All 21 entries tagged Motorsport

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November 08, 2006

Rossi obliges to fans' request

Rossi obliges to fan

© Nathaniel Ho 2003
Camera: Ricoh XR3000
Lens: Ricoh 28-80mm F3.5
Filter: UV
Date: July 2003
Location: Leicester Square, London
Shooting Info: n/a, that’s why I don’t use film anymore
Post–processing: Scanned and Cropped

Comments: That was a great day. Valentino Rossi pretty much made sure he wouldn’t leave anything unsigned. Battling with the screaming italian girls who wanted to get as much attention as possible, I managed to get a poster signed by Suzi Perry and Rossi, as well as a MotoGP game signed which I gave to my driving instructor as a thankyou present. The girl in the picture quietly waited for 2hrs to get her no. 46 “The Doctor” T-shirt signed by the man himself. He does something like this every year so its worth going to.

October 30, 2006

MotoGP Climax

Well it had been a pretty eventful year in MotoGP. Unfortunately I wasn’t watching most of it. As this isn’t advertised very heavily either. But I did watch the all important Portugal crash (when Pedrosa took Hayden out – teamwork at its worst). This weekend was the title decider with Valentino Rossi starting off 8pts ahead of Nicky Hayden.

Rossi broke the record and took pole position. But all that hard work was for nothing as he got swamped by everyone off the lap. He found himself lingering in 6th, with Hayden in 2nd, when all of a sudden the bike slipped away from Valentino. Now this was shocking because ‘The Doctor’ never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never makes mistakes. If he does he catches the slide/slip/high-side/low-side and gets away with it. He fell off his bike, luckily the bike was still useable and running but he was dead last in 20th place. He needed points, fast. With 26 laps remaining he fought through the field. I don’t know if he had problems technically, but he wasn’t charging through like Schumacher did last week. And of all the people in the world who are very good at scything through from the back of the grid, I reckon Rossi was the best. With a few retirements and lots of manouevres. Rossi finished a dismal 13th. He needed to be 8th.

Hayden settled for the healthy dose of points that being 3rd gives. And as his waterworks probably started when he crossed the line. Probably having the time of his life with the wind in his hair, the crowd cheering and flying the USA flag. I think it was well deserved and (despite being a Rossi fan), its nice to see someone else winning this time. So Hayden became the only person to stop Rossi getting his 5th consecutive MotoGP title (he’d won every year he’d been in the series)! Well done Nicky. This should provide some very interesting motivation for Rossi for next year.

October 29, 2006

Sebastien Loeb wins Championship on his sofa

The frenchman has done it again. Despite an eventful year, and his injury from a mountain biking trip that left his shoulder in pain (done a montoya), he was sitting at home watching Marcus Gronholm (his nearest competitor) drive his car into a ditch in the first day. Marcus was very sportsman-like and said that Loeb pretty much well deserved the WRC title. This was the only racing series that seemed to have the “old head” winning again (unlike MotoGP and F1).

Anyway it transpired that this has been only the second Rally event I’ve actually watched on TV. The coverage has been bollocks. I never know when its on. They never advertise it. I don’t like the show (which I think is solely done by now) but it is better than when ITV had full control. Channel4 seemed to be the best in promoting and its content and coverage when they covered it. ITV got all big-headed with its F1, BTCC, F3000/GP2 and wotnot coverage and thought they could do a better job, and ended up driving the show into the ground. Smooth.

October 22, 2006

F1 Season Ends: Tears all around

Ah the F1 season has been over. After wanting Alonso to win, we turned into a group of Schumacher sympathisers as we were cheering him on during the Brazilian GP. I think we didn’t really care who won. Its a shame, but all good things must come to an end. I certainly have loved to hate him throughout his career – I now have nobody (good) to hate.

I did predict halfway through the race that a lot of people would be crying after this grand prix:

  • Massa cos he won (and he’s a baby)
  • Alonso cos he won the championship
  • Schumacher cos he’s sad about leaving
  • Jean Todt cos he’s a softie
  • Flavio’s armpits.
  • Schumacher fans like Paul Robertson

Anyway his drive from pretty much last place was immense. I have to say not many others could do that. (Montoya lost his front wing 2002 and clawed his way back up but I don’t think it was as good). We spent pretty the whole race going through scenarios of what-ifs and who would end up winning. The presentation from ITV by Martin Brundle to Schumacher was a bit awkward. It seems like they still don’t know how to act towards each other. However not as funny as Martin Brundle interviewing Kimi Raikonnen. It did pretty much sum up how much Kimi cares about other people and things, when MB asked him what he had been up to during the Pele-Schumacher presentation:

I was taking a shit

Amazingly Montoya still finished 8th in the championship despite missing the last 7 races. Shall be sad to see him gone. I recently found old videos on YouTube of him overtaking Shuey in his second race in Brazil 2001 and nearly won, overtaking Ralf and Kimi in Canada 2002, overtaking Kimi in Germany 2002 – fantastic stuff which hopefully someone else will emulate in the future.

Anyway sad to see Schumacher go, unfortunately Alonso was the only young-gun who was successful in beating the greatest driver of all time (it does hurt when I say that). I would have liked to see Kimi beat Schumacher. Unfortunately now there aren’t really any greats in F1. I don’t find the prospect of young guns like Kubica and Kovalienen that stimulating. I hope next season is good.

Fun times in F1

I found this hilarious. Forgotten what a joker Mr Ed Irvine was.

September 20, 2006

The Legendary Gladiators of Motorsport: Nigel Mansell

I was rumbling through a shoe box full of childhood memorabilia the other day and I came across my little book all about my motor racing hero Nigel Mansell. I read it to mind myself of what a legend he really was.


No sportsmen today can compare to this insane mustached gladiator who has been knocked out unconcious in accidents more times than a normal human being sleeps. His bravery on track gave him no fear to overtake anybody (only Montoya comes close at times of replicating this) and no fear of crashing. Every debut in a new racing series he had was greeted by either:
a) Catastrophic accident which causes neck-breaking and paralysis
b) Sitting in the cockpit whilst a pool of petrol gives 1st degree burns all over his back

Anything that moves faster than 30mph is dangerous.

...he said. So that’s why he always made sure that he was doing at least 130mph when he crashed into walls! His resilience was just amazing, always bouncing back (gently) from neck-injuries. I surely believe he must hold a record for the number of times he’s rolled a car over, or the record for the number of times he’s been thrown out of a car into a wooden fence. This amount of grit and determination throughout a long career where he sold his home a few times in order to buy a race car. His story is a one of a long struggle with many many trials along the way. He was always runner-up due to freak accidents: missing wheelnuts, rolls, etc. One time he had to get out of his car and push it (uphill) to the finish line, in sweltering heat in order to finish the race. He finally reached his goal in 1992 to become FIA F1 World Champion after 12 years in the sport. I was only 6 years old at the time, I can’t remember much apart from one race, Hockenheim (I think) where he was creaming the field effortlessly whilst I chanted his name repeatedly as the exciteable kid I was!

Literally dicing death, they were truly heroes in those days. He was so ‘normal’ in physique: fairly podgy, sported a moustache and old enough to get along with your parents in a PTA meeting (he won the championship aged 39, Alonso was 24 when he won it last year). Since retiring he’s done only low-key stuff, like touring cars and golf. But his recent comeback in GP Masters has conjured up the old fans’ enthusiasm with their ‘Mansell’-Union Jack flags. Come on Nige!

September 19, 2006

Scooby Dooby Vroom!

Subaru Driving Experience

Today I went to Prestwold Park for a driving experience. They have a nice simple circuit and a few nice cars. The Astons and Lambos were gleaming under the bright morning sun. I was driving in the Subaru and Focus RS today. The first instructor took me round in the Focus RS for a reconaissance lap. Then I took over. Very nice car, power is great, poise was fantastic, and the grip was good.

Then I hopped straight into the Subaru Impreza WRX STi on slicks. The acceleration at first was savage but got acclimatised to the power very quickly though. My instructor Paul wasn’t one to hold people back! *Power down! Power down!* He was urging me at every oppourtunity to put the pedal to the metal and let the car do the work. I wasn’t used to letting the 4WD and differentials letting me put so much power down so early whilst exiting a tight corner. I didn’t have time to look at the speedo (or have time to figure out where the speedo was! lol), but most corners were 60mph+ and any short straights were easily 110mph+. Unfortunately, the brakes were jittering cos of some problem, but still stopped very well, making the car pitch very hard all the time.

I left the car oozing with the smell of hot brakes and rubber and with an andrenaline rush. My grade at the end of the day was a (dissapointing) 93 out of 100 (I blame the brakes). Lastly, thankyou to everyone who gave me this present – I didn’t think I was worth it. You’re all great. I had a lot of fun thankyou.

September 10, 2006

Don't Retire

I’ve never been a Schumacher fan. I’ve always loved to hate him throughout the following battles: Hill vs. Schumacher, Villeneuve vs. Schumacher, Hakkinen vs. Schumacher. But what I can’t deny is the genius he is, watching a master at work makes this a very special time in history and I appreciate his prescence in Formula1 (and I will do even more when he has retired). Therefore I don’t want him to retire – he’s not slow and he’s not getting old.

I’m sure some other drivers like Kimi and Alonso would prefer him to be around. Only by having him in the sport will they get the chance to beat him! I don’t mind where Kimi ends up, he’ll drive the wheels off any thing he gets… and will win. I think Kimi and Schumacher will be the most competitive line up ever. And F1 Racing reported a possibility of Schumacher earning $1billion if he went to BMW. But obviously money is not a deciding factor for Schumacher. At the end of the day, life’s boring after F1, I can’t see what he would be doing outside F1. If he decides his family time is more important and its time to settle down, then I guess he may leave. We’ll find out later today I guess.

September 03, 2006

Microsoft to control car Engines :S

Writing about web page

You know that old joke, that its a good thing microsoft don’t make cars, cos they’d crash everyday?

Well they have won the contract to supply the ECUs (Electronic Control Units) for Formula1 engines from 2008 til 2011. Beating the likes of Pi Research and Marretti Magnelli. Sounds like a receipe for disaster. No one’s going to finish and I guess the winner will be the one who can defrag their hard drive the fastest.

Or here’s an alternative view

August 13, 2006

Grand Prix Masters (OAP Reunion Tour)

Eddie Cheever wins British Round

I was very excited when I heard they were coming to town. Silverstone was to host a round of the GP Masters. This is a small championship for any ex–F1 driver who is aged 45+. Other pre–requisites are: children, and a belly. That's the only way you qualify to enter.

Last year I watched the first race in Kylami, South Africa on TV (with Murray Walker) commentating and it was great. Especially the showing from Emmerson Fittapaldi (or grandad as I call him) who was putting on such an impressive pace after overcoming his fears and reservations as an old man. What a legend. He also had the best one–liners today.

This is the first time I've finished 8th and been welcomed into the press conference!

So Paul's birthday present was tickets to see it. After long drive through some atrocious weather we got to Silverstone to watch the end of a British F3 race (Mike Conway won all the way). It was windy and cold. Poor Paul who only found out about this at dinner the night before, had packed no warm clothing for his weekend stay in London. We had four seasons in one day (like one of the driving instructors had told us earlier in the year). So we braved the weather along with other Mansell fans who had dug out their "Mansell" Union Jacks from the 1990s. Rob was prepared in a rain coat, we had 2 umbrellas: it rained like autumn, winter wind chill froze your ears and the track was very wet for the GP masters' race.

Derek Warwick was lined 4th, poised ready to seize the oppourtunity with Nigel Mansell in the back (and later Mansell in the pits with technical problems), but first lap collision took him out the race. We watched at Stowe as they gunned round in a semi–tiptoeing state. Taming their 650bhp beasts. One thing I've noticed is that quite a few of them are slow to react on upshifts, hitting the limiter quite often. But their car control is still there. The prospect of a charging Mansell starting 3rd last was not to be due to mechanical problems. He had 1 lap, where he span about 20 times, until he retired. Not a good day for all the British and Mansell fans. I wanted to see my hero in action :(

Anyway the 'charge from the back of the grid' was dutifully taken up by the Belgian: Erik Van der Poele. He scythed through the field and was chasing down leader Eddie Cheever non–stop, and they switched leading quite often until Erik span about 3 times on the dying laps. Fun to watch. At the end of the race, the weather cleared up for the remaining Thoroughbred GP, F3000 and F3 races. Overall it was a nice day out, real real real shame about our Nigel Mansell, I was soooo looking forward to a good showing from him. After that race, the summer sun came out for the remaining F3, F3000 and Throughbred GP races. I will upload some of the 600 pictures I took soon.

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