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Walter   

True! Sad that Nico couldn't really race today. Nobody wanted to see the world championship settled by a system malfunction. Congrats to Lewis Hamilton, he won 11 races and there is no argument that he is a deserving champion!

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Walter   

It's that time of the year again! The Rolex 24 will happen this upcoming weekend at the "mothership", Daytona International Speedway. As usual there will be an eclectic group of drivers representing most forms of world-wide racing series. Of course the race distance remains the same: who can complete the greatest amount of laps around the DIS infield road course, including covering most of the 2.5 mile high banked tri-oval track, in 24 hours time - using at least 3 different drivers, who rotate in and out of the driver's seat continuously without driving more than 3 hours in one stint. All major sports car manufactures are represented, competing in sub-categories and also the overall title simultaneously. It is quite the spectacle. Racing begins on Saturday at 2 pm, est, and the beginning will be covered by FOX Sports, continues on FOX Sports 2 from 4-8pm, then over to FOX Sports 1 from 8-10pm, and back on the air Sunday from 7am-2:30pm for the finish on FOX Sports 1. Always a great way to kick off the racing season! :thumbsup:

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marlam   

Thanks for the tip Walter! Looks like Toni Vilander, who has won the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans twice with Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni, will be participating so I might check it out.

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Walter   

You're welcome marlam, my racing brother! I expect a full report on the F1 happenings during the offseason.

BIG NASCAR news today: Jeff Gordon announced he is retiring after this upcoming season. Watched him grow from "Wonder Boy", as Dale Earnhardt used to call him, to a four-time champ, to a dad, to a mentor - it'll be sad to see him go. He definitely has a chance to go out as a 5-time champ though!

For the Aussie fans, Marcos Ambrose has returned to Australia to compete in the V-8 off road rally championship. He is such an amazing road racer, glad he will be close to home and in a series where he can show all of his talents!

Remember, the Rolex 24 starts this Saturday, live from Daytona International Speedway, at 2 pm. For the U.S. sports car fans it's on FOX, not sure about international fans. As soon as I have more information, I'll post it!

:peace:

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Strider   

^^^I just heard the Jeff Gordon retirement news and you were the first person I thought of, Walter. I have only sporadically payed any attention to NASCAR but I was a Jeff Gordon guy...it's the California connection. He has kind of been supplanted by Jimmie Johnson but it would be cool if he could win one more Winston Cup.

Oh wait...Winston isn't the sponsor of NASCAR.

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Walter   

6 hours in and Gnassi cars are 1st and 2nd place. The #'s 3&4 Corvette teams are 1st and 2nd in the GT division. GREAT racing so far....on FoxSports1 until 10 pm est, if anyone is interested.

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marlam   

The DeltaWing car looks pretty interesting.

Too bad I didn't see Vilander driving because the AF Corse team retired pretty early as a result of this incident:

I'll be posting that F1 report soon, perhaps tomorrow :)

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Walter   

Good race, marlam!

Congratulations to the Ganassi 02 team of Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Jamie McMurray, and Kyle Larson for their overall win.

No hurry on the F1 report. When do they begin, March 1? Is it in Oz again? I have the league pre-recorded on my dvr. Cheers! Glad we're back to racing!!!!

Going to see some dirt track racing in two weeks, before Speedweeks begin. :)

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marlam   

So, about the F1 happenings during off-season. Let's start with new drivers. Probably the most interesting of them is Max Verstappen, the son of Jos Verstappen who was also Fomula One driver. He's just 17 years old and will become the youngest driver to start a World Championship race. He couldn't drive a road car in Finland but will be driving in F1! There has been lots of criticism for allowing such an unexperienced driver to compete and after he was signed the rules were changed so that in the future drivers must be at least 18 years old to participate in Formula 1. It will be interesting to see can he really be ready for the challenge.

Carlos Sainz Jr. is of course the son of two time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz. He and Verstappen will be in Scuderia Toro Rosso so both drivers in that team will be rookies.

The third newcomer is Felipe Nasr who was test driver for Williams last year. He is signed for Sauber.

There has also been couple of changes in the big teams. Sebastian Vettel will be in Ferrari, Daniil Kvyat will take his place in Red Bull and Fernando Alonso will move to McLaren. Speaking of McLaren, that will be one of the most interesting teams this season. Honda will return as an engine provider and McLaren will be the only team to use those motors. Last time we had the McLaren-Honda combination in F1 they dominated the series with drivers like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Can they repeat the succes this time remains to be seen.

There will be three pre-season tests, February 1-4 at Jerez, February 19-22 at Barcelona and February 26-March 1 again at Barcelona. The first Grand Prix will be in Australia on 15th of March.

Finally, here are all the confirmed teams, engines and drivers for 2015:

Mercedes (Mercedes): Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg

Red Bull (Renault): Daniel Ricciardo & Daniil Kvyat

Williams (Mercedes): Valtteri Bottas & Felipe Massa

Ferrari (Ferrari): Sebastian Vettel & Kimi Räikkönen

McLaren (Honda): Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button

Force India (Mercedes): Nico Hulkenberg & Sergio Perez

Toro Rosso (Renault): Max Verstappen & Carlos Sainz Jr.

Lotus (Mercedes): Romain Grosjean & Pastor Maldonado

Sauber (Ferrari): Marcus Ericsson & Felipe Nasr

Edited by marlam

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Walter   

Cheers! Very thorough update, marlam! Looking forward to hearing about the upcoming testing next month. Seems like last year's set the tone for the season. Thanks again for all of the information!

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Walter   

Sitting here at Bubba Raceway Park watching the 410 wing sprints on a 3/8 mile dirt track. It's HEAVEN!!!!

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Walter   

Kurt Busch suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and Chevy cuts ties with him as well. This is after a mediators "opinion" stated "there is better than a 50% chance he was domestically violent towards his girlfriend, Pam Driscoll". He has the right to appeal it within NASCAR. We shall see....

We were at last night's Duels at Daytona, which finishes out the qualifying for the 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first race and Jimmie Johnson won the 2nd. Danica got wrecked by Denny Hamlin for the 2nd day in a row, got back in the race and was helped to a 10th place finish, which guaranteed her a starting spot Sunday for the 500, by her teammate - Kurt Busch.

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Walter   

Bad weekend for the Busch brothers...Kurt is suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for domestic violence allegations and his brother Kyle is out for a while with a broken leg after a head on collision with the wall at Daytona yesterday in the Xfinity race. As much as I dislike Kyle, I don't like drivers being injured in accidents, especially injuries caused by a lack of safer barriers. Especially at Daytona, where we lost the late, great Dale Earnhardt 14 years ago last week.

*Barf* congrats to Joey Logano for winning the 500 today *Barf*

My boy, Kevin Harvick, finished 2nd.

We sat on the backstretch side of the track today, for the first time ever, before they remove those grandstands and send them to Phoenix for the front stretch grandstands there. Been going to the track for almost 40 years and have never been back there. Was fun though!

Ready for some testing F1 news, marlam! ;):)

Edited by Walter

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marlam   

The most important news is, of course, that Daniel Ricciardo made the fastest time in Top Gear's "Star in a reasonably priced car" -challenge, beating Lewis Hamilton's time :)

But seriously, I haven't paid that much attention to the Formula 1 tests because I've been watching the Nordic World Ski Championships. These are a really big thing in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Here's a small taste, men's sprint final from last Thursday. Great stuff!

http://youtu.be/-WdkQ2bbU3c

That was bit off-topic but I love this sport :)

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Walter   

Racing is racing, my friend! :) Looks like fun!

You know I'm a big fan of Ricciardo's, so anything he wins is good with me.

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Walter   

I heard Alonso had an accident the other day, testing, and spent a few days in the hospital as a result.

Thanks for the video, marlam!

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Walter   

Jimmie Johnson won the Cup race in Atlanta yesterday. Harvick finished 2nd. It is the 5th consecutive top-2 finish for the #4 car, dating back to last season. Harvick did win the Xfinity race on Saturday.

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marlam   

Here's some data from F1 tests (from mtv.fi). The number of kilometres done by driver and by team:

f1-kuskien-ajokilometrit-barcelonan-test

The fastest times in Barcelona and which tires were used (s=soft, ss=super soft)

nopeimmat-kierrosajat-barcelonan-f1-test

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Walter   

Based on those numbers, Red Bull looks to be down on horsepower. Otherwise, things look normal with team cars paired up on the speed charts. Is Ferrari going to make a comeback this year?

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Walter   

Congratulations to my boy, Kevin Harvick, on his dominant win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway today! He has now virtually locked in his spot in The Chase for this year's NASCAR postseason championship run, with thoughts of repeating his championship from last year. He has now finished either 1st or 2nd in 6 consecutive races and leads the overall points standings this season. Way to go Harvick!!!!

#4thecup

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