy, the FIA decided to switch to an bi-yearly calendar for the 2018-19 season, for which Ganassi’s Ford UK operation won just one lone race. When the No. 66 driven by Oliver Pla, Billy Johnson and Stefan Mucke took the top step at the season opening Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Class podium.



Stateside, on Ye IMSA championship trail, the two Werks’ Porsche 911 RSR’s dominated the season. With the Ford GT not scoring it’s first W’ until Round 8 at the venerable Lime Rock Park facility. As Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook in the No. 67 were victorious. With the duo winning next time out at Road America.


Then at the penultimate round at Laguna Seca, Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller gave the Ford GT it’s final victory in IMSA competition, aboard the sister No. 66 entry.


As mentioned above, the FIA had moved to an Summer-Fall calendar, instituting it’s 2018-19 season, which featured two 24 Hours of Le Mans events. Wit the latter 2019 portion of the calendar beginning with that year’s super Sebring weekend.


Yet neither of Ganassi’s two Ford GT WEC entries didn’t win again, after winning at Spa the previous year.


And Le Mans was another disappointment, albeit three-fourths of the Ford GT Armada finished P-4-5-6 in the LMGTE Pro Class. With the WEC’s No. 67 finishing 23rd Overall. Followed by the IMSA No. 69 and WEC #66 in lockstep. With the second IMSA #68 entry being disqualified Post race!


Yet the even bigger news was the apparent LMGTE Am win of Ben Keating’s No. 85 Ford GT, the first “Privateer” ford GT effort, resplendent in beautiful Wynns livery. Having it’s Class victory taken away Post race! As it too, along with it’s Big Brother’s #68 entry were both DSQ’ed’, nee Disqualified for having illegal, oversized fuel tanks, Youch!


And then as noted above, the CGR Ford GT progamme came to it’s glorious end at Petit Le Mans, in what had always been a four year programme. Which in motor racing is an eternity!



Whilst the Doran Ford GT-R is denoted as a Mk VII variant, and the following Ganassi Ford GT’s racecars as Mk VIII models. Try as I might, I cannot find any information upon what the missing Ford GT40/GT Mk VI variant was? And apparently it’s a State Secret? Although perhaps the TOMS Japanese Ford GT300 is the mysterious Mk Vi racecar? 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

RETRO: The third coming of the Iconic Ford GT Racecar returns

When the Dearborn Giant revives it’s legendary Sports Car for more racing duty around the Globe!


Although it’s a fleeting memory now. Naturally one would say that these last, third generation of Ford’s venerable Halo GT racecars, or that's how I denote 'em. Obviously beginning with the legendous' GT40's of the 1960's have certainly Done “Job 1” for the Ford Motor company by claiming many victories world-wide.


As I say “GeN-3” especially since I still recall vacillating over obtaining an 1:18 scale AutoArt white No. 4 Ford GT Diecast racecar many years ago, modeled upon the 2005-06 version. Which I think I refrained from, since Thar wasn't an actual racing version at that point, as far as I can recollect…


Which of course I wishe I’d purchased now, since I do have a 1:18 scale Maisto Ford GT90 Concept Car in my cavernous Diecast collection! Even if it’s currently in a shoebox somewhere, but I digress…


As fortunately I’ve been able to witness countless Ford GT40’s, primarily Mk I’s in action at Pacific Raceway in Kent, WA. Portland International Raceway, Laguna Seca and Sonoma at various Vintage races. Where at the latter two California tracks, I’ve also seen a few of the Nasty Mk II’s and the (J-Car) Mk IV’s in action! Along with one fine Safir EngineeringMk V Ford GT40 model running the No. 17 being a fixture at the SOVREN events in Warshington’.


Not to mention seeing the 1966 24 Heurs du Mans winning No. 2 Ford GT Mk II on display at the IMS Museum upon my debutante trek to Mother speedway for the 2001 United States Grand Prix…


As I say fortunately, since this was Wayback’ when your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso could still actually See them! Since have I reminded Y’all that I’m Blind lately? And hence, have never been able to see what the Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) Ford GT’s looked like, but I’m getting ahead of myself!


Whilst I’ve only ever seen a first generation (2005-06) Ford GT once some 15yrs ago at the Penske Auto Group facility’s “Used Cars” lot! When making my annual visit to the Penske Racing Museum with Blogmeister’ Miguel.


And it was a Bad Arse looking Supercar! Looking like a Killer Bee resplendent in bright yellow with the requisite, iconic twin Le Mans stripes in black!


Whilst I do still fondly recall when the unheralded couple of David & Andrea Robertson took their meagerly funded Privateer Doran built Ford GT-R Mk VII programme to Circuit de la Sarthe and made history by becoming the first Married couple to claim a Podium position at Le Mans. Bringing Thar No. 68 Ford GTR home third in the LMGTE Am Class in thou 2011 24 Heurs du Mans race debut!


As the Robertson’s shared their Roush Yates prepared 5.0-liter normally aspirated Ford GTR with David Murry, finishing 26th overall. Ironically with Larber Competition sweeping the classes top two podium steps.


As the No. 50 Larber Corvette C6.R won the LMGTE AM Class overall, followed by the team’s No. 70 Porsche 997 GT3-RSR.


Since ironically twelve years later, Larbre Competition won the final LMGTE Am category race at le Mans with it’s Corvette C8.R, but I digress…


With the icing on the Robertson’s Cake being that it was the couple's Wedding Anniversary that weekend, while Andrea became the first Female to stand on the Podium at Le Mans since 1931, Aye Karumba!


Presumably, since the ACO dropped the GT1 Class from Competizione beginning in 2011, with the then GT2 category being renamed LM GTE. This became the reason why Thar were no Ford GT’s contesting the 2012 24 Heurs du Mans, Say What?


Whilst sadly, Matech Concepts went out of business at the beginning of 2011. With no idea where their (Matech Competition) or the Marc VDS Racing Team’s Ford GT’s went?


Alas, FoMoCo' decided to Celebrate it's glorious Ford GT 40's success, and “Cash-in” by returning to racing with a Full-blown "Werks" effort with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) running it’s four car Factory programme both near "N abroad.


With the ACO having updated the LM GTE regulations for 2016, which nicely coincided with the 50th anniversary of the first Ford GT40 victory at Le Mans. Ford built a new second generation ford GT racing version, now powered by it’s new “Ecoboost” 3.5-liter twin turbo V-6 lump’.


The new Ford GT made it's IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Debut at the 2016 Rolex 24 where it's pair of CGR entries finished seventh and ninth in the GTE Le Mans class.


then beginning with that year's round 4 at Monterey's Laguna Seca Raceway, Former IndyCar Driver Ryan Briscoe and "Westie," aka Richard Westbrook gave the Ford GT it's Maiden Win aboard the No. 67. As the pair would go on to notch a Hat trick 'O Victories that season, i.e.; Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen and Mosport respectively.


Yet obviously the win that garnered the most Attenzione that year was the Fairy-book Class Victory at Le Mans in the World Endurance Championship's (WEC) LMGTE Pro Class on the 50th Anniversary of Ford's Debutante Overall Victory at Circuit de la Sarthe!


As Ford and Ganassi had come loaded for Bear’ with four Ford GT’s. With the #68 with Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Le Mans native le Hamburgular', nee Sealmeister B', aka Sebastien Bourdais scoring a very popular Class W' for the Ford GT's first outing at Le Mans since the Robertson's triumph, finishing 18th Overall.


With the Seester’ IMSA #69 with Briscoe, Westbrook and Scotty thee “Iceman 2.0” Dixon on it’s driver’s roll finishing two places behind, and claiming third in the LMGTE Pro Class. Giving Ford two teams upon the Class’s podium!


And directly behind them was the Ford UK #66 entry, (21st Overall) with the other WEC Ford (#67) GT finishing P40.


And Yeah, Y'all know it's Ah-comin', since why does All this Robertson Hyperboly, especially regarding Andrea, albeit the couple well Deserves It! But suddenly I've got 'Ol Simon & Garfunkle's Mrs. Robinson song stuck in my head. Even if Y’all say robinson and I say Robertson, Ka Choo-choo-Choo, Hya!


And thus with the euphoria of winning at Le Mans. I’d Arse-sume the Ford UK No. 67 entry winning the following WEC rounds at Fuji and Shanghai was simply overlooked… 

Monday, August 7, 2023

LE MANS 100C: A Belated Ford GT Farewell

The oft, overlooked No. 4 Holman & Moody 1966 Ford GT40 Mk II of Mark Donohue and Paul Hawkins on display at the IMS Museum in 2012. (The Tomaso Collection)


Nah, No Have you Driven a Ford lately Jokes Here!


Presumably Y’all know that earlier this summer we celebrated the Centenary running of le 24 Heurs du Mans. And in typical glacial fashion Here upon thoust rocky shores of Nofendersville. Another No Fenders “Gem” has been waylaid in the rotting seaweed, Ooh, What’s that smell!


Like countless Auto Manufacturers, the Ford Motor company is intertwined in the fabled races illustrious History. With Ford being involved in many facets of the Circuit’s and Motor Racing lore.


And whilst I’d Arse-sume Y’all would be quick to name that the iconic Ford GT40 won Le Mans four consecutive years in-a-row between 1966-69. I’d argue that Ford and it’s venerable Ford GT40 has actually scored five victories including the Mirage GR8’s 1975 triumph! But that’s a topic for another day…


As I suppose this story partially came back upon Ye Memory screen due to the continuous noise being made over Matt Damon and Company’s filming of their upcoming Formula 1 movie. With filming occurring during this year’s British Grand Prix weekend.


For which I previously scribbled about Damon’s excellent performance as ‘Ol Shel’, aka Carroll Shelby in the brilliant 2019 Ford v Ferrari film. For which I totally thought Christian Bale should have won the Oscar for Best Actor that year!


As 1966 was the year that the FoMoCo’ Brass infamously pulled their staged 1-2-3 Photo Finish Farce that cruelly robbed Ken Miles from winning All three major Endurance races that year, i.e.; Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans.


While Dan Gurney made history by not only winning the 1967 event with A.J. foyt. But for being the instigator of the now de riggour Champagne Spraying celebration. Wich Gurney impromptly “Uncorked” upon the podium.


Or for Mwah, what is the greatest Le Mans race ever, albeit I’m quite biased being a Died in the Wool Ford Racing and Shelbyphile! When Jacky Ixkx refused to participate in the then mandatory Le Mans start of drivers sprinting across track to their awaiting cars.


With Ickx simply waiting until everyone had gone, sauntering across track to His waiting Ford GT40. Climbing in, calmly buckling His safety belts and then winning His first of eventual six Le Mans triumphs by some 100 yards over the second place Porsche in 1969!


In 2002 at Detroit’s North American International  Auto show, Ford stunned us by debuting it’s modern era GT40 concept car, which ultimately became known as the ford GT. Honouring it’s forthcoming 100th anniversary.


And then upon celebrating it’s own Centenary in 2003, ford unveiled three pre-production Ford GT’s. Hopefully in the same base colours as those three nasty 1966 GT40 Mk II’s, i.e.; black, light blue and gold?


And with the first generation Ford GT going into production in late-2004, several private entities were quick to create their racing versions of the Ford GT. Although reporetedly Ford didn’t want the Ford GT raced and supposedly didn’t back any racing versions of the iconic Supercar.


As it’s worth noting that the model years 2005-06 Ford GT came stock with a 5.4-liter Supercharged V-8, unlike it’s unofficial racing brethren…


As the first example of these Ford GT racing derivatives I came across was a 2005 ford GT was converted into a Ford GT300 by TOM’s for the DHG Racing Team for competing in the 2006-07 Japanese Super GT series.


Interestingly, this car was modified to be powered by an 1990’s era Ford Zetec-R 3.5-litre normally aspirated V-8 lump’. With the same engine propelling Michael Schumacher and Benetton to their first Formula 1 World Championship in 1994!


Geneva, Switzerland based Matech Concepts, formed in 2006, struck an agreement with Ford Racing to develop the Ford GT for Sports Car racing with GT1 and GT3-spec variants. Along with becoming the official European Distributor of parts for the Ford Racing Mustang FR500


In Germany, Matech built their first  Ford GT variant, the GT-3 racecar for the 2007 FIA GT3 European Championship. Which interestingly, Matech denotes as being powered by a “Cammer” Ford 5.0-liter normally aspirated V-8 motor.


 Matech won the title the following year! And then defending their title in ’09, before graduating to the top flight GT1 championship.


Meanwhile, Doran Enterprises of Ohio, founded by longtime successful IMSA Championship winner Kevin Doran. Built it’s version known as the ford GT-R Mk VII to ACO GT-2 specifications. Enabling it to compete in racing Stateside and abroad, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.


As a total of six Doran Ford GT-R’s were reportedly built. With motivating power coming from a Roush Yeates 5.0-liter normally aspirated V-8 lump’ mated to a Emco six-speed transmission.


As Atlanta based Robertson Racing took initial delivery of the Doran Ford GT-R in 2008. Before debuting at that year’s 12 Hours of Sebring, finishing 10th overall. While a second Doran GT-R was raced by Black Swan Racing under the Falken Tires banner sporadically, both contesting the American Le Mans Series GT2 category…


Matech Competition entered two of it’s Ford GT1 racecars for the 2010 GT1 World  championship. Along with also contesting that year’s 24 Heurs du Mans. Being the first time a Ford GT derived racecar had pounded round Circuit de la Sarthe since the Mirage M12 Cosworth DFL entry of 1982…


Le Mans saw it’s No. 60 Ford GT entry, with Thomas Mutsch, Romain Grosjean and Jonathan Hirxchi retiring on lap-171 due to engine failure.


And yes, that’s the same Romain Grosjean who currently races for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar…


While it’s sister No. 61 entry retired on lap-161 due to an engine fire, and was driven by the All Femme fatale trio I’ve previously scribbled here upon No Fenders about a long time ago, when first learning about the then unknown Matech Ford GT1’s.


While the third Ford GT1 was entered by the Marc VDS Racing Team, with it’s No. 70 driven by the Eric De Donker, Bas Leinders and Markus Palttala retiring from a lap-26 Accident.