Posted 13 July 2018 - 13:50
100 years ago on this day Alberto Ascari the last italian F1 world champion was born. His father was also a famous racer occupied mainly by the Alfa Romeo team that was led at that time by Enzo Ferrari. He started his racing career in 1940 helped by his friend and mentor Gigi Villoresi. In 1949 he was invited by Enzo Ferrari to join the team, and he raced almost his full F1 career by the Ferrari team. In 1951 the Ferrari cars started to match the so far unbeatable Alfa Romeo cars, and Ascari won his first race at the 1951 German GP. At the last race of the year, the Spanish GP the Ferrari made a wrong tyre choice, and the title went again to the Alfa team. In 1952 a new formula was presented, and since the Ferrari 500 was the best F2 car, they had the best chance to win the title. Ascari won it first in 1952, than again in 1953, so he was the first who could defended his world title. Following a dispute over his salary, Ascari left Ferrari at the end of the season and switched to Lancia for the 1954, however, as their car was not eventually ready for the final race of the season, Gianni Lancia allowed him to drive twice for Maserati and once for Ferrari. Unfortunatelly We did not have a chance to get to know the real potential of the Ascari-Lancia duo, because after their second race of the 1955 season, that was held in Monaco, and where Ascari escaped a crash to the harbour, he tried a sports car at Monza, and he had a fatal accident. Ascari died almost the same age as his father (some days differential).
Posted 18 July 2018 - 18:45
Uh, ode jos jedna legenda:
Remembering Morris Nunn, 1938-2018
By: Robin Miller | 2 hours ago
He was a driver, a designer, a doer and a dreamer but most of all Morris Nunn was one of those delightful characters who went down his own path and left a legacy in auto racing the likes of which that may never be seen again.
Nunn, who died Wednesday morning in his home at Tucson at age 79 from Parkinson’s Disease, became a mainstay in Formula 1 as a privateer and then headed to America to engineer Indy 500 winners and CART champions before starting his own IndyCar team.
“Morris was a quiet genius with no formal training except what he learned behind the wheel as a racing driver,” said Derek Daly, who drove for Nunn’s F1 team in 1978-79 before coming to America himself in 1982. “And I doubt anybody ever went as far as he did with no formal training and gained so much respect from so many people. He was one of a kind.”
Nunn was one of the most pragmatic and think-on-your-feet racers of any generation and he yet never even thought about race cars until his was 24 years old.
“I saw a Cooper Climax in the window one day,” recalled Nunn in a feature interview we did in RACER in 2000. “I had never been to a race and had never thought about racing until I saw that car and I bought it for 850 pounds and joined the British Racing and Sports Car Club.
“I got lapped three times in my first race at Mallory Park but you could rent Silverstone for $17 a day back then, so I practiced and practiced and started getting the hang of it.
“I won some Formula Libre races and then I bought a Formula 3 car – winning the prestigious Daily Express race in front of the F1 crowd. Colin Chapman signed me to drive his Lotus F3 car in 1969 and I figured I was on my way.”
Ronnie Peterson leads Morris Nunn (both in Lotus 59s) at the Guards International Trophy Formula 3 race at Brands Hatch in 1969. (Image by LAT archive)
Even though the native of Walsall, England (130 miles north of London) captured the final race of 1969 for Chapman and beat James Hunt, Francois Cevert and Piers Courage in the process, there was no F1 seat for him.
“I was 32 and Colin had this 22-year-old Brazilian named (Emerson) Fittipaldi lined up for 1970,” he said. “I set track records everywhere I went but I was too far down the road so I decided maybe I should start building cars.”
They were no computers, aerodynamicists, wind tunnels or 7-post shaker rigs back then and Nunn drew out his first Formula 3 car with a piece of chalk on the floor of his garage. He named it “Ensign” for the British naval flag and it broke the track record in its Brands Hatch debut before winning going away in its second outing.
Nunn and the first Ensign in 1971. (Archival image)
“My phone started ringing off the hook and we built 33 cars in 1971 with only four people,” continued Nunn. “Then I got hooked up with Ricky Von Opel and we decided to go F1 racing in 1973.”
During the next eight years he had Daly, Chris Amon, Clay Regazzoni and Roberto Guerrero driving his homemade Ensigns and gave future F1 champ Nelson Piquet his first ride but his shoestring operation was constantly in financial peril.
Derek Daly (Ensign N179-Ford) at the 1979 South African GP (Image by LAT archive)
“He was called ‘No Munn’ because he never had any money and instead of paying me a salary he just gave me the grand prix car I’d raced that year,” recalls Daly with a chuckle. “I left it in his shop and when I went back to get it the next year, he’d sold it so he could afford to go to Monaco.
“I couldn’t get mad — he was a racer and he gave me my chance in F1. And the best thing I ever did for him was finish sixth in the Canadian Grand Prix in 1978. That point made him eligible for all the traveling money the next year and kept him going. We had a helluva party that night.”
After Regazzoni was paralyzed in a crash at Long Beach in 1980 after the brake pedal snapped on his Ensign, Nunn was broke and disillusioned with F1, so he headed for the United States and took a job with George Bignotti.
“We fought like cats and dogs but I learned a lot from George, he was a very street smart,” was Morris’ recollection of Indy’s master mechanic.
Nunn went to work for Vince Granatelli with Guerrero in 1987 and won races before linking up with Pat Patrick. Reunited with the man who took his F1 ride, Nunn and Fittipaldi teamed up to win the 1989 Indianapolis 500 in a Penske chassis (“That was great, beating them with their own car!” he exclaimed).
By 1992, Chip Ganassi had started a CART team and Nunn came on board to work with Eddie Cheever, Arie Luyendyk, Michael Andretti, Bryan Herta and some Italian named Zanardi.
“He was the most argumentative driver I ever met but he was also the best at passing cars I’ve ever seen,” was how Nunn described ‘The Pineapple.’
“Morris was the best thing that ever happened to my career,” said Zanardi, who went from F1 castoff to two-time CART champion in 1997-98 on Nunn’s watch. “We spoke the same language and I loved driving for him and being around him.
“For three years he was my engineer and my best friend.”
Alex Zanardi (Chip Ganassi Racing/Reynard 97I-Honda) at Laguna Seca in 1997. (Image by LAT archive)
While Nunn and Zanardi would spend hours over dinner discussing chassis setups, the next Ganassi driver could have cared less. Juan Pablo Montoya was young, brash and fantastic on four wheels. He made Nunn crazy when he’d leave right after qualifying with the caveat: “It’s close enough Morris, it will be fine tomorrow.”
Montoya won in his third start at Long Beach and captured the 1999 title on the strength of five victories before winning Indy in 2000 for Ganassi after he crossed the picket line in the IRL/CART war.
“I was good on ovals and a lot of it was Morris, because he always kept me on a leash,” said Montoya, laughing at that memory on Wednesday. “He would say, ‘Just be patient, it will come,’ and it always did. He really knew was gong on and he was a really cool head who stayed calm and that made a big difference.
“A cool thing was that when you were in trouble he could come up with setups and go a different way and try something we’d never run. I was nowhere at Mid-Ohio once and he did that and we went out and won the race. I never really needed to worry, I would just tell him to get it close and he did the rest.”
Nunn and Montoya in 1999 (Image by Michael Levitt/LAT)
Ganassi knew what a gem he had so he even got a private plane to keep his engineer happy in 2000.
“Morris was the best at getting the most out of our drivers,” said Ganassi on Wednesday morning. “They threw away that mold. He worked tirelessly in ways I don’t see today. His fingerprints are still all over our team and he left an indelible mark in our sport.”
After Montoya’s departure Nunn decided to start his own CART team and suffered a devastating emotional blow when Zanardi (who had returned from F1) lost both legs in a hideous crash in Germany. Mo Nunn Racing joined the IRL full-time in 2002 – winning his only race in 2004 with Alex Barron.
From then on it was time to relax with his lovely wife Kathryn and concentrate on golf. He became obsessed with the game and probably owned 50 drivers because he was always looking for the newest way to add 10 yards.
He contracted Parkinson’s in 2009 and it steadily eroded that brilliant mind and his body. He came to Phoenix in 2015 and got to visit with Montoya and that made him smile for the rest of the day.
Nunn asked an innocent question back in the early ’80s about whether all ovals had left-handed turns. A couple CART guys started laughing at him but were quickly quieted by longtime F1/IndyCar mechanic Bevan Weston.
“That guy has forgotten more about race cars than you clowns will ever know,” said Weston. “He’s one the smartest and hardest-working people you will ever meet and just give him a couple years to figure out ovals and he’ll start kicking your ass.”
Did he ever. With that quiet sensibility, pragmatic approach, racer’s brain and cheeky smile, he put Guerrero in Victory Lane and Dick Simon’s car on the front row at Indy, scored a few wins with Mario at Newman/Haas and then lifted Ganassi to CART’s catbird seat for four straight years.
Mo didn’t flaunt his success but he was proud of going from his tiny garage floor to the pinnacle of American motorsports and it was a joy to follow his amazing ascension. And it was even better to call this delightful British import our friend.
Posted 30 July 2018 - 22:25
After Nico Hulkenberg picked number 27 as his career number, Will Saunders looks at the history of the famous number at Ferrari, from Gilles Villeneuve through to Jean Alesi
With Nico Hulkenberg having chosen 27 as his 'career number' under the new regulations, 2014 will see Formula One's most revered number return to the grid for the first time since 1995.
From Nigel Mansell's 'Red Five' to Damon Hill's zero, Formula One history is awash with classic car, driver and number combinations. None though can match the evocative mystique of the number 27 Ferrari.
Although Alan Jones and Ayrton Senna would both win world titles at the wheel of number 27, it was the white 27 against the Ferrari scarlet that became a racing icon. The first Ferrari no. 27 took to the grid in 1981, with the driver who would become its spiritual embodiment, Gilles Villeneuve, at the wheel. As the 80s and 90s drifted by without a title for the Scuderia, the number 27 became a totem of frustration and unfulfilled ambitions until a change to the rules for 1996 broke the numerical stranglehold, forcing all numbers after 1 and 2 to revert to the team's previous season's constructors' championship standings.
The 223 grands prix of Ferrari number 27 saw only 10 victories, but the spirit established by Gilles Villeneuve was never about pure success. The aura of Ferrari number 27 is a tale of driving by emotion, of outperforming frequently inferior machinery, and of racing on the edge to carry the legacy of Villeneuve for the eternally partisan Tifosi.
With Hulkenberg long-tipped for a Ferrari drive, his choice of number can perhaps be interpreted as a statement of future intent. Whether or not the German ultimately makes the move to Maranello, if Hulkenberg has any inclination towards superstition he would do well to heed the history of the Ferrari no. 27 ahead of the iconic number's return to the fold.
THE BIRTH OF THE 27 LEGEND - GILLES VILLENEUVE
No driver in Ferrari's history aroused the passions of the Tifosi more strongly than Gilles Villeneuve. The diminutive Canadian is one of Formula One's most revered heroes, a man whose achievements never fully expressed his thrilling talent and whose name still represents the heroic qualities that epitomise the very nature of a grand prix driver.
It is the feats of unrivalled skill, bravery and audacity, as well as a penchant for always driving at the absolute visible limit, for which Villeneuve's legacy endures. Villeneuve's inimitable driving style, with the car twitching anthropomorphically under the influence of his trademark car control, was coupled with an innate ability to transcend the limits of his machinery to frequently incomprehensible levels.
Villeneuve's iconic performances share a common audacity; the knowledge that no other driver could have set a time 11 seconds faster than the rest of the field in a wet practice session at Watkins Glen in 1979, of spectacularly fending off Rene Arnoux's Renault in a wheel-banging finish at Dijon the same year, of lapping five seconds faster than anybody else on slicks at a wet Monaco in 1980, or of holding off a stream of faster cars over 50 laps to win at Jarama in 1981.
The memory of Villeneuve is also indelibly linked to his spectacular defiance in the face of adversity, such as his grandstanding three-wheeled recovery to the pits at Zandvoort in 1979, continuing to race despite losing both the front and rear wings in a pile-up at Silverstone in 1981, or driving to a podium finish in the wet at the 1981 Canadian GP with a loose front wing almost completely blocking his view.
Villeneuve may only have competed in 19 races bearing the number 27 on his Ferrari, but in the aftermath of his tragic death during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian GP at Zolder it was the 27 car in which he perished that became the symbol of everything Gilles represented, and the standard by which all future incumbents of the seat would be held up to.
THE BURDEN OF EXPECTATION - PATRICK TAMBAY & MICHELE ALBORETO
A cosmopolitan and popular Frenchman, Patrick Tambay was a close friend of Gilles Villenueve, godfather to his son Jacques, and a deeply personal choice to take over the number 27 drive after Gilles' death.
Four races into his Ferrari career, the substitute became team leader following Didier Pironi's career-ending accident in qualifying for the 1982 German Grand Prix. Tambay responded magnificently, a victory in the very same race and a second place in front of the Tifosi at Monza sealing a full-time drive for 1983.
The legacy of Gilles lived most evocatively at the 1983 San Marino GP, scene of the infamous fallout between Villeneuve and Pironi one year previously. Starting from third on the grid with a Canadian flag painted on his grid markings, Tambay charged to a highly emotional victory.
'Winning for Gilles' would be the high point of Tambay's time at Ferrari though, his championship challenge fading through the 1983 season before he was dropped in favour of Michele Alboreto at the end of the campaign.
The first Italian to race for Ferrari since 1973, Alboreto's five seasons at the wheel of number 27 frequently flattered to deceive, with neither the car nor driver able to establish sufficient success or style to truly capture the Tifosi's affections.
Studious, serious and temperamental, Alboreto was also quick when the mood struck him, as evidenced by his maiden win for Ferrari in 1984, driving the number 27 Ferrari to victory at Zolder on F1's first return to the circuit since Villeneueve's death.
1985 was Alboreto's best year in Formula One, and he offered the only serious threat to Alain Prost's championship. However, Alboreto's early season momentum, built on victories in Canada and Germany, literally went up in smoke as five successive mechanical failures at the year's end curtailed his challenge.
Alboreto was never the same again, and, after being handsomely beaten by new teammate Gerhard Berger in 1987 and 1988, was asked to seek a drive elsewhere for 1989.
IL LEONE - NIGEL MANSELL
Nigel Mansell was famously the last driver to be personally hired by Enzo Ferrari, and his performances in 1989 resurrected the spirit of the number 27 Ferrari.
Dismissed as 'too British to succeed at Ferrari', Mansell was an unflinching tryer and a fierce wheel-to-wheel racer, visibly wringing the car's neck to extract every last ounce of performance. It was this fighting spirit, affirmed with a shock debut win for Ferrari in Brazil, that saw the Tifosi affectionately dub Mansell 'Il Leone'.
A tenacious win in Hungary from 12th on the grid was the year's high point, with Mansell transcending the Ferrari's limits to pass Ayrton Senna's superior McLaren for the win. When the car held together, Mansell was invariably on the podium, but in a year in which Berger suffered 10 consecutive DNFs, reliability frustratingly crippled the Scuderia's challenge.
Joined by defending champion Alain Prost for 1990, Mansell became a literal and figurative number 2, with the number 27 reverting to McLaren and Senna for one year only. Senna subsequently went on to achieve something no Ferrari number 27 driver could, winning the championship.
A YEAR TO FORGET - ALAIN PROST
The stylistic antithesis of Mansell and Villeneuve, Alain Prost was an uncannily smooth operator in the car, and a calculating political presence out of it.
Despite arriving at Ferrari as a triple world champion, and pushing Senna all the way to the 1990 title's infamous conclusion, 1991, Prost's sole season racing the number 27 Ferrari, would be his annus horribilis.
Having manouvered Mansell out of Ferrari, Prost was joined by the inexperienced raw potential of Jean Alesi, and seemed set to finally end Ferrari's championship drought.
One ingredient was missing though: the car. Ferrari hit a downturn at just the wrong moment for Prost; the dismal 642 chassis lumbered with an overweight V12 engine. Prost didn't help himself, famously spinning out on the wet warm-up lap at Imola, and subsequently labelling the updated 643 car 'a truck' at the Japanese GP. By then, the relationship was irretrievable, and Prost was fired before the season-ending Australian GP; a divorce concluded on grounds of unreasonable behaviour.
THE EMOTIONAL LEGACY - JEAN ALESI
The spiritual heir of Villeneuve, Jean Alesi perfectly encapsulated the emotional values of the number 27 Ferrari. A French-Sicilian of decidedly Latin temperament, Alesi was a heartstrong driver with one default setting: all-out attack. Combining his aggression with natural car control, Alesi bore a racecar with such distinction that his driving was a visible form of personal expression - capturing the imaginations of both the Tifosi and legions of fans worldwide.
Driving for Ferrari was the culmination of a lifelong dream, and Alesi famously turned down a drive with Williams to race for the Scuderia alongside Alain Prost in 1991. Inheriting the number 27 from Prost for 1992, Alesi endured the nadir of Ferrari's early-90s slump, but garnished the disappointment with a series of stunning performances.
At Magny-Cours in 1992, Alesi hauled his woefully uncompetitive F92a into contention by daringly staying out on slicks on a wet track in a trademark gesture of defiant car control. At the 1993 Portuguese GP, Alesi brilliantly led the opening stint after a customary lightning start. In the 1995 European and Japanese GPs, Alesi repeated the dry tyres on a wet track trick to haul his car into contention before being denied by Michael Schumacher and transmission failure respectively. Like Villeneuve, much of Alesi's career was fought on the outer margins of performance, pushing the limits in vain attempts to overcome frequently fallible and unreliable machinery.
Of his 79 races for Ferrari, 29, or 37%, ended in mechanical failure. A gearbox failure when leading the 1994 Italian GP from pole pushed Alesi over the edge. An eruption of pent-up frustration saw Alesi, still wearing his overalls, storm from the circuit and into his sportscar, tearing off down the motorway at 160 m/ph and covering the distance from Milan to his Avignon home in just thirty minutes.
At the 1995 Canadian GP, the fates conspired for Alesi to finally catch a lucky break, inheriting the lead when Schumacher hit gearbox trouble. Jean drove the last few laps with tears streaming down his face, splashing his visor every time he hit the brakes, and as he crossed the line the entire paddock lined the pit wall to cheer him home for his sole grand prix victory. It was the final win for Ferrari number 27, and perfectly fitting that it should come on the ?le Notre-Dame, completing the circle around the curves of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Edited by alberto.ascari, 30 July 2018 - 22:26.
Posted 02 August 2018 - 15:02
65 years ago today Formula 1’s first world champion Giuseppe Farina scored his final world championship victory in the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring Nordschleife
Farina je sa pobedom na VN Nemacke 1953. postao najstariji vozac u istoriji F1 koji je samostalno pobedio na trci koja se boduje za sampionat sveta (46 godina, 276 dana). "Nino" Farina je svoju karijeru zapoceo jos pre rata, a u istoriji ce ostati upisan kao prvi osvajac svetskog sampionata za vozace 1950. godine. U svojoj dugoj i bogatoj karijeri takmicio se i pobedjivao prakticno u svemu sto ima cetiri tocka. 1966, tada vec odavno u vozackoj penziji, nastradao je u saobracajnoj nesreci na putu za VN Francuske gde je trebalo da bude savetnik tokom snimanja cuvenog filma Granpri.
Luidji Fadjoli je bio stariji od Farine kad je pobedio na VN Francuske 1951. (53 godine, 22 dana) ali je pobedu delio sa Fandjom koji je u boksovima preuzeo njegov bolid i vozio ga do pobede. Fandjo i Fadjoli su tako u ovoj trci i pobedili i zavrsili na 11. mestu sa 22 kruga zaostatka (Fadjoli je preuzeo Fandjov "ranjeni" bolid). Ovo je bila i poslednja trka Fadjolijeve Granpri karijere, 1952. je presao u takmicenje sportskih prototipova gde je i nastradao u udesu na trci u Monaku u sklopu Granpri vikenda.
Posted 04 August 2018 - 13:24
U uslovima pod kojim bi danas trka sigurno bila otkazana, u zelenom paklu Nirburgringa Dzeki Stjuart vozi trku zivota i pobedjuje sa cak 4 minuta i 3 sekunde prednosti nad drugoplasiranim Hilom.
Ma koliko neverovatno zvucalo, ovo ipak nije bila najveca zabelezena prednost izmedju pobednika i drugoplasiranog u istoriji svetskog sampionata - ta cast ide Sterlingu Mosu koji je na VN Portugala 1958 vozenoj na stazi Boavista pobedio ispred Majka Hotorna sa celih 5 minuta i 12 sekundi prednosti!
Edited by Rad-oh-yeah?, 04 August 2018 - 13:26.
Posted 04 August 2018 - 17:56
Ovi spojleri "na drugom spratu" su stvarno bili hit
To je zapravo i najfunkcionalnije resenje. Oni su bili direktno montirani na ogibljenje tako da je sva aero sila prianjanja isla direknto na tockove a ne na sasiju. Takodje, zbog svoje visine oni su i izvan najveceg dela turbulencije pa su samim tim i mnogo efikasniji. Problem je bezbednost, suvise su se lako lomili pa em sto bi se slupao vozac sa cijeg bolida su otpali em sto bi leteli na sve strane i udarali kojekoga. Nakon nekoliko teskih udesa oni su zabranjeni.
A bilo ih je i u pokretnoj varijanti, poput danasnjeg DRS. Mnogo naprednih resenja je proterano iz F1 pre nego sto su uopste i dobila sansu da zazive.
Posted 13 August 2018 - 00:18
Sunday marks Parnelli Jones’ 85th birthday. To celebrate, enjoy Robin Miller’s 2016 take on one of his all-time favorites. Winning Indianapolis one time and five other Champ Car races in eight years are hardly Hall of Fame statistics, but as Robin tells us, numbers never did justice to Rufus Parnelli Jones.