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Weekend round up – 25th September 2011 #F1 #NASCAR

#F1 Fairly inevitable winner, but perhaps JB’s second place wasn’t on the cards after practice. Lewis was really very unlucky with the Massa contact and the drive through was possibly underserved. MSC was equally unlucky we think with the contact that took him out of the race. Back markers were a problem and there are a few guys out there who show their inexperience, but the stewards decision is final and that is that.

The Singapore organisers are apparently considering whether or not to continue the event. Here at MSM we would not be sorry to see it go. Leaving aside DJ’s opposition to the night race, it is not a great circuit and we would rather see the race at a decent venue.

#NASCAR was back in New Hampshire where Ryan Newman followed up his team owner’s win last week with pole, but in another fuel mileage decided race it was Smoke in the #14 who pulled off a second straight win and takes a 7 point lead into the Monster Mile.

Singapore GP. How do you boycott something twice?

Readers of recent posts will know that I stopped watching the BBC coverage of F1 as a personal protest about Bernie flogging the rights to Sky. I’ll not dwell on all that now though, you can dig through the #skypaynoway archive if you’re that bothered.

But those who have followed this blog and its predecessor will be aware that I also have a personal boycott of the #SingaporeGP since the diminutive one ordered it to be held in the evening to suit European TV schedules. If I can get up early to watch so can anyone else, and I am still not prepared to overlook the gross waste of electricity and its consequent environmental impact.

Unlike the grammatical double negative one boycott doesn’t cancel the other, but I can’t not watch it twice. Maybe I should both turn off and unplug the TV? Or should I also boycott the Twitter coverage that I’ve been using since stopping watching the BBC?

Good luck to the teams, drivers, officials and locals who turn out to watch and I hope that you have a safe and interesting race. My protest is probably a futile one, but if you can’t stand up for what you believe in it’s a sad world.

My pal Toggle will compile the round-up as far as the GP is concerned. I’ll save myself for the NASCAR.

Weekend round up – 18th September Part 2 #NASCAR

Well they finally got a dry window in Chicago and ran the race. Smoke came seemingly from nowhere to win it, his firat of the season and what a time to nail one. The Kid (can we still call him that these days?) and Ugly Brother Jnr had troubles and finished down in the 20 somethings as a lot ran out of gas, or had to dive in for a splash & dash. Harvick got second and Hamlin threw a wobbly (allegedly) after coming in 30th. Junior got third, JJ 10th.

Harvick leads Stewart and Edwards after #thechase round 1

Weekend round up – 18th September 2011 #NASCAR #IndyCar #F1 #DTM #BTCC

Starting with #F1, we wrote here in the week about the Indian GP and how good it would be to have Karun Chandhok back in F1, but we’ve since had confirmation that Narain Karthikeyan will also be in the field. The fans there are in for a bit of a treat anyway, but having two local heroes to cheer on should make it a bit special even if they won’t be up the front end of the grid.

#NASCAR. Some dark mutterings from Richmond about whether or not Paul Menard deliberately brought our a yellow to help team mate Harvick who subsequently won. Maybe they should have nipped over to the trucks and asked Nelson? There have been instances of dodgy cautions for years; people chucking padding out of the window for a “debris on the track” caution etc. Who knows for sure what happened when they went to channel 2?In any case, NASCAR have brought out enough phantom cautions over the years haven’t they, especially when some poor sap is way out in front and going away with 50 laps to go?

Meanwhile over at Chicago rain stopped play yet again and they will try to run the race today despite a 30% chance of rain. Was it a dumb decision to move the race to this time of year? Certainly it does seem to have been a bad year for postponed races and how can that be good for the fans or the TV schedules, let alone the teams?

Given our views here about The Chase being a waste of a good season’s racing maybe they should have given them all cycles and done 50 laps in the rain? Something for the fans to cheer maybe, and our money would have been on Mark Martin; still the fittest man in NASCAR?

We’ll give the results a mention here when they come through, meanwhile some of us have work to do!

#DTM. In a very wet Oschersleben the DTM teams were out on tracks and Miguel Molina picked up a surprise pole in his #Audi despite not having scored a point yet this season. In the race Mattias Ekstrom powerboated through the rain to win, Miguel fell off at the first corner and ended up 8th. Points leader Martin Tomczyk came back from a fraught race to second while main challenger Bruno Spengler retired with steering problems. Two rounds to go to decide the title.

#IndyCar. The circus travelled to Motegi in Japan where Scott Dixon won from Will Power despite a late caution for a Hunter-Ray spin out. Dario recovered into the top ten from having been sent to the back for rough driving (now what was it Will said about him the other week?). So WP wins the 2011 Mario Andretti Trophy for road course performances and re-takes the series lead by 11 points with 2 rounds to go here as well.

#BTCC or should we say WWF? Come on Messers Neal & Plato, we don’t need all this stupidity. Be fierce track rivals yes, but let’s leave the unsavoury stuff out. It sets a bad example and we don’t need it.

In between the Sunday showers here the Brits showed that you can race in the wet on the banking as Plato, Sheddon and Nash took the wins at the combined Rockingham oval & road course circuit, Nash’s win being his first in the series.

Inaugural Indian Grand Prix 2011

We were astonished to read in the row about import tax for the F1 teams that the Indian Government do not regard their inaugural F1 event as having “National Importance”.

Now we understand that this has been said in the context of whether or not to grant a temporary tax expemption certificate for the Grand Prix as a sporting event, and therefore that the remark could be being viewed out of context, but it seems strange that they see things that way.

The motoring market in India is exploding and the country has had two grand prix drivers in recent years, both of whom had the talent to be on the grand prix grid even if both have been outed by others with bigger wallets perhaps. One of them will be on the grid when the circus rolls into the country later this year. They also have their own F1 team, and one that isn’t doing too badly either.

And there seems to be a genuine exitement amongst the fans in the country, unlike other recent additions to the GP calendar where the TV cameras reveal acres of vacant viewing areas we believe that there will be a good crown at New Dehli this October.

Here at MotorsportMania we wish the Indian nation well for their inaugural GP. We think that it has national importance and hope that they have a great race. All power to them.

And good luck to Karun Chandhok in his Lotus.

Is the Italian GP at Monza the spiritual home of F1 now?

As DJ is holding his BBC boycott protest it falls to me to report on what may have come over as an error by the BBC commentary team last weekend when they said that the old banked Monza circuit was last used in 1961 and maybe gave the impression that it was always used up until that point and never since.

The banked track at Monza still exists and you see the North banking clearly as the cars come down from Lesmo 2 and the cars come under the bridge. When the banking was used the cars would start, as now, from the left side of the pit straight, do a conventional lap of the road course, but on the exit of the Parabolica would keep right past the pits and on to the North banking, off that and down the straight to the South banking and then emerge from that onto the left side of the pit straight to start the next lap.

This combined course was ready in time for the Italian GP in 1955, and was used again for F1 in only three more years; 1956, 1960 and 1961, but was also used for the 1000kms Monza sports/GT world championship race through until 1969, reverting to the road course only from the 1970 race.

The banking was threatened with demolition a few years back, but a concerted campaign saw that off for the time being. It can’t last forever without some work, and therefore money, being invested, but it would be good to think that it will be around for a while as a reminder of a different era in motor sport.

Monza is one of the great tracks and about the only one that is around from the start of the F1 world championship that the guys who raced then would still recognise. Silverstone is a very different track now, Spa is so much shorter, and the others are long gone from the scene. France may have held the first GP, but that has been off the calendar for a while now. The UK may be home to more teams than anywhere else, but Italy, through Monza, has that F1 world championship continuity and, with such passionate fans, has a good claim to be the spiritual home of F1, and why not?


weekend round up – 11th September 2011 #NASCAR #F1

#NASCAR So the chase is set with Harvick taking the win at Richmond. Most of our favorites missed the cut, and our opinion of the chase as a waste of time has been made clear here before. Wer’re hoping Mark Martin or JPM can win one from here on in, maybe see The Dinger win his first and to not see either of the Ugly Brothers in victory lane! Roll on next week.

#F1 A shame that the McLarens got stuck behind others at the start as either of them could have won it. We can recall Lewis saying in his debut year that he would have liked to have gone up against MSC, well he got that wish on Sunday didn’t he? Maybe if he hadn’t had such a rough ride with the stewards this season we might have had a real wheel banging session, but Lewis just didn’t seem to really want it and, having lost time with one half hearted effort, he had to watch JB sail by and nail Schumi first go. Such is life. Great track, great crowd. Why are you messing around with these slot car track venues Bernie? Oh yes, they pay lots of money. A shame; it used to be a sport.

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