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.

Friday Favourites: 15 April 2011

A series highlighting the best around the motorsport web.

After a trial run in January (wow, that long ago?) I’ve decided to make a links post a weekly feature, and it has a new name purely to make sure I do it regularly. I’ve found if I leave things free-form they never happen again so I need to create a weekly schedule. I started posting TMR Game results exclusively on a Tuesday evening, and the new Start Times series will be posted on a Thursday night.

Items I list here aren’t necessarily up to date but they are always, in my opinion, worth a read or a listen. Whilst I have over 1000 items in my Google Reader, many of them are news articles so in terms of true blog posts and podcasts it is probably nearer 200. That’s still a hefty backlog so if your thing appears here a couple of weeks late, please don’t take it personally. I will take suggestions whilst retaining the right not to include things, I want these to be concise updates!

On to this week’s links.

  • More Front Wing: MFW Podcast Episode 36– I’m going to be honest, I struggle to stay up to date with podcasts, people release far more than I ever have time to listen to and I always feel bad for not keeping up. This is one such show, and one that had dropped – not purposely –  from my rotation in 2010 when I got snowed under with content. I won’t be making that mistake in 2011.The episode I highlight here is the show after the St Pete IndyCar race, with special guest Shane Rogers who is ridiculously knowledgeable about IndyCar and F1 (and who knows what else)!
    His input is fantastic, particularly since he’d attended the Australian Grand Prix that weekend and was able to offer a direct comparison of F1 cars and IndyCars – and events – from the perspective of the stands at the track. Steph and Paul put together a great show and subsequent shows feature Ed Carpenter and James Hinchcliffe, I’m listening to Ed’s show as I write and I can’t wait to hear the show with Hinch!
  • Oilpressure: Randy Bernard Interview Part 1 and Part 2 – Even if you are not a fan of IndyCar racing you should still read this interview. Randy Bernard, CEO of INDYCAR, has been a real breath of fresh air in his just-over-a-year in charge of the series. Such a huge change from the fighting, dictating attitudes of the 90s to early 00s and the introspection and cluelessness of the mid-00s – and I count all flavours of Indy racing in that: CART, Champ Car, IRL.  The unified IndyCar Series is now led by a man who is not just open to listening to teams and drivers, but also to fans and bloggers. This is just one of many Q&As he’s granted to bloggers, but what’s good about this one, is that it was Randy’s idea! He saw George at Oilpressure ask his readers for questions ‘should I bump into Randy’ at the Barber round, and Randy came back and made it a meet-up in person for a real Q&A. And it is a top notch Q&A as well, good questions (as you would expect from the learned readers of Oilpressure), great answers – not banal PR fluff.
    Do also take a look around the rest of the site to see more photos and words from George’s weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.
  • Sidepodcast: F1 in China – Christine has questioned why F1 still races in China when it seems there isn’t a single person in the world who wants it to happen. The personnel don’t like it, there are no fans in the place.. why bother?
  • VivaF1: The Prince of Motorsport (Part 1) – A great guest post at VivaF1 from The F1 & Motorsport Archive’s Leigh all about the life and times of the man recorded in the F1 history books as Prince Bira, or ‘B Bira’. Check out Part 2 later this weekend and do have a look at the other articles at both VivaF1 (some really great F1 articles in the past few days) and F1&MA (coming live from Monza for British F3).
  • Neil Hudson: New BTCC Regulations: Who is the fastest? – This season the BTCC has added new technical regulations alongside the existing S2000 and BTC cars. NGTC is a new spec for both chassis and engine, but there’s also the option to fit NGTC engines to existing S2000 cars. But which is faster? Neil checks the lap times from the opening round at the 1.2 mile Brands Hatch ‘Indy’ short circuit and graphs the results. I hope he does the same later in the year so we can see how the cars develop. (Sadly my comment appears to have been moderated).
    Note – This article appears on Neil’s own blog, he also writes for Touring Car Times which I urge you to add to your RSS rotation immediately for superb coverage of WTCC, BTCC, STCC, CCTCC, DTM, V8SC and more.

Do let me know of any interesting articles and podcasts you find around the web, and I’ll have more here next Friday.

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.

Blogathon 2011 is This Weekend!

I can’t believe it has come around so soon, this weekend from 8pm GMT it is the 3rd Annual Blogathon at Grab Bag Sports!

Previously known as Furious Wedge, GBS will again be hosting the 24.5-hour blogging marathon. The original was set up ostensibly to follow the Daytona 24 Hours but also to check in with a bunch of other sports happening the same weekend, including the Australian Open, basketball, even cricket.. anything vaguely sports-related happening over the weekend. The focus is generally Daytona, tennis and American sports but really anything goes, if a way can be found to watch it or talk about it, it’ll be watched and talked about. Don’t forget to follow that link and leave your guess for when Scott Pruett says hello to his family – prizes are at stake.

This year’s event is bigger and better than ever, featuring as it does these special guests:

– IZOD IndyCar Series driver Alex Tagliani (#77 FAZZT Racing), one of the most ‘social media’-aware drivers from possibly the most SM-aware paddock in the world, and also a great guy.
– ESPN senior writer Ryan McGee who covers motorsport and college football, which seems an odd combination but there you go.
– NZR Consulting’s Tony Cotman, he’s the man charged with bringing in the 2012 IndyCar rules, did the same for Champ Car, and is also the chief steward for the Firestone Indy Lights series.

There will be Q&A chat sessions with each, check the site for times as well as a schedule of sports occurring this weekend, a slightly different schedule is here for UK/European-types and those elsewhere who find a way to watch.

A regular feature has become the guest bloggers posting throughout, this year includes (but is not limited to):
– Steph and Paul from More Front Wing;
– Tony from Pop Off Valve;
– James from 16th & Georgetown;
– Shane from Australia (regularly contributing to Curt Cavin’s Q&A and radio show);
– and… me. While the above are IndyCar fanatics I can struggle to keep up with it so I guess I’m there to provide a different dimension.. or something? Er. Thanks for the invite!

We’ll be posting regularly alongside our esteemed hosts: Allen Wedge, Mike Furious, and Andy ‘The Speedgeek’.

There will be a blogger Q&A too, come along and ask questions. Primarily ask them to Tags and Cotman, but if you get there at the wrong time ask us blogpeople instead.

Let’s not forget the Mario Kart tournament featuring a live chat room! It may be a bit late for me, it didn’t stop me staying up until 5am last year but I may not go that far this time.

I really do hope you join us, even if you have no idea about Daytona, NFL, the Aussie Open, or whatever else might crop up. It’ll be fun!

Head to http://www.grabbagsports.com/ from 8pm GMT Saturday until 9pm Sunday for much fun and merriment.