Thursday, September 28, 2023

More Historic “Firsts” made during Battle on the Bricks

    And that doesn’t even include the Fisticuffs that several of the “lesser” racing categories displayed over the weekend…


It’s funny that even worse than remembering the last time I listened to a Formula 1 race. I simply cannot remember what the last IMSA Sports Car race was? Since the last Sports Car race I know I tuned into was this year’s 24 Heurs du Mans, but I digress…


Decided to actually “watch”, err listen to the NBC TV Broadcast of this year’s Battle on The Bricks two hours forty minutes Sprint race. For which much fanfare was made about it’s return nine years later. For which I briefly recapped the first three versions in my previous No Fenders story below.


And although I listened to Thy Telie’ for the first 45mins of Big NBC’s broadcast, I got Uber’ annoyed with the constant wonkiness of the volume which was continuously changing, plus the need to go to commercials every Freakin’ nine minutes, Urgh!


So I went and attempted logging onto IMSA Radio during a commercial break and viola! This time I managed to figure out how to get the audio to play and Thar was John Hindhaugh and Jeremy Shaw talking to me without any further interruptions for the remaining two hours duration.


This year’s event featured at least two “Firsts” that I’m aware of. With Infield Camping being allowed at Mother Speedway, albeit I suppose technically the Glamping set-ups for the Indianapolis 500 preceded this. But it was the first time that RV camping was allowed.


As the Speedway actually set up designated sites for 160 RV’s I believe? In orderly rows with roads leading to them along with power, for the sites retailing at $1,500.00 for the event.

And I feel 98% certain; Uhm, who’s car number is that? That it was indeed the first time ever that temporary lighting was used at Mother Speedway. Which enabled the running of the four hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race Saturday night. Which I’m guessing was a test run for next year’s IMSA Battle on The Bricks event…


Enjoyed following along with Mike Silver’s the Pit Window Blog’s weekend updates. And especially liked reading about how He couldn’t figure out why the Grid was so sparsely populated Saturday evening before the Michelin Pilot challenge race.


Before discovering that the crowd was hovering around thee Young wicky’, Robby’ Wickens appropriately numbered Bryan Herta Autosport’s #33 Hyundai Elantra TCR racecar. With IndyCar drivers Alexander rossi, Marcus Ericsson, Felix Rosenqvist, Jack Harvey and Conor Daly present! But where was Wickens good friend thee Mayor? (James Hinchcliffe)


For those who don’t know. Wickens was involved in a violently Horrific IndyCar Shunt five years ago at Pocono Raceway which left Him a Paraplegic, and now races with Hand Controls…


Naturally Sunday’s marquee Battle on The Bricks race saw mayhem occurring at Turn-1 on the first lap of the race, when le Hamburgular’, nee Sealmeister B’, aka Sebastien Bourdais’s Cadd-Oh-lacc’ V-Series prototype got tagged! As pretty sure that the Pole sitter Matt Campbell’s Penske Porsche 963 had inadvertently spun on it’s cold Michelin rubber. Uhm, actually Campbell like many during the race, locked-up, when presumably trying to be the last of the late Brakers…


Funny how fourt fifthhs of the IndyCar teams competing also in Sports Cars were essentially non factors, i.e.; Andretti, Ganassi, Meyer Shank and Rahal Letterman Lanigan, who all suffered from different ailments…


Although the most bizarre portion of the race was when there was a delayed 22mins Full Course Caution that included Race Control ordering various competitors to drop to different positions for the restart. Most notably the two leading Penske Porsche 963’s needing to give the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-Series the lead! With the Porsche’s having failed to follow instructions for forming up behind the Pace Car…


Yet suddenly the leading Caddy’ with Pipo Derani at it’s control flew thru the Turn-1 breaking area, failing to Hit it’s marks when locking up! Seeing the two trailing Penske’s immediately saying Playing Thru!


And then during the final Pitstop, Felipe Nasr in the #7 Pole winning Porsche 963 had trouble getting His tyres up to temperature on His out-lap, Slip sliding away. Enabling Nick Tandy in the sister #6 Penske to leapfrog Nasr during His Pitstop one lap later. Initially giving Tandy an 8-second lead, which Tandy stretched to some 18-seconds while comfortably cruising to the win! With the two Penske Porsche’s giving Indianapolis Motor speedway owner roger Penske a desired 1-2 victory sweep! While the No. 25 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing BMW M8 Hybrid finished third, taking the final podium step.


As the race’s outcome now sees the IMSA GTP competitors headed to a four way fight for the Championship title at the season finale Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on October 14th.


Interesting hearing Messer Hindhaugh note during the broadcast that one of the main differences between IMSA GTP and WEC specification isn’t performance related, but has to do with the chassis wiring loom. Saying that IMSA requires it’s own bespoke wiring loom to interface with it’s custom system’s ability to monitor all performance factors – including torque sensors. And that it requires 12 hours to change from a WEC spec wiring loom to IMSA spec.


Also believe that Hindhaugh claimed that next year’s Battle on The Bricks will be a six hours Endurance race for All IMSA Classes with a maximum of 55 cars allowed. As it’s worth noting that IMSA’s LMP3 category ceases this October.


While hopefully the IMSA’s newest and fifth endurance race on the 2024 calendar, the Battle on The Bricks will indeed finish under temporary lighting on a fall Saturday night…


Hmm, interesting how IMSA had No Qualms about going up against the Big Bad 869lbs NFL Gorr-rilliah’ (Gorilla) on TV during a Sunday! Can you Hear me IndyCar? 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Another Maddening ESPNews Scramble

As they definitely Didn’t land Sunny Side Up! And where’s Max to tell me to Suck Eggs…


Whilst I already knew the likely outcome. Hence deciding to not stay up until midnight on the West Coast to “See”, Err Hear that MaxiMillions’ had won again, Yawn! I decided I’d tune into the ESPNews encore presentation of the Japanese Grand Prix at 10AM Pacific instead.


Even though I was annoyed once again by either ESPN or more likely Comcast for pitting the F1 Broadcast replay up against the MotoGP Indian Grand Prix…


Thus my intentions were to tune into the elongated Japanese Grand Prix replay from 10AM until 11:50AM before switching over to the inaugural MotoGP race at India’s Buddh International Circuit, home of the former Formula 1 race in India between 2011-13.


And I bellowed Shut Up Nicole when the Mothers Shoe polish lady came on the first time at 11:26AM interrupting the F1 broadcast…


But I was absolutely Dumbstruck when Nicole Briscoe told us again at the top of the hour, i.e.; 11AM that we’d immediately resume where we’d left off upon returning from commercials, sure thingy’ Sister!


So imagine my momentary surprise when the ESPNews broadcast resumed and it was a pair of Knucleheads talking SCC Womens College Soccer, WTF! Making me wonder did I hit the wrong button when unmuting from commercials?


No, these two Talking Heads were prattling on about Florida and Kentucky and how the Referee says Play on. As apparently Jokes on me again! As you’ve got to be Shiting me ESPNews! The Japanese Grand Prix is supposed to be airing until 12:30PM Pacific!


So I went around the horn of All of the 43 ESPN channels and back onto ESPNews several times before giving up in Disgust! And just went to my Conrfuzer’ and played the Youtube Highlights package instead.


Then adding insult to injury, as I’d switched over to Big NBC to “watch”, Err listen to the MotoGP Preamble whilst making an early lunch. For Humour during one of there commercial breaks I switched back over to ESPNews and was bemused to hear ANT’, aka Anthony Davidson and Kroftie’, aka David Kroft of Sky Sports calling the Japanese Grand Prix, for which I already knew the results to Jackarses!


So I switched back to MotoGP’s Indian Grand Prix which was a far superior race vs. the MaxiMillions’ whitewash at Suzuka! With real honest to goodness competition between the top three points holders. Not to mention palatable excitement and tension thru the entire race! 

Monday, September 25, 2023

F1: Verstappen’s Win Streak Ends!

Push ‘em Back Carlos, Way Back!


Ah, doesn’t Singapore seem like such a long time ago, Eh? Especially after that vengeful, utterly Dominant weekend Smackdown MaxiMillions’ just Threw down upon us at Suzuka!


Although as I still, somewhat bask in the afterglow, or is that Aspen Glow? Two immediate thoughts following the Singapore Grand Prix came to mind. First I couldn’t even remember when I last “watched”, Err listened to a Grand Prix? Which I believe it must have been the Canadian Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles villeneive Wayback’ on Bloody June 18th!


Along with is it wrong to wanting the Pole sitter to lead wire-to-wire? Especially after “Switching Off” from following Formula 1 for two months for this very same reason. Ergo the MaxiMillions factor…


I’m a Huge Fan of Carlos Sainz, Jr. for several reasons. As the Spaniard just seems to keep His Head down and get on with the job without All of the wingeing the Brat Pack does! Not to mention He seems to be treated like a Number Two driver at la Scuderia. Thus my desire for Carlos to win from Pole at Singapore!


Not to mention how Uber’ refreshing it was for Verstappen to not only not be a factor for the race win, along with barely being mentioned during the broadcast. But the icing on the cake was Max being legitimately passed on-track by five different drivers; George Russell, Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Esteban Ocon when dropping back from second to seventh!


Still don’t quite understand Sky Sports Pundits Kroftie’, aka David Kroft and Martin BilyBob’ Brundle’s comments about Ferrari sacrificing Leclerc to ensure a win when the Monegasque was dutifully following Sainz in second place. Although may be this had something to do with Sainz masterfully managing the gap, since I thought they said His lead was only 0.7-seconds ahead of Leclerc at this point of the race? As Leclerc was the only driver in the Top-10 to start on Soft tyres vs. everbody else on mediums.


Although reportedly Ferrari told Leclerc first they needed Him to drop behind by three seconds, and then further told Him they needed it to be a five second gap.


On lap-20 the Safety Car came out for Williams Logan Sargeant who Hit the wall! Seeing the leaders dive into the Pits, with Ferrari and Mercedes Double Stacking their drivers, notably to Leclerc’s detriment. While the two Red Bulls stayed out, seeing Max and Checo’ (Perez) inherit P2-4.


Yet Sainz still led when the Safety Car pulled off on lap-22 and began His Master Class performance of driving as slow as possible to keep His lead, but preserve His Hard tyres, intending to nurse them to the finish…


And then things got interesting when the Virtual Safety Car (VCS) was deployed on lap-43 for Ocon’s smoking Alpine, having limped off track. As Mercedes rolled the dice and decided to go for broke! Pitting both drivers on lap-44 for fresh medium Pirelli rubber whilst Sainz, Norris and Leclerc stayed on-track.


On lap-50 Carlos held a slim 1.3 second lead ahead of Norris; 5.5 seconds on Scuderia teammate Leclerc, and 9.8 seconds over Russell with Hamilton 12.6 seconds adrift. Yet the two Silver arrows were cutting sizeable chunks of time each lap, with Russell and Hamilton some 1.5-2 seconds quicker per lap! As believe it was lap-53 when I began crossing my fingers and chanting Carlos! Since the Mercedes were ah-Comin’ Fast, and I really wanted Sainz to win!


First Russell, and then Hamilton passed third place Leclerc, whose tyres were shot. And that’s when it got Uber’ sstrange for Mwah! As I unexpectedly began chanting Lando-Lando-Lando! Whom happens to be one of the F1 Brat Pack members I dislike…


As lap-59 of 62 saw Sainz holding a razor slim 0.7-second lead over Norris. Who in turn was holding up Russell and Hamilton, with the top four only 1.7 seconds adrift! As Norris masterfully held off Russell, with Hamilton heard on His in-car radio telling George (Russell) to Hurry Up!


But it was all for naught, as Russell brushed the wall on the final lap before crashing with Sainz leading Norris across the stripe with Hamilton third. And it was interesting hearing Norris during the podium interview repeatedly saying that Sainz had been generous with DRS, letting Lando stay within the required one second gap to enable the Drag Reduction System to work. Which the Englishman thought not only helped Him hold off Hamilton for second, but helped Carlos win also…


Leclerc held onto fourth and Verstappen finished fith. While I was most impressed with AlphaTauri rookie Liam Lawson who finished an excellent ninth, scoring His maiden Formula 1 points in only His third F1 race.


And with Lawson’s more experienced teammate Yuki Tsunoda pulling off on lap-1, surely this just adds more pressure for AlphaTauri to retain the Japanese driver next year…


Sainz definitely lived up to His nickname of “Smooth Operator” by controlling the race while making His Hard Pirelli tyres last 42-laps! With Carlos popular win ending Verstappen’s consecutive win streak of ten races, and Red Bull’s run of 15 consecutive W’s. While Carlos took His second victory for Ferrari, and the Prancing Horse’s first W’ since Leclerc’s win at Austria last July.


As now the $64k question is will Max go back to dominating the remainder of the F1 calendar, or can Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes continue Harrying Verstappen and keep Red Bull off the top step of the podium?


Hmm, why is that ‘Ol Supertramp song Dreamer, You know You’re A Dreamer popping into my Head right now? 

Friday, September 22, 2023

IndyCar’s NXT Wave of Drivers?

But how many will land Full season IndyCar rides?


By now, if you’re a Hard Core IndyCar Afficionado, then you know that Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen driving for the HMD Motorsports Armada won the 2023 Indy NXT Championship. With the Dane’ claiming five wins, eight podiums and five Pole positions enroute to this year’s title aboard the No. 6 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing entry.


Rasmussen’s closest competitor ultimately was Andretti Autosport’s Kiwi’ Hunter McElrea who finished runner-up with two wins, six podiums and two Pole positions this season.


As both drivers were contesting their sophomore Indy NXT season’s, and entering the Laguna Seca season finale doubleheader weekend, Rasmussen held a comfortable 65-point lead over Mcelrea.


In qualifying, McElrea clamed Pole position for Race-1, with Rasmussen claiming Pole for Sunday’s Race-2; hence each driver claimed  one point apiece for Pole position.


McElrea led Flag-to-flag in Saturday’s Race-1 with Rasmussen effectively “cruising” Home second. Thus with McElrea claiming the maximum 54-points available vs. Rasmussen’s 40-points; McElrea trimmed the points deficit to 51-points. Seeing Rasmussen three shy of clinching the title Saturday.


Sunday’s second race saw the same outcome, albeit with Rasmussen leading wire-to-wire and McElrea finishing runner-up. Thus seeing Rasmussen return His final points advantage back to the 65 points He’d begun the weekend with, finally being crowned the 2023 Indy NXT Champion.


Penske Entertainment, owners of Indy NXT’s Championship, sees the revised, previously neutered prize fund now awarding the series Champion $850,000 to be used for testing an IndyCar at Texas and Mother Speedway, ergo Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Plus running the Indianapolis 500 and one further IndyCar race. While second place pays a paltry $125,000 and third place a meager $65,000.


And I say paltry since I’m 99% certain I’ve read that Anderson Promotions who run the lower Junior Formula’s, just wrote a cheque for $654,000 for 2023 USF Pro 2000 championship winner Myles Rowe to advance to Indy NXT. Where He’ll replace Ernie Francis Jr. in the No. 99 HMD Motorsports with Force Indy entry next year.


What I found interesting over the Laguna Seca weekend was how Hunter McElrea was garnering All of the Headlines for wanting to move up to IndyCar next year, although He doesn’t come from a wealthy family or have a considerable budget to bring with Him.


While where will title winner Rasmussen land? And can He manage to find the necessary budget for a full season Big boyz’ (IndyCar) ride?


As I know I shouldn’t type this but, is Ed Carpenter Racing a viable option right now? As ECR has had a fairly miserable season this year, along with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. Although RLLR seems to have righted it’s floundering “ship” at season’s end.


While I believe that Racer’s Marshall Pruett has previously speculated that current Indy NXT driver Danial Frost might possibly have a contract to drive one of the empty Dale Coyne racing seats next year?


And if Andretti Autosport, Err Global decides to drop it’s fourth IndyCar entry? Which would be the ideal landing spot for Rasmussen, then does the Honda engine lease become available for another IndyCar team


As ‘Ol Derek Daly would say; Hang onto your HollyHocks Folks! As Thars miles to go towards sorting out the 2024 Indy NXT and IndyCar season line-ups… 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A somewhat Curious Move for Ganassi

As how many green cars will Ganassi run next year?


Have to say I was caught completely by surprise this Monday morning when reading the news that chip Ganassi Racing had signed 18yr old Kyffin Simpson to drive it’s fifth IndyCar next year. Meaning CGR will have three rookies in next year’s Indianapolis 500.


Although reportedly Simpson, whose been a CGR Development Driver since 2022 was expected to move up to Indy Cars in 2025, Simpson will become the youngest driver on next year’s IndyCar grid instead. Even after two mediocre Indy NXT season finishes of ninth and tenth respectively.


Kyffin’s father David Simpson is a key Shareholder of Ridgeline lubricants, meaning financial backing for His son’t endeavour isn’t a problem! And I guess Cheep’ wanted to strike while the iron’s Hot…


Although it’s sorta funny since Ganassi didn’t have the necessary funds to entice Marcus Ericsson into staying with the team, but now can afford to bulk up to a five car entry for 2024!


But what I really want to know is does this signal that Andretti Global is indeed shutting down it’s fourth No. 29 entry next year? Since I believe that Honda has previously stated they were at their maximum amount of Full season engine leases last year, ergo 15.


Since I believe this was a stumbling block when Dale Coyne and His Alphabet Soup Brigade had wanted to expand to three cars previously…


Yet according to IndyStar’s Nathan Browne, Honda said it hasn’t decided yet on whether or not it will expand to 16 Full season entries in 2024 provided Andretti Global decided to continue running it’s fourth IndyCar entry. 

Is Indy NXT the right path to Indy Cars?

And how will Penske Entertainment rightly promote it’s product…


Otay, it was a little while ago, which is how I roll here in Nofendersville…


“Read”, Err listened to an interesting story on my Newsline ESPN Online Motorsports News telephone news feed written by Racer’s Marshall Pruett, whose apparently made the “big time!”


As Marshall was expounding upon the growing FIA Formula 2 drivers contingent making their way into IndyCar, with their career pathway to thee Pinnacle ‘O Motorsports, nee Formula 1 essentially stalled or blocked.


Pruett notes how former Alpine F1 Academy member Christian Lundgaard led the charge when making waves during His IndyCar debut on the IMS road course during the summer of 2021.


Lundgaard was followed by Callum Ilott, a former Ferrari Academy driver, Alfa Romeo F1 reserve driver and FIA Formula 2 Championship runner-up to Mick Schumacher in 2020. As Ilott began His IndyCar career with Juncos Hollinger Racing’s (JHR) three race West Coast “reboot” at 2021 season’s end.


Marcus Armstrong was another Ferrari Academy member, partnering Ilott. And spent His rookie FIA F2 campaign as Lundgaard’s teammate at ART Grand Prix in 2020. And then for 2022, He partnered Juri Vips at Hitech Grand Prix.


Armstrong just completed His rookie IndyCar campaign driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, as a Twisties’ Only “specialist” enroute to winning the Rookie Of the Year category ahead of Augustin Canapino.


While Juri vips was a Red Bull Junior Team member, along with Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 reserve driver. With the Estonian scoring two wins and six podiums during His rookie 2021 F2 campaign, before partnering His former Formula 4 teammate for a partial 2022 F2 season, which I’ve already scribbled about previously on No Fenders in the following post.


All four former FIA Formula 2 drivers have won races in this single seater category, with F2 being akin to Indy NXT, i.e.; final step on ladder series.


As Lundgaard made 49 F2 Starts; winning two races wit nine podiums and one Pole position, with a best season finish of seventh Overall in 2020.


As noted above, Ilott finished runner-up in 2020, making a total of 47 Starts over four seasons. Scoring three wins, eight podiums and six Pole positions.


Armstrong contested three full seasons of F2 and clamed four wins, four podiums and two Pole positions. Ironically while driving for three different teams, i.e.; ART, DAMS and Hitech, He finished 13th Overall all three seasons.


As Pruett notes how the current Formula 2 chassis are very similar to Indy Cars and that the European Championship has the added bonus of requiring Pitstops during races, which Indy NXT doesn’t. Hence with the lack of Ovals in F2 vs. NXT’s meager two small Oval tracks, i.e.; Iowa and Gateway. IndyCar team owners are more willing to take a shot on F2 drivers these days, who tend to pick up Oval racing relatively quick.


And while all four of these drivers have competed against each other, with three being teammates at one point. To date, only Lundgaard’s won an IndyCar race, when the Dane’ stormed to victory Up North in Toronto this July. Scoring Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s first IndyCar win in over three years.


Thus by my rudimentary math, this quartet will Arse-sumedly make up roughly one sixth of next year’s IndyCar grid. Since I’m guessing that Vips will become Lundgaard’s teammate aboard the No. 30 RLLR entry for 2024…


Whilst technically, I believe Thars still a total of seven IndyCar seats still in “Play” for the likes of Andretti, Carpenter, Coyne, Foyt, Juncos and RLLR. Although I’d like to think that Vips has the RLLR seat as already noted. And that both Santino Ferrucci and Augustin Canapino return with A.J. foyt Enterprises and Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) respectively. Since what’s the point of IndyCar going to Argentina without Canapino, eh?


Meaning another current 2023 Formula 2 driver could potentially make His way across thoust Bloody Puddle next year, into one of the remaining seats…

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Only thing missing at Indy Cars Laguna Seca finale was the Zamboni!

While the proverbial “Penalty box” was overflowing with Drivers…


Yeah, I know I’m late to thee party as always! As I was gonna try working the words All Skate into my title, but those words made me think of Zamboni’s instead! Along with flashing back to a very old Brian Regan comedic skit! As I still find it Uber’ Hilarious, with Brian painstakingly recalling His time as Alex the Strohs Beer Canine’s campaign manager.


As this twelve minute, No will Power Two minutes Penalty Box for Avoidable Contact Jokes Here! Comedy Central skit seems apropos for what we just witnessed at Laguna seca!


With Brian retelling His experience at His first ever NHL Hockey game in Minny HaHa’, aka Minneapolis. And the Fans going wild during intermission at a North Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks game. Having just seen a Hockey fight followed by Alex the dog riding around the arena on the Zamboni! Which is pretty much what we witnessed at Laguna Seca…


Whilst the Racer magazine Headline I enjoyed the most was about how ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin claimed He’d Hit everything but the Pace Car enroute to second place!


While IndyCar Radio Network’s Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton sardonically proclaimed that almost everybody had Hit somebody on the opening lap!


And speaking ‘O Pace Cars, when’s the last time you witnessed the Pace Car running out of Fuel! Which is exactly what happened during Laguna Seca’s All skate, Say What?


As thought I “read”, Err heard somewheres’ that the Pace Car had spent 70 Freakin’ minutes on-track, Aye Karumba!


Actually read afterwards via ESPN Online Motorsports Headlines that the Honda Pace Car in question had spent more than 70 minutes pacing the field! But still, that Pace Car must have a really small fuel tank, since I thought Honda’s were notorious for getting good gas mileage…


IndyCar Radio lead announcer Mark Gravelly’ James noted that while we’d tied the record for most cautions during a race at Laguna Seca. (8) IndyCar broke the record for most laps behind a Pace Car which was previously 32-laps, before Sunday’s race spent an agonizing 35-laps behind the mostly present Honda Pace Car…


James also joked during Saturday’s Qualie’ session over how the only corner that hadn’t seen any action was Turn-12. Due to Thar only being 11 turns on the famed Monterey racing circuit.


Whilst even Turn-9 reporter Jake The Riddler’ Query got in on the action when wryly noting how perhaps the field could complete at least one Green Flag lap?


As Y’all knew it was going to be constant mayhem after five cars crashed into each other at Turn-2 on the opening lap! With the word I kept using being Slugfest! As the race just became one constant, annoyingly Disjointed event, seeing me rootin’ for several different drivers to win! Just anybody beside the Ganassi duo of Alex Palou and Scott Dixon! While thankfully Josef Newgarden, who I’ve anointed the new nickname of Slick effectively took Himself out of the race during that lap-1 melee…


As it was just a constant start-stop-start; Err, rinse, lather, repeat veritable Spin cycle of Yellows breeding yellows on thefreshly repaved racetrack! With the racing groove becoming super “Sticky” and netting lap times an astounding five seconds faster!


But anywhere off the racing line was akin to driving on ice, with drivers noting it was smooth as glass…


But don’t get me wrong, as I did find it a very entertaining race, with All of the nonstop action! Although you’d have expected better driving from these professionals, with great pains being taken to note Thar the Best Drivers…


Thus I found myself going from rooting for Felix-the Cat’ (Rosenqvist) to Christian Lundgaard, Pato O’Ward and Romain Grosjean. While rookie Augustin Canapino had the audacity of Harrying O’Ward for second place at one point during the race! Before the Argentinian was forced to limp home P14 with a broken front wing.


And as only thee “Iceman 2.0” can do. Scott Dixon having taken a six grid place penalty for changing engines Sunday morning. Along with a very questionable Drive-thru penalty for Avoidable Contact with Rinus VeeKay on the opening lap, with Dixon reportedly dropping a few F-Bombs before mentioning Arie, Arie! In deference to Arie Luyendyk’s perceived favour towards the Netherlands driver…


Yet with the aid of master strategist Mike Hull changing their race plan and the abundance of Yellow Flags. Dixon Found Himself leading the race for the last twenty laps enroute to His third win in four races! And His 56th career IndyCar victory, second All-time behind only A.J. foyt’s 67!


As I was so baffled over ow they’d done it again, that I couldn’t even remember who the other podium finishers were? With Mclauglin second and Palou third…


While will Power, who along with McLaughlin was one of the multiple drivers given penalties for Avoidable Contact rallied to finish fourth.


As when’s the last time that two Team Penske drivers were Hit with Avoidable Contact penalties in the same race?


Whilst Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott tied His career best IndyCar finish with another fifth place result. And absolutely does Not deserve the Dispicable, Disgusting treatment Argentinian Fans continue giving Him on Social Medea!


But Hey, like some have said in Ye Blogosphere. What a way to finish the season, and what a way to go into IndyCar’s ridiculous six months sleep inducing Offseason! 

Friday, September 15, 2023

Stop the Hate, Argentina!

As Come on IndyCar Fans, we’re Better than this…


IndyCar Fans certainly are aware of the vengeful, despicable and disgusting attacks directed towards Callam Ilott once again on social media following the conclusion of Laguna Seca’s season finale IndyCar race.


As the maelstrom once again swirls around another on-track incident involving Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) teammates Callum Ilott and Agustin Canapino, and JHR’s desires for Canapino to claim one of the final remaining IndyCar Leaders Circle prize fund payouts for next year.


“Read”, Err listened to a very good article by IndyStar’s Motorsports Beat reporter Nathan Browne on the whole situation and came away with a few thoughts upon it.


First ‘n foremost, the team never told Ilott He couldn’t pass His teammate. Instead, Riccardo Juncos just told Ilott’s Engineer to remind Him to respect Canapino’s position on-track regarding JHR’s need to secure it’s second Leaders Circle payout.


According to Browne, since I never heard anything when listening to the race on IndyCar Radio. But perhaps I’d taken another “Potty” break during the endless Full course Cautions, Ci?


Apparently the JHR duo were running P4-5 with Canapino ahead of Ilott on the lap-74 restart, when Ilott lined-up His teammate and made a textbook pass on the outside of Canapino and left the Argentine room when completing His pass for what potentially could have been a race win…


Yet Canapino apparently got loose when clipping the rumble-strip, wiggled and then Hit Ilott’s left rear tyre with His right front wing, leaving Canapino with a broken wing and Ilott with monor rear damage!


Seeing Ilott immediately drop two places behind, and losing another two before scoring a fifth place finish, whilst Canapino slowly dropped backwards – finishing 14th. But claimed the coveted Leaders Circle prize by finishing 21st Overall in the Leaders Circle standings, before All Hell broke loose again on Social Media!


Look I get it, being a passionate fan, which I myself am, and have most certainly written many stupid things upon No Fenders over the years. But it’s a far different thing to make threats alluding to physical Harm!


I have been very impressed with Augustin’s rookie IndyCar campaign, especially since the Touring Car Ace had no Open Wheel Racing experience,along with never racing on an Oval before, and is my rookie Of the Year!


While I’ve always been impressed with Riccardo Junco’s story of becoming an IndyCar team owner, and this has been one of the “little” teams I root for…


Yet I came away feeling slightly annoyed with Riccardo whom tended to insinuate in the article that the incident was completely Ilott’s fault, implying He doesn’t like having a driver going for wins! And that He wanted to Slow down Ilott instead. And that there appears to be some “Bad Blood” between the team, Canapino and Ilott.


But the part of the story I really didn’t like was Riccardo noting how He holds options upon both drivers which don’t expire until December 15th. Meaning He could leave Callam hanging in the breeze by dropping the talented Englishman after the music stops for remaining 2024 IndyCar seats…


Yet to Riccardo’s credit, He did say He’ll wait until He calms down and watches the videotape of the incident, which sounds to Mwah like it was clearly Canapino’s fault! Since as far as I can tell, Ilott didn’t break the golden rule of Not taking out your teammate! Although it sounds like both Riccardo and Augustin are claiming that Ilott surprised the Argentinian driver… 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

INDY NXT: Another Chaotic First Lap at Portland!

Where Mayhem’s Always Ah-Waitin’ racers at Ye Festival Curves…


Although I tend to only follow whatever for Mwah will be affectionately known as Indy Lights casually. Since I find it’s current Nom de Plume Indy NXT moniker to be El supidio! I do try “Tuning IN” upon occasion whenever the races are at a reasonable time upon the IndyCar Radio Network.


Having taken a month’s “Sabbatical” from Ye All conquering Intrawoods’, nee internet; which Y’all are probably getting tired of hearing about, Eh? Naturally I missed a ton of news regarding Indy NXT and the plethora ‘O Driver changes occurring…


Totally “Missed the Memo” that Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) had terminated the contract of Matteo Nannini with immediate effect upon July 18th. For which I can find no reason for, other than He obviously did something the team didn’t like!


Rejoining the Indy NXT competition for it’s Gateway round, it’s final Oval race at WWTR. I noticed that Thar were only 15 cars competing and Cape Motorsports was absent, Huh? Apparently due to a lack of funding, since presumably “Pay Driver” Enaam Ahmed ran out of Dinero’, leaving the team in a temporary lurch…


Whilst noting the return of former IndyCar and Indy Lights competitor Matty B’, aka Matthew Brabham to the field. As the Australian born, and Dual Citizenship (USA) racer has had quite a busy season “Deputizing” for both Cape Motorsports and JHR, filling the latter’s two entries.


As I was unaware that Matthew had former history with the Cape Brothers. Having won the 2012 USF2000 Championship ahead of another former IndyCar driver named Spencer Pigot when driving for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylore Racing…


Whilst I won’t even attempt trying to list All of the copius Driver changes this season, since I got exhausted just listening to my Screen Reader “Zoey the Princess Warrior!” reading them to me, Youza!


As I’ve forgotten what I believe was IndyCar Radio Pitlane reporter Ryan Marin’s exact comments during the Sunday morning Indy NXT race about various connections to Portland…


With Ryan noting that Brabham, Jones, Roe and Pierson All had ties to the Rose City and IndyCar.


As Matty B’s father Geoff Brabham was a longtime IndyCar competitor, including making ten starts in the Indianapolis 500. Although arguably, Geoff’s best known for being a Four-times IMSA GTP champion in those dominating Elactramotive Nissan GTP ZX-turbo (ZX-T) IMSA GTP Prototypes! Not to mention having won some race called the 24 Heurs du Mans.


Whilst Jagger Jones last name is synonymous with Indy Cars. Being the Grandson of some ‘Ol Codger known as rufus Parnelli Jones, who just turned 90yrs old on August 12th.


Josh Pierson, who’s an IndyCar Development Driver for Ed Carpenter Racing, (ECR) was contesting His maiden Indy NXT race at His Home track. Hailing from Portland, Oregon.


But Pierson’s race went about as well as His partial rookie Indy NXT campaign has. Being one of the eight cars, nearly Half the field that ran into each other on the opening lap at Portland’s notorious Turn-1 Festival Curve! With Pierson finishing a lowly P17 and last! And was 15th in the Championship prior to the Laguna Seca Double Header season finale.


But the piece of Portland IndyCar trivia that most caught my Attenzione was the James Roe connection, since I already knew of the other three drivers times. As I thought I heard Ryan Marin saying that Roe’s uncle had previously raced there in an IndyCar, Huh?


Turns out that James Roe, Jr. is the nephew of Michael roe, who indeed contested four CART/PPG IndyCar World Series races for Hemelgarn Racing in 1985. With ironically His best result occurring at Portland International Raceway when finishing seventh. Although having failed to qualify for that year’s Indy 500.


As Michael roe had won the previous year’s SCCA Can Am Championship by Blitzing the field with seven wins in ten races. Along wit making a Clean Sweep of Pole positions, when capturing All ten. Both being Can Am records!


Like it’s Big Brother IndyCar, the NXT Championship points fight was kept somewhat interesting by the two main title protagonists Christian Rasmussen and Hunter McElrea. Although Rasmussen held a comfortable 50-point lead over McElrea entering Portland.


As mentioned above, nearly Half of the field was involved in the first lap’s Turn-1 Fracas in the Festival Curves chicane! Although I think perhaps Thar were multiple incidents? The main crash involved a six car pileup! Including the likes of Pierson, Kyffin Simpson, McElrea and Rasmussen, who’d started third…


As I know IndyCar Radio’s Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton went ballistic when apparently Race Control was initially going to assess Reece Gold with a Drive-thru penalty for Avoidable contact. With Hamilton saying they’d better check the videotape, since clearly it was victor Franzoni’s Fault for causing the Turn-1 melee! Which Race Control corrected afterwards.


Points leader Rasmussen effectively pulled a “Dixon” by surviving the carnage and resuming in ninth place, while McElrea wasn’t so fortunate, sustaining damage to His racecar. As McElrea went two laps down and finished 13th. While Rasmussen marched up to sixth and spent the remainder of the race there. Until Jagger Jones made a late race mistake with the Dane’ finishing fifth. Seeing Rasmussen take a commanding 65-point lead into Laguna Seca’s season ending Double Header weekend.


Rookie Lous foster, McElrea’s Andretti Autosport teammate led wire-to-wire, All 35-lapsin what became a fairly Anti-climatic race after the first lap fracas was cleaned up… 

Monday, September 11, 2023

17B: No Fenders Turns the long forgotten Oriol Servia’s Car Number!

Tomaso trying not to disturb a contented Hang 10’ Hilo while seated  on His lap at a local park. (The Tomaso Collection)


As it was nice of IndyCar to Throw A Party at Laguna seca! Even if Alex Palou celebrated at Portland…


Yeah, I know, I know. Y’all were probably expecting some riveting Laguna Seca IndyCar Wrap-up here today. Instead of wishing No Fender Birthday Salutations for turning another year Older today, Surprise!


Since how many of Y’all remember that Oriol “Suitcase” Servia raced the No. 17 for Rahal Letterman Racing during the 2009 Indianapolis 500, Eh?


Naturally I’m feeling a Wee Bitomyte’ Nihilistic (Geddy) over the racing season effectively being Done ‘N Dusted. Suffering from the Post IndyCar Season Blues, sigh.  Like seriously IndyCar? Another Freakin’ 289 days ridiculously long Offseason, Drat!


As here’s what I scribbled for last year’s No Fenders birthday when turning “Sweet Sixteen”, Yikes!


As it’s somewhat hard knowing that it’s now been just over one year since my last outing to a race track. Having been a wonderful day’s outing at Portland International Raceway when ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin put a veritable Beatdown upon the entire field leading 104 of 110 laps enroute to victory!


Whilst I really cannot recall what all I’ve done the remainder of that “calendar” year. Beside the infrequent, but overly enjoyable trips back Home to Warshington’. And the great treks with Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen and Her faithful navigator Hang 10’ Hilo!


Although I found myself repeatedly mentally singing the following Rush song verse minus You can make the most of the distance during the latter portion of our three weeks camping safari…


“You can do a lot in a lifetime

If you don’t burn out to fast

You can make the most of the distance

First you need endurance

First you’ve got to last”


As the verse is from Rush’s song Marathon, off of their 1985 album Power Window. Which Y’all can listen to below…


Arse-sumedly I found myself chanting this repeatedly over my mental Jukebox for the obvious reasons. Since I suppose you could say I’m in the Autumnal equinox of life! As another milestone birthday fast approaches…


Since although I still crave motorsports on a weekly basis. Being part of the reason I’ve continued poondin’ away on my trusty keyboard for the past 17 Freakin’ years, Youza! Some may say it’s travesty, but with my overly sensitive hearing. Like have I told Y’all I’m Blind lately?


Hey, Y’all do know that Blind people have Super powers, Righto? Eh, speak up Sonny…


Thus I find that my favourite soundtrack in life these days is the sound of the Ocean’s waves caressing on the Beach! For which I only get to Hear these sounds a few times a year, even if I live just a mile away from the Ocean.


Although when I manage to shut off my internal Jukebox and not think about anything racing related, i.e.; IndyCar or Formula 1. I find myself saying that it’s the sound of life passing me by and I can never get those precious seconds back…


Whilst another enjoyable moment upon our trip was sitting on a park bench at a Vashon Island lagoon listening to the Kingfishers frollicing about! As the late George Winston’s song aptly titled Woods always brings me great tranquility. Imagining I’m in a forest with a Woodpecker Hard at work!


Shit Man, stay focused! As where’s ‘Ol Jeffy’s mythical spotter from One Lap Down to tell me Outside, Outside, Still Outside…


Otay, sorry for being a Debbie Downer. As this story’s definitely gone into the Drink!


Time to wrap up another meandering, waxing “Short” Ha Ha! Idyllic prose by your Humble Scribe Tomaso svribblin’ here upon thoust Isle ‘O Nofendersville. as somebody throw me a Lifejacket, please! Especially since it’s so G-Damn Hard to keep from tipping thoust Groceries into thee Drink when paddling Ye Canoe n Choppy Seas


Hence like the Drivers say after every race, Thanks to The Fans for showing up here in Nofendersville and reading my eclectic scribblings upon No Fenders All these years!


Since this Uber' eclectic mix 'N veritable Spin Cycle 'O finely honed Thomason' Tex-Mex Jambalaya of Wordsmithing wouldn't have been possible over thou seasons without A-L-L of the Usual suspects continued yearly support.


Led First 'N Foremost by Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen, the late Kuhnaidiun' lass Claire and Blogmeister' Miguel!, who keeps this Site Alive and makes All of my Zany Updates whenever requested.


Along with Mary Ellen’s G-R-r-R-Reat! New Hoond’ who’s I affectionately nickname Hang 10’ Hilo! Being the most laid back Chihuahua I’ve ever met! (Having come from the Big Island) Who I eagerly look forward to “Seeing” every single time I have the opportunity to do so!


Plus continuous contributions from Offical' Photographer CARPETS', Snowbyrd MJ', Randal, Thy Moniker King' and Claudio’ & Nelie. Along with the still Mega' Killer official No Fenders logo provided by Artiste Dave!


Since like Melody Sheik brilliantly “Sings” in his Symphony of Science Masterpiece from over a Dozen years ago. Uhm, whose IndyCar Number is that? “We Are All connected!”


Whilst never fear Ladies and Germs’, Your Humble No Fenders Scribe Tomaso Ain’t going Nowheres’ soon…




Saturday, September 9, 2023

Can a Throwback livery go to Victory lane this weekend at Laguna Seca?

As I certainly Hope so!


Much has ben made about the Sharp lookin’ Throwback livery Colton Herta’s running this weekend in honour of His father Bryan’s maiden IndyCar victory at Laguna Seca, a Quarter century ago.


Along with the younger Herta having bought and given the exact same Reynard 98i (Ford) Cosworth XB racecar to His father as a birthday present earlier this year!


While Bryan’s subsequently had the Cossie’ lump sent out for refreshening’, i.e.; rebuild. And now father and son will have spent Wednesday prior to this year’s race running laps aboard it at Laguna Seca. Although Bryan’s quipped He’ll probably only last ten laps!


With Colton also aboard His current NO. 26 Dallara IR18 Honda in Throwback livery scheme running alongside Pop’s original No. 8 Reynard for publicity’s sake…


Know I watched the 1996 Laguna Seca IndyCar race, along with giving Bryan the nickname of High Speed Hurdles! Since my Foggy memory recollects Bryan summersaulting an IndyCar at Laguna Seca! Although I cannot find anything substantiating that…


While Bryan did go onto capture two CART/PPG IndyCar World Series victories at Laguna Secaback-to-back between 1998-99. His only two Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) wins both coming at Team Rahal.


Moving to the Indy Racing League, (IRL) Bryan scored a further two victories for what then was Andretti Green Racing. Racking up a total of 159 IndyCar Starts and ten career Pole positions, along with His four wins.


Not to mention scoring two Borg Warner trophies as team owner with the late Dan Wheldon in 2011 and Alexander Rossi in 2016.


Although Bryan Herta is probably most famous for what forever will simply be known as “The Pass!” Y’all know when El Zorro’, aka Alex Zanardi made that brazen pass at the top of the famed Corkscrew turn to steal victory away from Bryan in 1996!


While I’ll actually be rootin’ for Colton to win His first IndyCar race of the season this Sunday at Laguna Seca, which would be most symiotic.


Yet I must confess I was rootin’ for Graham Rahal to win at Portland last week, site of His first single seater win in 2005 in Star Mazda. But we All know how that worked out…