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monaco grand prix round up 29 May 2011 #F1

Mayhem at the #monacograndprix with the decision to allow cars to be serviced during the red flag screwing up any chance of the natural outcome.

Some say that you make your own luck, and Vettel certainly fluked this one. Not that he isn’t fast, but McLaren had this one won until that call to bring Button in for athird change of tyres at just the wrong moment. Just when it looked as though he might have a chance of picking up the win late on the red flag blew his chance for good. Why F1 doesn’t run NASCAR parc ferme style procedures at these times is maybe down to safety, but they might just as well have flagged it short under the circumstances. I’m sure that my friends dow the road at Grove would have been happier as hamitlton would not have been able to stuff Pastor’s chances into the barrier. At times Lewis is a bit daft, and his lunge at Massa earlier was not what you expect of a driver with his talents. His penalties were deserved and his ill considered comments post race did him no credit.

Whilst the new tyre rules provide overtaking chances, it was Sutil’s marathon stint that built up the convoy that triggered the red flag incident just as the leaders were coming through.

So, for me, the race got spoiled. Vettel and his Red Bull is the quickest combo around, but a bit of guile, as well atalent and racecraft almost saw him beaten today, but circumstances handed him the win on a plate. Maybe he should get into the casino and put his winnings on the table, or maybe he’s used up today’s quota of luck?

indy 500 round up 2011

So Dan Wheldon picks up a second Indy win after JR slaps the wall at the final corner. Not really the result I would have expected, but differing strategies contrived an unusual looking results table.

After all the fun of pole and carburation days,with quick people bumped, old rivals teaming up to get one of the latter into the race (imagine that it F1), the race unfolded with what looked like a fairy tale finish for Panther, but, running on fumes, the car got away from JR within sight of the flag and Dan picked up his own fairy tale result for Bryan Herta’s team. Quite reminiscent of Jack Brabham at Monaco back in 1970 is many ways with a last corner call on where to take a back marker.

The magic of Indy, still strong 100 years on.

Good also to see Tony pick up a good fourth; the guy deserves to still be full time in the series. As for the championship trail, all of the top guys finished poorly, so back to regular action soon at Fort Worth where, probably, normal service will resume.

weekend round up – 16 May 2011 #NASCAR #DTM #Indy #NHRA

#NASCAR – Who else but Mark Martin could stay out on old tyres and hold off for around 35 laps of the Monster Mile all bar one of those who had stopped for two or four new ones? That was skill and experience at its best and a joy to watch. Another good run for the Digger to third and also a good top 5 for Brian Vickers as his comeback rolls on.

#DTM – Mike Rockenfeller wins Zandvoort for Audi as Bruno Spengler misses the pit call. I miss the GP from the Dutch Dunes. Not one of the great tracks maybe, but it was part of the F1 calendar that I grew up with.

#Indy – rain stopped play in Indiana as the 500 run up begins in earnest. Who will make up the field come Memorial Day? All the tension, excitement, relief and heartbreak coming up.

#NHRA – I don’t normally comment on events from the quarter mile, but whenever I am in the US I do like to watch the drama unfold. Drag racing has a format that fits well with TV and I am always impressed by the action. Watching the crews tear down and rebuild an engine after a run is pretty amazing as is the spectacle of the cars running after darkness falls. OK, in the top classes the race is over in less time that separates first and last on an F1 grid, but getting one of those beasts off the line and down the track takes some skill, and the terminal speeds leave F1 standing. Respect!

le mans 2011 coming up

Not long now until another running of the 24 hours du Mans. I can’t pretend to get too enthusiastic about the cars these days, and as for those two chicanes. well they are beyond contempt, but this is still one of the classic motor sporting events and long may it continue.

weekend round up – 8th May 2011 #NASCAR #F1

#NASCAR from Darlington. Regan Smith picks up a maiden win for himself and Barney Visser’s Furniture Row team and manages to translate a great qualifying performance this season (7 top ten starts out of 10 trys) into a win. The wonders of NASCAR make these things possible, and it’s great to se one of the smaller teams pull off a win, especially at one of NASCAR’s iconic venues. Also of note maybe was that the four manufacturers competing in Sprint cup were each represented in the top 4. Less noteworthy was that, yet again, he who shall not be named was involved in some pushing and shoving. We’ve suggested here before that parking him for a few races might wake him up; the #18 driver has the talent to win cleanly, so why all this stupidity almost every week?

#F1 from Turkey. We’re pleased here to see Mercedes challenging and, with Renault/Lotus, making it five teams in the hunt in qualifying at least, even if race pace varies hugely. But is there any doubt that the Red Bull, especially in the hands of Vettel, is the class of the field? Certainly in terms of raw pace he has them all covered.

Behind the flying #1 Red Bull plenty of uncertainty about the outcome with the differing strategies for a while though, but once you get down to the last 15 laps or so it’s all pretty much over. A decent track for a modern one and plenty of overtaking going on.

Who can stop Red Bull though, and Vettel in particular? Two in a row is not an easy feat, but who would back anyone other than Vettel for the title at this stage? Roll on Spain.

AJ Foyt to drive the 2011 Indy 500 Pace Car

So the Trumpster has pulled out of driving the pace car to focus on his Presidential campaign. Well, I suppose parking it in the wall might have damaged more than just the paintwork.

Seriously, the pace car job is not for amateurs, so this scribe is very pleased to see that 4 time 500 winner AJ Foyt will be handling the job. AJ, winner in 1961, ’64’ 67 and ’77, will drive the pace car on the 50th anniversary of his first win. My only thought is that it seems slightly ironic that a man so associated with the Blue Oval should be driving a Bow Tie pace car, but AJ was always pretty versatile and I have no doubt that he’ll work it out.

This blog celebrates two of AJ’s Indy500 wins in other posts if you’d like to check them out.

Virgin aims to ‘turn corner’ in Turkey

Well it would certainly help. Unless, of course, the Turkish event has been swapped for a drag race.

Good luck anyway boys, it’s good to have you on the grid.

Here’s the Autosport article on the John Booth interview that the headline refers to: Autosport.com

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