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Weekend round up 30 August 2010 #F1 #Indycar #NASCAR

F1 Belgian GP. So Spa throws up another wild card race. Shame that the Mineral Water Kid took out JB, but there you go. Cobbler Snr went well in the Mercedes and good to see him smiling at the end, even after losing out to his team mate.

Indycars. Shame about Will Power’s fuel problems over in Chicago. That is a big hit in points terms, but he did well on an oval, so let’s see how the season pans out over the last three races. Well done also to Sarah Fisher for leading a few laps even if it was because of a different fuel strategy. Good to see her out front, the first woman to get an Indycar pole, and first to stand on the podium.

NASCAR. Nothing doing on the Sprint cup this weekend. It pains me a lot to mention the Animal (see earlier blogs for why), but he won the Nationwide event north of the border. JV only managed third; doesn’t bode well for an F1 comeback in 2011 does it?

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Weekend round up 23 August 2010 #NASCAR #DTM #BTCC #F1 #indycar

So Shrub (small Busch) got a couple at Bristol. Can’t stand the boke myself, but there you go. Good job Rootie for a fine second despite helath issues, and best wishes for a full recovery to Brian Vickers after his heart surgery. Hopefully you can come back next season and take up where you left off. The Double M had another bad night and is now just over 100 points out of the Chase; doesn’t look like he’s gonna make it. Shame. I’m looking forward to being over next month and seeing some racing on TV in my den plus all of the other round up shows.

Another strong UK day for the DTM boys and girls at Zandvoort. Well done GP and PdR for a great one two. Audi in trouble over team orders! Where would this championship be without them (I know they have ruled them out, but come on)?

Also on the team order front the outher double M has apparently said that Ferarri, Alonso and Massa should all lose their points from the German GP. Personally I think that this is nonsense. The most that should happen is that the result should be reversed, but I don’t care if they just tell them that they’ve been naughty and don’t do it again. There wouldn’t have been much of a fight if Alonso had had to make the pass unaided as he was so much quicker by that stage. The only possible other outcomes were that; a) they would have had eachother off, or b) that they would have slowed themselves down a bit and allowed Vettel to catch them. Ah! That must have been it; they wanted a German to win the German GP! Stupid of me not to have thought of that. Oh, yes. How do team orders not come into play when you want to take a part off one car and put it on the other one? Answers on a postcard please.

Fords rule at the Silverstone BTCC. I just can’t get excited about these hatchbacks pushing each other off. It’s not really racing to me somehow.

Will Power dominant in Sonoma. Looking good for the title Will; all ovals from now, so keep it going. Simona de Silvestro impressive again even if a couple of incidents left the final result looking less worthy.

Spa next week for the Belgian GP. One of the better tracks even if it’s a bit shorter than it used to be, and why oh why do they continue the stupidity of releasing an F1 pack of the start and into the slowest corner on the track? Why not move the start back round La Source and let them charge off down to Eau Rouge like in the old days? Anyway, it’s been a wet August so far so what are the chances of a wet race next Sunday? Should shake things up a bit.

Weekend round up 16 August 2010 #NASCAR #F1

Good to see that the worst kept secret on two wheels is now out in the open and good luck to Rossi with Ducati.

Over at Michigan the NASCAR race saw Kevin Harvick pull off a confident win, his third of the season. My favourite MM had a bad result and slipped back out of the chase. Not so good there.

Twenty five years since Manfred Winklehock died after crashing his Porsche 956 at Mosport, and Stephan Bellof was lost at the next race  at Spa in a similar car trying to do with Jacky Ickx what Siffert and Rodriguez had pulled off a few years before in Porsche 917s; side by side through Eau Rouge. Two great talents lost.

Staying with German drivers, best wishes to Hans Stuck for a quick recovery from surgery to remove blood clots.

News that Bahrain will revert to the old layout doesn’t impress me. Sorry guys, but let’s bring back a race that people will actually show up to watch.

Weekend roundup 8 August 2010 #NASCAR #Indycar #DTM

A good run for the Mercedes armada with a 1-2-3 in the #DTM and another good result for Bruno Spengler. A good shot for the title this year maybe? As an Ingolstadt fan I’m cheering for the wrong team here, but I’m more of a fan of the three pointed star drivers.

Over at Watkins Glen #NASCAR some good news for a few of my favourites. JPM got a good win, Marcus Ambrose I would also have been happy to see win, but third isn’t too bad, and the double M moved into 12th in the standings. He’s has a quiet year in 2010 compared to last, but I’d like to see him make the chase. So three good blokes there, but what is it with mad, bad Boris? The guy has talent, so why does he drive like an animal? The first time I saw him was in a truck race at Sonoma (when it still was) back in the second truck season (or was it the first? Whatever). He had a braging match, lost out then waited at the side of the track for the pack to come round and T-boned his adversary off the track. Lunacy. Why they didn’t park him for a long spell then I could never work out, but there you go. Well done Smoke for putting into the wall. Driving standards do generally seem to be falling as I’ve said in earlier blogs, especially with re-starts. These guys get paid a fortune; can’t they actually manage to drive a few laps without hitting each other?

Across to Mid Ohio for the #Indycars. Seven poles so far this year for Will Power, and a good second in the race, putting Dario under pressure, but thinking about the championship lead and not doing anything stupid. A good run for Simona de Silvestro too.

Sid Collins eulogy for Eddie Sachs – 1964 Indianapolis 500

The words of Sid Collins, track radio announcer at Indianapolis, spoken live on air following the death of Eddie Sachs, the Clown Prince of Auto Racing, on the second lap of the Indy 500, 30 May 1964, have rightly gone down in legend, and a transcript appears below.

For those unaware of the circumstances, the ’64 Indy 500 saw the battle really joined between the traditional roadsters and the rear engine cars. Lotus and Jim Clark were back, and several of the cars were rear engine, including those of rookie Dave MacDonald and veteran Eddie Sachs.

MacDonald was fast establishing himself in the sports car field with the Shelby team and came to Indy on the back of a couple of good wins with the King Cobra. His Mickey Thompson built All State Special featured smaller wheels and full width bodywork, but was apparently somewhat evil in the handling department, especially on full tanks. With around 100 gallons of gasoline on board MacDonald made around 5 places on the first lap, but lost control in turn 4 on the second lap. The car speared off towards the infield, hit the wall and the left side tanks burst and exploded. The car rebounded up and across the track into the outside wall.

Eddie Sachs followed conventional wisdom and aimed for the spot where the gap ought to have been, but, blinded by the wall of smoke and flame slammed into the right side of MacDonald’s car causing a second major explosion. His injuries probably killed him outright, but would certainly have rendered him unconscious and he would have quickly suffocated as the inferno consumed the oxygen around him. MacDonald was pulled from the wreckage alive, but the burns to his body and lungs saw him die shortly afterwards.

As the cleanup was completed to allow a restart, the public address announced that MacDonald and Sachs had perished. These were Collins words, as broadcast over the radio to the listening public:

“You heard the announcement from the public address system. There’s not a sound. Men are taking off their hats. People are weeping. There are over 300,000 fans here not moving. Disbelieving.

Some men try to conquer life in a number of ways. These days of our outer space attempts some men try to conquer the universe. Race drivers are courageous men who try to conquer life and death and they calculate their risks. And with talking with them over the years I think we know their inner thoughts in regards to racing. They take it as part of living.

A race driver who leaves this earth mentally when he straps himself into the cockpit to try what for him is the biggest conquest he can make (are) aware of the odds and Eddie Sachs played the odds. He was serious and frivolous. He was fun. He was a wonderful gentleman. He took much needling and he gave much needling. Just as the astronauts do perhaps.

These boys on the race track ask no quarter and they give none. If they succeed they’re a hero and if they fail, they tried. And it was Eddie’s desire and will to try with everything he had, which he always did. So the only healthy way perhaps we can approach the tragedy of the loss of a friend like Eddie Sachs is to know that he would have wanted us to face it as he did. As as it has happened, not as we wish it would have happened. It is God’s will I’m sure and we must accept that.

We are all speeding toward death at the rate of 60 minutes every hour, the only difference is we don’t know how to speed faster and Eddie Sachs did. So since death has a thousand or more doors, Eddie Sachs exits this earth in a race car. Knowing Eddie I assume that’s the way he would have wanted it. Byron said “who the God’s love die young.”

Eddie was 37. To his widow Nancy we extend our extreme sympathy and regret. And to his two children. This boy won the pole here in 1961 and 1962. He was a proud race driver. Well, as we do at Indianapolis and in racing, as the World Champion Jimmy Clark I’m sure would agree as he’s raced all over the world, the race continues. Unfortunately today without Eddie Sachs. And we’ll be restarting it in just a few moments.”

This is one of the truly great pieces of broadcasting from a time when use of words and language still meant something.

Recommended reading:

The Clown Prince of Racing: The Life and Times of the World’s Greatest Race Driver….Eddie Sachs

Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 100 Years of Racing

Buy a copy of the broadcast here

Welcome – Motorsportmania’s first musings

The series of posts on motor sport, and other driving related activity, that I used to post here on WordPress in the John’s Jottings blog will now appear here instead so, to get things going, what am I thinking about right now?

Well, first off, congratulations to the ‘Dinger on a new RPM contract over in NASCAR. He’s not been doing an bad job in the #43 car and might just have the makings of a winner in stock cars.

Indy cars are at Mid Ohio this weekend. A nice road course and worthy of a decent race, so hopefully they’ll get one. I’m enjoying seeing Will Power have a good season. I recall him blasting out of Aussie Formula Ford and blowing off all the F3 regulars down under a few years back. Shame he didn’t get the breaks here in the UK, but the bloke has talent by the bucket load and that is showing through this season.

That’s it for a first post. See you all soon.

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