No Fenders - Formula 1, IndyCar and A Whole lot more..
You’ve found No Fenders, an eclectic collection of Rantings, Reflections and Random Thoughts primarily about Formula One, Indy Car and Open Wheel Racing, with a moderate sprinkling of Rally, Sports Car racing and Moto GP thrown into the veritable “Spin Cycle.
Oriol "Suitcase" Servia's #16 RLLR dallara-Honda IndyCar during the 2017 Indianapolis 500. (The Tomaso Collection)
Although I Don't expect any of these Drivers to Win this year's Indianapolis 500...
And now it's almost showtime Folks! As the field's been filled nearly a week ago, whilst your humble No Fenders scribe finishes his epic 2019 rendition of Indy 500 One Offers' - for those of Y'all still reading, Mates!
Anyone who's followed Indy Cars recently will know that Jordan King filled-in at Ed Carpenter Racing, running the Twisties' portion, i.e.; Road Courses & Street Circuits part of the calendar for FAST EDDIE', aka Ed Carpenter last year, before being replaced by Ed Jones this season.
As I'll defer Y'all to my riveting No Fenders IndyCar Rookies tome from last year instead of reinventing thou wheel, regarding Messer King.
And I still don't get Jordan's return to Formula 2, other than apparently he couldn't find a desirable Fulltime ride in Indy Cars? Or his Budget didn't encourage this?
Hmm? May be a Fulltime Drive with Carlin in IndyCar next year? Or even more intriguing, a fulltime Gig with McLaren Racing in Indy Cars for 2020, with some Feller' named Fernando as his Indy 500 team-mate?
As King very Stealthily Stuck Himself into Thee Show, as I'll admit he was one of my three picks to DNQ this year. But acquitted himself nicely with a four-lap Qualie' run of 227.502mph, locking him into the field on Saturday, qualifying on the outside of Row-8 in 26th.
Ironically, King qualified one position ahead of fellow British Rookie Ben Hanley, who very impressively steered the DragonSpeed entry to P27 with a 227.482mph average...
Another year, same 'Ol HULIO' platitudes, Eh? And although he's the only Three Times Winner in the field, and one of only nine men to do so. He's also the only winner now relegated to "One Off" status.
Although I'd say the Brazilian was totally Overshadowed by some former F1 World Champion Spaniard and Juncos Racing and Kyle Kiser's epic qualifying run, Ci!
As we All know of Castroneves burning desires to add another Borg Warner trophy to his collection of three "Baby Borg" trophies.
Yet for Mwah, I still revel in the Delight 'O Helio finishing runner-up three times, most recently during his epic Duel with eventual winner Taku-san', aka Takuma Sato in 2017!
As a member of Team Penske's Four-car Armada, I suppose Y'all cannot ever count out the wily Brazilian from joining a rarefied trio of Four-times Winners, as Helio's either lost a step this year or is flying underneath thou Radar?
But I certainly Hope Castroneves NEVER joins Foyt, Unser, Sr. and Mears as Four-times winners! Although that's a debate for another day...
Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM
#77. Oriol Servia, Spain
First Race: 2008
Seems that I've seen this entry's nomenclature speeled' two different ways, yet being the very last official Indy 500 confirmation, and in the sake of going alphabetical, hence we'll go with the Team Stange moniker, which I really, really wanna make into Team Strange! Which apparently one nameless reporter did so; Hya!
Oriol "suitcase" Servia made his first start at the Brickyard over a Decade ago now, and has definitely earned the nicknamed bestowed upon him by the past Chump Cars TV Announcer Rick "Insert Sponsor's Name Here" Benjamin, due to his propensity of constantly changing teams...
Although this seems the worst kept secret, especially with Servia seeing limited Seat-time during the April 24th Open Test? Or he was Hanging out with the Arrow SPM Boyz' at the very least then. Since I tuned out for many hours of the rain delayed Webcast.
nonetheless, Arrow SPM didn't make Oriol's inclusion to this year's Indianapolis 500 official until the day prior to Opening Day, ARSE-Sumedly to garner some media exposure, Eh?
Although Obviously; SNAP! Effectively this is a third car Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry in every guise, even down to running the team's traditional #77 on it...
Although I'll confess that I didn't see this unlikely Team Stange Alliance as Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports third car for the Month of May...
As we All remember Servia leading last year for 16-laps late in the race, albeit on an alternative Fuel strategy aboard the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Racing with RLLR, effectively Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing's third entry. Which has apparently become the best way to Fast-track a Start-up IndyCar entry.
As I've got Zero Clue upon this Team Stange Racing concern, other than reportedly it's a RASSCAR' ARCA entity, which doesn't even have a working Website!
(Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')
Sage Karam's #24 Wix Filters Dallara-Chevrolet in front of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's garage during the 2018 Indy 500 Qualifying weekend. (The Tomaso Collection)
Although Fernando's learning that Mother Speedway calls the Shots...
Not surprisingly, McLaren Racing is learning that competing in the Indianapolis 500 is a whole new Ballgame when you're actually running your own programme, instead of just showing up 'N driving somebody else's racecar...
Sage Dangerboy' Karam got his nickname from the Wily PT', nee Thrill from The West Hill, aka "Sugar Ray" (Paul) Tracy before debris from his car rained down upon Justin Wilson at Pocono that fateful day in 2015, which seems to be Sage's Dubious Claim to Fame...
The 2013 Indy Lights Champion made his Indy 500 debut aboard a Dreyer & Reinbold "Satellite Squad" effort for thee Cheepster', nee Chip Ganassi Racing, en route to his career best finish at Indianapolis, (to Date) finishing Ninth, but being out-voted for Rookie Of the Year (ROY) Honours by some Taxicabland Bombers' Driver named Kurt Busch.
Otherwise his last four results have been mostly unforgettable, with a brace 'O 32nd's followed by another lackluster finish of 28th.
While last year, Karam was once again out of the race due to contact, this time finishing an unmentionable P26 after Smacking the Wall on lap 154.
As Karam had a very stressful weekend at Mother Speedway, ultimately "bumping" his way into thee Show on Sunday, during the Last Row shootout for which he was fastest, qualifying 31st at 227.740mph...
#48. J.R. Hildebrand, USA
First Race: 2011
Unfortunately, this likeable Yank', the 2009 Indy Lights Champion is mostly remembered for his failures, most notably his last lap crash during his inaugural race at the Brickyard. Or his being unceremoniously Fired by Panther Racing Owner John "Fans R Us' Barnes! And losing his ride after a single season at Ed Carpenter Racing, (ECR) as Josef STUD! Newgarden's replacement. Having been subsequently replaced by Spencer Pigot.
Yet the 32yr old Californian, who's a "Brainiac" who graduated High School with a 4.12 GPA, and was accepted to multiple Colleges including M.I.T. - which he let his 3yr Deferral lapse in order to pursue racing. And was chided for letting his "Hair Down" and face grow long during the 2017 season, certainly has the Speedway figured out.
As John Randal ("J.R.") has obviously seen both sides of Mother Speedway, from the near thrill 'O victory to the absolute Agony of Defeat! Since we All know how he came Oh, So tantalizingly close in 2011, finishing a Dejected runner-up to the late Dan Wheldon, before his 33rd place finish for Panther Racing two years later resulted in his immediate Dismissal.
Next, Hildebrand strung together a trio of Top-10 finishes for FAST EDDIE', nee Ed Carpenter between 2014-16, improving each year with finishes of 10th, 8th and 6th before being hired Fulltime at ECR in 2017, when he could only muster a 16th place finish.
For 2018, J.R. returned home to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, (DRR) who gave him his IndyCar start when running him in a pair of 2010 races at Mid Ohio and Sonoma.
Hildebrand, running the No. 66 DRR Dallara-Chevrolet Rolled off from the outside of Row 9, *P27) and finished a very respectable 11th last year.
As it's hard to believe that it was ten years ago now, when I had the pleasure of "Interviewing" J.R. Hildebrand, then fresh off his Formula 1 Testing Adventure...
Although I'm guessing Yuhs Don't needs to be a Rocket Scientist to figure this out. Nonetheless, enjoyed Racer's Marshall Pruett's take upon Fernando Alonso, and more importantly McLaren Racing's momentous genesis to gel into a competitive race team in the very compressed Month 'O May.
As I was listening to Pruett's (May 14th) Podcast with Conor Daly, where Marshall correctly eluded to the fact that he's curious to see if their cast of All Stars can conform into a cohesive team effort?
As McLaren Racing is obviously climbing a much steeper mountain this time, versus their first effort two years ago with a Turn Key Andretti Autosport entry, which saw Alonso lead the race before his Hondre' engine Done Blown up!
And it's certainly been a taxing month's outing for the McLaren concern. First dealing with a litany 'O E-E-E' lectrical Gremlins, NO "Prince 'O Darkness" Lucas Lectrics' Jokes here; Hya! Before Fernando became the first driver to Smack the Wall at Mother Speedway!
Although surely thoust Mighty McLaren would rebound and make Thee show, El Correctomundo? As just the Pomp 'N Circumstance of the Glitz surrounding the storied Woking based racing concern would leave Y'all believing this was a foregone conclusion, Ci?
Whilst I'll spare Dissecting what happened, causing McLaren and Fernando Alonso to Fail to Qualify for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, since arguably it'll be the Biggest Story of thou Month 'O May.
For the other One Off Drivers in this year's Indy 500 field racing for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing thru Team Stange Racing with Arrow SPM, see;INDY 500: A Wookie', A Three-times Champion and Journeyman Driver round out this year's Cast of One Offers'
(Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')
A Beaming Conor Daly, now Driving for Andretti Autosport claimed P1 on Fast Friday with a speed of 231.704mph is joined by a not so jubilant Gil de Feran and Fernando Alonso, now running their own Works McLaren Racing Programme. (Image source: oilpressure.com)
Although Conor Daly at thoust proverbial Powerhouse Andretti Autosport, winner's of 3 of the past 5 events shouldn't exactly be an Underdog, should he?
Otay motor racing Fans, welcome to Thee No Fenders second annual "Award Winning" Indy 500 One Offers' preview, which this year sees eight teams fielding a total of Nine cars to round out a fairly stout 36 Contendahs' for the 103rd Indianapolis 500. Seeing an increase of one entrant vs. last year's tally of 35, when Pippa Mann and James Hinchcliffe failed to qualify.
And due to their running earlier at Circuit Of The Americas, (COTA) and possibly a few more events this year? Certainly Laguna Seca? I'm not categorizing Juncos Racing as a "One Offer" for Indy, even if that's what they're beginning to look like this year...
Andretti Autosport Engine: Honda
#25. Conor Daly, USA
First Race: 2013
Sadly, like many drivers who go to A.J. Foyt enterprises, it becomes an IndyCar career Killer, for which seemingly sapped Conor Daly's Open Wheel Racing career.
As Conor's been bounced from two IndyCar teams now, first losing his Dale Coyne Racing ride after the 2016 season, then being Dumped from Foyt following his dismal 2017 campaign.
Whilst unfortunately, when I think of Conor, who was my former Numero Uno IndyCar Driver until losing his Fulltime ride in 2018.
Will forever be thou irony of chauffeuring the Smithfield Foods "fueld by Bacon" Special , whilst driving the iconic #43 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports during his second outing at Mother Speedway. When the car Done Caught On Fire during the Parade lap; YOUCH!
Nah Folks, N-O "Fueled by Bacon" Grease Fire Jokes Here!
Interestingly, Conor's best finish at Thee Brickyard to date, since Obviously, SNAP! He's expecting a big improvement this year, by stepping up into a Platinum ride with Mikey A',
Was last year's mostly unnoticed finish of 21st after starting Dead last for the Minnowesqe Dale Coyne Racing concern! Partnering with longtime Indy 500 car sponsor Tom Burns, who previously joined forces with Lazier Partners Racing to form Lazier Burns Racing in 2016.
As Daly's previous Indianapolis 500 career best finish was P22 during his rookie outing for 'Ol SuperTex', (A.J. Foyt) along with finishing last in 2015 and finishes of 29th & 30th from 2016-17 respectively being nothin' to write home about.
And whilst I'm happy for Conor to once again be racing in a competitive ride at Mother Speedway, unfortunately I simply cannot get too excited about his draping the Flag round himself and racing for the Military this May...
Even if Y'all cannot find yourself enjoying his ah Shucks' Demeanour. Not to mention getting a Raw Dealio from Eli-Lilly last year, when wrongly pulling their Sponsorship from him, regarding his Father Derek's controversial Firing...
Pippa Mann, who'd become a fixture at Dale Coyne Racing for the Month of May for the majority of her Indianapolis 500 career, has moved to a brand new team this year, in hopes of rebounding from last year's agony of failing to Qualify
Previously, Pippa had been steadily improving each year since her worst finish of 30th in 2013, before last year's setback. With her past two Indy 500 starts netting finishes of 18th & 17th respectively.
And while we're all accustomed to seeing Pippa sporting the colour Pink, she changed hues last year with her then new sponsor. And now will attempt making the stout field with the never raced before Clauson-Marshall racing concern - Sporting the No. 39 in honour of the late Brian Clauson.
As the team's comprised of Tim Clauson, Brian's father and co-owner Richard Marshall, longtime sponsor of Brian's. Although I fear this team is on a shoe-string Budget and will be hard pressed to make the Show, which I noted previously on No Fenders prior to Qualifying.
As Congratulations to Clauson-Marshall Racing and Pippa Mann for triumphantly locking their selves into Thee Show, by Qualifying 30th on Saturday's Pole Day activities, since I certainly didn't think they'd make the race this year...
Dale Coyne and his Alphabet Soup Brigade once again returns to Mother Speedway with one of his multi-car entries being in conjunction with Jonathan Byrd's Racing, Hollinger Motorsports and Belardi Auto Racing this May.
With the trio effectively switching Thar allegiance from A.J. Foyt Enterprises to DCR this year, after campaigning the No. 33 entry with James Davison at the Keyboard of Foyt's Dallara-Chevrolet.
Whilst still not exactly sure why, perhaps it's his "Aussie Grit?" That finds Mwah always Rootin' for this underrated Aussie', even if he seemingly got lambasted last year for running Tail-gunner Charlie, before getting into Taku-san's, nee Takuma Sato's way.
As Davison's previously driven for Dale Coin Racing, in what will now be his third time at Mother Speedway. Most notably when filling in for le Hamburgular', nee Sealmeister B', aka SeaBass' or commonly known here in Nofendersville as Sebastain Bourdais. After the frenchman's Uber Nasty shunt during 2017's Indianapolis 500 Qualifying!
Davison has a decade's-plus association with Indy Cars, having contested the 2008 Firestone Indy Lights season for Sam Schmidt Motorsports before finishing runner-up to 2009 Indy Lights Champion J.R. Hildebrand, driving for lil Napoleon, or simply TG', aka Tony George's Brand New Vision Racing team.
and my 'Ol Memory recalls that James took the number 33 for his rookie outing at Mother Speedway in 2014 for KV Racing Technology, in deference to being the 33rd and final Indy 500 entry that year. When he finished 16th, his best Indy 500 finish to date.
For the other One Off Drivers in this year's Indy 500 field racing for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and McLaren Racing, see;INDY 500: An International Star plans upon Outshining the rest of the One Offers' this May
And another chapter of McLaren International closes...
Know Thars' absolutely No Co-Inky-dense', but for some strange reason, when I heard the news late Monday night that Niki Lauda had taken his last breath. And on the heels of Fernando Alonso failing to qualify at Indianapolis. Weirdly I heard the soundtrack to Maxwell Smart's opening theme when the Doors Slam Shut behind him...
As many racing Fans will know of Niki "the Rat" Lauda's life in Formula 1 from that brilliant 'lil Ronnie Howard 2013 movie simply titled RUSH. Recounting the epic Duel for the 1976 F1 World Championship vs. James Hunt.
Whilst Lauda would ultimately claim the Formula 1 World Championship three times, twice for Ferrari in 1975 & 1977, and then winning by a scant half-point over rival McLaren team-mate "The Professor," aka Alain Prost in '84.
Yet Niki was also a Businessman who started at least two Airlines in-between his motor racing stints, before having Lung transplant surgery last year. Certainly a bi-product of his Horrendous, near Fatal Fiery Crash at the Nurburgring in the summer of '76...
As I'll let F1 Grizzled Journo' Joe Saward do the Heavy lifting recapping Niki's accomplishments...
Guaranteed Fat Catz' Starting Grid spots or Guaranteed Gut Wrenching Drama... What's it gonna be Hulman & Co?
Funny how I found Thyself almost going ADHD with Thy Telie' turned onto Thee Peacock', nee NBC in the Living Room, Zed Internetz' tuned-into 1070 The Fan in thou Office playing in the background whilst "My Gal" Lucy', my ARSE-Steamed Screen Reader read me two Live Blogs from Mother Speedway I kept refreshing constantly!
All-the-while marching back 'n forth from room to room for Four and One-half Hours. Trying insanely to discover the most current, up to thoust moment information on whether or not Thee Weather, nee Mother Nature was gonna cooperate 'N let us have our Bump Day, Uhm LCQ'; Err Last Row Shootout and Top-9 Pole Shootout commence Sunday?
And although I'm happy for "Symone," nee Pageantry', aka Simon Pagenaud capturing the Biggest IndyCar Pole of his career... Pagenaud's accomplishment totally Paled in Comparison to Juncos Racing and Kyle Kiser's epic Slaying of McLaren Racing and the Oh, So smooth Operator Fredrico Suave', aka Fred Alonso!
As I had four sets 'o fingers crossed, chanting Kyle-Kyle-Kyle! Before the 23yr old Californian even began his warm-up lap, as I simply did Not wish to see Fernando Alonso make his way into Thee Show!
Even more so after the Talkin' Headz' NBC Sports Network Booth Boyz reported that McLaren had received a Set-up Sheet from Team Penske and acquired a Dampers' package, what us Yanks' call Shocks from Andretti Applied Technology.
As this totally became a clear case of the Upper Crust, Pardon Mwah Gray Poupon Chauffer's, Butler's and Nannies Elitists vs. the tiny One Man David 'O Juncos Racing...
Which for Mwah, and hopefully more important thou Powers to Be, aka Starship HC', nee Hulman & Company. Do you really wish to lose this intangible commodity, the buzz of the unexpected Upset at 16th & Georgetown just so the Fat Catz' can keep Thar Gentlemen's club intact?
Or are Yuhs gonna stick to the time Honoured 110-years tradition of the Fastest 33 Cars Start the Race instead?
Which is Game Over for Me! Especially if you have the might & resources of a McLaren and are Beaten Fairly by a Minnow who's built a Better Mousetrap, Uhm, Out-engineered and Out-performed Yuhs, then they Deserve to be in the Race! Especially when You make five qualifying attempts in one day vs. their limited attempts.
As Congratulations to Ricardo Juncos, Kyle Kiser and Everybody else at Juncos Racing who made me euphorically SCREAM Exaltations at thou TV Screen for making the Indianapolis 500! You totally Deserve it!
As I totally LUV' the quote in Marshall Pruett's Racer.com story 'bout how Ricardo Juncos sent everybody home after working 42 Hours Straight to get some Sleep, since he knew they were gonna start making Mistakes.
along with reporting how DragonSpeed needed to hire new personnel after experiencing Visa issues, and Hired Veteran Engineer John dick, who I recall previously worked with Buddy Lazier. As Don't forget DragonSpeed's, and Clauson-Marshall Racing's impressive Feats of Qualifying for Thee GURR-Reatest' Race whilst McLaren goes Home...
As Surely 'Ol TK' Follow your Schnoz! Kanaan wistfully Opines for better Days at 'Ol superTex's, a la his 2013 victory at Mother Speedway...
Although typically, sometime in Thee Month 'O May, The Speed Freaks have a Chin Wag' with 'Ol Uncle bobby, aka triple Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser, I've chosen a different Interviewee this time, in Hopes of bringing Tony Kanaan some much needed No Fenders MoJo', since Blimey! TK' and the Foyt Gang certainly need some!
Although I'm not expecting Kanaan to be Drinking Milk in Victory Lane this May, Yuhs can never count out the Wily Brazilian at the Speedway, El Correctomundo!
James Hinchcliffe's SPM racecar coming out of the Tech line on Bump Day, 2018. Guess they should have left it in there, Eh! (The Tomaso Collection)
And does it really matter? Especially since speeds will be artificially "Pumped U-P!" For higher mph figures due to increased Boost pressure...
Y'all know the Drill here on thoust Isle 'O Nofendersville Mateys! As where has Thee last three-plus weeks gone? When originally I'd had no desires to listen to the IMS Open Test Day action. But apparently thou pull 'O Mother Speedway's "Tractor Beam" was simply too strong for Mwah?
Especially when I discovered that one of my favourite voices that I N-O longer get to listen to via Zed Internetz', Thanxs solely to Starship HC's overly greedy Capitalistic ways! Led by Hulman & Co's No. 1 Puffed Shirt Mark Miles! And the nepotism of erecting a 404 Access Denied Error Code Gold Bricks Paywall; But I Digress!
As I'm totally a Fan of Thee Viking! Aka Anders Krohn, whom apparently now is only heard on Sunday Races via the IMS Radio Network, since NBC Sports has "Locked Out" their participation during Friday's and Saturday's; Tisk-Tisk, what a Shame!
As Kevin Lee presided as the lead Booth Announcer, which is fine for these One Off Internet Broadcasts, since he's definitely NO Leigh Diffey! With Anders Krohn alongside, before they were joined by Robin Miller. Whilst Katie Hargitt tried keeping Dry while patrolling the Pitlane.
As think they were Killing some more Time during the 4hrs Rain Delay? For which 'Ol r', aka Robin Miller Collegiately said Boys, Who Do You Think Won't Make the Show? Or was it Sportscaster Kevin Lee? As I know Kevin said it's what they like to do... Speculate over who will and won't make Thee Show during the Month 'O May, even if it hasn't Officially begun.
For which Miller said look, I like Tim Clauson, but they're a Brand New team and they just Don't have the experience, or budget? To make the race.
Yet I slightly Disagree with Kevin, whom seems like he's reading from a Cue Card from time-to-time. As I'll agree with his first two assessments, i.e.; CMR and DragonSpeed, since they're both Brand New entities, with Dragon Speed having never contested an Oval race before.
But I Disagree over Juncos, provided Kyle Kiser's behind the Keyboard, since he hadn't been confirmed when I began scribblin' this...
Since Kiser's shown previously he knows how to win on Ovals during his Indy Lights Days, not to mention having raced in multiple Freedom 100's. Along with last year's Indianapolis 500, where he qualified 17th. .
Nope, instead, I'll speculate that Indy 500 Rookie Jordan King in Team RLLR's third mount, for which I hadn't heard a Car number disclosed until May 2nd, when having "My Gal" Lucy', my ARSE-STEAMED Screen Reader read me the News via Racer that the Official Entry list had been announced May 1st.
As King's third RLLR entry will sport the #42, with the Englishman, like fellow countryman Ben Hanley, one of this year's seven Indianapolis 500 Rookies will be the third casualty 'O Boomp Day 2019, The Sequel.
As those were my 3 Picks Failing to Qualify this year immediately following the Open Test Wayback on April 24th, prior to Official Indy 500 Practice, albeit with NO Disrespect towards any of the Drivers above, or those trying to make Thee Show!
Panning for Gold...
Regardless of what some are saying out Thar in Thee Blogosphere', I find it simply Atrocious that IndyCar, and most notably Hulman & Co. would be so Greedy and Deny Fans access to Fast Friday practice, all in vain to Discover a few ounces 'O Gold Dust...
Seriously? when Indy Cars needs every single Fan it can muster, to Deny Access to the IMS Radio Network is simply Despicable! As surely there's a way to let us, especially those of us who are Blind! To be able to listen to the Day's Activity Trackside via easily accessible methods...
And I'm tired of being told to Shut Up over this, as it wasn't FREE, contrary to popular belief. Since I'm fairly certain we used to get to listen to Firestone advertisements, Righto? Not to mention the "Mining" of our personal Data...
But hey Never Fear IndyCar. I Don't have to bother trying to follow your sport any more, which certainly helps entice sponsors?
As this will be the first year I Don't get to listen to Fast Friday via Zed Internetz', and get Pumped U-P over Pole Day; err Qualifying. Y'all know, when NBC will grace us with one whole hour's TV coverage on Saturday; SPEW!
As is it just Mwah? Or is NBC Sports really Desperate for some Suckers to Sign-up for their Gold Pass by discounting $15 - trying to Eak out some profits before the season's over? Which Hopefully implies people aren't willing to be sucked into paying more for Sports...
Photo c/o No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer CARPETS')
While finally, certainly Y'all have already heard the News over Indy 500 Qualifying being re-shuffled, moving the Top-9 Shootout for the Pole position and now the Last Row Shootout occurring on Sunday. As Saturday's traditional "Pole Day" will now just Lock-in Positions 10-30.
But Don't expect to See much of Saturday's Qualifying Action unless you're willing to Bend Over, Drop Trow and buy Access via NBC's Gold Bricks Pass... Like why would Indy Cars want to air more than once single, lone, Freakin' solitary hour of Qualie' on Mainstream "Linear" TV? As talk 'bout promoting your product, Eh?
After all, it's only Thee GURR-Reatest Spectale in Motor Racing, Righto? Oh Never Mind!
Fernando Alonso's Andretti Autosport No. 29 racecar in the Pits before start of Carb Day, 2017. (The Tomaso Collection)
Now after I win the Triple Crown; Hmm, isn't that a Horse race? Ah, I'll go win Le Mans again and then Dakar and Pikes Peak and the Chili bowl and...
My original title was Alonso Chasing Mythical Bucket list, but suddenly the thought of the Oh, So "Smooth Operator" Fredrico suave, aka Fred Alonso made me think of an 'Ol Leonard Cohen song instead...
Ah, another of Thy endless stories on thou Isle 'O Nofendersville that's Ah-Waitin' planting; err Scribblin', Hence languishing Ah-Amongst Thee Driftwood, r' Mateys!
Having originally pondered some seven years ago now; Hmm? What's that 'bout seven year Itches? My Mind was Ah-Wonderin' just how many Gran Primo Pilotes' who've won Formula 1 world championships were also victorious at Mother Speedway?
With this No Fenders story's topic percolating back to mind when listening to the rain delay for Saturday's May 20th (2017) qualifying session of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, when D-Squared, aka Donald Davidson teased us by pronouncing that a total of twelve former and future Formula 1 world champions had now contested the Indy 500.
As it's a long, long time ago when I had the pleasure of meeting Messer Davidson at Mother Speedway...
Jack Brabham, Graham Hill, Jimmy Clark, Dennis Hulme, Jackie Stewart, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Jacques Villeneuve and Fernando Alonso.
Alas, with thy pinnacle 'O motorsports, nee Formula 1 being Europe's single seater benchmark, the lure, and more likely the prize money drew the Attenzione of the leading Gran Primo Pilotes' of the 1960's who flocked to the Speedway in droves during what was loosely coined the "British Invasion."
Amazingly, only five of these twelve F1 Champions have won the Indianapolis 500, albeit both Mario Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve claimed the prestigious Borg Warner trophy first, before becoming Formula 1 World Champions.
Although I'm positive Thee Wee Scot' or Sir Jackie, JYS, nee Jackie Stewart raced at the Brickyard before claiming his first F1 World Championship in 1969. And Ditto for Jochen Rindt, whilst I simply Don't feel like querying each of these Drivers to Discern when their first Indy 500 was. Especially since I can NO longer navigate Indianapolis Motor Speedway's P.O.S Non Screen Reader Friendly website; But I Digress...
As it may be Thee Greatest Spectale', but it's also The World's Worst Website!
Thus I'll just go with the figure of just a Skosh under 42% is the rate of F1 World Champions Drinking Milk, or E-GADS! Orange Juice in Victory Lane...
Hence the point of this Warbling No Fenders tome, for which is it just Mwah? Or has Fred Alonso wisely Cooled his Jets 'bout Crowing over his attempt at the Mythical Triple Crown?
And what makes a racing driver truly legendous? Since Mika-the-Finn' (Hakkinen) has exactly the same number of F1 World Championships as Alonso, but I'd say I almost never hear a Peep mentioned about him.
And can we even possibly compare the accomplishments of Graham Hill v Fernando Alonso? Since Hill completed this mythical Triple Crown upon winning the 1972 24 Heurs du Mans sensationally for Matra, giving the French auto manufacturer a very popular 1-2 finish on Home Soil vs. true Competizione from rivals Alfa Romeo and Lola.
Whilst Alonso won for Toyota as a Rookie in what effectively was a Two Horse Intra-squad Scrum of the only two "Works" Hybrid machinery on the grid, Ditto for this year's fast approaching Le Mans.
Does Fernando deserve to be in the conversation of multiple Monaco Grand Prix winners, for which Hill's five victories between 1963-69 is only surpassed by the late, great Ayrton Senna's six. Not to mention the likes of Michael Schumacher's tally of five W's, Alain Prost's four wins or Jackie Stewart's three victories on the Streets of the Principality.
Not to mention Sir Stirling Moss has 3 W's and Bloody Hell! Even Thee Great Nico Rosberg has one more victory in Monte Carlo than Fernando does. (3) who's won twice in 2006-07.
Whilst the list of Two Times Monaco GP victors somewhat reads like a Who's Who, with the likes of el Maestro', aka Juan Manuel Fangio, Maurice Trintignant, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Uhm, David Coulthard.
But I'm not saying that Fernando's not a great driver, it's that I just Don't think he warrants All the Attenzione, much of which I believe is Self-promoted towards tying somebody else's record, which I suppose the Spaniard could spin into other ingenious Feats...
As I'll go out upon a very Stout limb and predict that Alonso in the "Start-up" McLaren Racing IndyCar entity won't be victorious at Mother Speedway this May, and Hell, their main Technical Alliance "Partner" Carlin could be Hard pressed to Qualify all three of its entries! Although Charlie Kimball should be an invaluable source this May.
As will Fernando return in 2020 should be the more pressing Questione, now that it's been announced he won't return to Toyota's WEC concern following the conclusion of Le Mans. Having been replaced by ex-Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Pilote Brendon Hartley for Toyota's 2019-20 World Endurance Championship (WEC) Tilt. And most likely is setting his sights upon contesting next year's Dakar Rally, and who knows what else, since Fernando just loves seeing his name in the media...
Or should I have used the proper Yank terminology of Toast? Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Fa-la-lah lah...
First Off, Happy Mmums' Day to All the Mother's Out Thar... As I'm posting this today, since I haven't decided if I'm getting up at OH-DARK 30' for another Bloody Formula 1 race, which possibly will be Barcelona's last?
Since when I think of the Spanish GP on Mother's Day, I always instantly recall watchin' the race with Thy Awntie' Harriet saying Oh? "We've Been There" upon telling her it's in Barcelona, Barcelona Spain?
While fortunately, ESPN's feeling "Charitable" and bestowing us with one of its scant Encore Presentations this Sunday evening, which I'll watch instead...
So a Funny thing occurred during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend a Fortnight ago for Mwah, especially since I'm still Honouring my selection of Valtteri Bottas as my current Numero Uno Formula 1 Pilote', whom I selected five years ago after 'lil Sid Viddle had totally enraged Mwah! Hence, you'd think I'd have been ecstatic over his Dominant victory, Righto?
But instead, I found Thyself Rootin' All race long that Monsieur "Luhcluck," aka Charles Leclerc would somehow Pull a Wabbit' outta his rosso Firesuit and magically win the Grands Prix instead! Which we All know didn't occur for multiple reasons, including once again, Ferrari getting the Strategy wrong!
As I find Vettel's comments Hilarious, since is it jut Mwah? Or does Sebastian always have a ready-made excuse for why he's gotten Beaten once again? As I believe it's now over eight months since his last victory at Thee Mighty Spa', nee Spa Francorchamps, Ja-Ja?
As my Angst towards the once mighty German began in earnest with his ridiculous Multi 21X Shenanigans at Red Bull, before his Disgusting Behaviour towards the late Charlie Whiting, Nerfing "golden Child," nee Lewis Hamilton, ironically also at Azerbaijan in 2017. And his general Air of Superiority and that everybody should pay Deference to him, be it on or off the racing Ash-fault'.
Hence I find Thyself cheering more 'N more each Bloody Grands Prix weekend for Thee Upstart Monegasqueto Kick Vettel's Heiny! Even if I only know the scantest details regarding Monsieur Leclerc.
Yet that being said, a la above, I found I had ZERO Elations over Bottas superb W', especially since I Don't wish for Golden child to Beat Herr Schumacher's career tally of F1 Wins...
Witch I suppose my languid response towards Valtteri is due in some small part of my wanting to know when the other Shoe' will Drop? And that Pompous Arse Toto Wolff orders Valtteri to let Lewis thru? Or the fact that Bottas simply doesn't seem to have the ability to Beat Hamilton over a season to a title.
Alas, I simply find LuhCluck' Electrifying at the moment, especially since he seems to already have Vettel's number, whilst la Scuderia keeps ordering him to let Seb' Play Thru, which means Ferrari will not win a Championship this year. And their strategy of putting All Thar Eggs behind Sebastian are an unwise move!
As Ferrari surely must be wondering why they're paying Vettel a King's Ransom, whilst the German's laughing All the way to the Bank; Ja Volt!
Thus Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary ELLEN was asking me when's the last time France had a really good Formula 1 Driver? i.e.; race winner Wee-Wee?
As my mind race into the Wayback Machine, apparently too far, since the names Didier Pironi and Rene Arnoux immediately sprang to mind, along with the likes of Francois Cevert and Jacques Laffite, with all four being Grands Prix winners.
Thinking a little harder, I immediately muttered that le Professor', Alain Prost is France's last Formula 1 World Champion, claiming his fourth and final title in 1993. Before Bosom Buddy Ayrton Senna coerce him into retirement after joining Team Willy for '94.
Whilst I'd momentarily overlooked Jean Alesi, when trying to recall Thee Prancing Horse's last Frenchman, who won his one and only Grand Prix appropriately at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in '95. Before I believe, the last "Frenchie" to win a Formula 1 race was Olivier Panis in thou Principality, on Thee Streets of Monte Carlo when unexpectedly winning the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix.
Which Karmically brings us Full Circle back to Monsieur Leclerc, who's a very talented racer, having most notably won the GP3 and FIA F2 Championships back-to-back during his Rookie seasons en route to Formula 1.
as I now seriously toy with the idea of making him my newest Numero Uno F1Pilote', who Ferrari would be Stupid to Squander the opportunity of backing him for a Title run soon!
As I'd say my ah Ha momento regarding the talented Monsieur Leclerc came during last year's Mexican GP, when he told the team I'll go again, after the team told him to Box-Box-Box! When he didn't appear to be headed for the Top-10 Q3' Qualie session. and then one lap later was P7, SHUHZAMM!!