Hello and welcome to Thursday. I am having a relaxing evening and nearly forgot it was my turn. I've got the red wine out and the Sigur Rós playing thanks to Lukeh's post about music videos.
So.. what's been going on?
Robert Kubica seems to be recovering fairly well, all things considered. I must admit I've not seen any updates since Tuesday. I like to think that's a good thing.
Nick Heidfeld will be testing with Lotus Renault GP with a view to taking Kubica's vacant seat. Bruno Senna will also be testing, are they in a shootout or would Senna have tested anyway as the team's test driver? I've seen some disquiet at the prospect of Heidfeld getting the drive for the races but I don't see why - he might not be the ultimate fastest but he's proven he can bring cars home in good positions and he can develop them too.
Otherwise there isn't much else in real F1 news that I've seen, a bit about the Williams stock thing, and just the annual pre-season quotes from every team promising to do well this year, blah, blah, blah, NEXT!
Also on Sidepodcast, don't forget to have a look at Spanish Wednesday if you missed it yesterday, a place where feet are pies. At first I was slightly 'ugh', but now I can't help but wonder what my feet would feel like covered in pastry. Warm. They'd be warm.
Elsewhere In Racing
Things might be quiet in F1 between launches and tests, but there's tons happening elsewhere.
Two pieces of track-related news:
2011 will mark the last event (for the time being?) at the Twin-Ring Motegi oval in Japan. Reactions among fans are largely celebratory as it isn't always the most exciting race, but it is unique in that it is shaped like an egg, as Jack Arute would remind viewers of the pre-race show by holding an egg up to the camera. This is where Danica Patrick picked up her first top-level win. It is also known for only really being on the schedule to keep Honda happy during the single-supplier era. It is still a shame there will be no race in Japan in 2012. The main reason to be sad is it means we hear no more from the greatest starter in history.
The other announcement was positive - there's an improved layout at Edmonton City Airport as redevelopment means the promoter has to switch to the other runway. The previous layout was fast but overtaking was rare - the new one looks far more likely to promote racing! It is a basic-looking thing though, a drag along the runway, into a hairpin, and back down the other side! They retained the rythym-section to give the drivers a bit of a challenge. Leigh has the official track map, and Allen compares the old layout to the new using Google Maps (dashes = pitlane).
Lots of entry-list news from the world of endurance racing. This has the potential to be a fantastic season. Audi and Peugeot have new cars and they have hopefully been (roughly) matched to the petrol cars' pace. This season will be the best in years.
In numerical symmetry news, the 59th Twelve Hours of Sebring has 59 entries. That's an unbelievable number, it's higher even than Le Mans itself! The race falls on my birthday weekend so I might have to miss it again, which I'm none too happy about.
The list of invitees for Le Mans itself is also out. There aren't many fillers this year which is great to see. Usually this list changes slightly to the final line-up so don't be surprised if it isn't a 100% lock, but for teams that matter up front, they are in. This will be a classic, it should be a stellar battle in all classes with new cars aplenty.
The ILMC list is out too. This is for manufacturers and teams doing Sebring, Le Mans, Petit Le Mans and a few other events. The ILMC represents the green shoots which may one day develop into a World Championship Tree... or something. This is the first worldwide LM-style championship for years and it could become a Very.Big.Deal.Indeed. within a year or two.
If you get lost with your ILMC, LMS and ALMS, I wrote this handy guide which I hope is of some help.
The BBC broadcast team for 2011 has been announced as Matt Roberts (presenter), Azi Farni (pitlane), Charlie Cox (lead commentary) and Steve Parrish (analyst commentary). Matt's been moved to the main job in place of Jennie Gow who only had one year at it, I didn't think she was that bad at all especially for year one, but I do think Matt is that good..
Racing This Weekend
A weekend of 'first races of the season' for these championships:
- WRC starts things off with Rally Sweden, a snow rally.
- GP2 Asia is back with the all-new cars and a very short calendar. Those races are Friday and Saturday from Abu Dhabi alongside the first V8 Supercar rounds of the year.
- NASCAR starts Saturday with the non-championship Bud Shootout, which is ultimately pointless and made-for-TV (yes, even more than the main season). That's happening at 1am UK time, but I thought I'd tell you anyway.
- You never need wonder what's coming up if you use Google Calendar or iCal or Outlook, anything really. Both Christine and I have created a host of schedules you can add to whichever service you use, for all kinds of racing series. F1, MotoGP, IndyCar, loads more. Here is the Sidepodcast version and here is my version. Try them and see which you prefer - between us we've got all the angles covered.
Okay that's me done, sorry if it was a bit long. I'll do a short one next time. I'll leave you with this thought retweeted by Jonathan Legard just a little while ago:
A man goes to his doctor and says "I'm addicted to Twitter".
"Sorry" says the doctor, "I don't follow you".
Have a good day.