Archive for the ‘Motor Sports’ Category

NASCAR Champ Kills Driver

Tony Stewart. Photo: www.chatsports.com

Tony Stewart. Photo: www.chatsports.com

NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart has struck and killed another driver with his own vehicle.

During a race at Canadaigua, New York, driver Kevin ward crashed into the wall at high speed. Clearly furious, Ward wriggled out of his car and stormed onto the track, gesticulating wildly. Other sprint cars are seen swerving to avoid him.

In video of the incident Ward gestures directly at Stewart – the man responsible for Wards crash.

Stewart’s no. 14 car fishtailed and collided with Ward. Ward’s body is dragged under Stewart’s car for 15 meters before being disentangled.

An emergency team arrived at the wounded man within seconds. He was pronounced dead.

Authorities questioned Stewart immediately following the fatal incident. They returned to Watkins Glen to resume their investigation on Monday. They describe Stewart as “visibly shaken” but co-operative.

Philip Povero, the Ontario county Sheriff, told reporters investigators have no evidence pointing to Stewart’s criminal intent. However, the investigation is on-going.

Culpability will be difficult to prove. Ward was on the race track, other drivers were swerving to avoid him, the race was under lights, and Ward was clearly furious.

However, Stewart is also well-known for being a hot-head.  He threw his helmet at Kenny Irwin in 1999 before putting his arm through the passenger window..

In 2000 he wrestled and shoved Robby Gordon as the two were trying to clear the air about a crash during practice.

In 2001 Stewart knocked a reporter’s tape recorder to the grouns and kicked it away.

In 2002 he punched Gary Mook, a photographer, in the chest

Also in 2002 a female fan accused Stewart of assault. An accusation for which he was never indicted.

After causing a crash in a 2004 race Stewart tried to climb through the window of Brian Vickers’ car.

In 2008 Stewart shoved and knocked the headphones off two track officials after a heated altercation.

In 2012 he attempted to smash the car of Matt Kenseth by throwing his helmet at the man’s car.

Tony Stewart Wins his Return Race After Year-Long Injury Lay-Off

Sprint car legend Tony Stewart has returned to speedway the way he left it. After a horrific flip nearly a year ago Stewart has been out of action while his shattered leg healed. He won his first race back from injury on Friday night. Stewart was pipped for first in the Q heat race by arch rival Daggett but managed to exact revenge in the Engine Pro sprints final for 2014.

Tony Stewart. Photo: Walgator.com

Tony Stewart. Photo: Walgator.com

Both races contained plenty of argy-bargy, with the body work of both leaders’ cars getting hammered on more than one occasion. The fierceness of the rivalry ensured that the winner of each race wouldn’t just be the best driver with the fastest car, but also the man with the most nerve.

The night began with 21 hopefuls wishing to contest the NASCAR Sprint cup Series, but Stewart showed up unannounced  Race marshals could think of no reason not to include him. Daggett and the other drivers were keen to pit their skill against him.

Such was the damage done to Stewart’s leg a year ago in Oskaloosam, Iowa, many were suggesting he retired. Stewart gave them his answer on Friday with a no-holds barred, death-or-glory display of speedway driving skill and determination.

Punch up in German MotoGP

Racing stewards were called in to separate a fight between two MotoGP riders. Dutch riders

Bryan Schuten and Scott Derroue duke it out in turn 1 of German MotoGP. Photo: www.theguardian.com

Bryan Schuten and Scott Derroue duke it out in turn 1 of German MotoGP. Photo: www.theguardian.com

Bryan Schuten and Scott Derroue were tussling for 23rd place in the early laps of the German Grand Prix when they collided and skidded into the Turn 1 Sand traps. Both riders were incensed, blaming each other and rose to their feet ready to brawl. Schouten believed Deroue had no business even attempting the manoeuvre where he did. Taking such a reckless chance cost him and his team valuable championship points.

Regardless of still being fully helmeted and protected by racing leathers both men began punching and pushing each other. The marshals managed to intervene and separate them. But as the colorful language flew and fists were being shaken, Schouten made one last effort to tackle Deroue to the ground.

Schouten later regretted this, but still laid the blame firmly on Deroue: “(I) Got hit in 2nd lap,” he Tweeted at 12:30am today, “after a not smart action from a other rider. Some things happened before wich made me gone crazy. Never will happen.”

For his brain-snap Schouten received a two point penalty against his racing license.

 

Almost forgotten was Australian Jack Miller who won the race – his fourth win of the season.

Audis too Strong for the Field in this Year’s 24 hour Le Mans

An early deluge saw competitors piling up across the track as the 24 hour Le Mans race roared into life.

At the front Stepahne Sarrazin was determinedly holding off all comers in his Toyota. He paced himself magnificently, always driving within his limits. When the track began to dry he began taking risks and managed to hand the lead over to his partner driver Kazuki Nakajima.

Porsche

Porsche

After nine hours Andre Lotterer pushed into second place behind the slick Toyota team. From this point on Audi began eating into the one lap lead held by Toyota.

Twelve hours in and the battle was well and truly joined. Stephane Sarrazin is leading the Audis of Lotterer and Kristensen. The Audis are making huge gains, being able to run their tyres for four sessions as against the Toyota’s three.

But a shock ran through the Audi garage as their leader developed technical problems. Wurz’s Toyota, in second and battling off the other two Audis, claws back at the lead.

For the next few hours the garages of both Audi and Toyota are busy with impromptu stops and a chain of irritating mechanical problems. The lead changes hands between the manufacturers and the mechanics are tested again and again.

With less than three hours remaining the leading Audi of Kristensen dies in Mulsanne Straight. Kristensen fights to keep his car moving and limps into the pits. In an incredible display of teamwork and technical skill the Audi mechanics replace the car’s turbo charger in a mere 17 minutes. But this this is still enough time to give Timo Bernard the lead in his Porsche.

Lotterer screeches out of the pits and storms after him. Bernhard reacts and pushes his Porsche to the limit.

But as the laps go by the Audi proves itself the quicker car and Bernhard’s Porsche is reeled in.

With less than 90 minutes to go the Porsche 919 is pushed too hard and loses power. With their main rival gone the Audi race team of Benoit Treluyer, Marcel Fassler and Andre Lotterer cross the finish line ahead of all rivals. In total the three men clocked up an astounding 5165.39 kilometres.

Billy, Classic Cars, and Scope Productions

I met Billy through the Classic Cars Investment forum. I was a new investor; he was an old head who’d been around cars all his life. The forum attracted people from all backgrounds. But they all loved of classic cars.
Classic carAs usually happens, friendships formed. I met Billy, and a few other forum regulars, at the Winternationals, Bathurst 12 Hour, the Gold Coast 600 and other Australian motor racing meets. The roar of engines, the smell of petrol, the blur of high-performance cars intoxicated us.
Over the years we bonded. The bonding helped us all: We would discuss new cars entering the Classic Car Investment listings and share our knowledge. We’d help each other sourcing parts for our own classic cars. And we’d meet for our own rallies when we could.

Billy’s death took us by surprise. It shouldn’t have, he was getting on; but when someone so passionate, so full of life suddenly isn’t there anymore it leaves a gap. The entire Classic Car Investment community was shaken. Billy was well liked.
Everyone wanted to pay their respects to Billy. But we all wanted to do so in a way that showed how much of an influence he had on us. We wanted a wake that would revolve around cars somehow. But we were car enthusiasts, not event planners. So I put out feelers for a business brave enough to organize a tasteful wake for a bunch of rev-heads.
As you’d imagine we had difficulty finding anyone. Most event planners like to control the space of the venue. Clearly this was not an option for classic car drivers. Nor did we have much time. True, a wake can be held anytime. But out of respect for Billy we wanted it while he was still fresh in everyone’s memory.
It was Sydney productions agency that finally accepted the challenge. Scope Productions are smart enough to keep the charges down, but big enough to work on events anywhere in Australia. And where we were short on ideas, they blew us away!
The Events Management team at Scope suggested that rather than reinventing the wheel – and creating an event from scratch – we should use a pre-existing event from which to launch our own. This would keep our costs down and ensure the event was relevant and tasteful.
Everyone agreed, so we let Scope run with the idea.
27Oct_DavidReynolds2_800x600A few days later Scope Productions returned to us with event idea Billy would have loved as much as we did. Their idea was to host the wake at a venue in the precinct of the Gold Coast 600. They would decorate, furnish and cater for the event. But – and this astonished us – Scope said that they could negotiate with the Gold Coast 600 management to allow us to ‘race’ three laps of the circuit as part of Billy’s tribute! The memorial event would even be in the listed on the Gold Coast V8 website.
Again, as you might imagine, there was a ton of legal forms and requirements to deal with. But Scope did most of the work. They made the event easy, they made it enjoyable, and they helped us send Billy off in the best way possible.

2014 Winternationals Set to Explode

The qualifying rounds for the FUCHS Winernationals have begun at Willowbank Raceway. This event attracts the highest powered land-based racing machines on the planet. It is a standout event on the global drag racing calendar and the pinnacle of Australian quarter-mile all-class engine racing.

Veteran drag racer Gary Phillips has announced his intention to get back in the winner’s circleJohn Force after being winless for the last ten years. Phillips has won the event 12 times between 1978 and 2004 and has recently broken the ANDRA Alcohol Funny Car national record. His blistering 5.438 second elapsed time for the standing quarter-mile is only the barest margin away from the world record – a record Phillips has his eyes firmly set on.

Eleven cars are vying  for eight spots in the Top Alcohol and open Doorslammer classes. And the competition is fierce! Each of the entrants has experience, expertise, and an engine-full of passion to get to the top.

Philips sits 14 points behind Group 1 leader John Cannulli. Qualifying resumes today from 1 pm and continues tomorrow.

Winternational racing combines sheer brute horsepower with cutting-edge sleek technology. The cars and drivers on display during this festival of power are the absolute elite. Bring your earplugs, forget your cameras – you’ll hear them before you see them.

Rider Dies at Thrilling Supersport TT Isle of Man

Gary Johnson thrilled spectators to win the Supersport TT Isle of Man by the slimmest of margins. Johnson claimed victory over rival Bruce Anstey by 1.5 seconds, after four grueling laps of the 60.73 kilometre town and mountain course.

Both men left the field in their wake with Michael Dunlop streaking home third, 11.68 seconds behind the winner and Dean Harrison and William Dunlop claiming fourth and fifth places.

Gary JohnsonJohnson carved out a slight lead from the start. He claimed the fastest lap of the race; leading into the pits by 2.4 seconds, at the end of the second lap. A fast pit stop by Anstey’s Padgett Honda crew, though, shaved that time. And with new tyres Anstey clawed back at Johnson’s Triumph – narrowing the gap to 0.3 seconds by the time the two reached Glen Helen.

At the midway point of the third lap Johnson had fought away again to enjoy a 3.8 second lead. But as a light rain began to sprinkle over the mountain Anstey’s wet–weather riding skills saw him draw within three seconds of Johnson.

The two roared down the mountain together: Snaking down the slick narrow roads; dodging rock walls, streetlight lamp posts and each other. By the time they hit the flat there was nothing between them (0.011 seconds at Cronk ny Mona).

The desperation of each rider was evident as the two scorched through the final few miles: The graceful manoeuvring of high-powered machines had been replaced by a death-or-glory jousting match at over 200 kilometres an hour.

The two flashed across the finish line in one of the most hotly contested Isle of Man races ever held.

But the race was not without its tragedy. Veteran racer Bob Price was killed at Ballaugh. He is the first man claimed during this year’s TT series and the 241st claimed by the Isle of Man; arguably one of the most dangerous street racing circuits in the world.

Car Racing Australia

car

For all the car enthusiasts out there, you can never get enough of what Aussie car racing has to offer. The speed, the sound, the energy of everyone there – there’s just nothing like it. If you’re into cars, car racing and anything to do with buying (or at least looking) at fancy classic cars, we’ve got you covered.

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Let’s start with the obvious one – the absolute pinnacle of sporting events when it comes to cars. People flock to this bad boy from all over, so missing out just isn’t an option. This year, the event takes place from 13-16th March down in Melbourne. General admission tickets start from $99, but are well worth it. All that racing action will have you feeling like you’re practically on the track, but boy car enthusiasts just live for it!

V8 Supercars

V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category based in Australia, where crowds of more than 250,000 flock to watch those speedy cars battle it out everywhere from Darwin to Adelaide. These races are year round, starting from March-June, then again in November and December. Race goers can expect a family friendly experience with a festival atmosphere and all the drama and non-stop excitement of a motor race at all the V8 rounds in Australia. Keep your eyes peeled for dates!

carGold Coast 600

This race is a V8 racing car carnival held in Surfers Paradise over three days in October. The beautiful backdrop of the Gold Coast is the perfect backdrop, with the social program equally as important as the racing action. See the world’s top notch V8 Supercars whizz around the beachside track, or watch an exciting showdown race with 18 top international drivers competing for first place. With a bunch of international superstars set to perform again this year, it’s one of the favourites of Aussie car racing.

Classic Car Investments

Now, we know you’re all very avid fans of cars, but for those a little more dedicated to the car industry, we’ve got a few places you can go for some car-buying and admiring fun. The Jaguar Mk2 is one of the premium classic cars available, and given the chance, a dream to drive. Restored to its former glory, the Jaguar Mk2 is for sale in Australia, UK and USA. Of course if this doesn’t suit your taste, perhaps the idea of driving a Mercedes Benz s600 will tempt you. This 1972 model is family suitable (if you need to convince the wife), and will knock the socks off anyone who sees it. And lastly, a favourite of mine is the classic Rolls Royce Silver Spur for a 1980s piece of vintage luxury.

carCars are good for many things – racing, buying and admiring. If the sound of the engine revving and the smell of exhaust makes you feel a bit lightheaded, get yourself to these car racing events pronto! And of course if driving one of the classic cars is more your taste, definitely explore the world of vintage motor vehicles – either way you won’t be disappointed.

Melbourne Madness

melbourne-grand-prix

Melbournians could be forgiven for breathing a collective sigh of relief at the end of this week, when the Australian Open – this year characterised by extreme heat in the early rounds, and shock exits of some loftily-seeded players – wraps up and the international tennis stars shuffle off. That sigh seems unlikely to eventuate, though, given the slew of other events sure to keep sports fans entertained.

Melbourne has, in the past, been heralded as the sporting capital of the world. Whether or not this label is deserved, it’s certain that the city is never short on high quality sporting drawcards, with international stars forever jetting in and out. If there’s one thing we can be certain of, it’s that it’s been a busy season for the Melbourne hotel industry – and for good reason.

Cricket

If you’re not a fan of the sport, you could be forgiven for feeling like this year’s summer of cricket has dragged on for far too long. Unfortunately, as a cricket abstainer, you’d also be in the minority there.

Australia and England will face off once again at the MCG on the last day of January. At this point the result seems all but assured. It’s important, though, that the Australian team don’t rest on their laurels, as so many teams in their position would do. Redoubling their efforts and not relying purely on the momentum of this summer will ensure that Clarke and co. maintain the incredible winning streak they’ve been experiencing.

To get a true indication of just how taxing this summer has been for English fans, you could consider checking in to a Melbourne CBD hotel populated by Poms. Their howls of woe and admissions of lethargy are sure to make this match all the more enjoyable for Australian spectators, and victory all the sweeter for our own excellent team.

Formula 1 Grand Prixmelboure-shin

As soon as the words “Grand Prix” are uttered, most of us can almost hear the roaring of engines, and smell the burning of rubber. This year – as always – the event will not only attract adrenaline junkie drivers and their incredible machines, but also a nest of celebrities and a sea of crowds. The Grand Prix is certainly in the top tier of annual sports outings hosted by Melbourne – along with the Open and the Melbourne Cup – and is not to be missed by motoring enthusiasts. The high esteem in which the event is held means that leaving bookings to the last minute can result in a desperate, often disappointing scramble for tickets and accommodation. Rev-heads who have brains to match, then, should be sure to book a room at Hotel Urban Melbourne as far in advance as possible. On your marks, get set…!

Golf

Compared to the adrenaline of the Grand Prix, the 2014 Handa Australian Women’s Open is sure to be a civilised – if at times still cutthroat – event. This year’s tournament will attract many of the world’s top ten female golfers, including defending champion Jiyai Shin. The standard of the game is excellent, so we can only hope that the media gives this tournament the attention it warrants.