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… 

Monday, March 25, 2024

Porsche’s modern day Open Wheel Racing exploits

With Stuttgart triumphing in Formula 1 briefly…


The 1980’s were heady times for Porsche, with it’s multi-pronged foray’s into single seater racing, a discipline that Stuttgart wasn’t renown for…


Thee Ronster’, aka Ron Dennis shrewdly enticed Mansour Ojjeh, owner of TAG Electronics to foot the bill for a brand new 1.5-litre turbocharged engine. Although McLaren’s Nicholson massaged Cossie’ (Cosworth) normally aspirated 3.0-litre DFV V-8’s were still competitive vs. the turbo revolution in 1982. Obviously the writing was on the wall…


The 90 degrees 1.5-litre V-6 Porsche designed engine, built to McLaren’s Technical Director John Barnard’s tight packaging specifics, in order to mate to it’s revolutionary MP4/2 chassis were ultimately fast-tracked with a hastily converted MP4/1E racecar for the end of the ’83 F1 season, making it’s debut at the Dutch Grand Prix.


The McLaren MP4 was the first carbon fiber composite racecar to compete in Formula 1, for which the MP4/2 was an evolution designed specifically for the TAG-Porsch turbo engine, since it’s predecessor had been built for the aging Cosworth DFV V-8.


Upon the firing of thee “Professor”, aka Alain Prost from Renault, Dennis immediately snapped up the Frenchman’s services in favour of Wattie’, aka John Watson. And with Prost joining Niki Lauda, the rest was History!


And although initially Porsche was weary of having it’s name upon the engine due to fears of uncompetitiveness. Obviously this quickly changed, as Prost and Lauda won a total of eleven races, with Prost outscoring Lauda 6-5. Yet it was Niki “The Rat” Lauda winning the 1984 F1 World Championship by a solitary point ahead of teammate Prost!


McLaren would also win the first of two, consecutive F1 Constructors Championships with the TAG-Porsche engine that season. With the Woking based outfit utilizing updated MP4/2B and MP4/2C chassis for the 1985-86 Formula 1 season.


Prost would claim His first F1 Drivers titles in 1985, before clinching a second consecutive crown in ’86. With “The Professor” ultimately outscoring Lauda 16-6 for wins over the duo’s three years before Lauda retired from F1.


For ’87, Prost got a new teammate, with ‘lil Stevie Johnson, aka Stefan Johansson joining McLaren for one year. Yet the once dominant TAG-Porsche V-6 turbo was nearing the end of it’s lifecycle, especially with Honda’s V-6 turbo becoming a real threat!


Alas, McLaren could only muster three wins with it’s MP4/3 in 1987, all by Prost vs. Williams/Honda’s nine. Along with two more Lotus/Honda victories for a total of eleven by the Japanese rival! In what would be the final year of competition for the TAG-Porsche lump’.


As McLaren would score 25 wins and seven Poles enroute to three F1 Drivers titles and two Constructors Championships between 1983-87.


When I think of Porsche and Indy Cars, I immediately think of the iconic green and white Quaker State March Porsche that Teo Fabi drove during the late 1980’s. For which I’ve kept an unbuilt Monogram? 1:24 or 1:25 scale plastic model kit forever, which I’d planned to build when I still had my eyesight! Yet I’m getting ahead of myself.


Porsche actually planned to race at the Indianapolis 500 in 1980, in a purpose built IndyCar chassis. As Ted Field commissioned Eagle IndyCar Designer Roman Slobodynskyj to pen His Interscope IR01.


This single seater chassis was intended to be powered by a air cooled Flat six turbocharged variant akin to what the Porsche 935 was powered by. And not being a stressed member engine, the IR01 consisted of a tube frame rear end “cradle” to house the Porsche engine.


Originally running to stock block turbo boost regulations of 55-inches. Word got out about how fast the racecar was, after setting an unofficial lap record at IMS sister track Ontario during testing! With fellow USAC competitors effectively lobbying USAC to reduce the Porsche’s boost to 48-inches and effectively neutering the Porsche’s “advantage”. With Porsche quickly pulling the plug upon this effort.


Porsche returned to IndyCar in earnest in the Fall of 1987, with the project led by the late Al Holbert.


As Porsche introduced it’s own carbon fibre chassis dubbed the 2708 in 1987. Which made it’s debut at Laguna Seca wit big Al’ (Unser) at it’s controls, finishing a quiet P24 after retiring on lap-7.


Yet Porsche quicky dropped it’s own 2708 IndyCar chassis for a March 88C customer chassis the following season. With Teo Fabi scoring six Top-10 finishes and a best of fourth at Nazareth enroute to tenth overall during Porsche’s first Full season campaign.


As the Porsche North America IndyCar entity reached it’s zenith during the 1989 CART PPG IndyCar World Series season. Once again with Teo Fabi as it’s driver.


Yet during Porsche’s most successful season Al Holbert wouldn’t get to witness Teo Fabi scoring Porsche’s first Pole position ironically at my Home track of Portland International Raceway during the 1989 Budweiser/G.I. Joes 200. Or Fabi subsequently scoring Porsche’s lone IndyCar victory also from Pole at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course later that summer.


As Holbert would perish in a private plane accident after taking off from Columbus, Ohio following the IMSA Columbus street race on September 30, 1988. With Teo Fabi finishing an impressive fourth overall in the championship during the ’89 IndyCar season.


Porsche then expanded to a two car entry during it’s final IndyCar season (1990) with Fabi being joined by “Gentleman John” Andretti, with the duo racing in white and blue Fosters livery.


Yet John Andretti could only muster tenth overall in the championship with a pair of fith place finishes at Cleveland and Vancouver, BC.


With Fabi scoring one Pole at Denver and the team’s solitary podium, a third place finish at the Meadowlands enroute to P14 in the standings. Before Porsche withdrew from IndyCar at season’s end.


Porsche then made one last, dismal attempt at returning to formula 1 for the ’91 season, which spectacularly failed! Providing what Alan Jenkins, then Footwork Arrows Technical Director says was basically a “reheated”, warmed-over V-12 lump!


Claiming the 3.5-litre normally aspirated V-12 unit was nothing more than two old 90-degrees V-6 turbo motors mated together minus the turbocharging units.


Yet the Porsche 3500 V-12 motor was reportedly overweight, lacked Horsepower and suffered from Oil starvation, with Footwork failing to qualify for half of the races entered that season! Before the team dumped the Porsche V-12 in favour of customer Cosworth DFR V-8’s instead.


As Porsche has since solely focused upon Sports Car racing, although it’s planned attempt to return to F1 in 2026 as an engine supplier to Red Bull ultimately failed due to Stuttgart wanting a 50-50 partnership with Red Bull. Whilst Seester’ VW owned Audi has bought the Sauber F1 Team, which will become a Full werks’ Audi effort in 2026… 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

LE Mans: Porsche’s prestigious Overall Winner’s list

Which reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Man and Machinery…


Funny how I first learned about Porsche celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary. Which I discerned when perusing last year’s 24 Heurs du Mans entry list.


Since in typical “Penske Perfect” fashion, or El Capitano’, nee Roger Penske’s “Attention to Detail”. The third Porsche Penske Motorsports Porsche 963 was competing with the No. 75 on it’s flanks. Being Roger’s nod to the company’s History…


Porsche’s Debutante 24 Huers du Mans Overall victory came in 1970, when the Porsche GH Salzburg entry of Richard Atwood and Hans Herrmann won aboard a Porsche 917KH “coupe”. In 1971, Der Helmut’, aka Dr. Helmut Marko and gijs van Lennep driving for Martini Racing won driving a 917K. Before the ACO effectively killed the 5.0-litre Sports Car class, which the likes of the 917 and Ferrari 512M competed with.


Yes, that’s the very same Dr. Helmut Marko, whose the “famous” Red bull Racing Formula 1 Consultant…


For 1976-77 Martini Racing scored back-to-back victories with the iconic Porsche 936 Spyder. Jacky Ickx teamed up with Gijs van Lennep aboard a 936/76 Spyder. With the Belgian repeating a year later in an updated 936/77 Spyder with Hurley Haywood and Jurgen Barth.


Then there’s the ’79 win with the Kremer Racing Porsche 935 K3 which I’ve scribbled ‘bout before here on No Fenders. As Klaus Ludwig shared the podium’s top step with those dubious Whittington Brothers don and Bill.


As the ’79 race pitted two rival 935’s against each other fighting for the win. With the Hawaiian Tropic sponsored Dick Barber Racing entry including somebody named P. L. Newman on it’s driving roster, finishing runner-up…


Beginning with the ’81 24 Heurs du Mans, Porsche went on a tear, arguably during it’s Glory Years! With the Stuttgart Automobile manufacturer winning  then an unprecedented seven straight Le Mans victories


1981 saw Porsche Systems dust off it’s 936 Spyder. With two of Lecircuit de la Sarthe legends, i.e.; thee original Mr. Le Mans, aka six times winner Jacky Ickx and soon to be Five-times winner Derek Bell winning behind the keyboard of an updated 936/81 Spyder.


Beginning in ’82, the latest Panzerwagen from Weissach rolled out. As the new Porsche 956 would win four straight races.


1982 saw Ickx and Bell win again for Rothmans Porsche. Followed by Haywood, Al Holbert and Vern Schuppan’s win.


Joest Racing took over the podium’s top step the following two years. First in 1984 with Ludwig and Henri Pescarolo. Then Paolo Barilla, Ludwig and “John Winter” the following year.


1986 saw the arrival of Porsche’s greatest Le Man’s racer, the iconic 962. Seeing Rothmans Porsche go back-to-back between 1986-87   with bell, Holbert and Hans-Joachim Stuck at it’s controls. Before Tom Walkinshaw and His Eponomous Silk Cut Jaguar’s ended Porsche’s streak in ’88.


Porsched didn’t return to the winner’s circle until 1994, when Mauro Baldi, Yanick Dalmas and Hurley Haywood won aboard a Dauer 962 Le Mans-Porsche derived “Street Car!”


1996 saw the car that the late Al Holbert had been championing Porsche to build upon the 962’s demise win. Albeit it was the TWR Porsch WSP-95 “Spyder” with Davy Jones, Manuel Reuter and Alexander Wurz winning.


Then Joest Racing won again in ’97 with the same Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) racecar. Basically an old Jaguar XJR-14 Group C chassis with it’s roof cut off and intended to compete in IMSA’s new Exxon sponsored World Sports Car series. (WSC) Before being “outlawed” by rule changes.


As Reinhold Joest convinced Porsche to allow Him to race the chassis, and the rest was History. With Joest winning again for the second year in-a-row with ‘lil Stevie Johnson’, aka Stefan Johansson, Michele Alboreto and some Dude named tom Kristensen at it’s controls.


1998 saw Laurent Aiello, thee “Scottish Terrier”, aka Allan McNish and Stefane Ortelli win for Porsche AG behind the wheel of it’s Porsche 911 GT1-98


Meanwhile, Stuttgart had also taken over the WSC 95 project, renaming it the LMP1-98, which basically met with poor results and was cancelled for 2000.


Porsche returned to Sports Car racing with the debut of the Porsch RS Spyder at the 2005 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Laguna Seca event. As Roger Penske would successfully campaign the RS Stateside in the ALMS, with overall victory in the ’08 12 Hours of Sebring being it’s High-water mark.


The RSSpyder also raced at Le Mans, winning the LMP2 class between 2008-09, beforerule changes for 2011 rendered it obsolete.


Porsche returned to Circuit de la Sarthe with it’s most impressive “Piece of Kit” as the Bloody Brits would say in 2014. When it’s “Spaceship” LMP1 919 Hybrid made it’s debut.


The Porsche Team then won the first of it’s three successive Le Mans W’s in 2015!


That year saw Earl Bamber, Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy winning, netting Porsche a record extending 17th Overall victory.


2016,which has to be one of my favourite wins! Saw Romain dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb victorious again. Snatching what was to be Toyota’s maiden Le Mans triumph disintegrate upon the race’s final lap! Followed a year later by Earl Bamber, Timo Bernard and Brendon Hartley taking the lead of the race back in the final hour…


Porsche then promptly withdrew once again from Sports Car  racing. And wouldn’t return to the FIA World Endurance championship (WEC) until the new Hypercar era dawned in 2023. With Porsche Penske Motorsports running two full season Porsche 963 Le Mans Daytona Hybrid (LMDH) prototypes in both IMSA’s new Hybrid GTP category and the “Weckity-WEC”. Plus the aforementioned third No. 75 “Wildcard” Le Mans entry, for Circuit de la Sarthe’s Centenary running… 

Monday, March 18, 2024

RETRO: Some of Porsche’s Three Quarter’s Century of Motorsports Accomplishments

Whilst another German legend is currently Asleep at the Wheel…


Naturally being a One Man Band, your Humble No Fenders scribe Tomaso simply cannot poond’ out fast enough everythingy’ that occurs in Der Wurld de Motorsprten, Ja-Ja!


And although we’ve turned the calendar to March, having just witnessed the conclusion of another 12 Hours of Sebring. Which perhaps I was able to listen to part of during my Heart surgery recovery. Which Y’all are probably getting tired of hearing about, Eh?


Thus obviously, I’m still playin’ Ketsup as always here upon Ye mystical Isle ‘O Nofendersville!


As I simply didn’t have the time, energy or space to pontificate about some significant events in 2023. Although having waxed-on about it being McLaren’s 60th Anniversary. I failed to note that Porsche’s legendous’ 911 turned 60, along with Lamborghini! Not to overlook that America’s “Sports Car” Corvette turned 70, Crikeys!


And whilst I did manage to scribble another short, HaHaHa! No Fenders Three part story about Honda celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary Justin-time last December. I’ve failed to give Porsche credit for also celebrating the same 75th Anniversary last year. For which ironically, both Honda and Porsche; two-thirds the “Axis of Evil” celebrated a year after Ferrari did so.


Yet like Ferrari (1939) and Honda, (1937) who both were founded prior to their noted Anniversary’s. Porsche also does likewise, with a most convoluted History.


As Dr. Ferdinand Porsche founded the company in 1931, along with Adolf Rosenberger and Anton Piech


The company’s first assignment was from the German Government to develop a “People’s Car”, better known as the iconic Volkswagen Beetle, Ja Volt! Before arguably the company’s first automobile, simply known as the Type 64 was manufactured in 1939. Albeit borrowing heavily from the Volkswagen Beetle, for which only three examples were built.


Ferdinand designed Tanks during World War II, although losing out upon the contracts to produce His Tiger I concept, before being Imprisoned for twenty months following the War’s end in 1945.


Thus during this time, Ferdinand’s son Ferry took over running of Porsche, along with having designed what Porscheaphiles’ denote as the company’s first production vehicle, the legendous’ 356.


As the first 356 was road certified in Austria on June 8, 1948. Promptly being entered in a race, where it won it’s class. And hence, Porsche’s 75th Anniversary comes full circle. Even though the 356 was produced by Ferry and sister Louise’s Austrian Porshce Konstruktion GesnbH concern between 1948-50.


As the Austrian company would later become known as Porsche Salzburg, which entered the 917 that won Porsche’s first overall 24 Heurs du Mans victory. Subsequently becoming the largest distributor of Porsche Automobiles and ultimately becoming today’s Porsche Holdings…


Whilst we All know that Porsche is synonymous with Sports Car racing, for which I’ll tackle in a separate No Fenders yarn shortly. But first, a very brief look at it’s largely overlooked Single Seaters Open Wheel Racing History instead…


Arse-sumedly when Y’all hear the words Porsche and formula 1, Yuhs think of those F1 World Championship McLaren TAG-Porsche entries, Righto?


Yet it was actually the Porsche 718 model that first competed in Euripean Formula 2 that initially involved Porsche in Single Seater racing. Although reportedly Dr. Ferdinand Porsche had designed Formula 1 machinery for Mercedes and Auto Union during the 1920’s & 1930’s.


And although the 718 saw limited success as a Single Seater. It’s RS60 variant greatest successes were winning the 1960 12Hours of Sebring and the Targa Florio.


Yet with the FIA mandating maximum engine capacity of 1,500cc for Formula 1 in 1961, the 718 F2 model was instantly eligible for the f1 World championship.


Yet Porsche’s 718 F2 model was outdated and outclassed. And thus Stuttgart designed the brand new 804 model for F1 in 1962, featuring a Flat-8 cylinder engine. Which Dan Gurney won His and Porsche’s maiden Formula 1 victory aboard during the ’62 French Grand Prix.


Before Porsche withdrew from Formula 1 at season’s end due to it’s high costs and lack of road car relevance. Not returning to thee Pinnicle ‘O Motorsports for another two-plus decades as an engine supplier… 

Some brief IndyCar “Tech” Talk

As how come those darn Flinstones’ were Hard as Rocks?


Although I haven’t been reading Racer’s Mailbag lately. I did listen to Marshall Pruett’s The Week in IndyCar March 13th edition recently.


Regarding all of the reported grousing over the St Pete season opener being a Dud! Marshall pointed out one fact that seems to not be being discussed.


The current spec Dallara DW12 which ironically contested it’s 200th race at St Pete, is currenty 30-31 pounds lighter than it’s predecessor – due to the weight savings initiatives taken for the coming (Hybrid) Energy Recovery System (ERS) slated for this July.


Yet as Pruett sagely points out. Firestone had to make it’s tyres for the perceived debut of the DW12 with Hybrid technology at St Pete, where it was originally planned to debut. And thus Firestone has had to produce harder, longer lasting tyres that can withstand the added burden the ERS will place upon the rear tyres. Along with producing various 2024 rubber compounds for the first half of the year which now is non-hybrid.


Pruett notes how yes, it would have been nice to have added an additional ten laps to St Pete’s total, i.e.; 110 vs. 100 which would have given teams the option to run a three stop strategy. But we only had 100-laps and tyres that didn’t degrade quickly due to the perceived arrival of the DW12 with ERS. And so none of the drivers were overly enticed to take any daring overtaking risks. And hence, St Pete became processional, which has happened during more than one IndyCar race, or now weekly in Formula 1!


Perhaps IndyCar will revisit the upcoming race distances? But I wouldn’t hold your breath upon that!


As the teams will just need to adjust their set-ups and strategies, and presumably if Ganassi and Andretti can qualify further up the grid. Along with at least Christian Lundgaard for Bobby Rahal & Company. Along with Pato O’Ward and the McLaren Boyz’ continue Harrying the pack, then Team Penske should have plenty of competition to contend with… 

Thursday, March 14, 2024

LE MANS: When Scandia Racing went to France

Hey Andy, watch out for that triple F1 World Champion!


Yeah, I’m still waylaying Y’all with Ye bevy ‘O Canned stories I scribbled before going on sabbatical here upon No Fenders, during my Open Heart surgery recovery. Thankfully now into week seven of said recovery!


Apparently I listened to this sometime in early June of last year, and just haven’t been able to find an appropriate “slot” for “Back-timing” it’s posting. Yet with the 12 Hours of Sebring this coming Saturday, and the Ferrari 333 SP being one of my All-time favourite Sports Car prototypes. Well, Yuhs get the drill, Righto?


As Scandia Racing was one of my former Home team racing outfits, and actually won Sebring twice in 1995 and 1997.


With team owner Andy Evans and a superb cast of supporting drivers, i.e.; Fermin Velez, Eric van de Poele and ‘lil Stevie Johnson’, aka Stefan Johansson taking the chequered flag at Sebring!


Buoyed with the evocative Ferrari 333 SP Stateside success in the newly formed IMSA Exxon World Sports Car Championship and Supreme GT series, (WSC) try saying that fast five times Y’all, Hya!


“Moneyman” and Team boss Evans opted to take His pair of Ferrari’s to Mecca for the 1996 24 Heurs du Mans. Which is where things get interesting…


As Marshall Pruett The Week in Sports Cars Podcast with former Scandia Racing Technical Director Jeff Brown is most enlightening. With Marshall prefacing the Le Mans experience by noting you won’t find them listed in the Box Score!


As the two cars, Nos. 17-18 oddly were entered under the banners of Racing for Belgium Team Scandia and Rocketsports, Inc.


As the No. 17 was naturally an All Belgium Drivers affair, with the two Eric’s, i.e.; Eric van de Poele, Eric Bachelart and Marc goossens at it’s controls.


Having recently scribbled here upon No Fenders about Bachelart’s Conquest Racing’s latest foray into IMSA GTD Competizione this year with a brand new, shiny Ferrari 296 GT3 no less, ironically contesting this week’s 12 Hours of Sebring…


While the No. 18 Rocketsports entry featured Andy Evans, Fermin Velez and Yvan Muller behind it’s keyboard.


As the No. 17 entry faired far better than it’s Seester’ No. 18 entry. As Van de Poele set the races fastest lap before the Racing for Belgium entry retired on lap-208.


Whilst the No. 18 only lasted a scant 31-laps overall, before also being listed as DNF. (Did Not Finish)


As Brown’s Deadpan comment about telling Boss Andy Evans, you do know that’s Nelson Piquet is Priceless! After Evans outbrakes Himself on Lap-1 no less!


Whilst apparently the Ferrari 333 SP has rightly just been inducted into IMSA’s Hall of Fame, with it’s Bio’ written by Marshall Pruett… 

Monday, March 11, 2024

Some “Quick” Double S’ weekend race thoughts

And No, that’s not for S**T! But my OH, so Clever slang for Saudi Arabia and Saint Pete…


It’s Funny how your tastes & priorities change over your lifetime. Since as of this past Thursday, I was still undecided on whether or not I wanted to “waste” my time “watching”, Err listening to the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Saturday morning before the live airing of Indy Cars St Pete Qualifying. Especially since they “butted” up against each other…


As I still cannot adequately explain why it was completely Fantasmic when Der Terminator’, nee Michael Schumacher was crushing the opposition weekly at la Scuderia, ergo Ferrari! But now, I don’t have the time, interest or patience to witness MaxiMillions similar domination of the sport I once so cherished.


As I must say, I feel somewhat like Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward’s feeling “Dirty” over the Bahrain GP weekend. And I find the whole Horner Gate affair to be rather Sleezy! Which has done nothing more than turn me “Off” even further towards thee Pinnicle of Motorsports, nee Formula 1!


And thus, with a certain precocious Chihuahua fondly known as Hang 10’ Hilo here upon No Fenders, and in My Heart! Who surprisingly showed up on my Doorstep unexpectedly over a week ago! Not to mention Verstappen’s utter domination of the field in Bahrain with a 23-second Whitewashing! Well, Y’all can probably guess which way I was leaning, Eh?


Whilst I cannot say I’m overly surprised also by the ongoing investigations regarding FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem. For which I’d simply say that there’s multiple Power Struggles occurring in F1, which has always been it’s nature! Since what was ‘Ol Uncle Bernaughty’s maxim? Oh Yeah, Divide and Conquer!


Since obviously certain elements wish to see the removal of ye Pied Piper Chrstian Horner and Messer Ben Sulayem! Which perhaps is All a concerted power vacuum of Liberty Media to completely control the sport and spice up the Show? Since Fernando Alonso’s Quip Hits the mark the best. Saying F1 is Dull On track and needs the scandals off-track, or something to that effect…


At the last moment, albeit the “Universe” told me in Spades I shouldn’t be trying to “watch”, Err listen to the Grand Prix. I opted to switch on, mostly because I was curious how 18yr old teenager Oliver Bearman would do as Carlo Sainz Jr’s replacement.


Yet with Catherine “babysitting” me thru my Open Heart surgery recovery’s convalescence, who wanted to run a load of laundry during the Grand Prix, albeit promising to close the laundry room’s door…


Preceded by the telephone obnoxiously ringing during the F1 Broadcast. And with MaxiMillions leading again and disappearing off into the sunset, Err Moon’s rising underneath the floodlit race track. I simply elected to switch off Thy Telie’ with more than halfway left to go. Although I did snort over the F1 Pundit whom proclaimed Eat, Sleep, Win again when calling Verstappen over the line first to the Chequered Flag once again, yawn! Upon later watching the F1 race Highlights package.


Thus Ollie’ Berman had just moved up to ninth place when I switched off, with the Englishman being either the twelfth or fourteenth English F1 driver to race for la Scuderia, nee Ferrari – depending on whom you believe? Did an excellent job by finishing a credible seventh deputizing for Sainz Jnr, who’d had emergency Appendicitis surgery over the weekend. With both Carlo Sainz and Berman’s father being shown standing together in the Ferrari garage during the race.


Although Arse-sumedly Bearman will go back to His “Day Job” of racing for Prema Racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, where He’s a multiple race winner. Whilst Sainz Junior returns to His Ferrari cockpit Down Under in bloody Melbourne…


The other point of interest for me is the raging battle Heating up between the two Racing Bulls drivers. As I’d expected DannyRic’ to be waxing Yuki Tsunoda. But the Japanese driver has outqualified Daniel Ricciardo 2-0 I believe. With the duo being tied 1-1 on race results. With the Bahrain GP’s results being engineered by Racing Bulls, when Tsunoda resentfully pulled over to let Ricciardo by for P13. Before the Japanese driver gave Daniel the Irvine “swerve” during the races Cooldown lap!


As DannyRic’ needs to pick up the pace to give His Dream of returning to Red Bull next year any Hope!


Thus I just eagerly awaited IndyCar Qualifying from ST Pete instead. Although my new “Vilan” Josef Newgarden captured His first Pole position since Belle Isle, 2022. And the 17th of His career, BOO!


Hey, what did the late Robin Miller say about “Hate is Good!” As I’ve gotta have somebody to root againxt now that Hulio’s effevtively out of the picture… 

Friday, March 8, 2024

Some last minute IndyCar tidbits

Including who Dale Coyne’s two newest drivers are?


Like Marshall Pruett sardonically mused two months ago. Why wasn’t He at Indy cars content day? Because it’s being held two Freakin’ months before the first race!


In-between All of the Fluff from IndyCar’s House Organ, Err official website, here’s a few last minute nuggets I’ve gleaned prior to this weekend’s season opener…


Chip Ganassi Racing’s (CGR) Marcus Armstrong’s No. 11 racecar will be engineered by Angela Ashmore. Becoming only the series third female race engineer over it’s 110-plus years long history!


Ashmore who previously was the performance engineer on Marcus Ericsson’s 2022 Indianapolis 500 winning entry, moves to the lead engineer role for Armstrong this year. Following in the footsteps of Diane Holl and Leena Gade according to


Holl was race engineer at Tasman Motorsports between 1996-2000 for drivers Adrian Fernandez and Tony Kanaan. Before moving to Della Penna Motorsports and working with Richie Hearn.


Gade was lead engineer briefly for six races with James Hinchcliffe at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2018 before being “let go”. As Gade had previously made History by being the first female engineer to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Audi before moving to Indy Cars.


CGR rookie Kyffin Simpson will sport the No. 4 on His racecar. With the number four being used by Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya during their Championship seasons at Ganassi. Even though I always associate the number with Panther Racing.


Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) rookie Tom “the Bomb!” Blomquist will not only run the new number 66, last used by McLaren during it’s abortive 2019 Indy 500 Carlin entry with Fernando Alonso. But reportedly Blomqvist has added nine pounds of muscle in preparations for dealing with IndyCar’s lack of power steering…


Whilst MSR will run a special XM Satellite Radio promo for the new Bon Jovi channel at St Pete and the following Thermal Club event. With Band leader John bon Jovi being on hand at St Pete and riding along with Helio Castroneves in Indy Cars 2X seater during the races parade laps.


As for all of the drivers getting married or having kids, I’ll leave that to someone else in Ye Blogosphere!


Whilst surely Dale Coyne and Company have finally announced who their two IndyCar drivers will be for St Pete and beyond, haven’t they?


As Coyne ran a limited testing regimen with Jack Harvey and Colin Brown during the two day IndyCar “Open” Spring Training event held on Sebring’s Short course Feb 26-27. Leading me to believe these will be Coyne’s two drivers to begin the season with…


As I’ve been a Huge Fan of Brown’s for many years, and Hope the Sports Car Ace gets His chance to race an IndyCar!


As Coyne confirmed that Jack Harvey would indeed be in the No. 18, and Colin Brown in the No. 51 for the first two races on Tuesday, March 5th. With the full, multiple drivers rotation being divulged in due course…


Meanwhile, with no big surprise. McLaren announced that Callum Ilott would deputize for the injured David Malukas during the St Pete season opener, also on March 5th. With hopes of “Chicago Davey” (Malukas) returning for the Thermal Club’s $1.0 million Whose your Daddy’ Sweepstakes event.


IndyCar will implement trialing a new FP1 (Free Practice) format during the series first 75mins practice session on Friday. Hoping to get more cars on track. After an 20mins All Skate to open practice. The 27 entries will be split into two alternating Pit Boxes groups being allowed ten minute sessions until practice is over. Which could become the new “Norm” at Street circuits and Road Courses…


Also, Don’t forget Y’all. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 10th, when we “Spring Forward” One Hour. Although officially at 2AM Pacific Me Thinks… 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

IndyCar Season Preview: The 2024 Honda runners’

It’s Almost showtime Ladies ‘n Germs, Ready or Not, we’re live in 24Hrs!


Well, and No Tomas Sr. It’s A Deep subject Joke Here Folks, Hya! But It’s time again to throw the Green flag and Go Racing! As the IndyCar’s and their former Road to Indy supporting cast, including Indy NXT take over  the Saint Petersburg’s Airfield temporary Street Circuit beginning this Friday, March 8th.


As Y’all Don’t know how mucho I’ve been looking forward to this! Counting down the weeks during my Open Heart surgery recovery, Hopefully now on week six-of-eight! And finally get to listen to something I’ve been anxiously Ah-waitin’ since January 23rd, Hurrah! Since I Ain’t getting up at OH-Dark 30 to watch MaxiMillions win another Gory Grand Prix!


let’s go Racing!



Full disclosure Folks. This story was written in early January. And therefore, as of the morning of January 20th, when I uploaded this No Fenders post. Dale Coyne still hadn’t divulged who it’s two IndyCar drivers would be this season.


2024 Honda Team line-ups

Attempting another hypothetically short synopsis of the 15 Honda powered Drivers on this year’s IndyCar Grid.


Andretti Global (3)

(Team/Car No/Drivers)

#26 Colton Herta, USA

#27 Kyle Kirkwood, USA

#28 Marcus Ericsson, Sweden


2023 Wins: 2

Kyle Kirkwond (2)


More changes abound at Mikey A’s team this year. The biggest being the downsizing to only three cars for the first time since 2004 Me Thinks. Along with the departure of Romain Grosjean in favour of Marcus Ericsson, the 2022 Indianapolis 500 winner.


Ericsson got His wish upon leaving Ganassi to become one of the small cadre of paid IndyCar drivers this year, and will team with Grosjean’s former engineer Olivier Boisson.


As the Swede’ won once last year at St Pete, following Pato O’Ward’s momentary plenum fire! Along with a dejected runner-up finish at the most controversial Indy 500 last year! Finishing sixth overall in the series Championship, ahead of His two new teammates.


Colton Herta had a season of what could have been? Including multiple Race Strategists whilst seeing two W’s slip away! As Herta will be eager to reinsert Himself into the title fight and rebound from a disappointing 10th place overall finish.


Kyle Kirkwood was Andretti Autosport’s shining light last year, notching His first two IndyCar wins, with a dominating weekend at Long Beach. Along with a late race pass to win at Nashville. And having vaulted 13 spots in last year’s standings to P11, “Kirk” Kirkwood will be aiming to crack the Top 10 this year.


Chip Ganassi Racing (5)

#4 (R) Kyffin Simpson, Cayman Islands

#8 (R) Linus Lundqvist, Sweden

#9 Scott Dixon, New Zealand

#10 Alex Palou, Spain

#11 Marcus Armstrong, New Zealand


2023 Wins: 9

Alex Palou, (5) Scott Dixon (3) and Marcus Ericsson (1)


Obviously the Biggest change at Ganassi is the expansion to five Full season entries, a first for CGR. Along with reigning IndyCar Champion Alex Palou having decided to stay with Cheep’ in 2024 vs. moving on to McLaren. Take that Zakery!


As Palou had a magical season enroute to His second title in three years with five wins, and will be hard pressed to repeat that.


While what can I say about the timeless Scott Dixon? Other than Dixon won’t be content with finishing runner-up to Palou last year!


Although have to say I’m more interested in the progress of two of it’s newest members. Last year’s Rookie Of the Year (ROY) winner Marcus Armstrong, who’ll be contesting His first full season, plus His debutante Indy 500. Along with 2022 Indy Lights Champion Linus Lundqvist.


As I’m totally “Stoked” upon both of these drivers, and totally hard pressed to pick whom I like better? As I look for good things from both Kiwi’ Armstrong and Swede’ Lundqvist, whose making His Full season rookie campaign this year.


The fifth Ganassi runner is still a Head Scratcher for Mwah. As 18yr old rookie Kyffin Simpson seems totally unready to graduate to IndyCar. But with His father’s Ridgeline sponsorship backing, Kyffin makes the leap ahead of schedule, and most likely will be a non factor…


Dale Coyne Racing with HDM Motorsports (1)

#18 TBA


The wily Dale Coyne reverted back to His time honoured tradition of being the last to announce His latest driver choices in the new year. As we All Ah-waited with Baited Breath over who’d Dale would choose?


As Enzo Fittipaldi, younger brother of Pietro tested late last year. With FIA formula 2 Champion theo Pourchaire mentioning His interest in giving Indy Cars a crack. Whilst I’ve got zero clue over who the other interested prospects are?


Other than I know that DCR Development driver Danial Frost is a possibility, along with Sparky’, aka Devlin De Francesco.


And Marshall Pruett sounded fairly certain that Sparky’ would indeed be one of the two DCR drivers during His January 10th The Week in IndyCar’s podcast. Making me think DeFrancesco will be piloting the No. 18 this season…


Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing (1)

#51 TBA




Meyer Shank Racing (2)

#60 Felix Rosenqvist, Sweden

#66 (R) Tom Blomqvist, UK

(Technical Partnership with Andretti Global?)


Meyer Shank starts the season with a clean sheet on the drivers front with the departures of Helio Castroneves and Simon Pagenaud. Although Hulio’ will run a third MSR entry at Mother Speedway this May.


Hopefully I’m not putting too much pressure upon whom I enjoy calling tom “The Bomb” Blomqvist! As the former MSR Sports Car champion was blindingly quick in the Acura IMSA GTP Prototype. Being intent upon improving in Indy Cars this year after His few tune-up starts last season as one of Pagenaud’s substitutes.


No Fenders Offical’ Photographer CARPETS’ has anointed Felix Rosenqvist with the nickname of Felix-the-Cat. Possibly due to His nine lifes for remaining an IndyCar driver?


As I’m a Fan of the Swede’s and would like to see Him win His second IndyCar race for MSR.


Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (3)

#15 Graham Rahal, USA

#30 Pietro Fittipaldi, Brazil

#45 Christian Lundgaard, Denmark


2023 Wins: 1

Christian Lundgaard (1)


Graham Rahal, entering his 18th IndyCar season Me Thinks? Is the De Facto Team leader. And obviously “Hungry” to continue upon His marked upswing towards season’s end, and finally return to the top step of the podium! Now entering His seventh season without a win, Yikes!


22yr old Dane’ Christian Lundgaard, former FIA Formula 2 championship and Alpine Academy driver, gave RLLR it’s first victory in three years last July Up North Eh! At Toronto and finished eighth overall in the driver standings. As Lundgaard seems poised to continue His upwards trajectory.


Whilst I’m still totally baffled over Pietro Fittipaldi’s selection to replace Jack Harvey! Other than having already noted that Fittipaldi’’s got a better sound vs. vips, and His Oval prowess should be a benefit for the team…


(R = Rookie)