2016 Motorsport Calendars

2016’s calendars are now available!

Each year I produce motorsport calendars for use within Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook and many other apps.

I have now added as many 2016 motorsport dates as I can find and they are available to use!

Just go to:   www.toomuchracing.com/calendar

There are a few notes on my methodology followed by a table showing each racing series:  F1, MotoGP, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, NASCAR, WTCC, BTCC, DTM and many more. Just click the links on the right hand side of the table.

There are a couple of options, try each to find the one that works the way you want it.

If you subscribed to these feeds in 2015, or before, and have not removed them, you do not need to add them again. Just scroll forwards and the dates will be there. This obviously doesn’t apply if you took it as a download!

Thanks everybody for your continued support of this project. Do keep pointing out errors and omissions. And share with anybody who may be interested!

This Blog

A quick note on the blog:  I apologise for not posting more frequently. The last couple of years have been quite tiring. I keep meaning to return with lots of small posts and observations rather than the occasional long-read. I do miss the long posts as well.

I’m also considering a Facebook page. On Twitter I share or retweet lots of stories I think are interesting or funny and it might be useful to have a place on FB to do the same. Let me know your thoughts.

2012 Race Schedules

For the last two seasons I’ve created race schedules for use in Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook and any other compatible diary system. 2012 is no exception and I can now announce the calendars for the year ahead are now, mostly, complete!

IWTMR Motorsport Calendar for May 2012 (click for Large)

If you want to track some of your favourite series and events, just load your selection of racing categories into your calendar so that you can make plans to watch live or set the DVR – and hopefully never miss another race!

Please go to the Calendar page for futher details and updates.

I’m Watching… #5

I watch too much racing. What have I been watching over the last three weeks?

Before I answer that I’d like to note that I missed this blog’s 2nd birthday (or ‘blogaversary’) on August 5th, I’m very surprised I missed it as last year I had a birthday logo and everything. Thanks to everyone for your continued support and I hope you’re enjoying the blog. I’d also like to wish a happy 4th blogaversary to Alianora La Canta – apologies for not offering a question this year and I’ll make up for it on the 5th blogaversary!

Here are the races I watched between July 21st and August 6th – I’ll cover last week’s live races next time.

Formula 1 – German GP 2010 *live on BBC1*

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=F1+Germany&iid=9426344″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9426344/2010-german-alonso-wins/2010-german-alonso-wins.jpg?size=500&imageId=9426344″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

I thought Ferrari were good now. I thought now the Evil Axis of Todt/Brawn/Schumacher had moved on, the ‘New Ferrari’ of Domenicali & friends were all happy and smiley and open and ready to race fairly with the respect of their peers. Hah! Yeah right, how naïve of me. I’ve pictured the result as it should’ve been..

Aside from the team orders, the race was essentially decided on the first corner when Vettel tried to squeeze Alonso against the wall after a bad start, but turned it into a big push to the right and narrowly avoided collision. The delay to both allowed Massa into the lead. This race showed that Ferrari’s pace has improved significantly and they are now a factor for race wins, they managed to hold off the previously-dominant Red Bulls with apparent ease. Hamilton and Button finished well too, they haven’t been quite as fast all the time but they’ve posted good results all year.

Formula 1 – Hungarian GP 2010 *live on BBC1*

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=F1+Hungary&iid=9481764″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9481764/2010-rd12-hungarian-webber/2010-rd12-hungarian-webber.jpg?size=500&imageId=9481764″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

I was at my Mum’s for this one, which was quite embarrassing because it was a crap race. When I watch with people who never usually see racing I want it to be a good one to show the sport in a good light – when they ask why I watch it I can point at the screen. Why did it have to be Hungary? Of course this meant I was without access to my usual online accoutrements for watching F1 in particular, and live racing in general. I’m referring to things like Tweetdeck, the Sidepodcast live comments, the F1.com live timing and the BBC’s live tracker which shows the position of each car in real time.

Webber’s strategy saw him stay out during the Safety Car period when many had pitted, and he put in a dominant performance to build a gap on the field. He was aided by Vettel’s strange behaviour behind the SC attracting a penalty, you have to wonder how close Seb would’ve run him but to me it seemed Mark had stepped up a gear that day and once he was ahead he was untouchable.

I reckon Mark is ‘doing a Jenson’ – that is, he’s been getting better as a driver for years in midfield cars almost unnoticed by many people, and now he’s able to exploit a good car to make a run for the title at the expense of a perhaps more-fancied team-mate. Jenson did it to Rubens, Mark looks like he’s starting to do it to Sebastian. Good on him, he’s got my backing.

I think the points battles and the drama and incidents mid-race are more interesting than the actual racing competition at the moment, though you can argue F1 has always been that way. It certainly is a tight points battle in both contests – remember in the winter when everyone said the Constructors’ fight would be settled by July? It could still go any of three ways!

Very little else happened in the race, the only other thing of note was Michael Schumacher attempting to kill Rubens Barrichello and the team personnel and marshalls stationed on the pitwall. Michael on very worn medium tyres was travelling several seconds per lap slower than a charging Rubens, who was on a fairly new set of soft tyres and trying to make up for ground lost with what turned out to be a poor strategy. Given the blood between them you can appreciate Rubens wasn’t going to back down – a facet I love about the modern Rubens, he’s still the same warm gentle guy but in a racing car against Schumacher he’ll keep his foot in to the last. Needless to say, Schumacher swerved violently to the right just as Barrichello was passing him on that side. Bully-boy tactics that have scared off many in the past, Rubens has had enough of the man and he wasn’t passing up the opportunity of having a superior car than Mikey. Rubens kept his foot down, moving to the pit exit rather than backing off, and was heading for the grass effectively saying to Michael, “if you don’t give me room I’m going to have an accident”. Michael backed off and gave him the room. Score one to Rubens. You can bet those old demons have been slain once and for all, and Michael now has that marker against him. That it was done in a Williams made it all the sweeter, for me at least and I believe many others (not least Sir Frank).

IndyCar Series – Edmonton *live on IndyCar.com*

One of the most uneventful races of the entire IndyCar year, or even the entire racing year. I am struggling to think of anything noteworthy that happened prior to the controversial incidents of the final laps, perhaps I should take notes!

On the final restart of the race just a few laps from the end – and I must say, this Safety Car for debris seemed like a ‘phantom yellow’ to bunch up the scattered field for the finish, we certainly weren’t shown any debris on the web feed – as the field took the green flag Helio Castroneves took the defensive inside line into the first corner, while most of the rest of the pack took the normal racing line on the outside (if not all of the pack – I can’t recall if someone lower in the order jinked out). All fine and dandy in every series on the planet, the leader has the choice of where to place his car and as long as he’s not weaving across the track, changing line or chopping across the nose of the guy behind he is entitled to do so. This is no longer the case if you’re in IndyCar. Helio was given a penalty for blocking, which he either refused to serve or didn’t have to time to do so while the point was being argued.

It later transpired that the officials draw an imaginary line through each corner and if you deviate from the racing line, you are deemed to be blocking. You’re only allowed to do it if you’re attempting a pass on the driver ahead. Absolutely crazy. It basically moves the leader to one side and waves the 2nd-placed car through. It prevents the chasing driver from trying to force the leader into an outbraking error, forcing him to go wide on the exit and then executing the classic switchback to take the lead. That’s one of the classic hallmark moves of racing and it is now banned in IndyCar. Just as the series looks like it is building solid foundations for the future, it goes and pulls a stunt like this. Instant loss of credibility.

MotoGP – Sachsenring 2010 *live on BBC2*

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=MotoGp+Germany&iid=9374412″ src=”http://view4.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9374412/motogp-germany-race/motogp-germany-race.jpg?size=500&imageId=9374412″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

Aside from a large accident involving Randy de Puniet I don’t remember much about this one either. Randy made an error in practice/qualifying, got patched up and started the race anyway, as these crazy motorbike riders like to do. The risk is that you crash again and make it worse. Randy crashed again – big time. Cue a red flag while he was recovered, hopefully he’ll get well again in time. This being several weeks ago now, he may well be already well on the way.

One thing I do remember is a damaged and recovering Valentino Rossi basically doing the same thing as Randy, in danger of crashing and making it worse – yet after initially falling behind the pace he somehow managed to catch and race hard a perfectly healthy Casey Stoner who was giving it the full beans. The two traded places for a few laps before Stoner came off best, but with those injuries Rossi should’ve been higher than 8th (in this depleted field) if he should’ve been riding at all. Dani Pedrosa won the race.

MotoGP – Laguna Seca 2010 *live on BBC2*

A couple of years ago this venue, Stoner and Rossi fought another epic battle and hopes were high of something similar, if not involving those two then perhaps Pedrosa and Lorenzo. It was not to be. Pedrosa led comfortably until he crashed, which left Lorenzo to take a relatively straightforward win from Stoner. There were a string of bikes up next and these swapped places but for some reason my attention was lost. Rossi won that battle and took the final podium spot. Lorenzo leads the points by a quite ridiculous margin.

GP2 Series – Istanbul Park 2009

I’m so far behind on GP2 it’s not funny. Okay, maybe it is.. I’d recently set the goal of at least completing the 2009  season before I saw the 2010 series for real at Spa at the end of the month, but it looks like I’m not going to achieve that aim.

The Feature race had a fair amount of action, there was a great moment when race leader Nico Hulkenberg was challenged by Luca Fillipi at the final sequence of corners, only for the pair to run wide and Vitaly Petrov drove around the pair of them. Meanwhile Andi Zuber took 3rd in the process – Petrov took saw it coming a mile off and took a wide line into the corner. Quite a lot of attrition in this race for some reason.

It’s funny watching a junior series when the participants are in F1 now.. Petrov ran Parente off the road briefly, and Chandhok had a very slow start from 5th to fall to the back where he set about running a string of fastest laps. Hulkenberg put a superb move on Villa near the end, really well executed – thought of course Nico had only dropped back due to a problem in the pits. A dominant performance from Petrov once he’d got in front.

The Sprint race started in complete madness with cars dicing everywhere on lap one, contact and spins in turn 1 and elsewhere, Chandhok’s car failed to start properly again, and Grosjean moving from 26th to 12th in two laps. Crazy stuff! Settled down somewhat after that until Grosjean and Nunes got into a battle for 11th, and Parente caught Mortara for 9th. Neither managed to make the pass though.

Thursday Thoughts: Young Drivers

This week’s Thursday Thoughts question comes from RG of The Northern Waffler, who asks:

Which young driver, who is currently not in Formula 1, would you like to see in the series in the next few seasons?

This is a great question. When I’m asked about drivers who should be in F1, the default position is to look straight at GP2 – and if this had been asked three months ago it would have been a case of “well, pick one of these” from Lucas di Grassi, Nico Hülkenberg and Kamui Kobayashi (and he only on the strength of those stand-in drives at Toyota, his GP2 career was not great). Now each of those has been signed, to Virgin, Williams and Sauber respectively! So who’s left?

Frankly the remainder of the GP2 pack hasn’t yet impressed me enough, though I grant you I hadn’t kept up with GP2 very well in 2009. Paster Maldonado is fast and furious yet has apparently calmed down a bit, could he now be ready? What of Jerome D’Ambrosio and Giedo Van Der Garde? I like both of them and I would really like to see them in F1. Romain Grosjean was fantastic in GP2 but hopeless at Renault, does he deserve another shot in a different environment?

This question can’t pass without a nod to the oft-discussed Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta, the Brits seemingly having lost their deserved F1 opportunities to an era when test drivers were ample and race drives were few. With the situation reversed they seem to have been passed over for drivers behind them on the escalator. The same could be said of Adam Carroll. I’d love to see Adam in a Formula 1 car. I think these are probably too old to be considered ‘young’ drivers now, but they should be there.

I was going to go for Ryan Hunter-Reay. The man is fast on the IndyCar road courses and is the perfect fit for F1 in terms of speed and image, and he should be in a McLaren or a MercedesGP (but not a USF1.. yet). Unfortunately at age 29, for the purposes of this question he is too old (as are some of the other names above).

Then there are the Red Bull proteges Daniel Ricciardo and Jules Bianchi, both are hotly tipped and I’d be very surprised if they didn’t make it to F1 eventually, Brendon Hartley could be another. I think they are a while away yet though and to be fair I don’t know enough about them.

So who do I pick?

After a lot of deliberating I’m going to go for Vitaly Petrov. I’ve been watching him for a while and I think it would be very interesting to see him in a Formula 1 race. He finished 2nd in the GP2 points last year and has scored some wins over the last couple of years, and while he may not be the out-and-out fastest driver around he is a fighter, and I do like to see a fighting racing driver – that’s something that seems to have been missing lately in F1 aside from Hamilton (no I’m not saying he’s as good as Lewis), look at Vettel who is a great lap-time driver yet seems to have an aversion to overtaking anybody. I think Vitaly is your classic underdog and I always love to root for that kind of driver, even if it rarely pays off.

Of course I could be proven wrong when I eventually get around to watching last year’s GP2..