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, March 25, 2016

Haas F1 Team Stuns Field at Australian Grand Prix

(by AJ Baime 3-20-16)

“I’m just hoping we can finish the race,” said Gene Haas, minutes before his Haas F1 Team debuted at the Aussie Grand Prix on Sunday. “If we do that, I’ll be happy.”  The team did that, and a hell of a lot more. Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean started 19th and climbed 13 spots to finish sixth, giving the team eight points in the constructor’s championship in the first race of the F1 season.
How big an accomplishment is this? Consider some facts: No American team has raced in F1 in 30 years. No team from any country has scored a point in a debut race in 14 years, when Mike Salo finished sixth for Toyota. No American team has won a Grand Prix since the summer of 1976, when Gerald Ford was president. Not that Haas has won a GP. But sixth in the debut, by all accounts, “feels like a win,” said Grosjean—the man who brought it home.
As Mario Andretti wrote recently for The Drive, “If they come away with some points [this season], that would mean success. A top five would be a second Christmas.” Haas came one spot from a second Xmas in his debut. And in doing so, the team beat some of the most storied names in the business, from Renault to Sauber to McLaren.
The race was won by Nico Rosberg of Mercedes AMG, followed by Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in third. (Hamilton started from pole—his 50th and the third most ever, behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.) The three-man podium has become quite familiar, all the more reason why Haas’s sixth place is the biggest story of the weekend.
From the moment Haas partnered with his team boss and technical director Guenther Steiner (an Italian living in the U.S.), it took six years of work—and probably a nine-figure investment—just to get a car on the grid. Haas is a man who knows how to gamble big. He invented a machine tool in the early 1980s, and turned it into the largest computer machine tool operation in North America. He launched a Nascar team (Stewart-Haas Racing) that has won championships in America’s biggest racing series. He even did 16 months in federal prison for tax evasion.
His weekend in Australia started out grimly. A crash in pit lane caused damage to one of the team’s two cars in practice, before the cars could even get to qualifying. Then, a new qualifying format proved disastrous as it bored fans (you could bake a soufflĂ© in the time it would take to explain this new qualifying system). Haas cars were the third and fourth to drop out, so they started 19th and 20th out of 22 cars.
A spectacular crash on lap 17 red-flagged the Grand Prix. Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez and Fernando Alonso made contact, sending Alonso’s McLaren tomahawking into a wall. Alonso’s survival from this shunt is a miracle (he walked away), and the accident ended the race for one of the Haas cars. The remaining Haas driver, Grosjean, made use of the red flag by changing to new tires that he hoped would last him until the end of the race. He had 40 laps to go, and he inched his way up lap after lap.
Gene Haas and his team boss Steiner must have made meals of their fingernails as Grosjean made his final loops around the circuit in sixth place. As announcer Will Buxton said: “I can’t believe I’m about to say this guys, and I don’t want to curse them, but with only a handful of laps to go, Romain Grosjean holds a two-second advantage over his rivals. He literally has to bring this thing home. What an astonishing result it would be for this brand new team. I cannot remember when a team has turned up so well prepared, so regimented, and so competitive.”
Grosjean’s careful work with his tires proved the difference. “A very good day at the office,” he said afterwards. “This is unbelievable.”
“There’s a new F1 team on the block,” Gene Haas said post-race, “and it’s an American team.”
Here’s what else you need to know:
*Best rookie finish: Britain’s Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 11th
*Best livery: Williams, for the third year running
*Best new livery: Renault, in the team’s return to F1
*Worst new livery: McLaren
*Scariest moment: Fernando Alonso’s terrifying 17th lap shunt
*Worst moment: The entire qualifying session. The new rules proved senseless.
*Fastest lap: Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1 minute 28.997 seconds


Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 Sauber

Sauber has been looking good too the past couple of years. I especially like the nose on this one.

Cheers to them for an easy-to-spot paint scheme as well. I get tired of almost all the teams being either silver, red, black, or a combination there of.

2016 Renault

Renault have had some of the best looking cars the last few years if you ask me.

Hopefully they can get it together and compete up front with this beauty of a machine.