On The Limit: Addicted To Speed

I used to run a sequence of posts featuring fun or interesting videos which I put into a category called ‘On The Limit’. I was checking the site and I realised the last was over a year ago so it is about time to bring it back. The name was supposed to refer to in-car footage but along the way it got turned into a thread for any interesting racing video. Anyway I’m not going back to change them all now, so enjoy the latest instalment of On The Limit.

This is a bit of fun. Back in 2002 someone put together this pilot for a TV magazine show based around the CART series. I’m not sure if it got turned into a series and some cursory searching suggests it didn’t get any further than this episode, but it was a long time ago now so details are hard to come by. It features upcoming drivers Townsend Bell, Tony Kanaan and Oriol Servia as well as one of the big stars of the day, the 1996 CART PPG Indy Car World Series champion Jimmy Vasser. Join them as a fly on the wall as they work through the Long Beach race weekend, round two of what was now the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series.

It was dug out and posted to Townsend Bell’s own YouTube account, and he brought it up on Twitter on Monday.

Things to look for: Great-looking and great-sounding cars. The Long Beach track hasn’t changed at all. Michael Andretti’s goatee looks as stupid now as it did then. Dario’s straight and serious haircut, you can hardly tell it’s him. Back in 2002 I didn’t think much of Kanaan other than that he should be with a big team, otherwise I wasn’t interested but looking at this now it was me that had it wrong because he hasn’t changed a bit – okay he’s more experienced and is wiser now but he’s still the same fun-loving TK we know today!

[ video via @TownsendBell99 / Townsend Bell ]

Where are they now?

Jimmy Vasser retired from driving and bought out Craig ‘BAR’ Pollock’s share of PK Racing, itself a revamp of the old PacWest team. Via a spell as PKV, that team is currently known as KV Racing Technologies and hires Tony Kanaan, Rubens Barrichello and EJ Viso as drivers.

A year after this video Tony Kanaan had switched to what was then the IRL and in 2004 became champion of that series with Andretti-Green. He’s won several races and his dream now is the big one: the Indy 500.

Oriol Servia is better than his career results would suggest. His best year was 2nd in the 2005 Champ Car season but he hasn’t been helped at having to change teams almost every season since 2001. He’s been with some good teams but never seems able to stay with any of them for longer than a season and a bit. I’d lay money that if he stayed at one team for three years we’d see magic happen. He’s currently at Dreyer & Reinbold who’s switch from Lotus to Chevy has helped immensely.

And finally to Townsend himself. 2002 wasn’t a good season – he got fired by Patrick Racing after the series placed him on probation. He spent the following year in F3000 for Arden where he scored a podium in Hungary, before heading back to the US for a part-season in the IRL. Despite regularly cropping up in the entry lists a few times a year in the IRL and then the re-invented IndyCar Series (notably well at the Indy 500), for reasons very few people understand he hasn’t yet landed a full-season ride in IndyCar. This year he switched codes to join the ALMS to develop the Lotus Evora GTE with Alex Job Racing, dovetailing it with IndyCar pit reporter work for NBC where he’s a broadcasting natural.

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On The Limit: Porsche World Cup Nordschleife Onboard

You are going to want to watch this. This takes serious skill, or balls, or maybe it is just plain stupidity I don’t know! I have no idea how these drivers do it. He can’t even see at times!

Event: Porsche World Cup
Venue: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Driver: Sean Edwards
Team: Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit
Car: Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (no ABS)
Conditions: Very very wet!

As a prelude to last week’s Nürburgring 24 Hours held on the daunting Nordschleife, Porsche brought together several of its one-make series into one six-lap World Cup event. This included the Porsche Supercup (which normally supports F1 in Europe) and national Carrera Cup championships from Germany, Britain, France, Italy and maybe more.

Supercup and Carrera Cup Germany driver Sean Edwards entered the race and his Team Abu Dhabi by tolimit team fitted an onboard camera. Here are some highlights including the start and opening lap on the GP loop and a part of the long track, before a full lap on the Nordschleife itself.

This is why I am not a racing driver, or if I was I could never race something as powerful as a GT car, I would’ve been killed several times over! The reactions and car control are just astonishing.

Thanks to @habibif1 for the tip via Twitter and to Sean Edwards for uploading the video to YouTube. I’ve not arranged this with Edwards or tolimit, but it is available under a standard YouTube Licence which allows sharing.

On The Limit: Heikki at the Race of Champions

On Friday at the Race of Champions in Dusseldorf, many of the competing drivers did practice laps with various cars. As you may know, a passenger always rides alongside the driver for every run throughout the weekend, whether it be competition winner, sponsor, whatever. On the practice day the passengers were the members of the media.

Neil Cole (of Dave’s sadly ended WRC coverage) is acting as pit reporter for the event, he brought a camera with him for his run alongside Heikki Kovalainen in this Porsche, which I have shamelessly stolen until he tells me off. What you should definitely do is keep checking Neil’s YouTube account because he’s uploading things all weekend.

Enjoy!

On The Limit: Every Second Counts

If you ever need a pick-me-up, or to be reminded why we sometimes put ourselves through the mill in the name of this sport, you just have to watch this video:

Awe, and then some. Simply epic!

Video credit: ‘Every Second Counts’ by Antti, with thanks to Gavin, a.k.a. Rubbergoat, for the link via Twitter/Facebook.

(about time the old series of On The Limit posts were brought back, don’t you think?)

On The Limit – Kimi Goes Rallying

It is about time I posted another On The Limit, the occasional featured video of drivers on the ragged edge.

Just in case you were wondering whether to follow Kimi Räikkönen’s exploits in the World Rally Championship this year, perhaps this will help?

Yep, does it for me.

With thanks to Scott in the Sidepodcast comments for pointing this out. Be sure to hit the original file for full widescreen goodness, because WordPress sucks and won’t let me change the size.

On The Limit: DTM highlights – with a difference

It is about time I resurrected the old ‘On The Limit’ feature, where I either link to or post here a motorsport video on anything that takes my fancy. I’ve been negligent in updating what was supposed to be a regular feature.

The reason I bring this up now is the appearance of a clutch of season highlights videos, both official and unofficial, appearing all over the web at this time of year. One of the best of these was found by Scott from the Zero Downforce blog and is an artistic and really rather good look at the 2009 DTM season. I don’t care if you don’t like DTM or that it is mostly in German, it is a high-quality piece of work and well worth a look for any fan of racing in general.

Scott found it so I asked him to post it to his blog rather than steal all the credit here, so I urge you to watch this video by clicking here RIGHT NOW!

If you find a great video, if they are highlights or just a fantastic bit of car control, post it to your blog and I can include it in this series. Let’s get a bit of inter-blog linkery goin’ on.