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

Motorcycles At Indianapolis

Sunday's Moto Grand Prix race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was certainly amazing to see. My Reasons for watching?:

  • Its the first time since 1909 the year the Indianapolis Motor Speedway opened that motorcycles had raced there
  • Nicky Hayden - a local, from Owensboro, Kentucky finished second, and it was a great finish for him, and his first podium for 2008.
  • Racing in the rain - Indy isn't well known for racing in the rain, mostly because of constant rained out Indy 500's & Brickyard 400's, and the fact that GP raced there, flying down the straightaway close to 200 miles per hour amazed me, and all in the rain- unbelieveable!

Valentino Rossi Came away with the win, with the race being red flagged with 8 laps remaining due to heavy wind & rain - remnants from Hurricane Ike.

Video Courtesy: Speed Channel, Brightcove

Sunday, August 24, 2008

American Le Mans: Audi TDI's, Dindo Capello Dominates Again at Mosport

It's another front row start in the prototype class for the Audi Sport TDI R10's this coming weekend for the Mobil 1 Grand Prix at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada. Rinaldo "Dindo" Capello earned the pole right next to his teammate Marco Werner, beating his previous record set last year by over 1.8 seconds with a time of 1:04.094 seconds at the speed of over 138.12mph

In GT, the lone Chevrolet Corvette's in the GT1 class battled each other for the top spot with a time of 1:13.878 at the speed of 119.82 mph earned by Johnny O' Connel, edging teammate Olivera Beretta by 0.069 seconds. Jamie Melo Earned the GT2 pole in his Rizi Competizione Ferarri 430GT at a time of 1:16.863, at 115.17 mph speeds.

Video Courtesy: American Le Mans Series, Speed Channel, Brightcove

Indy Car: Castroneves on Pole, Team Penske Sweeps The Front Row for Sonoma

Days after Team Penske's race hauler suffered a fire en route to Sonoma, California's Infineon Raceway for this Sunday's Peak Antifreeze & Motor Oil Indy Grand Prix - The team has rebounded by earning the front row positions for today's race. Helio Castroneves earned the pole position with a qualifying time of 1:16.90 at the speed of 108.8mph, with teammate Ryan Briscoe almost edging him out by a time of 1:16.91, at the speed of 107.7mph

The rest of the top 5 stands out with former Champ Car star Will Power, 2004 Indy Car Champion Tony Kannan, and current series points leader Scott Dixon .

Video Courtesy: Indy Racing League/You Tube

Thursday, August 14, 2008

How Safe Is NASCAR's Car of Today?

That was proven at last weeks NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race - The Centurion Boats At The Glen in Watkins Glen, New York. With 8 laps remaining before Kyle Busch took the win, a chain reaction accident caused by David Gilliland and Michael McDowell, hitting each other in turn 11, with Sam Hornish, Jr. going into the pit lane water barrier seconds later. Amazingly, no one was hurt - drivers, photographers or spectators, in for what I call the road course version of "The Big One" For those that has questioned how the COT was constructed, and being allowed in NASCAR, you be the judge:

I can agree with the crowd's reaction as they saw the video, as well. Ironically, McDowell was also involved in the very first major crash with the COT during a qualifying session at Texas Motor Speedway back in April, 2008. Speed was not so beautiful on either one of those days - for those that may get the inside humor on that note.

Video Courtesy: ESPN/NASCAR/You Tube

Sunday, August 3, 2008

ROBBED! - AIM Autosport Wins The Closest Rolex Series Race in Montreal - 0.064 Seconds

I really wanted you all to see this because this finish is totally amazing, along with Leigh Diffey's emotional announcing

Video Courtesy: Speed Channel, Brightcove

Canadians Finish 1-2 @ Giles Villenuve, NASCAR Finally Races in The Rain - Officially

Ron Fellows has finally won the racetrack that has eluded him for so many years. Saturday was the race for the NASCAR Nationwide Series @ Circuit Gilles Villenuve in Montreal, Canada, which not only was history for the winner, and the entire nation - considering Fellows, and fellow Canadian, Patrick Carpentier finished first and second, but it also was history for NASCAR itself. This race was the very first point paying race that NASCAR has ever run in the rain. What was the only other race they ever had under wet conditions before that? - an exhibition race held at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan, in 1997.

This is incredible to finally win here," - Ron Fellows, as he brought his wife & family into the victory lane garage celebration."It's a great day for Canadians and it's very special here at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Gilles was a hero of mine."

Fellows is definitely no stranger to wet weather driving- or winning, for that matter. He has run the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the wet with the GM Corvette Racing Factory Team for the better part of the decade taking multiple GT class victories. I can now honestly say that NASCAR no longer has to deal with the old saying of "go fast & turn left" as much, because they actually were able to do more than that, and has totally taken me by surprise driving in wet conditions. It looks like Formula One may just have some competition for wet weather driving, after all.

Photo Courtesy: The National Post, Reuters
Video Courtesy: ESPN, You Tube

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Dark Side of Formula One: Exposed

I gotta be honest...every time I head out to a professional event on a racetrack here in the Unites States, its so amazing, wonderful & fan friendly. I have gone to an IRL event recently in the past few years at Homestead Miami Speedway, and everyone in the paddock was so nice - it was almost scary & shocking at the same time. I even got Max Papis, who was running a Grand Am Rolex Series race the night before, to sign a piece of his race car that broke off in an accident.

Former Indy Car Series driver Robbie Buhl, signing autographs for kids during the 1996 Indianapolis 500.

But this totally irritates me, on how Formula 1 and their drivers can be. how can anyone still be a fan of drivers like this, I wonder? :

Kimi, I respect you as a driver, and champion, but all she wanted was an autograph most likely for her daughter, and you knocked down her child?, although it was inadvertent, and all you did was keep on walking like nothing happened? World champion or not, you should have some sense of decency for what happened, seeing that kid cry. I've seen drivers here in my part of the world actually go to children's hospitals to bring joy to the faces of kids - Racing for Kids, is a pretty good example. To add to that, some drivers here race for charity events - Tony Stewart, and the Prelude to the Dream event at his racetrack- Eldora Speedway. The driver behind the machine isn't supposed to be a machine all the time. Have a sense of feeling & care, Kimi.

Also, Juan Pablo Montoya, back when he was in F1 for the Williams BMW Team. As much of a fan as I am of Montoya (I've followed him since his days in CART for Target Chip Ganassi Racing to his recent stint in NASCAR for that very team) I gotta disagree with this incident, because he didn't see where he was going, and walked straight into the camera:

My opinion? I doubt that Formula One Management will ever release this type of footage on their broadcasts because they want to keep as many fans in the seats, spending as much money as possible. Bernie Ecclestone - of "Formula One doesn't need America" fame, considering he's nearing his 80's in age, just might have a heart attack on the spot if this ever did get out onto a broadcast. maybe fans overseas might look at the sport a little bit differently.

Photo Courtesy: The Auto Channel
Video Courtesy: You Tube

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Scott Kalitta : 1962- 2008

The sad news has spread throughout the racing community today. Multiple NHRA champion funny car driver Scott Kalitta, Has passed away from his injuries from a terrifying accident, during the Lucas Oil Supernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey, eerily enough, the very racetrack where he first started his drag racing career. My heart goes out to his family, and to the crew, officials, and fans of the NHRA. He died doing what he so passionately loved, and he'll sorely be missed. Race in peace, my friend.

“Scott shared the same passion for drag racing as his legendary father, Connie. He also shared the same desire to win, becoming a two-time series world champion. He left the sport for a period of time, to devote more time to his family, only to be driven to return to the drag strip to regain his championship form."

-National Hot Rod Association Statements, on the Passing of Scott Kalitta

Here's the Broadcast of the event, led by announcers Paul Page, Gary Gerould, Dave Rieff & Mike Dunn, of ESPN

Photo Courtesy: Auto Racing Daily
Video Courtesy: ESPN, You Tube

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Monkey is Finally Off Junior's Back

It took about 76 races, a team change, a sponsor change, and a new set of teammates to do it, but he finally did. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finally won a race this year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He won the LifeLock 400 @ Michigan International Speedway, on a bit of a lucky break, considering the caution caused by Sam Hornish, Jr. spinning out, with 3 laps to go, creating a green-white-checkered finish as his fuel was running really low towards the end, so much so- that he ran out of fuel on the cool down lap, having to be pushed into victory lane.

"We needed that caution. It is what it is. We run out, we run out. We knew we had a chance to win the race. They can write what they want about how we did it but we got one. We made it happen." - Dale Earnhardt Jr

The next race- a race I myself am looking forward to is the Toyota/Save Mart 350 from the road course in Sonoma, California. Finally, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series can go fast and turn left....and right, this weekend, a rarity in the "running joke" of the series.

Photo Courtesy: Paddock

Audi Wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 8th Time in 9 Years

Okay - how many of you thought that Audi wasn't going to have a clear shot of winning the race? Anybody? well, it certainly is no surprise to me that Audi with their R10 won the 24 overall in 8 of the past 9 years , despite the Peugeot 908 dominating the first part of the race. never in my life have I seen such an amazing team dominate such an amazing race in the fashion that they have - especially when Peugeot was really putting pressure on them during the entire 24 hours. This truly was a perfect race for Audi, and a classic race for the 275,000 spectators that were on hand to see it who definitely got their money's worth. Peugeot vows to come back next year after finishing second..and so, the battle between the diesels continues on, for sure.

Le Mans Results
1. Dindo Capello (Italy) / Tom Kristensen (Denmark) / Allan McNish (Scotland) Audi Sport North America (Audi R10) 381 laps

2. Marc Gene (Spain) / Nicolas Minassian (France) / Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) Team Peugeot Total (Peugeot 908) 381 laps

3. Franck Montagny (France) / Christian Klien (Austria) / Ricardo Zonta (Brazil) Peugeot Sport Total (Peugeot 908) 379

4. Alexandre Premat (France) / Lucas Luhr (Germany) / Mike Rockenfeller (Germany) Audi Sport Team Joest (Audi R10) 374

Photo Courtesy of F1 Fanatic

Monday, June 9, 2008

Scotty Doesnt Know....How to Quit, Kubica's Comeback, Khane's Win in Pocono, & The Battle of the Diesels - The Remix

Texas Motor Speedway - Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Dixon won the Bombardier Lear Jet 550, extending his lead to 35 points in the IRL Indy Car Series championship over Team Penske's Helio Castroneves. The race ended under caution when second place Marco Andertti (Andretti Green racing) and 3rd place Ryan Hunter-Reay (Rahal-Letterman Racing) at the time collided with each other towards the end of the race

The "Mclarri" (McLaren & Ferarri) Streak is Broken!!!!....Robert Kubica Wins Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix...breaking the stranglehold in the series, usually ending by Mclaren or Ferrari going to the podium. It's his first career win, and BMW Sauber earned its first 1-2 finish. David Coulthard, was so excited to finish 3rd, he was literally running from his parked car in the pits to get to the podium. the next race will be @ the French Grand Prix in Magny-Cours, France (much to the disappointment of most Americans like myself, considering the Canadian G.P. is the only North American stop on the F1 tour this year)

Rolex Series: Chip Ganassi Racing's Scott Pruett won the 6 hours @ the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY, extending his points lead....and being a Ganassi fan, kinda makes me a little happy, to be honest. They're 34 points ahead of defending series champions - The Gainsco Pontiac Riley Team, headed by Bob Stallings

NASCAR Sprint Cup: As much as I personally am not into the whole NASCAR thing, I gotta respect Kasey Kahne for winning the race at Pocono. I didn't see much of the race, but i know it was long hard & fought one, mostly because the 500 miles just seem to have gone on forever, least Toyota still has the manufacturer's points lead, and I hope they might win it, come November in Homestead

Le Mans Series: Finally, the wait is over...The 76Th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is less than a week away. Can the Peugeot Team repeat the dominant-like run of their first few stints of the 12 Hours of Sebring over the Audi R10? It should be an interesting battle of the diesels

Photos Courtesy of: Indy Racing League, American Le Mans Series, Toyota,, The UK Mirror

Coming Soon: The Hot Lap Motorsport Podcast

Hey all you racers, I finally got off my sabbatacle to give you this recent update:

Thanks to my friends at the Hung Throttle Podcast, who answered some questions I've had, I got to know a little bit about podcasting, and I someday hope to be a future broadcaster in I broke my bank and bought a Zoom H2 Handy Recorder, and I plan to start podcasting, with a local karting driver, and friend of mine- on the subject of motorsports around the world, the good and the bad...Coming soon, guys

See ya later

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Historical Weekend

History will be the story of this weekend. here's why:

Danica Patrick Wins!!!!! Her first win happened finally, at the Indy 300 at twin Ring Motegi in Motegi, Japan. Its her first win in 50 starts in the Indy Car Series, and she becomes the first woman to win a major open wheel auto racing event, in the history of open wheel racing

Today is the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach - The final race sanctioned under the Champ Car World Series - Ever.

The American Le Mans Series races @ Long Beach. Will Audi keep their streak alive, or lose it once again to the Penske Porsche's who have an advantage there

NASCAR is racing south of the border for the Nationwide series (formerly Busch)

Grand Am - Racing, also in Mexico for the Rolex Series

Photo Courtesy : Indy Racing League

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Green Flag Begins In Florida

After living here for so many years, I've noticed one certain thing about motorsports , and the state of Florida. Just about every series in North America, opens their respective series here...just think about it.

  • The Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona for the Grand AM Rolex Series started this past January in Daytona Beach...
  • The Daytona 500, for NASCAR starts a few weeks later in the same place
  • The AMA Superbikes started there in Daytona as well, during bike week
  • The 12 Hours of Sebring Starts Tomorow, in Sebring, FL for the American Le Mans Series, with the SCCA Speed World Challenge & Star Mazda Series
and a few weeks after that?

The Indy Racing League / Champ Car World Series Opens their season in Homestead, followed by a race in the streets of St. Petersburg a week later. I know its obviously because of weather reasons..I mean, there's no way the IRL can start at Indianapolis in March, as much as Tony George may love that idea..but usually at this time of year the only thing running at Indy is a snow plow. same goes for every other series and track out there north of Daytona.

and knowing that alone makes me kinda happy, at least for a brief time before spring comes for the rest of the country, the ice thaws, and racing resumes in other parts of the country & Canada, that I can see the best racing here in the sunshine state, and speaking of which - I will not be posting anything here tomorrow, because I will actually be attending the 12 Hours of Sebring for the very first time ever in my life. I had a chance to go to an ALMS event in Miami back in 2002, but circumstances held me back from going. and I refuse to be denied. Also heading down to Homestead for the IRL season opener as well, in 2 weeks time. Peace Out, everybody

Photo Credit :

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Kyle Busch, Celebrating his win in the Kobalt Tools 500 @ the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Toyota becomes the first Japanese manufacturer to win in an official NASCAR points race

Some fans, teams, and drivers didn't want it to happen...but it finally did!! Toyota won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Kyle Busch, followed by his teammate, Tony Stewart. By doing this, they became the first Japanese manufacturer to win in NASCAR, have a solid 1-2 finish, and the first foreign born manufacturer to win, since Al Keller's win in a Jaguar during a NASCAR road race held @ New Jersey's Linden Airport in 1954:

Al Keller, Posing with his Jaguar at Linden Airport, Linden, NJ

It really amazes me that many NASCAR fans in the US didn't know of this fact until the win, and even before - when Toyota first came in the cup series. many from who I've talked to have said words like "it's Un-American","we don't want foreigners in an American series", or "I hope they fail" I personally have been a supporter of Toyota for the fact that they're different, and its refreshing to see the Camry - an American made car( Made in Kentucky), compared to the Ford Fusion (Made in Sonora, Mexico) and the Dodge Charger (Made in Ontario, Canada) so why do fans hate an American made car? The simple reason is because it has a foreign badge, and to be that's the dumbest & poorest excuse to even come close to hating a car, and a manufacturer that has every right to run a racing series in a country where their cars are being sold. I'm glad that NASCAR themselves saw this, and knew it was time for a change, and that they knew of Toyota's successful track record before coming into the series. here's a just few of them:

  • 2003 Indianapolis 500 winners (finished 1-2)
  • 2007 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Manufacturer's Champion
  • Engine/Chassis Supplier to CART/Champ Car, Toyota Atlantic Series, Baja 1000, Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, & the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Thank you NASCAR, by stepping into the 21st century and making this win possible

Photos Courtesy of Toyota & the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Racing News & Notes - March 9, 2008...

French manufacturer Peugeot getting ready to run the 12 Hours of Sebring - March 15, 2008


Sprint Cup:

Today's race for the is the Kobalt Tools 500, from Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Jeff Gordon is on the pole position for today's race

Craftsman Trucks:

Friday Night, kyle Busch pulled away from Ron Hornaday to win the American Commercial Lines 200, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch is currently at the top of the points standings for the second consecutive week

Nationwide Series:

Matt Kenseth wins the Nicorette 300, from Atlanta Motor Speedway , holding off Kevin Harvick in a green-white-checkered finish

Indy Racing League / Champ Car

A little more than a week since the merger between the IRL and Champ Car was made infamous, teams went out to Sebring, FL from March 3-6, 2008 to do some testing of the new road course version of the Indy car. new additions were made to the cars, some of which are: paddle shift gearboxes, collapsible steering columns, & etc. Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske lead the session with a time of 52.42 seconds (114.689 mph) on the final day of testing. The Indy Racing League season begins @ Homestead Miami Speedway for the Gainsco Indy 300, March 29, 2008

American Le Mans Series / Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series

The countdown to the 56Th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring is less than a week away, and all the teams are ready. for the first time this year, French manufacturer, Peugeot, will race in the 12 hours, most likely as a preparation race for the 24 hours of Le Mans. I personally expect Audi to take the win, like they have done in years past, but other teams, like the Team Penske Porsche's, as well as Peugeot themselves (they finished second to the Audi's at Last year's Le Mans 24 Hour), may make the race a little challenging for them to do so. The race begins on March 15, 2008, and is the season opener to the American Le Mans Series

The Rolex Sports Car Series ends their 4 week long break with some testing taken at the Homestead Miami Speedway, last week. their season continues on March 29, 2008 @ Homestead, on the same weekend as the Indy Racing League Indy Car Series

Formula One

The 2008 Formula One World championship Begins on Sunday - march 16, 2008 in Melborune, Australia, at the Albert Park Circuit. All teams, such as McLaren, Ferarri, BMW Williams, and Renault and the Middle East. It should be an exciting season, especially after the amazing season we had last year, with teams having brand new chassis to start, and since they have concluded their testing at tracks in Europe and the Middle East, as well. It was a great season in F1 last year, as well as a controversial one on and off the track - with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton almost winning the championship as a rookie - missing out to Kimi Raikkonen of Frearri, which has never been done in the history of the world championship, and ended up being the closest points race in history - by a single point. Hopefully, McLaren and Ferarri will keep their noses clean this year

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Unification - And The Long and Winding Road To It...

Finally, it took 12 years, hundreds of races, many gallons of fuel, and sets of tires to make it happen. The Indy Racing League's Tony George and Champ Car's (Formerly known as CART) Kevin Kalkhoven has reunited after a 12 year split, that has damaged the fabric of open wheel racing in North America. When I was a little kid, around 13 or so, I first had my real glimpse of open wheel racing with the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 - 1 year before the split. I was flipping through the television one Sunday afternoon, and i got to this channel, showing the beautiful Indianapolis Motor soon as Scott Goodyear passed the pace car, and lost the race due to a black flag penalty. Jacques Villenuve won that year, but the next year would be completely different. Of course i didn't know either series well, or the ramifications of what the split caused at the time. to me it was just more racing to watch on the television. So in 1996 I sat there, tape recorder in hand, to watch Buddy Lazier, a no name compared to the likes of Unser, Andretti, or Mears, win the famous race.

Over the years, I began to notice certain things about CART & The IRL - like the attendance being down at most, if not all of the IRL & CART events, Indy was slowly losing its infamous luster, and most fans were complaining about the Dallara & G Force chassis in the IRL being powered by the likes of Oldsmobile (soon to be Chevrolet) and Infinity, not sounding like "real" race cars. CART, on the other hand, had Unser, Zanardi, Andretti, the best road courses, street circuits, and ovals (except Indy) and Turbocharged Honda, Toyota, Ford & Mercedes Benz power with Reynard, Lola, & Swift chassis. Real race cars as some might have said, but this was all before CART CEO Andrew Craig resigned, and a succession of stand in CEO's came through the boardroom- Bobby Rahal, being the most notable, followed by the series eventually filing for bankruptcy in 2002, along with most of the well known Champ Car teams at the time, moving over to the IRL

In 2000, However, the very first sign of unification was a relatively small one - Chip Ganassi Coming to Indianapolis with Juan Pablo Montoya and Jimmy Vasser to race in the Indianapolis 500. Montoya Won the race, a feat no rookie has done since Graham Hill in 1966, but little did he know is that he, Jimmy, and the team started sowing the seeds of unification. years followed along with more CART teams coming to Indy (Roger Penske came the following year, winning with Helio Castroneves - Former CART driver) along with rumors, talks and statements....some true, some not so true, but they were all leading to the moment Robin Miller, of Speed Channel, leaked the story to the general public, earlier this year

So after realizing the years of politics, and angry fans, and watching both series crumble to NASCAR's overall dominance of the sport in North America, am I happy they got back together?


but my only thing is that some people will unfortunately be left out in the cold, and it seems unfair, somewhat. Engine builder - Cosworth, has no where to go, along with a majority of Champ Car employees, and Panoz - chassis manufacturer to champ car. several tracks will also feel the blow, such as Toronto, Cleveland, Laguna Seca, Assen, and Edmonton, with Long Beach being one of the few tracks spared on the schedule. Time will tell on how far things will go between both series, and who knows...It may give NASCAR a run for its money, in the top spot of #1 morsport in North America.

All images are copyright their respective owners

Monday, February 18, 2008

Newman Gets The Gold.....

To be honest I thought Tony Stewart was going to win Sunday's Daytona 500, but boy, was I wrong...Here's the tale of the tape:

Tony lead on the last lap, went down low on the inside, after blocking Newman for several laps, Kyle Busch didn't draft Tony, and Kurt Busch bump drafted with teammate Newman, to take the win. As sad as I am for Toyota, coming so close, but to end up falling short of recieving their firt ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points victory ,but they do have a podium finish at least.....

but I'm happy for Roger Penske, Newman's Car owner, and a man that has won the Indianapolis 500 a record 14 times as a car owner (the last driver was Sam Hornish, Jr. who also ironically started in this 500), who has made a little bit of history here , by having first victory, as well as a 1-2 finish at the Daytona 500. So at least a litte bit of history was made during the golden anniversary, after all. Could this be the start of another record attempt at another 500? Anything's possible in motorsports

Photos: Courtesy of Reuters.Com

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Great American Race Turns 50

That's Right, as today the country celebrates Lincoln's & Washington's birthdays on this Presidents Day weekend, the Daytona 500 will celebrate its very own birthday, turning 50. All throughout the month of February, there have been many stories leading up to the golden anniversary of the great american race. The biggest one is of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who is with a new team - Hendricks Motorsports, and is winner of the Budwiser Shootout, and the first race of the Gatorade Duels at Daytona. he has been right near the front of the pack, but Toyota is not too far behind him. Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin, drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing, powered by Toyota, have also been towards the front. Tony has won Saturday's NASCAR's Nationwide Series (formerly the NASCAR Busch Series) Camping World 300 at Daytona. His teammate, Hamlin, has won the second race of Thursday's Gatorade Duels at Daytona, along with finishing a close second behind Stewart, at the 300.

Toyota, being their second year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Formerly Nextel Cup) is doing much better than I even expected. Finishing higher up in the field, and actually even winning. I believe, to the hatred of many Fans that hate imports runnint in what's called "An American Sport" (ironically, a driver once used a jaguar to race in NASCAR, in the early beginnings) will have a very good chance of winning the 500. If they can accomplish this, they will be the first ever foreign born manufacturer to ever win the Daytona 500, and possibly even a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

Dale Jarrett, Multiple winner of the 500, and driver of the #44 UPS Toyota, by Miachel Waltrip Racing, will be retiring this year and fans, including this one, will be sad to see him go. David Reutimann will take over for him, at this year's Food City 500 at Bristol, Tennessee

The other big issue...The Car of Tomorrow. will it be safe for Daytona - a track, and a race, notorious for "the big one", and close, tight 3 and 4 wide restrictor plate racing. we'll find out later today. Stay tuned for more info from The Hot Lap.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Countdown To The Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona

Hi There!

welcome to 2008, and my first blog post of 2008. Its January, meaning its one of my favorite times of the year. The Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona - The first major motorsports event of the new year in North America. This year will be the 46th running, and a lot of new things are going on, along with some old.

The Biggest story, is will Chip Ganassi Racing Continue with a 3 peat? Drivers Scott Pruett, 2003 Indy Racing League Indy Car Series Champion Scott Dixon, 2005 Indianapolis 500 / IRL Indy Car Series champion Dan Wheldon, 2007 Indianapolis 500/ IRL Indy Car Series Champion Dario Franchitti, and fellow Teammate - Former CART Champion, & formula 1 Driver Juan Pablo Montoya, seem to think they can earn another Rolex watch.

The Other Big story is that it literally is like an all star race of champions. What other series anywhere has had drivers from all other forms of motorsport...Drivers, such as Helio Castroneves, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Johnny O' Connel, Jeff Gordon & Jimmy Johnson, Danica Patrick, and Dale Earndhardt, Rusty Wallace converge on this one weekend, to survive. If you can find another racing event as big as this one, please let me know so I can sit down watch it, and enjoy it as well.

This years Rolex 24 Hours @ Daytona will be featured on fox, and speed channel, for the US audience, January 26-27, 2008.