If you don’t watch anime, then you probably have never heard of the Neon Genesis Evangelion. Don’t worry, though, because you’re not alone. Over in Japan, anime is about as big as sushi and tempura so we kind of expected that it would cross over into other fields. Now, it looks like it’s about to make its presence in one of Japan’s racing series, at least that’s what the Japanese Super GT300 Toyota Corolla Axio team is hoping for.
The team is currently in the process of inviting fans of NGE to sponsor the team’s race car, which if you still haven’t noticed, is about as colorful a livery as we’ve seen in a race car for quite some time now. The people behind the livery, Team Eva, did a pretty commendable job transforming the Corolla into a fast and running nerd-car and the hope is that some fan - or fans - of NGE with deep pockets will fork over some cash to get the car sponsored.
We’ve talked about the length racing teams will go to to get any kind of attention and the Axio team certainly got the attention of the anime-loving nutwhacks. Whether that translates to sponsorships is another matter altogether, but in any case, any publicity is good publicity, right?
Let’s see a Formula One car try and pull this off. In a brilliant display of track and car awareness, the driver of this Fiat Abarth Trofeo somehow manages to lift his car and drive it on two wheels, all the while engaging in a heated battle with a competitor. He even had enough peace of mind to save the car from completely rolling over. Unbelievable!
This is the kind of video that will live in YouTube lore for a long time.
One championship isn’t enough so IndyCar is planning to throw a new format in its racing series by introducing two new championships to go with the overall driver’s title: the top driver in road courses and the top driver in oval courses.
We’re not exactly sure what this accomplishes, but as far as IndyCar is concerned, it’s right in-line with the common tenor of the racing series. In addition to that, the new format should, at least it’s what IndyCar is hoping for, drum up interest from racing fans of other series like Formula One and NASCAR. Likewise, IndyCar drivers will now compete for more than just one title and those that aren’t in a position to win the overall driver’s championship can still stake claim to the two other titles that will now be up for grabs.
According to officials of IndyCar, the first champion - the road course winner - will be crowned at the Aug. 22 race at Infineon Raceway in California while the oval champion will be honored on Sept. 19 following the race at Motegi, Japan. The overall champion will then be crowned at the racing series’ season finale on Oct. 2 at Homestead.
We like the whole expanded title format, but while it may foster a new level of competition among the drivers, it’s still a little too early to tell if it will go over among casual fans of racing. For what it’s worth, this year should be an interesting IndyCar season to keep tabs on.
Changes in Formula One occur just about as often as Charles Barkley chows down on cheeseburgers, so it really didn’t come as a surprise that F1 is on the verge of having a new engine formula that would run for six years starting in 2013.
According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, an agreement in principle has been reached to begin using - effective in 2013 - a four-cylinder, 1.5 liter engine that comes with twin-turbo, direct injection, and the KERS system.
In an interview with Autocar magazine at the Beijing Motor Show, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa said that F1 should take the necessary steps to begin using engines that could also be translated to road-driving conditions. "If F1 has to develop something helpful for real (road) driving conditions, then the best solution is for an engine that is turbocharged and GDI (gasoline direct injection)," he said.
We’ve all heard about celebrities insuring weird parts of their bodies for insane sums of money, but this latest one has even us scratching our heads with our thumbs.
Two-time Formula One Driver’s Champion and current Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso recently had his two thumbs insured for - get this - £9 million (that’s $13.3 million)
According to a spokesperson for Santander, the insurance company responsible for the deal, Alonso’s thumbs are symbolic of victory. This "victory symbol" being evident as he gives his trademark thumbs up sign everytime he wins. "Apart from being essential when driving a Formula One car, they represent a sign of victory and that everything is under control and well protected," the spokesperson said.
Apparently, it’s going to be a big blow in Fernando Alonso’s psyche when he can’t do the thumbs up sign and settles for the customary victory jump. It’s about as strange as it can possibly get, which makes us wonder how much we can insure our thumbs if we so please.
For all the drama and hype surrounding Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula One, the seven-time world champion doesn’t have much to show for it. Struggling may be an appropriate word, but whatever Schumacher has going for him, his performances on-track have not resulted from it.
So, while it’s easy to point the blame on the lackluster car Schumi’s driving, the emergence of teammate Nico Rosberg, who, incidentally drives the same Mercedes F1 car, has put Schumached under quite a quandary. In an effort to show that he still has ’it’, Mercedes has decided to give Schumcher a new chassis engine for the F1 season’s next race in Barcelona on May 9, 2010. There are no rules being broken by having two completely different chassis on the same race car so, it may not be that far-fetched to have the Mercedes teammates racing the remainder of the 2010 season in two different cars.
If and when it does happen, Michael Schumacher will have to take care of the rest and the only way that he can take that big retirement gorilla off his back is to stir up one impressive result after another because, to be honest, the Schumi we’ve so far seen this year, is merely a shell of the Schumacher we’ve come to love.
NASCAR has long tried to get mainsteam America into watching the racing series. Well, if they had something like this happen more often - provided, of course, that no one gets hurt - they’re ratings would jump straight through the roof.
This race, the Aaron 312 at Talladega, Alabama, had quite a dramatic ending to it and we’re not even talking about the last-second overtake by Brad Keselowski over Kevin Harvick. That dramatic finish wasn’t nearly as hot - literally and figuratively - as Jamie McMurra instigating a middle-of-the-field mishap that resulted in Dennis Setzer’s Dodge Charger catching fire and heading towards the fence.
Like we said, we don’t mind these kind of finishes provided that no one gets hurt. And for the most part, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that NASCAR needs dramatic finishes like this if it hopes to gather more of a following from the mainstream audience.
The only thing missing from this is Ricky Bobby running around in his underpants and crying out to Tom Cruise for help.
With more and more factory backed teams preparing to make a break from Formula One in 2010 due to conflicts regarding rule regulations and budget disagreements, it’s a welcome relief that there are a host of new entires for next season, like the USF1 effort, or a champion of the past like Lotus.
Last seen in 1994, Lotus is potentially seeking a comeback in Formula One to recapture some of that old glory it had back in its heyday when it won a total of seven world championships and boasted a field of Hall of Fame drivers that included world class drivers like Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Emerson Fittipaldi and Mario Andretti.
The principal behind Lotus’ re-entry into Formula 1 is no other than Mike Gascoyne, the venerable F1 veteran who is now part of the Litespeed Formula 3 team that was able to secure the rights to use the Lotus brand in its bid to re-enter the prestigious world of F1.
If you’re strolling the streets of New York, by now you should expect that anything can happen at any given time. Apparently, the people in Times Square didn’t seem to get the memo as they witnessed a NASCAR team conducting an actual pit stop right smack dab in he middle of the world famous landmark.
We’re guessing that the Red Bull Racing Team, which included driver Brian Vickers and a full assembly of the Red Bull mechanics and pit crew, didn’t get lost on its way to Michigan for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race so we’re venturing to say that this is some form of guerilla marketing destined for the internet, it lends a little support to Red Bull in the process. Judging from the stunned and baffled looks on the faces of the crowd while watching the team perform an actual tire change outside of the McDonald’s in Time Square, it’s safe to assume that they didn’t know what the heck was going on. Either way, advertising – be it or good or confusing – is still advertising, and the 20.6 second pitstop certainly made all those people in the area stand up and take notice. Whether that translates to more TV viewers in the New York area is an entirely different matter.
But what the heck, it worked didn’t it? How else do you explain the thousands of hits it has garnered on YouTube.
The winner of the title last year and one of the three championship leaders, Kimi Raikkonen, pushed last sunday, before the race, a well respected photographer, that has been taking pictures on the Formula 1 for the last decades.
Following the incident involving Kimi Raikkonen and Paul-Henri Cahier on the starting grid of the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, that saw the finnish driver assault the photographer, we decided that it was necessary to clarify a few points.
There never was any contact between the two men, nor did Paul-Henri ever touch Kimi’s equipment. Furthermore, the distance at which Paul-Henri Cahier was taking a picture, although close, was completely standard. The photographers who take pictures at Grand Prix races are all professionnals who have been accredited by the FIA, and as the dozen other photographers who were standing next to Paul-Henri Cahier prove, there was nothing unusual or unethical about this situation.
Finally, Paul-Henri Cahier has been an F1 photographer for almost fourty years and has been close to the greatest champions, but none of them has ever behaved in such a rude manner. It is understandable that drivers might get irritable because of the pressure they undergo, but Kimi Raikkonen never even attempted to express his discontent in a non violent way. Paul-Henri Cahier luckily did not suffer any injury, and so does not intend to take any action, but he regrets the arrogance with which Kimi Raikkonen treated someone who was merely doing his job.
If you want to see the video of the incident, click here.