Looking At Your Sport Through Autosport – August 24, 1995

January 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Autsport 95

The top story from this issue of Autosport was speculation of the return of Alain Prost to F1 after it was announced he would carry out testing and development work for Mclaren during the 1995 season. As it turned out, Prost would not return to F1 racing and the seat at McLaren was taken by David Coulthard.

In Class 1 Touring car news, Jason Watt is being watched by both Opel and Mercedes for 1996 after his dominance in the Formula Opel Euroseries. Watt was a star in the making before being paralyzed in a motorcycle accident in 1999. While his racing career continued after his accident it’s something to ponder what he could have done if he didn’t get paralyzed.

Nigel Roebuck’s Fifth Column is a tribute to the retiring Keke Rosberg. Roebuck reflects on memories of Keke during his time at Williams in  the early 1980’s. Nigel talks about Spa 1983 when Rosberg finished fifth driving the wheels off of his naturally aspirated Williams against all the other turbo cars.

Across the pond, Andre Ribeiro wins the New England 200 in New Hampshire giving him and Honda their first Indycar wins. Points leader Jacques Villeneuve finishes fourth, which means he only needs to finish fourth at the next race in Vancouver to take the title.

Autosport celebrates their 45th Birthday looking back at where the magazine has been over the past 45 years and reflections from various contributors.

In British F3, Cristiano da Matta wins the race at Oulton Park after Ralph Firman jumps the start. Other finishers include future Red Bull team boss Christian Horner in 8th and future Corvette GT star Ollie Gavin in 13th.

Polish Power

January 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm

If you’re a fan of motorsport, you’ve probably seen it or heard about it by now. Robert Kubica’s amazing win on the ERC’s Janner Rally. Kubica came back to win the rally by nineteen seconds after going into the last stage down eleven seconds to leader Vaclav Pech. Kubica went half a minute quicker on a foggy night stage to take the rally win. I repeat, Kubica went thirty-seconds quicker on a foggy night stage driving flat out and at one point missing a pace note, dealt with broken driving lights and almost having an off.

http://youtu.be/2ePy2zfTVwc – The link to the in car video of the stage

Kubica’s talent clearly shines in the video of the last stage, what was just as classic was his non-chalantness after finding out how fast he went and that he won the rally.

It’s unfortunate that Kubica was unable to fulfill his potential in F1 between driving what many would consider not top flight cars and the rally accident that almost caused the amputation of his arm and the end of his F1 career. Many rated him a star in the making in F1 and Lewis Hamilton considered Kubica the driver who gave him the hardest time during their years in junior formulas. Many expected Kubica to end up being Alonso’s teammate at Ferrari before his unfortunate incident.

F1’s loss is the World Rally Championship’s gain. Over the past few years, the WRC has lost it’s luster between poor management and promotion, lack of manufacturers and dominance by guys named Sebastien. Perhaps Kubica can raise the standing if he performs well; going off of experience, the talent is there. Can he make the most of the situation?

Some may look at Kimi Rakkionen’s foray into world rallying and give that as the example as to why Kubica won’t succeed. The difference between Kimi and Robert is that Kubica seems fully committed to it whereas with Kimi it was just something to hold him over until the right F1 money came along. In addition, it was said by people in the WRC that Kimi didn’t care about listening to pacenotes.

Do I expect Kubica to win this year? No, I think 2014 will be learning year, there will be times when he shows the ability to be a front runner and times he bins the car due to a rookie mistake. I also question if M-Sport can give him the car to run upfront. M-Sport who was once the works Ford WRC team lost their Ford funding and has developed their WRC Fiesta with private funds.

All I know is that I will be following the WRC more this year due to Robert Kubica

Wreck to Tweet

January 12, 2014 at 4:27 pm


The Bump and Run, an effective way to pass on many tracks

The Bump and Run, an effective way to pass on many tracks

Generally when Sons of Taki are live tweeting during a race, it’s been me who is doing it. I like mixing observation and humor as I comment on a race. During the summer Bristol Sprint Cup race in 2013, I got into a debate with someone over Kasey Kahane and that he should have used the bump and run in order to get past another driver. A person on twitter named Nancy Bramer with the twitter handle @nascarup (and had a Dale Jr #88 avatar responded by saying “Uh. He races clean, means screwed up?” I responded “You can be clean and do the bump and run. Get him to the top lane and not wreck him #NASCAR”.

For those who aren’t Nascar fans, Bristol in the past few years has developed into a high banked short track that really has one preferred line. If you’re trying to pass a driver one of the best ways is to perform the “bump and run”. The bump and run is basically getting to the back of the driver in front of you and making him loose so his car goes up the banking (out of the preferred line) and you go past.

Generally I don’t consider the bump and run a dirty move, it’s a form of passing on track like Bristol, all drivers know they have to give it and they know to take it. It’s only dirty when the driver performing it goes out to intentionally wreck the driver in front of him. You can be a clean racing driver and perform the bump and run.

Nascar fans loved when Dale Earnhardt performed an extreme example of the bump and run on Terry Labonte at Bristol in 1999 and responded by saying: “I wasn’t trying to wreck him, just rattle his cage a little”. Earnhardt said this in victory lane with his famous grin on his face while Labonte had a wrecked car. (Nancy, I’ll take it you were a fan on Junior’s daddy and loved when he did it). Was Dale Sr’s move clean?

To me, bumping a driver to get past him still falls under clean racing. It becomes dirty when a driver goes out to wreck another driver or puts a driver in such an unsafe position (See Schumacher Hungry 2010).

I leave you with Villeneuve and Arnoux from Dijon in 79. Racing where two drivers banged wheels and was considered hard but fair by all parties involved: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1je_yHwnoTo

Yes there is death in racing

January 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm

I’ve wanted to write about †his for a while. Yes ladies and gentlemen, in an era of racing in which technology and safety are at levels they have never been before driver’s can get killed in racing. My original thought for this post came after the death of Allan Simonsen at the LeMan this past year. It was the first death during the race since 1986. Later in 2013 we had the death of Jason Leffler during a Sprint Car race and up and coming sportscar star Sean Edwards during a test session.

We must remain aware that death happens in motorsport’ not as much as it once did but the potential for death or even great injury is greater than  all other sports. Perhaps the reason why we’re so taken a back by death in motorsport is that we’ve all seen accidents in recent years where the driver has walked away; accidents if they occurred in a previous era would have resulted in death.

Next time when someone tells you racing is not a sport, please remind them of the facts

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