Friday, January 12, 2024

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 A Modern Day interpretation of the Golden Submarine originally made famous by Barney Oldfield debuted at the 2008 SEMA Show.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…