News and views on motorsports

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back Online

Its been 3 months since my last posting and its been quite the few months. The demands of work and personal life (away from the screen) and a strange weariness with motor racing have kept me away from blogging (perhaps best of the greater good of racing blogs in general :) )

June was a heavy month completing a big project at work. In my spare time, I was more engrossed with the events of the America's Cup. I am glad that the Auld Mug will remain in Europe in the hands of the Societe Nautique de Geneve and I hope to be there in Valencia for the next event. What a final though huh? Superb racing and compelling viewing.

After that, I went off on an absolutely amazing holiday on an island off the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It was my first real holiday in years and god did I really need that one. The crystal clear waters of the secluded island made for good scuba and snorkelling and lying idle on the beach, I could literally feel the stress seeping out of my pores. Brilliant stuff.

As for motor racing, I watched the odd grand prix or two but I've totally missed out on the BTCC and WTCC. I haven't even checked the results on the web. There's definitely a helluva lot of downloading to do.

Whilst I hardly watched any racing events on the telly, I've been busy karting every weekend. Well, not racing in championships proper unfortunately as this has been banned by the other half. But I have been sparring a lot with friends over the weekends and its been brilliant fun mostly at the Sepang and Shah Alam kart tracks. Lord knows though, I'm itching to race again. Not sure where the budget would come from.

I did go to to the Merdeka Millenium Endurance Race in Sepang a few weeks back. In this year's edition of the 12 hour enduro, the undoubted star of the race was one, Hans Joachim von Stuck. The last time I saw Herr Stuck race in the flesh was in 1985 when the World Endurance Championship held its final round at the old Shah Alam circuit on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Hans Stuck partnered the great Derek Bell in the works Porsche 962s. By the time the circus got to Malaysia, the drivers and team championships had already been settled and it was really an exhibition race. Sadly it was a one off. Hans did not complete the race, suffering from a broken driveshaft courtesy of the then newly developed PDK Porsche double clutch system (which I believe is the forerunner to VW's DSG box used in road cars today). Alas, luck was not on Hans Stuck's side once more in Malaysia, his works prepared BMW Z4M racecar expired with less than an hour to go before the chequered flag.

I had the opportunity to meet with Herr Stuck but unfortunately I could not make the meeting. I would have liked to meet the great man. But nevertheless I did hear some interesting things from someone I know who did meet him. Hans Stuck as you may know is under the employ of BMW Motorsport. And it was great to hear some little anecdotes, such as how reckless a driver Mario Thiessen really is. Or the fact that among the 3 main WTCC BMW protagonists, Hans Stuck rates Andy Priaulx head and shoulders above Farfus or that moron (my word, not Hans) Jorg Muller. Muller and Farfus are drivers who look for wins whereas Priaulx uses his head and thinks of the championship. Come Macau, Hans bets that its Andy to make it 4 titles in a row.

Funny story from Sepang during the Merdeka race. Apparently when Stuck's BMW came undone, a big groan went up in the paddock, from the Sepang staff. Not so much because a Petronas sponsored car had run into trouble but because the team poised to take the win belonged to Sepang's chariman. If you don't know who he is, look it up.

As I said previously, I am still following the grand prix circus. That Hamilton is quick no doubt but I really don't believe all that nonsense about him walking on water. I mean, look at what happen at the Nurburgring. It simply pisses me off that James Allen has the temerity to compare him with Ayrton Senna of all people. Puh-leese. Ayrton nearly won his first wet race and did win his first race in a torrential Estoril unlike that Hamilton bloke who saw fit to ballet into the run off. And no-one is going to convince me that he's the angel that the media likes to potray. Perhaps its appropriate that Hamilton's good friend in the paddock is non other than retard boy Filipe Massa. (Yeah thats right! Screw political correctness!)

One thing I did miss was keeping in touch with the independent teams and as you can see I have been busy updating the results. Well, barring some freakish turn of luck, it seems that with four races left to run, its Nico Rosberg as the indy champion and his team Williams as the team indy champion. Some might say that this isn't a great surprise but to me, it was closer than you think. Those Red Bulls are quick enough to take the fight to Grove but have been severly let down by reliability problems. On their day, Nico and Williams can only watch as Webber (mostly) disappears into the distance.

The fight for runners up honours is still well and truly alive between Webber and Wurz. After a string of wins in the Indy awards, Webber is within striking distance of the Austrian. And if the Adrian Newey designed car can keep it together then it should be Nico's former teammate who takes second spot in the championship.

In the FIA championship of course, Nico still trails Wurz in the standings. However, this is largely due to Wurz's podium finish in Canada followed by his fourth place at the Ring. However as the Indy awards demonstrate, by and large Nico has been whipping the Austrian both in qualy and in the race. I'm sure Frank Williams has noticed this as well and doubt lingers as to the Austrian's future within the team.

Nico Rosberg has the benefit of much greater reliability in the Williams Toyota. But take nothing away from the German. He has been driving superbly and I should think if he were in a Ferrari or McLaren, he would be fighting it out with Hamilton. Furthermore, I think its possible that in some races, he'd take that young pup Hamilton to the cleaners.

At the bottom of the table in the Indy awards lie the two Ferrari engined teams Spyker and Toro Rosso. Which team shall end up being the bigger of Ferrari's suckers?

Well enough of commentary, I've got lots of racing viewing to catch up on.

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