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Archive for category: Motorsports

Jenson Button Doesn’t Want A Pretty Nose, He Wants A RHENOCÉROS!

by Peter Dushenski

The 2009 World Champion, the off-season triathlete who is now only a Schumacher re-retirement away from taking an Old Fogeys of F1 podium, is confusingly envious. The loathsome nose exhibited on every other 2012 F1 car, other than Jenson’s majestic McLaren MP4-27 reminds me of the scene in Midnight in Paris when Salvador Dali, played by the notable nose of Adrian Brody, goes on at length about the RHENOCÉROS(!), a creature known for its bi-horned beak (I’ve included the scene below for the unfamiliar). Come to think of it, if you crossed Brody with a rhino, a 2012 F1 car wouldn’t be far off. Except the very pretty McLaren. Yet the monstrous muzzle is the apple of Button’s eye! How can this be?!

After Peter Orosz’s compelling thesis in favour of McLaren’s beautiful sniffer swept me off my feet, Button’s clear uncertainty regarding his team’s 2012 design direction, despite his admitted preference for the new seating position, doesn’t instill confidence.

C’mon man! You’ve got two weeks to grow a pair! As Tina Fey famously said, “Confidence in 10% hard work and 90% delusion”. And it sounds like Jenson might be too experienced (read: old) to delude himself any longer.

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Does Electric Motorsport Have a Future?

by Joe Clarke

Motor racing is one of the most technologically advanced, visually arresting, exciting sporting spectacles in the world. Highly competitive race series around the globe are a potent sensory assault combining the heady smell of hot tarmac and petrol, the sleek, intricately designed, vividly liveried vehicles, and perhaps most importantly, that piercing, high-pitched whine of high-revving engines.

For many, the noise of motorsport is the primary appeal. I’ll always remember going to my first Formula One Grand Prix, the cars could be heard several seconds before they barreled past in a cacophony of millions of explosions occurring simultaneously inside the 3 litre engine. As they passed by and changed gear I could feel it in my chest, consolidating the emotional, passionate connection I felt with the sport, the cars, and the gloriously deafening noise.

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2011 F1 Spanish GP: Perspective From Madrid

by Peter Dushenski

As my half-empty flight from Munich made a harrowing descent into Madrid Barajas, the green flag dropped on the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix and the drivers were off. I was back in Spain, not two years after my last visit, and I was arriving just in time for the nation to cheer on its most successful product in F1 history from 4th on the grid. Little did I know that after the first turn, the very same Fernando Alonso would be in 1st place. Surely, this would galvanize Madrid into a furious spectacle of uniquely Spanish exuberance, despite being 600km away from the race.

My expectations of the atmosphere were higher than Yuri Gagarin’s expectations of the atmosphere. I envisioned Ferrari and Santander banners festooning Gran Via with Nando’s chiseled mug slapped on everything from coffee mugs to t-shirts to billboards. Confetti would be snowing down from rooftops, fighter jets ripping by overhead, fireworks illuminating the sky – it would be absolutely over-the-top in a way that no F1 celebration in Canada could ever be.

+Continue Reading Interviews Canadian Champ/Indy Legend Paul Tracy

Yesterday was a big promotion day for the Toronto Indy, Honda, and Make-A-Wish® Canada so we decided to get on the phone with Canadian open-wheel racing legend Paul Tracy.

On this podcast, you can hear the 2003 Champ Car Champion talk about Osama bin Laden, Twitter, Audi and Le Mans, Taylor Swift, and his old NSX.

There are definitely some nuggets that came out of the conversation and it was easy to tell why Tracy is so popular with fans. His candor and and openness are unusual in an era where professional athletes are primped and preened to say something without actually saying anything at all, much like politicians.

Without further ado, presents Mr. Paul Tracy.

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McLaren’s new endurance race car, the MP4-12C GT3 is less heavy, further from the sky, nimbler, and has less power than the road-going MP4-12C. Which of these is not like the others…

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Video: The 5 Legs of Targa Tasmania for Porsche

Catch up on the week that was with all five legs of the Australian version of the Targa Newfoundland. In usual Targa style, the racing was close, the weather was demanding, and the cars were inspiring.

Ultimately, Rex Broadbent and co-driver Chris Randell would take their fifth consecutive Classic Competition victory in their yellow 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS. After 5 wins, Rex was quick with a smile and a cheeky offer to race in Europe, should anyone out there be looking for an aging Ozzie with the reflexes of a 20-year-old. Rex, with the usual Australian modesty, attributed his success to the reliability of the 911 platform. I can’t honestly say that these videos make me want a 911 any less, so watch them at your peril.

Video documentation of legs 2-5 is below, including plenty of Walter Röhrl and his 1981 911 SC.

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Photographic Retrospective: Formula 1 China Grand Prix 2010

In your face!

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From The Porsche Archives: The 935

Before there was the nutty-as-a-fruitcake FIA Group B racing, there was the only-slightly-daft FIA Group 5. Group 5 is the series that saw the 1500 hp Porsche 917 in 1970 and ’71 and the Porsche 935 later in the decade. The Group 5 formula changed significantly over the decade, as demonstrated by the two vastly different examples of racers that Porsche entered into competition. Whereas the 917 was a pure prototype with only 25 built (under the watchful eye of one Ferdinand Piëch), the rules were later changed to force manufacturers into entering “special production cars” that had to be based on normal production models, which is why the 935 was based on the 911 Turbo. In Group 5, the 935 competed with the likes of the Ferrari 512BB LM, the BMW 3.0CSL, and the BMW M1. Despite the stiff competition, the 935 won a full 33% of the races it entered, including the outright win at the 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans, 6 wins at the 24 Hours of Daytona, 3 wins at the 1000km Nürburgring, and 6 wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

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