Friday, May 26, 2006

Isle of Man TT starts up, and more...

Saturday sees the start of this year's Isle of Man TT. For an idea of how completely mental this is, check out an onboard lap with telemetry here, and one with commentary by the late, great TT racer Steve Hislop here. The top team in real road racing is TAS Suzuki, who this year were slated to run New Zealander Bruce Anstey and up-and-coming Irishman Ryan Farquhar. At the last minute they added Adrian Archibald, who took David Jefferies TAS seat after Jefferies was killed in 2003. Archibald left TAS at the end of 2005, but is back in, replacing Farquhar, who's still recovering from a fractured arm suffered during the Cookstown 100 races earlier this year. The crash scared Farquhar badly enough that he's thinking of quitting the sport. BBC article here.

It's a two week affair, with practice in the first week and the races in the second. I like to follow the action by listening to Radio TT online. They play some pretty crap music, but do have commentary during practice sessions and races.

As I mentioned yesterday, it's the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday, sadly with US coverage from ABC. Generally, any motorsport coverage on one of the big four networks is going to be rubbish, so I'll probably just catch up with what's going on via the internet. Since it's so hard to pass at Monaco, the qualifying session might actually be the best part of the weekend to watch, and thankfully that's always carried by Speed Channel. If Schumacher can throw down a quick lap, it will bode very well for the race. There may (or may not) be a small amount of money resting on the result (see yesterday's post).

World Superbike is at Silverstone, a track I've spent many a day at in my youth. As the battle of the Troys continues, a battle in the background over rule changes also rages on. At stake is the continued use of traction-control systems, as well as the possibility that V-twins may soon be allowed a maximum displacement increase of 200cc, to 1200cc. As for on-track action, I'll be watching young Tommy Hill, a BSB rider who has secured a wildcard ride, thanks to his team's switch to Pirelli tyres. In first day's qualifying, Hill is a fine 11th.

The Czech circuit of Brno hosts the second round of the FIA GT championship, and thanks to success ballast from round 1 it's doubtful that Maserati will win this one. The Zakspeed Saleen, which ran so well at Silverstone is my pick for the win, especially since their lead driver is Czech! Although only two FIA GT teams will be at Le Mans, we may get an indication of their form, most notably from the BMS Scuderia Aston Martin team.

Finally, it's the Indy 500 on Sunday. It's shaping up to be a very exciting race.... NOT! C'mon, oval racing is boring, especially 500 miles of it, with a field of 33 cars made up of a few top teams and a bunch of others that series owner Tony George has begged to come out and play. Skip it.

1 comment:

Peely said...

Nice TT reminder... I think this footage is a great summary of the insanity that is the TT...