Monday, April 29, 2024

The Unknown Formula race Promotions ladder Staircase

Since who’s Heard of FRP lately?


Today begins another Ha-Ha Short! Intended three part No Fenders tome covering the current Open Wheel Racing “Staircases” to Indy Cars, North America’s premiere Open Wheel Racing category. But as typical, I keep finding more “Driftwood” on the shores of Nofenderville…


Thus, I suppose if I keep Digging for Clams, I’ll learn about more Open wheel Racing single seater Championships I’ve been totally unawares’ of, Righto?


Since I was just trying to spell out today’s best known ladder systems for aspiring racers to progress upon once what was known as the Road to Indy. Which was the best, most concise ladder system to date…


Thanks to researching two aspiring “Junior” talents, I ran into what is billed as the East coast’s “premiere” Formula Cars Feeder Series – sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing.


Having never heard of Formula Race Promotions (FRP) before, visiting their website which only gives the briefest of descriptions. Somehow I “spotted” the logo for Parella Motorsports Holdings, (PMH) for which I couldn’t ascertain if FRP is owned by them or not?


Since PMH, which is owned by Tony Parella seems to be a fairly large motorsports entity, primarily owners of SVRA )Sports Car Vintage Racing) and the modern day Trans Am series. Whilst also being involved with another “rival” Junior Open Wheel Racing ladder system. Making it All as clear as Mud on a Rainy Day!


FRP’s single seater ladder system comprises of F1600, F2000 and Atlantic Championships, and presumably is “Billed” as a lower cost alternative for aspiring racers. Since what’s that ‘Ol Adage about Cubic Horsepower costs Cubic Dollars! And how many people who start with a large budget end up with a small budget after going racing, or something to that effect…


These three categories serve as support series to SVRA and Trans Am events around the nation, with this year’s calendar consisting of seven events.


Road Atlanta (March 21-24) served as the season opener. Followed by Mid-Ohio, (April 26-28) Lime Rock*, (May 24-27) Pittsburg International Race Complex, (June 7-9) Road America, (June 28-30) New Jersey Motorsports Park* (July 25-28) and Summit Point Motorsports Park. (August 16-18)


The Atlantic Championship will not contest the Lime Rock weekend. While the New Jersey event will also include the U.S. formula 4 and FR Americas series.


F1600 Championship

The F1600 Championship Pro category is an almost exclusive Honda engine category, utilizing 1.6-litre normally aspirated four cylinder engines, hence the series name. Although also having spotted a lone ford lump’ noted. With the series being dominated by the Van Diemen chassis, with Piper, Mygale and Swift sprinkled about this “Formula ford” single seater series.


I first learned about this series when perusing the career summary of Jace Denmark, who ran three races in 2021. While 2020 F1600 Championship winner Simon sikes is now His Pabst Racing teammate in the USF Pro 2000 Championship.


Other series champions include Nicholas D’Orlando, (2021) younger brother of Michael D’Orlando, the 2022 U.S. F2000 National Championship champion. Along with Thomas Schrage, (2022) and the reigning champion Porter Aiken. All having gravitated to the U.S. f2000 National championship and USF Pro 2000 Championship series.


F2000 Championship

This is the second rung of the series, in what are known as “Wings & Slicks” single seaters with a larger 2.0-litre four cylinder naturally aspirated motor. As the class dovetails with the re-introduction of the U.S. F2000 National Championship in 2010, when the Van Diemen DP08 was selected as the sole spec chassis for this category.


Becoming the Elan DP08, the chassis was used for U.S. F2000 National Championship competition until Tatuus won the contract and began supplying the series first carbon fibre USF-17 chassis beginning in 2017.


With No Disrespect to today’s competitors, from what I can tell, this is now an “Ameteur” Class utilizing “vintage” single seaters primarily with the Mazda MZR and older spec Zetec Ford powerplants. Since Van Diemen ceased as a company in the early 2000’s when Former American Le Mans Series founder Don Panoz bought the company. With the Van Diemen name being replaced by Elan after full integration.


As a mix of “vintage” chassis compete in this class, including Van Diemen, Mygale and Piper for example.


A few of the class’s former Alumni include “The Viking”, aka Andres Krohn who won the 2008 championship. While Chris Miller who won the following year’s title also progressed to what then was known as Star Mazda a la Krohn.


Krohn and 2010 F2000 Champion victor Carbone would compete against each other in the 2011 Indy Lights Championship with mixed results.


Whilst ’08 F2000 Alumni Conor Daly would graduate into Indy Cars. Beginning  in 2013, as a “One-off” Indy 500 entry for A.J. Foyt enterprises. Yet Daly’s IndyCar career arguably could be summed up as an “Journeyman’s” career until being “let go” by Ed Carpenter Racing after the 2023 Indianapolis 500…


Atlantic Championship

When I hear the word Atlantic, I immediately think of the former Toyota Atlantic Championship, which later became the Champ Car Atlantic Championship The series continued for two more years, albeit no longer part of the Champ Car World Series, (CCWS) which thankfully finally merged with it’s rival Indy Racing League for 2008.


Formula Race Promotions effectively took over the Atlantic championship circa 2012, and has run it ever since. Which now utilizes the Swift 016 chassis for it’s 2016 category. Whilst presumably older chassis for it’s Open category… 

Friday, April 26, 2024

Penske’s latest “Unfair Advantage”

One of Mark Donahue’s Penske Racing Sunoco Trans Am Chevrolet Camaro’s on display at the IMS Hall of Fame museum. (The Tomaso Collection)


As Roger says the team will take it’s punches. But shouldn’t that really be chances?


Naturally, I was surprised to discover the news about Team Penske’s latest “Unfair Advantage”. Upon learning of Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin’s Disqualifications from St Pete. As I cannot remember the last time an IndyCar race win was taken away from an IndyCar driver, if ever? Which is exactly what happened to Newgarden regarding His season opening St Pete victory this March.


Surely Y’all have heard Penske President Tim cindric’s response about software “accidentally” not being removed from the engine’s ECU followingprevious Hybrid testing…


For which if you’re a Hard Core IndyCarAfficionado like Mwah, you’ll know that Penske is well renown for it’s frequent Cheating under the phrase “Unfair Advantage”, which the team was legendous’ for doing during the 1960’s Trans Am competition! And presumably other racing series…


Thus upon reading this startling revelation, I immediately thought of when Team Penske got caught for having “lightweight” rear wing pylons, which were discovered after rear wing failures As I thought it was Milwaukee? Which Helio Castroneves crashed out from a rear win failure while leading the 2007 Milwaukee race. And Penske teammate Sam Hornish Jr. retired from second place with a “flapping” rear wing.


But then the more I think about it, I think perhaps it was at Texas? Although I can no longer remember where this happened. But I do recall the team being found to be using unapproved lightweight rear wing pylons…


While I did discover that Castroneves was fined $35,000 and docked 15-points following Post-race Tech after the 2013 Texas IndyCar race He’d won, but that was for having the rear underwing “Diffuser” not “set” correctly. And Castroneves and Team Penske kept their victory…


Whilst Thars’ countless examples of Team Penske being caught Cheating in NASCAR. With one of the most recent examples being Joey “sliced Bread” Lagano wearing an “Amphibious” webbed glove to win this year’s Pole at the Daytona 500. Using the glove as an aerodynamic device to aid in extra “Downforce”, before Lagano was subsequently penalized at Atlanta. Losing His runner-up finish and being fined $10,000. With el Capitano’, nee Roger Penske being outraged over this “Egregious” behaviour…


The interesting part about Penske’s Push-to-Pass “P2P” infraction is that it was only discovered during Long Beach’s Sunday morning Warm-up session due to a technical glitch with the overall system during the sessions first ten minutes. When only Team Penske drivers had use of the inactivated P2P! When the entire grid should have not been able to utilize the system due to the technical difficulty preventing it’s usage.


According to Racer’s Marshall Pruett, naturally the story runs far deeper. With several anonymous sources saying that the software “excuse” doesn’t wash! And the team found a way to get around the ECU, (Engine Control Unit) the engine’s “Brain” preventing unwarranted P2P usage thru the CLU. (Central Logger Unit) The main Data “collecting” system that Chevrolet was quick to distance itself from! Claiming the CLU is each team’s responsibility…


Pruett also notes that one rival team sent IndyCar video clips of Penske drivers using P2P way too much during races last year, implying this “Tom-Foolery” was potentially going on for several months, before Penske self incriminated themselves at Long Beach when they shouldn’t have been able to use P2P during the Sunday warm-up’s first ten minutes…


As Y’all may wish to read Racer’s Marshall Pruett’s excellent article titled How Team Penske took Push-to-Pass beyond the Limit.


As All three Team Penske cars were able to manipulate the P2P, but only Newgarden and McLaughlin used it illegally at St Pete, with Will Power not doing so, and thus only being docked 10 points. With All three entries being fined $25,000 and forfeiting All prize money.


As Newgarden drops to 11th in the championship from leading, and McLauglin drops to a lowly P27, ergo last place!


Yes, All teams Cheat, or try to get away with as much as possible without getting caught, which is just part of racing. As case-in-point is Meyer shank Racing’s tyre inflation debacle at the 2023 Rolex 24. Or when Justin Wilson won at Texas Motor speedway for Dale coyne Racing with an unapproved part on it’s chassis…


But it’s the amount of cheating that Penske’s been caught for over the years, not to mention other major racing teams that makes it All the more intolerable! Especially when you’re the series owner…


As how many times over the years has Roger Penske said it’s Humiliating and adoesn’t meet His exacting standards? Or is it simply one reason that Team Penske’s one of the sport’s most successful teams ever? You make the Call.


But Inquiring Minds want to Know will Josef Newgarden refuse to give the St Pete winners trophy to Pato O’Ward or not? 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

MotoGP’s Maddening Hunt for it’s New Television Home

And Who the Bloody Hell is TruTV?


If you’re a MotoGP Fan, then you’ve already heard about Liberty Media, owners of Formula 1 jut having acquired control of MotoGP. As it must be nice being Flush with Cash! Since reportedly Liberty Media’s paying $4.2b as in billions for an 86% ownership stake in MotoGP. With Dorna Sports, the current owners and promoters of MotoGP retaining 14%.


Although the deal is subject to approval by Foreign Countries legal approval, most notably the European Commission’s Anti-Competition laws. Since previous Formula 1 ower CVC Capital had to divest it’s ownership of Dorna sports in 2006 for approval to sell F1 to Liberty media…


But this riveting No Fenders yarn is about how much time I wasted trying to discover where MotoGP was airing upon my ridiculously overpriced Spectrum Cable TV.


Having learned earlier this year during March Madness that TNT Sports had scooped up MotoGP at the last minute from NBC Sports, I wondered where this new entity I’d never heard of before resided Stateside, and whether or not I even had access to it?


Stumblin’ ‘n bumblin’ my way, as where’s ‘Ol chris Berman when Yuhs need Him, eh? I somehow discovered that TNT Sports resided on TruTV, Who? As I think I spent nearly an hour figuring that out…


Whilst naturally, the first MotoGP race I could have “watche”, Err listened to went directly Head-to-Head with that stupendous Whose your Daddy $1 million Sweepstakes Challenge at the Thermal Club, which I elected to view instead.


Having missed the first two MotoGP races of the season, I was intent to watch the U.S. Grand Prix from Austin, Texas April 14th, since Thar still weren’t no IndyCar racing to partake, Urgh!


Thus naturally, I Arse-sumed that the biggest MotoGP race of the year Stateside would be on TruTV, El Correctomundo? For which my repeated searching upon my Zap2It’ TV Guide showed zero Sunday live race coverage, Say What?


This led me down a very long Wabbit’ Hole of vainly trying to deduce where if at all TNT Sports was located upon my Cable TV package? For which I felt like I’d spent at least another hours time trying to deduce this, Frick! As who was it that wrote about the U.S. market being a really tough “Nut to Crack”.


I tried repeatedly entering my street address and zip code into the Spectrum Channel guide, which kept saying I needed to enter a complete address, which I did you El Stupidio website! Before I broke down and called Spectrum to see if they could tell me if I had TNT Sports?


To which the amiable customer representative said He’d never heard of that channel before. Wait a minute it’s a UK and Ireland channel. To which I replied no, that’s TNT International. Before He tried searching for TNT Americas before saying I definitely didn’t have that channel!


Now little did I know that TNT Sports is the umpteenth rebranding of what began life as separate sporting entities of Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System’s (TBS) empire Wayback’ in the early 1970’s before officially becoming Turner Sports in 1995. And has since gone thru major ownership changes since then. Most recently under Warner Brothers and Discovery Sport’s control until 2023. Better known as WBTV Discovery Sports, and I think it’s still owned by this faction today, Cornfuzed?


Looking up TNT Sports (United States) on the All knowing Intrawoods’, nee internet revealed that of their multitude of current Sports properties, i.e.; NBA, NHL, MLB, etc. As of 2024 MotoGP would air upon TruTV for both Saturday Sprint races and Sunday races. As I felt like I’d just gone past gO, but definitely didn’t get to collect my $200 Aye Karumba!


As TruTV’s Sunday April 14th broadcast schedule felt like a bad impersonation of the USA Network. With Wall-to Wall airings of World’s Dumbest and Impractical Jokers, Spew! Interupted at 12:30PM Pacific by Multi-versus Beloved Warner Bros. Discovery characters take center ice in a matchup of two recent Stanley Cup Champions: Colorado Avalanche vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights. (3Hrs)


Meaning that the MotoGP race from Austin, Texas was being preempted by Friggin’ Hockey. Like talk about your Major 5mins Penalties JackArses!


As I did manage to find the Saturday Sprint Race and “watched”, Err listened to it’s entire 90mins broadcast, just to compare ‘n contrast to CNBC’s former MotoGP TV coverage. For which I was suitably impressed, even if there was way too much fillig of time by the TV Pundits! Since it appears it’s another European Sports production, perhaps Eurosport? Although I don’t know if it still exists?


Then adding insult to injury is the fact that I could watch shortened TV Broadcasts of both Saturday & Sunday’s action back-to-back Monday evening from 4-7PM Pacific. But I Don’t want to wait a whole Flippin’ day after to listen to a race replay Buggers!


Leading me to shake my Head in Disgust over how Liberty Media will be able to improve MotoGP’s “reach” in the United States if this is the current treatment the Sport receives. Like I mean, if the United States MotoGP race cannot even be shown live on TV, how do they ever expect the Sport to Grow?


Since last time I checked, I believe that the Discovery Channel is owned by Liberty Media, although I couldn’t deduce through All of the Shell companies who owns Discovery Sports, which appears to be part owners of TNT Sports with WBD Sports and the BT Group. (Eurosport) Oh Never Mind!


Shame On You MotoGP! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Vintage IndyCar’s trundle down The Beach

As I Love the smell ‘O Methanol in the Morning!


Y’all may wish to check out this wonderful video taken during Friday’s first practice session for the HMSA Vintage IndyCars grid taken by Marshall Pruett! As Yes, those are real, honest to goodness Bundle ‘O Snakes on the 1966 AAR Eagle! 

Monday, April 22, 2024

The Dakar keeps making History

Especially since the entire race finished three times Faster than IndyCar’s 42 days Hiatus…


Yes Ladies ‘n Germs’, it’s another way behind the proverbial eight ball No Fenders story that I’ve been sitting on whilst recuperating…


Yet it still seems worthy of noting that Sara Price became the first U.S. Female to win a stage in the grueling Dakar! As the 31yr old Californian just went for broke this year after cobbling together $500,000 in various fund raisers. Saying She didn’t care if it cost every penny of Her savings, She was going!


Price is not only a Stunt Driver, but has also won medals at X-Games and won 17 Motocross titles. Along with being an accomplished racer. Having driven previously for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Extreme E team during the 2021-22 season, becoming the very first Female driver hired by Ganassi. Plus contesting Stadium Super Trucks during 2016-17.


Yet Price has focused primarily upon rallying and in 2019, became the Baja 1000’s first Ironwoman, finishing runner-up in the Trophy Truck spec class wile driving solo!


Sara arrived at this year’s Dakar with just Her Mechanic, Navigator, Best Friends and Boyfriend Ricky Bravic. As perhaps Y’all have heard of Him?


As Bravic was the first American to win the Dakar, winning the 2020 Motorcycle class, which He repeated this year.


Sara and navigator Jeremy Gray warmed up for this year’s Dakar in last October’s Rally du Morac. Where Price made more history by winning stages and finishing second overall in the Rally of Moraco.


Price made Her Dakar history when winning the third to final stage in the Can Am (Side-by-Side) class. With the Californian becoming only Dakar’s third female to ever win a stage. Joining Jutta Kleinschmidt and Christina Gutierrez.


As Spaniard Gutierrez won this year’s ATV class, becoming only the second woman to ever win the Dakar. Joining Germany’s Kleinschmidt, who previously won in 2001.


As Kleinschmidt was a true trailblazer. Claiming a Hat trick of first in the Dakar. Winning the first Stage by a woman at Dakar Wayback’ in 1997. Then becoming the first female pairing with co-driver Tina thorner to stand atop the podium in 1999, when they finished third overall.


And then for la piece di la resistance, Kleinschmidt won the 2001 Paris Dakar with co-driver Andreas Schulz in a Factory Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution  With All of Her “firsts” coming in the Cars category.


Meanwhile El Matador, aka Carlos Sainz won His fourth Dakar at age 61, breaking His previous record for oldest winner. While Sainz’s win aboard Audi’s technological marvel, the RS Q e-tron, becomes the first ever electric vehicle to win the Dakar.


As reportedly, Mr. Dakar, the legednous’ Stephan Pederhansel claimed that the RS Q e-tron was a super physical car to drive. And that it’s brutality was akin to being in a Boxing match while driving it! 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Vintage IndyCar’s Invade the Beach!

Mark Donahue’s winning 1972 Penske Sunoco #66 McLaren on display at IMS Hall of Fame museum. (The Tomaso Collection)

As I just wish I could Hear this amazing cacophony’s soundtrack of vintage Indy Cars live!


Ran across Marshall Pruett’s Racer article titled Great Cars from IndyCar’s past prepare to take to the Streets of Long Beach recently, and wondered what’s that all about, Eh?


The article details the this weekend’s Historic Motor Sports association (HMSA) running of 17 vintage Indy Cars from the past’s Glory Years…


As Marshall notes that the oldest is a 1966 AAR Eagle built by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers of nearby Santa Ana, California.


The car is owned by Rob Dyson of Dyson racing fame, and will be piloted by ‘lil Stevie Johnson’, aka Stefan Johansson.


Pruett also notes the variety of IndyCar chassis taking part include one of ‘Ol superTex’s’, nee A.J. foyt’s 1977 Coyote’s, having just finished it’s restoration. An ex-Sebastien Bourdais ’05 Lola and Mario Andretti’s former March 85C to mention just a few.


With the “newest” vintage IndyCar being an ex-Oriel “suitcase” Servia 2007 Panoz DP01 chassis.


But I have to say I’m most intrigued by the mount former IndyCar driver Tony Kanaan’s piloting this weekend, being from the McLaren Heritage Collection.


As TK’ will be behind the keyboard of Lone Star JR’s 1974 Indianapolis 500 winner. An McLaren M16 powered by the ubiquitous Offy’ lump’. With Pruett noting how these turbocharged inline four cylinder engines were routinely producing 1,000 Horsepower “Back in-the-Day!”


Which it’s hard to believe I scribbled the following two part No Fenders tome about McLaren at Indy Wayback’ in Gory Ought Eight!


Whilst Y’all can listen to another entertaining TK’ interview, with Kanaan discussing this adventure with Pruett on the following Podcast…


Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a current HMSA entry list for the weekend’s event, with their website still having last year’s Formula 1 cars listed instead…


As I’d hope that Bryan “High Speed Hurdles” Herta would be running His 1998 Laguna Seca winning Reynard 98i Ford/Cosworth chassis, that son Colton gave Him as a birthday present last year. Before the duo ran it prior to Laguna Seca’s IndyCar season finale last September.


As the HMSA grid will run 20 minute race sessions on both Saturday and Sunday, which should be worth the price of admission alone!


During Friday’s first IndyCar practice session. IndyCar Radio Driver Analyst Davey Hamilton mentioned that the 1977 Coyote was actually a backup chassis that was never built originally! Whilst cannot remember if He said the restorer had the help of A.J. foyt enterprises or not? And that the restoration took four years to completely build the car from scratch.


Meanwhile, Y’all may enjoy Marshall Pruett’s brief Paddock video showing off a few of the vintage racecars below.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

F1: Thoughts upon Formula 1 from Afar

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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

Monday, April 15, 2024

Returning to Thoust Keyboard in Earnest

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


Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari

FOM Rejects Andretti Cadillac F1 Bid

Guaranteed Indianapolis 500 Starting Spots

Horner Gate

Pre Season Testing

IndyCar Whose Your Daddy $1 Million Sweepstakes Challeng


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Thursday, April 11, 2024

INDY 500: Let the Games begin!

But will we really learn Anything from testing?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Chevrolet (17)

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


Honda (18)

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Monday, April 8, 2024

INDYCAR: Thermal club Rear View Mirror

As the weekend wasn’t an entire Dud…


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Friday, April 5, 2024

Remembering Robbie Knievel – One year later

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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