To honour Tony Kanaan’s final season in IndyCar, IndyCar’s YouTube channel is showing the 2004 Chevy 500. The tar of the show was Sparky, Texas Motor Speedway’s anthropomorphic spark plug mascot. Retired for 10 years now, Sparky was a joy to see!
Like Tricky (Pocono) and the Firehawk (Firestone) these mascots were so common back in the day and made victory lane a little more fun.
Certain drivers become synonymous with their liveries and sponsors. Michael Schumacher and Marlboro. Kenny Bernstein and Budweiser.
For nearly a decade of Tony Kanaan’s IndyCar career, he drove the green and white 7-Eleven sponsored car. They were his sponsor at Andretti Green Racing, Andretti Autosport, and Chip Ganassi Racing. Even Kanaan’s 2004 championship season occurred in the 7-Eleven livery.
It’s very fitting that in his 23rd and final season of IndyCar racing, TK and 7-Eleven have been re-united again for one last race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Sometimes it seems like Americans would rather give up than face a problem head on.
A recent example was when US states like Georgia allowed 16 year old ‘learners permit’ holders to receive their driver’s licenses without a test. Yes, the virus pandemic interfered with the routines of life, and getting a license at 16 is a rite of passage…but come on! No test means even the worst of these “drivers” will be on the road. In Ontario, tests were simply delayed until the pandemic eases. Where do these teens need to go so urgently?!
Much like Toronto’s problems, Atlanta has had a startling increase in street racing throughout the pandemic. The empty roads created by the lock down lead to a massive increase in stunt-driving ‘sideshows’ in Atlanta.
In a CBS report out of Atlanta, the local mayor has hatched a plan to establish a designated space for street racing and stunt driving. Shockingly, the idea was put before Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms by her 18 year old son! They mayor is studying the idea of blocking off public roads to segregate racers from regular traffic.
Atlanta has a deep and rich car culture, but city sanctioned racing on public roads undeniably brings up questions of safety and liability. Turning a blind eye to the problem of street racing, or condoning it in designated areas does ignores the threat to public safety, both for spectators and participants. Atlanta could face liability for property damage, injuries and even wrongful death lawsuits.
An alternative idea could be “Take it to the Track” events where they city subsidizes a local drag strip to host events where people can safely race.
There are five drag strips within an hour of Atlanta, desperately hurting for money because of the pandemic, that already have the safety facilities for such events. ‘Test and Tune‘ nights at local drag strips are already cheap, but some folks aren’t really about racing, speed and competition.
If they were, they’d be at the track, not in a parking lot at 3:00 am.
I have no idea who Phil Arscott is. All I know about his is that he did really, really well in a kart race in Mooresville, North Carolina, this past weekend and one of my all-time favourite racers Will Power gave the guy a shout-out on social media. How cool is that?
Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power launched his own brand of racing karts this year, creatively named Will Power Kart (WPK). Like any entrepreneur, Power is promoting his brand, and sharing success stories achieved with his racing karts.
I could probably look up Phil Arscott and find out he was 2009 US National Champion in Rotax karts, or that he’s an aerodynamicist for Team Penske (the IndyCar team Power races for) but that would take away from the hope that any kid racing a WPK and doing well will get the personal congratulations of the IndyCar champ.
If there’s one racer who’s career has inspired the drivers at Demaras Racing to persevere, it’s Will Power. After so much adversity, he’s now a champion. Plus, the name; Will Power.
How can you not be a fan of this guy!
This season, Power launched his own brand of race karts. Michelle, Daniel and Chris were thrilled that their IndyCar racing hero would also be racing karts, just like the Demaras family.
The worldwide interruption of racing resulted in a false start though. The March race debut for the Will Power Kart was cancelled on Friday the 13th. With race tracks starting to re-open, and life returning to normal it’s exciting to see the WPK on track across the US.
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc filmed his scenes in the remake of the controversial 1976 short film ‘C’etait un Rendezvous‘ on Sunday. Director Claude Lelouch is back, but this time his driver is racing through the streets of Monte Carlo.
Leclerc drove a Ferrari SF90 Stradale road car at speeds up to 240 km/h as interested onlookers Prince Albert of Monaco and Ferrari chairman John Elkann kept a safe distance. In line with physical distancing guidelines, everyone on set wore face masks.
A Ferrari press release described it
“The car’s blistering engine soundtrack broke a long dry spell for Prancing Horse enthusiasts and tifosi alike. Most importantly of all, however, the roar of its hybrid V8, sent out a message of optimism and signaled a first step towards the return of motorsport, film and social life as we endeavour to put the pandemic behind us through mutually responsible behaviour, commitment and solidarity.”
The new film ‘Le Grand Rendezvous‘ is set to make its premiere on June 13.
Classic car dealer, collector and journalist Simon Kidston has filmed a modern remake of the classic 1976 short film ‘C’était un Rendezvous‘ to gather donations for the Italian Red Cross.
The coronavirus is a worldwide problem, but Italy has been especially hard hit. Doctors and nurses work under conditions that are difficult to imagine in the western world. Kidston’s launched a GoFundMe campaign to support the Italian Red Cross by using his video ‘C’etait une Urgence‘ to request donations. The new video follows the formula laid out in the original, only this time, the driver tears through the streets of Rome, in what appears to be an ambulance. At the end of the video, the driver hands over an aid package to a Red Cross nurse in front of the Santissima Trinità dei Monti church above the Spanish Steps, mimicking the final scene of the French original, where the driver broke every traffic law in France to meet his girlfriend (1967 Miss Sweden Gunilla Friden) at the Sacre-Coeur.
“You’ve seen the original 1970s movie, racing through Paris at dawn, which nearly landed the director in jail. So we asked ourselves: when better during our lifetimes to repeat the feat than now, with empty streets, to raise money for charity and help COVID victims? And which more beautiful city to race through than Rome? Here it is: please give something to the Italian Red Cross and spare a thought for your friends behind bars!”