Weekend Preview: 30-31 May 2009

Feature Events

IndyCar Series

– ABC Supply / AJ Foyt 225
– Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
– (5/17)
– 225 laps

Just one week after the Indy 500 the teams and drivers head to the traditional follow-up event at the Milwaukee Mile – this will be the 52nd time Milwaukee directly follows Indy in the schedule and the 3rd time under IRL sanction, it really is one of those long-time Indy-racing traditions. According to IndyCar.com the last driver to win both events back-to-back was Juan Pablo Montoya in 2000.

I like Milwaukee, it can be a lot of fun and it is a different kettle of fish to the 1.5 milers the IRL usually uses.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 11pm BST
USA – LIVE on ABC at 3:30pm EDT

Support races: Firestone Indy Lights

Other Events


– Gran Premio d’Italia Alice
– Mugello, Italy
– (5/17)

To Italy! I still haven’t caught up with MotoGP so I really have no idea what’s going on, but this track ought to sort them out.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on BBC Two at 12.30pm
USA – Delayed on SPEED at 4pm ET

Supports: 250s, 125s, etc.


NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Dover 400
– Dover, Delaware, USA

– Charlotte, South Carolina, USA
– (13/36)

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 1 at 7pm Sunday
USA – LIVE on FOX at 1.30pm ET Sunday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Saturday), Camping World Trucks (Friday)


– EuroSpeedway Lausitz
– Lausitz, Germany
– (2/10)
www.dtm.com (news/results)
www.dtm.tv (video interviews, live streaming)

The German tourers head to the road course layout at the EuroSpeedway. Turn one is always fun but to be honest this isn’t my favourite DTM race of the year because the huge stands make the place look empty and the track itself isn’t very interesting. There is always a bit of fun at turn one at the start, otherwise there isn’t much to be said.

The good news is that we in the UK return to live coverage for this event, so if you have Setanta be sure to check it out.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Setanta Sports 1 at 12.30pm.
Worldwide – LIVE on www.dtm.tv from 2pm CET / 1pm BST / 8am EDT. When you follow that link it will ask you to choose one of two sites, pick the right-hand one. The live link is on the top right of the page.

Support races: F3 Euroseries


– Valencia
– Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain
– (5/12)

I’ve never liked this circuit. It can produce the odd reasonable race but I just don’t like it! In many ways it shares several characteristics with Lausitz. Lots of tight turns, a long straight, lots of seats that aren’t filled..

TV Guide:
LIVE on Eurosport at 11.45am (race 1) and 1.45pm (race 2).

Support races: International Formula Master

Formula 2

– Valencia
– Circuit de Ricardo Tormo, Valencia, Spain
– (1/8)

The return of the F2 name to the contemporary motorsport scene, except this time rather than being an open formula it is a spec series run to a budget. It is pitched as a Formula 1 feeder but in all honesty it’ll find itself competing with FR3.5 to get people into GP2 with the odd guy getting a test & reserve deal in F1 – not to mention this is yet another fracture of the development ladder! Still, if it give opportunities to talented drivers who can’t afford the alternatives then it will have served its purpose well, and perhaps it is other series that need to be cut back. Time will decide that one.

TV Guide:
Eurosport at 5pm Saturday (delayed race 1) and 12.45pm Sunday (LIVE race 2).
Note race 2 slots directly between the two WTCC races in the Eurosport schedule!
There is also live coverage on the series website at 2.20pm CET Saturday and 1.50pm CET Sunday.


– Oulton Park
– Cheshire, England, UK

Oulton Park is an excellent and deceptively tricky circuit which is a lot of fun to watch!

Formula Nippon


– Fuji, Japan

V8 Supercars

– Symmons Plains, Australia

British F3 & GT

– Rockingham, England

* * *
That’s it, if ever if you think I’ve forgotten something please point it out in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!


IRL Preview: 2009 Indianapolis 500

IRL IndyCar Series
– 93rd Indianapolis 500 Mile Race (4/17)
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway
– Speedway, Indiana, Indianapolis, United States
– 200 laps
www.indycar.com and www.indy500.com (check both)

Event History
The second of the two great events occurring today, though perhaps only in terms of scheduling. I’ll leave the Monaco vs Indy debate for others and of course readers of this blog must surely agree the N-Word thing happening later isn’t even in the reckoning.

The 500 is one of the longest-standing events in the world if not the longest, it having started way back in 1911. As you can imagine, there is a lot of history and tradition here, right from retaining the yard of bricks at the line, to releasing the balloons before race start, to the three-wide start.

There have also been some very tight finishes!



On the face of it the track is just a couple of very long straights connected by 90-degree corners, like a rounded rectangle, and while this is somewhat true it very much hides some interesting nuances.

– The banking isn’t very steep for an oval, especially not an oval of this speed, so it requires some balls-out commitment to head into turn one when all you see in front of you is a concrete wall. It is a little bit better now they have the SAFER barrier – but you still don’t want to hit it.

– Unlike many ovals, each turn is unique and has its own characteristics. Dan Wheldon in this week’s Autosport magazine says turns 1 and 2 are tricky and often have crosswinds, while 3 and 4 are easier and allow you to set up a run on someone along the main straight.

The bigger issues at Indy are the traffic, the fuel mileage and the other drivers!

Check out this video of Helio Castroneves on a restart two years ago, if you’ve never seen this you won’t believe how close he gets to the pit retaining wall, and neither did he…

The Penske and Ganassi teams are largely unbeatable on the ovals, yet Indy is the place the smaller teams hope to score an upset because anything can happen. You’ve got to say it is between Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon though, and anyone else is an outside bet!

What to Watch For
– The warm-up lap. Seriously! This is the only oval race I feel the pre-start tension in the same way I do with F1, and it really kicks in on the final warm-up lap as the cars come off of turn 2 and form up in the classic 3×3 formation, which they hold until turn 4. Goosebumps.
– A fast and furious opening section, a long middle section, and a fast and furious closing section.


R: Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports 3 HD will air the Race live at 6pm


R: As usual, ABC (in HD) will air the Race live at Midday.
US viewers should remember to switch to Versus when the ABC coverage is over for an extended post-race show!

Enjoy the race!

F1 Preview – GP de Monaco 2009

FIA Formula 1 World Championship
– 67e Grand Prix de Monaco (6/17)
– Monte Carlo, Monaco
– 78 laps
F1.com Track Map
Live timing

Event History
This is the big one, the grand-daddy of all Grands Prix. The very first Monaco GP was held in 1929 and 2009 marks the 67th edition of this classic race.

Despite being commonly referred to as Monte Carlo, that is only one small area at the top of the hill with the Casino, and the Hotel and Cafe de Paris. The harbour area is La Condamine.

There have been so many events at this race over the years it is impossible to provide a good enough summary here, needless to say the place is known for odd results! You need a lot of talent and fair amount of luck to win at Monaco because it has a knack of biting you.

Notable highlights include:
– Mansell getting a suspected puncture, pitting for new tyres and then hounding Senna all the way to the flag.
– Gilles Villeneuve winning in a turbo Ferrari when turbos were not meant to be suited to the place against the Cosworths.
– Panis winning in 1996 after not stopping when everyone else made one stop or more in changeable conditions.

– The final two laps of 1982:

The opening part of the classic movie Grand Prix:

There are an absolute ton of videos on YouTube, just run a search for Monaco Grand Prix!

The 2.1 mile street circuit is known for being a test of both driver and machine, and while it is the shortest circuit of the year it is also the longest at 78 laps and usually runs quite close to the 2-hour time limit.

The proximity of the barriers makes for a unique challenge in GP racing with the smallest of errors causing race-ending accidents. There are only a few run-off areas, and some of these are relatively recent innovations.

In terms of circuit layout the actual footprint of the track has hardly changed through the entire history of the event, yet there have been notable changes to the surroundings. The addition of the swimming pool section and the Rascasse to replace the hairpin, the new tower blocks appearing every few years along the track (this year check out the new one at the chicane where there used to be a cliff face), the much later and very recent addition of the new pit buildings.

The track demands precision guidance of the car, yet the fastest way around is to hustle it as it is heavily dependant on mechanical grip from the tyres rather than aero grip.

Onboard lap, Nico Rosberg 2008:

It has got to be a battle between Brawn, Red Bull and Ferrari, hasn’t it? I don’t see anyone else getting involved and I only include Ferrari because Massa ran well in Spain and Kimi qualified well here today.

Look also for Renault to score decent points and Force India to surprise some, though perhaps only because BMW and Toyota are having such a hard time this weekend.

What to Watch For
– The fastest blue flagger in all of racing. He’s on the hill after Ste Devote! Only the exit of the final turn at Long Beach comes close.
– Lots and lots of rubber marbles from the tyres after about 1/3rd distance. Its this as much as the walls that make passing hard here.
– Drivers making silly errors causing lengthy Safety Car periods.


R: BBC One will air the Race live at 12:10pm with the race to kick off at 1pm.


R: SPEED will air the Race live at 7:30am ET

Parade Lap
Before the race festivities be sure to go to Sidepodcast.com Live Comments at 11am and await the live pre-race Parade Lap show, a lovely relaxed way to get into the GP. This is a live discussion which will end just as the BBC’s coverage begins, perfect!

Enjoy the race, my notes will hopefully be up in the gap between Monaco and Indy! Then again, you know me, maybe they won’t be.

Weekend Preview: 23-24 May 2009

Feature Events

Formula 1

– Grand Prix de Monaco
– Monte Carlo, Monaco
– (6/17)
Track Map

I will write a full preview shortly.

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on BBC One at 12:10pm

US – LIVE on SPEED at 7:30am ET

Support races: GP2 Series, FRenault 3.5, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup


IndyCar Series

– Indianapolis 500
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway
– Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
– (4/17)

I will write a full preview shortly.

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 3 at 6pm BST (GMT+1)

US – LIVE on ABC at 12pm ET

Support races: Firestone Indy Lights (Friday)

Other Events

NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Coca-Cola 600
– Lowe’s Motor Speedway

– Charlotte, South Carolina, USA
– (12/36)

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 3 at 10:30pm Sunday

US – LIVE on FOX at 5pm ET Sunday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Saturday)

GP2 & Formula Renault 3.5

– Monaco
– (2/10) & (3/9)
www.gp2series.com & www.worldseriesbyrenault.com

This is the only event in the year where the two biggest F1 feeder series meet at the same place at the same time. This and the extra F1 running on Thursday causes a scheduling shuffle.

The GP2 Feature Race has already taken place, it was held on Friday morning. The Sprint Race will be held after F1 qualifying on Saturday. Not so long ago GP2 only got one race here, and the extra one was a compromise for giving up a slot to FR3.5 which only has one race this weekend – but it is directly before the F1 race.

GP2 Feature: Friday 11:15am local
F1 qual: Saturday 2pm
GP2 Sprint: Saturday 4pm
FR3.5: Sunday 11:10am
F1 race: 2pm

Also in Monaco: Porsche Supercup

ADAC 24h Rennen Nürburgring
(Nürburgring 24 Hours)

– Nürburgring Nordschleife

This is one crazy event. If you think a normal 24 hour race is tough, imagine driving the 16 mile Nordschleife + GP circuit combo around the clock!

Not only that but 230 cars are entered for practice and 220 qualify, even on this track that is a lot of cars! The organisers also have to keep track of some 800 drivers…

You should be able to follow the event from 4pm German time (3pm UK) on Saturday via streaming on the above website, and there will be live timing. Best of all, www.radiolemans.com will have commentary!

Among the fastest cars are Porsche GT3s, Ford GTs and the new Audi R8 GT which lap the circuit in eight and a half minutes.

There is a brief history of the event on Wikipedia.


– Rally D’Italia Sardegna
– Sardinia
– (6/12)

Indy Lights

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

(held Friday)

British Rally Championship

– Jim Clark Rally

British Superbikes

– Donington Park
– Leicestershire, England, UK

* * *

That’s it, if ever if you think I’ve forgotten something please point it out in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!

Delayed Race Notes: F1 Spanish Grand Prix 2009

2009 Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica
Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Coverage: BBC One
Distance: 66 laps

Anchor: Jake Humphrey
Analysts in the paddock: David Coulthard (DC) and Eddie Jordan (EJ)
Race commentary: Jonathan Legard and Martin Brundle
Pit and paddock reports: Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie

Tyre selection (red): SS / S / M / H

** Disclaimer – These are notes taken during the race. They may or may not make any sense and I have only edited them for brevity, punctuation and grammar. **

** Apologies for the delay in writing up my notes, I have been insanely busy! **

BBC coverage is a GO at 12.10pm UK time. 50 minutes to race start.

We’re straight into a Button pre-recorded package.

Qualifying recap with Ted:
– The last 8 races here have been won by the driver on pole – but KERS may have an effect this year.
– Onboard lap with Button, a very smooth lap. I remember that I didn’t post an onboard lap in the preview because I didn’t write a preview. Oops.

Kimi Raikkonen at the official opening of the Ferrari Store in London. I was in that store a month ago! Not sure why they held the official opening a month after the real opening. He is interviewed while sat in a F430.
– “Not as strong as we should be. You can’t expect anything in Formula 1 it changes so quickly.”
Its quite hard to know what he is saying here.. He says the ice cream thing in Malaysia was a big story out of nothing, he was retired already. Also saying that a budget cap would mean it is not Formula 1 any more.

12:30pm / 1:30pm local time and the pitlane is open for 15 mins to allow cars to run the recon laps and make their way to the grid.

Package: Martin is walking the track with Rubens Barrichello.
There is a big bump on turn in to turn 9 (Campsa), this is where Heikki crashed last year.

Lee is with Alonso: ‘Long race anything can happen.’

Martin is on the grid, a little early perhaps?
He’s noticed the track is more black with rubber on the right-hand side, though the other side is the racing line and supposedly has more grip – says the support race drivers may have laid rubber for their start.

Nicole who is Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend says lots of words but doesn’t add to the sum knowledge of F1 fans the world over so we’ll gloss over this bit.

Martin is at the back of the grid for some reason.

Bourdais: ‘It’s a tough race here especially to pass, when you start 17th it doesn’t make it easier. Keep plugging away, keep doing what we do, there’s a lot of potential but we didn’t use it this weekend. We’ll try to hang on and do our best.’

Fisichella, how’s it going?: ‘Not great, I had a bad qualifying session with the traffic and the tyres locking. We have some new bits here. I still love this sport, love to drive a Formula 1 car.’

Martin: It’s just as intense down here as it is at the front.

Sutil: ‘Bit difficult here in Barcelona to do anything in the race. Try to push as hard as possible. I’m so happy to race with this team and we’re doing progress.’

Spanish National Anthem
FOM cutting to crowd, drivers on grid, atmosphere. Love it.

Ted’s fuel adjusted qualifying round up.
Predicted stops: Alonso lap 14, Button 15, Barrichello and Webber 16. Massa looking good at lap 18. Hamilton on a 1-stopper.

Ted live with Rubens, you’re faster than Ferrari: ‘Yeah but I don’t have their turbo button and it’s difficult to pass a KERS car.’
Turbo button? Methinks Rubens needs a refresher on what KERS is.

12:50 / ten mins to go: drivers are getting in to their cars

About 5 to go: FOM sweeper logo, BBC hands over to Jonathan and Martin upstairs.

Very low flying by one of the helicopters. The pilot at Spa is a lunatic, wonder if it is the same guy…


Button (pole), Vettel
Barrichello, Massa
Webber, Glock
Trulli, Alonso
Rosberg, Kubica
Nakajima, Piquet
Heidfeld, Hamilton
Buemi, Raikkonen
Bourdais, Kovalainen,
Sutil, Fisichella

It is Nick Heidfeld’s birthday.

Engines are firing and mechanics are clearing the grid, as the Alonso fans go wild at the back of the circuit somewhere.

Formation Lap

All get away cleanly.

Michael Schumacher on pit wall but away from the Ferrari prat perch and by the catch fence instead, sunglasses on, awaiting the cars.

Kimi radio but I really have no idea..


I still maintain a Formula 1 start is like no other form of racing and that includes the multitudes of other standing starts… Tension…!GO!GO!

McLaren on grass, Barrichello takes the lead, crash at turn 2!
Toyota spins around and gets hit. STRs involved. Lots of debris.


It was Trulli. Replays. Both Toro Rossos are out and so is Sutil.
Sutil actually avoided another incident at turn one so was in the runoff area, just as he rejoined he had nowhere to go as Trulli speared in front of him. Sutil had no choice but to t-bone him.

Trulli was pushed on to the gravel and it spun him into the pack, which caused the STRs to perform evasise manouvres.. into each other.

4 laps complete (L4) – Safety Car in this lap


Alonso vs Webber, Alonso gets ahead briefly but Mark takes it back.

L6 Kovalainen is travelling very slowly. REPLAY of Hamilton passing Piquet for 12th.

L10 BMW is not running KERS at this race. They are running 9th and 11th.

L12 Buemi: ‘I saw a car going over my head, that’s more or less it.’

L14 Button sets fastest lap in 2nd place. Ted predicted Alonso to pit this lap but the Safety Car threw that out of the window.

L15 Ted is reporting now that Kimi’s KERS has broken.

L17 Glock is the first to pit.

L18 Brawn guys are in the pitlane. Button had the lighter car in qualifying and he pits now.
Kimi Raikkonen is slowing! He’s on tickover trying to find somewhere to park.

Only 14 cars remaining, already!

L19 Barrichello and Webber both pit. Where is Button? Miles away!
Rosberg was fuelled a long way from the start and he’s just behind Barrichello in 4th now.

L20 Massa and Vettel both pit.
Order is now: Barrichello, Rosberg, Button, Massa, Vettel, Heidfeld, Kubica, Hamilton, Webber.
Some yet to stop. Webber had a slow out lap.

L22 Radio to Rubens: Jenson has switched to Plan A and you have to make this work.

L23 Kubica pits from 8th, should drop behind quite a few cars though.

L24 Heikki with Lee: Lost 1st-5th gear behind the Safety Car. Coming out of the last turn I lost 6th to 7th as well, I lose the drive of the car but 4th came back so I tried to get back to the pits but it was game over. I’m not going to let this get to me and I’ll fight back even harder in Monaco.

L25 Hamilton radio: If you can keep up with the BMWs we can pass them on the pit stops for a points finish, but you need to keep up.

L26 Kimi with Lee: Something wrong with the throttle control. A the start I couldn’t see the lights because the rear wings are so high.
Rosberg has pitted but I missed it, was it shown? He’s 9th now.

L27 Order: Barrichello, Button, Massa, Vettel, Heidfeld (not stopped), Hamilton (not stopped), Webber, Alonso, Rosberg, Fisi, Nakajima, Glock, Kubica, Piquet
Only 14 runners and Rubens just set the fastest lap.

L30 Bit processional now. We are waiting for strategies to play out.

L31 Barrichello pits from the lead, a very short stint for him. 3 stopper? Button now leads. 6.7sec for Rubens.
Heidfeld and Hamilton have pitted.

L32 Hamilton is out alongside Glock and Kubica and beats them. Kubica trying it on Glock! Martin Brundle says “that’s a very unorthodox place to try a pass”.

L37 Button has a 5 second lead over Massa, who is 1 sec over Vettel, who is 4.1 over Rubens. Webber is right behind Rubens.

L38 Team radio pushing Rubens for fast laps to beat Button.

L40 Ted with Brawn man, is it true you wanted Button to win the race?: ‘ No they have equal chance, their engineers are the ones making the calls this early in the year.

Someone please inform Martin Brundle of the correct way to say Sebastian Vettel’s name. It is not Vett El. He’s nothing to do with Superman.

L42 Hamilton on the radio saying the rear tyres are finished. Massa and Vettel both pit. Massa remains ahead and they rejoin to a clear track.

L44 Radio to Rubens: The two cars ahead stopped earlier than expected. Alonso pits from 4th (was 6th before Massa and Vettel stopped). He is out next to Hamilton – close! And Fernando beats him.
The crowd cheers.

L45 Onboard with Lewis with some dodgy looking front tyres too. He’s faster than Alonso in a straight line but all over the road in the corners.

L46 Kubica and Piquet pit. Brundle says the hard tyres now fitted to Massa and Vettel “are costing them two seconds per lap”, pitting early certainly did not help them. A gift to Brawn! They were close enough to challenge before, not now.

L48 Button pits from a lead of 10 seconds over Barrichello. Rubens leads but has his 3rd stop to make – what is interesting is Button has that lead but needs to spend longer on the hard tyres to Barrichello.
Hamilton pits as well.

L49 Rosberg pits from 6th. Chance of points!

L50 Barrichello pits suprisingly early as he catches traffic. Did he go long enough? Webber follows him in close behind.
Button retakes the lead and Rubens and Mark both take position from Massa and Vettel! That’s the soft tyre for you. Now they are all on the same tyre and all fuelled to the end.

L51 order with 15 to go: Button, Barrichello, Webber, Massa, Vettel, Alonso, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Nakajima, Hamilton, Glock, Kubica, Fisichella, Piquet

L52 Massa is being told to save fuel despite Vettel being all over him.

L56 Radio again, Smedley: “This fuel consumption is too high, we won’t get to the end, we’ll have to pit again.”
Massa: “Well what can I do??”

He might have to give up the place to Vettel to make the end!

L57 Webber slowly catching Barrichello?

L58 McLaren were to beat BMW. Hamilton is now 9th with Heidfeld 7th and Kubica 11th.

L59 Ted is at Ferrari, he says they didn’t get enough fuel into Massa’s car. The computer says they did but they measure the rig after each stop and it was too heavy!

L61 Vettel just can’t get nearer to Massa anywhere. He’s close behind but not close enough. On the plus side it does seem he is able to follow much more closely than the cars could with the old aero rules.

L62 Vettel passes Massa!
Felipe has backed off a lot now, has he given up the place to make the finish? There’s a big gap to Alonso but with 4 laps to go and short-shifting already… hmm.

Jonathan: So they took your advice?
Martin: I hardly think so..

Replay with radio, Smedley: Let him go, let him go, we are a lap short.

Martin: A lap is a lot. I’m gonna get a job as a strategist.

L64 Button laps Hamilton who is 9th.

Crowd on their feet because they can see Alonso catching Massa VERY quickly. 6 seconds per lap.

Fernando just drives around Felipe at turn 3. Easy pickings.


Barrchello 2nd, Webber 3rd
Massa finishes 6th, 1.4s over Heidfeld.

Cool-down lap.

Massa has run out of fuel, he’s parked it on the slow lap!

Parc Ferme
Button climbs on to the car, gets down to hug Rubens.

Four wins for Jenson this year! Slap in the face to all those who wrote him off while he was stuck in crappy Hondas.

Top 3 drivers are in the waiting room before the podium. Rubens says to Jenson “I don’t know how I lost the race.” Button says “I feel for you man.” Just then Mark Webber walks in and says to Rubens “Felipe f***ked up my race”. Ha!

Podium, British anthem.

Dignitaries with trophies.


Race Result

1. Button 66 laps
2. Barrichello +13.0s
3. Webber +13.9s (to Button)
4. Vettel +18.9s
5. Alonso +43.1s
6. Massa +50.8s
7. Heidfeld +52.3s
8. Rosberg +65.2s
9. Hamilton +1 lap
10. Glock +1 lap
11. Kubica +1 lap
12. Piquet +1 lap
13. Nakajima +1 lap
14. Fisichella +1 lap

Raikkonen (throttle)
Kovalainen (gearbox)
Trulli (accident)
Buemi (accident)
Bourdais (accident)
Sutil (accident)

Driver Points

1. Button 31 + 10 =41
2. Barrichello 19 + 8 = 27
3. Vettel 18 + 5 = 23
4. Webber 9.5 + 6 = 15.5
5. Trulli 14.5
6. Glock 12
7. Hamilton 9
8. Alonso 5 + 4 = 9
9. Heidfeld 4 + 2 = 6
10. Rosberg 3.5 + 1 = 4.5
11. Kovalainen 4
12. Massa 0 + 3 = 3
13. Raikkonen 3
14. Buemi 3
15. Bourdais 1

Constructor Points

1. Brawn Mercedes 50 + 18 = 68
2. RBR Renault 27.5 + 5 = 32.5
3. Toyota 26.5 + 6 = 32.5
4. McLaren Mercedes 13
5. BMW Sauber 4 + 2 = 6
6. Renault 5 + 4 = 9
7. STR Ferrari 4
8. Williams Toyota 3.5 + 1 = 4.5
9. Ferrari 3
10. Force India Mercedes 0

The next round is the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, for which I hope to write a preview in 24 hours time. Don’t forg

Weekend Preview: 16-17 May 2009

Feature Events


– Grand Prix de France
– Le Mans Bugatti Circuit
– Le Mans, France
– (4/17)

Much as last year the forecast for this weekend is for rain, it could be fun! I have to say I don’t usually enjoy events at this racetrack – the short Bugatti circuit, that is – but last year’s was very interesting due to the different tyre strategies involved. In fact the DTM race at same venue was under similar conditions. Is there a micro-climate we should be aware of?

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on BBC Two at 12:30pm


Support races: 250s, 125s, etc.

Other Events

NASCAR All-Star Race

– Lowe’s Motor Speedway
– Charlotte, South Carolina, USA
– (non-points)

Not a part of the Sprint Cup but featuring all of the drivers and teams, this is basically a race for the sake of entertainment and a shedload of prize money. I don’t really understand how it works and quite honestly I don’t care.

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 12.30am Saturday night / Sunday morning, repeated on three times across Sky Sports during Sunday.

US – LIVE on SPEED at 7pm ET Saturday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Saturday), Truck Series (Friday)

American Le Mans Series

– Grand Prix of Utah
– Miller Motorsports Park
– Tooele, Utah, USA
– (4/10)

Last week the European LMS held their last round before Le Mans and this week the Americans do the same. Simon Pagenaud and David Brabham raced last week for Peugeot at Spa (Pagenaud won) and this week both are on ALMS duty for Acura in the de Ferran and Highcroft entries respectively.

Of note here is the high altitude of the course which adds an extra dimension to the challenge of the race. The ALMS isn’t in as great a form as it used to be and they’ve had to bring in some GT3 cars as field-fillers, yet while the quantity is down the quality of entrants at the sharp end of each category is as high as it ever was.

Note – while many ALMS races are on Saturday, this race takes place on SUNDAY.

TV Guide:

UK – DELAYED BY ONE WHOLE WEEK to 5pm on May 24th, that’ll be shortly before the Indy 500 then… :stupid:

US – DELAYED at 10pm ET Sunday on SPEED (the race happens at 2.15pm ET)

Support races: Atlantics, Star Mazda, IMSA GT3 Cup, IMSA Lites


– Hockenheimring
– Hockenheim, Baden-Wurtemburg, Germany
– (1/10)

At long last the DTM gets started! After what seems like an eternity since the end of their 2008 season in October the German tintops heavily reliant on little aero tabs finally start their season. I’m not sure which genius decided they’d start in May but I suppose it separates them from all the other championships which start in March/April.

Mercedes vs Audi once again then and it looks like the 2-yr-old cars have been ditched, which is great news. It means Kat and Susie can finally demonstrate their known abilities against the rest of the 1-yr-old field, and a well-driven 1yr car can mix it with the current cars and certainly gets noticed. It could be a good year to watch DTM – unfortunately the FTA coverage on MotorsTV has vanished to be replaced with coverage on the pay-monthly Setanta.

TV Guide:
UK – DELAYED at 10pm on Setanta Sports 2

Support: Formula 3 Euroseries


– Race of France
– Pau, France
– (4/12)

Pau is a crazy place. Imagine Macau if it only had the narrow part, and fast. The racing isn’t always great but it’s worth a look to check out the precision driving, particularly over the chicanes with walls very close by. Of course it could all get horribly embarrassing very quickly indeed.

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on Eurosport at 11.45am (race 1) and 1.45pm (race 2).

Support: Formula Master (LIVE between the two touring car races)

Grand-Am Rolex Series

Laguna Seca, California, USA
– (4/12)

TV Guide:
UK – highlights at silly o’clock midweek on Five
US – SPEED at 4pm ET


– Adria, Italy
– (2/8)


– Donington Park
– Leicestershire, England, UK
– (3/10)

It’s on!! Donington Park has finally corrected the problems which blighted the running of events between February and this month by realigning the run-off area at the new tunnel and the circuit now has a licence! The BTCC races at Donny are always a lot of fun so make sure you check it out. Those outside the UK can surely get a stream somewhere…

TV Guide:
UK – LIVE on ITV4 from 11.30am, they will flash up the race schedule during the programme so that you can plan your day according to which support races you want to watch.

Supports: Clios, FRenault, Porsches, Ginettas

FNippon & JF3

– Suzuka, Japan

* * *
That’s it, if ever if you think I’ve forgotten something please point it out in the comments.

Don’t forget, in addition to these races there are also the final two qualifying sessions for the Indy 500. Third Day qualifying is on Saturday to fill positions 23-33 and on Sunday there is Bump Day as the last-chance qualifying. I’m not sure how many bumps there will actually be, it doesn’t seem like many so unlike last week I won’t be following it all that closely.

I tried an experiment on Twitter on Thursday night. I tweeted some race results, just the top few places, as an idea to promote discussion of series people may not usually follow. It turned out to be a bad idea! It doesn’t work at all on Twitter – but I think it may just work on the blog. I will be writing a test post at some point over the next few days using the format as these Previews and we’ll see how it goes.

Finally, an apology for the lack of updates recently. I am in the final stages of an accountancy course and I have been concentrating on that!

Enjoy your weekend!

Weekend Preview: 9-10 May 2009

Feature Events

FIA Formula One World Championship

– Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Telefonica 2009
– Circuit de Catalunya
– Montmelo, Catalonia, Spain
– (5/17)
Track Map

The teams have their luxurious motorhomes (palaces?) back, races are at their usual times again, and people actually will actually be on site watching with their eyes – Formula 1 is back in Europe!

Questions to be asked this weekend:

Which teams will choose to run KERS this week? Which teams will have added a new diffuser? Will the crazy-looking wings actually generate passing at what is usually one of the most boring races of the year? This place will be a true test of the new regulations.
Find out on Sunday!

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on BBC One at 12:10pm with the usual suite of options appearing on the Red Button when the race starts at 1pm.
Qualifying is LIVE on BBC One at 12:10pm Saturday.

US – LIVE on SPEED at 7:30am ET
Qualifying is LIVE on SPEED at 8am Saturday.

Support races: GP2 Series, FBMW Europe, Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.
The schedule is here and you can convert to your time zone on the sidebar.

You can listen to a short preview of the event here to get up to speed on the current news.

Other Events

IRL IndyCar Series

– Pole Day for the Indy 500
– Indianapolis Motor Speedway
– Speedway, Indiana, USA

Indy’s long qualifying process starts with the big one, qualifying for the top 11 spots including the pole position! The draw for the qualifying order takes place on Friday night with the first car in line due to start the four-lap average from 12pm ET (I believe?).

After the 11th run the ‘bumping’ begins – the field is limited to 11 positions and the slowest gets knocked out on each faster run.

Repeat for positions 12-22 on Sunday and positions 23-33 next Saturday. Yes, this means if you are quick Sunday but not Saturday you might qualify in 12th with a faster time than the guy in 11th…

Finally, next Sunday is the last chance qualifying of Bump Day when whole field is opened up again and the slowest car regardless of position is bumped off the list.

There is copious TV coverage in the US but I’d imagine this one is best followed online using the radio, live timing and all of your Twitter friends!

TV Guide:

US – Versus has a huge level of coverage from 12:00pm to 6:30pm EDT on Saturday and Sunday with the same again for next week’s sessions.

UK and elsewhere – www.indycar.com live streaming video with live timing (go to the main page and check the options)

NASCAR Sprint Cup

– Southern 500
– Darlington Speedway

– Darlington, USA
– (11/36)

This is another Saturday night race.

TV Guide:

UK – LIVE on Sky Sports 2 at 12.00am Saturday night / Sunday morning, repeated on three times across Sky Sports during Sunday.

US – LIVE on FOX at 7pm ET Saturday

Support races: Nationwide Series (Friday)

Le Mans Series

– 1000km of Spa
– Spa-Franchorchamps
– Francorchamps, Belgium
– (2/5)

Peugeot rejoin the series in the final European sportscar race before the 24 Hours of Le Mans next month. They’ll be up against the Lola Aston Martins and the Kolles Audis.

The GT2 battle will be as fraught as ever as well!

TV Guide:

UK – Updates on Eurosport at 11:45am (30 mins) and 5pm (1 hr). Pretty shoddy for a six hour race I must say.

Support races: Radical European Masters, Classic Endurance Racing, Formula Le Mans, British GT

GP2 Series

– Circuit de Catalunya
– Montmelo, Catalonia, Spain
– (1/10)

F1’s feeder series proper gets going after the diversion of the Asia Series. I have to say I need to do some reading up on who is doing what, and which drivers have been promoted from junior categories, because I’m a little bit behind on my GP2 news! Should be fun though.

TV Guide:

UK – Feature race doesn’t seem to be live on Saturday at all, we have to wait until 8am Sunday to watch it on Setanta Sports 1 followed directly by live coverage of the Sprint race.

This is a major step down in coverage compared to what we have been used to – we have had live coverage of the this or its predecessor F3000 for well over a decade, perhaps nearer two decades. This is not good news.

World Superbikes
– Monza, Italy

Don’t follow it so I don’t know…

* * *
Please note there will be no dedicated F1 Preview for the Spanish Grand Prix as regrettably I do not have time to write one. I have a lot of exam and project work to do so the blog will remain quiet for the next couple of weeks – but I will still be updating my Twitter account!