Daily: 13th January 2011

13 January, 2011 at 02:00 (GMT)

By Pat W

Hello there, happy Thursday.

So my wardrobe, it finally arrived after a month's delay! I'm very happy because I put it together tonight (hence why I'm a bit late writing this) and for the first time since September I have a tidy bedroom - it feels so much calmer and less chaotic now. I'm a firm believer that even if the rest of the house is an utter tip, the bedroom must be tidy because that is your place of rest, your sanctuary even. Like keeping the centre of your head clear while the rest of it is a disorganised mess. :)

A big 'get well soon' to all those suffering colds and 'flu and anything else. Loads of people have something right now, wherever you go someone is sniffling and coughing - including our own Christine. Hopefully it'll clear soon. Hasn't stopped her carrying on with the latest story though!

What's News?

Lukeh has managed to secure a brilliant guest post from Karun Chandhok's mum. Now this may not sound much at first, but if you follow Twitter and various blogs - including Christine's Rankings last year - you may know she is a real character and definitely someone we should be hearing more from, thanks to Lukeh we now have! This is such a fun post.

Broadcasting

The new BBC line-up has caused a bit of a stir, both Leigh and Dank have written about it. Dank also has something about WRC on ESPN (UK).

IndyCar

If you're looking for a championship with positivity glowing all over it like an aura, just look at IndyCar. The latest rule changes were announced Tuesday night at a 'State of the Series' media function. You have to wonder what F1 could learn from being so proactive as to hold an event like that with these kinds of announcements. I can't believe I'm writing those words about IndyCar, a series insular and dying twelve months ago! Amazing changes. Kudos to Randy Bernard who's had the job what, 11 months?

Rule highlights:

- Changing the 107% qualifying cutoff to 105% (wow, tight);

- Pit box order will be decided by qualifying order at the last round on a similar course (e.g. at an oval track teams would line up by the last oval's qualifying order). There was an advantage to having the box closest to pit exit.

- Double-file restarts (like NASCAR) on oval tracks (not sure I like this one for open wheel cars);

- Edmonton's race is back on the schedule with a revised layout (hooray on both counts!);

- Season finale is TBA but basically an open secret that it will be Las Vegas (cool);

- The 2012 car will have a 2.2ltr engine not 2.4ltr. The public will know more about the 'aero kits' in May, and the names of the manufacturers in October, and kit mfrs must be committed to 2 years minimum.

I'm sure your favourite IndyCar blogs and news sites will have a more full explanation with opinion and discussion.

Dakar

Wednesday's stage in the cars was won by Giniel de Villiers, something of a surprise, and even more surprising was that Holowczyc came 2nd ahead of Peterhansel, Al-Attiyah and Sainz. This stage looked a tough one with big time gaps in the top 10. Nasser Al-Attiyah is the current leader by 12m37s over Sainz and 47m to de Villiers, who has passed Peterhansel in the last few days.

Marc Coma won the bikes, ahead of Despres and Faria. The time gaps weren't as marked as with the cars. Coma leads the rally by 18m10s ahead of Despres, with Lopez Contardo 3rd, 45m back. I like Coma, comes across as a really genuine guy on the TV reports. I'm also pulling for Ullevalseter because I like the name, he's 7th.

Here is Wednesday's quick report in that lovely French accent (and no I don't know what the end bit is about either) - there are three stages to go including today's. Realistically the order is now set to the finish but as we've learned, anything can happen on the Dakar.

By the way, just because the Dakar ends Saturday doesn't mean the racing stops. We're into the season now - the IRC Rallye Monte Carlo is next week! In the middle of the week, oddly.

Elsewhere

Eric the Baker found this for all the tinkering computery/electronics people out there:

For any/all of the SPC gang who like me are electronics geeks in the circuit board and soldering iron sense. A Colorado company SparkFun Electronics is having "Free Day" today, starting at 1600 UTC.

They want their servers pounded to test performance, etc, and they have a couple plans to give away free product vouchers.

http://www.sparkfun.com/news/487

Finally, keep an eye on www.toomuchracing.com (or a 'ping' here) over the coming few days, I hope to debut an exciting cross-motorsport series of posts plugging great blog articles. F1 sites and IndyCar sites etc do something similar but only for their own series - and they do it well - but not many places pull them in from across the series. Hopefully I'll find things you find interesting even if you aren't necessarily a fan of those other championships, just as with F1 there are great blog posts with a wider picture than their own series.

Thursday Listen

I've been thinking of all manner of songs to include in this week's Daily, I want to share Stapleton with you and I can't believe it has taken me this long to catch up with Friendly Fires. Just after I submitted Monday's Daily I saw something linked on Facebook which was absolutely perfect, it could be one of the best live cover versions ever and I can't believe nobody's linked it - or if they did I missed it. This is a Serbian choir covering a classic. Slow start but wait for it.

Apologies if you are trapped at work with no sound, do take a listen when you get home.

That's all from me for this slightly long Daily, have a fantastic Thursday.