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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

September 29, 2008

Bob Sr.'s Weekend Racing Highlights

Editor's Note: Bob Sr. is my dad. He has been racing cars for almost 50 years. If he's not racing on the weekend you'll find him watching auto racing on TV. Every Monday he'll post an update with highlights and the inside scoop on the previous weekend’s big races.

Neither my Dad or I caught the NASCAR action at Kansas Speedway yesterday. Jimmie Johnson won and took the points lead in the chase, followed by Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle in second and third.

I spent the afternoon at the 45th Thunder Road Milk Bowl. Check out my post with video from inside Brian Hoar's #45 Goss Dodge Charger.

Here's Bob Sr.'s report...

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Formula 1 World Championship -15th Round in Marina Bay, Singapore

The Course

This was the first Formula One race in Singapore and the first Night
Race ever in F1. Singapore really out-did itself. Not only is this far
east metropolis a model of  modern architechure but the track was
built right in the middle of this wonderous city, parts of it going
over and under local streets and highways.

An Italian lighting firm was brought in to handle the lighting, and
what a job they did. Drivers remarked that the visibility was better
than some previous races in daylight. The colors of the cars, the
glitterati of crews and celebrities on the grid prior to the race was
truly striking.

Flavio Briatore, Renault racing Honcho, Fernando Alonso's boss, and
International playboy (he dates Naomi Campbell among others) was asked
how it compared to Silverstone, England's famous race venue. He
replied, "DEES EEZA  FORMULA ONE!!! SILVERSTONE...HA, TOO MANY SHEEPS
AN COWS". Some would disagree but you get his point.

Racing Action

Ferrari's Filipe Massa takes pole by almost a full second over arch
rival Lewis Hamilton of McClaren.

It looked like Filipe was back in form after the rain race debacle in
Italy a few weeks ago. He had won the two races prior to that in
Valencia, Spain and Spa in Belgium quite handily which brought
Hamilton and him within just a couple of points for the Championship
lead. 79 to 77 entering Singapore.

There seemed to be no stopping Filipe for he drove away from the field
from pole leaving even Hamilton in his wake from the very start. This
track, of over four miles and over a dozen turns, did not allow much
in the way of passing opportunities and not much changed until a crash
by Nelson Piquet around lap 30. This brought out the safety car which
forced the cars to bunch together under the yellow flag. Several of
the cars on different fuel strategies were caught out  because the
pits are closed during Safety Car conditions and they HAD to come in
for fuel or risk running out on course and thus were assessed
Drive-Thru penalties.

Pit Lane Snafu
Massa and most of the rest came in several laps later when the yellow
was gone and that was the beginning of the end for poor Filipe. After
refueling, his flag man gave him the GO signal but the refueling hose
was still attached.The refueler was thrown several feet and the rest
of the crew chased him to the end of pit lane before he stopped
finally realizing what happened.The time lost trying to release the
hose and the subsequent penalty put and end to his race. He finished
13th.

Fernando Alonso, two time World Champion from Spain, had pitted for
fuel before the safety car came out avoiding the pit stop melee and
re-entered in 4th place soon to pass some of the faster cars who still
had not taken fuel stops. As the race played out his turned out to be
the best strategy for he duly led the race for the rest of the way.

Even though  Williams driver Nico Rosberg, young son of ex-F1 Champ
Keke Rosberg, had to observe a drive-thru penalty for fueling under
Safety Car conditions he drove brilliantly to hold 2nd place ahead of
Lewis Hamilton for the highest podium finish of his young career.

Hamilton, finishing 3rd went to undisputed 1st in the Championship
standings. Rookie Timo Glock was an excellent 4th, best of his young
career. Sebastien Vettel, surprise winner of the rain race at Monza
showed maturity well beyond his years once again by finishing 5th,
getting 6 more points for the fledgling Toro Rosso team.

Ferrari's present F1 World Champ, Kimi Raikkonen, looking nothing like
a champ, had fifth place sewn up but crashed 2 laps from the  end
finishing last. Again Kimi set fastest race lap. Where is his head at?
What a horrible night for Ferrari!!!

But what a night for Renault, Alonso and Briatore!!! ...and no smelly
cows & sheep! McClaren had nothing for Massa's Ferrari but his crew's
mistake gave McClaren a seven point championship lead.
Next on to Fuji, Japan, followed by Shanghai, China and then the
season finale in Interlagos, Brazil.

Actually I like Silverstone's cows and sheep, probably cuz I'm a Brit
car buff...

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