Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thoughts on this weekends racing action

1) Props to fellow Californian Charlie Kimball for his first victory in the Indycar series

 He drove a great race, was fast all day.  Another caution-free run at Mid-Ohio and the decision to split the strategy from the other Ganassi cars benefited him greatly. But he had to make make a daring pass on Simon Pagenaud to secure the victory. Pagenaud actually had a enough of a lead to beat the pit lane/stop delta time needed to stay ahead. 

 He came out ahead of Kimball but with cold tires couldn't hold him off.

 Not sure what happen to Sato as his weekend went from bad to worst. I believed he finished 1 lap down with transmission issues but finished the race.

 2) What happen to BMW in Moscow?

 Only Farfas managed to make it into superpole qualifying only for it to be cancelled because of President Putin's plane flying in the airspace required for the helicopter to take aerial shots.

 Farfas finished on the podium (3rd) and Derek Werner finish 7th.

 Anyway the short of it is; Spengler's chances of defending his title took a serious blow when he was bullied off the track by Mortara and finished 1 lap down in 19th. Being 27 points behind with four races to go; Rockie is one victory and Top 10 finish ahead of Spengler and doesn't appear ready to start having reliability problems since he dominated most of this race and won with ease.

 Joey Hand got another Top 10 (8th) finish which is more than I can say about Andy Priaulx. He continues to struggle even with a car change for 2013 (He driving Hand's car from 2012). Andy has had one bright spot during his time in DTM, one top ten finish last year. He was never a dominant driver in WTCC, he was consistent points scorer with about 3 victories on average since 2004.

 I guess he's not cut out for DTM, which isn't surprising, plenty of former F1 drivers have tried to win in DTM and haven't. It will be very interesting to see if he's continues in DTM next season because the only other outlet for Priaulx might be 3rd driver duties in USRC with RLL Team BMW. 

 Of course its possible BMW might decide that Hand needs to focus on DTM, which would open up a seat for regular driving duties in USRC, but I think John Edwards is vying for that spot.

 With four races left in DTM and four races after this weekend's ALMS@Road America combination race with Grand Am, the silly season could start in earnest a bit early and people's lives could be drastically different by Christmas.

 If you haven't seen the race, check it out -


 3) Remember Jose Maria Lopez? 

 In 2007, he was recruited by Peterson/White Lightning who was partnering with the new Corsa Motorsport team who was also fielding a Ferrari F430. Brand new tub from Italy.... In opening qualifying, he managed to wreck a two race old car. We wouldn't see Corsa again until the Utah race and then a year later when they tried to run a hybrid electric car for the first time in the ALMS.

 Lopez was tapped in the media for the US Formula 1 team that was to be based out of the Charlotte, NC area.

 When that failed, Lopez was a regular in the Argentinian Touring Car Championship (TC2000), where's he's two time champion ('08-'09). He also made some appearances in the final years of the FIA GT series before it moved too its GT1 World format. 

 I'm fairly sure he's done some Blancpain races as well, but don't quote me on that.

 In any event he won race #2 at the WTCC race in Argentina where he was a guest driver. Even though he benefited from a reversed grid, he steadily increased his lead and was helped out tremendously by a stop-n-go penalty given to Yvan Muller who was running him down after starting 8th but was already 3rd after one lap.

 Race #1 was another whitewash by Yvan Muller who increased his point lead yet again. He could actually quit now and nobody would catch him. I don't know what the magic number is, but I may send a Tweet out to Martin Haven to see if he has any idea.

 Rumors are swirling that Muller might be a teammate of Seb Loeb when he makes his WTCC debut next season in a factory backed Citroen.

 Update #1

 Muller has signed with Citroen - http://www.fiawtcc.com/news/detail/id/1329

 There are new regulations for 2014,  stay tuned as I hope to have a Touring Car expert to explain it not only to me but the rest of you. All we know thus far is the cars will be drastically different and all races will be standing start. Its believed BMW will not return to the championship next season, leaving only FWD cars to compete in 2014.

 Next top for the WTCC, Sears Point! I would love to support the series but the truth is, I am saving up for a trip I will discuss very soon and it's too inconvenient to get to the track without a car.

 4) Another interesting weekend for the British Touring Car Championship.

 All the races were very active, lots of close racing. I guess these new championship specific cars are a success.

 The results and standings are here

 If you want to watch any of this stuff in the United States, you have to wait until the off-season on Speed. But Speed is going to be defunct August 17th, so where will you be able to watch this?

  •  If you have access to the Speed 2 web site, both the BTCC and WTCC are shown there I believe both live or time-shifted.
  • DTM streams their races live on YouTube and its not Geo-Blocked so you can watch it here.
 Failing that you have another way to access this and all the racing you can stand. I will discuss that soon, so stay tuned.



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