Man, what a great weekend. Aside from the injuries in Pirelli World Challenge, this weekend couldn’t have been better for racing. There was so much awesome stuff to watch, no matter where you looked. I’m just so excited I have to shout everything with exclamation points! So while you were grilling out on Day Before Memorial Day Sunday, did you watch the best Indy 500 finish I’ve ever seen? Did you get excited by the rains in Monaco? Did you catch the hail at the #N24? Sports cars at any number of other races? If you live in Japan, did you watch the Super Formula race? Ugh, non-stop excitement. Let’s dive right in!
The racing will only continue to get hotter from here, so we’ll do our best to help keep your finger on the pulse. Just be aware of the fact that this post is filled with spoilers. Giant carbon-fiber, multi-element, DRS-equipped, Gurney-flapped, Spoilers!
Formula 1 In Monaco!
IndyCars At Indy!
NASCAR at Coca-Cola?
Sports Cars At The Nurburgring!
WTCC Also At The Nurburgring!
PWC At Lime Rock Park!
Aussie GTs At Phillip Island!
Super Formula At Okayama!
Asian Le Mans At Sepang!
Micra Cup At Mont Tremblant!
Cars For Sale!
Formula 1 – Monaco
I will admit that there was a certain level of excitement involved in the Monaco grand prix this year, but I don’t recall having seen more than four or five on-track passes, and that makes me sad. I know Monaco is a really tough place to pass, but this seems to be an endemic problem. That said, when you combine rain, drying conditions, and the threat of a non-Mercedes victory, the race is a bit more exciting than processional grands prix I’ve seen in recent years.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo claimed pole, he says because of his “Aussie Balls”. The race started under safety car conditions, because the rain apparently made the race too long to cover on the car’s mandated fuel load. From the point that things went green, it was a parade for a while until people started ducking in to switch to intermediate rain tires. At the front of the pack, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton stayed out on full wet tires and gained the lead. Ricciardo came out a good ways behind Hamilton, but began gaining ground as the surface dried out and his inters became more effective. There was another bit of excitement when the dry line started to form and people dipped into the pits to grab slicks. Because Hamilton had stayed out on his full wets, they were starting to lose their effectiveness completely, and he stopped for a set of soft rubber. Ricciardo also came in to swap off of his inters and onto slicks. The only problem was that Red Bull wasn’t ready, they were dicking around with tire choice and came late to the pit box with tires. His stop was easily 5-6 seconds longer than it should have been, and he lost any opportunity to leapfrog Hamilton for the lead. From there he just had to settle for Second.
Meanwhile, championship leader Rosberg had some issues and finished down in 7th. Hamilton is now only 24 points behind in the championship.
Sergio Perez worked hard and captured a podium place in his Force India. Fernando Alonso managed to bring his McLaren up into 5th, while Jenson Button captured 9th, securing a double-points finish for the team.
Motorsport.com’s Adam Cooper analyses the Red Bull gaffe much better than I can. Read it here.
IndyCar – Indianapolis 500
I can’t even explain how exciting the last 40 laps of this race were. I’m not much of an oval guy, but this race is continually a favorite of mine, and always produces exciting finishes. Where some fans were looking for a knock-down-drag-out race out of the pit stalls, I saw an exciting opportunity for someone to gamble on fuel. Rossi did exactly that.
I’ll admit, I was devastated when Ryan Hunter-Reay and Townsend Bell collided in the pits, as they were both running toward the front all day, and that effectively ended them both.
I think that Rossi, a young American, winning is a great story for the historic American race. It’s a Bald Eagle flying across the sky while Old Glory flutters in a gentle breeze in the background. It’s apple pie and hot dogs on the grill. It’s American as f*ck!
I feel for the guys that were at the front, but didn’t have enough fuel to make it to the end. At the end of the day, that’s what racing is all about. Who can make it 500 miles first? Rossi did that. Sharp measured strategy, conviction, a steady throttle foot, and a whole lot of luck made it possible. I still can’t believe that finish, I didn’t cry, but I came close. It was only the kid’s second oval race of his career for cryin’ out loud!
An ESPN pundit named McGee didn’t like that finish. Read his dumbass opinion here.
For a more informed opinion, check out Hoon-Alum Eric Rood’s take on the finish over on BangShift.
Indy Lites – Freedom 200
Watch this video, it’s literally everything you need to know. What a finish!
NASCAR – Charlotte
This race was absolutely dominated by Martin Truex, Jr. The kid survived 600 miles by spending all but 12 of them in the lead of the pack. Kevin Harvick ran second. Jimmie Johnson actually led 5 laps, and finished 3rd at the stripe.
Truex on his victory (from NASCAR PR) –
“It’s just kind of sinking in now that we won the 600. Really proud of my team — everybody that made this possible, that believed in me, gave me this opportunity. (Crew chief) Cole Pearn, Jazzy (team engineer Jeff Curtis), my guys are something special.
I want to thank all of them. This is a big day. Got the troops on the car. This is a special weekend. It’s really neat to bring that name (referring to the name of fallen hero Gunnery Sergeant Jeffrey E. Bohr Jr.) home to Victory Lane. Just a lot of emotion right now. Not really sure it’s sunk in yet. Just an amazing day, an amazing weekend for all of us. It’s a weekend you dream about.”
Nurburgring 24 Hours
The N24 race was an exciting prospect. There were literally dozens of cars that had a chance to win this race, as the SP9 class was packed to the gills with GT3-spec cars, and myriad competitive drivers.
This was an exciting and interesting race that after just over 20 hours of actual racing, saw the margin of victory as small as a couple of seconds. As everyone else fell by the wayside, Mercedes came out as dominant, winning the race with a spectacular 1-2-3-4 finish. This was far from a picture-perfect finish for Merc, though, as they were fighting tooth-and-nail between the teams for that overall win.
The #9 Black Falcon Merc started from Pole, and everything just came up roses for the tri-pointed star. Just a little bit after the race reached the 1-hour mark, there was a hail storm that halted proceedings and saw quite a few cars crunched in the barriers. Further cars still were stranded on the circuit, as they couldn’t climb the now-icy hill at the end of the lap to return to the pits. Four hours later, after the fog lifted, racing resumed.
BMW took the lead for a while after returning to green, but the leading M6 suffered an engine failure. All of the M6s would unfortunately either have failures, long delays, or crashes.
Porsche didn’t really look like they had a chance from the beginning. The balance of performance didn’t fall their way this year, and they were seconds slower per lap, and just couldn’t keep up. Their first car crashed out on lap 2. The second factory-backed Porsche blew up on lap 100. The Falken Tires Porsche managed to haul themselves up into 9th overall, but that was mostly due to attrition.
Audi, also didn’t have the measure for Mercedes this year, even though their R8 won the race overall last year. Audi had a 20 minute stretch during the race this year that they’d all rather forget. The #1, #6, and #23 Audis retired all at the same time with Markus Winkelhock smashing his #6 Phoenix Audi into the back of the #23 Land Motorsport car.
A total of five non-Germans attended in the form of Bentley/Aston Martin/Lamborghini competitors. None of them actually challenged up front all day, as they were all heavily damaged in the weather garbage at the first hour.
In the final hour, it all came down to a Merc Vs. Merc battle with Maro Engel battling against Hohenadnel. Hohenadnel’s HTP car was marginal on fuel, and pitted for a splash on the last lap, and had to be push-started to rejoin. Going into the pits, he had a lead of nearly a minute over Engel’s Black Falcon car, but that rapidly disappeared. Engel was driving like a man possessed, laying down the best two laps he possibly could. A late-braking maneuver that is normally reserved for Gran Turismo pushed Engel into the lead, and the HTP was forced to play catch-up. Maro never really managed to pull out a lead, and if traffic had played out slightly differently, the HTP car might have made victory lane. It was an exciting finish to an exciting race. To see more photos, check out this awesome gallery on DailySportsCar.com.
World Touring Car Championship – Nurburgring
As a support race for the N24, WTCC arrived to the Nordschleife again this year ready to battle it out.
Race 1 –
Tiago Monteiro (Honda) led the race away from pole ahead of Mehdi Bennani (Seb Loeb Citroen) and Thed Bjork (Volvo Polestar). Behind them stalked the factory Citroens of Yvan Muller and J.M. Lopez. Both had made amazing starts from the standing grid from 8th and 9th respectively.
Bennani lost time in the final section of corners, and dropped several spots, allowing Muller into 3rd and Bjork to second. Just a few corners later, the Volvo sliced into the pits with an engine issue, promoting the Citroens to second and third.
On lap two, the Citroens pulled one on each side of Monteiro’s Honda along Dottinger Hohe, but the Honda managed to maintain the lead into the braking zone. Lopez was slightly balked and lost third to Tom Chilton, but managed to retake that position in short order. It is likely that he was not on Muller’s bumper that was his saving grace.
Monteiro’s Honda had a failure under braking and slammed headlong into the barriers at Kesselchen. Muller, who was keeping tight to Tiago, collected the Honda and ended his own race as well. This moved Jose Maria Lopez into the lead of the race, ultimately taking the win by just half a second over Tom Chilton.
Race 2 –
In the second race, Lopez started from pole and took the second win easily, as his two main championship rivals had already been eliminated in the prior race. Norbert Michelisz managed to come home in second, having started second (promoted due to Muller’s failure). Tom Chilton, again, managed to podium, taking the third spot.
Coronel Fined For Distracted Driving
Following qualifying for the N-ring round of the WTCC, Coronel took to social media to live-stream his post-qualifying reaction. He was on the cool-down lap when he whipped out his iTelephone and did his thing.
The FIA didn’t take kindly to the action, and fined him 5000 euros for the infraction.
Honda Excluded From WTCC Results
Honda has lost all points scored at the Hungary and Morocco rounds, due to an illegal floor.
The FIA made this statement –
“Part(s) belong to car numbers 5, 12, 17 and 55, Flat floor 2015 – front section B has been found not in compliance with the regulations of the 2016 FIA WTCC as follows:
“1. It is different to the part featuring in the homologation form extension 5747 210/07 ER as well as the part presented during the homologation inspection, breach of article 263.003 and 263.004 of Appendix J.
“2. Its construction is not in compliance with the definition of composite applicable at the time of the homologation of the extension A5747 210/01 ER (Article 251.2.1.11 of the Appendix J), breach of article 263.902 of Appendix J.
“Decision: exclusion from the event(s)”
Pirelli World Challenge – Lime Rock Park
Race 1 –
Alvaro Parente won the Friday round of the PWC at Lime Rock in dominant fashion. Parente’s McLaren was on top of the game this weekend, and nobody could do anything about it.
Andrew Palmer’s Bentley led the first 20 minutes following an impressive start, but Parente took over as the leader, and never looked back. Palmer was given a hip-check by Porsche’s Pat Long that sent him off course, and Pat was dealt a drive-through penalty. Palmer ended in 5th and Patrick in 7th.
Kyle Marcelli’s Audi, with the benefit of Long and Palmer dropping down the order, finished a career-best second, and Johnny O finished third.
Michael Schein won his third GTA victory for Porsche, and Sloan Urry took the GT Cup class win.
Race 2 –
Parente took another victory to make it a double weekend at Lime Rock on Saturday. Fighting off a hard-charger Pat Long in race 2 was difficult, but proved not-impossible for the McLaren driver. Alvaro led the race from flag to flag with Long not far behind for all of it. Johnny O’Connell had started the race in 3rd, but lost many points when a puncture saw him finish only as high as 17th. Kyle Marcelli managed a second podium by taking third in race 2, some 16 seconds behind the lead duo.
The start of the race was delayed just over half an hour following a massive shunt in warmup between Andrew Palmer’s Bentley and Jorge De La Torre’s GTA Aston Martin. Both drivers sustained injuries and were treated overnight. Palmer was scheduled to start race 2 from Pole, but that obviously didn’t happen. Obviously there is no video of the accident, but reports indicate that Palmer’s car made heavy contact with the stationary De La Torre, and vaulted over the top of the Aston martin on impact. The Bentley flew over the tire barriers and came to rest in a wooded area, thankfully outside of bounds for spectators.
Police shut down the scene, as Connecticut law mandates an accident report be filed for any motor racing accident resulting in a hospitalized driver. No criminal charges were filed, as far as we can tell. The track was re-opened, and racing resumed.
Australian GT – Phillip Island
McLaren had another excellent race half-way across the world at Phillip Island in the Aussie GT race. The Tekno McLaren duo of Nathan Morcom and Grant Denyer took the season opener thanks to a clean race and a tidy two-stop strategy. Morcom started the race, handed over to Denyer for the middle, and then hopped back in the car to finish it out just two tenths of a second ahead of the Shane van Gisbergen/Klark Quinn driven McLaren.
At the start, it was van Gis up front followed closely by Bruno Spengler for the first 13 laps. Baird made a move on Spengler and separated them slightly, while Molina came up from behind, tacking on to make it a foursome. Pit stops handed over to the Ams, and the racing redoubled in intensity. Spengler stayed out, but his right front tire blew up on lap 32, and with it his chances of victory.
During the middle stint, there were seven such right side tire failures, affecting an Audi, two BMWs, and two Lamborghinis. Even Morcom had a tire failure, but it was lucky that his happened just as he was coming in on lap 31 to hand over to Denyer. In the final stint, Marco Bonanomi’s Audi suffered another rear right failure, and the Spengler car had its second failure of the day.
With 30 laps to go, the strategies opened up and everyone saw that it was to be a Morcom vs. van Gisbergen battle to the end. Morcom emerged from the final pit stop/driver change with a 30 second lead over Dom Storey’s Merc and Dan Gaunt’s Aston. van Gisbergen rejoined the race on lap 67 at the bottom of the top 10 (is that an oxymoron?). Just a handful of laps later, Shane was already 4th. Ten laps later, he moved into third when Gaunt pitted for fuel, and second when he passed Storey for the second. Charging hard, The Giz looked like he might take that victory away from his McLaren compatriot, but with a two-tenths margin, he didn’t quite make it.
Super Formula – Okayama
Weather seems to be a common theme this week, with rain bucketing down on the Super Formula race at Okayama as well. The race started behind the safety car with heavy showers slowing proceedings. Even under FCY conditions, many drivers were caught out and positions changed drastically.
On lap 8, the race was red flagged, and the decision was made to not restart it. The leader had traversed more than 2 laps, but less than 75% distance, so only half points were awarded.
Hiraoki Ishiura won the race as a result of having secured pole position, and managing to not toss his car off the island during the safety car period. Joao Paulo de Oliveira dropped out of second place with mechanical issues, promoting Koudai Tsukakoshi and Takuya Izawa of Real Racing into second and third.
Not really exciting, I guess, but worth reporting regardless.
Asian Le Mans Series Sprint Cup – Sepang
This race marks the first time that an ACO organized series has been won overall by an LMP3 car, and on top of that, the competition was fierce, as the class podium was taken by three different LMP3 manufacturers.
The WinEurasia team’s Ligier took the win with Aidan Read and Matthew Solomon aboard. AAI’s Adess finished second, while PRT Racing’s Ginetta took third.
The privately entered #28 Lotus Evora took the win in the four-car GT Cup class.
Nissan Micra Cup – Mont Tremblant
Race 1 –
Stefan Rzadzinski grabbed pole position for the weekend’s opening race. Xavier Coupal started second, and Olivier Bedard got the green flag from third.
The start of the race was very hot on Saturday morning, and it was instantly obvious that the battle would come down to one of four drivers, the lead three, plus Kevin King. At the end of the race, it was King who came up from fourth to take the checkered flag first, just two tenths of a second over Coupal, and five tenths over Rzadzinski. After the race, on-board footage was reviewed, and series officials awarded King a 35 second penalty and Rzadzinski a 30 second penalty, both for avoidable contact. Coupal was declared victor, and Valerie Limoges was promoted to second.
Race 2 –
The following day, Olivier Bédard had pole position ahead of Stefan Rzadzinski, but it was Kevin King, starting in third, who quickly challenged Bédard for the victory. King and Bedard had previously been teammates back when they were in karting, and they kept the battle tight and respectful for the entire race. King found himself again at the front of the race when the checkers fell, but this time he didn’t get penalized, and didn’t lose his win (his second of the season). Bédard finished seventh-tenths of a second behind him, followed by Rzadzinski and Coupal, who has been penalized by series officials after the race and dropped to seventh place which now slightly closes the gap in the drivers’ championship.
Things You Should Read
Here’s How Hinchcliffe Managed To Recover From Last Year’s Leg-Kabob To Secure Pole This Year
Here is a mostly-useless aerodynamic study that shows how cars have changed in the last 100 years of the Indy 500
Mike Shank Racing will compete at Le Mans as well as Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, and it will require four trips across the Atlantic.
Here is Miller’s take on the Indy 500. Good insight, worth a read.
Jalopnik made this handy infographic to show you the difference between F1 and IndyCar
I should print these out and keep them in my back pocket, because I’m not sure how many times my discussions of Formula 1 have immediately turned into “Ain’t that the one Danica used to do?”
Things You Should Watch
SVG Shifts With His Wrist
Porsche Recaps Their Nurburgring Heartbreak
Racer’s Robin Miller Talks To Indy500 Winning Alex Rossi and Team Owner Bryan Herta
Mazda 787 Runs Up Goodwood Hill
Jenson Button Drives Senna’s Monaco-Winning McLaren Up Goodwood
Cool Race Cars For Sale
1. 1979 Ford Econoline Jet Drag Van “The Vets Jet”
For the complete listing with more photos, click here.
1979 Ford Econoline Jet Van. Selling not only a vehicle, but also a business. I’VE ADDED A MILITARY JET ENGINE START CART TO THIS AUCTION (SEE DESCRIPTION BELOW). FOR VIDEOS GO TO YOUTUBE, TYPE IN WRIGHT ATTITUDES JET (LONG VIDEO (14+40) GO TO 2+50 FOR JET VAN). ADDITIONAL PICTURES ADDED AS WELL, CHECK THEM OUT! The Jet Van body (shell) is of the original design but chopped and channeled, the current interior was professionally built from the ground up (chromoly tubing). Truly a unique form of transportation! It is powered by a 1950’s vintage Westinghouse J-34 eleven stage axial flow turbojet engine that generates 3500 lbs. thrust, with the afterburner generates over 6500 lbs. (approximate)! Maximum speed is governed by the limitations of the tires (300 mph). In addition, new brakes (Wilwood), parachutes, rims (with spares), onboard operating and hydraulic pump batteries, aviation antenna, some turbine oil (per Mil spec), smoke oil tank and pump, and a large list of items to operate this vehicle (see list below). Comes with aviation radio and helmet and the jet van is wired so you can talk and listen to the outside (air boss for air shows). Really puts on a fire, noise and smoke show! Can be used to “burn” a vehicle at other events. Auto dealerships can be tapped into as local sponsors. Having a large side profile is perfect for obtaining sponsors. Earns ~$2,000 – $5,000 per weekend with all expenses paid! Think about it, you get out there and get hired for only 5 air shows a year and in just 2 years this vehicle is paid for. Owner may be able to deliver and is willing to train the new owner free of charge, minus expenses. Sold as is where is with absolutely no warranty expressed or implied of any kind.
The following comes with the sale:
DVD with videos
CD with the following paperwork:
Starting and Operating checklist
Illustrated parts breakdown
Day night pictures
Air show announcement sheet
Jet Van contract
New main Parachute and a brand new spare
Engine turbine oil
Turbine oil filler can,
Start cart (4) batteries and cables
Wood for wheels
Yellow air tank
(4) Float chargers
Start cart wire
Helmet wired for aviation radio
Spare day/night visors
(2) Large battery chargers
Old style safety fire suit
Large 2” nut breaker bar
Large channel locks
Funnels: fuel (red) and smoke oil (black)
White and black glossy paint
Spare dzus fasteners
Battery post cleaner
Needle nose pliers with wire cutter
Sockets: (1) 3/4″, (1) 1/2″
Screwdrivers: large/small flat, parachute, Philips
Wrenches: (1) 3/4”, (2) 9/16” & 1/2”, (1) 7/16”
3/16” Allen wrench
Pressure gauge (small psi)
Two spare battery switches
(4) DPDT momentary switches
Hot streak filters
Short hold down strap
Jet Van fuel tank adapter
Radio, antenna, spare battery, and manual
Driver’s fire suit, booties, gloves (2 pairs), neck support, head cap, arm restraints.
Comes with a customized heavy duty complete vehicle cover. We moved and I’ve misplaced it (not all boxes emptied). If I find it I will ship it to you no cost.
Tierney Gas Turbine Engine Driven Aviation Generator, Model MEP-362A, 10-400kw, 28VDC, 357 Amps, odometer reading 72.5 hours, trailer mounted, stored indoors, comes with: Operator’s and Unit Maintenance Manuals, correct turbine oil cans, oil filter and fuel filters. Only 72 hours! Oil and filters recently changed (see pictures).
2. 1957 Chevy Corvette Vintage Race Car
For the complete listing with more photos, click here.
First time offered This car is hard to describe. It is amazing, beautiful and competitive,. Will consider a street car Corvette or as partial.
These C1 Race Cars with history are selling in excess of $125,000.Everything is new or rebuilt. Race car since 1985 and raced at Sebring, Mossport, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Pocono, VIR, New Jersey Motorsports and Summit PointEngine 311CID 4 bolt main, solid lifter engine, 450hp, single Holley carb, 13.5/1 Compression, Custom Headers. Also an extra engine for rebuild dated 1957 283.T rex close ratio 4 speed,373 posi rear. Mid year 4 wheel 4 wheel disc brakes.Suspension completely new, handles fantastic. Flaming River Rack and Pinion Steering.New fuel cell and fire system. Has been featured in many magazines.Log books from SVRA and Southeastern Vintage Racing Association. Stunning, Stunning, Stunning. Have all records and receipts. Best of everything. Watch the video below:Will Ship Worldwide.Andy 215-514-5812
World RallyCross Would like you to know that Mattias Ekstrom took his third victory in a row by winning the World RX of Great Britain. The release doesn’t say where the race was held, but I think it was Lydden Hill?
Pirelli World Challenge would like you to know that Andrew Palmer and Jorge De La Torre are alive and recovering following a huge shunt at Lime Rock Park. Palmer sustained head injuries and remained under hospital care overnight. De La Torre sustained “various injuries, including a number of fractures and bruising to the torso”, and also stayed in the hospital overnight.
Silverstone Park would like you to know that they have opened a ‘Technology Cluster”. They apparently have nothing more to add.