Hello. How are you?

Shall we kick off with multiple Sidepodlinks?

  • No real surprises with Di Resta being confirmed at Force India, some were holding out hope for Liuzzi but it wasn't really ever going to happen. You can chat about the signing here and also have a look at the wider issue of Force India here. Or if you're in more of a hurry and want some quick details, head to F1 Minute.
  • The fantastic Chain Bear to solve the thorny issue facing the BBC, of Brundle and DC needing to be in two places at once before each race.
  • Don't forget Spanish Wednesday!

Nico Rosberg has a new image. Gone are the golden locks of a Britney to replaced by something much cooler, and we also see a beard in the style of Guy Garvey or Nick Heidfeld. Much better.

(with thanks to @LutbarF1)

Elsewhere In Racing

  • This looks fantastic - there will be a new TV series set in the 1950s/1960s which they say will be the 'Mad Men' of motor racing. It is based on a book about the legendary Carroll Shelby so you can be sure it'll be set around the Le Mans 24 Hours. Ridley and Tony Scott are attached to the project so I have high hopes, although as Adam Cooper points out in that article, Tony's last racing project was Days of Thunder. Still, it'll be very cool to see these old Ferraris and Cobras, right?
  • In related news, the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be aired in the UK on a little-known channel called Premier Sports. You can find it somewhere in the Sports section if you have Sky. The good news is will be ad-free! The bad news is there are reports of very bad picture quality, mind you 2010's quality was diabolical on Open Access 3. It comes to something when Cup can't secure even a half-decent TV deal here. I hope IndyCar doesn't suffer the same fate. NASCAR info and pic thanks to @LookingSpiffy.
  • Wednesday night saw a press conference by NASCAR to unveil a brand new points system, featuring 43 points for a win and thereafter decreasing by one point for every position (they run a field of 43 cars at all races). There are a couple of bonuses for leading and so forth. It doesn't reward winning at all, despite them claiming it does (somehow??), yet otherwise seems a radical departure. A few days ago, Allen from Grab Bag Sports compared the proposal to the existing Cup, F1 and IndyCar systems and came to an interesting conclusion.

    The best reaction I've seen was a tweet from @IndyCarAdvocate just a few moments ago:

    See the thrilling battle towards the front! Who will walk away with 43 points, and who will walk away with only...um...42?

    IndyCarAdvocate's Twitter avatarIndyCarAdvocate

  • This weekend sees the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and it features a fantastic line-up. Joining the GrandAm regulars are the 'ringers' from other series, so you see the likes of Montoya, Franchitti and Dixon sharing a car for Ganassi, as well as people like Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Justin Wilson, Jimmie Johnson, Minassian, Bergmeister, Long, Maassen, Westbrook and many more. One interesting entry is Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell for United Autosports, a US team which so far has exclusively raced in Europe. Practice and Qualifying both happen today, the race kicks off at 3pm ET Saturday (8pm UK). Coverage is on SPEED and Eurosport, but not for the full 24 hours.
  • Please do join in with the Grab Bag Sports Blogathon 2011 (formerly the Furious Wedge Blogathon). Allen Wedge, Mike Furious and Andy 'The Speedgeek' will be hosting the 3rd annual Blogathon featuring:

    - 24.5 hours of blogging for the duration of the Daytona 24 Hours, not just talking racing but also about all sorts of other sports happening that weekend (Aussie Open, basketball, cricket, anything that's on)

    - live chatroom sessions and Q&As

    - Mario Kart (with chatroom)

    - such guests as Tony Cotman (the man behind the new IndyCar rules), Ryan McGee of ESPN, and a bunch of bloggers such as Steph and Paul from More Front Wing, Tony from Pop Off Valve, and ... me. I'll be among those blogging during the day, unlike the hosts I won't be staying up all night though!

    It'll be fun! You'll be there too, won't you?
  • It is probably churlish to plug two things I'm involved with this week so I apologise, but I'm going to do so anyway. The 2011 TMR Game is open for business. I am now taking entries for the Rolex 24. New rules mean you aren't as heavily penalised for missing a week or two, if you'd rather wait a bit, and MotoGP is included this year instead of WRC. Gavin has promised to enter by only choosing F1 drivers past or present! While that's a handicap I reckon he will still be quite competitive against the rest of us - it is surprising where these people end up - do you reckon you can use your knowledge of racing to beat him? Or, use the game to learn more. I hope you play!

Have a great day, while I try and shake off this little virus/cold/thing I picked up this week. I don't care about that though, tomorrow we get to rock out because it is Friday. I often link to softer music but I also like to listen to Loz on Kerrang Radio on Fridays from about 9 or 10pm until midnight (UK time) to get those air guitars working. Lots of classic stuff mixed with loads of newer stuff which is often just as good. I don't usually go for the more nasally vocal style or the shouty stuff but I really do like this song and this song, both of which I discovered by listening to that show, good proper tunes.

That's all from me this week, see you in a fortnight - or for the Blogathon!

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