Thursday, July 27, 2017

What to watch this Weekend (July 28th - Aug 2nd)

  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Practice. Friday @ 8am - 9:30am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Qualifying. Saturday @ 8am - 9:30am (NBCSN(HD)) live
  • Formula 1 - Grand Prix of Hungary; from the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. Race. Sunday @ 7:30am - 10:30am (NBCSN(HD)) live 
  • Pirelli World Challenge. 2017 GT action from Mid-Ohio. Sunday @ 4pm - 5:30pm (CBSSN(HD)) same-day delayed airing
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Tuesday @ 7pm - 7:30pm (VelocityHD) replay
  • Motorweek. Tuesday @ 7:30pm - 8pm (VelocityHD) replay 
  • RMD Garage. Wednesday @ 9pm - 10pm (VelocityHD) new
The F1 circus has arrived to showcase the fields talent at the Hungaroring, but before the 2nd half of the season begins lets recap the action from Silverstone two weeks back. There was some initial controversy with Lewis not showing up to the first F1 Live event in England, thrown by the new F1 ownership, but the weekend proved out in his favor. Qualifying was a mixed bag of weather conditions, typical of Silverstone, and with rain fading around the middle of Q1 it turned into a balancing act of running inters or slicks which paid off in spades to a final flyer by Alonso that just barely made the time cutoff, vaulting a McLaren to the top of a qualy session for the first time in several years. Things dried out for the remainder of Q2 and Q3 which brought reality to some of the mid-pack teams taking advantage of wet conditions earlier. Much like the previous race for Hams, Bottas had a gear box change which brought with it a 5 grid-spot penalty so he went for an alternate tire strategy, running Softs in Q2. Bottas had a decent qualy, but he wasn't able to edge the Ferrari's in Q3, putting him in 4th. Raikkonen out paced Vettel, Hamilton put together one of the best laps of all time, a 126.600 (2.6 faster than pole in 2016). This mark was over a half second clear of 2nd and vaulted Hams further into the record books -- 67 poles all-time, one shy of Shumi and a 5th Pole at Silverstone to match all-time leader Jim Clark.

Sunday was hectic, with the biggest surprises being served up in the final few laps. Hams skipped off with another great start. Ricciardo started from 19th, Bottas from 9th, both because of penalties tied to car repairs; Ricciardo had a turbo failure during qualifying. Palmer had DNF'd on the warm up lap, leaving Renault with one car, that of Hulkenburg. The Torro Rosso's came together in Becketts, leaving Sainz DNF'd and Kvyat blaming Sainz for the incident. Thnakfully for Force India, Ocon and Perez stayed clear of one another, despite running together just about the entire afternoon. Their effort resulted in double points, finishing 8th and 9th, respectively. Massa took the final point in 10th, Stroll was in the teens along with the Haas and Sauber duos. Alonso lost another power unit and DNF'd mid-race after a better than average qualy. Speaking of DNF's, Verstappen finally finished a race and he ended up finishing 4th. He pitted really late for new tires and that's where most of the late race craziness came into play. With two laps left Raikkonnen's left front delaminated and tire carcass flopped around while he still had air in the tire, so he limped it back to the pit and got a set of supersofts. He was pissed because of his continued bad luck, which has typically resulted in him finishing behind Vettel and it looked like the same thing was going to happen. He gets fresh tires and comes out of the pit behind Vettel on the last lap (51/51) and next thing you know Vettel is veering off track with a flat front left soft. Sparks a blazing, Vettel has to limp his way around to the pit while Hams takes the last turn to his 4th consecutive win at Silverstone, much to the crowds delight. Meanwhile, Bottas had worked his way up behind Vettel and was looking to pass him, on his supersofts, but the puncture made life much easier for him. With Raikkonen pitting late as well Valteri brought a much needed 1-2 to Mercedes AMG Petronas Racing. With Vettels' late pit, Verstappen worked his way into 4th, Ricciardo's strong drive through the field topped off at 5th, Hulkenburg took 6th and Vettel was far enough ahead to maintain 7th position. The implications here are tremendous, both with Driver's and Manufacturer's Chips, Hamilton now 1 point behind Vettel going into the 2nd half of the season.

With the checkered flag dropped, the Drivers Championship standings are as follows: Vettel, Hamilton (-1), Bottas (-23), Ricciardo (-60), Raikkonen (-79), Verstappen (-120). Mercedes is now 55pts ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors'. Hungary is a technical track so expect to see the lower powered competitors, like Red Bull and Renault look just about as strong. It should be another exciting weekend to see how the multiple storylines of the field shake out.

Enjoy your weekends.

Video courtesy of GoodwoodRoad&Racing.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Enthusiast Topic: 200mph in a 911 GTS (EverydayDriver)

450bhp turbo flat-six in a non-turbo badged 911 was unheard of before now. The 991.2 GTS is priced like a previous generation turbo, but also delivers like one.

Video courtesy of EverydayDriver.