weekend round up – 28th August 2011 #F1 #Indycar #NASCAR #MartinHines

#BelgianGP – starting with pre race, let’s say that we accept the Renault logic for dropping Nick Heidfeld, so we were wrong to criticise last week. Also to say that we think Nick is bonkers going to court to try and get his drive back. They don’t want you man, walk away.

Qualifying. Sad at the cock up that kept JB from a decent start position. He was on for a top 4 at least and, as things played out, where might he have finished. As for Lewis and Pastor! Start at the beginning; Lewis was catching the two Williams cars on the run up to bus stop and they were in turn behind Massa. In the heat of that how was Pastor to know that he was about to get shoved rudely aside as Lewis just barged him out of the way? He did appear to try and give Lewis room once he found the McLaren bouncing off him but Lewis’ momentum saw the McLaren hit the Williams again on the exit of the corner.

OK, the time Lewis lost there might just have been enough to have cost him pole and he was pumped up, but he didn’t need to swerve at Pastor as the latter came alongside him out of La Source. Pastor must also have been pumped. He too had been on a hot one and looked to be catching Rubens around the lap. If the blue flags were being waved at the bus stop who were they for as far as Pastor was concerned? He was blocked up behind Massa and his team mate, so it could have been for any of them, and then all of a sudden he has a McLaren punting him wide and costing him time.

What Pastor did after Lewis swerved at him out of La Source was unacceptable at any level and I would have thought that a one race ban might have been more appropriate, but Lewis does need to watch his temper. He has an aggression level that crosses boundaries still. That said, he redeemed himself later…

As for the race, why do they insist on starting with a short run to the hairpin? Surely moving the start back round the other side would reduce the annual crash fest? Anyway, we got cars bouncing all around and one that got clobbered was a certain mid grid starting McLaren and he was to run just a few laps before stopping for a new wing and to dump the harder tyres. We then got a classic charge through to third but, as we said at the top, what might that have been had they not had to change the front wing and how much time did the damaged rear one cost? Surely now we can lay the reputation for JB not being a racer?

And Lewis? Someone referred to Kobakrashi as being a bit of a Kamikaze pilot. Sorry, but he failed that course; Kamikaze pilots don’t come back, but Kamui seems to almost always be around at the finish and in the points. The bloke is an amazing survivor. I’d agree that Lewis was more to blame for the contact with Kamui, but what was the latter doing where he was? He really couldn’t have expected to gain any advantage from having his nose up the outside of the McLaren at that point. A great shame that the incident put Lewis out and he was very lucky that he didn’t get hurt.

Man of the Race? Well MSC gets a mention for a great drive through to 5th, team mate Nico also worth a mention for passing Vettel for the lead early on and heading the race twice with confidence. JB demonstrated overtaking ability par excellence (including stiffing MSC), but our Man of the Race goes to Lewis. Why? Because he held his hand up and accepted his exit from the race was his own fault once he’d seen the replay. Well played Lewis.

Vettel’s win? He fluked it with the safety car call and I don’t think that he could have beaten Webbo or JB without that help, possibly not even Alonso. But you make your own luck sometimes.

#Indycar – Out in CA Will Power showed his mastery of courses that go both ways again with a commanding pole position and backed up the Penske 1-2-3 lock out in qualifying to lead them 1-2-3 at the flag in Sonoma. Dario picked up fourth, but his lead is now down to 26 points in the title race. Off the Baltimore next week for the Labor Day weekend clash.

#NASCAR – Well, the #2 certainly has some momentum coming up to the Chase. Could young Brad win the title this year? Hard to bet against in many ways, but will his inexperience tell?  Mot mush else to say other than good to see the RPM Fords finishing well up again. The #43 doesn’t look like it will make the chase, but consistently good results see the Dinger well up and the Digger in the #9 looks set for a solid top 20 finish in his first season at RPM.

#Karting – just an honourable mention for Mr Karting Martin Hines who left the grid over the weekend. His enthusiasm for Kart racing saw him help so many stars of grand prix racing over the years. And it wasn’t just the direct help that he gave to certain individuals, Kart racing would probably not have been such a well run and popular sport had it not been for Martin’s input over the last 40+ years. Without that first rung on the ladder, would so many people have got to learn their craft? RIP Martin Hines, we are going to miss you.

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What are Renault up to firing Nick Heidfeld?

OK, so the bearded one hasn’t set the world alight (even if his car has set itself on fire), but he has done a competant job driving the thing. He is an experienced development man and you would think that his experience could have been put to good use, although others have done that better and the Renault has been left behind after a promising start.

But duping him at this point doesn’t make sense. Grosjean has shown that he has what it takes after all and could have been brought back in later in the season, but Senna? What has he got other that a name that vaguely rings a bell?

Maybe this weekend will prove me wrong, but we’ll see. Meanwhile, fingers crossed for Robert Kubica and his recovery.

weekend round up – 21 August 2001 #NASCAR #F1

#NASCAR – So the younger Ugly Brother holds off the #48 in a green/white finish at MIS and locks himself into the chase (yawn). The #5 is the fastest car on a longer run, but still gets a top 5 out of the day and the #24 leads a bunch of laps to take The Kid past 22,000 laps led. Not a bad stat. Three more races to go before the Chase is on.

#F1 – the wait is nearly over and we’ll be at Spa next weekend. Hopefully they’ll all be able to remember how to drive after 4 weeks off. The silly season is begining to kick in with rumours and speculation as to who will go where. Assuming that Kubica is fit and returns to Renault, the key seems to be MSC and whether or not he will carry on. Musical chairs at the smaller teams is a fact of life as folks queue up to flash their wallets, but hopefully those with the real talent will still be in with a chance of a drive. Grossjean should win the GP2 title to show that he is still worthy of a shot in F1 for example.

weekend round up – 14th August 2011 – #NASCAR #IndyCar

#IndyCar – a bit of a cock up with the green flag in New Hampshire was fortunately without injury and the right thing was done by calling the result on the previous lap’s running order. Sometimes what you think is the right thing goes belly up on you. Well done to RHR on his win, and the title race closes up again as Dario went out early and the Toowwomba Kid got 5th in the mellee.

#NASCAR – Rain mucked up Sunday’s action at The Glen completely, and more good news for the Aussie contingent as Marcus Ambrose wins one for The King. Great to see him get the win that he has deserved for a while, and good also to see both Petty cars in the top ten with the Dinger backing up the Digger.

A shame that one of the idiot Busch boys had to punt the Dinger off, especially as he was running a lap down at the time and should have kept out of the way. Maybe he mistook the #43 for the #48? And talking of idiots, the animal Said was in the  middle of the nasty shunt for Rooti.

 

Oops

We’ve just noticed that the round up for last week isn’t here. Trouble is we can’t find it! Between us we both worked on it, so it must be somewhere, but on which computer? Not this one certainly.

Assuming that we do find it it will get posted, and we’ve started mapping out this wekend’s one.

Racing, or not, in the rain

Keeping an eye on the NASCAR as I sit here this evening, but rain in the Poconos has stopped the action and the weather prediction is that more rain will arrive just as the track is dry enough to go out again.

For those of in the world where motor racing originated, the though of stopping for rain is something of an anathema, but I do understand why they would not want to race in the rain on an oval. However, surely it is not beyond the skill set to run on flat tracks like Pocono and road circuits?

NASCAR stockers are hefty beasts, but it isn’t as though we haven’t had big and heavy cars racing in the wet before. It’s all about the skill of the drivers. OK, the NASCAR lot aren’t used to it and don’t get any practice (other than the likes of JPM and a few who have come through series where racing in the rain is normal), but surely we could let them have a go? They have in the Nationwide series after all.

 

Weekend round up 31 July 2011 – #F1 #NASCAR

#F1 What a great win for JB! A shame for Lewis, but JB did better in the conditions and had better feel for what grip there was. Second for Seb moved him further ahead in the title race; who can catch him now? And didn’t MSC lead part of a lap? We hope all of the personnel enjoy their well earned break.

#NASCAR Well done Paul Menard and the #27 Crew. There was a time when I thought that PM was someone with more wallet that talent, but he’s proved me wrong many times since and my respect for his abilities have grown as he has quietly got on with driving the car well. A win has been on the cards for a couple of years now, so it’s great to see him finally get one and where better to grab your first one than Indy?

So, wins for two good blokes. Not a bad weekend.

DJ has moaned all weekend about the F1 Sky/BBC deal with his #skypaynoway campaign, so I’ll not drag than one on myself.

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