Monthly Archives: September 2015

DTM: 2015 has turned into a particularly competitive season

The 2015 DTM Championship has been especially competitive with 11 different winners from the last 11 races. This means half the field have tasted victory this year, and it also means the sport is due to crown a new champion (Pascal Wehrlein) despite 8 former champions on the grid. Great stuff.‪‬

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F1: Recent events could push Volkswagen into F1 rather than away from it

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Motorsport has always offered car companies an opportunity to build positive energy around their brands, and although Volkswagen has much bigger issues to deal with right now, there might be a chance recent events could eventually push VW into F1 rather than away from it.

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NASCAR: The Chase for the Sprint Cup has sparked some early excitement

18 years ago, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson shared a living space in Charlotte as youngsters trying to break into NASCAR. On Sunday night, Harvick was punching Johnson behind the pits at Chicagoland Speedway.

The two drivers are fighting for this year’s championship, but despite their long history and the fact they worked together to help Harvick win last year’s title, a controversial accident on Sunday has turned their rivalry a little bitter. When Johnson got shoved off the track at Chicagoland he tried to push his way back onto the circuit without losing any positions. Harvick didn’t give Johnson any room, the two touched, and Harvick picked up a puncture that sent him into the wall. Their confrontation got physical after the race and it adds an extra level of intensity at the next event where Harvick has absolutely nothing to lose.

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World RX: Rallycross teams have started using an interesting new tactic

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Teams in the FIA World Rallycross Championship have started rubbing dirt onto their new tyres to prevent rivals from working out when they’re using fresh rubber. Clever. Attention to detail is everything in motorsport.

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MotoGP: The wet/dry San Marino MotoGP produced several great stories

Misano

  • Valentino Rossi scored his worst result of the season but extended his championship lead.
  • At one point during the race Bradley Smith was down in 20th lapping 15 seconds off the pace. Incredibly, he eventually finished 2nd! By the time most riders had pitted for wets, Smith figured it was already too late for the switch so impressively stuck it out on slicks during the shower.
  • Scott Redding found himself off his bike and in the gravel trap on Lap 6. Thankfully he got the bike restarted because some well-timed pitstops helped him recover all the way to 3rd.
  • Loris Baz also timed his pitstops well to score a career best 4th place. That’s a mega result for an open-class bike and the 13 points Baz received vaulted him into the lead of the open-class championship. In a contest where the leading rider is scoring an average of 1.7 points per race, 13 points in one race is a massive jump.
  • Jack Miller was hamstrung by a serious gearbox problem over the final 7 laps and also believes that he lost around 30 seconds during the pitstop cycle due to his inexperience swapping bikes. With that in mind, Miller only finished 28 seconds off the podium so a stunning result could’ve been within his grasp. Then again, you could’ve probably said the same for most riders on Sunday…
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F1: Some categories already use a simple (& safe) way to ensure drivers respect track limits

TrackLimits

Formula One drivers who run off the circuit to gain a competitive advantage have caused some controversy in recent times (notably at Spa) but there is a simple solution to F1’s problem that has already been used in other categories. The V8 Supercar and BTCC championships have featured sensors behind the kerbs at some circuits to catch drivers who abuse track limits. Repeat offenders are given a few strikes before eventually receiving a penalty. It’s simple, objective, and gives drivers a chance to use the tarmac run-off to avoid an accident whilst punishing those who are repeatedly gaining an unfair advantage. A similar approach in F1 would ensure drivers at the top level of motorsport are held to the same standards.‪‬

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A comparison of current top speeds across different categories

Top speed isn’t the ultimate benchmark of a race car’s performance, but with F1 drivers having just completed the fastest Grand Prix of the season, it’s interesting to see how different championships compare (even if some measurements are a little contentious).

Top Speed

F1: If Monza was built to original plans, F1 could look very different today

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Alfredo Rosselli’s original 1922 plans for the Monza Grand Prix circuit included two superspeedway ovals that could be linked together in order to create one massive 14km figure-of-eight layout. However, environmentalists were concerned at the number of trees that would be ripped out during construction, so a compromise was reached where only one oval was constructed and a road course was built using some of the pathways that already existed through the parkland.

Had those original plans gone ahead, the Italian Grand Prix would’ve become synonymous with superspeedway oval racing and the Formula One World Championship might’ve looked notably different when it officially kicked off in 1950. The German and British Grands Prix were held on oval circuits at different points prior to 1950, and the Indianapolis 500 counted towards the World Championship until 1961, so Formula One already came close to incorporating ovals into the calendar. A popular superspeedway at Monza might’ve been enough to tip the scales.

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Super GT: Circuit Safari is a lot of fun and a little bit crazy

The Super GT series in Japan brings fans closer to the action by driving them around the circuit in a bus during LIVE practice sessions. It’s called ‘Circuit Safari’ and, as per the video, it looks like a lot of fun. It’s also a little bit crazy because race drivers have enough things to worry about at 250kph, let alone a 12 tonne obstacle on the racing line.

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MotoGP: An interesting new stat is being featured on MotoGP’s TV coverage

MotoGP’s world feed now includes a graphic displaying which riders are trending on social media.

MotoGP Graphic

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