Wednesday, April 17, 2024

F1: Thoughts upon Formula 1 from Afar

As I miss the days of talking about Suzuker’ Specials when Honda (and others) made special Qualifying lumps’ for the Japanese Grand Prix…


Although I totally expected MaxiMillions’, nee Max Verstappen to dominate the Suzuka weekend and win from Pole position again, Yawn! Since I highly doubted His Brakes would catch on Fire this weekend…


As I really Don’t find myself to interested in Formula 1 these days. Yet nonetheless, I decided to tune-in to Friday’s and Saturday’s action from one of my favourite racetracks, ergo Suzuka. Especially since we’re in the middle of a month’s Hibernation by Indy Cars! And the last time I tried “watching” an F1 race was over a month ago at Jeddah.


As I’m mostly intrigued by two key issues in F1 right now. The plight of Williams having no spare chassis. And DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo’s current performance “slump” in particular. Along with wondering if any of the other top teams, i.e.;Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren can ever truly mount a challenge to Red bull and Verstappen? With ‘Ol Frederico Suave, nee Fernando Alonso making All the right noises about increased Competizione…


As I’ve heard Williams team principal James Vowles “TeamSpeak” over why Williams currently doesn’t have a spare chassis, and has been without one since season’s start. For which I say Poppycocl! Or is Williams really that far behind on modernizing it’s team’s approach to thee pinnacle ‘O motorsports?


This got me thinking about the days when Der Terminator’, nee Michael Schumacher routinely, and always had la Scuderia’s (Ferrari) third car and spare F1 chassis at His disposal for running on Friday’s. Although my Foggy memory thinks He also would run it during the  Sunday morning’s race warm-up?


This sent me down another Wabbit’ Hole, since I loosely recalled the term T-Cars in my memory, but couldn’t rmember if that was Formula 1 or IndyCar?


As I was able to discern that the running of third cars on Friday’s in formula 1 was Banned in 2007, due to the FIA implementing cost-cutting measure to save F1 Teams money.


Whilst thanks to Geo. Phillips of Oilpressure Fame. George helped me upon my hazy memory of Indy Cars entering backup chassis with the designation of X during the CART days, i.e.; #6X for Mario Andretti, etc. With George explaining that at Mother Speedway’ which was then sanctioned under USAC Rules. Backup chassis for the Indianapolis 500 were instead designated as T-Cars, i.e.; #6T for Mario Andretti, etc.


Although today IndyCar T-Cars are basically “Trailer Queens”. Being stored in team Haulers sans engine. And typically only “wheeled” out to replace said primary IndyCar chassis due to significant crash damage. Being a function of today’s IndyCar engine leases, and Arse-sumedly also to reduce costs…


According to Vowles, Williams has totally modernized and changed it’s chassis building process, which took longer than expected to implement. Along with the now de riggour Supply chain excuse…


Since All F1 Teams including Williams, have needed to build spare F1 racecars for each yearly season’s beginning. Which implies to Mwah that Team Willy’ is building their carbon fibremonocoque chassis entirely differently tooling-wise. Which Vowles may have already eluded to?


But it just seemed really awkward that Williams had to withdraw Logan Sargeant for the Australian Grand Prix weekend due to my Numero Uno F1 Driver Alexander Albon destroying His sole chassis!


Which was the totally pragmatic decision due to Albon having outscored Sargeant 27-1 points-wise during their tenure at Williams, for which it sounds like Sargeant was a dutiful “team” Player.


While no need to pile on Sargeant for making an unforced error during Friday’s “(Free Practice) FP1 session – where He crashed Heavily into a tyre barrier. For which thankfully the chassis monocoque survived, with Vowles saying the rest of the Bits were a write-off!


Since although Sargeant missed FP2 due to the team rebuilding His lone racecar, the inclement weather meant that He and the team really missed very little. While I’m happy to report that Sargeant qualified 19th, ahead of Sauber’s Guanyu Zhou. Since the Switzerland based team is enduring it’s own struggles currently.


As Jokes were made about how Sauber had completed a Pitstop with zero issues during Saturday’s FP3 session. Since the team has been suffering from slow, poor Pitstops during races…


I also find it fascinating how Williams has divulged that Albon’s repaired chassis that Sargeant was using at Suzuka, and presumably a Fortnight at Shanghai, was only 100 grams heavier than when originally built. As leave it to Formula 1 for such detail!


Whilst I’ll also Arse-sume that this battered, bruised,  as what’s that ‘Ol Timex saying? Takes a licking but Keeps on Ticking Me Thinks? Will become Williams spare chassis at Miami, when the team finally has a third racecar’s monocoque built. And I’d also guess that the newest chassis would go to Albon, with Sargeant getting the second best chassis, Eh?


Yet to be fair to Williams and Vowles. It was also divulged over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that Alpine had no spare chassis on-hand, but would have one ready for Shanghai…


Whilst Albon’s unfortunate accident on lap-1 at Suzuka with the forlorned Ricciardo didn’t do the team any favours with it’s hard impact, bringing out the race’s only Red flag! Before Sargeant added company to the team’s misery when making another mistake during the race and also crashing out, Urgh!


Although the week’s break between Suzuka and Shanghai should allow the team to run both drivers, even if the team’s running low on spares, i.e.; front and rear wings and other “Bits”…



In the April 10th Racer Mailbag, Chris Medland covered the Williams dilemma brilliantly. Noting how the carbon fibre monocoque and suspension mounting points need to be “released” by October of the previous year. Since it takes up to three months to pass the mandatory FIA Crash testing.


With Vowles noting it takes approx. eight-ten weeks to build a full carbon fibre monocoque. With F1 Teams trying to focus upon getting the first three chassis produced with a fourth in the pipeline, without needing to divert resources to producing spare parts, i.e.; front and rear wings, floors, etc.


Alpine has also been without a spare chassis the first three races after continuously failing to pass the crash test. But due to not having wrecked their cars during races, have been able to complete it’s third car, i.e.; spare chassis sooner than Williams has…         

Monday, April 15, 2024

Returning to Thoust Keyboard in Earnest

As does anybody still read what I scribble Here, Eh?


Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari

FOM Rejects Andretti Cadillac F1 Bid

Guaranteed Indianapolis 500 Starting Spots

Horner Gate

Pre Season Testing

IndyCar Whose Your Daddy $1 Million Sweepstakes Challeng


Having completed lap-14 of my eight weeks Open Heart surgery recovery  when I first set about scribblin’ this. Wayback’ on February 7th , I must confess I really didn’t feel like scribbling anything for a future No Fenders post, and have quite enjoyed my sabbatical from said Blogosphere.!


Arse-sumedly why I’ve let another two weeks plus slip by without bothering to type any more of my riveting No Fenders Yarn’ below…


And even though I’ve been paying loose Attenzione to the motorsports world since returning home from Hospital on January 29th. Like I said, I’ve just really not been to interested in returning to Blogging Full-time…


Whilst naturally three of the then four largest racing Headlines revolved around Formula 1, with IndyCar getting a sniff. Since ther return of 100 Days to Indy’s second season. Which sums up the prevailing attitude of IndyCar ever since I began following it – being  nothing more than a Shill for the Indy 500, even though Thars’ a whole season’s worth of other races o on the calendar! Really is a non-starter news-wise to Mwah…


Especially since it’s Funny how one’s opinions of what really matters in life changes dramatically after such a life altering experience like Open Heart surgery!


Thus I totally missed IndyStar’s Nathan Browne’s piece about IndyCar and it’s proposed Franchise, Err Charter system guaranteeing starting spots in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing!” And yeah, Bully-who, I’m totally aware that’s a registered trademark of IndyCar or whomever, but I digress…


Being a Diehard IndyCar Fan now fast approaching forty years, Youza! Like where did the time go? And why have I stayed so devoted ever since attending my first IndyCar race at Portland Wayback in 1987? Naturally you can All figure out which side of the debate I land upon this bit of ridiculousness!


With others having already pointed out how ‘lil “Ronnie” George’s infamous 25/8 rule sit in our Craws nearly some three decades later!


Having grown-up as a CART loyalist, obviously Tony George will forever be a thorn in my side! Although it took me many years to accept the fact it takes “Two to Tango”. Yet I still hold TG’ largely responsible for creating the debilitating Split that’s cost IndyCar generations of new Fans…


Reading Racer’s February 21st Mailbag, the comments overwhelmingly were Heartedly opposed to the notion of El Capitano’s push for guaranteed starting spots in the Indianapolis 500. Which after all, prides itself upon the ageless tradition of the Fastest 33 Qualifiers; end of statement!


Yes, the Daytona 500, NAWSCAR’s “Super Bowl” features 36 guaranteed starting spots with a palty four “Open” grid spots for “Interlopers” to attempt making the field. For which I’d argue does Qualifying for the Day-Toner’ 500 really matter?


And how much manufactured “Drama” is really created over two cars apiece advancing to the race during the Twin Gatorade 150 Duel’s or whatever they’re called these days?


Now I categorially know that El Capitano’, nee RP’, ergo Roger Penske doesn’t give a Tinkers Dam over what I say or scribble on this No Fenders Blog. Especially if it Ain’t 109% All Sunshine, Bunnies ‘n Rainbows!


Yet does Roger really wish to tarnish His legacy as Custodian of Mother Speedway, aka Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) forever by ruining one of the Indy 500’s most cherished traditions?


Or as Marshall Pruett wrote. Be remembered as Tony George 2.0 forever?


As I get the business aspects of Penske’s insistence over making sponsors Happy, especially since He’s a Businessman first. But for 113 years now, IndyCar Teams and Drivers have truly had to earn their way into the Indianapolis 500! And there should be No Guarantees to race upon Indy Cars Biggest Stage! And if you cannot Qualify as one of the 33 Fastest entries, then you Don’t deserve to make the Show – End of Rant!


Yet I’ll confess that I’ve actually parachuted a few current No Fenders stories in-between my 27 “Canned” posts I uploaded before my surgery. And have been paying closer Attenzione to Der Wurld de Motersporten since the end of February. As Y’all can probably figure out which arecurrent No Fenders yarns…


As I won’t bore Yuhs with recapping my major story Headlines above, since everybody already knows about them. Instead I’ll leave Y’all with the following dribble, Pun intended! Over how much of the loop I’m out of racing right now. Especially since I still haven’t found a decent MotoGP website to keep abreast of what’s happening.


Thus I was totally unaware that Turner Sports had swooped in? And bought the TV Broadcast rights to MotoGP this season, Huh?


After searching in vain on CNBC for a MotoGP race. Only to finally discover after a half hour’s searching or more? That my ridiculously Overproced Spectrum Cable TV provider did carry Turner Sports on the totally unknown TRUTV channel, who? Which I did two nights before “watching”, Err listening to Grand Canyon University beat Saint Mary’s in the NCAA’s March Madness.


Being even funnier since I never watch any Stick ‘n Ball Sports! 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

INDY 500: Let the Games begin!

But will we really learn Anything from testing?


Yeah, Y’all are probably way ahead of me. Knowing that yesterday marked the beginning of Indy Cars two day “Open” test at Mother Speedway, in preparation for this year’s 108th Indianapolis 500 running.


As the test runs from April 10-11, weather permitting…


And Wayback’ in Mid-February, with the announcement of Takuma Sato running Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s (RLLR) fourth Indy 500 entry. The unofficial entry list had swelled to a robust 35 entries.


Since we know Thars’ 27 Full-season entries. Along with “One OFF” entries for Marco Andretti at Andretti Global. Some Roundy Round Star named Kyle Larson at Arrow McLaren. Christian Rasmussen at Ed Carpenter Racing, Helio Castroneves at Meyer Shank Racing, and the aforementioned Sato.


Not to mention the two car Dreyer & Reinbold/Cusick Motorsports entry of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Conor Daly. Which my rudimentary math gets us up to 34 entries.


And that’s before adding Abel Motorsports entry for R.C. Enersen to the mix. Although the Enersen’s, ergo Pops’ and R.C. were scrambling to find a primary sponsor prior to the Open test. With Bill Abel, the proprietor of Abel Motorsports having bought a brand new Dallara DW12 chassis to potentially run a different “funded” driver aboard, if the Enersen’s effort falls short.


Although I don’t expect Abel Motorsports to participate in the Open test, unless they’re running somebody besides R.C. Enersen…


While A.J. Foyt Enterprises has elected to not field a third entry, leaving us with a maximum of 35 cars vying for those Hallowed 33 starting Grid slots. Y’all know those still being the Fastest 33 Qualifiers overall!


Chevrolet (17)

Abel Motorsports, (1) Arrow McLaren, (4) Ed Carpenter Racing, (3) Team Penske, (3) A.J. Foyt, (2) Dreyer & Reinbold (2) and Juncos Hollinger Racing. (2)


Honda (18)

Chip Ganassi Racing, (5) Andretti Global, (4) Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, (4) Meyer Shank Racing, (3) and Dale Coyne Racing. (2)


We also know that everyone will be racing their 2024 Spec Dallara “lightweight” chassis, minus the “Hybrid” Energy Recovery System. (ERS) Which will be the first Full field running upon an Oval.


Not sure what to expect? Since the April running typically doesn’t correlate to May’s race conditions. Making me feel like the IMS test is slightly akin to Formula One’s vaunted three days Winter Olympics Pre-season test…


Although Dale Coyne and Company will be running a brace ‘O  new drivers for Indianapolis. As we know that rookie Nolan siegel will be attempting to make His Indianapolis 500 debut. Whilst we’ve just been waiting for official confirmation that Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge will be piloting the No. 51 on Ovals this season at the team with a rotisserie of IndyCar drivers…


Thus by my unofficial thumbs ‘n fingers count Pre-Open test, Thars’ a total of seven rookies this year vying for the 108th Indianapolis 500. Where still only the Fastest 33 Cars make the Show. Can You Hear Me Roger!


As McLaren has Kyle Larson, whilst Ganassi has three rookies, i.e.; Marcus Armstrong, Linus Lundqvist and Kyffin Simpson. Dale Coyne and His Band ‘O Merrymen have the aforementioned Nolan siegel. As No Stu Seagull Jokes here as my Awntie’ Harriet called Steven Seagal, Hya!


ECR has Christian Rasmussen, and MSR has tom “the bomb” Blomqvist filling out the rookies roster. As I don’t think I missed anyone?


Mother Natured decided that She should be on Pole position or the top of the scoring pylon after All 34 entries, minus Abel Motorsports ran during Wednesday morning. With Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden being quickest before rain brought the afternoon session to a premature close.


Thursday’s second day of practice was cancelled outright due to inclement weather, with the next IndyCar action to be at Long Beach on April 21st.

Monday, April 8, 2024

INDYCAR: Thermal club Rear View Mirror

As the weekend wasn’t an entire Dud…


Yeah, I know we’ve All since long moved on from that Whose Your Daddy $1 Million Challenge Sweepstakes race at the Thermal club, along with what could be done to make it better. Especially since we’ll be salivating over the IndyCar Open Test at Mother speedway this week…


Yet lost in All of the Thermal club Drama, was the debut of Nolan “flock ‘O Seagulls” Siegel’s debut in what my Awntie’ Harriet called the Big boyz’, nee IndyCar debut. Although now I’m cornfuzed over how the IndyCar revisionist record books will record said debut? Since after all, it was a (NC) Non Championship Points race, so does that constitute being a Full fledged IndyCar race, Oh Never Mind!


Whilst I’ll also try refraining from any more Stu Seagull Jokes about Nolan, whom Harriet called Steven Seagal, but I digress…


The 19yr old Palo Alto, California native will run a total of four races this season for Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) including the Thermal Club event. Along with the upcoming Long Beach, Indianapolis 500 and Toronto races. Running just a maximum of four IndyCar races in order to preserve His rookie IndyCar status for next year.


As Siegel will share the No. 18 entry with Jack Harvey, who’ll run the remainder of the 14 points paying IndyCar events.


Arse-sumedly Nolan began His racing career like most contemporary drivers by competing in Karting, before making His single seater debut in the 2019 U.S. f2000 National Championship driving for Newman Wachs Racing, finishing 15th overall.


The following year, Siegel switched to Jay Howard Driver Development for His sophomore U.S. F2000 campaign, finishing P13 overall.


Then for His third and final U.S. F2000 season, Nolan switched to DEForce Racing, finishing eighth overall while claiming His maiden victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park.


Having made His Indy Pro 2000 series debut in 2021 at Gateway, Siegel graduated to the Indy Pro 2000 championship for a full season drive with DEForce Racing. Nolan won first time out at St Pete, before dominating the next round at Barber Motorsports Park. Yet that would be the last of Siegel’s victories, ultimately finishing fourth overall in the title fight.


Siegel also contested the final Indy Lights race at Laguna Seca driving for HMD Motorsports before joining Indy NXT fulltime in 2023, remaining with HMD Motorsports.


Siegel impressed as a rookie by winning two races and finishing third overall, also claiming Indy NXT’s rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours. And is currently leading the 2024 Indy NXT Championship after leading wire-to-wire from Pole at St Pete’s season opener.


Siegel will contest the entire Indy NXT championship once again for HMD Motorsports, which presumably due to it’s affiliation with DCR, made Nolan an easy choice to run at Sebring in one of Dale Coyne’s Indy Cars during Pre-season testing. And being suitably impressed with the youngster, Nolan’s now in the midst of His four race IndyCar campaign…


As Siegel started P12 in the 14-car Group-1 Heat Qualifier and finished an impressive seventh. One place behind Colton Herta in sixth, the final transfer slot for Sunday’s main event.


As Nolan claims He learned a ton by following Herta and observing where Colton kept Him from passing to transfer to the main event. And it’ll be interesting to see how Nolan fairs in the upcoming Long Beach Full tilt boogie IndyCar weekend, when racing against 26 other cars at once over a longer race distance… 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Remembering Robbie Knievel – One year later

As Captain Robbie Knievel was a great showman, following His Father’s footsteps…


Yeah Kiddoes’, I’ll admit that I’ve done run outta Gas trying to think up riveting topics for the last of my 26, Err, Uhm 27 “Canned” No Fenders stories scribbled before January 23rd. And thus like the late Robbie Knievel, hopefully I’ll make the gap and not break any bones uponlanding!


And it’s so long ago now,that I cannot remember when the originally intended date for IndyCar racing at Texas Motor Speedway was this year? But keeping the same weekend as 2023 would have seen it landing on Easter Sunday, which I highly doubt would have happened! Even with it’s 5,000 faithful Fans on hand…


And thus I tend to recall that the Powers to be at Penske Entertainment had been shooting for this coming Sunday. (4/7)


As Y’all may be wonderin’ what’s this got to do with the late Robert Edward Knievel II who died on Friday, January 13, 2023 at Age 60 from Pancreatic Cancer.


Well, Robbie successfully Jumped 21 Hummer H2’s at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) Wayback in Gory 2008  before the start of that year’s June 7th Indy Racing League (IRL) race!


As talk about your “Are U Ready to Go Racing” Highwire Act! As Robbie had planned on jumping some 25Hummers that evening, but due to strong winds. Nah, no Gale Force winds Ah-Blowin’ Jokes  from TMS Impresario  Eddie “the goose” Gossage here! But Knievel shortened the Hummer Queue to 21 instead!


As Target chip Ganassi Racing Pole sitter Scott Dixon won Round 7 ahead of the Penske Racing duo of Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe respectively that year, enroute to one of his eventual six IndyCar Championships…


Not sure why, but when I think of Robbie Knievel, I remember sitting thru nearly two hours of Bullshit “Hype” on the Discovery Channel Wayback in 1999, Uhm, a quarter century ago now, Crikeys! Before Robbie successfully jumped the Grand canyon on His Honda CR500 Motocross “Scooter!” Although He crashed heavily upon landing and ended up with a broken leg…


As Robbie, son of the great Evel Knievel, began His Stunt Jumping career at the tender age of four. When jumping His “BMX” bicycle before graduating to motorcycles at age seven! And performed His very first show with His Father Evel at Madison Square Garden at age eight! Before touring with Evel at age twelve.


While Robbie replicated many of His Father Evel’s jumps. As noted, Robbie used a Honda Motocross motorcycle vs. Evel’s Harley-Davidson XR750, which weighed 90lbs more and was a Flat-track motorcycle. Making the Harley heavier and more unwieldly to land due to it’s lack of suspension travel!


Robbie successfully jumped the Caesar Palace Fountain in 1989, 22yrs after Evel’s failed attempt. Along with other such outlandish jumps including: Jumping 30 limousines a record distance of 231 feet at the Tropicana Hotel!


Robbie also jumped 130 feet between the two 13 story Jockey Club towers in Vegas. Purposely crashlanding on His side into Haybales to keep from falling off upon landing!


Also jumping five aircraft upon the deck of the USS Intrepid. And jumping a moving locomotive at 80mph. As the locomotive traveling at 30mph demolished Knievek’s takeoff ramp while Robbie was in Mid-air!


As that’s just some of the plethora of jumps Robbie attempted and completed during His illustrious Stunt-riding career for the Father of three daughter… 

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Six wonderful Gil de Ferran remembrance Podcasts

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A jubilant Roger Penske celebrates after Gil de Ferran scored Penske’s 100th IndyCar victory at the 2000 Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix at Nazareth, PA. (The Tomaso Collection)


As Bravo Marshal, well Done!


Yeah I know, I know! It’s just over four months now since Gil de Ferran unexpectedly died at age 56. Which although I scribbled briefly about His untimely departure, I simply didn’t have any space to “Back-time” this particular story into Ye rotation. Especially since I’d already scheduled some 25, Uhm 26, Err 27 No Fenders posts in order to keep thy Blog’, as my late Awntie’ Harriet called it Alive.


Nope, No Young Frankenstein “It’s Alive” Jokes Here!


Thus, if you haven’t listened to any of Marshall Pruett’s six part interview with some of Gil de Ferran Friends tribute Podcasts. Or if you want to learn more about what made De Ferran such a great person, or the man behind the racing helmet. Then I highly recommend that you visit the Marshall Pruett Podcast website and search for the following episode.


MP1478 Remembering Gil de Ferran 1 with Scott Dixon

MP1477 Remembering Gil de Ferran 2 with Zak Brown

MP1476 Remembering Gil de Ferran 3 with Simon Pagenaud

MP1475 Remembering Gil de Ferran 4 with Tom German

MP1474 Remembering Gil de Ferran 5 with Justin Bell

MP1473 Remembering Gil de Ferran 6 with Dario franchitti


As they’re All great interviews highlighting Gil’s attributes as a person Off-track, i.e.; Family-man, Husband, Father, Team Owner and Oh Yeah, Championship winning race car driver!


Most weigh in around 30mins with the exception of Simon Pagenaud’s, who easily went for some 80mins with Symone’ just getting “Warmed Up!” As it was great hearing Pagenaud’s voice again! The first time since His Horrible accident at Mid-Ohio.


Although symone’s memories make me realize just how much I’ve missed over the years, even when perusing motor racing stories daily!


As Simon tells two great stories about His reverence for the great Ayrton Senna. For which somehow I never knew that Pagenaud, who back then was my second favourite IndyCar driver! Did a tribute Senna helmet commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Senna’s death in 2014.


With Simon debuting said tribute helmet with His three Brazilian “brothers”, i.e.; Gil de Ferran, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves. While the second Senna story relates to the naming of their first son’s name…


Guessing that the only name of the six interviews that will be somewhat foreign to most, including myself is Tom German’s name. Who was Gil’s Championship winning race engineer at Penske. Including setting that amazing All-time closed course lap record of 241.428mph.


Which like Marshall says during one of the interviews, that’s an average of 241.428mph, meaning Gil was going faster some of the time, and slower in the corners, whilst averaging 240mph!

As I love German’s telling about De Ferran saying you’re a young guy, how are you gonna handle the pressure when the Pole is on the line? To which German was able to say, I’d do like last year when Scott Pruett won the Pole and you were second…


As All six issues have made me cry at some point during their interviews. As I think it was early in episode one, that made me realize I hadn’t been effected this hard by the death of a driver since the passing of my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver, the late Justin Wilson!


You can also find the podcast links to All six episodes in Marshall’s three page Racer article on remembering  Gil below. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Languid thoughts upon De Ferran and Indy Cars future

As 56 is way too early to die!


Nah, No April fools Jokes here upon No Fenders today Kiddoes! Other than the only Joke is that I’m posting this story just now, that I began scribbling upon the first weekend of January. When my, and countless others emotions were still raw over the untimely Death of Gil de Ferran at age 56!


Although I suppose in another bout of Tomfoolery’, Uhm, we’re a week removed from the Whose your Daddy Thermal Sweepstakes “All Star” event. For which I wasn’t certain Wayback’ in Gory January if I’d get a chance to watch it on Thy Telie? With whomever was providing my final respite ‘O Home Health Care recovery from my Open Heart surgery.


Although pretty G-Damn sure Nurse Catherine would give me Permission to do so! Which sorry Y’all, if you’re tiring of hearing me pontificate about this truly life changing experience; but Gil was younger than me.


As Gil’s Death was shocking enough just for it’s unexpected earliness. But hit me even harder due to my then awaiting Open Heart surgery and knowing the same could have happened to Mwah…


And since I’m still really not sure when I’ll return to thoust keyboard and Blogging in earnest. Therefore I’m trying to “pad” out some more time before resuming my normal Pre-surgery routine.


Look, I’m always Happy whenever IndyCar’s on-track, since it happens way too little during the year. Like can Y’all say El Stupidio 182 days Freakin’ Off-season!


And thus I had nothing against the Thermal Club event other then it simply seemed like another Gimmick from Day-1 of it’s announcement!


And Marshall Pruett had me laughing in stitches when sardonically mentioning that although the IndyCar press release said only the Top-5 finishers would be given prize money. The same press release went onto claim that positions 6-27 would each garner a cheque for $23,000. As Marshall wryly noted that He needed to finish P13, Brilliant!


Hence with the words All Star and The Thermal All Skate event occurring after only one IndyCar race. The word All Star made me think of the late gil de Feran once again!


Since like I previously scribbled here upon No Fenders. I’m guessing it must have been 2013? Since All I know it wasn’t the initial Legends Day Gala event of 2011, which had the largest trove of former IndyCar drivers in attendance. For which IMS Sherpa Carpets’ and I waited an hour or hour and a half? For me to get ‘lil Stevie Johnson’s, aka Stefan Johansson’s John Handcock!


Well at least I thought that was the one ‘n only time I briefly met De Ferran at Mother Speedway. Perhaps it was De Ferran’s line that was too long and we skipped it instead? Even though I swear I can still see His face and hear Him saying Hi to me…


Regardless, this reminded me of another De Ferran memory – that I know for certain happened…


As I’d been pestering thee Donald’, No-No-No! Not that Juan’, but Don Kay of Autosport Radio to see if He could procure me Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud’s John Hancock during an Autosport Radio Show interview some 15 years ago, Aye Karumba!


And in true De Ferran fashion. Not only did I get Simon’s autograph on a De Ferran Motorsports “Hero” card. But I got several! One each of Pagenaud and De Farran individually, along with the pair’s signatures together during their ALMS days…


Don’t need to recap how many times IndyCar shot itself in the foot last year! Other than as Marshall Pruett likes repeating sardonically upon His weekly Podcasts. According to IndyCar management – from the top down, beginning with The Captain, RP’ ergo Roger Penske Everything’s AWSM!


And although I’ve never worried before, naturally life’s taken on a whole new meaning to me…


In Geo. Phillips Christmas tidings Oilpressure post. Who’ll remain Ye Oldest IndyCar blogger to me! Even if George pointed out casually that The Pit Window’s Mike Silver is older than Him, but I digress…


George noted that this May will be fifteen years for His Blogsite, and at age 65, He doesn’t plan to be still blogging in another 15yrs at age 80.


This got me thinking that keeping that same thought-bubble’. That I’ve been poondin’ out stories nonstop here on No Fenders for over 17 years, and another 17 would get me to my 77th birthday! For which I have a hard time thinking I’ll still be blogging then also…


And I’d Arse-sume similar sentiments from Mike silver? Since that puts three current IndyCar bloggers already at or nearly Senior Citizens today! With I Kissed the Bricks Patty Nolan being 53 and the Field of 33’s Paul Dalbey is soon to turn “The King’s” number, ergo 43. While I have no idea what age For the Love of Indy’s Raymond Hamdoat is?


All of which makes me wonder if there are any IndyCar Bloggers currently under the age of 40 out Thar? Or are Blogs akin to Facebook? And just what the older generation gravitates towards?


As may be there’s young, savy “Digital Warriors” out there in IndyCar-land solely on Instagram? But being Blind, have I reminded Y’all lately? I Don’t do any of the social media stuff, especially Instagram, since obviously I cannot “See” it!


As the age old question is how does IndyCar excite and grow it’s next generation of Fans to replace us current Diehard, but aging Fanbase? And nope, No corny NXT jokes here! Even if everything’s AWSM!


As it seems that the best way to start this massive “C” Change would for Penske Entertainment and RP’ insert son Greg Penske into the “big chair”, ergo CEO now! With El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske becoming the Chairman, provided He didn’t keep Greg’s Hands tied behind His back decision-wise!


Since with many current IndyCar team owners being in their 60’s or older? Whilst I think the two youngest owners are Zak Brown and Riccardo Juncos currently. We don’t exactly have an infusion of age in the ownership ranks!


And being Captain McObvious. Without a younger, more vibrant Fanbase, it really won’t matter if IndyCar gets a new chassis, goes Hybrid, lands a third engine manufacturer, etc. Making me wonder if IndyCar will just keep plodding along before fading into obscurity sometime in the future?


As I’ve done my part supporting IndyCar for nearly four decades. And as Queen Danica would say. It’s Not my Fault that we had The Split and lost a generation of IndyCar Fans!


Which naturally made me think of Rush’s great song Between the Wheels!


Y’all know how that Rabbit feels going underneath your spinning wheels,

Windshield towards the Fly,

Time just passes you by,

Another lost Generation…


Partial song lyrics from: Rush Between the Wheels; Grace Under Pressure, 1984 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Bill riley keeps Huntin’ for more Easter Eggs

        As Y’all be kind to those chocolate Bunny’s ears. Yuhs Hear, especially you Max!


Yeah, know Y’all are probably distracted with the arrival of Ye Easter Bunny, or should that be Beagle’ this Sunday. Although it still seems odd to be celebrating Easter in march!


Therefore, I’m Arse-suming that my already razor slim No Fenders traffic count will decrease even further? But not sure how far it can go down from my three devoted readers, Eh?


Alas, I’ll point Yuhs towards another vintage No Fenders yarn celebrating thee Easter Beagle’, as where are Yuhs Snoopy? With the following No Fenders tome.


And for those of Y’all Jonesin’ for something motorsports related. Here’s another story I’ve been letting percolate way too long!


As the Racer article that caught my Attenzione was a somewhat “Puff” piece about what Bill Riley’s up to, albeit being posted Wayback’ on August 30, 2023. For which the exact title was: Riley keeps moving forward on multiple Sports Car fronts.


As Riley’s wife says He’s pretty busy! With Bill running the Riley racing “empire” that His father bob began, presumably continuing with the three Sports Car teams He’s involved with.


With the LMP3 category going away in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship this season. The final LMP3 Champions stepped up to the LMP2 category this year. Making waves when announcing that 2008 Formula 1 runner-up Felipe Massa would join Gar Robinson and company at this year’s Rolex 24.


Although I’ve got zero clue how they, or the majority of the field did at this years 24 Hours of Daytona! Due to laying in a Hospotal bed for five days before hopefully being released on January 28th…


Riley’s also involved in a partnership with Kelly Moss Racing running a brace of Porsche 911 GT3 R’s in the GTD (Daytona) class. The Nos. 91-92 specifically…


Whilst Arse-suming He’s continuing to field an entry for George Kurtz and Colin Brown aboard a CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo in the SRO’s GT World Challenge America series. Where the duo won the Pro am category last year.


Whilst I had no idea that it was an Riley & Scott chassis that the other TK’, aka Tommy Kendall devastated the Trans Am field in during His championship winning years driving for Roush Racing in those Nasty Ford Mustang Trans Am racecar! Or that apparently much of the SCCA Pro Racing’s Trans Am field was comprised of Riley & Scott chassis…


As Tony Ave reportedly talked Bob Riley into designing a new Trans Am chassis, known as the Riley TA1 for which Chris Dyson drove to His third consecutive Trans Am National championship last year. Becoming only the fifth driver in series history with three or more championships! Joining the likes of the aforementioned Kendall, Paul Meatheadz’ Gentilozzi, Scott Scooter’ Pruett and Ernie Francis Jr.


While the Riley & Scott Mk III Sports Car Prototype chassis was the most successful Privateer “mount”, which I fondly remember Dyson Racing using to great effect, including winning the 24 Hours of Daytona with! Also somehow having forgotten that Riley ran the 2012-14 Viper GT3 program.


But I was totally unaware until reading said Racer article that Riley Technologies was now building continuation Ford GT40 Mk IV’s, for which arse-sumedly the first cracecar’s now completed.


According to Bill, longtime Riley Technologies customer Jim Mathews bought the former Ford “satellite” Kar-Kraft company. Although actually Riley Technologies Inc. run by Bob & bill riley, along with Mathews bought the assets of Kar-Kraft Wayback’ in August, 2020, for which I definitely missed the memo!


Tooling, Fixtures, Jigs and technical drawings, some with Bob Riley’s name upon them were sent to Riley’s shop in Moorsville, NCAs I also didn’t know that Bob Riley had been involved upon the original Shelby American Ford GT40 Mk IV racecar. With plans to build at least ten continuation Mk IV’s, with the first having it’s delivery date delayed until 2023…


And thus, Y’all can “See” that Bill riley indeed is a very busy man! As I just hope none of His championship winning racecars roll over any Easter Eggs or Chocolate bunnies Ears! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

INDYCAR: The Series we Love to Hate!

As how’s that “New & Improved” Marketing Department working out?


For Mwah, the words Mission accomplished came to mind following the conclusion of the “Whose Your Daddy” Million Dollar Sweepstakes event held at the Thermal club.


As I have to agree with Racer’s Marshall Pruett that Sunday’s Non Championship (points-wise) event was an event that none of the competitors were truly interested in. And simply was a convenient way for IndyCar to fill a Humungous six weeks gap in it’s schedule due to Texas Motor Speedway pulling the Plug upon them.


Being Blind, have I mentioned that Y’all lately? I had issues with the sound quality during both the Qualifying coverage on IndyCar Radio and Sunday’s race on Big NBC, with the latter’s being overly wonky, i.e.; constantly fluctuating up ‘n down the entire 2.5hrs TV Broadcazt.


For the IndyCar Radio “Simocast”, I had to Jack up my volume 16 levels in order to hear Mark Gravelly’ James and Jake the Riddler’ Queiry pontificating about everything but the action on-track during the first five minutes of the ridiculously short eight minute Qualie’ sessions. With Qualifying being delayed due to Marcus Ericsson’s crash – backing into the tyre barrier when potentially a Flinstone’ rear tyre went down…


Have to say that Felix-the-Cat’ (Rosenqvist) has really grown on me. And I’m now a Huge Fan of the Swede’s! And I really appreciate His Dry Wit! Noting how the $500,000, the winner’s amount for the Million Dollar challenge. Would help for His upcoming wedding in September and buy a lot of nice flowers…


Enjoyed sitting on the couch with Snowbyrd MJ’ and explaining various questions about the day’s event. As I found the day’s first Heat race far more entertaining due to the collision between “Count Dracula”, aka Rinus VeeKay and Romain Grosjean. Although in both’s defense, Scott Dixon punted romain, who collided with VeeKay, who “Hip checked” Christian Lundgaard and left a gaping Hole in the Dane’s sidepod. Whilst ScottyMac’, nee Scott McLaughlin made Rosenqvist work for His victory…


The second Heat race was a Snoozer with Alex Palou leading wire-to-wire, with the first four cars following in procession…


This was the first time I’d “watched”, Err listened to an NBC TV Broadcast in over a year and-a-half! So it was nice hearing lead announcer Leigh Diffey’s voice again, along with (Townsend) T-Bell’ and thee Mayor’, nee James Hinchcliffe. Yet the two Pit reporters Kevin Lee and Marty Snyder were their usial, annoying selfs! As Lee, whom I call the Werewolf! Was His usual over-the-top, trying to emulate manufactured excitement! And may be had one too many cups of coffee? WhilstSnidely Whiplash’, akaMarty Snyder doesn’t need explanation…


I only bring this up since scuttlebutt suggests that Diffey may be leaving IndyCar for a new NASCAR Gig later this year? Meaning potentially a new lead announcer would be needed.


Whilst some on Ye Blogosphere have “Championed” Kevin Lee as the perfect replacement for years. I for one think that Lee makes a Horrible lead announcer whenever filling in for Diffey! As His Fake enthusiasm which sounds simply like shrieking is what led to His No Fenders moniker…


As I’d say that Brian till would be the perfect replacement if necessary, as Kevin’s a fine Pitlane reporter. But is one of the main reasons I’ve switched over to listening to All IndyCar races on IndyCar Radio instead, but I digress…


Fortunately I wasn’t playing any drinking games for every-time Diffey mentioned the One Million Dollar challenge, which only paid $500,000 to the winner! As surely El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske with All of His Business connections could have squeezed $500k from somebody to be the “title” sponsor, El Correctomundo?


As Kudos to IndyStar’s Nathan Browne Me Thinks? Or whomever it was who pointed out that IndyCar couldn’t even get their message straight! Regarding boasting over it being the largest non-Indianapolis 500 purse…


Uhm, Wrong again IndyCar! Since Jimmy Vasser won an actual $1.0 million at the 1996 U.S. 500 during the first year of The Split. With the U.S. 500 being contested in front of 110,000+ Fans on the same Sunday as that year’s inaugural Indy Racing League (IRL) Indianapolis 500. Which CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) teams were Boycotting due to Tony George’s infamous 25/8 Rule!


With the U.S. 500 held at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) paying out some $3.6 million-plus in total purse. As can Y’all say Oops, Butterfingers?


Now I have no clue over what I’d do to improve the “All Star” $1 Million Challenge Sweepstakes format, as you have to say that the first 10-laps segment was a Snoozer! Other than the mild intrigue caused collectively by Andretti Global’s Colton Herta’s decision to run excrutiatingly slow in order to conserve His Firestone rubber for the race’s second 10-laps segment, since tyres weren’t allowed to be changed. Only tyre pressures could be adjusted.


Have to say I like the addition of the “P2P”, ergo Push to Pass forty seconds of additional Horsepower, but this also only allowed effectively for one lap’s duration. But did aadd a nice wrinkle of “Strategerie” as Marshall Pruett would say…


Unfortunately the three podium finishers All effectively ran nose-to-tail the entire twenty laps after McLaughlin jumped Rosenqvist on the first race start, with Alex Palou simply being untouchable the entire weekend, including the entire race.


Yet Herta did manage to ultimately go from Dead last in P12 to finish in fourth, being the best part of the “Show”. Finishing ahead of Marcus Armstrong, who netted a paltry $50,000 for His Team Boss Chip Ganassi.


Since Nathan Browne wrote that drivers typically average only 40% of the prize winnings before taxes, etc.


Along with Alexander Rossi and Josef Newgarden playing “Argie-Bargie”, allowing rookie Linus Lundqvist to slip past both and finish P6.


Yet positions 6-27 paid a measly $23,000, which probably didn’t even pay the corresponding teams Hotel Bills?


Which leads me wondering who actually paid the Bill for this event? As did IndyCar charge the Thermal Club a sanctioning Fee? And how did those limited, 75% reduced price limited attendance tickets work out? Since Snowbyrd MJ’ told me that only strategically “shot” television coverage showed All of the “Beautiful” people dining on members decks. Before showing a few empty decks but NO Fans attending…


Regardless of how this event is perceived by us Hardcore Fans, or Ye legions of les Miserables. You have to concede that we’re All talking about it! And we were treated to having 27 Indy Cars on-track for our entertainment. Along with filling a sizeable gap in the IndyCar schedule.


So I’d say that the event did it’s “Job” overall…