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Motorsports Mondial

Big Mac

Photo: Nascar Illustrated

McMurray Gives Joplin Blues To Earnhardt Jr.

The 2010 Daytona 500 took over six hours to complete as the drivers battled the customary cautions and two red flag situations, caused by potholes between the first two turns of the 2.5-mile track.

When all was said and done and 208 laps run, Jamie McMurray scored the biggest win of his career and shed tears of joy in the victory lane. The wild finish to the 52nd running of “The Great American Race” saw a two-lap dash to the finish line. These were the only laps he led, the fewest by a winner of this race.

Kevin Harvick looked strong and on his way to his second Daytona 500 victory before the final caution came out. At the re-start McMurray, with a little help from his ex-teammate Greg Biffle, surged ahead.

The Joplin, MO, driver’s biggest threat came from #88, the AMP machine of darling of the crowd, Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Little E” was electrifying on the final two laps, charging from tenth to racing McMurray to the checkered flag.

“I looked in my mirror and saw the 88—I’ll be honest, I was like, ‘Crap, this guy has won a lot of races here. His family has an incredible history here,”’ McMurray was quoted on Yahoo Sports. “I believe everything happens for a reason. I just was like, ‘I hope this isn’t his turn to win the Daytona 500, I hope this is mine.”’

Ganassi’s teams have now won all three major races in the country, others being Indy 500 and the Daytona 24-hours, feat matched only Penske Racing.

In third place behind the two Chervrolet drivers was Greg Biffle in a Ford. David Reutimann drove the highest placed Toyota in fifth position.

McMurray’s teammate Juan Pablo Montoya was 10th. Scott Speed, another F1 refugee, was among the race leaders and finished 19th.

The inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 was won by Lee Petty. His son, Richard, won the race a record seven times. Mario Andretti, in 1967, remains the only non-US born racer to win the event.

— Nasir Hameed

Mikko Hirvonen starts his World Rally Championship title bid by beating Sebastien Loeb to victory in the Rally Sweden.

After a careful approach through the final snow-covered stage, Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen leapt onto the roof of their car at he finish control to celebrate their win. “It’s absolutely fantastic!” said Hirvonen. “And I’m really happy it’s over after those last few stages; you can’t imagine how nervous I was in there. It’s a perfect start to my year, I’ve never won the first round before, but after last season I’ve got one more year of experience. Now I plan to carry on like this. It’s a new game in Mexico and I can’t wait to get started again.”

F1weekly podcast # 399

Saturday, Sunday Special Podcast # 399

F1weekly visits Classic Team Lotus in Norfolk, England.

First of all I would like to thank Ms Sapphire Nichols of Classic Team Lotus and our long time listener and friend Peter Brazier for making this possible.

In the first part we will have my conversation with Clive Chapman, son of Lotus founder Colin Chapman, and in the second part we have a chat with Bob Dance, gentleman who prepared cars for Jim Clark and other great legends that drove for this fanstastic team.

In the history of motor racing, there are some names that will live forever—Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bugatti, Maserati, And of course Lotus. The black and gold JPS Lotus is a classic for all times.

Colin Chapman was one of the great original thinkers of Grand Prix motor racing.

Moss, Clark, Hill, Rindt, Fittipaldi, Peterson, Andretti and Senna all won in Lotus F1 machinery.

His son Clive is now preserving the rich heritage of this great marque. I would like to thank him very much for his time and sharing wonderful memories, how many school kids can claim they were picked up from school by a Formula 1 world champion.

They have a very nice website www.classicteamlotus.co.uk and please take a look.

Nasir Hameed.


Alexander Rossi.

Alexander Rossi charts European campaign

Czechs out Brno, Hungary for more.



Alexander Rossi, the 2008 Formula BMW Americas and World Finals Champion, had a busy month in April testing the waters of cut-throat European racing scene at four classic European venues. And quite a splash he made across the pond.

First stop in preparation for the 2009 International Formula Master series was Imola. Rossi tested with Trident racing in the heart of Italian motor racing country.

Next stop was Silverstone with Hi Tech Racing, a newcomer to Formula Master this year but established player in the British F3 championship.

The final two pre-season test sessions were held at Brno, the Czech Republic, and the Hungaroring.

Brno. Czech this!

Rossi was the top rookie on the opening day, April 20th, at Brno, setting an impressive pace which was only .31s off the fastest time and ahead of several experienced drivers.

An elated Rossi said, “Day 1 at Brno was very good for the entire team as it was our first test together and immediately in the morning we were P3, and ended the day P4 overall.”

Second day of testing on April 21st. saw Rossi again finished both the morning and afternoon sessions in the top half of the field.
Rossi explained, “We lost a little bit of pace on Day 2 as we were learning about the life span of the tire and we were not able to fully optimize the ‘miracle lap’ if you will. With that said we made a lot of progress on car set up and balance and were confident that we would be very competitive the following week in Hungary."

Danube delight.

"Arriving at the Hungaroring, the team and I were full of confidence after a very successful first test, but we also had the pressure of needing to back up the results of our initial pace,” cautioned Rossi.
Mechanical goulash sidelined Rossi on the first day of testing, April 27th, at Hungaroring, which is home to the only F1 race in Eastern Europe.
“On day 1 we struggled quite a bit with constant oversteer and as you know this is quite difficult to deal with, especially at a track full of long duration and high speed corners. We ended the day P11, but we put our heads down as a team and made some pretty radical changes overnight.”
On the second day, April 28th, Rossi was within striking distance of the fastest time, recording fourth fastest time at 1:37:551 which was less than half a second of the fastest time but again ahead of several second year drivers.
Rossi, “Coming out of the box in day 2 we were able to show what the rookie team HiTech Junior is really made of as we immediately leaped to P4, only 4 tenths off the leader. We ended the two days fourth overall and as we continue to sort through some technical issues we are learning every time the car goes out on track and at this point our progress is exponential.”

Good to go at Pau.

“I cannot wait to see what we can put together at the first event in Pau as we are making more large changes to the car; I am sure we will be very competitive."
With over 40% win ratio and two championships in last three years, Rossi is driving the American dream to his ultimate destination, Formula 1. The 2009 International Formula Master Championship starts this month in streets of historic Pau in southern France.

Please visit www.alexanderrossi.com for more information on this genuine home grown world class racing talent.





Heart to heart: Two giants of motor racing legend embrace each other. Ayrton Senna is congratulated by the Maestro, Juan Manuel Fangio, in winning what turned out to be his final success on home soil in 1993. Three races into the following season and after scoring three pole positions, Senna perished while leading the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. The tall tale of his tremendous talent is only a click away at:





Unfortunately, tragedy had arrived a day earlier at Imola. In Saturday’s qualifying session Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger lost his life after crashing his Simtek.

His memorial website is www.roland-ratzenberger.com

Sebastian Loeb takes win # 50



With the victory in Cyprus Loeb reaches his 50th WRC win.

Fernando Alonso ends Brawn domination in Jerez.

FIA voting on new  points system 12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1

Schumacher may not renew his contract with Ferrari.

Todays test times:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Alonso Renault (B) 1:18.343 103
2. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:18.398 62
3. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:18.892 12
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:19.513 85
5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:19.783 123

F1weekly podcast # 330



Honda F1 is now Brackley F1 for the moment.

Brackley F1 to begin testing 2009 hybrid and say contracts are signed!

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

This weeks special interview with Jackie Oliver.

People like Jackie Oliver make motor racing such a fascinating sport. He was born in Essex, England, on August 14th 1942. His racing career started in 1961 at the wheel of a Mini.

After driving for Lotus in Formula 1, he replaced Jim Clark as teammate to Graham Hill in 1968 after the Hockenheim tragedy. Oliver qualified on the front row of his home Grand Prix at Silverstone and was leading when the car broke down.

In 1969 driving the beautiful John Wyer’s Gulf GT40 he won the Le Mans 24 hour race and the Sebring 12 hours.

In 1971, he won the Daytona 24 hours in a Porsche shared with Pedro Rodriguez.

In 1974 Jackie Oliver won the Can Am championship driving for Don Nichols Shadow team. He would drive in Formula 1 for the same team and later became involved in management.

At the end of 1977, Oliver left Shadow and started his won Formula 1 team called Arrows. Some of his drivers included Riccardo Patrese, Gerhard Berger and Eddie Cheever. Team also had sponsors as varied as USF&G, Ragno Ceramiche and Warsteiner.

This conversation took place last month at his business, Arrows Self Storage Limited, in Bletchley, Milton Keynes, UK. My sincere thanks to Mister Oliver for his time and to Mister Brazier for making this possible.