2010 Belgian GP – Saturday Pt.2

If you missed Part 1 from Saturday at Spa, do check it out here!


With the racing done for the day we returned to the cabins for a rest, a shower and a drink. We couldn’t really agree what to do with ourselves and we were all absolutely shattered from two days of walking the hills of the racetrack, braced against the rain.

At first we elected to be boring and stay to enjoy the hospitality of the site, nothing wrong with that as they were all very friendly and welcoming. They’d laid on food and drink although it wasn’t quite what we’d had in mind, lots of big meatballs and frites were involved and the local generic lager. Rude not to enjoy some of both. Not the high cuisine of Europe some of our group may have expected.

The food filled a hole. The beer was a bit underwhelming though as it tasted like Carling or Fosters (boring, can get that at home) yet we were in this place of beer experimentation. A few of us were getting itchy feet, particularly Bassano, Gavin and myself. We hadn’t properly explored the town of Spa itself yet, and we wanted a drinking session. Two of us would be driving Monday so Sunday night couldn’t be heavy on drink, that meant it had to be this night. Sadly some of the others didn’t want to go anywhere.

The fact I struggle to remember details suggests we were successful.

Continue reading “2010 Belgian GP – Saturday Pt.2”


2010 Belgian GP – Saturday Pt.1

You might remember I went to the Belgian Grand Prix last year with a group of people and I’d been writing a little diary of our adventures. Those updates had slowed to a halt… but it is time to finish off, here is the next instalment!
If you haven’t yet read the previous instalments you can start here, and there will be a summary post with links to both my write-ups and those of others.. eventually.


Saturday dawned much brighter and drier than the wet, grey days leading up to the weekend. After the very heavy rain of Friday it was a welcome relief. We had another lift in from ‘Bueb’ and had a bit of a longer walk today as he wasn’t willing to chance his luck with the police cordons.


For the first F1 session of the day – Free Practice 3 – we decided to climb the hill at Eau Rouge and find a place on Kemmel, the long straight, as most of the group hadn’t seen it yet and those of us who had were keen to see some F1 cars in the dry there. Whilst it was dry and partly sunny there were also dark clouds hanging around giving the place an ‘impending doom’ atmosphere. Literally the calm before the storm. The view looked even more amazing in these conditions.

Continue reading “2010 Belgian GP – Saturday Pt.1”

Start Times: 30 April – 1 May 2011

A guide to this week’s racing.

All start times are UK (GMT+1 / British Summer Time) and are taken from official series websites or if necessary, educated guesses from elsewhere. Live TV or web coverage is not guaranteed. I include only races and a few notable qualifying sessions of larger series, and not practice sessions or warm-ups or rally stage times.


12.30am – NASCAR Nationwide – Richmond

5.30am – V8 Supercar – Barbagallo Race 1

ALL DAY – Donington Park – Donington Historic Festival

10am – F3 Int’l Trophy – Hockenheim Race 1

1.30pm – FR3.5 – Spa-Franchorchamps Race 1

2pm – MotoGP – Estoril qualifying

2pm – International GT Open – Imola Race 1

5pm – F3 Int’l Trophy – Hockenheim Race 2

7pm – IndyCar – Sao Paulo qualifying


12.30am – NASCAR Cup – Richmond

4.30am – V8 Supercar – Barbagallo Race 2

ALL DAY – Donington Park – Donington Historic Festival

10am – F3 Int’l Trophy – Hockenheim Race 3

11.15am – Moto2 – Estoril

11.30am – BTCC – Thruxton Race 1

11.50am – International GT Open – Imola Race 2

Midday – FR3.5 – Spa-Francorchamps Race 2

1pm – MotoGP – Estoril

1pm – DTM – Hockenheim

2pm – BTCC – Thruxton Race 2

2.30pm – 125cc – Estoril

5pm – IndyCar – Sao Paulo

5pm – BTCC – Thruxton Race 3


1pm – BSB – Oulton Park Race 1

4.05pm – BSB – Oulton Park Race 2

Enjoy the weekend!

TMR Game 2011 – Week 14

Hello and welcome to TMR Game Week 14.

After a week’s break we are back in action, and this post accepts entries for:

– MotoGP Estoril
– IndyCar Sao Paulo (street course)
– NASCAR Cup Richmond
– DTM Hockenheim


Each week you pick 10 entries with a maximum of 7 of those coming from a single championship. You can have any mix of races from those listed in this post, and you don’t have to use all of them.

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. I may also use Twitter or other sites if I happen to see you there on Thursday or Friday.

Continue reading “TMR Game 2011 – Week 14”

Tony Cotman Talk About the 2012 IndyCar

The sanctioning body INDYCAR and their IZOD IndyCar Series are becoming one of the most open championships in the world in terms of fan access, both at the track and in terms of changing the product based on fan feedback, and explaining their thought processes, although clearly the recent fracas over decisions in race control shows there is still a long way to go.

This is a remarkable cultural shift if you think about the introverted nature of all flavours of North American open-wheel racing over the previous 15 years or more. That’s not to say others aren’t open, the ALMS and the BTCC are pretty good at it too, and so it is nice to see a topline open-wheel series following suit.

Noted motorsport bods NZR Consulting are also good at fan availability, just this week their people have been tweeting from Sao Paulo about the build-up of that street venue and the changes made there since 2010, a job tasked to NZR. Their most pubically-visible ‘name’ is Tony Cotman, who works with the IndyCar Series in race control and is also in charge of stewarding the Indy Lights series. He used to perform a similar function with Champ Car and whilst there he oversaw the transition from the then-old Lolas to the new Panoz DP01.

Cotman and NZR are now in charge of overseeing the IndyCar Series transition from the old Dallara IR7 to the new Dallara IndyCar body with “aero kit” add-ons provided by other makers, as well as the change from a sole supplier (Honda) to competition between 3 makes (Honda, Chevy, Lotus), all  under the direction of the INDYCAR ICONIC Committee.

In this short video made publically available via the official IndyCar YouTube channel, Cotman explains the progress they have made to date and lets us know the timescale they are working toward.

I must say I was very sceptical when I first heard this plan which seemed like a letdown over full chassis competition, and it is still disappointing they didn’t take that route, but now I’m very excited to see how this turns out because it is far better than a single-spec series. The new car with engine competition is something really to look forward to, and the added extra of what should hopefully be a variety of aero kits adds an interesting dimension to the mix. Let’s hope those designs don’t converge over the following years to all look the same.

I’ve not asked IndyCar or NZR, but I assume as it on an open channel with a ‘share’ option that I’m allowed to repost the video. Thanks to the @Newman_Haas team for tweeting the original link and do also follow NZR Consulting and IndyCar if you don’t already.

Friday Favourites: 22 April 2011

A series highlighting the best around the motorsport web.

I feel like I’ve given up writing race reviews and opinion posts. Just don’t seem to have it in me any more to write a long treatise about why X is Y especially when others do it so well. Much more fun to read their excellent words and then join the conversations on their sites or on Twitter. What I am good at is picking up news and opinion from elsewhere and sharing it with other subsets of fans. That’s why I started this series of posts. Cross-pollination. Learning from what others are doing.

  • Sidepodcast: An Aside With Joe – This Is Way Above All Our Pay Grades
    F1 journalist Joe Saward’s latest appearance with Christine and Mr C is, as ever, very much worth spending an hour of your time. Even his off-topic divergences are good to listen to! Unlike some, Joe is actually willing to do a some digging in paper trails to work out what is going on with the bigger picture of F1 ownership, and as part of looking things as a bigger picture that he keeps a good eye on what is happening in other forms of racing too. Joe is a great listen and also a great read. I assure you, even if you know a lot about F1 and racing, you will feel much smarter after listening to this.
  • Sidepodcast: Hands On With Fanvision’s Portable F1 Interface – Part 1 and Part 2
    Staying with SPC, guest-writer Amy Fulton has attended two of the three F1 races held this season and at both she tested out Fanvision’s brand new device. You may know Fanvision by their old name KangarooTV, and their G2 model has been a feature at F1, Le Mans and NFL events for a while now. Amy’s got her hands on the new-generation, much-improved G3. Now you have to check out this device, because you’ll wish they covered every racing series on earth with the data they provide!
  • Motorsport Musings: Time For F2 To Deliver
    Dan takes a look at Formula 2 and asks how the series has fared now it is in its third season (wow, that went quickly). Is it living up to the original billing or should it refocus?
  • Motorsport Musings: TT3d: Closer To The Edge
    Another post from Dan, who does ‘too much racing’ far better than I can, sees him review this new documentary film about the Isle of Man TT and rider Guy Martin. Do check out the included video clip, that alone is breathtaking so I can only imagine what the full feature is like. The TT has always scared me somewhat and sometimes when watching the coverage I have to look away, so close are they to hitting solid objects and causing themselves and others an injury. The talent and bravery – and stupidity? – of these riders is astonishing. This documentary looks like a must-see.
  • Oilpressure: Stop The Gender Comparisons
    George makes the great point that TV coverage, reports, the written media, fans, and even the drivers themselves should stop acting as though women racers are taking part in a sub-class of the main race. It is time for driver comparisons to be based on ability alone.
  • Brits On Pole: Could Holding A Road Race Become Easier In Future
    If you hadn’t noticed, BoP has quietly started blogging again – about time too! Last year they kept up with developments to allow road races* to be held in the UK without having to seek the currently-required Act of Parliament. It seems as those things are progressing well, could we see more events on the roads of Britain soon?
    * North American readers in particular may not know that ‘road racing’ here doesn’t refer to ‘road course racing’ (as obviously most tracks here are road courses) but instead to the closing of public roads for the purposes of racing. There are no street circuits in the UK and most rallies take place off-road or on private land.

That’s all this week, apologies for the double-mention for two sites but sometimes that’ll happen when sites put out more than one good post in a week! I’ll be back next Friday with more, do let me know if you spot anything interesting in the meantime.

Start Times: 22-24 April 2011

A guide to this week’s racing.

All start times are UK (GMT+1 / British Summer Time) and are taken from official series websites or if necessary, educated guesses from elsewhere. Live TV or web coverage is not guaranteed. I include only races and a few notable qualifying sessions of larger series, and not practice sessions or warm-ups or rally stage times.

A very lean weekend as most series break for Easter.

Friday (early Saturday)

11.59-ish pm – NASCAR Trucks – Richmond (due some time near midnight)


7pm – NASCAR Nationwide – Richmond


8am – LM24 – Test Day session 1 (until Midday)

11.30am – WTCC – Zolder Race 1

12.30pm – WTCC – Zolder Race 2

1pm – LM24 – Test Day session 2 (until 5pm)

Enjoy your weekend!