Hooniverse Motorsport News for the week of February 27, 2012.

Welcome to the Hooniverse Motorsport News “Welcome Back” report. The “off-season” is officially over, and we’re here to tell you all about what you missed. I continue to look forward to the remainder of the 2012 season, as it is quite promising. Get your projects done during the week, because the rest of the year, Sunday’s will be spent watching races. This round of Motorsport News will include some spoilers of various sizes, shapes, and angle of attack, so beware of that.

This week:

  • NASCAR attacks the beaches of Daytona
  • Aussies travel back to Mount Panorama for the 12 hours of Bathurst
  • Who went where in Formula 1?
  • Rubens Tests for KV again at Sonoma
  • A few for the road…

NASCAR in Daytona:

Daytona Beach, Florida was alight with the promise that a week of NASCAR brings.  A promise that you won’t be judged for going shirtless, a promise that HotPockets and a dirty-thirty of Natty Ice comprise a balanced diet, and a promise that you won’t have to read anything if you don’ a’wanna!  The preceding week has not been about getting to victory circle; it’s been about remembering all of your sponsors when you do get there, it’s been about Queen Danica presiding, and it’s been about “The Big One”.

What you need to know – 1. John King won Friday night’s truck race, and in victory circle was quoted as saying “I don’t belong here.”  The 23 year old bumped Johnny Sauter out of the lead to take the victory in only his 8th Truck series race, and his first on a super speedway.  2. James Buescher claimed the trophy in Saturday night’s Nationwide series race.  This was also Buescher’s first career victory in the series, though he had started 25 total races.  3. Danica wrecked out of Saturday night’s race only 49 laps after starting from pole position.  4. The big race on Sunday was postponed to today at 12 Noon.  5.  Today’s race will be the first points scoring event for EFI powered cars in the history of the sport.  Welcome to 1985, NASCAR!

#4 is certainly the big story of the weekend.  Just how many viewers tuned out when they saw “rain delay”?  How many aren’t even aware that the race has been rescheduled?  How many will be working during the race and unable to watch it?  The largest television audience event of the NASCAR season has now been reduced to a mere fraction of its audience.  How much will teams lose in sponsorship dollars?  How much will networks have to refund to advertisers?  The numbers are unfathomable, and the loss is likely unquantifiable. 



The 12 hours of Bathurst:

Australia’s single most important racing venue, Mount Panorama, hosted a 12 hour endurance sports car event on Saturday that deserved significantly more hype than it garnered on the international level.  Twenty-five GT3 style sports cars took the green flag on Saturday morning, and twelve hours later, after several hours of rain, bad-luck, and good racing, a full eighteen of them took the checkered.  Leading them to the finish was the Audi R8 LMS of Phoenix Racing piloted by Darryl O’Young, Christer Jons, and Christopher Mies.  After the team’s sister Audi R8 suffered maladies, the Erebus Racing Mercedes SLS AMG ran home in second, followed by the Ferrari 458 Italia of Clearwater Racing.


The F1 grid for the 2012 season:

By team in order of last year’s points championship.

  1. RedBull – Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
  2. McLaren – Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton
  3. Ferrari – Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
  4. Mercedes – Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher
  5. Renault – Kimi Raikkonen  and Romain Grosjean
  6. Force India Mercedes – Paul DiResta and Nico Hulkenburg
  7. Sauber Ferrari – Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez
  8. Scuderia Toro Rosso – Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne
  9. Williams Renault – Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna
  10. Lotus Renault – Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov
  11. Hispania Racing Team – Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan
  12. Marussia Cosworth – Timo Glock and Charles Pic

Should make for an interesting season!



Displaced Rubinho tests for KV Racing IndyCar at Sonoma:

Rubens Barrichello, fresh from Formula 1 retirement, spent the majority of this weekend testing IndyCars in Sonoma for Kevin Kalkhoven and Jimmy Vasser in the KV Racing Chevrolet Dallara.  Rumors persist that the Brazilian is close to signing a full season deal with the team, aided primarily by his close relationship with team leading driver Tony Kanaan.

SpeedTV has some onboard footage with terrible audio, and KV Racing’s twitvid feed has several videos of Rubens and E.J. Viso driving the new cars.

Ryan Briscoe led the test weekend with a 1:17.49, while Barrichello posted a time only slightly off the pace at 1:18.91.  I, for one, hope Rubens makes it stateside for a full season run.  Also, I should think I am not the only one who likes seeing Barrichello’s helmet without any extraneous sponsor decals.  The purity of the design really shines when it is the simple red-on-white.



A few for the road…

Rumors sprang up last week that The Racers Group is protesting their loss at the 24 hours of Daytona last month.  According to team owner Kevin Buckler, they have evidence that the announced winners, Magnus Racing, did not follow proper safety car procedures and awarded themselves a wave-by when one was not warranted.  No other sources are saying anything on the matter at the moment, and the protest is not open to the public yet, so we will update with any information we receive when we receive it.  Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely the Daytona Motorsports Group will reverse the finishing positions, as they have a policy to the effect of “whoever won when the fans left remains the victor”.


 [Lead Image: AP Photos | Danica Crash Image: FoxSports.com | Bathurst Image: Speedtv.com| Rubens IndyCar Image: @TonyKanaan Twitter feed| Magnus Podium Image: MagnusRacing.com]


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