Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010: ROLEX

This very name brings meaning to many, from those that are wealthy elite who wear the iconic brand on their wrists all around the world, to those that are teams, drivers, and motorsports fans, officials, and enthusiasts. Today, we focus on the latter, as today is the start of the 2010 motorsports season in North America, with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona . This race will feature many drivers from many different disciplines of motorsport, and pro am drivers from all walks of life. This is the race that not only tests the physical and mechanical toughness of the machine, but also the physical and mental toughness for the drives who suffer from the limits of darkness, fatigue, weather, mechanical failure, and all other sorts of hurdles that can stop teams from winning the coveted Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona watch, leaving them dead in their tracks. In today's edition - this true international race of champions, there's 4 time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, 2008 & 2009 Indy Car Series Champions Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, 5 time Rolex 24 winner Hurley Haywood - in his last start of this great race, 2 Time Rolex 24 Winner Max Papis, and Multiple Rolex winner Scott Pruett all running in the Daytona Prototype class. In the GT class, there's former NASCAR Champion Bobby Labonte in the The Racer Group Porsche, Jordan Taylor - son of Rolex 24 Winner and 2010 participant Wayne Taylor, and television star Patrick Dempsey in his Mazda RX8. On top of that, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is making its famed return to motorsports in the U.S. Considering all these facts, it looks like it will be a very exciting race..only time will tell how the race unfolds, and I a for one am looking very forward to it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

F1: Is Bernie That Spiteful of North America?...

Ever since F1 dropped the Canadian Grand Prix earlier this month, that's been the multi million dollar question. Since the fiasco at the 2005 United States Grand Prix, F1 in North America has slowly dropped off in popularity and stature, eventually leading to its removal in 2007 from the Formula 1 World Championship. The Canadian GP is a bit of a different story, as bad promoting and unpaid claims between promoters and F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone, head of Formula One Management.

All this makes me wonder...Is Bernie that spiteful of N. America? he even went on saying "Formula one doesn't even need America", shortly after the Indianapolis demise. Some time after that, the FIA has expanded to other tracks around the world - China, Turkey, Bahrain, and most notably Singapore and Valencia, Spain. Basically ignoring the US & Canada entirely

I believe that the continent deserves a race somewhere, anywhere!, personally. Its a global sport, and to take out a major continent, deprives all of the fans of F1 of actually wanting to see a great series around the world. Also, the series is based on manufactures, there's no denying that. Mercedes (McLarren), Ferrari, BMW, & Toyota all have a major automotive market here in N. America, and with the recent dropping out of Montreal, I believe it has irritated the manufacturers just a little bit more, to say the least.

"It is a problem that must be dealt with seriously by Ecclestone. F1 is a global sport and we must be in North America,"
Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari Team President speaking on the issue, after Canada's demise

Recently, the mayor of Montreal, Gerald Trudeau, says its "still possible" to save the Canadian GP. I hope so, to be honest with you, and bring back the U.S. while you're at it, because we're not all huge fans of NASCAR, like many would believe. F1 is very different, as I know, watching a ferarri scream by me at 150 miles per hour and I was 5 feet away from the rumble strips. Don't deny the North American fans of something as exciting as that, Bernie.

Photo Credit: F1

Powerful Day In The Land of Oz

Aussie native, Will Power, has set the fastest practice time in the IRL Indy Car Series, Thursday - clearly becoming the favorite (along with fellow natives Ryan Briscoe, & Scott Dixon) for the Nikon Indy 300, an exhibition race at Surfer's Paradise, Australia, and the final race of the 2008 season. Despite setting the lap time of 1:34.8, he's still knows its not the fastest practice time that matters:

"It's still early and qualifying isn't until tomorrow.........That and Sunday are all that matter to me. I am glad we are quick, but we still need to improve the car a bit. This is a very competitive field and we will have to be faster (during qualifications)."

Helio Castroneves, who received clearance to leave the U.S., after being indicted earlier this month for federal tax charges, set the second fastest lap with a 1:36.1 on the 2.796 mile street circuit. Fresh out of his NASCAR ride, and back in the series that gave him a series championship in 2007 - Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing has set the 3rd fastest practice time, only being .10 seconds behind Castroneves.

Despite this race being an exhibition only event, this race is very well known in size and stature throughout Australia, sometimes being likened to Indy, and for this reason, I have started calling it the Oz version of the Indianapolis 500. In fact, a majority of the field that raced the 500 this year, have raced in years past at Surfers Paradise in the CART/Champ Car days of competition

"That will not make one inch of difference when it comes to race time. This is one race every serious Indy Car driver wants to compete in and win." - Dario Franchitti

The Nikon Indy 300 starts this coming Saturday, at 10:30pm, Eastern Time

Photo Credit: Indy Racing League

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Formula One: Alonso to BMW Sauber?

Its a possibility. Rumors were confirmed to the Spanish media that BMW Sauber and 2 time Formula 1 World Champion, Fernando Alonso of Renault have talked about the chance of having a ride with BMW for 2009. This year has been a bit of a disappointment, since he has suffered from 3 DNF's, and no podiums or wins, but nothing probably compared to the nightmare of his time spent in the McLarren stable (a.k.a. "Mclarri" for how silly that season went down) When asked about future commitments in formula one, he said he will not announce anything after the Singapore GP. So in other words, we'll have to wait & see. oh, and a bit of a tip to know? He's been highly praised by Honda Team Engineer Ross Brawn as a driver. Who's the last driver Brawn Praised? Miachel Schumacher, when he and Braun himself worked for Benneton & Ferrari, earning 7 world championships.

Monday, September 15, 2008

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: The Chase Is On!

The Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway marked the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series's Chase for the Cup. current points leader, Kyle Busch - despite having a great season, has not had a great start to the chase due to an Ill handling car, and a accident which sent him straight to the back of the field, finishing 36th.

Greg Biffle, however cant complain - considering he won the race and the "darkhorse" of the chasers as he's been called, is off to a great start. the next round of the chase is scheduled to be head at the Dover International Speedway next Sunday

Photos Courtesy: Speed Channel / NASCAR

Sebastien Who?...

No, it's not Sebastien Bourdais, but his teammate - Sebastien Vettel, of Team Torro Rosso, won Sunday's Italian Grand Prix - the last European stop on the Formula One World Championship calendar before heading off to Singapore for their inaugural & historic night race.

Vettel, therefore became the youngest winner ever in formula one, at 21 years - the previous record holder being Renault's Fernando Alonso (22 years). He lead entirely outright from pole position, earning the top spot in bad weather conditions during Saturday's qualifying session, and has never relinquished the lead from the start, leaving second place Heikki Kovalainen's Mercedes McLarren 12 seconds back. His teammate Sebastien Bourdais, almost claimed a podium, but was passed near the end by BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeild.

Points leader & Kovalaninen's teammate, Lewis Hamilton, continues to struggle going into Singapore, as his lead has been reduced to a single point. Its obvious that the penalty he received at the last round in Belgium took a huge chunk of his lead away.

Photo Courtesy: Speed Channel / Formula One Management

Newly Crowned Indy Car Champion Dixon Looking Forward To Surfers Paradise

As the Indy Car Series nearly draws to a close, it has so far been an amazing season, from Danica Patrick's first win (finally!) , to the long awaited unification between IRL & Champ Car, to the closest finish in series a few weeks ago at Chicagoland Speedway.

Scott Dixon, of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, was elated to win the series title, beating out Team Penske's Helio Castroneves. Castroneves was elated to just win a race this season, and I cant blame him, as he said "give me my hat!" to Scott Dixon in victory lane after finding out he was the winner, referring to the Firestone Tires winner's hat. The Chicagoland race came down to .001 seconds between he and Dixon, with the latter winning the championship. Now as the series title chase is over, the season still remains with 1 race to go as the teams and drivers head to Australia for the non points Nikon Indy 300 this coming October at Surfers Paradise.

Video Courtesy: Speed Channel/Brightcove, Photo Courtesy: Indy Racing League