Friday, January 26, 2024

ROLEX 24: Another Bumper Crop of IndyCar Drivers

As who needs the Thermal Club Celebrity race? Since this is what I call a true All Star event!


Know Y’all are probably tiring of my reminding Y’all of my lack ‘O time for typing everythingy’ I wanted to get posted here upon No Fenders before my impendin sabbatical, But!


As here’s the list of current 2024 IndyCar Series drivers contesting this year’s 62nd running of the 24 Hours of Daytona. Which I gleamed over the winter Holidays.



As usual, six times IndyCar Champion Scott Dixon begins His racing season by co-driving the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series.R entry with le Hamburgular’, nee Sealmeister B’, aka Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.


While the second Caddy’ in the GTP ranks will see the No. 31 Whelen Engineering piloted by Pipo Derani, Jack “Achey Breaky” Aitken and Meyer Shank Racing’s Tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist.


El Capitano’, nee roger Penske’s Porsche Penske Motorsport two car Porsche 963 entry sees it’s Nos. 6-7 return. With reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden as part of the No. 7’s four driver lineup, alongside Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr and Matt Campbell. In what I believe is Newgarden’s Rolex 24 debut?


Wayne Taylr Racing with Andretti’s brace of Acura ARX-06 chassis are packed with two stellar lineups!


As the team’s traditional #10 entry sees 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner and new Andretti Global recruit Marcus Ericsson and Bad Arse Sports Car Ace Brendon Hartley as it’s “guest” drivers alongside Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque.


The team’s new second No. 40 entry features Jordan Taylor and Louis Delatraz being joined by Colton Herta and some Bloke named Jenson Button!


And yes, I’m aware that Bobby Rahal and Company are campaigning two BMW M Team RLL (Rahal Letterman Lanigan) M8 Hybrid’s in the GTP category. But this riveting No Fenders story is just about IndyCar drivers, and not respective IndyCar teams…


Wasn’t expecting this. But on January 10th, news broke that reigning IndyCar Champion Alex Palou would co-drive the Chip Ganassi Racing #01 Cadillac V-Series.R entry. With the Spaniard partnering Sebastien Bourdais, Render van der Zande and Scott Dixon.


Bumping us up to twelve 2024 IndyCar drivers taking part in this year’s race Me Thinks…



The United Autosports Squad co-owned by Zakery Brown and Richard Dean comes loaded for Bear with it’s Nos. 2 & 22 Oreca 07 entries. The No. 2 features my Numero Uno IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward. Sharing the ride with Ben Keating, former IndyCar driver Ben Hanley and Nico Pino.


The Seester’ #22 entry features former McLaren and current Meyer Shank Racing IndyCar driver Felix-the-Cat’, ergo Felix Rosenqvist at it’s controls. Partnered by Paul di Resta, Dijoy Garg and Dan Goldburg.


Team Penske’s ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin returns to the controls of the No. 8 Tower Motorsports Oreca 07. Along with team owner John Farano, Charlie Eastwood and Michael Dinan.


Almost overlooked Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) rookie IndyCar driver Christian Rasmussen. As the Dane’ will co-drive the No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca with Ryan “Razzle Dazzle” Dalziel, Dwight Merriman and Connor Zilisch.


Then just mere days before ringing in the New year. Word came late that DragonSpeed would replace the withdrawn No. 53 Porsche GTD entry.


With DragonSpeed confirming that 19yr old rookie Ganassi IndyCar driver Kyffin Simpson would share it’s No. 81 Oreca LMP2 entry with James Allen and Eric Lux. With the team also confirming it would cntest the entire five rounds of this year’s Michelin Endurance Cup.



Kyle Kirkwood once again will return to the keyboard of the Vasser Sullivan Racing’s #14 Lexus RC F GT3 entry, alongside reigning GTD Pro champions Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat.


Whilst many eyeballs will probably be upon the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 whose “guest drivers include the likes of thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe and His Good Buddy Alexander Rossi! As Hinch’ has signed up to run all of the Michelin Endurance Cup events alongside regular season drivers Oliver Jarvis and Marvin Kirchhofer, with Rossi Moonlighting at Daytona.


GT Daytona (GTD)

And the Driver announcements just keep ah-Dribblin’ out! Having learned of Romain Grosjean’s inclusion aboard the No. 60 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo2 entry on December 19th.


As Grosjean will team with team Owner Claudio Schiavoni and Matteo Cressoni, who’d previously been announced. While Matteo Cairoli was announced as the other member of the Lambo’s quartet of drivers.


And then Grosjean will move onto the Lamborghini SP63 GTP entry at the 12 Hours of Sebring. Where the latest Le Mans Daytona Hybrid, (LMDH) nee  IMSA GTP prototype will make it’s series debut. With Iron Lynx contesting both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, and the FIA World Endurance Championship. (WEC)


Then on January 15th, news broke that IMSA had upgraded the Iron Lynx #60 to GTD Pro status due to it’s driver’s line-up. Giving us a revised total of 13 GTD Pro entries.


Meanwhile, the No. 91 Kelly Moss with Riley Motorsports GTD (Daytona) Porsche 911 has been withdrawn from this year’s Rolex 24. Giving us just 24 GTD entries, and an overall car count of 59 entries for this year’s Rolex 24.


As that’s what I initially ascertain prior to Christmas, since I was busy watchin’ for Santa! (With further updates included) So my apologies if I’ve missed any of the 2024 IndyCar Series current drivers racing in the Rolex 24 this January. Since no word on whether or not Sparky’, aka Devlin DeFrancesco has been confirmed at Coyne yet?

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

ROLEX 24: It’s Almost time to G-O Racing in 2024 at Daytona!

As motor racing commences with it’s first major, North American race outing…


Forgive Mwah for not scribblin’ my usual excessively long-winded Rolex 24 Class breakdowns this year. But I simply do not have the time to devote to such tasks this year, which will soon be revealed. Especially with 60 cars to compile!


Wayback’ on November 15th, IMSA released their preliminary 60-car entry list, which naturally has evolved since then. With the quick breakdown revealing 10 GTP entries, 12 LMP2, 12 GTD Pro and 26 GTD entries respectively. After one of the GTD Pro entries reverted back to GTD (Daytona) specification…



The ten top flight IMSA GTP Prototypes are comprised of a Noah’s Arc two-by-two Conga-line of Factory entries from Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche. Wit a further two Privateer Porsche 963’s in the mix!


Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti’s Nos. 10 and 40 Acurahost impressive lineups includes one Indianapolis 500 Champion. Along with Bloody Jense’, aka Jenson Button, the 2009 Formula 1 World Champion Moonlighting aboard another.


Rahal LettermanLanigan Racing’s brace of BMW M8 Hybrid’s were still awaiting confirmation of their fourth Daytona drivers when I began scribblin’ this.


Whilst Cadillac will once again be represented by the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) and NO. 31 Action Express Racing (AXR) with one entry apiece. As Ganassi will leave it’s Seester’ #2 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) chassis in Europe this year.


Porsche Penske Motorsport’s Nos. 6-7 entries return, albeit with Dane Cameron swapping with Matt Campbell for a Full-season IMSA WeatherTech campaignaboard the #7.


While Proton Competition’s customer Porsche 963 is now the #5. With JDC Miller Motorsport’s 963 becoming the No. 85 instead…



The biggest news for this supporting class is the inclusion of 2008 F1 Championship runner-up Felipe Massa joining the No. 74 Riley Motorsports entry! As Massa joins Gar Robinson, the reigning LMP3 Champion and company in His Rolex 24 debut.


The #04 CrowdStrike by APR features perennial Bad Arse Sports Car Ace Colin Brown who drove for Meyer shank Racing with tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist in IMSA GTP last year. And aspiring Indy NXT driver Toby Sowery.


United Autosport will campaign the entire WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this year with a brace of Oreca 07 entries, running the nos. 2 & 22, each having one current IndyCar driver competing. While Ben Keating, the reigning LMP2 Champion once again seeing “Double Duty”, racing the No. 2 in LMP2 and the No. 85 in GTP.


The #33 Shawn Creech Motorsport entry is the lone Ligier JS P217 in the field, with everyone else running the Oreca 07. All utilizing the mandated spec Gibson normally aspirated V-8 lump’.


Also spotted Indy NXT race winner Mattie’ Brabham’s name as part of the #99 Ao Racing entry.



Interestingly, the reigning GTD Champion #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 entry has moved up to the Pro Class this year. While the biggest news for the category has to be the arrival of two new, iconic marque’s.


General Motors (GM) sees the debut of it’s brand new Corvette Z06 GT3.R entry running the familiar Nos. 3-4 now under the banner of Corvette Racing by Pratt Miller Motorsports. Try saying that fast five times!


But it’s the other brand new Factory two car entity I’m more intrigued over. With GM’s arch Nemesis Ford debuting it’s Mustang GT3, Arse-sumedly Dark Horse derived variant? With the Multimatic Motorsports squad appropriately campaigning the Nos. 64-65 with a stout driver’s lineup!


Then there’s the #9 Pfaff Motorsports McLaren 720S GT3 with thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’ as part of it’s four driver lineup. With other one car entries from the defending Class Champion Vasser Sullivan No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3. The #19 Iron Lynx Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo 2.


A solitary Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for my perennial Homeboyz’ #23 Heart of Racing Team, along with the #62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3. Plus the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and the #77 Ao Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.


GT Daytona (GTD)

As typical, the GT Daytona Class features the most entrants, for which I’m not gonna even try chronicling it’s 26 racecars!


There’s a total of ten Auto manufacturers competing, i.e.; Acura, Auston Martin, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes Benz and Porsche, all with GT3 spec machinery.


As the lone No. 66 Acura NSX of Gradient Racing features a trio of Femme Fatales anchored by Thy Leggy Juan’, aka Katherine Legge. With Sheena Monk and Tatiana Calderon being joined by Steven McAleer.


Other one car entries come from Vasser Sullivan with it’s No. 12 Lexus. Proton Competition’s “Double Nickel” #55 Ford Mustang, and the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4.


Oops! Almost forgot the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S entry…


There’s two customer Corvette Z06’s for AWA. Along with four Ferrari 296 GT3’s. With the #34 being campaigned by Conquest Racing. While the No. 47 Cetilar Racing includes Eddie Cheever III on it’s driver’s roll…


Aston Martin sees the other half of my Homeboyz’ duo’s No. 27 Heart of Racing Team along with Magnus Racing’s traditional #44.


The iconic Porsche 911 leads the category with most entries, a robust six if I did my counting correctly? As my sentimental favourite is the oddly numbered #120 of Wright Motorsport with Jan Van “Hagar” Heylen as part of it’s drivers quartet.


While Jered Andretti, Gabby Chaves and Scott Hargrove. Plus one TBA driver will share the iconic #43 entered by Andretti Motorsports.


Quattro Lamborghini Huracan’s represent the Italian marque. With the No. 85 Iron Dames featuring the History making trio of Sarah boby, Michele Gatting and Rahel Frey, with a fourth driver listed as TBA. Which I’ll hazard a guess will be the Uber impressive Dorian Pim.


Whilst the No. 78 Forte Racing Huracan sees former IndyCar driver Sparky’, aka Devlin De Francesco behind it’s keyboard. With Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti running the #45 Lambo’.


And I’ve almost forgotten the Merc’s, with three Mercedes-AMG entries also in the fray. And it that Don’t add up to 26, don’t Blame Me!


As typical, Y’all can catch the race on TV beginning this Saturday Arse-sumedly on Big NBC, USA Network and behind the Peacock Paywall! Or as I prefer, live on IMSA Radio via Zed Internets’… 

Friday, January 19, 2024

ROLEX 24: 2023 Postscript – Race’s Final four Hours

With some Dancin’ Fool once again doing a victory Jig, Sigh!


Returned to the Rolex 24 via IMSA Radio with Four Hours and Eight minutes remaining, with Scott Dixon leading in the Chip Ganassi Racing #01 Cadillac V-LMDH by 52 seconds over Simon Pagenaud in the Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) Acura ARX-06, with the #02 Cadillac close behind in third. But it seemed All for naught. Since the nearly six hours og Green flag racing came to a Halt when going Full course Caution once again.


And the No. 60 MSR Acura never looked back again, Sigh! With Pagenaud “Jumping” Sebastien Bourdais who’d taken over the #01 Caddy’ during the Pit stops, as the MSR Acura just seemed to be able to pull away from the field every time there was a race restart, especially when Tom Blomqvist was at it’s controls…


This made for a somewhat Dull race for the Overall win. Yet it certainly wasn’t that way in the LMP2 and GT Daytona Categories.


Having resigned Thyself to Helio Castroneves scoring a Three-peat, I switched focus instead to my Homeboyz’ Heart of Racing’s No. 27 entry.


As the #27 Aston Martin Vantage had been leading for a long time, although Marcel Sorenson said He’d been Scared to Shit during a Pitlane interview when needing to recycle the Car’s electronics during one of His shifts. Nah, No Lucas Electronics Jokes Here, Hya!


As it was Fantastic having the No. 27 Heart of Racing not only win it’s first ever Rolex 24, but finished first Overall of All the GTD’s and GTD Pro entries!


As team Boss Ian James said it was a Dream after His 21st Rolex 24! May be my last? But what’s that saying about Old Racers who Never know when to Quit, Ahem Helio! As Heart of Racing led an Aston Martin 1-2 finish in GTD, ahead of the No. 44 Magnus Racing entry.


Although I’d been Rootin’ for the No. 35 TDS Racing in the LMP2 Class because Homeboy Josh Pierson was part of it’s Driving line-up, and they were leading in the late stages. Unfortunately “Guido the Dutchman,” Aka Giedo van der Garde got penalized for Speeding in the Pitlane and Had to serve a Drive-thru penalty, which essentially knocked them out of contention.


Thus I began Rootin’ for the new leader, the No. 04 Crowdstrike LMP2 entry. Since former DragonSpeed IndyCar Driver Ben Handley was part of it’s Drivers Quartet. Yet IMSA Radio’s lead Announcer John Hindhaugh Broke in upon Joe Bradley’s victory celebration with Mike Shank who was heard yelling Fuck Yeah On Air as His Car took the Chequered Flag!


With Hindhaugh noting how the “Double Nickel” #55 Proton Competition with James Allen behind the wheel had snatched away the LMP2 Class win from Ben Handley in the #04 Crowdstrike by 0.016 seconds at the Flag!


Whilst it was Jules Gounon bringing the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo home First in the GTD Pro Class after a Hard fought battle against the #3 CorvetteRacing C8.R and the Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Lexus RC F GT3, which I think was the finishing order for GTD Pro.


Tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist led by a fairly svelte 4.2 seconds at the Stripe over Felipe Albuquerque for an Acura 1-2 Sweep. With the Full season IMSA #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac leading the #02 Home, after being instructed to finish in that order.


As Here’s Racer’s Marshall Pruett and Graham Goodwin talking with Mike Shank, plus a Class-by-Class rundown video recap from last year…


As should we really have been surprised that the two manufacturers who’ve been racing in IMSA for several years now, i.e.; Acura and Cadillac went 1-2, while the Newcomers Porsche and BMW had New Car Teething issues…


As the No. 25 BMW suffered worst of All with it’s early race MGU Failure, finishing 131-laps behind! While it’s Seester Car, the No. 24 also had some mechanical maladies late race. But it was the Porsche’s that Had the most dramatic problems, at least the No. 6! As Nick Tandy had a race to forget! As I believe it was Him who spun during the Wee Hours and damaged both ends of the Porsche 963? And then Tandy brought out a late race Full course Caution when He suffered what was deemed a Gearbox failure. Which would explain His Not being able to Whoa the Porsche down two laps in-a-row on the Turn 1 High Bank! As the No. 6 did finish the race, albeit some 34-laps behind. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

ROLEX 24: 2023 Postscript – Roaring Thru the First Four-plus Hours

As Thars’ nothing quite like the sounds of internal combustion racing engines to get the Juices Ah-flowin’


Once again, decided to “watch,” Err listen to the first few Hours of the 61st Rolex 24 on Thy Telie’, since I’ll have plenty of time to get up during the relentless commercial breaks! And I haven’t Heard Leigh Diffey or any of the other Talking Headzz’ since last May’s Indianapolis 500! Since I now prefer listening to IndyCar races via IndyCar Radio, which provides a better “Picture” for your Blind Word Butcher to follow the Action…


So much for getting “Revved Up” over going motor racing! Although it was nice hearing Leigh Diffey, Calvin Fish and (Townsend) T-Bell’s voice in the Broadcast Booth


Still Nothing But Commercials, be it Big NBC or Seester station USA Network. Seriously? Five minutes here, six minutes there, Urgh! Along with the obligatory six minute interview with that ‘Ol Dancin’ fool Hulio’, who’s going for a Hat Trick of victories this year, BOO!


Lap-1 and John Farano got His No. 8 Tower Motorsports LMP2 entry stuck in third gear, bringing out the first Full course Yellow.


Nice interview with ScottyMac’, aka Scott McLaughlin saying He wanted to drive nights; But I Didn’t mean 3AM Guys! With the Kiwi’ saying His first stint was 9-11PM. then two hours of sleep before getting back in for I’m guessing an 1-3AM stint.


Also said they were 10-laps down due to a ECU issue. Whilst I Didn’t get the Joke about the water bottle until later reading it had leaked onto the ECU, OOPS!


Pipo Derani Tags Nick Tandy’s Porsche in left rear diving into Turn-1, with Tandy saving His Porsche! But No Harm, No foul says Race Control…


First GTP issue was the BMW #25 before the end of Hour 1, with Kevin The Werewolf! Lee later reporting that it was a MGU issue. Which was followed by Felipe Nasr having an issue aboard His No. 7 Porsche 963.


Pipo Derani needing to take evasive action as we went to another Freakin’ commercial, Come On Guys! And Put A Sock in It Jeff Burton! Yuhs know I’m a NASCAR Guy; No Shit Sherlock!


And I’d already Arse-sumed that Jimmie Johnson would be in the RASSCAR G56 entry. Joined by Mike “Rocky” Rockenfeller whose been doing much of it’s development work. But I certainly Didn’t “See” the third “Cog” being former F1 Champion Jenson Button.


At the 2.5Hr mark and on Commercial No. 69, WTF! Seriously Comcast, How Greedy Are You? Uhm, now I can’t remember what riveting detail I was gonna type here… Oh yeah, believe somebody said that the No. 25 BMW was 49-laps down.


And as much as I was enjoying listening to Brian Till in the Booth. I finally turned off Thy Telie and switched over to listening to the race uninterrupted on IMSA Radio for the rest of the evening, before I called it an early night, since John Hindhaugh’s voice was making me sleepy…


The MSR #60 with Colin Brown at it’s wheel came in to change it’s rear bodywork which had gotten a big Hole punched into it by somebody’s Bodywork? As they made the change I believe during the race’s second caution period and resumed in P6. Taking the damaged Bodywork back to the “Garage” to repair it, since spares were crucial during this inaugural GTP race.


Think Symone’, nee Pageantry’, aka Simon Pagenaud was a bit Naughty! And should have gotten a Drive-thru penalty, since poor John Farano is having the race to forget. With the Hapless Farano getting Hip-checked by Pagenaud, and then in turn leaving Scott Dixon No where to go! With Dixon spinning and damaging His rear wing, for which a large carbon fibre part fell off when He finally came to Pitlane to replace it. Yet remarkably He got away with No further damage and resumed the race.


Uber’ Funny how I missed Castroneves spinning entering Turn-1, having gone off to make dinner. As it was weird how Nobody beside the two Acura’s had led the race. With the exception of a Porsche leading for a lap during Pit stop exchanges. As I marveled after dinner how it was so different to Hear that the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Caddy’ with Jack Aitken was leading. And from Hours 7-10 the Cadillac’s of Whelen and Chip Ganassi Racing ran 1-2 and I think they also played Leapfrog with each other? Actually CGR ran 1-2 at Hour 8 and then one of Cheeps’ Cadd-Oh-lacs’ led at Hour 9, with MSR’s Tom “the Bomb” Blomqvist charging hard.


Third Full course Caution for the Turner BMW M4 GT3 #96 entry that suddenly had No Power. As thought I heard one of it’s Driver’s say it had a Driveshaft issue during a later interview. Noting how they were just out on track circulating after repairing it…


And then like I said above, I decided to callit an early night. For which I’m always amused typically How much the race’s complextion changes over night. As I signed off with the following leaders in class: #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDH with Jack Aitken in GTP. Although the Hard Chargin’ Colin Brown in the Meyer Shank Racing #60 Acura ARX-06 was nipping at “Achey Breaky’s” (Aitken) Heels! And the #60 has been the Quickest GTP racecar since the Roar Before the 24 began…


The No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports with Nicolas Lapierre behind the Keypbaord led the way in LMP2.


Pole sitter Nico Pino at the controls of the #33 Sean Creech Motorsports led in LMP3. While not surprisingly, Jordan Taylor in the iconic #3Corvette led the GTD Pro Class.


While the NO. 70 McLaren 720s of Inception Racing led the GTD Class, albeit it was off sequence. Meaning the Hard luck No. 57 Windward Racing Mercedes was actually leading. But we still Had more than over Half the race to go… 

Monday, January 15, 2024

ROLEX 24: 2023 Qualifying Recap

As so much for a Quiet “Buildup” to the Race’s Main Event!


Strange, how much another elongated Offseason can make you suddenly Crave some Motor Racing, Eh? Since it had only been just over Two and-a-Half months since I’d last “watched,” Err listened to the (2022) Brazilian Grand Prix Wayback’ on November 13th. While I won’t even belabour How Stupendously long Indy Cars Off season is! Seriously, One Half of a Gory Year, Yikes!


Thus for Humour, I decided to try seeing if I could pull-up Friday’s second practice session via Ye Intrawoods’, nee internet, which I did via IMSA Radio. And it was G-R-R-R-Reat! Hearing John Hindhaugh’s voice once again. Whose definitely my Numero Uno Announcer!


Then I listened to Sunday’s Qualifying session in it’s entirety, including the extra 20mins “Warm-up” session for the GTP runners preceding Qualifying. As I’m really not sure why they needed the extra 20mins? But IMSA seemed overly intent on giving them every opportunity to work out potential Bugs prior to Thar maiden race outing…


First out was All 33 GTD racers, i.e.; GTD Pro and GTD, for which the first four positions were filled by Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo racecars! With the No. 57 Winward Racing entry with Philip Ellis taking the overall Pole. As three GTD Mercs’ led the way, with the “Heinz 57” followed by the #32 Team Korthoff Motorsports and #75 SunEnergy1 Racing entries ahead of the fastest GTD Pro entry in P4, the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing entry.


Next up in what seemed sort of stupid! Like why couldn’t they have combined the LMP2 and LMP3 categories together? Yet instead the LMP3 Class got 15mins alone. In what became a massive back “n forth Scrum for Pole. Which finally went to 18yr Old Chilean Nico Pino in the No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier. Which was Pino’s Debutante Pole position.


Ditto for the LMP2 Class, having 15mins on the Day-Toner’ High banks All to themselves. As Ben Keating in the #52 PR1/ Mathiasen Motorsport entry took Pole ahead of His Arch-nemesis Steven Thomas in the #11 TDS Racing entry, which includes Rinus VeeKay.


As I enjoyed Keating’s Aw Shucks I’m Talkin’ Smack Texas Drawl during the Pole winner’s interview. With Keating claiming that Thomas wouldn’t let Him go ahead of Him ON-track, so He just used Him for a “Tow” to Claim Pole!


But the Big News was the massive crash that Tower Motorsports No. 8’s Team Boss John Farano suffered at the Bus Stop Chicane. To which Keating said He wasn’t surprised by. Noting that the first two days they’d had a 10mph Headwind which Had suddenly switched to a 20mph Tailwind there!


Yet Farano wasn’t the only driver to crash at the Bus Stop. As it was kinda Funny Hearing Hindhaugh muse how Nick Tandy in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport’s 963 was the first to Officially Crash a GTP entry during Thar 20mins Qualie’ session.


As Tandy was supposedly on a Flyer that was headed towards Pole before losing the car Arse-sumedly due to the Mega’ Tailwind, bringing out the Day’s second Red Flag. Followed by Tom “the Bomb” Blomqvist in Meyer Shank Racin’g #60 Acura ARX-06 claiming Pole position on a single lap “Flyer!”


Obviously both of these Prototype chassis were completely rebuilt before practice kicked off four days later. When unfortunately  things got serious during Thursday morning’s first practice session before the race.


As Lucas Auer lost control of the No. 57 Windward Racing’s GTD Pole sitting Mercedes and Slammed Head-on into a Concrete Wall, writing off the Mercedes!

As Auer had to be extracted thru the roof hatch with major injuries to His Back.


As later that night I caught Racer’s Video recap with Marshall Pruett, Graham Goodwin and Sebastien Bourdais. With Bourdais saying it looked like a compression fracture to Him, albeit it wouldn’t be as Bad as His Nasty Accident at Mother Speedway since you’re at least sitting upright in the GTD Cars…


As this Had to be the story of the eventual race for Mwah. When the Winward Racing team amazingly got it’s spare Mercedes-AMG GT3racecar out to Daytona from it’s Houston Shop

Lickidly Split! As I thought I’d heard that the team’s Spotter – Who also serves as it’s (Semi) Hauler’s Driver had flown back to Houston. And then drove the team’s spare chassis to Daytona. For which the backup chassis happened to be a previous race winner.


As GT4 racer David Morad substituted for Auer, who reportedly broke His Back.


As Auer is the nephew of somebody named Gerhard Berger, who you may recall once was a Ferrari and McLaren Formula 1 Driver. Along with previously owning some racing series called DTM.


As here’s a No Fenders tome I scribbled about Herr Berger a long, long time ago…


As the Winward’s Fairytale Dream of redemption came up just 35 minutes short! After having been forced to start last in the GTD Field due to replacing it’s entry, the team ran as far as second in class for periods of time. But then on a final restart it All went Pear Shape! As Pilip Ellis who was trying to pass the GTD Pro Corvette for a shot at the eventual winning GTD No. 27 entry collided and suffered Driveshaft damage I believe… 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Haas F1 Team in Disarray?

And why should we expect any great on-track performance improvements from Haas this year?


By now Y’all have heard the shock news of Herr Guenther’, whose actually Italian, nee Guenther Steiner’s “Dismissal” from Haas. Since reportedly Steiner, who’s 58 and has been Team Principal since Haas’s (2016) inception simply didn’t have His contract renewed after it expired…


As I’m wondering if Herr Guenther’, one of the “Stars” of The Real Housewifes of F1, nee Drive to survive simply became too big for His britches? And team owner Gene Haas didn’t like being “Overshadowed” by Steiner?


As Ayao Komatsu, soon to turn 48 replaces Steiner as Haas Team Principal. With the Japanese engineer having worked His way up the F1 race engineering ranks beginning at BAR Honda. Becoming head of Trackside Engineering at Haas in 2016, when following Romain Grosjean from Lotus. While it’s worth noting that Komatsu holds a PHD in Vehicle dynamics…


Meanwhile, Haas’s Technical Director Simone Resta has also left Haas one month before the launch of the VF-24. Leaving me to wonder how Gene Haas plans to pull His continuously Back-marker F1 team up near the Midfield anytime soon? 

Golden Tailpipe Awards: The 2023 Streamliner edition

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“RADD!” A Modern Day interpretation of the Golden Submarine originally made famous by Barney Oldfield debuted at the 2008 SEMA Show. (Image source:


Yeah, it’s that time ‘O year again,. Yuhs know, Thee Most Wonderful time ‘O Spew! Uhm, when I subject Y’all to mor of my witty repartee from thoust Mystical Isle of Nofendersville with my End of Year Overall Winners selections, Mateys! Which Y'all Clearly look forward to, Man Overboard!


As Here goes Nothin', with another Bevy 'O totally Un-Scientific, Nonsensical, Zany “First Take” Off Ye Cuff selections made below….


While Y’all can Compare ‘N contrast these choices with last year’s No Fenders selections in the following link.



1. Racer of Year

Winner: Robert Wickens

Everybody knows about Robert Wickens Horrific accident at Pocono during it’s 2018 IndyCar race, that left the amiable Kuhnuck’ paralyzed from the waist down.


And presumably everyone knows that Wickens won His first major Championship in over a decade this year. With the triumph fittingly coming at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


But it’s been several years since I’ve revisited who’ll forever be known as thee Young Wicky to Mwah. The nom de plume bestowed upon “Robby” by His good friend thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe.


Thus how many remember that Wickens was a Bad Arse Deutch Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) Ace driving Mercedes Tintops’, Eh? As Wickens claimed six wins during 84 starts over five years, before switching to Indy Cars for Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2018. Where Robby’ captured the IndyCar Series Rookie Of the Year Honours, even after His season was cut short by three races…


Robby’ has actually won three Championship, including previously the 2006 Formula BMW USA title, and the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Chhampionship. Along with finishing runner-up in the 2009 GP2 and the 2010 GP3 championships.


Following that Horrific Shunt at Pocono, Wickens first “tested’ the waters for getting back behind the wheel by driving a specially adapted Hand Control Acura during the Parade laps during the 2019 Toronto IndyCar race, where His wife rode Shotgun!


Then with inspiration and self-determination. Wickens tested aboard a Bryan Herta Autosport (BHA) Hyundai Veloster Touring Car adapted with Hand Controls for paralyzed team driver Micheal Johnson at Mid-Ohio in May, 2021, and the rest is History.


Robby’ resumed racing for BHA in the Michelin Pilot challenge series the following year with co-driver Mark Wilkins. They finished third in Wickens first race since Pocono, 2018 at Daytona. Then the duo shared a magical seven days, first winning the TCR category at Watkins Glen, Wickens first W’ since 2017. And then a week later at Trois Riviers they won again! Whilst in-between Robby’s son was born.


For 2023 Wickens was paired with new co-driver Harry Gottsacker, with the duo ultimately scoring seven podiums enroute to winning the Michelin Pilot Challenge Touring Cars (TCR) Championship!


2. Stories of Year

Winners: Contract Gate, Gaming and Hybrids

Sadly, but not surprisingly, All three of these issues resolve around IndyCar. Being the Open Wheel Racing series I far prefer these days vs. Formula 1…


Really despise Zak Brown being a Bully and trying to Crush Alex Palou, and any other driver for that matter! Who dares cross Him. Since perhaps it’s just Mwah? But didn’t Messer Brown have a Zakery pulled upon Him? A la it was ok to attempt poaching Palou from Ganassi, but when Alex Palou did an about face, Incoming!


Best quote I’ve ever heard about Zak Brown was Colton Herta saying He’s Cut throat. He’s a Businessman! And I get it that Zak’s pride and ego were bruised! But seriously? Demanding an Asinine 20-22+ million dollars because a driver changed His mind after two tumultuous seasons of contract wrangling, just makes you really look like “A Mean one” Mr. Brown!


What can I say or type about Indy Cars ridiculous Bungling of it’s decision to engage Motorsports Games for it’s new, long in-the-tooth Gaming platform. Especially after everyone preferred the iRacing platform instead!


As this was just plain embarrassing, especially since it seems par for the course!


And then there’s the ever continuing saga of the debut of Indy Cars going Hybrid for 2022, Uhm 2023, err, Uhm 2024. Do I hear 2025 Anyone? As it’s an overly ambitious piece of Kit! As I can barely understand it’s complexity. But the more I think about it, it seems thewrong thing to “rush” it intocompetition more than Halfway thru the upcoming season, since only select teams have tested prototypes so far…


And that’s before we even get into Honda’s massive Shot Across the Bow by Chuck Schifsky over the Japanese Auto manufacturers concerns over IndyCar costing too much!


3. Race of Year

Winner: Singapore Grand Prix

Typically I wouldn’t be so enamoured by this type of race, which was purely strategy. With eventual winner Carlos Sainz Jr going only as fast as necessary. And keeping runner-up Lando Norris within the one second DRS range in order to prevent the superior Mercedes from passing Him! Which surely would have left Carlos a sitting Duck!


As Sainz mastery reminded me of another Ferrari Pilote known as The Professor, aka Alain Prost! Not to mention being the lone Formula 1 victory not won by Red Bull…


4. Sportsperson of Year

Winner: Erica Enders

What can I scribble about Femme fatale Erica Enders that I haven’t already done so? As She’s now become the winningest Female Drag Racer in History! Enroute to capturing Her sixth NHRA Pro Stock Championship tis year, need I say more?


5. Rising Stars of year

Co-Winners: Myles Rowe and Fabio Di Giannantonio

The first of these two names should be obvious. With the Uber talented Myles Rowe ever continuing to impress! Following His runner-up finish in the U.S.F2000 National Championship by winning this year’s USF Pro 2000 title and earning a Scholarship ride in Indy NXT for 2024 with HMD Motorsports.

Became totally enamoured with Fabio Di Giannantonio towards season’s end. When the 25yr old Italian was currently without a ride for 2024 before winning His maiden MotoGP race. Having the audacity to ignore “EZY” Pitboard orders and pass eventual MotoGP Champion Francesco Bagnaia for the win at Z1


Di Giannantonio then followed this up with another impressive romp from P11 to second place at Valencia, before finally being classified fourth. And I’m looking forward to Him doing more good thins riding for the satellite VR46 Ducati concern this year… 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Golden Tailpipe Awards: The 2023 Streamliner edition, Positions 6-9

Otay Kiddoes', it's that time 'O year again. When I wrap-up another long, meandering year's Final storytelling from thoust Isle of Nofendersville, with my Zany End of Year Overall Winners selections…


As Y’all know thou Drill here upon Ye Isle ‘O Nofendersville. Where the Nights are long and Dark, and the Days spent type-type-typing Away Way too Mucho on thoust Keyboard! Alas, Once again it’s another long form No Fenders Two part Harmony, Err meandering prose for your consideration


As Here goes Nothin', with another Bevy 'O totally Un-Scientific, Zany Random Off Ye Cuff selections made below…



Rider of The Year, Sports Car Drivers of The Year, Freak of The Year and Quip of The Year


6. Rider of Year

Winner: Jorge Martin

Otay, I’ll confess this is a biased choice. Since I was rootin’ Ah-Mighty’ for thee “Martinator” to win the MotoGP World Championship!


Yes, I’m aware that ultimately Francesco Pecco’ Bagnaia had a better season overall, i.e.; wins, podiums, etc. But naturally I was rootin’ for a Satellite Squad to do the unthinkable! Not to mention just totally enamoured by Martin’s All or Nothing, Win or Bust mentality!


Although I suppose you could also say that was Jorge’s Downfall, Ci? But just simply Uber’ impressed with the Pramac Racing team and Martin’s performance All season long!


Other Choices

Francesco Bagnaia, Fabio Giannantonio


7. Sports Car Drivers of Year

Winner: Robert wickens & Harry Gottsacker

You already know about whomever for Mwah will be known as thee “Young Wicky”, thanks to His good Buddy, thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’ James Hinchcliffe who also fondly calls Him Robby, ergo Messer wickens…


But I must admit I’d never heard of Wickens co-driver Harry Gottsacker before, for which the duo won this year’s Michelin Pilot challenge Touring Cars (TCR) category.


Gottsacker, a 24yr old Texan was introduced to Drag Racing by His Grandfather before beginning Go-Karting at age 13.


In 2016, Gottsacker made His Cars debut in the Global Rallycross (GRC) Lites category, along with the Pirelli World challenge, (PWC) both being partial season efforts.


The following year He ran a brief three race stint in the British GT Championship series, along with another partial season PWC campaign.


For 2018, Gottsacker ran His first Full-season PWC campaign in the Pro GTS Class. Finishing runner-up Overall by a scant three points.


2019 saw Gottsacker winning the newly formed GT4 Americas Pro-Am category with co-driver John Miller, claiming six wins in ten races. Harry also made His debut in the Michelin Pilot Challenge that year as a Factory driver for Hyundai at Bryan Herta Autosport. (BHA)


Gottsacker’s first two Michelin Pilot challenge Touring Car (TCR) seasons resulted in a brace of runner-up finishes with Mason Filippi and Mark Wilkins respectively.


For 2021, Gottsacker remained Wilkins teammate at BHA, where the pair finished fith overall in TCR. The following year saw Harry teamed with longtime teammate Parker Chase at BHA, with the duo claiming fith overall in the TCR category.


Then for 2023, Gottsacker paired up with Robert Wickents with the duo scoring seven podiums aboard their Hyundai Elantra N TCR enroute to winning the Class title, ahead of BHA teammates filippi and Wilkins.


Honourable Mention

Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow

Suppose I shouldn’t be like All the Other Sheep and overlook the GTD (Daytona) Class winners! As the pair guided their #1 Paul Miller Racing’s BMW M4 GT3 to a stout five wins season. Clinching the title prior to Petit Le Mans…


Other Choices

Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat


8. Freak of Year

Winner: Max Verstappen

Initially planned on giving this award to thee “Martinator”, aka Jorge Martin. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much a Freak ‘O Nature thee dutch Tsunami was this year!


As it Pains me greatly over how Magnanimous MaxiMillions’ has been this season! Definitely being able to largely keep in check His Maximus Hothead persona, except upon rare occasions.


As we All know, Max set the current record for most consecutive Grands Prix wins this year with 10, running from Miami to Monza! And then after Red Bull’s streak of 15-straight W’s was snapped in Singapore, Verstappen reeled off another seven straight victories to close the season! Not to mention an astounding 12 Pole positions, Sigh…


As I’ll begrudgingly admit that Max is a very good driver. Ok, even bordering on Great, Youch! But I simply cannot help wondering how much of Verstappen’s amazing success is due to the Red Bull RB19? Or more importantly it’s Honda RBPT PU; which we’ll be seeing for another two years.


And Yeah, I’m aware of Checo’s, ny Sergio Perez’s struggles in “identical” machinery. But Checo’s No Max!


Since would we be talking at all abou Verstappen if He was driving the ‘lil bulls’, aka Scuderia AlphaTauri entry instead?


Other Choices

Jorge Martin, Alex Palou, Zak Brown


9. Quip of Year

Winner: Go Suck on An Egg! And 99% Show, 1% Sporting Event!

Those were just two of the multiple, indelible sound bites that thee Dutch Tsunami’, MaxiMillions’ or MaxAttack’, ergo Maximilian Verstappen left upon us


Following Red Bull’s run of 15-straight race wins coming to an end at Singapore. And the FIA having issued a new technical directive regarding Flexible Wings. Critics thought perhaps this was the root cause to Red Bull’s issues in Singapore, with F1 Cynics suggesting even further?


Yet Verstappen was bak in Full MaxAttack’ mode at the next round is Suzuka. And when speaking to the media regarding this suggestion. Verstappen promptly said Fans could Go suck an Egg! Especially if they didn’t appreciate His brilliance!


Verstappen was widely panned for His 99% Show comment before the Las Vegas GrandPrix weekend began. Yet the track’s and Liberty Media’s handling of Thursday evening’s Shit Show! Y’all know when CarlosSainz Jr. was so cruelly punished for accidently Hittig that lose Drain Hole cover!

Made Max look pretty smart after all!


As Maxi-boy’ had some other doozies during Lost Wages’. As I especially liked the Quip about going to some Far-flung place I’d never heard of before in order to get Shit Faced for the weekend…


As that's a Wrap for last Year’s riveting No Fenders storytelling, Y’all!