Like most American kids that grew up in the 80's I watched the Indy 500 every year and became interested in motorsports thanks to that race, but I didn't really get hooked until I started watching Formula 1 racing in the late 90's. My favorite era were those years with the great Mika Hakkinen/Michael Schumacher battles. (I was a Mika Hakkinen fan) So my fondness for Formula 1 waned once Mika retired and Schumacher started winning everything, even at the expense of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. My interest in F1 has only been lukewarm since.

Then I turned to Champ Car racing here in the US for my motorsports fix. However that was quickly extinguished once Champ Car and Indy Car merged and we were stuck with Tony George and his many foibles. (It was entertaining to watch the Hulman/George drama I'll admit.) My interest has been less than lukewarm with Indy Car lately, even without Tony George at the helm.

Over time however, the excitement I once had for motorsports has slowly gone. Maybe it has to do with my age, I don't know. But I think I will pour my efforts into my Trooper and my interests in the outdoors to add excitement to my life.

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I will still post racing news when I find something interesting or noteworthy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A1GP to the rescue






A1GP - the World Cup of Motorsport is quickly filling the void left by the departed ChampCar. With a new chassi and engine package (a Ferrari engine at that) entroduced this year the series that has struggled a bit in it's first three years may now have the momentum it needs to survive these difficult times for motorsports. With IndyCar gifting them one of the most established and successful race events in the world ,Australia's Surfers Paradise (thank you FTG), their future looks brighter than it did last year. They still have an uphill battle due to only 10 races on this year's schedule, but car count is good and you can argue that they are taking things step by step and growing slowly. Another thing in their favor is very high-quality free race coverage via the internet, a very smart step if you ask me.

This race fan hopes they can build on what looks to be a solid foundation because we certainly need some bright spots in today's motorsports world.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A1GP Strikes Gold

IndyCar Loses Australia, A1GP Strikes Gold
(on Motorsport.com 11-11-08)

The handwriting was on the wall as soon as the Indy Racing League and the former Champ Car World Series signed the agreement to merge into one. February 22, 2008 marked the date of the agreement between the two open-wheel series based in Indianapolis, Ind., with Tony George being at the helm. The first step beyond seeing which teams would merge this year into the IndyCar ranks was the already set schedules. Which venues would stay, which would fade in the sunset.

The 12-year split was finally over, but it left out tracks that were popular to the fans worldwide. Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia, was one of Champ Cars top hits for both the racing and the scenery. IndyCar made the trip but it was a non-point race in 2008 as IndyCar's champion Scott Dixon was crowned in the USA at the season ender in Chicago, Ill.

While George and his staff hustled to change the 2008 schedule, only two Champ Car circuits remained. Long Beach was the farewell scene for the Champ Car teams while IndyCar teams were racing on the oval in Motegi, Japan. The Edmonton organizers were able to move their date in Alberta, Canada, to fit the 2008 calendar. Gone were Road America, Toronto, Laguna Seca, Houston, Cleveland, Mont-Tremblant, Portland, Mexico City and possible events in Europe including Zolder, Assen and Jerez.

To top it off, open-wheel stars like past series champion Paul Tracy and 2007 Rookie of the Year Robert Doornbos were out of a ride and while Tracy keeps looking, Doornbos returned to Europe. Currently, Tracy is across the pond testing in the new Speedcar series while Doornbos made his debut in A1GP for Team Netherlands, taking second in China's Sprint race this past weekend.

The 2009 IndyCar calendar has three former Champ Car events: Long Beach, Toronto and Edmonton. One does need to note that prior to the unification, the IRL already had former CART/Champ Car strong holds including Detroit, Motegi, Mid-Ohio, Homestead and Milwaukee.

The popular Australian venue was listed as a non-points race with the Indy Racing League taking the IndyCar series to Surfers Paradise; however, the 2009 schedule had been release and Australia was not listed. The first race in 1991 was under the CART banner and it did not take long for many to refer to the event as the "crown jewel" of the series.

IndyCar's first and now only adventure to Australia was met with open arms, both by the Gold Coast Indy organizers, the sponsor, the Australian V8 Supercar and Formula 3teams, and by the fans. It was a show that gave the Australians much to cheer about with their two homeland racers. Will Power landed the pole and Ryan Briscoe took the first-ever victory on home soil for an Aussie driver from the open-wheel racing American series. To add to the IndyCar inaugural event, Dixon, the 2008 champion from New Zealand, was born in Australia and he finished second.

As the IndyCar teams headed back home to American soil, Jonathan Ingram, Motorsport.com's reporter at Surfers Paradise commented "As street races go, this one is among the best. So it seems unlikely the organizers or the IndyCar officials will let it slip through their fingers." Yet, he, like many, expected that the event would not be added to the calendar in 2009 or in the near future.

Ingram was correct as today's announcement from the Indy Racing League and the Gold Coast Indy organizers stated that the IndyCar Series would not return to Surfers Paradise in the near future.

"We are disappointed that we could not find suitable solutions for both the IndyCar Series and Gold Coast Indy organizers but it was not due to lack of effort," said Terry Angtsadt, IRL president of the commercial division. "Chairman Terry Mackenroth and general manager Greg Hooton rolled out the red carpet for the IndyCar Series last month and they are to be commended for their efforts in conjunction with the Queensland government."

On the same day, the A1GP Series took control of being the feature event at Surfers Paradise in October, 2009, signing a five-year agreement. "Both the Government and IMG have offered us every courtesy in putting this together, and I reckon we must have set a record in doing such an important deal in such a short space of time," said A1GP Chairman, Tony Teixeira.

A1GP, first known only as a Winter series to fill a gap for racing fans, has sprung wings showcasing a top open-wheel very competitive series based on nations around the world. Drivers can change from race-to-race but the country they represent is the actual team who garners the points. The 2008-09 season just began with two events (four races) in the books.

Oddly enough one IndyCar team will be in Australia come October 22 next year to compete on the streets of Surfers Paradise. Andretti Green Racing holds the rights and management of Team USA in the International A1GP series. Other countries have drivers who race in America including IndyCar and Indy Lights -- both sanctioned by the IRL -- while others compete in the Atlantic Championship series.

"We wanted to go back to Australia and this is the ideal venue for our series. A lot of people have worked hard on putting this deal together, and now it has come to fruition it is very exciting," Teixeira said. "I am aware we are being given a perfect opportunity to showcase our series to the Australian fans, who have been great supporters of both the series and their own team. Australia has a rich motorsport heritage and I know our tv fans worldwide will be delighted to have this spectacular race on our calendar."

The first A1GP race in the land down under was in November of 2005 for the inaugural season of the world's Nation Cup series at Eastern Creek International Raceway; however, the new season saw a drop of the venue. The last race in Sydney was February of this year for round six in the 2007-08 season. It was a very wet weekend which is one reason October fits better for the future event in Australia.

Team Australia's principal and former Formula One driver, Alan Jones commented, "It has been a big hole in the A1GP calendar this year not being in Australia. To say I am thrilled about this deal is an understatement. Having the chance to race in my own back yard is something special for me and the team. We are looking forward to it and I can warn all the other teams now I aim to make sure we have a home win in Surfers."

The next event on the current A1GP season will be in two weeks as the teams will take on the Malaysian circuit in Sepang -- the home race for the current point leading team.

IndyCar's 2009 season opener will take place on the streets of St. Petersburg in early April.

champcar fanatics

(posted on 11-17-08 after Jimmy Johnson won a 3rd straight NASCAR title.)

Question: is Jimmy Johnson that good?

-last2brake
Answer: Hell, NO !!! He's a NASCAR DRIVER, fer cryin' out loud ?

You thought this was a serious question ?

but congratulations anyway, to the winner of three nascar championships, even if his crew chief was suspended for most of the three seasons for cheating.......


-paige
who is jimmy johnson?


-Indy
I don't know what "Jimmy Johnson" is, but it sounds painful.


-Canadacorner
I'd sooner have jimmy johnson than dick trickle...


-cartcanuck
Now THAT's sumthin' funny


-charmpcarrules
I thought he was the Cowboys coach?


-ladyracefan
So I take it Johnson won the championship again. Gotta love it when the biggest cheaters win.


-cartcanuck
Does the "C" in NASCAR actually stand for "Cheaters". it makes sense.

N ational
A ssociation of
S cammers
C heaters
A nd
R ule-breakers

champcar fanatics

(posted on 11-26-08 after FOX announced they were trying to cut costs on the production side of their NASCAR coverage but only if the fans wouldn't notice a difference.)

-joetanto
They won't (notice), don't worry.


-boomerblaste
I flushed a bag of skittles(TM) down the toilet. It was like watching a whole nascar race in 10 seconds.


-TorontoWorker
Cut out all the 24 hour NASCAR shows on Speed for starters.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

champcar fanatics

(posted on 11-19-08 after the IndyCar Series announced that they did not come up with a title sponsor for the 2009 season.)

-boomerblaste
Efforts to land an Indy Racing League title sponsor have turned to 2010. Just two months ago, IRL officials said a deal appeared imminent. In October, the economy stifled negotiations. Now, almost all hope is gone for landing a title sponsor any time in 2009.

“Unless a miracle falls out of the sky, I don’t think we’re going to sign a title sponsorship deal for 2009,” said Zak Brown, president of Just Marketing International, which was hired by the IRL to lead the title sponsor hunt. “We’re still hammering away at it. We’re not going to stop working just because of the economy. But marketers are being very cautious with their budgets.”

In early September, Brown promised to land an IRL title sponsor by Jan. 1, and said an eight-figure annual deal “was on the doorstep.”

“I’m just glad I didn’t make a promise to run naked down the home stretch at Indy if the deal didn’t come through,” Brown said.


-MDH
with all that PR and marketing talent.................???

bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!


-last2break
The irl should make a comedy movie.

Wait, if it did, the movie would never get released. Someone ELSE should make a comedy movie about the irl.

It's getting to the point where I can't believe I used to like indy.


-Obi Wan
Quelle surprise!

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

This is better than Lucy and the football. Every year the Idiot Grandson's minions tee up the football (i.e. upcoming title sponsor) and every year the TrackForum Gomers elbow each other out of the way for the chance to kick a field goal.

Will they ever learn? Naw; otherwise they wouldn't be TF Gomers.


-TheStranger
I think being an EARL fan requires the complete lack of long-term memory.


-joetanto
Water is wet. Grass is green. The Firl misses out on that elusive title sponsorship.


-Bennybigb
Damn. I really thought the IRL had it this year

I wonder how long it will be until the US government will have to bail FTG and the Speedway out. If that ever happens, I'm moving.


-TheMapMan
Can bullshit evaporate?


-scorpion
According to the gomer minions this is all due to the down turn in the economy. The Stranger is right, you can't have a long term memory and be a gomer. Sane folks would be asking, "If it's just the economy, what happened in '03, 04, '05, '06, or '07?"


-cartcanuck
The same thing as happened to the IRL in '08, and will happen in '09, and will...*poof*

Hey!!!

Where'd they go? They're gone....


-RealRaceFan
Burn Baby Burn....


-joetanto
Long term memory? This same sad dog and pony show happens every twelve months like clock work. I would place long term memory around five years, but every twelve months just makes you retarded.


-AKASanpei
Message to FTG:

Time to buy that beloved SouthCentral Gomer Regional Bank and apply for some of that TARP.


-BushPlane Ken
There's always Pep Boys!


-boomerblaste
Oh the good old days


Quote:
Originally Posted by IBJ Anthony Schoettle
Here’s a little more on IRL’s title sponsor history. In early 1998, IRL signed a five-year deal with Philadelphia-based Pep Boys. The deal ended in a legal dispute two years later with IRL claiming Pep Boys didn’t promote the league as it said it would, among other complaints. So no, Pep Boys did not end up paying for the whole deal. Then in early 2000, IRL signed a five-year, $50 million deal with Cambridge, Mass.-based Northern Light. That deal ended in late 2001 when Northern Light ran into financial difficulty. The company later went out of business altogether. So, no, Norther Light didn’t pay the entire bill either.


-PhilipT631
I was always a Northern Lights fan myself....I guess FTG lost the Northen Light and just can't find his way.

champcar fanatics

(posted on 11-17-08 after the IndyCar Series announced they would be using Brazilian made ethanol to fuel their cars starting in 2009.)

-boomberblaste
The Indy Racing League will use Brazilian ethanol in the 2009 season.

IRL President Terry Angstadt signed a memorandum of understanding with the Brazilian agency promoting biofuels on Monday, securing a supply of the alternative, agriculture-based fuel for all 23 races next year.

The announcement was made by Brazilian Presidential chief of staff Dilma Rousseff at the start of a five-day international conference on biofuels in Brazil.

The IRL has been racing with 100 percent ethanol fuel since 2007.

With the deal, Brazilian producers will supply part of the nearly 454,200 litres of ethanol used in the IRL season. The exact amount was not specified.

In exchange, Brazilian ethanol and other products will be promoted during the races.

"The (deal) is part of the strategy to promote the Brazilian biofuel as a clean and sustainable energy," said Alessandro Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

Ethanol burns cleaner and produces better mileage, even though it results in less horsepower in the IRL cars.

Brazil is the second largest ethanol producer in the world after the United States, and is the largest exporter of the fuel.

Sugarcane-based ethanol is cheaper to produce than the corn-based ethanol made in the United States.


© AP 2008


-Haydenfan
23 races my ass! More like 18 at the most.


-Southpilot
This should be marvelous PR for anyone who hates the IRL and wants to turn the entire nation against them. I mean every man, woman and child in this country is against using foreign sources of fuel right now. Bwahahahhahahaha. What was all that Tony used to say?? All-american teams, all-american-drivers and all-american series??? I bet there is a printer making the "Indianapastan 500" banners printed up as we speak.


-chitwncartfreak
So I guess that means the Iowa race is out?? How would that look racing in the middle of an Iowa cornfield with Brazillian-made fuel.

Honestly, does ANYONE at the .1RL office have any common sense whatsoever? Normally, this would be a PR nightmare except for the small fact that nobody cares about the .1RL.


-scorpion
I used to believe death by suicide was quick, and maybe painless. Crap has the .irk proved me wrong. One slow knife cut after another and yet the pig still lives. Does anyone know an executioner for hire? Can we please get this over with once and for all?


-paper
so ya got an Italian car, brazilian fuel, foreign ride buyers, in the salavation of American grass roots oval guys,,,,, maybe we had the " grass" part mistaken to mean something else?


-joetanto
Wow. So FTG picks a product that will never has been or will be allowed in the US. I would laugh, but laughing won't bring CC back. Actually it just makes me more depressed to think that the Firl outlasted CC.

Remember as well that Helio was hiding money for one of Brazil's biggest sugar cane ethanol producers.(allegedly)


-frenzy88
I think this is called cross promotion, boy that .1rl braintrust is right on the ball. I picture PSAs with Helio from prison showing on VS during yellow flag periods.


-slowmotion
I don't see the problem .... who cares about irl anyway?
In it's present state that "league" is about as interesting as navel fluff ...


-MDH
and just when you thought they had gotten just about as stupid as stupid could get...............................



The 0.01rL....proving once again............"You can't fix stupid"




I can see it now............
The Stranded In Iowa Corn Pon Two-Fitty
Powered by Brazillionaire Sugar Cane Growers


-TheAngryDwarf
Wait for the race in Brazil next year, to supplant one of the mighty ovals.

Now Earl is going to extoll the virtues of their international expansion.

How can any gomers buy into this?


-RenegadeX
Helio will be in jail / not driving for Pimpski so let me be the first to predict that TONY KANAAN *from Brazil* will be the 2009 Crapwagon Champion.

It ain't going to be Moraes, it ain't going to be Junqueira, it ain't going to be Camara, it ain't going to be Meira, it ain't going to be Bernoldi (even if he has a seat), and it ain't going to be RafaMat. So that leaves K-Nose as the obvious choice to 'get the call'.

holy fock there's a lot of stupid Brazilians!


-Ronbo
Bottom line is that ethanol makes lousy fuel, and in the US, it is a big reason that food prices are climbing.

The reason for all of this can be nothing more than the idiot grandson needs foreign cash. He has failed to impress anybody here, and is running out of paying partners.


-boomerblaste
So what does the average American union worker know about corn based ethanol: it can damage your car and it's the cause for the price increase of food. Fits nicely with the promotion of earl.


-PhilipT631
The is sweet...TG just threw Rahole under the bus....Here is Rahole is hand delivered Enthanol to the IRL, major sponsor for Rahole and the IRL and now FTG threw Rahole under the bus.

FTG has screwed FKK by telling Aussiland to go bye bye and now Rahole....so which former Champcar team is FTG after now...quite frankly I hope it's Carl Haas....well I guess FTG already has by not allowing Haas to be the Dallara parts distributor....
I just wish that Jerry would pull the LBGP minutes before practice just like Dale Coyne used to announce his drivers minutes before the start of practice. Better yet withold the funds to the IRL for some breach of contract.

I'm in for the IRL to go under before the end of the 2010 season.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

champcar fanatics

(posted on 11-4-08)

-boomerblaste
Word coming from series officials as they get ready to wrap up the season is that there is still a fair bit of interest from several engine makers interested in joining the series in coming years. Those manufacturers are especially interested in the 2011 engine specifications, which are expected to be released any day. The expectation is a four-cylinder turbo-charged engine. Since 1997, IRL cars have been powered by non turbo-charged engines. The return to turbo-charged engines is especially enticing to some engine makers.

There were 10 engine makers at a June 25 meeting about the specifications. The most keen interest now is coming from Alfa Romeo, Porsche, BMW and Audi.


-last2brake
If it's "fair", there will be no interest.


-The Stranger
If life was fair though, the IRL would have never existed. So, someone is interested in being the big fish in the small pond, you know, like Roger Penske was with Can-Am and is now in the gomer leegue.


-attenuator
"fair" interest in a series almost no one will follow. I'd say all of them make 2.0L turbo 4s for ALMS and LMS. The cars at least will appeal to their market demographics.


-AWirth Fan
People with jobs who travel outside of Indiana?


-TheStranger
I don't think "traveling" is a familiar concept to those Marion County residents who lack a passport to leave the borders of Indianapolis and Speedway.


-MDH
"a fair bit of interest"=Nobody GAF!!!


-attenuator
We're talking about the 30-50 guys showing up at the Flag Room off season to watch film of old 500s.


-TheAngryDwarf
It's just placating the existing teams with lies.

I mean, with Versus, no Aussie race, pathetic schedule, dying fanbase, they need to prop up the teams with promises of fortunes of the future.

But the best part is the lack of American manu's.

I mean, wasn't that what the earl was formed for?
All furrin all the time.


-RealRaceFan
"a fair bit of interest"=Nobody GAF!!!

This quite possibly could be the Dictionary definition of said statement.


-anthonyvop
Hate to say it.....

But. VW/Audi has all but signed on the dotted line!


-Ehud
If I ever said to someone "I have a fair bit of interest in you" I can only imagine the slap I'd get.

It's politically-correct speech for "If everything else fails we might call you. Don't wait up."


-TheAngryDwarf
See!

American!!!


-TheStranger
And the fact they desperately want to do this, instead of contributing to society a little more, say by becoming fry cooks at McDonald's...

Wow. Some people are easily deluded by the miniscule appeal of a rectangular oval.


-AWirth Fan
"Hate to say it.....

But. VW/Audi has all but signed on the dotted line!"

Why? Then again, WGAF!


-scorpion
"all but...." means they haven't yet. In the case of the .irl, just like title sponsors, it means never will. Just another "almost" for the .irl. Like, they are "almost" a racing series.

And even if audi/vw signs wgf! Do you think the few remaining gomers are going to Indy to watch some audi go round in circles?


-RealRaceFan
Just a good reason to never buy an Audi/VW...will never do so should they sign up with the Leeeegue of Incredible Wankers!!


-boomerblaste
neither will any gomer buy one. I have yet to see a honda with an IRL sticker on it. would be fun for one of you to go to Sparta and Newton and count the two or three hondas in the parking lots there.


-TheStranger
How many cars would be in an EARL parking lot anyway? As many as you'd see at a steel mill in Scranton, after the pink sheets have been handed out?


-cartcanuck
fair bit of interest = going home with your hands in your pockets and nothing else

fair bit of interest = nice butt, shame about the face....I need a drink if anything is going to happen

fair bit of interest = "I'm flattered, but I'd rather just be friends"

fair bit of interest = don't hold your breath


-the cup
"The most keen interest now is coming from Alfa Romeo, Porsche, BMW and Audi."

All European car makers and no US car makers? Sounds a little fishy to me. Especially Alfa Romeo, can you even buy one of those in the Indiana?


-TheStranger
The import tax for Michigan-built cars is already rather prohibitive in Marion County.