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weekend roundup – 12 June 2011

#lemans – Good action at The Sarthe with Audi holding off Peugeot by not very much after what was almost a 24 hour grand prix. Nice to know that Mac and Rocky are OK after two massive shunts. Pleanty of hard luck stories as always, but a classic race with the result uncertain right up until the flag dropped.

In my opinion Anthony Davidson wasn’t blocking the lead Audi late in the race. He was leaving the door wide open at the chicanes and gave the Audi every chance to get by, he just didn’t back off and let him through. All pretty fair in my book.

#indycar – our favourite Will Power finally got an oval win in the second of the twin races in Texas, so that’s a monkey off his back. Even if he was favoured by the lottery for grid positions, it’s his name on the record book and he can maybe win a few more now that first one is behind him. WP is now 21 points clear at the top of the table having extended his lead by 5 after the Texas Twins. As to the method of drawing the grid for the second race by lots, it may be good for the spectacle, but it is no way to operate a professional race at this sort of level.

#f1 – The Canadian GP gave usa fantastic race with Jensen Button coming from last to first despite six trips to the pit lane. Another gritty drive from Webbo saw him salvage third after a hard day at the office and Schumi doing well coming in fourth right up Webbo’s exhaust pipes.

We also got another edition of Lewis in the Wars. He just seems to be in a place where he just can’t do right at the moment. but he can turn that round.

#nascar – meanwhile over in the Poconos on that unique flat tri-oval the return to shifting gears brought transmission problems to some. Jeff Gordon beat off the Ugly Brothers to tie third on the all time winner’s list with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip on 84 visits to Victory Lane. A good run for JPM saw him lead a fair bit before losing third gear and fading to seventh. Not a good day for championship front runner Edwards with a dud engine dropping him right down the order.

where is Bernie’s influence when I need it? #f1 #canadiangp

OK, so the diminutive one can fix it so that F1 makes a significant contribution to global warming by running the Far East races under the lights at night, wasting thousands of candlepower so that the race is delayed until midday in Europe. So instead of wasting everyone’s time trying to rescue the Bahrain GP that almost no-one wants, why isn’t he getting the Canadians out of bed and running qualifying at 0800 their time so that the rest of it can watch it at 1300 (UK time) as well?

Now I don’t want to see F1 at night. NASCAR yes, but F1 should be run in the day time, and if that means that I have to get up at 0500 to watch on TV then so what? There is a natural order to these things that should not be messed with, and that is why I will not watch a grand prix run at night.

So no, I don’t really want the Canadians running their race first thing in the morning, but I don’t want Bernie mucking about with the timings in the East either. If we must have a standard timetable, then let’s keep it standard.

Bahrain GP 2011 off again

So it took the teams to put the lid on the re-instatement of the Bahrain Grand Prix 2011. This has been a sorry mess and has done F1, and motorpsort in general, little credit.

Fines and suspensions are amongst the penalties that the FIA can impose on teams, drivers and team employees for brining the sport into disrepute; a shame that the sport cannot sanction the FIA similarly. Maybe, though, this might be another wedge in the crack that might see a breakaway series established.

Sir Stirling retires

Best wishes to Sir Stirling Moss on his retirement. Candid as ever in admitting that fear came into the equation.

Thankfully we still have him amongst us, always forthright and entertaining. A good bloke.

Good to know Mr 500 is still going strong at 88

There’s a link below to a NASCAR item on Andy Granatelli, legend of the Indy 500, STP Oil Treatment, Studebaker, Paxton Products, Grancor and more. The man is a fantastic character and it’s great to hear that he is still with us and as irrepressible as ever.

Stories about him are legion (and he maybe wrote most of them), but as a salesman, promoter, innovator and all round showman the world of  motor sport would have been a lot less fun without him.

The feeling of excitement when I first saw the pictures of his 1967 STP Paxton Turbocar is with me still. It was an awesome device, and, like the innovations from Midland, Texas in Can-Am, you somehow knew that a ban would come. It did, but not before further efforts to castrate the beast had yielded the 1968 Lotus 56 STP Turbocars that also almost pulled off the win. A great shame that both of these cars never made winner’s circle, and somewhat ironic that the 1969 STP Lotus entries were pulled so that Mario Andretti had to start in his back up car, and won!

The Italian connection of Andretti and Granatelli had some rotten luck at Indy, and their one win between them is that 1969 race in the second string car. Never mind, they tried. Boy did they try. Happy memories.

Read the article here.

Bahrain GP back on? Just how stupid can you get? #bahraingp

I am staggered by the decision to put Bahrain back into the calendar for 2011, and to announce the decision on a day when certain civil rights events were taking place is the height of insensitivity, let alone stupidity.

Other than lining the pockets of a tiny minority what possible benefit can come from this decision? What if some teams or drivers refuse to take part? What if the event leads to protests that are brutally put down?

This decision deserves the widest condemnation and brings nothing but shame on those that made it.

well done Lewis Hamilton

Tweeting may be a strange way of apologising for old fogies like me who like to do these things face to face, but Lewis Hamilton is a modern man and you can’t get more public in your apology than Tweeting it, so well done that man. We all make mistakes and can do and say things that we are not proud of, but to stand up and say sorry is the right thing to do.

As he said in one of the Tweets, onwards and upwards. Let’s hope the cards fall better for him in Canada.

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