Three Automobile Racing Thoughts:

1) in motorsports, there is nothing better than a Formula 1 race in which rain interferes with a portion of the race. Yesterday was the Monaco Grand Prix, usually very much a processional race where there is no passing. Usually whomever makes it to the first corner of the first lap is the winner of the race, and the rest of the field follows suit, all in order.
But start the race in rain which continues for a good third of the race, and then continue through the rest of the race with a drying track but still with the threat of rain, and you’ve got a humdinger of a race. One of the better F1 races in recent years (at least in terms of keeping my attention).

2) I try to enjoy NASCAR. I really do. But 4 hours of driving around in a circle is just too boring. Yeah, it’s close car to car action, and there’s a lot of overtaking, but it’s all rather unnecessary until the final 100 miles.

3) It’s a shame that the Indianapolis 500 has become irrelevant. What will it take to get a good open-wheel series happening in North America? One that isn’t comprised solely of oval-course racing? I long for the days of CHAMP car back in the early 90’s. It was like the perfect amalgamation of the speed and excitement of F1 and the frequent-passing of NASCAR. Too bad they went and ruined it.

3 Comments

  1. I genuinely tried to give watching the Indy 500 a shot yesterday, but when you realize how completely irrelevant being in the lead is for most of the race, you start to feel a little cheated trying to stay excited.
    The Monaco race was fantastic though. Just too bad Kubica didn’t stay in the fight for longer.

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  2. F1) As soon as I saw that the F1 race was going to be held in the wet, I thought back to the 1996 Monaco race. Or the Last German GP held on the full Hockenheim track, or the Hungarian GP where Button got his only win so far. Actually, add the 98 Spa race to that too. The only interesting races of F1 in the past 10 years that didnt involve rain would be the first race of this season when everyone was getting settled in without traction control, and the Canadian GP last year. But back to this race. I think I let out one of the loudest “Holy FUCK!”s when Raikkonen plowed into the back of Sutil…now that Minardi is not around, I need a small team to go for that, unlike when Paul Stoddart had Minardi, actually wants to achieve fame by being the underdog and finishing races in the points on the rare occasion. Raikkonen and Hakkinen would never have won a championship, or in Hakkinen’s case, multiple championships, if it wasnt for them lucking out and having the best car. Thats a different story though.
    Nascar) I caught most of this race on the plane, and I think I may have fell asleep at some point. I got into the hotel and caught the last 15 laps. It was good to see the race finish under green for once. I think its only happened one other time this season that i can remember that they have actually had an “old timely (circa 1993) finish” where there are no debris cautions, and people run out of gas in the closing laps. I still think that it would be an interesting venture for Nascar to run instead of a 500 lap race, where as mentioned above the last 100 laps is really the only thing that counts, but run on an extreme short track…like a 1/3rd mile, and do it like local stock car. Do about 4 heats of 20 cars, so many of those advance into the semis, then have a last chance “B” Feature where the first 2 cars advance, and then a main feature. It would be more intense than those shit 1.5 mile ovals they run on now. And while I am on the topic, stop calling the car they use NOW the CAR OF TOMORROW for fucksakes!
    IRL) For the “Pinnacle Of Motorsport”… is there rednecks that are so far in the woods that they have never heard of LeMans, or even the Daytona 500 has now taken over the Indy 500 as the most prestigious race? I cant recall other Pinnacle Of Motorsports that involve AT LEAST 3 accidents under the caution. In addition to a pinnacle field which consisted of almost 50% rookies, and the other 25% of nonrookies of people I have never heard of before.
    As for Danica Patrick. Way too much hype for someone who has only won the one race in the series. Winning a race in the series isnt much of a feat compared to some of the other also-rans that have won races Eliseo Salazar…Buzz Calkins..who won the first race, and co-won the first season of the IRL…if you can call 3 races a season. It was sickening the amount of attention that she got, and has gotten the past few years. When they played the radio transmission of her bitching about the handling of her car, and she went on for a full 2 minutes was a bit much…worse than the length of this post. Any other driver in that field would have just been like “The Car is doing some heavy oversteer. take some PSI out of the right rear” and that would have been the whole transmission.
    And what the hell was up with that douche bag walk down to the penske pit after the pit lane collision. What a zoo. And as for Sarah Fisher, to paraphrase Tom Hanks in A League Of Their Own: “There’s no crying in racing!!!”
    Anyways, I needed to get that off my head.
    Rob, I didnt know you were a racing fan. If you are looking for good consistant racing, the only stuff I have been able to find the past few years are the following series, which are hard to catch most of the time:
    ALMS) Which is the LeMans based sportscars. Its pretty much F1 without all the Bernie Ecclestone and Max Mosely BS.
    Grand Am) Another sportscar series, except this time based out of the US. Its a relatively new series, but well put together. Both of these sportscar series usually due the prototype cars and GT cars on the track at the same time deal.
    British Touring Car Series: The BTCC is even harder to catch on TV, but check it out on youtube….for a few decades it has had some pretty insane agressive driving.
    On that note, I must be off.

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