Biggest problem in Formula 1

formula-1-logoNot that long ago, I came across an article, where the writer said, that the problem with the modern day Formula 1 is not in the new engines, new rules or lack of interesting tracks, but in the people themselves, hanging on to their old ways, not letting F1 evolve. Partially, I agree with that, but after the third round of the Championship, my opinion as shifted focus. Continue reading

20 Years: Colin McRae

colin-mcrae-arrives-by-helicopter-after-flying-himself-to-the-trossachs-near-callander-for-the-2006-county-saab-scottish-rally-preview-day-9-152129This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death. He was considered one of the best drivers in motorsport history. To honor his life and to show our respect, we will post a few articles about the greatest losses in the motorsport history, leading to the article about Senna, which will be released on the day of his death.

If you have lived to this point, and have no idea who Colin McRae was, I am sorry to tell you, but you are not a proper motorsport fan. Not only is Colin a hero in rallying, circuit racing and Dakar, but he’s also the creator of the game, which is now called Dirt. If you still don’t recognize his name, just close your browser and go outside. Continue reading

20 Years: Dan Wheldon

2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon next to the Borg Warner Trophy

2011 Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon next to the Borg Warner Trophy

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death. He was considered one of the best drivers in motorsport history. To honor his life and to show our respect, we will post a few articles about the greatest losses in the motorsport history, leading to the article about Senna, which will be released on the day of his death.

Lionheart… Dan Wheldon was young, and for his short racing career was considered to be one of the most competitive and aggressive drivers to come through the US open wheel ranks. Starting off in go karts like most drivers, he quickly developed a rivalry with future Formula 1 champion, Jenson Button before he ultimately left the UK, to pursue racing in the United States in 1999. He began racing in the US F2000 series, which was a lower open wheel series, where in his first year he won the F2000 championship.

Dan Wheldon in 1999 n

Dan Wheldon in 1999

In 2002 he moved to the IRL Indy car series, joining Panther Racing for two events as a teammate to Sam Hornish Jr. In 2003 he joined Andretti Green Racing filling the spot of Michael Andretti following his retirement, he won Rookie of the year honors that same year. 2004 Wheldon won his first IRL race at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan and almost won the championship, finishing runner up to Tony Kanaan with three wins.

2005 was a huge year for Wheldon and some would argue this was his best year. He won the Indy 500, making him the first Englishman to win that race, since Graham Hill in 1966. During the course of the season, he won an IRL record six victories, besting Hornish Jr’s record of five victories. This allowed Wheldon to clinch the IRL Indy Car Championship Title in a convincing fashion. All of these accomplishments came in only his third year in an Indy Car.

Dan Wheldon showering in the milk after the 2005 Indy 500 win

Dan Wheldon showering in the milk after the 2005 Indy 500 win

In February of 2006 he won the prestigious 24 hours of Daytona, with Genassi teammates Scott Dixon and Casey Mears. That same year he was even offered a Formula 1 drive for BMW Sauber, but declined due to the fact that he wasn’t guaranteed a full time drive but stated that when his contract was finished with Genassi, he would take a serious look into F1. Ultimately that never happened.
Weldon returned to Panther Racing in 2009 and came in second at Indy, and again the following season in 2010. Despite being very competitive throughout 2010 on the oval tracks ultimately he was fired from Panther Racing and replaced by J.R. Hildebrand. This left Wheldon without a fulltime ride in the 2011 season. During the 2011 Indy 500, Wheldon drove for Bryan Herta Autosports during the 100th Anniversary of the race he led for one lap and won the race. Making him the only driver in IRL history to win the race after leading only one lap this was his second time drinking the milk. This, however, would wind up being Dan Wheldon’s last win.

Wheldon Posing next to the Borg Warner Trophy in 2011

Wheldon Posing next to the Borg Warner Trophy in 2011

The Series made its way down the schedule, and in the final race of the year, on October 16th, Dan found himself strapped into his car. The stakes were higher, as Wheldon and a fan would each win $2.5 million dollars if Wheldon could win the race after starting from the back. Wheldon started 34th and made his way up the through the pack and on lap 11 he was in 24th position. Going into turn 1 and 2 a huge four-car wreck turned into what is called in racing, “the big one”, involving 15 cars. Dan Wheldon, going just under 200 mp,h saw this whole accident unfolding before him, and even tried to brake slowing his car down to 160 mph, but this attempt proved to be useless. His car slammed into the back of Charlie Kimball sending Wheldon airborne tumbling out of control, then slamming cockpit-first into the catch fence. Wheldon’s head hit a fence post and this ultimately is what ended his life.

Dan Wheldon's car top left up on the fence.

Dan Wheldon’s car top left up on the fence.

Following the announcement of Wheldon’s death the IRL decided to suspend the race after 12 laps. The surviving cars from the wreck formed up and did a 5 lap salute to the 2 time Indy 500 winner with tears in their eyes and Dan’s #77 displayed in first place alone on the scoring pylon.

Editor’s note: This crash started the so-called Second Dark Era of Motorsport, when multiple drivers died in the very short time. Wheldon’s crash reminded people, that motorsport is still a very dangerous pastime, and that sometimes even the best of us go. 

Formula 1 Season Predictions

formula-1-logoWith F1 pre-season testing over, and the race in Australia creeping up on us, it seems like now is the right time to do some predictions. Before we continue though, this article will be the predictions for the first few races, as it is nearly impossible to say anything about how will the teams progress throughout the season. 

This year Formula 1 had a numerous rule changes which changed so many things around, that it’s highly doubtful that we’ll see people complaining for lack of intrigue. Here is our small analysis of the pre-season testing.  Continue reading

20 Years – John Lingenfelter

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This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death. He was considered one of the best drivers in motorsport history. To honor his life and to show our respect, we will post a few articles about the greatest losses in the motorsport history, leading to the article about Senna, which will be released on the day of his death.

Most people know John Lingenfelter as one of the greatest tuners in history, and the founder of Lingenfelter Performance. But in his time, he was also a very successful drag racer winning 13 NHRA event titles (9 Comp, 3 Super Stock, and 1 Pro Stock). John’s career spanned more than 40 years, and during that time, he raced in pretty much anything – from Super stock and Comp door cars, to Econo-Dragsters, Pro Stock Trucks and even Sport Compacts. One of John’s greatest accomplishments, was breaking the 6 second 1/4 mile barrier in a Comp car.
Lingenfelter
In 1997 John returned to the NHRA and competed in exhibition races in the Pro Stock Truck class. He finished 2nd in the Pro Stock Truck standings in 1998 in the first season of that class. In 2002 John took a chance and entered into sport compact racing. His vehicle was a GM ECOTEC 4-cylinder GMC Sonoma, which later he chenged for a Chevy Cavalier in the Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series. He won one national event and had two runner up finishes.
johnlingenfeltercavalier
Unfortunately, In October 2002 at the Mazda NHRA Sport Compact World Finals in Pomona, John lost control of his Cavalier and hit the retaining wall. John was seriously injured in the accident and eventually passed away on December 25th, 2003 from multiple surgeries to save his life. He was 58 years old.

There is no good or bad way to go for a racing driver, but John went in the way that will be remembered by all the drag racers alike.

20 Years – Allan Simonsen

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This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death. He was considered one of the best drivers in motorsport history. To honor his life and to show our respect, we will post a few articles about the greatest losses in the motorsport history, leading to the article about Senna, which will be released on the day of his death

Most people probably never heard of Allan Simonsen, but those who follow endurance motorsports (WEC, TUDOR,ALS, etc) know him as one of the best GT drivers in history. Simonsen was born in 1979 in Denmark and started his career in karting. In 1999 he got his first shot in a car, and won the Danish Formula Ford Championship. Not too shabby for a 21 year old. In 2002 he began racing sports cars, his first of many was a Ferrari 360 in the British GT Championship.

Continue reading

GT: The American Dream

american-flag-2aWhen I came to the States from “Mother Russia“, I was fascinated by the amount of cool cars that I saw on the streets. Now, at the time, the definition of a cool car for me was very vague. To me, any car that I have never seen in my life, or only seen in pictures, was cool, so naturally I got very interested in American cars, especially muscle cars.

The very first muscle car I saw, was the ’70 Plymouth Barracuda. It was a faded lime-green beast, parked few yards away from my bus stop, and it always had my attention. Being a freshman in High School, within a year of living in Chicago, my definition of cool cars shifted towards more unaccessible cars, such as Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and, of course, the dream machine of any teenage import fan – the Nissan Skyline GT-R. The ‘Cuda was still there when I wanted to see it, but at that time I’ve seen it enough times to get bored of it. It stopped being special to me. Boy, was I a complete moron.  Continue reading

Changing Gears: The 1000hp Club

We all love hypercars. They are loud, obnoxious, extremely fast, and sometimes not that pretty. But they all bring out the inner child, and the engineering behind them is simply epic!

So let’s cut straight to the bullshit. This is the 1000hp club, now you may be thinking “I know plenty of cars in this club – Supra’s, Corvette’s, Viper’s, etc.” but those vehicles are modified to reach those numbers. Here are the requirements for the club…
1.) Must have 1000 horsepower from the factory
2.) Must be a production car
3.) Cannot be a racecar
With that in mind, let’s take a look at these engineering marvels!
Let’s start with the Yankees:

2009 Shelby SuperCars Ultimate Aero TT :
2009-ssc-aero-1287-horsepower-engine-boost_5 Continue reading