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The Fastest Lap

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  1. Still here
    From The Fastest Lap I can't believe it is seven months since I last posted on this blog, but since four of those have involved being a new dad, I think I can cut myself some slack.I also found that much of what I wanted to say about motorsport I had already said (or other bloggers were saying the same thing). I got rather tired of the silly politicking in F1 and Indycar, and since there's many other sites out there doing race reports, why try to replicate that?Anyway, I'm still watching racing and
  2. A question
    From The Fastest Lap Am I the only one who is slightly disappointed that there won't be a breakaway championship with the big F1 teams? After seeing a tentative schedule yesterday I was rather looking forward to this.
  3. The FIA/FOTA split
    From The Fastest Lap I've stayed pretty quiet on this issue as there are a number of other motorsport bloggers who are far more knowledgeable and insightful about it than I am. Let me just just share a few of my opinions on it...F1 has been pretty entertaining the last couple of seasons, although the novelty of Brawn GP winning everything will ultimately wear off. I worry that one way or another, F1 is going to get boring again.Max Mosley disgusts me. Everything he does, and every way he does it, I find offensive.
  4. Le Mans is coming soon
    From The Fastest Lap I'm totally fucking excited, even if it's one more year that I'm not there. I've established a pattern of going to the race on any year that ends in a 7 or a 4 ('94, '97, '04 and '07). That means it will be a bit of a wait before I go again, so I must make the best of it whilst being stuck in California for the weekend.I schedule my work week around the evening qualifying sessions (or test sessions as one will be this year) so that I
  5. Motorcycle racing is dangerous
    From The Fastest Lap Well, duh. Except it's pretty amazing how many riders are on the sidelines right now thanks to injury...Regis Laconi, WSBK, DFX Ducati: injured in South Africa, being replaced by Lorenzo LanziSylvain Guintoli, BSB, Crescent Suzuki: injured at Donington, replaced by Michael RutterJohn Hopkins, WSBK, Stiggy Honda: injured at Assen, replaced by Jake ZemkeMax Neukirchner, WSBK, Alstare Suzuki: injured at Monza, replaced by Fonsi NietoMakoto Tamada, WSBK, PBM Kawasaki: injured at Monza, replaced by Jamie HackingNeil Hodgson, AMA, Corona Honda: injured playing around on a motocross bike, replaced by Jake HoldenTroy
  6. Long Beach
    From The Fastest Lap Didn't the Indycar race at Long Beach look great? It reminded me of 1995, with all the top US open-wheel drivers and some notable foreigners going toe-to-toe in a nice big field of brightly-colored cars in front of a sizable crowd. It really feels to me like Indycar racing is truly back in business. Yes, there's still quite a lot of empty space on the sides of cars where sponsors should be, but there's also a number of new names like McAfee and the US Air Force, both of which
  7. The diffuser thing
    From The Fastest Lap The FIA have decreed that Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams were within the rules when they ran with their "double-decker" diffuser for the first two F1 races of the season. This is great news, because it sets up much excitement for the rest of the season.There is no doubt that those without the special diffuser will implement one, and that their performance will increase. McLaren in particular have much to gain, since their major issue was getting that rear wing to work, and with the extra rear downforce from the
  8. Plato shows BTCC who's boss
    From The Fastest Lap Jason Plato very nearly didn't have a drive in the BTCC this year after SEAT cancelled their factory program. Luckily at the last minute he ended up in a Chevrolet Lacetti (probably ex-WTCC but I'm not sure).Good thing too, because he put on one hell of a show in race 3 of this weekend's season opener. I've always rated Plato as one of the best tin-top drivers in the business and the clip below proves it. I also think his no-nonsense communication style and TV experience on Fifth Gear make
  9. Rally spectators get the info they want
    From The Fastest Lap Having been to a couple of WRC events in the past, the issue of deciding which stages to see and where on those stages to go can be really tricky. I've got hundreds of megabytes of maps, stage descriptions and video accumulated for that very reason.Rally Deutschland and this weekend's Vodafone Rally Portugal have attempted to solve that very issue. Not only do they put detailed maps and descriptions online (like a lot of other rallies), but they also post video of the spectator areas so that you can see
  10. Unemployment up in Indycar too
    From The Fastest Lap As the supposedly great state of California inches towards 10% unemployment (and as the start of the Indycar season approaches this weekend), I spent a moment thinking about all those poor saps who want (or have been connected to) fulltime Indycar rides. You know, people like Frank Perera, AJ Foyt IV, Buddy Rice, David Martinez, Oriel Servia, Townsend Bell, Neel Jani, Matt Halliday, Ryan Dalziel, Enrique Bernoldi, Bruno Junquiera, Dan Clarke, Tomas Scheckter, Darren Manning, Alex Lloyd, Mario Dominguez, Nelson Phillippe and Jaime Camara.That's a lot of people. Considering there's
  11. I told you so
    From The Fastest Lap Check it.I win.
  12. Bookies everywhere agree - it's Jenson
    From The Fastest Lap I took a look at the betting lines on this weekend's Australian F1 Grand Prix over at Sports Interaction, and was pretty amazed at what I saw:Button - 5:1Raikkonen - 6:1Alonso - 8:1Massa - 8:1Barrichello - 8:1Hamilton - 11:1Kubica - 13:1Heidfeld - 23:1Vettel - 26:1Trulli - 30:1Glock - 35:1Kovalainen - 41:1Rosberg - 41:1Webber - 51:1Nakajima - 71:1Piquet - 81:1Bourdais - 201:1Sutil - 251:1Fisichella - 251:1Not sure why there's no odds on Buemi, but whatever. There's some fascinating insight here into what the public's perception is of how the weekend will
  13. V8 Supercars get mangled
    From The Fastest Lap Watching the debut round of the Australian V8 Supercars championship this weekend reminded me of one particular aspect of these cars:When V8 Supercars crash, they produce the most mangled wrecks in all of racing.Most race cars these days are made with copious carbon fibre or aluminium chassis and body panels. Not V8 Supercars... these things are steel, and when they crash they warp and bend in the most magnificent way. Making things even more gnarly is the fact that unlike NASCAR which also uses steel panels and chassis, V8 Supercars
  14. Hotness
    From The Fastest Lap The new Acura P1 car. Extremely good-looking car. And the sister car to the one pictured here grabbed pole at Sebring today, so it's quick too.It is blessed relief from the new Audi which looks like someone painted up an old WR prototype in Audi colours, then softened it like butter in a microwave and made Hagrid from Harry Potter sit on the car. The word "fugly" comes to mind.Given my appreciation of Japanese automotive technology, it's quite clear who to cheer for on Saturday's Sebring 12 Hours.
  15. Lapping Laguna Seca
    From The Fastest Lap In the period where this blog lay dormant, from September 2008 until February 2009, I had the pleasure of getting my Subaru WRX STi out to not just one, but two track days.The first was at Laguna Seca, a track I knew pretty damn well from all the races I'd attended there, as well as my crazy virtual test drives before I bought the car. This was back in November, so the expectation was that the weather might be inclement. Luckily I convinced my father to join me in his
  16. The winner takes it all
    From The Fastest Lap Man, I've gone three years without quoting Abba on this blog. Damn you FIA!Mornings for me, like most people I guess, are tough. I have to grapple with wardrobe decisions (something I hate), try to eat a bowl of generally disgusting high-fibre cereal, face up to yet another commute in the rain on my motorcycle, and do all this after being rudely separated from blissful unconsciousness by the alarm on my irritating and ineligible-for-an-upgrade-until-May cellphone.It doesn't help when my well-intentioned and well-informed wife throws out a comment like "did you
  17. A quick look at the calendar
    From The Fastest Lap This weekend sees the WRC in Cyprus and World Superbike in Qatar, both of which should be worth watching.However, starting next week things get really cracking. The Sebring 12 Hours in the ALMS and V8 Supercars' season-opening Clipsal 500 are amongst the highlights of the motorsport year, and both are happening next weekend. They'll be backed up by AMA Superbike, World Touring Cars, A1GP and Japanese SuperGT to name but a few.The weekend after that is notable for the first Formula 1 race of the year.And once we get into
  18. Brawn can do it
    From The Fastest Lap I'm going to go out on a limb here...The former Honda F1 team might actually not suck this year. Here's why:Two drivers who are proven race-winners. Being stuck in that awful Honda for so long might have shortened some peoples' memory as to how talented Button and Barrichello actually areRoss Brawn, he's good. I seem to remember he did rather well when he was in charge of a team running a wonky-mouthed German chap.KERS. Those that have it, and have it working, have a distinct advantage. Sounds like Brawn do.Mercedes
  19. Daytona again
    From The Fastest Lap Weren't we just here? For some stock car race that I half care about? And before that, some sportscar race that I kind of take an interest in? Well, now it's a motorcycle race that is vaguely interesting. Every year the Daytona 200 should kick ass, and every year it kind of doesn't.This time out we won't even have the benefit of live TV to analyze the kick-assed-ness of the whole thing, or lack thereof, as Speed Channel are moving to a tape-delayed "primetime special" format, whatever that is. Maybe
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