Compared to last week, there was almost wall-to-wall action this week. The action included everything leading up to and including the start of the NASCAR season with the Daytona 500, as well as a bunch of F1 car launches, some IndyCar and F1 seat shuffling, and a stolen sports car team’s rig! In both competition and non-competition news, there was all kinds of stuff going on over the weekend, so here we are to try to catch you up with the times. Ugh, this one took forever to put together! With the racing season well and truly underway, there is a lot to cover. The racing will only continue to get hotter from here, so pay attention, class. Just be aware of the fact that this post is filled with spoilers. Giant carbon-fiber, multi-element, DRS-equipped, Gurney-flapped, Spoilers! Daytona 500 Runs Circles Around Other Races The Drive Claims NASCAR Is Rigged, “You Gotta Be Kiddin’ Me!”, Exclaims Local Man New F1 Cars Break Cover, Look Pretty Much Like Old F1 Cars Chaz Mostert Announced At Supercheap Auto Racing Starworks Motorsport Truck And Trailer Stolen: Recovered Missing Some Stuff Last Minute Open-Wheel Seats Shuffle Leaves Good Driver Without Ride Aston Martin Racing Shows Off 2016 GTE Car, Team, and Tires Porsche LMP1 Tire Test With Michelin Nets A Really Cool Picture I Want To Show You Fastest At Daytona 24 O’Gara Motorsport Future In Jeopardy, Bell/Sweedler Out Of Sebring Ride Again? Joao Barbosa Injured In Non-Racing Incident Fast Passes – Press Releases – Smokey’s Camaro
In a race that saw pole-sitter Chase Elliott crash early in the race (unsurprising), Dale Jr. crash late in the race (even less surprising), and the closest race finish in Daytona 500 history, won at the line by Denny Hamlin. Kenseth had the lead locked up on the last lap just in front of Martin Truex, Jr., and Hamlin came from the outside getting a push from the #4 car and the long outside line behind him. Kenseth drifted high coming out of turn 4 to cover Hamlin, Hamlin made it three wide pushing Truex to the bottom and Kenseth to the top. Kenseth touched the wall and nearly wrecked, recovering at the last second a long way back leaving Hamlin and Truex to fight to the stripe, where Hamlin took the victory by just 10 one hundredths of a second. You can watch the last lap below, which is frankly the only lap that needs to be watched. Good racing, and good on Kenseth for recovering what could have been a really dangerous crash.
Speaking of Daytona, Is It Rigged?
TheDrive.com certainly thinks so, as do almost every motorsport enthusiast in the world. NASCAR in general, and restrictor plate races in specific, have been rigged for at least 2 decades. Check out their piece to see why they think so, or have an opinion and sound off in the comments below.
New F1 Cars Break Cover
The new Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren-Honda, and Haas-Ferrari have broken cover this week. Here are some photos of them, ladies and gents, without further ado. The Mercedes AMG Petronas W07 Hybrid The McLaren-Honda MP4-31 The Haas F1 VF-16 The Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H F1fanatic.co.uk has even put together an interactive slideshow that shows the differences between the 2015 (chassis name SF-15) and 2016 (chassis name SF16-H) Ferrari F1 cars. Click here to see that.
Chaz Mostert Welcomed Back To The Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Team In True Aussie Style
Chaz has been out with a mega injury for a while. He’s better now, and no longer needs crutches. Back behind the wheel and ready to rock. Watch this video. It’s good. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCxGrsVetXU[/youtube]
Starworks Motorsport Trailer Stolen, Then Recovered
All that really needs to be said are these headlines. Quick reminder, the IndyCar season starts in less than a month. Headline #1 – Andretti Autosport increases to four-car team with Bryan Herta merger Headline #2 – Bryan Herta Confirms Chaves Is Out Headline #3 – F1: Rossi Without A Drive After Manor Confirms Haryanto Headline #4 – Alexander Rossi Shifts Career Focus To IndyCar Headline #5 – IndyCar: Rossi In Frame For Bryan Herta Autosport Seat Yeah, that’s exactly how it happened.
Aston Martin Racing’s New Team
Aston Martin’s GTE contender for 2016 will no longer be painted up in Gulf colors. Some of you will probably hate that. Frankly, I’m excited to see BRG Astons on the race track again! Their new lubricants partnership sees them teaming up with Total. More importantly, though, Aston will be the first and only team running WEC GTE cars on Dunlop tires. It’ll be interesting to see how that partnership blossoms. Dunlop has built excellent LMP2 tires, but in GTE they are relatively untested. The Prodrive-backed squad will field a trio of cars with two in GTE Pro and one in GTE Am. The new team will see Darren Turner, Nicki Thiim, and Marco Sorensen team in the 95 car, Richie Stanaway, Fernando Rees, and Jonny Adam in the #97 Aston, and the GTE Am car will be shared by Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda, and Paul Dalla Lana (Which will be a brutal combination in that class). Also, this. Laurens Vanthoor is officially SAVAGE AF!
Porsche Completes 919 LMP1 Test At Abu Dhabi
No real news there, just a tire test with Michelin. I just wanted an excuse to use this photo.
O’Gara Motorsport Is Dead?
After not only leading the Daytona 24 earlier this year, but also posting the fastest GTD class lap in the race, the O’Gara Motorsport team faces financial difficulties that may be impossible to overcome. The team states that they have ‘reorganized’ and are ready for Sebring, but I remain skeptical.
Townsend Bell to Motorsport.com – “It’s a bit of tsunami situation. I can’t go into details but [team owner] Tom O’Gara has had some unexpected and shocking business realities hit him that no one could have seen coming. He’s a great guy, I feel for him, for some of the things he’s had to deal with. As things stand, we’re looking at a number of options, one of which is continuing as is, but nothing’s been decided at this point. Based on everything I know, we’ll be at Sebring in a Lamborghini, perhaps with the team in a restructured format. What that format is, right now I have no idea, although I’m not the point person for sorting that out. If you have any suggestions [for funding], I’m willing to listen! I’m sure we’ll figure something out. I expect to be at Sebring 12 Hours and I’m certainly preparing like I’m gonna be there.”
You’ll recall that Bell and Sweedler won the 2014 Daytona 24 with Level 5 Motorsport, which left the sport indefinitely before 2014 Sebring occurred, leaving them without a ride. The pair won the IMSA GTD championship in 2015, so it’s unlikely they’ll be left without a seat for very long, even if O’Gara does collapse upon itself.
Joao Barbosa Injured
Hoverboards took another victim, as Barbosa ate shit while riding one of those devil-sent monstrosities. I hope he’s learned his lesson. Apparently he was riding the board when his pet Yorkie ran in front of him. Rather than splat the dog, he took a digger and fractured his wrist. Barbosa will have to sit out the pre-Sebring test, but should be good to go when the race rolls around.
Smokey’s Daytona Camaro
This popped up on my Facebook feed, and it was too good to not include. The words below are credited to the “Smokey Yunick” page.
1968 Daytona 24 Hours: entered a Chevrolet Camaro for Bruce McLaren and Jim Hall. After inspection, was told to take the car back home, because the 27 “irregularities” were just too many to fix before race time. Among those irregularities were a body acid-dipped to thin the sheetmetal and lightweight Lexan windows, but the inspectors never noticed the supercharger powered by the clutch flywheel. Photo: Getty Images
Weekly Press Releases and What They Mean
PENNZOIL CELEBRATES TEAM PENSKE’S 50th ANNIVERSARY WITH DEDICATED HALL OF FAME EXHIBIT Penske Racing is celebrating 50 years, and they will have an anniversary exhibit within the Indy Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Pennzoil sponsors Penske.
Commemorative Firestone Race Tire to Honor Brand’s Indianapolis 500 Winners at 100th Running
Firestone has been racing at the Brickyard for 100 years this year, apparently. 100 days before the 100th running of the historic race, they debuted a tire printed with the names of the Indy 500 winners. Cool? RED BULL RACING & PUMA REVEAL STRIKING NEW TEAM LOOK Instead of debuting their new car, they showed off their new livery and team kit with their old car. The new look has Puma logos on it. Oh, and you can buy Puma clothes with RBR logos on them, too. Black Armor Helmets Named Official Helmet of Pirelli World Challenge
Yep. That’s a thing.