Daily: 19th May 2011

19 May, 2011 at 01:23 (GMT+01:00)

By Pat W

Hello everyone, Thursday is upon us once more which means we've broken the back of the week, it is nearly race weekend!

Congratulations to Anthony Davidson (and Carrie!) on the birth of son Rohan yesterday! He says he's overwhelmed already.

As Gavin mentioned in yesterday's post, the new Silverstone Wing was officially opened this week and there's now an official video of the launch. Despite the silly name, the place looks fantastic now it is completed, I must admit to being a little sceptical when the plans were announced but was won over a bit when I saw it in person (under construction) last year and it looks even better now. Not quite convinced by the 'best in world' claims but it puts it right there amongst the best.

I love the idea of having the podium angled towards the fans at Club. I'm less sure of the idea of having a sort of garden in pitlane.

Wondering about the Magic Paddle which MercedesGP are using this year? Let's take a wander over to the Giggles Technology Centre to find out more about this unique device.

Did you see this test flight for the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo? This was a 'feather' test, as it descends from space the tail is locked into a different position and the whole thing acts like a feather, slowing it down to a safe speed to glide through the atmosphere to the runway. This was the first time it had been demonstrated by the actual machine, which for the test was dropped from the carrier plane 'White Knight'. Once the feathering is engaged it all looks a bit perilous and I'm not sure I'd want to be on board with it moving around like that!

Leigh tells us the first ever F1 Archive podcast is on the way, so keep an eye or ear out for that.

We've mentioned before the Twitter hashtag #firstworldproblems - I'm not sure if this has been found before but check out White Whine on the same theme!

Practice sessions for the Indy 500 keep being rained out - you don't want to be doing 220mph on an oval with no run-off. The drivers are sitting around all day, they are getting bored... then this 'planking' craze appears in Australia, and the Aussie drivers learn about it... it quickly spreads through the paddock! (If you do this, do it safely!)

F1 Weekend

I'm looking forward to the Spanish GP, and I haven't said that for a few years. I really hope the 2011 rules are going to transform this race into something worth watching. I'm not asking for fireworks, just some action compared to the boring procession it usually is! At the time of writing the DRS zone hasn't been announced as far as I can see with a cursory check, but it isn't too much of a stretch to assume it'll be the main straight. I think that'll bring the cars close enough together to see some real battles at La Caixa.

Speaking of La Caixa, I'd been pronouncing it the British way "La Caicksa" for nigh on 15 years, until I visited my sister in Spain last year and discovered they say the letter 'x' like a soft 'sh', so it is "La Caisha". I had no idea! Since then I've noticed Matt Roberts on the BBC MotoGP coverage pronounces Spanish X's as "sh" too.

Think you know about the Spanish GP? Take the quiz and find out! I only got a pitiful 3 out of 10.

After you've done the quiz, check out these excellent information posts..

- Race Information

- Preview & Track Facts

Other Racing This Weekend

Turning away from F1, the interest elsewhere this week is on the ovals with the highlights being Kimi in NASCAR, and the qualifying sessions for the Indy 500 (with Scott Speed joining in).

  • NASCAR - All three series are in action this weekend and one of those is a very special event: the debut of Kimi Räikkonen in the Truck Series at Charlotte on Friday night. This was such a surprise to me, I can't wait to find out how he gets on! Of note for UK people with Sky TV, go to Premier Sports (ch.433) from 1am Saturday morning to watch the race for free, they are waiving their subscription for this one-off event.
  • Elsewhere in the world of NASCAR, the non-points All-Star Race is on Saturday night, and there's a Nationwide Series race in Iowa on Sunday.
  • IndyCar Pole Day & Bump Day - This weekend features qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. Saturday is Pole Day, the top 2/3rds of the field will be set in the long first session and that'll be followed by a Pole session for the top 9 fastest drivers. Sunday is Bump Day, so-called because once 33 drivers have set a time, the only way into the field is to 'bump' somebody else out of it - and remember this is one-at-a-time qualifying over a four lap average. The drama on both days is intense! This should be the most meaningful and exciting Bump Day in 15 years as for once it will feature actual bumping, there are many more cars than there are spots in the field.
  • GP2 & GP3 Barcelona - the second weekend for F1's official support series
  • F3 International Trophy - After a short hiatus the long-running Pau Grand Prix returns for Formula 3 cars competing in the FIA's brand new International Trophy.
  • V8 Supercars are at Winton.
  • The Blancpain Endurance Series for GT3 and GT4 cars have their second ever meeting, at Navarra in Spain. This is run by the people who run FIA GT1 but I'm not sure of the quality of the field just yet.

As usual I'll be investigating the race start times for these later tonight, so check www.toomuchracing.com tomorrow for more information.

I hope you have a great day!

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