Weekend round up – 29th April 2012 #IndyCar #DTM #NASCAR

On quite a good weekend for fans of tin top motor racing we saw the #BTCC boys in action at Thruxton and the #WTCC in Slovakia, plus the new look #DTM getting under way at Hockenheim as well as the usual #NASCAR fare from Ricmond. #IndyCar and #F2 also provided action for the single seater fans, so here we go with this week’s round up: Continue reading

Weekend round up – 22nd April 2012 #NASCAR #IndyCar #F1

A slightly diffrent look to the blogs from this week as we cover the NASCAR Sprint Cup from Kansas and give IndyCar an honourable mention as we approach the month of May and the magic of Indy, but a certain other single seater series has earned our wrath. Continue reading

Weekend round up – 16th April 2012 #F1 #NASCAR # IndyCar

#F1 from China saw Lewis needing a gearbox change and taking a 5 place penalty. Seb was experimenting with an older, and supposedly less effective, exhaust arrangement and Lotus had their protest of the Mercedes DRS activated duct system rejected. Phew! And that was before we got to race.

Once the lights changed the Mercedes duo ran off ahead of Button until their first stops when MSC was released with his right front wheel not done up and he quickly pulled off and parked. Things then got a bit processional until later in the race when a slow stop for JB pitched him out into the midst of a bunch of cars fighting amongst themselves for what would become 2nd through about 8th. In the end Button and Hamilton nailed the 2nd and 3rd spots ahead of the Red Bull duo with Webbo winning that inter team battle despite having almost flipped his car after a wild ride over the kerb. Grosjean finally managed to get to the end of a GP and was a fine 6th ahead of the Williams pair. Lewis leads the title race a couple of points up on JB and Alonso slipped back having only managed to make 9th at the flag.

#NASCAR Down in Fort Worth the MWR Toyotas continued to perform well with Martin Truex taking pole and then finishing sixth with team mate Mark Martin finishing third for another solid pair of top tens. Greg Biffle snaffled the win from Jimmy Johnson with a great late run in a race that saw few caution periods (good to see). All four Hendrick cars finished in the top 10, but Biffle’s win postponed the 200th win celebrations for another week at least. Biffle now leads the standings by 19 points.

#IndyCar from Long Beach saw all of the Chevy runners take a grid penalty for a precautionary engine change after the Sonoma tests so Dario was the beneficiary ending up starting from pole. But it was Will Power, who had had to start 12th instead of from the front row after taking his 10  place penalty, who came through to win from a hard charging Simon Pagenaud. Takuma Sato had looked like getting third until being turned around on the last lap and dropping to 8th, one place ahead of fellow F1 refugee Rubens.

#F1 should not go to Bahrain

The debate over Bahrain rumbles on, but I still believe that it should be cancelled. Arguments over whether or not the team personnel will be safe or not are, for me, spurious. The real issue is around the people.

Sure we should try to keep politics out of sport, but here we are allowing sport into politics as the F1 circus helps to prop up a regime that is not being too nice to its people. I am sure that there will be no risk of riots or disruption as any such activity will be brutally suppressed, so of course the teams will be safe there.

As I said here the other week, if the race does go ahead we will ignore it completely. It may not be much of a protest, but it is all I have to offer. Short of a bunch of chaps barging in and holding my eyes open in front of the TV I don’t see what they can do about it. Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past them; I think I might just go out for the day.

#NASCAR so how about MWR then?

We’re used to seeing the usual battle fleets running in the top ten; Rousch, Hendrick, Childress and it was no real surprise to see Stewart Haas join them, but have you noticed the new kids on the block?

All of a sudden we are starting to see a trio of MWR Toyotas sat in the top 10, so how will they fare this weekend in Texas? I’m pretty sure they will do well again. Sunday will tell.

44 years ago today Jim Clark died at Hockenheim

I was sat quietly pondering about the lack of international motor sport over the Easter weekend; no F1, NASCAR or IndyCar, and reminiscing about the glory days of the sort of events we could enjoy when I was a teenager, those races where several of the F1 stars of the day would turn out to drive a GT or saloon in one or more events on non GP weekends and we had plenty of non championship F1 races too.

We also had F2, and of course it was in one of those races that we lost Jim Clark, 44 years ago today. I’ve written at length about that day here in another blog post so I won’t go all over it again, but it underlined those words that used to appear in motor sport programmes and on the back of tickets: Motor Racing is Dangerous.

It is of course a lot safer today and I would not want to go back to the days of such high risk, even for those with the highest skills, but I must say that those days of my youth were times when there was more opportunity to watch racing here in the UK and also to get close to the top drivers.

Anyway, with the recent loss of Alan Mann, we have lost another key player in that April day 44 years ago, for had the cards fallen slightly differently, Jim Clark and Graham Hill might have been at Brands Hatch driving for Mann instead. As it happened they loaded up the Lotus 48s and went to the European Championship F2 race deep in the woods of southern Germany and Jim’s number was up.

That’s how things were back in those days. Motor racing was dangerous.

 

Weekend roundup – w/e 1st April 2012 #NACSAR #IndyCar #F1 #BTCC

#NASCAR at Martinsville. Good to see the modern cars at one of the sport’s spiritual homes. Kasey Kahne racked up pole for Hendrick, but went out with engine woes leaving the #24 and #48 to slug it out for what looked like a certain 200th win for Hendrick, but a late caution (when Rooti  stopped on the track) it all went wrong on the restart with Boywer’s #15 starting fast and getting a run down the inside into turn one and then the #15, #24 and #48 all spun leaving Ryan Newman and AJ to run out the last couple of laps pretty much side by side and finishing in that order. Junior got 3rd and a consolation for Hendrick.

#IndyCar from Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama with an odd looking top six shootout for pole after problems for some of the usual suspects, but round one winner Helio Castroneves picked up the pole for Penske this time out, but could only translate that into third whilst retaining the championship lead. Will Power lost last time out due to a poor strategy when starting from pole, but this time started well down the grid and won with a perfect fuel and tyre strategy. Dixon slotted in between the Penske pair for second. Rubens got into the top 10 on his second outing and looks like he might be getting the hang of things.

#F1 and it is good to see that we might be getting the French grand prix back onto the calendar. Ricard is a decent enough circuit too even if it is a bit isolated, but with a good date the weather should be cracking down South: It would be good to have it back in July so that it is adjacent to the British GP again. Our fingers will be crossed for a successful negotiation.

#BTCC got under way at Brands Hatch this weekend with Rob Collard (BMW), Matt Neal (Honda) and Jason Plato (MG) picking up the wins. Close and colourful action for the faithful on a bright day at the Kentich circuit. Almost wish we had gone…

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