Thursday, November 14, 2013

What to watch this Weekend (Nov 14th - Nov 20th)

  • WRC. Rally action from Spain. Thursday @ 10pm - 11pm (MAVTV) replay
  • Fifth Gear (UK). The Flying Spur. Friday @ 10pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) new
  • FIA European Rally Championship. Barum Czech Rally Zlin; from Zlin, Czech Republic. Saturday @ 2pm - 3pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Formula 1 - US Grand Prix; from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Practice. Friday @ 1pm - 3:30pm (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - US Grand Prix; from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Qualifying. Saturday @ 1pm - 2:30pm (CNBC(HD)) live; replay at 6:30pm on NBCSN
  • Formula 1 - US Grand Prix; from Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Race. Sunday @ 1pm - 4:30pm (NBC(HD)) live
  • How it's Made: Dream Cars. Marathon. Sunday @ 8pm - 11pm (VelocityHD) replays
  • Top Gear (UK). Marathon of past episodes. Monday @ 4pm - 3am (BBC America(HD)) great replays
  • Motorweek. 2014 Bentley Flying Spur. Tuesday @ 8pm - 8:30pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Wayne Meets Triplets. Tuesday @ 10pm - 10:30pm (VelocityHD) new
  • Top Gear America. Tuesday @ 10pm - 11pm (History Channel(HD)) new
  • Wheeler Dealers. Wednesday @ 8pm - 10pm (VelocityHD) replays 
Good weekend ahead, yadda yadda, but lets roll right into the F1 recap. There's been a big buzz with the verbal exchange Lotus pit had with Kimi when Romain was trying to get by him in the last laps of India. Peeling the layers of this onion back shows that this may have been a more deep rooted issue than what showed on the surface; Raikkonen is owed money by Lotus, who is in financial trouble. Lotus has a chance to rectify that with a 2nd place finish in the constructors championship (4th place currently) and coincidentally Kimi could help them do so. If what has been reported is true and Kimi has not received about 8-digits worth of pay in 2013, then this could get uglier before things are resolved.

In FP2 Romain Grosjean's right front brake rotor exploded into three pieces. The big take away was that the softs have some serious longevity on this track as opposed to the reality of India. This will make a medium tire seemingly turn into a one stopper, and possibly as little as two stops for a soft then medium change over.

Q1 Hams is tops almost breaking into the 1:39s. Massa takes a flyer to the top 5 once again to make the cut. Di Resta makes Q2, but his Force India stablemate Sutil doesn't.

Q2 Alonso has some issues towards the end of the session and has to abort the lap, then try for a late (and I mean late) flyer. Comes up about a tenth short, missing Q3, behind Massa who just makes the cut in 10th. Massa out qualifies Alonso again. Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Hams, Rosberg(P1) Vettel, Webber, Perez make Q3 along with Grosjean & Raikkonen. Button misses the cut.

Q3 goes by relatively quietly, but finishes with a bang as usual. Vettel takes the early lead with a 1:40.091, which looked to stand up, but Webber pulls out a 1:39.957 to take P1. Vettel's flyer can't top it (1:40.075 -- noticably pissed in the car), Rosberg (1:40.419) couldn't top it and Hamilton (1:40.501) -- he spun off surprisingly and shut it down, remaining in P4. Webber(P1), Vettel(P2), Rosberg(P3), Hamilton(P4), Raikkonen(P5), Hulkenberg(P6), Grosjean(P7), Massa(P8), Perez(P9), Ricciardo(P10). Hamilton states that something broke in the rear of the car (turned out to be a broken rear wishbone).

Webber started the race in P1, but better launches by Rosberg and Vettel edged him out early. Before long Vettel had a 3+ second gap. Hamilton had another bad start; got going well but his moves set him up for a cutoff at the first turn helping him fall to 5th. Button got into a rear tire at the turn 1 mixing bowl and damaged his front wing. There were worse results from turn 1 for Lotus, as Kimi, starting from the back of the field due to some post-qualy issues, ended up breaking his steering on the back tire of Pic's Caterham in the first turn of the race. He retired and left the track.

Aside from Vettel's predictable 7th consecutive run away to a checkered flag, this was an entertaining race over all with some notables. Hulkenberg gets pinged for a unsafe release in the pit on a Marussia. Alonso pulls a pretty aggressive move coming out of the pit to rejoin the field, in order to get out ahead of Massa, who was in front of him for most of the race up to that point. Alonso came out and buzzed Vergne, going off the track with all four wheels in order to hold his position. He didn't quite have a choice, but it's still under review through the next race. Force India ran a one stopper again with Di Resta and Sutil, this time with much better results; P5 and P10 respectively. Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean have another strong race, but Massa was let down by a bad front left tire change late in the race; this made it possible for Alonso to even have a chance of coming out in front of him. Hamilton made as much lemonade as possible with his rebuilt rear suspension and worn tires, but along with Rosberg's P2 the Petronas Mercedes camp pulls further away from Scudaria Ferrari (11pts up). Lewis also pulls on Kimi's 3rd position in the Driver's Championship (8pts behind Kimi). Vettel gets another burn out in post victory, but returns his car afterwards, so we'll have to see what the FIA has to say this time.

Austin should be entertaining. Lewis won this event last year with McLaren, Vettel is trying to chase down Shuey's consecutive win record, Massa is going for it, Grosjean is strong and Kimi could blow off the last two races if he decides the 15mil Lotus owes him is too big a deal to let ride as is. FYI, current word is that New Jersey F1 is on for 2014 after Monaco. Remember The F1 race on Sunday isn't on NBCSN, it's on NBC -- hopefully NBC won't screw this live broadcast up like many Fox broadcasts of the past for SPEED. Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of Top Gear.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Motorsport Pron: 850hp Electric Racing Car: Driving the Drayson B12/69EV (CHOC)

Chris Harris talks to Paul Drayson, builder of an electric powered Lola LMP1 chassis making 850hp, who wants to push the envelop of what electic power can do in a motorsport environment. The battery usage life of existing technology is still an issue, but as a technical exercise this car attempts to show what can be possible once the battery tech catches up to our imaginations.

Video courtesy of Drive.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Automotive Workshop: Talking SLS, C63, CLA45 & More with Mercedes AMG Head Tobias Moers! (MotorTrend)

MotorTrend's Wide Open Throttle crew bring in Tobias Moers, the current head of Mercedes AMG. They talk AMG models and the future of the brand.

Video courtesy of MotorTrend.