While the World Cup has a two day break in the action and the Tour de France is about to get underway, I’m feeling the need talk about the men who do the sensible thing and use a motor to do their business. Men who simply push a pedal and steer their way to glory and riches.*
*Side note: If you are ever in a bar and somebody says a race driver doesn’t have to be fit, go online and have them sign up for a 125cc shifter kart class immediately.
Even the fittest of the Crossfit, TRX, Yoga/Pilates, spinning gym junkies will be suffering after a mere 10 minutes in a kart.
Here is a quick round the horn look at motorsports as we head into a big July of racing.
After racing in front of 100,000 plus rabid F1 fans in the Austrian countryside two weeks ago, F1 gets to test their new product out on the loyal British buzzards for the first time at Silverstone. Will it be Lewis-Nico or Nico-Lewis? The match score is now 4-3 in favor of Lewis. I’ve often heard people compare watching F1 to watching soccer because you have to be patient, let the strategy unfold and be ready for a quick strike. This season certainly feels that way as Lewis and Nico have been routinely staging a full 90 minute battle on the track that often doesn’t play out until the last lap.
Here is a look at the Merc 1-2’s so far this season:
Malaysia: Lewis P1- Nico P2 +17.3 seconds
Bahrain: Lewis P1 – Nico P2 +1.0 second
China: Lewis P1 – Nico P2 +18 seconds
Spain: Lewis P1 – Nico P2 +0.6 seconds
Monaco: Nico P1 – Lewis P2 +9.2 seconds
Austria: Nico P1- Lewis P2 +1.9 seconds
Avg 1-2 time differential: 8 seconds. As a comparison, the 1988 battle between Senna and Prost had an average time differential of 18.013 seconds in their ten 1-2 finishes.
What the heck is Bernie doing now? I read today where Bernie is going to drop Monza after next season. For What?? Baku, Azerbaijan??? I have a new theory that Bernie only awards races to countries where he can still get laid. Forget about getting paid, he’s got enough dough already. I’d imagine he and Flavio will be able to “purchase” some choice dates that weekend. If he strips Italy off the schedule in the name gaining a foothold in the coveted Caspian Sea market, then I say it’s time to oust the old codger.
If anybody wants to win the Indycar title this year the month of July will likely sort out the players as they race 4 times over the next 3 weekends (2 ovals and 2 streets). Will Power should have a solid lead with 2 wins and 6 top 5’s, but he possesses a choke gene that keeps everybody in the game. Similar to last year, an Indycar race is next to impossible to predict and the form of each driver seems to swing wildly from week to week. I can’t recall ever watching a series where every single car in the field can win a race if they get the breaks. It’s really a testament to how competitive the series is at the moment.
The double header in Houston this past weekend reminded me of the WWF Battle Royal that I had the good fortune of attending at the Oakland Coliseum Arena back in ‘85 where Black Jack Mulligan emerged as the victor. All 23 guys were scraping for every inch of track out there and miraculously rookie Carlos Huertas drew the lucky card and won in the wet conditions. Amazing stuff. Of course after winning on Saturday, Huertas finished last on Sunday……And somebody please, for the sake of TV ratings, enroll Huertas in a PR class on acting excited and fired up after winning a major race. His straight faced, monotone victory interview must have made Nascar people race for their remotes to get a dose of a Waltrip. Maybe he was in complete shock?…….You know the Indy street tracks are still semi bush league after hearing that two fans managed to cross a hot track during a practice session……Cool to see AJ go nuts on the competitors after the customary Sato crash-out……Is the absence of Dario’s feedback the reason the Ganassi guys are mid-pack at best?………I always hated PT on the track, but I love the PT/Matchett TV team…..I am still Indy!!!
The brilliance of Marquez continues as he has now won 8/8 races this year. It helps that he really only has to beat his teammate and the two Yamaha’s, but I’m not taking anything away from the guy. Phenomenal style. Classy Rider.
I’m excited for 2 years or so down the road when MotoGP is dominated by the Marquez and the Espargaro brothers. Two sets of brothers going at it will make for fun TV. Bummer they won’t be putting on a show at Laguna Seca for the foreseeable future.
I know it’s old news, but I’m still boggled over Lorenzo jumping the start in Austin because he had mosquitoes in his eyes! Ah the old mosquito in the eyes excuse eh Jorge? Only in Texas!
Look at this buzzardly lineup. This will be 12 more hours that I will have to budget into my already insane sports viewing log.
Drivers confirmed so far:
Audi Sport Abt
Lucas di Grassi/Daniel Abt
Jaime Alguersuari/Sam Bird
Bruno Senna/Karun Chandhok
Jarno Trulli/Michela Cerruti
Venturi Grand Prix
Nick Heidfeld/Stephane Sarrazin
Katherine Legge/Antonio Felix da Costa
Sebastien Buemi/Nicolas Prost
I’m officially on the Rallycross bandwagon! Wild ass, short attention span racing at it’s finest. And I’m just talking about the stateside Red Bull series with the likes of Nelson Piquet Jr, Scott Speed, Ken Block, Tanner Foust and a bunch of Scandinavian rally drivers I’ve never even heard of. Can’t wait to see the FIA version.
I’m pumped to see Max Verstappen, son of The Dutch Devil, taking command of the Euro F3 season with six straight wins. The Verstappen’s still have some unfinished business in F1.
Call it a NorCal bias, but I’m on the Kyle Larson bandwagon. I think the kid has the goods and I hope he can get out of that Ganassi contract and into some real equipment ASAP!
Buzzardry and Business:
I’m always intrigued to see the TV ratings numbers and I was able to gather the following info today on the excellent racer.com website:
NBCSN reports that it has averaged 390,000 viewers for IndyCar coverage thus far in 2014, up 34% from the comparable point last year (291K). The network has had similar success with its F1 coverage: Over the first six races on NBCSN, F1 has averaged 377,000 viewers – up 111% from the first six races of the 2013 F1 season (179,000 viewers). The NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky, meanwhile, continued a recent downward trend in ratings for NASCAR’s top series. TNT’s telecast of the Saturday night race earned a 2.3 rating and 3.6 million viewers, down 12% in ratings and 10% in viewership from last year (2.6, 4.0m).
GoPro Goes Public! Everybody knows that GoPro is deeply entrenched in motorsports so I’ve been an interested onlooker as their shares have had a wild ride after 5 trading days on Wall Street. They came out of the gate like 2013 Sebastian Vettel and posted a staggering 103% increase, but gave back 13.85% today to close at 42.04. The Wall Street sharks are smelling blood now so it could get ugly in a hurry. I wonder how many shares Bernie owns?
Have a great 4th of July!!