All Quiet..

There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of news around at the moment, racing news, though the Autosport.com Paddock Life for Hungary noted that a lot of the non-specialist racing press (i.e. the newspaper people) were heading out to China for the Olympics rather than show up in Hungary. Can’t say I blame them given Hungary’s reputation for tedious races. OTOH there’s the big buildup and expectation for the Olympics only to get there and realise that most of the events are completely boring, too, since most of us only give a crap about the track events. Maybe that’s the just the racing fan in me but I don’t think so.


Oh, one completely off topic note:

I’m writing this with the aid of a pint of Carlsberg (it’ll be red wine in a minute), dimmed lights, and the band Yndi Halda, particularly the song Dash And Blast which is nearly 17 minutes long with no words and contains maybe the greatest riff/hook/whatever you call it I’ve heard. Go to the second link there and hit the big play button in the flash player on the right, wait for the long quiet intro, then carry on reading with ears open. Hopefully it’ll carry on playing into the 2nd track.

BTW these are links to Last.fm. I’ll probably link there often as it is the best site on the internet, you can see my profile by clicking the appropriate bit in the red box to the right.


Okay back to it.

So the specialist F1 press has continued albeit seemingly quieter than usual, apart from the big Mosely interview on Autosport.com (and in the mag) which I’ll read later because it is fucking long.

All the news at the mo seems to be in IndyCar with the apparent bluff/double bluff of Kanaan playing Ganassi via Robin Miller, so that he (Kanaan, not Miller) secures better terms with AGR.
Clever him. It brings into light the fact that perhaps we don’t always know what the hell is going on behind the scenes, how people manipulate the press to get the result they want.

Also around is the ’09 IRL schedule, which is fine, not spectacular but fine. The longterm Champ Car fanatics love the addition of more road/street tracks – although not necessarily the good ones. The longterm IRL fanatics hate that fact and want to return to the roots of the IRL – all ovals, or 80-90% ovals minimum. Hopefully these idiots on both sides will die out soon, or at least shut the hell up.

The more reasonable fans appreciate good racing wherever it is. They also recognise that Homestead and Belle Isle are shite and should be dropped forthwith. I really hope the IRL isn’t taking or keeping some venues purely to fill an oval/road quota or ratio because that would truly suck especially with some excellent venues currently missing out.
Elkhart Lake, Mont Tremblant, the Michigan oval. I don’t really care for street tracks so let’s not go the Champ Car route, just have three solid street events and leave that there.

And it looks like by the time of this year’s race or just after, Surfers Paradise will get announced as an A1GP event for ’09. They dropped Eastern Creek near Sydney for the upcoming season. All of which is great for A1GP who will be in the 2nd year of their relaunch by then and will be bigger than now, but that ought to be an Indy race.

The other thing around is the US TV deal to move from ESPN to Versus, a smaller channel. At first this looked bad. Then people on other blogs started commenting that the focus Versus will give might actually help. Seems to be helping NHL, they say. I have no idea about that. I just hope it works, and I hope they get the international deals right whether that means staying with current deals or moving on.

That’s all for now, more in a day or two. I’m disappearing for a bit to avoid the news and blog sites spoiling the IndyCar Kentucky race which I think is happening right now, and which I won’t get to see until midweek. If I get the chance I’ll write some test notes on GP2 as a prep for the upcoming IRL and F1 races.

You’re probably at the bit where they go “lalala” near the end. I told you they were good.

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This Week in Racing w/c 4th Aug 08

I thought I would write a weekly post with short comments on the racing I watch every week. Some weeks this is more than others. Some weeks I don’t see much at all during the week. This wasn’t one of those weeks, this was a Catch-Up Week.

I tend to concentrate on watching F1 and MotoGP live, with IndyCar very shortly after the event. In many weeks I don’t watch anything else. I prefer IndyCar to MotoGP, I just don’t have immediate access to live coverage of IRL. I might even do Pressdog-style notes. I tried taking notes for the British GP and it is harder than it looks, big up to the ‘Dog and any of the other bloggers who do this.

Anything else I want to watch goes into a backlog. Mainly, this is to see me through the barren winter months and that’s how I started collecting so much of it in the first place, this time last season. F1 has a 5-month offseason and IndyCar is worse so you need to pass the time. But the pile can get too big, and when F1 and IRL aren’t running I need my fix, so I do a Catch-Up Week where instead of watching TV or what have you, I watch racing. Yes, I said I was a nerd, look at the profile.

On to the comments.. I’m going to insert logos here and this could look embarrassingly amateur.


Greece
, 1hr highlights
Took place: 1 June
Watched: 3 August

I’m not a huge fan of rallying but I’ve been giving it a shot this season. These are the most talented, craziest drivers in the world. A little less since Marcus Gronholm retired but they are up there. So I put the WRC on whilst I was sorting some food. I can’t say I paid much attention – it was yet another gravel rally in some dusty faraway place. Seen several of those this year already. Unfortunately my expectations were met. I just can’t get into it. What’s wrong with me? So far I’m only watching for the car control and the excellent TV coverage, but for sporting contest – I’m struggling.

I can’t remember who won.




EuroSpeedway Lausitz (‘roval’), Germany

Took place: 18 May
Watched: 4 August

Now the DTM is an entertaining championship. Big powerful V8s with star drivers and enough aero grip to get good speed through the twisties.
This particular instance wasn’t the best example but I think that was due to the silly pit rules this year. DTM races last an hour and a bit. Drivers must make 2 compulsory pit stops in which they have to take on a bit of fuel and change at least 2 tyres. Great, no problem here, makes for good strategy races.
The problem is the pit window. This year they have to pit in the middle 1/3rd of the race when previously they could stop on lap 3 and lap 50, if they thought that was the best strategy. This means everyone is forced into almost the same strategy. If that’s the case, why force the pitstops at all?
I understand the rule has been changed for subsequent events in response to critisism from drivers, teams and fans – I look forward to seeing how that pans out.

Paul di Resta won for Mercedes, he’s a very good driver and should be in single-seaters. He’s Dario and Marino Franchitti’s cousin.

Throw some ALMS in here from Utah, the SPEEDTV coverage. Not sure I agree with P2s beating P1s on outright pace so it was nice to see the P1s stretch their legs for the time it lasted..
The only two reasons I didn’t watch this closely was because a) it was after work and I needed to clean the flat and cook food, and b) the race is so fucking long! And this is only a 2h 45m race, not like the 5h LMS races in Europe. I tend to only half pay attention to these races which is why they make good Catch-Up Week or Off-Season fodder. Hmm I could put music on instead..


Croft, North Yorkshire, England
live recording

Okay so this one was a strange event.

Race 1
Two red flags caused by heavy monsoon-condition rain flooding the track. Race abandoned. Doesn’t look good.

Race 2
Possibly the best BTCC race of the season! Turkington coming up through from near the back, started 18th and passed almost every car to finish 2nd. The other BMWs made it to the front but they were visibly slower by a long way.

Race 3
Also entertaining in a BTCC-type way. Wheels banging, cars passing.

I never usually like Croft but this was a good one, even with the first race red flag. I’ve become a fan of Jackson’s – and of Adam Jones in the independent petrol SEAT outclassing the superior diesel factory cars. I always root for the underdog.

Coming up this weekend:
IRL at Kentucky
Since this isn’t an F1 week, in that timeslot I will hopefully get a chance to catch up with some GP2.

Hello!

Welcome to my blogthing!

I’m still not sure why I’m doing this or if I’ll think of enough to put in here to make it worth reading – we shall see. Maybe I’ve been too influenced by some other blogs and thought “hey, I can do that”. Maybe without so much of the humour but I’ll give it a shot. Truth is I have no idea how this will turn out. A decade in newsgroups should hopefully help.

So a little about me:

I’m 28 years old, a menial office worker in a small town in Dorset, a county in southern England. I work in accounts and am about to embark on the 3rd year of a three year part-time accountancy course, so blog posts could be intermittant especially near exam time.

I’ve been watching F1 since I was a small child. Earliest motorsport memory is the Marlboro McLarens dominating the racing and my constant disappointment that Mansell couldn’t always keep up. Later, in the mid-90s, that changed to Hill and the awful reliability of his Williams when he was in the #0 car.

Since 1998 I’ve been reading Autosport magazine and can therefore be classified as a motorsport nerd. A little later, 2000 I think, I got access to Eurosport and watched my first CART races – and my first oval races. Blown away, been a fan of US open-wheel ever since but haven’t always been able to watch due to moving around and not being able to afford the satellite/cable setup.

Then in 2007 I discovered the means to watch not only Champ Car (as it had become) and IRL (despite my opposition to it until that point), but a whole lot of other stuff. BTCC. DTM. Sportscars.

That’s when the obsession took over.

That’s when I started watching Too Much Racing.

For the record I am a fan of racing more than any particular team or driver.