Archive for the ‘Motor Sports’ Category

Tahan Lew-Fatt Defends Reynolds Over Misogyny Claims

Tahan Lew-Fatt image: Instagram

Gorgeous model Tahan Lew-Fatt is standing by her beleaguered boyfriend David Reynolds.

This week Reynolds was fined $25,000 for making ‘inappropriate’ remarks concerning fellow Bathurst 1000 entrants Renee Gracie and Simone de Silvestra.

Tahan Lew-Fatt is outraged at the suggestion her beau is sexist.

“Ok, so whoever has seen the news, re my gorgeous ‘apparently sexist’ boyfriend, David Reynolds, knows he made an off-handed comment, that wasn’t even mean!

Lew-Fatt took to Facebook to paint a very different picture of the man who has been the centre of V8 racing this week (for all the wrong reasons).

“My boyfriend is the furthest from sexist … He makes me breakfast every morning and cooks me dinner every night; and (I’m) pretty sure he is the only one who cleans.”

Lew-Fatt then went on to call for support to help her boyfriend pay the $25,000 fine.

“If anyone can donate towards the 25k fine that would be greatly appreciated; he has requested that the V8’s donate the money towards some sort of woman empowerment charity!”

Tahan Lew-Fatt image: Instagram

Tahan Lew-Fatt image: Instagram

Sledging has been a part of Australian sport since the First Fleet set up stumps.

In the past it was no-holds barred, but gradually norms of acceptability have crept in: Rules against attacking people’s race and family, character assassinations and bullying.

The fight against gender-based sledging is now part of the political correctness governing sport.

Who knows, the V8s may have to drive at the speed limit next year too?

Facebook post: Facebook

Facebook post: Facebook

 

This will be my last post for Outrageous Sports. It has been a privilege to write for this blog site.

Farewell.

Sledging and the Changing Face of Sport

Renee Gracie image: twitter.com

Ford V8 Racing car driver David Reynolds has been fined $25,000 for remarks deemed offensive against fellow Bathurst 1000 competitor Renee Gracie.

Gracie is getting more attention from the remarks she received prior to the race than from her driving; especially after spectacularly crashing out in the early laps of the race.

V8 Supercars boss James Warburton was quick to announce the heavy fine, reiterating the comments were ‘offensive’.

One wonders if Reynolds had trash-talked Gracie’s or partner Simone Silvestro’s driving skills without alluding to their gender if the same disciplining would have taken place.

Reynolds took the high ground saying she had “accepted his apology, that’s all I need.

“We are professionals,” she preened, “it’s one of those things. The V8s (management) have handled it.”

Gracie is part of the same Ford Prodrive Racing team garage as Reynolds at Bathurst – which should make for some interesting conversations amongst the crews.

Earlier this week racing great Dick Johnson said the female pair were “a million to one” of finishing their first Bathurst 1000.

Gracie fired back that “Dick Johnson hasn’t finished heaps of races, so he can’t talk.”

Dick Johnson made no mention of gender, though Gracie apparently interpreted it that way.

After crashing the mechanics had 39 laps to get the car of Gracie and Silvestro back onto the track for the chequered flag. They got the car back on the track in time for the final lap.

Race to Break 1000 Miles Per Hour on Land

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/
Thrust SSC image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC

Thrust SSC image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC

In 1997, Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green (now 53) strapped himself in the Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). He flashed across the Nevada desert, in the U.S, to set the world land-speed record of 1,228 kilometres per hour, an achievement no one thought would ever be beaten.

Now Andy is working with aeronautic engineers to build the Bloodhound Supersonic Car; with the ambition of breaking the magic 1,000 miles an hour barrier.

Along the way he is hoping to inspire a new generation of engineers.

The first plan is to reach 800 miles an hour (1,287 kilometres per hour) next year in South Africa. Should that go as planned then the goal for 1,000 miles per hour will be set for 2017.

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

The Bloodhound SSC is a $32 million car that looks more like a spaceship.

It employs three power drives – a Rolls-Royce EJ200, a jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon; a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets synced together; and a Jagua V8 engine whose sole purpose is to drive the oxidiser pump.

“It’s an aeroplane, but on four wheels,” said Mark Blackwell, a project technician.

As stated previously, one of the main goals is to beat the 20 year-old record. But another strong motivation is to give kids around the world a taste of modern science.

Richard Noble explained to AFP how the Ministry of defence told them they have trouble recruiting engineers.

“In the U.S. during 1961 to 1972 the number of PhD’s achieved in science increased by 300 per cent.” This was primarily because of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Since then interest in science has dwindled.

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

But the Bloodhound SSC is hoping to change that.

Noble said footage of the car, and the maths and science relating to it, is being uploaded to a website available to students and teachers.

“Kids respond very well; (they) set up rocket clubs, (and) do more maths,” said Kirsty Allpress from the Bloodhound Education Team.

“What you’ve got here is an enormous global online game.”

TT Isle of Man – Most Dangerous Event on the Planet

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Each year the TT Isle of Man attracts tens of thousands of spectators and some of the most daring men on the planet for a high-octane battle for all.

And I mean ALL!

At stake is the kudos of racing, and perhaps, winning the most notorious sporting event on the planet.

And the race is notorious for a reason:

The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) takes place at over 300 k/hr over winding roads and around country farmhouses. The slippery roads are dotted with stone walls, telephone poles, and ice cream vans.

In fact (to drive the point home) the starting line is opposite a graveyard where the ashes of former competitors are sprinkled.

It doesn’t seem to deter the racers who are thrilled to test their skills against the course and each other.

The event is more than 100 years-old. In that time 246 riders have died, with many more being injured. So long as you qualify you may race – this isn’t for professionals only.

There is only the most modest attempts to protect riders – hay bales line the most dangerous parts of the course, a few mattresses are wrapped around some telephone poles.

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1970 six riders were killed during what is known the Mad Sunday race.

And the crowds, standing just metres away from the action, aren’t immune either.

When it comes to deaths, this is an audience-participation sport.

In 2013 Jonathon Howarth lost control on the first lap and ploughed into the crowd, injuring 11. Ten days later Japanese competitor Yoshinari Matsushita was killed in a qualifying session. Australian spectators Marc Ramsbotham, Dean Jacob, and Gregory Knezig died in 2007.

The crowds will tell you it is the risk that draws them to the TT Isle of Man. In this uber-safe world, where there are rules for everything, this is arguably the only uninhibited competitive event in the world.

Porsche Take Top Three Place in First Qualifying Round of Le Mans

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_24_Hours_of_Le_Mans

Porsche has spreadeagled the field in this year’s qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hour event.

After the first qualifying session the German manufacturer provisionally holds the first three positions on the grid.

Neel Jani in the #18 919 Hybrid has set the fastest lap with a blistering 3 minutes 16.887 seconds.- the fastest ever around the current circuit.

“I was the first one in our car in qualifying,” said Jani. “Of course, we had to tick off the list the five mandatory night laps. My itnitial lap was good, but not perfect because it wasn’t entirely clear.

“That it was still the fastest lap of the day and a qualifying record is very pleasing.

“But I know this wasn’t the maximum. And we have to wait to see what happens in the other qualifying sessions.”

Tino Bernhard, car #17, was almost a second slower than his teammate, with Nick tankdy a further second and a half behind in car #19.

Bernhard’s co-driver, Aussie Mark Webber, predicted the times would continue to drop.

“Qualifying was the first time that we had run properly in the night with dry conditions. So all the drivers were able to get a feeling for the track and the cars.

“We didn’t push too much for qualifying, because here in Le Mans it is not so important to start from pole position. We focused on the race, because that’s what matters.”

Trailing the Porsches was Audi’s Loic Duvalin car #8, an R18 e-tron quattro.

Both Toyota entries were nearly seven seconds behind the pace-setters in seventh and eigth. Nissan’s team of three placed 12th, 21st and 31st after the first two-hour session.

Athletes Think Better Under Stress

Amy Williams Bobsled: en.wikipedia.org

As if we needed another reason to envy gifted athletes – here is another:

A recent study commissioned by Dunlop Tyres in association with University College London (UCL) has found extreme athletes performed significantly better than average members of the public when subjected to physical and mental duress.

The parietal coretex (an area of the brain responsible for determining reaction speed) remained unimpaired when elite athletes were forced to complete tasks while under extreme stress. Not so for the rest of us.

UCL professor Vincent Walsh took five athletes – multiple Isle of Man TT winner John McGuiness, leading free climber Leo Houlding, racing car driver Sam Bird, wing-suit diver Alexander Polli, and Olympic bobsled gold medallist Amy Williams – and subjected them to a series of mental and physical pressures before engaging in timed visual tasks.

The athletes were worked to exhaustion before being challenged to identify a series of shapes and patterns.

Elite sportspeople, it was found, performed 82 per cent faster than average.

Motorcyclist McGuinness performed better under pressure than in the stress-free control study. While overall the athletes performed 10 per cnt better when under pressure.

In contrast, non-elite athletes saw their scores go down by 60 per cent.

The results are tunning.

John McGuiness: commons.wikimedia.org

John McGuiness: commons.wikimedia.org

They show that athletes can perform under intense distractions three times better than average members of the public.

Professor Walsh was still uncertain as to whether this ability was because of inborn neurological advantage or something developed through exposure to physical and mental stress through sport training.

Prof Walsh is adamant the skills can definitely be improved: “We might to be able to become a John or a Leo, but all these areas of the brain can make connections in later life, so we can enhance ourselves.”

Australian Toby Price Second on Sixth Dakar Stage

Toby Price. Image: commons.wikimedia.org

The 318 kilometer sixth stage of the Dakar rally in Chile saw competitors crest high mountain ridges, descend winding valleys and open up along endless sandy beach dunes.

Helder Rodriguez won the stage by less than a minute over Novocastrian 27 year-old Toby Price.

Price beat his KTM team mates home, including two-time Dakar winner Marc Coma and overall leader Joan Barreda.

Not since Matt Fish took third place in 2013 has an Australian done so well. And not since Andy Caldecott has a rider done as well on their debut.

Price now climbs into the top five in the overall classification, 33 minutes behind race leader and teammate Barreda.

“I’m stoked to be a the half way mark and get a good result today,: said a clearly euphoric Price. “I caught a bit of dust at first, but then I made my way around some of the guys and was in the clear.

“I almost missed a way point at one stage, but I turned back and got it. After that I kept motoring along and didn’t get lost once. I was pretty surprised.”

Riders receive a ‘roadbook’ with the day’s way stations marked on it. It is very easy to make mistakes; and mistakes can be dangerous and costly.

“I think the navigation is slowly coming,” Price continued. “I think we’re getting the hang of it now. I take my time with it and at the end of the day it’s better because I don’t rush things.”

KTM team manager Alex Doringer is thrilled with Price. He believes his young protégé has the potential and talent to make his mark in off-road motorcycle endurance racing.

Though Price has extensive experience with dirt bike racing he is still a rookie at navigation. But with careful tutelage and teammates like Barreda he is sure to be nursed to the very top of this grueling sport.

Barreda extended his overall lead to 12 minutes over Coma, despite both men losing time because of misdirection on the stage.

Dakar Rally Claims Competitor

Dakar Rally. Image: en.wikipedia.org

The Australian contingent tackling the Dakar rally has been cut down to six. Prior to the latest stage even beginning Adrian di Lallo and Harry Suzuki fell afoul of mechanical problems and were unable to make the start.

The 220 kilometer mountain stage from San Juan to Chilecito (284 for cars) in Argentina saw competitors summiting altitudes of almost 3,500 meters.

Mattias Walkner managed to edge out the favourite Marc Coma (first and second respectively). Joan Barreda cemented his overall lead with third. While Australian Toby Price hung on for a creditable fourth –  in only his first attempt at the gruelling race.

But the day was marred by tragedy.

Polish rider Michal Hernik was found dead by race rescue teams only 14 kilometres from the finish. Ambulance helicopters were in the air looking for him within minutes of losing contact with his Irritrack signal.

When the rider was located all the on-board doctor could do was pronounce him dead. The cause of the fatality is yet to be explained as Hernik, “did not show any external signs of an accident.”

Hernik had rally racing experience in both the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (2014) and the Morocco Rally (2013). This was, however, his first attempt at the Dakar Rally in Argentina.

Sprintcar legend Jac Haudenschild Touches Down for Valvoline Raceway International Season

Jac Haudenschild. Image: www.flickr.com

50 of Australia’s best sprint car drivers are getting a shot at the title. Sprintcar legend Jac Haudenschild, now 55, has set down in Australia, after a 20-year absence, for the Valvoline Raceway’s International season.

To say this man is a legend is an understatement.

Standing only 5 feet 5 inches, what Haudenschild lacks in height he more than makes up for in courage and skill. During his 40-year racing career he has amassed an incredible 300+ career main event wins.

Hailing from Woster, in America’s Midwest, Haudenschild joins Californians Tim Kaeding and Brad Sweet as they line up against Australia’s best.

Both Kaeding and Sweet are car racing rockstars in their own right. Both are full time drivers on the rich American racing circuit, coming to Australia during our summer.

“Sprintcar racing is a brutal sport,” Haudenschild smiles. “It can pay you handsomely sometimes and sometimes it can really punish you.”

And he’s not kidding.

Haudenshcild won $200,000 at the Eldora Speedway, in Ohio in the 1990s. at that time it was the highest prize money every offered for sprintcar racing.

He’s also managed to dodge death during racing more times than he cares to count.

When asked if he feels the pressure of being top dog on Australian soil Haudenschild replied with another wry grin, “That’s okay. We’re kinda used to that. They roll out the welcome mat at the airport and then they take it away at the racetrack.”

No quarter will be expected or given from any driver at the Valvoline Raceway International season. Be ready for high speed, courage, and carnage.

Robbie Maddison Does the Incredible – Again!

Image: www.news.com.au

Robbie Maddison is in a job with no insurance. This is the man who did a backflip on his motorcycle across London’s Tower Bridge, the same man who rode his motorcycle up a jump to land atop the Arc de Triomphe. One couldn’t think of anything more dangerous than that – but Robbie did.

This week Maddison stunned the world by riding his motorcycle down the Olympic park, Utah, bobsleigh track.

Not content with that, Maddison then rode his bike down and off the aerial ski jump – falling a from an apex of a gut twisting 57 meters. Speedometers clocked him at travelling just over 114kpm as he hit the small rise in the jump that jettisoned him into space.

To give you some idea of how far Maddison and his bike fell, 57 meters is the equivalent of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building or Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station.

Six months later he back flipped his motorcycle from one side of London’s Tower bridge to the other while the drawbridge was open.

Not a job that comes with a pension plan.

Both bike and rider made it through both stunts without even a hint of trouble. Though one can only imagine his heart rate at the time.Maddison holds records for the most number of backflips on a motorcycle, longest motorcycle jump and a slew or motocross freestyle firsts.

Image: www.news.com.au

Image: www.news.com.au

On New Year’s Eve he went viral on Youtube after releasing footage of jumping his motorcycle off a ramp and onto the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of Paris. He then turned around and jumped off it again to land safely on the ramp and terra firma.