TMR Game 2011: Week 5

Hello and welcome to the TMR Game Week 5.

This post accepts entries for the Phoenix NASCAR Sprint Cup race which is the only event this week.

Housekeeping

Thinking of joining in? If you place your first entry during the first 8 weeks of the game you will receive 80% of the lowest player’s score from any weeks you missed. That brings you into contention whilst applying a small penalty for lateness, the rest is up to you!

Each week you pick 10 drivers with a maximum of 7 from a single championship. This is the middle of a run of three NASCAR-only weeks so I’m looking for 7 Cup drivers please.

See this page for the game rules.

Email reminders will be sent on Thursdays or Fridays by either myself or Sebastian. Please leave a valid email address in the comment form. If you do not wish to receive reminders please let us know, otherwise we’ll assume we’re okay to send them. Also let us know (privately if you prefer) if you would like to use a different address to the one you use here.

The deadline for entries is Saturday morning at 6am GMT / 1am ET. Read on for results..

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TMR Game 2011: Week 4

Hello and welcome to the TMR Game.

This post accepts entries for the Daytona 500 which is the only event this week.

Housekeeping

Thinking of joining in? If you place your first entry during the first 8 weeks of the game you will receive 80% of the lowest player’s score from any weeks you missed. That brings you into contention whilst applying a small penalty for lateness, the rest is up to you! Don’t worry though, this might be week 4 but there has only been one race.

The Daytona 500 kicks off a three-week spell of just NASCAR Cup races. If you would like to enter the same team of 7 drivers for each of those rounds please tell me in your comment (you can always come back next week to amend it for the next race). A reminder, if you played last year and are expecting an entry to carry forward automatically, that will NOT happen this year, instead you’ll get 80% of the lowest score of anybody who submitted a full entry.

If you missed them before, you can see this page for the game rules. I hope they are fairly straightforward and easy to use, please ask if they aren’t.

Email reminders will be sent on Thursdays or Fridays by either myself or Sebastian. Please leave a valid email address in the comment form. If you do not wish to receive reminders please let us know, otherwise we’ll assume we’re okay to send them. Also let us know (privately if you prefer) if you would like to use a different address to the one you use here.

The deadline for entries is Saturday morning at 6am GMT / 1am ET.

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GrandAm: 2011 Rolex 24 at Daytona

I watched a sizeable chunk of the Daytona 24 Hours live a couple of weeks ago. It was good fun, especially as the Blogathon was happening at the same time and I was also juggling Twitter and some live commenting.

Even though GrandAm is fairly alien to me I really enjoyed this race. I’ve been watching a few things over winter but recordings aren’t the same, and the Dakar Rally was great but it isn’t circuit racing. It really felt like a breath of fresh air. This race felt like the first hit of warmth and Vitamin D you get from the sun in early spring after a particularly long, dull, dreary, wet winter. You know in Daybreakers when the sun hits the guy’s face? A reawakening.

This was the first time I’d paid so much attention to the race, I’d tried to follow in past years but was thwarted by very low-quality streams (cars as blurs on the screen and a lot of buffering) which were eventually shut down anyway. This year I really want to make use of the Eurosport Player, watch the race legitimately – but no, Eurosport couldn’t even cover the start of the race and then missed almost all of Sunday. Give us a reason to watch, guys. The stream I found this year was quite good (relatively), and SPEED’s coverage was largely excellent. The commentary line-up was very good indeed.

Everybody expected the two Ganassi cars to dominate and despite falling a long way back due to various problems, they did just that, they dominated the others – and made use of GrandAm’s Safety Car rules in which a lap can be regained if played right – to eventually claim a 1-2 finish by the end of the event. It was a fantastic effort especially by Joey Hand. Juan Pablo Montoya’s efforts received mixed reactions, his speed and determination was lauded but his excuberent wheel-banging was rightly not.

The real reason my attention was held for so long was the performance of two crews new to the event. I’ve been a fan of the Flying Lizard team in ALMS/LM24 GT racing for many years so I was amazed to see them enter the top class of an event like this. Their professionalism wasn’t doubted but nobody seriously thought they’d get results in their first attempt outside of GTs, in very unfamiliar equipment against some worthy experienced opposition. Yet they secured the pole and went on to extend a definite lead in the early running. Trouble struck, yet once the car rejoined 19 laps down it was again the fastest in the field and often by some margin (including those dominant Ganassis). Very impressive stuff.

The other impressive team was United Autosports. They did have the help of GrandAm stalwarts Michael Shank Racing, but they still had to perform. It was fantastic to see Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell prove any doubters wrong and demonstrate their speed. F1 and CART experience apart they have both always been excellent endurance racers and so it was proven once more. I like United. I like their attitude and their approach and they have a big future.

GrandAm cars are faster than I gave them credit for, particularly the DPs, whether that’s because they were on the high banks of Daytona I don’t know. I can’t say I was into the GT race though, usually I am in multi-class races, they might want to look into that for the future.

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This post is part of a new series of race reviews. I’ve tried doing this before in a number of formats, all of which were quite long and ended up explaining what happened rather than giving my thoughts on the race. Unlike many bloggers I am not a reporter or a journalist and I never want to be. From now on I will be writing down my opinions in blog posts of ~500 words or less. Or maybe a little more, like this one.

TMR Game 2011: Week 3

There is no Week 3. The Bud Shootout as a non-championship event is not eligible for the TMR Game, I am just incrementing the week numbers for consistency.

Please refer to Week 2 for the current scores.

The next eligible event is the Daytona 500 which is next weekend, you can make a provisional entry here if you like or you may prefer to wait until after the Week 4 post appears on Monday or Tuesday – see you then!

2011 Motorsport Calendar

For the second year running, I have created motorsport calendars for a variety of race series for use with Google Calendar and iCal. They ought to work with other things too such as Outlook but your mileage may vary – give it a go and see what happens!

I created the dedicated Calendar page a few weeks ago but never got around to plugging it in the main blog. This was by design, I was waiting for official start times from racing bodies. There still aren’t many around, but with the Formula 1 times released in the last few days and others gradually emerging, and with the racing season now truly upon us, it is time to plug it properly!

What Are They?

If you want an online calendar you can use to easily look up which races are happening on a given weekend, here is your answer. You can pick and choose which series you want to add, so you can choose F1, IndyCar, MotoGP and ILMC if you like, while ignoring NASCAR and BTCC.

Each series is listed independently, and the different ‘Le Mans’ series are independent of one another as well, so you can colour-code them if you choose (this does mean some ILMC duplication).

This is what they look like when used with Google Calendar:

IWTMR Motorsport Calendar for March 2011 shown in Google Calendar. Disclaimer: Only a handful events have published start times as of 6-Feb, those without are shown as 'all-day events' until start times are released.

How Do I Use Them?

To choose your series simply go to the list on this page and add them at will. Unfortunately WordPress and Google don’t seem to be friends so I can’t embed them.

Notes

- Events with start times are listed in colour text. Events with no start times (or those spanning more than a day like Le Mans) are listed in colour blocks. I hope to add start times as they become available, this might not be until a week before the event.

- Practice sessions are NOT included. If you viewed more than a handful of championships the races and qualifying sessions got lost among hundreds of practice sessions, so I deleted them. Let’s focus on the interesting and important things.

- For more notes please read here.

I really hope you like these and find them useful throughout 2011!

The Various Le Mans Series

Sportscar racing has always been a confusing branch of motorsport to follow. There are many fans of racing who could be potential sportscar fans but may be a bit bewildered by the variety. When discussing the Peugeot launch on Thursday,Christine and Mr C at Sidepodcast asked exactly what the ILMC actually is, and where it fits into the sportscar world. I thought I would answer that question with this blog post, but first let’s set the scene.

Here follows a fairly rough guide to sportscar racing and the collection under the ‘Le Mans’ label in particular.

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Guest Post at F1 Archive

It occurred to me earlier that amongst watching the Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend I forgot to mention here the guest post I wrote for Leigh at The F1 & Motorsports Archive. It was written a little late but was for the previous weekend’s 3rd VivaF1 Blogger Swap Shop.

You can read my post here “Are Pay Drivers Getting Better?” and the rest of the articles in the 3rd Swap can be found in this bundle including RubberGoat’s post here.

Thanks to Leigh for hosting and to VivaF1 for the swaps.