Daily: 18th August 2011

18 August, 2011 at 00:00 (GMT+01:00)

By Colin McBain

Good day everyone.  How's everyone coping with the current F1 season hiatus?  Yeah, me too.  But worry not, because this channel from Justin.tv shows continuous coverage of Formula 1 races from past and present for those of you suffering from withdrawal symptoms.  The only thing is, it tends to bring up ads - both pop-up and over the screen - so you might have to either put up with it or refresh your screen a couple of times.

As I write this daily, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is in full swing.  So far I've seen Dave Gorman, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Tim Vine, Andi Osho, Andrew Lawrence, Shappi Khorsandi & Henning Wehn show their comedic talents upon the stage, and this Sunday I'll be seeing Sarah Millican & Andy Parsons at the Assembly Rooms.  If you've not had a chance to see the sights and the talents in Edinburgh, don't worry, there's always next year.  And the year after that.  And the year after that.  And the year after... well, you get the idea with that.

The good news motor racing-wise is that since the Hungarian GP at the end of July, there's been a steady stream of other motorsport events that have graced the world stage, which goes to prove that the world doesn't begin and end with F1.  The first event I've watched on TV this month was the British Touring Car Championships at a re-designed Snetterton, a circuit which lies between London and Norwich.  It's a 3-mile circuit, which brings us to the first pub quiz question of the day:

1.  Is the new Snetterton circuit longer or shorter in terms of miles/kilometres than the Spa circuit in Belgium?  Answer at the end of the Daily.

Each BTCC race meeting consists of a qualifying session on Saturday and three races over the course of Sunday afternoon.  Pole-sitter and reigning champion Jason Plato won the first race of the day but he didn't cross the line unscathed: he was involved with an incident with long-term rival Matt Neal when Plato spun him off on lap one.  There's no love lost between the two drivers, who have clashed on several occasions over their time at the Championships (maybe I'll do a montage of clips based on that rivalry one day).  Race two of the weekend adopts a reverse-grid policy, meaning the top 8 finishers in race one is swapped so that whoever finishes 8th starts on pole in race two, whoever finishes 7th starts 2nd and so on.  In this case, it was Scotland's Gordon Shedden who was victorious.  In race three, where the top eight finishers in race two is entered into a draw and whoever's name is taken out of a hat starts on pole, Mat Jackson took the spoils.  Imagine F1 adopting that qualifying system??  At the end of the race meeting, Mat Jackson leads the overall standings for the first time in his BTCC career with four rounds to go.

Also in the offing was the IZOD IndyCar Series, first in Ohio and then in New Hampshire.  Justin Wilson injured his back during the qualifying session in the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after running wide and riding over the very nasty off-road bumps, forcing him to sit out the next few races.  New Zealand's Scott Dixon took the pole and went on to win the race, helped no doubt by overtaking his teammate Dario Franchitti of Scotland about 20 laps from the end.  The following weekend saw the IndyCars race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway at Louden.  It was overcast with the threat of rain present throughout the day.  Eventually the race was red-flagged five laps from the end due to a pile-up caused by a damp track and Ryan Hunter-Reay was declared the winner.  Drivers and team-owners alike were very unhappy that the race was allowed to restart because of the questionable grip levels and the obvious drizzle seen on the on-board cameras.  And now for our second pub quiz question:

2.  Which ex-F1 driver will be taking part in the next two IRL races in California & Maryland in place of the injured Justin Wilson?  Answer at the end of the Daily.

And finally, by the time my next Daily is released, the F1 drought will have ended and the Belgian GP will have been and gone, which leads me to, not a pub quiz question, but a pub prediction question:

3.  Will it rain during the Belgian GP?  Answer at the end of the Daily.

So until next time, toodloo for noo.

P.S. I need a new PC.


  1. Snetterton is shorter than Spa.  Snetterton = 3 miles/4.83km, Spa = 4.35 miles/7km
  2. Giorgio Pantano, who raced for Jordan for most of 2004.
  3. Yeah, probably.



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