NASCAR At The Paperclip Formula 1 In Bahrain F1 Quali Still An Absolute Mess V8 Supercars Does Twins In Tasmania IndyCar Returns To Phoenix Formula E In Long Beach WTCC Double At Paul Ricard BTCC At Brands Hatch TCR Plays Second Fiddle To F1 In Bahrain Moto GP goes to Argentina D’Wing Engineer Hospitalized Press Releases News and More!
NEW SEGMENT – Coolest Racers On eBay
NASCAR – Martinsville
Kyle Busch was rocking a vintage M&Ms livery when he won Saturday’s “STP 500” at Martinsville. This victory came just a day after Busch had also won in the Truck race, completing a “Martinsville Sweep” that had never been done before. This was a comparatively easy victory for Busch, as he led 352 of 500 laps, and easily fended off efforts by teammate Matt Kenseth, who also led. Because the pair were interested in keeping Kevin Harvick’s points gain to a minimum, Busch allowed Kenseth to lead for a while to score those extra points. Kenseth had been a top three runner for the whole race, but was ‘hung out to dry’ in the outside lane on a restart and dropped back to 15th at the finish. Harvick had also been at the lead of the race for seventy-some laps, but pit stop errors and a poor restart near the end of the event caused him to finish a lowly 17th. After the final restart, AJ Allmendinger had stayed out for the track position, and managed to hold on to that position for a second place finish. Kyle Larson stood on the final step of the podium (just kidding, NASCAR doesn’t believe in podiums). At the end of the race, Busch radioed in to his crew and said “What time is it? Time to tell the haters to shut up!” I imagine he spelled it “H8Rs” when he said it in his head. He’s a grade-a, class-one, douche. Can’t stand the kid. The prize for winning at Martinsville is a grandfather clock. I’m not sure this fact is related to Busch’s “time” comments, but if so, I retract my comments and commend him for a quality pun.
Formula 1 – Bahrain
From the start, it was Rosberg’s Mercedes that streaked away from the start line and didn’t put a wheel wrong for the whole race, running out to an easy race victory. This was Rosberg’s fifth race victory in a row (combined with the 3-peat at the end of the 2015 season). Hamilton, meanwhile, had a hard-fought race, suffering contact with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas lap one turn one. Vettel’s Ferrari failed to start the race with what they probably called a “hydraulics failure” on the warm up lap. Raikkonen tried to mount a serious challenge, but never really came close enough, finishing second. Though Hamilton dropped to 9th after the contact with Bottas, he raced diligently to come back from the detrimental circumstances to take the final podium step. As a result, Rosberg is now 17 points ahead of Hamilton with a full 50 championship points after two races. Romain Grosjean finished a phenomenal 5th for the ‘Merican Haas F1 team, which was one place better than he’d done in Australia. Grosjean has the same amount of points as Kimi Raikkonnen. Gutierrez again failed to finish.
Formula 1 Qualifying –
For the second race in a row, F1 trialed their “knockout qualifying” system. The procedures were seen as complete failures in Australia, and the knee-jerk reaction was to return to the old system for Bahrain. F1, a couple days later, announced that they were changing their mind and would stick with the knockout-style system for Bahrain. In Bahrain it showed to be just as poor a decision as it was in Australia. Because I don’t follow the series, I asked our resident Formula 1 nerd Patrick Hoffstetter to sum up how he feels about F1’s Qualifying system. The following are his sentiments.
Someone once said the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. This seems to be the creed of the FIA, FOM, and the so called F1 Strategy Group. Lulls in a qualifying session were never the norm in the Knockout style system we had for many years. Seeing drivers getting out of their cars before a session is over is ridiculous and embarrassing. This system has failed to shakeup the grid, and even those at the top have agreed it’s bad for the fans and teams. Bernie and his cronies seem to be dead set on torpedoing any good will that F1 has currently. Wether this is some strange bid to coax someone into buying the sport, or just a stubborn refusal to see what is happening to the crown championship of the FIA. Not to say they haven’t made good changes, but this absolute failure to realize a mistake is going to harm the sport more than anything else. The drivers hate it, the teams hate it, and and the fans can’t stand it. What a shitshow.
And racer Jenson Button had this to say about the Qualifying rules:
“If it’s an aggregate system, I’ll give it a go. That’s all you can say. It’s better than this one. Anything is better than this one. Drivers driving around with one eye closed would be better than this one. I look forward to change, and that’s what’s hopefully coming.”
V8 Supercars – Symmons Plains
Race 1 – Shane Van Gisbergen owned the weekend as far as laptimes were concerned. In race one, the Kiwi took the victory, providing Holden with their 500th Australian Touring Car championship victory (in its many iterations). Mark Winterbottom led race one from the start, having won the Pole position, but after a round of pit stops around lap 9, it was Jamie Whincup who came out on top. On lap 18, SvG took the lead from Whincup and never looked back. That was the great part of Shane’s weekend over, lets get to the shite part. Race 2 – The second race of the weekend started out as an excellent battle between van Gisbergen and Whincup, as the pair made quick work of Frosty who started in the lead again. On the 5th lap, Chris Pither spun and called out a caution for the full course. Pitting, SvG had the right-of-way and pitted first. Of course, he shares a box with Whincup, so Whincup had to wait for the box to open, which pushed him back to 13th when the dust settled. Day done, then, easy win for Shane. Ride off into the sunset. After the race went back to green, Whincup managed to fight through the traffic a bit to get up to P8, needing to pit again, he stopped to avoid having to fight too much more traffic. Unfortunately for Jamie, he buried his car in the gravel trap at turn 1 on his out lap on cold tires. An understeer off cost him any chance of hauling in points. This caused a second safety-car to come out. The full course yellow comes out, van Gisbergen in the lead with Winterbottom a bit behind. Frosty pits. ‘The Gis’ hauls balls on his in-lap (the full course under yellow, he runs what amounts to a full-tilt race lap because the safety car hasn’t picked him up yet) and pits, barely staying ahead of Winterbottom. It was interesting to watch, as there were a number of cars (behind the leader) that were sprinting down the long straight as the safety car sat on the tarmac to driver’s right to pick up the leader. There were racecars running over 200 kilometers an hour past a stationary Lexus safety car. V8S needs to reevaluate their safety car procedures. I can’t exactly blame SvG here, or any of the other drivers, as they are exploiting the rules package that they are given. However, something really unsafe could have unfolded. At the restart, SvG held Winterbottom at bay, and maintained his lead of about a second. That was when drama struck… Watch the video below, and then I’ll give you the play by play. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9RQKHjgEng& Going down into turn one with only 5 laps remaining in the motor race, Cam Waters’ car has an engine explode. Heimgartner is caught out on the oil down on the track and slides off into the gravel as well. Whincup, already laps down, plows into Heimgartner’s Holden at a rapid rate. The race leader, still unaware that there is fluid down on the track, comes barreling into turn one and runs wide. He managed to avoid going straight off like the other three, but scrabbles around the corner only to get stuck at the exit. The rear tires dig in and the day is over for Shane van Gisbergen. Bad luck, mate! A few laps earlier, Will Davison passed Lowndes to move into third. Davison cut a better path through the flotsam and jetsam at turn 1 than did Winterbottom then in second. In one corner, as the other two went off, Davison moved from third into the lead. From there, it was just a hold on and pray moment, finishing out the final five laps in the lead to get the victory. SvG about race 2 (From V8S press release) –
“At the end, we had really great pace and pulled away, but I just mucked up at the hairpin where the oil was and I just couldn’t stop and got stuck. So, 150 points down the toilet really. We had fast cars all weekend, we were the quickest, it’s a real shame that it ended that way.”
IndyCar – Phoenix
Scott Dixon has always been near the front of the grid in his time in IndyCar, and with this victory in Phoenix, he marked his 12th consecutive season with at least one victory. Not many drivers can claim that kind of record, but Dixie is a special kind of driver. For most of that time, IndyCar has not been racing at Phoenix, as this was their return after an 11 year hiatus. The 52 year old oval served well and made for some good racing into the evening on Sunday. Helio Castroneves led the race away from the start on Pole, and stayed at the front for the first 39 laps. Castroneves suffered a tire failure and elevated teammate Juan Pablo Montoya into the lead. JPM then carried the flag until lap 96 when he suffered his own tire failure. Dixon started the race from 6th, and due to an excellent first pit stop, passed two cars to move into the second position. With Helio and JPM falling out, Dixon assumed the lead. Once there, he never let go, leading for the final 155 laps of the race to take his 39th career win. Simon Pagenaud finished second followed closely by Will Power. Graham Rahal finished in 5th as the highest finishing Honda (8 of the top 10 cars were powered by Chevrolet). The podium place moved Pagenaud into the championship lead with 83 points over Dixon’s 79. Max Chilton On Racing Ovals (From Racer.com)
“I can’t say what I learned because it’s rude. It favors the stupidity of certain people. I’m new to taking and learning those risks. I will have to build up to it but to me it’s a bit too fast. I lost out a couple times on restarts because some drivers didn’t seem to give a damn. I think I did a pretty strong job to be fair as a rookie starting eighth and finishing seventh. Every time I got stuck behind a Honda we couldn’t move around them. But I’m really happy with it. The words Chip Ganassi told me in the driver’s meeting was, ‘Max, you have to finish this race. The more laps you do by finishing the more you will learn.‘ And that is what I did. But after a couple of restarts there were cars flying everywhere.”
Chilton finished the race in 7th, which seems to be pretty good for a first-timer on an oval.
Formula E – Long Beach
Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird won the pole position in California, and at the drop of the flag, he led away from the line with Lucas di Grassi close behind. Bird kept that lead all the way until the mid-race pit stop for car change. Bird came back out of the pits in the cat-bird seat, prepping for his victory speech. Unfortunately, he was caught out by cold brakes on the new car, and was forced to take an escape road. No damage was done, except to his ego and his chance of victory. With Bird’s error, di Grassi pounced into the lead and Stephane Sarrazin followed through into second. With a comfortable lead well in hand, di Grassi looked to just drive away. Nelson Piquet Jr crashed at the first chicane and smashed the wall, bringing out a safety car and destroying Lucas’ lead. With a bit of luck and a whole lot of skill, di Grassi timed the restart perfectly and managed to hold of Stephane’s charge (pun intended?). Further luck for di Grassi was found with title competitor Buemi crashing and getting penalties during his race in Long Beach, moving Lucas into the points lead (which he lost by being disqualified from the victory for being underweight in Mexico). Lucas di Grassi on his victory (Formula E Press Release) –
“I’m very happy to show that if you keep your focus, keep up your work, good results come. From the outside races always look comfortable, this is a tricky track, it’s very easy to do mistakes, it was an extremely difficult race. Stephane was quick and was putting pressure on me. It’s an extremely difficult car to drive on the edge so we had no comfort in winning the race, we just had to focus on making no mistakes.”
World Touring Car Championship – Paul Ricard
In a double-header season opener at the famed French circuit, Rob Huff found victory for Honda in race one, and José María López pulled off the win in the Main to take the championship lead early. Race 1 – Rob Huff got a perfect start to the 2016 season by winning race 1, which was his first race victory since Macau in 2014. This was also his first start with Honda. Huff started second, and made a better start than the pole sitter (Valente) to jump into the lead. Teammates Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro finished second and third respectively, locking out a Honda 1-2-3. Race 2 – José María López held off a charging Tiago Monteiro to win the Main Race for Citroen. López led away from pole, and stretched his lead. Monteiro had to find his way back past Yvan Muller into second place after faltering at the start, but that only took 9 laps. From then until the end of the race, it was Tiago and Michelisz working together to catch up to López, and they nearly made it work. The pair worked their way right up to the Citroen’s bumper, and Tiago made a last second charge at the lead, losing out by only 3 tenths of a second at the line. Gabriele Tarquini pushed race one winner Rob Huff wide at turn one with a hip check, and Huff spent the race trying to recover, eventually finishing 6th.
British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch Indy
In a triple-header weekend at Brands, BTCC saw three different victors from all three races. Race 1 – Tom Ingram took his first pole position and the first of the year. The 22-year-old followed up his pole with an impressively simple lights-to-flag victory. Race 2 – Gordon Shedden tasted the champagne in race 2 for Honda. Ingram led early, but he and Rob Collard had a ‘coming together’ and spiraled out of contention. It was Shedden who inherited the lead from their folly, and didn’t let go of it. Race 3 – Race three saw Sam Tordoff on the pole, but he didn’t stay at the lead for long. A hard charging Adam Morgan shoved his Mercedes into the top spot, and his third career victory.
Touring Car Racing – Bahrain
Seat driver Pep Oriola laid waste to the competition this weekend in TCR’s double-header at Bahrain playing schedule filler to F1’s weekend there. Race 1 – Pepe had started from P2, but was quickly passed by teammate James Nash at the start. Oriola moved ahead of polesitter (and other teammate) Sergey Afnasyev, and then when Nash made a mistake at Turn 10, moved into the lead. Oriola stayed in the lead, but Nash was hounding him for the whole race. For the final few laps, though, Oriola was allowed to relax as Nash was attacked by Gianni Morbidelli’s Honda. Race 2 – With a hectic start, it was Kevin Gleason and Aku Pellinen that moved up to take a commanding 1-2 position, having started 3rd and 5th respectively. The Honda duo were followed closely by JK Vernay and race 1 victor Pepe Oriola. Vernay started shedding some bodywork from the left rear of his car due to earlier contact, which dragged on the track and lost him time. Just two laps into the race, Pellinen started to fall back from Gleason, and held up the team Seats of Oriola and Nash. Oriola, preoccupied with battling Pellinen, allowed Nash to slip into second passing both of them. At the halfway point of the race, Oriola had passed Aku and then passed Nash into turn 1, mirroring Nash’s pass on Oriola. From there, the Seat duo then set about working together to catch up to Gleason’s lead. With just 2 laps remaining, Oriola muscled his way past Gleason into the 1st position, and Nash followed through into a Seat 1-2 victory in the Main. The Spaniard Oriola now leads the championship with 51 points to teammate Nash’s 36.
Moto GP – Argentina
There were some… tire issues… in Argentina this weekend with Moto GP. Michelin changed their construction last minute and the series enforced a mandatory bike-swap mid-race to cut down on the possibility of tire-related issues. Jorge Lorenzo got the jump from the start, but wasn’t in a position to hold that lead, losing out to Dovizioso by turn 5. Lorenzo started to slip backward, but Marc Marquez was only building strength with comfortable passes on Jorge, Vale Rossi, and leading Andrea Dovi to take over the lead by lap 3. Marquez and Rossi moved their 1-2 battle out away from the rest of the pack, and engaged in a phenomenal duel. At the mid-race pitstops, Rossi came into pit lane right on Marc’s rear tire, but Marquez made a much more fluid bike-change, exiting the lane with a 2 second lead over Valentino. That stretched out to 7.6 seconds only a few laps later, and Rossi resigned himself to holding second place rather than fighting for first. On the final lap, Iannone put in an attack on Rossi that saw Dovizioso move up into second, passing both riders at once. Iannone managed to break clear of Rossi and tried to shove his bike down the inside of Dovi at the final corner, lost the front end, and took both he and his teammate out of podium places. Rossi went on to finish second, and Dani Pedrosa inherited third. The victory puts Marquez on first in the championship with 41 points over Valentino’s 33 points and Pedrosa’s 27.
DeltaWing Engineer Hospitalized With Brain Tumor
Race Engineer for the Deltawing team, Catherine Crawford, was in Italy on vacation last week when she underwent an emergency surgery. Doctors later determined that her symptoms were caused by a brain tumor. According to a statement from her parents, the doctors are encouraged by her progress, though recovery will be long and arduous. We hope she recovers as quickly as possible, and no long-term damage was done. The paddock needs as many intelligent and talented women as it can get, and she’ll leave a hole there for sure.
Coolest Racers On eBay
1. 1986 Chevy Camaro Skoal Bandit IMSA GTO For Sale
This 1986 IMSA Camaro was professionally built by Riggins Engineering for the Buzz McCall, factory-backed General Motors racing effort. It raced in the Daytona 24 Hour where it was driven by Jack Baldwin, Max Jones, Walt Bohren, Buzz McCall and others. Today the car runs in historic sports car races and is eligible for most historic outings. HSR logbook is included. This is a famous professionally built car, not to be confused with run of the mill homebuilt SCCA racers.
For more photos, information, and pricing, check out the listing on eBay. 2. 1985 Buick Somerset Coupe IMSA Kelly American Challenge For Sale
GM supported and sponsored 1985 Tommy Riggins Buick Somerset TransAm/ IMSA/GTO and Kelly American Challenge car. Raced continually from 1985 thru 1988 in both series. Raced in the Daytona 24 hrs and the 12 hrs of Sebring in 1987. Backup car for the builder Tommy Riggins in his 1985 Championship season. Driven by Dick Danielson, Troy Walden, Craig Carter, Harold Shafer, Gene Felton, Riggins and others during this period. Sold to Dave Perelle in the 90’s who shipped it back to Riggins’ shop where it was restored to its original condition. Since raced in historic IMSA and vintage series on both the East and West Coasts, e.g., Sebring, Daytona, Sonoma, Portland, Laguna Seca, Willow Springs, Buttonwillow, Auto Club, Coronado with VARA, SCCA, HMSA, SVRA, NASA. Always draws a crowd with questions and favorable comments. Currently only raced by a senior driver once or twice a year because of other cars, car projects and failing health. A safe, fast, easy to drive dedicated race car that goes into turn one at Auto Club at 160+ mph rock solid. As indicated above, this is a work horse with the normal race car patina. Not a trailer queen, but an attractive and unique car that sets it apart from the many Mustangs and Camaros in the 1980’s TransAm/IMSA/GTO FIA Manufactuer Championship Series. This is a car for a dedicated gearhead and experienced racer. It deserves to be raced on a regular basis not once or twice a year. Standard race car sale terms, i.e. sold on a bill of sale. No warranties express or implied. Also for sale locally so may terminate this listing at any time.
For more photos, information, and pricing, check out the listing on eBay. 3. 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme “Loonatic Fringe II” Alcohol Funny Car
My beautiful 1996 Brad Hadman/Hairy Glass Oldsmobile Cutlass Alcohol Funny Car is for sale. Retiring from racing. Restored over the past three years from an excellent California owned car. It is in immaculate condition with black powder coat on the frame with most tin and accessories in silver metalflake powder coat. Body is white, black with maroon, silver and gold graphics. (Lettering is vinyl and removable)
For more photos, information, and pricing, check out the listing on eBay. 4. 1996 Chevrolet-Reynard Indycar (No Engine) Original Indy Car, not a replica. Kool/Jim Beam Graphics on the Car, not a “COOLER” Car to go vintage racing in, or put in the garage, or make into a desk or table in your home or Man Cave. Chassis #202. Car is pretty complete other than the engine. Could be converted to be street driven….561.309.3200 for questions. Located in AZ. Okay, I have a few things to say about this… 1. “Could be converted to to street driven”? Seriously? 2. The main picture for this listing on eBay is a cellphone picture of a computer screen showing a picture of Paul Tracy’s Lola B02/00 Honda at Surfer’s Paradise in 2002. Seriously?? 3. I just have no idea what this guy is thinking… For more photos, information, and pricing, check out the listing on eBay. 5. 1984 March-Cosworth IndyCar
1984 March Indy Car with Cosworth DFX engine. Engine was pickled before being put in storage about 20 years ago. Everything is in excellent condition, Ex-Arie Luyendyk, John Paul Jr,, Derek Daly.
For more photos, information, and pricing, check out the listing on eBay.
Press Releases –
Lamborghini would like you to know that they have started a “Squadra Corse” program for youth kart drivers. Giorgio Sanna, Head of Motorsport of Automobili Lamborghini, commented on this new initiative:
“The Kart Drivers Program is another milestone in our training programs for youngsters, which aim to select the best drivers who decide to invest in our motorsport programs to further their racing careers. Every young driver has the ambition to reach the pinnacle of the open-wheel Formula, but the GT world is a solid alternative to becoming a professional racing driver. Lamborghini Squadra Corse wants to help the most deserving youngsters in achieving this dream.”
The organizers of Rallye Aicha des Gazelles (the most prestigious all-women’s motorsport event in the world) in Morocco would like you to know that there was a record result for American teams when the grueling off-road rally ended on Saturday.
“It was fun to shoot for the win. I’ve been really proud to be here for three years and to have done well in it.”