Good day everyone to another Sidepodcasting day. It's been a bumper weekend of motorsport, some of which I'll mention here and others I won't - I don't have that much time on my hands. I'll even include non-motorsport news - anything to fill up a Daily page.
First of all, in the British Touring Car Championships, the three race-winners in Knockhill, Scotland two weekends ago were Tom Chilton [England], Gordon Shedden [Scotland] and Tom Boardman [England, his first victory in the BTCC]. In other words, England won 2-1 that particular weekend [or, if you're reading this in Scotland, England drew 2-1. And if you're reading this from anywhere else in the world, the UK won 3-0 because the only non-British driver in the series is Aron Smith from Ireland]. It also means that Gordon Shedden leads the overall standing by just a single point from Matt Neal with three rounds and nine races left to go.
The IRL championship is also shaping up for a thrilling finish after the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix in Maryland, where Australia's Will Power achieved back-to-back victories in a race that offered an unusually low safety car rate, similar to the last event at California. It means that Dario Franchitti leads by only five points in the overall standings with one race in Japan and two races in America still to go. It seems that every other motorsport is enjoying a closely-run championship except ours. No fair!
Also two weekends ago, the 38th annual Winmau World Masters, presented by the British Darts Organisation, was played over three days at the Hull Arena, UK. The BDO is the organisation that used to show darts on the BBC, since the World Masters and the 2012 World Championships at the Lakeside will, from now on, be shown on ESPN. This should not be confused with the PDC [Professional Darts Corporation], the organisation that shows darts on Sky Sports and ITV4. The men's final was won by Scott Waites of England and the women's final was won by Lisa Ashton, also of England.
And now for the Memorable Moments bit of the Daily...
- The 1971 Italian GP was memorable for giving us one of the closest finishes in F1 history. A gaggle of cars slipstreamed and out-slipstreamed each other almost every lap until 5 cars crossed the finish line with just 6 tenths of a second separating them. The race was eventually won by England's Peter Gethin, who had also set the fastest average speed, a record that stood for over 30 years.
- 1988 was an emotional race for Ferrari. Ayrton Senna was all set for the win until he got spun out by a back-marker just a couple of laps from the end. This meant that both Ferraris of Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto finished the race 1-2, just weeks after it's founder, Enzo Ferrari, died at the age of 90. Also, Senna's retirement prevented McLaren from winning every single race that season. Can anyone prevent Red Bull from getting pole in every single race this season?
- One of the golden rules of motorsport is not to take out your teammate. Minardi drivers Pierluigi Martini and Christian Fittipaldi attempted this in the most spectacular way possible in the closing stages of the 1993 race. Whilst looking at the footage, does anyone else think that the cameraman was almost expecting the accident to happen?
- 1996 was a crucial race for the championship contenders. The opening laps were eventful, with Jean Alesi in a Benetton leading into the first chicane from 6th place, cars overtaking, retiring and hitting the tyres on the chicane apexes. Unfortunately for Damon Hill, he was one of those drivers in an incident that could have lost him the World Championship that year.
And then there's 1999 when Mika Hakkinen teared up after binning his McLaren in front of the Italian Tifosi [here he is talking about it with Top Gear's James May], when the fans swarmed Giancarlo Fisichella's abandoned Benetton and proceeded to strip it bare. And 2008, one of the very few wet races in Monza, where Sebastien Vettel won his first Grand Prix in a Torro Rosso, and thus the domination began.
Obviously there are far more moments than I can mention, and to look on YouTube for, since they've had racing in Monza since the 1920s. It's also a bit tricky to pick clips that don't have moronic comments from brain-dead, potty-mouthed [insert derogatory noun here] plastered all over them. Still, I'm sure that's a subject for another Daily. In the meantime, see you again in two weeks.