12/20/2010 1:22 PM
The 2010 race season is now over with most of the racing industry already well along in their plans for 2011. For a driver like myself, coming off of a few seasons in an entry level professional series, the end of the season means it’s time for the real work to begin. Not being a fully established driver yet means there won’t be much relaxation in the "off season".
In previous blogs I’ve mentioned the importance of the business aspect of being a race car driver and the conclusion of the race season means that angle kicks into full swing. Discussions with potential partners moves into high gear and drivers begin to contact race teams as they shop around for a place to race in the upcoming season.
My plans for 2011 are slowly evolving and hopefully we will be able to make some announcements early in the New Year. Decisions on what to race and where to do it are all very important, but I am in the fortunate position of knowing that next year I will have a chance to continue moving forward with my racing career.
At the end of each race season the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) holds a gala awards dinner in Monaco where they hand out awards for the various race series under the FIA umbrella. This year the Formula 1 season definitely delivered, as you would expect from the pinnacle level of motorsports.
If you ever wonder why people have an interest in motor racing, I highly recommend watching this highlight video of the 2010 Formula 1 season which was shown at the FIA Gala dinner. It’s an excellent video that really captures the essence of racing at the highest level.
08/31/2010 11:07 AM
I am pretty sure that I burned a hole in my retinas by watching too much TV this weekend, but there was simply too much going on in the world of racing to avoid chilling out on the couch for a good portion of it.
Formula 1 in Belgium, MotoGP at Indy, American Le Mans Series at Mosport, and the Nationwide race in Montreal occupied a good portion of a Sunday. Before you think I am a massive gearhead I can assure you that my love of cars and engines is actually somewhat limited. However, when you toss a human being in a car and tell them to go faster than everyone else, that's when things get very interesting to me.
Formula 1 is the absolute pinnacle of motorsports. The cars brake, turn, and accelerate better than any other on the planet. To see them screaming through the hills in the Ardennes forest at Spa doing 300+ km/h is absolutely amazing, and the rain showers definitely added to the thrill of the race this last Sunday. Despite a late trip through the gravel, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was able to walk away with not only the victory but also the lead in the Formula 1 World Driver's Championship.
MotoGP is also incredibly popular around the world and has the best of the best in terms of motorcycle racing on the planet. These guys are absolutely insane. No joke! You must have to be totally bonkers to do the kind of things that these riders can do with a bike that could decide to chuck you into the stands at a moments notice. The thought of doing 300+ km/h while simply sitting on something makes me sweat just thinking about it. But who knows, perhaps someday someone will let me have a go on one and we can determine if it really is as nuts as it seems...i'm betting YES! Dani Pedrosa of Spain rode it home for the win.
The American Le Mans Series features cars of all types. From wicked fast prototypes to sleek GT cars, there is something for everyone...and if that's not fun enough, they throw them all on track at the same time and tell them to race for hours. The ALMS was at Mosport this weekend, which is located just east of Toronto, and having raced there before I can honestly say it is a monster of a track. When racing at Mosport it's best to swallow a pillow so that your heart has a comfy place to hang out while it's in your throat. Dumas/Graf took the Prototype class, Jeannette/Julian grabbed the Prototype Challenge, Bergmeister/Long won the GT class and Lewis/Aschenbach rounded out the field with a GTChallenge victory.
Finally it was the always entertaining Nationwide race in Montreal. I'm not the biggest fan of NASCAR related events but I always appreciate the spectacle of watching them fight it out on a road course. It's an entirely different world of racing than I am used to, so after the race i'm usually left scratching my head as to how a demolition derby broke out. But to be fair, yesterday’s race was much better than some of the previous NASCAR events held at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. In the end, Boris Said aka "The crazy awesome guy with the hair" was able to survive the drama and take the win from Max Papis and Jacques Villeneuve.
Good thing I have an appointment with the eye doctor already booked for this week…
06/22/2010 9:26 AM
I think we can all agree that it has rained a little bit over the last few weeks. But what does that mean for our driving...apart from dodging the stalled cars and yelling at the truck drivers who inadvertently leave a Tsunami in their wake.
Slow down? Leave more room? Stop texting, drinking coffee and changing the radio station at the same time? Yeah yeah yeah, we've heard all of those ones before. Now how about something which seems equally as absurd...Turn Your Lights On!!!!
Just as the previous common sense tidbits are often ignored or simply need to be reinforced in our minds, take this as a friendly reminder to switch the dial on your dash and make sure your lights are on. Most cars today will come with an "Auto" feature as one of the light settings available. This is great as you don't have to forget about leaving your lights on, but it doesn't do the trick when driving in the rain.
Most often, although it is grey and gloomy, it is not dark enough for the light sensor on your car to recognize that the lights should be turned on. If approaching from the front there is usually no issue as most cars have daytime running lights...but the problem lies with the tail lights of a car. Tail Lights will not be illuminated when only your daytime run lights are on, thus making it incredibly hard for people to see you when approaching from the rear of your car in heavy rain.
Last year I had a race in Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans weekend in October. On Saturday, the day of the race, it rained harder than I have ever seen before. I have raced many different types of vehicles in wet conditions but I could not believe how much rain was falling and how much standing water was lurking at every corner on the race track. The pre-race checklist for a rain event is pretty much the same no matter what you are driving; 1. Make sure the rain tires are on tight 2. Say a few extra prayers 3. TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON!
If checklist item No. 3 was not done, I guarantee that there would have been a lot of drivers hurt badly on the race track that day. I remember at one point driving 200 km/h in another car's spray and knowing that the road turned at some point ahead, but not being able to see a thing. My natural reaction told me to hit the brakes but there is also a huge fear that if I do that, the driver behind me won't, and his front bumper will end up in my trunk. At that point, my only option was to keep my foot to the floor and follow the tail lights of the car ahead of me. Fortunately the car ahead of me found his way around the corner safely or else I would have followed his tail lights straight into a wall.
Now obviously those types of risks have no place on the public streets, but the principle remains the same... If your lights are on it will help you not to run into everyone else and help everyone else not to run into you.
So please, if you can remember to turn your lights on the next time you are driving in the rain, that'd be fantastic!
06/10/2010 9:40 AM
The Winter Olympics, Stanley Cup Playoffs, Scotties Tournament of Hearts, The Brier, The Masters, The Grey Cup, The Super Bowl ... all staples on a typical Canadian sports fans viewing schedule. Often, most of these events are watched by people who won't pay any attention to the sport at any other time. They simply watch it because everyone else is and they want to be a part of a big show.
So why is it that when Canada hosts one of the largest sporting events in the world, there is only minimal coverage of it in our country? This upcoming weekend, Formula One makes the trip across the ocean to Montreal where they will race on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
In 2005, the Canadian Grand Prix was the most watched Formula One Grand Prix in the world. The race was also the 3rd most watched sporting event on the planet. Only the Super Bowl and UEFA Champions League Final took in more viewers.
With viewer figures on par with the Olympics and the World Cup of Soccer, each Formula One race attracts a global audience of around 600 million people per race. Reaching 200 countries, the cumulative television audience for a race season has been calculated at 54 billion people.
Is racing boring? Why watch cars driving for two hours? What does it matter? Well to the citizens of Montreal it matters to the tune of $89 million in economic impact! After losing the race for a season due to contract disputes with Formula One, all parties involved gave their heads a shake and agreed that the race needed to return to the Ile Notre-Dame in Montreal.
All three levels of government each put in millions of dollars to ensure the event would return to Montreal for the next few years. With hotel rooms jammed full and visitors from all over the world packing every restaurant and bar, downtown Montreal will be partying all-week long.
My guess is though, apart from some spotty coverage, you will hear little about it in the rest of Canada. ...Or perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised this year!
Ads by Google