October 2017 News
The Last Malaysian GP

Oct 1 - Ferrari had a bad race weekend for the
third time in a row.  
Sebastian Vettel's car would
not work and he missed qualifying.  
Kimi
Raikkonen
though qualified on the front row.  But
on race day, Raikkonen's car wouldn't work and he
didn't even start the race!

Unsurprisingly,
Lewis Hamilton started on the
pole.  Very surprising though, he got passed by
Max Verstappen in the opening laps!  Verstappen,
who just turned 20 years-old, held the lead all the
way to the end of the race.  His teammate Daniel
Ricciardo, managed to hold off a hard charging
Vettel at the end to capture 3rd place.  But then
during the slow-down lap, Vettel tried going around
Lance Stroll and got tagged, causing heavy damage
to his rear end.
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Pierre Gasly has replaced Daniil Kvyat at
Toro Rosso and he finished 14th in his F1
debut.  The Frenchman, who joined the Red
Bull program in 2014 is the reigning GP2
champion.

It appears that this will be the last race at the
difficult Sepang Circuit in Malaysia as the
country no longer plans to pay for it.
Helio Castroneves is well known for his happy nature...
and his three Indy 500 Victories!
Castroneves Moving to Sports Cars

Oct 4 - After a long successful career racing IndyCars,  
Columbian and Miami resident
Helio Castroneves will
be moving to the IMSA WeatherTech SportCar
Championship series.

He will continue to drive for Team Penske, joining
Juan
Montoya
and Dane Cameron in piloting the 2018
Acura ARFX-05 Daytona Prototype International
(DPi) next year.

Castroneves, 42, joined Penske's IRL team in 2000 and
has competed in 17 Indy 500s.  He has won 32 IndyCar
races including three Indy 500s, an honor he shares with;
Louis Meyer
Wilbur Shaw
Mauri Rose
Bobby Unser
Johnny Rutherford
Dario Franchitti
Unlike those drivers, he has never won the IndyCar
National championship.  

Team Penske is likely to bring him back to run in the
Indy 500.
Helio Castroneves - 1999 Champcar
Helio Castrovenes became known as "Spiderman"
when he scaled the fence at the Indy 500
to celebrate his victory
Helio Castroneves won the 5th season of
Dancing with the Stars in 2007!
Japanese Grand Prix

Oct 8 - Ferrari's problems continued this race weekend.  
Though starting from 2nd position,
Sebastian Vettel
reported that his car was slow.  Soon, Ferrari called him
into the pits and said his car had a problem and wheeled it
into the garage thus ending Vettel's race before it barely
got started.  Vettel also left the track right away and may
be in trouble as drivers are supposed to stick around and
meet with the media after an early retirement.

Meanwhile his team-mate
Kimi Raikkonen, who started
the race from P10, was pushed off track by
Nico
Hulkenberg
which resulted in Raikkonen falling back to
P14.   He would make his way back though to finish in
5th, behind the two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.
As usual, Lewis Hamilton flew away from pole to win
the race.  I saw Nico Rosberg attended the race today and
I had to wonder if Lewis's great year would have been so
great if Rosberg had not retired last year after winning the
championship for Mercedes.

Takuma Sato, this year's Indy 500 winner, peformed the
post-race interviews.  Hamilton was very interested in
Sato's big gold and diamond Indy 500 Champions ring and
got him to let him try it on.  He held it up and said he'd
like to have one of those.  Hmm?
Nascar After Kansas

Oct 22 - Four more drivers were cut from the Nascar
Monster Energy Cup championship after the race in
Kansas.

Kyle Larson won 4 Nascar Cup races this year, but now
he's out of the playoffs.  

So is
Ricky Stenhouse, who has won 2 races.  

Meanwhile,
Chase Elliott is still in the Playoffs, but has
not won a single race this year.

I guess I'm too stupid to be a Nascar fan as I don't
understand how they do things over there.
U.S. Grand Prix

Oct 22 - Lewis Hamilton won the USGP which came as
absolutely no surprise.  It was surprising that Sebastian
Vettel grabbed the lead at the start, but he didn't hold on to
it for very long.

Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo had engine trouble which
ended his day after 14 laps.  His young teammate Max
Verstappen had to start from 16th position, but worked his
way up through the field during the race.

Ferrari made Kimi Raikkonen let Vettel by into 2nd place
since Vettel has a chance in hell of winning the
championship.

With fresher tires, Verstappen came up on Raikkonen at
the end and managed a great pass at one of the last turns of
the last lap to take 3rd.

Unfortunately for Verstappen, the stewards penalized him
for taking his car over the white line to accomplish the
pass.  This caused his replacement on the podium by
Raikkonen.

Ex-president Bill Clinton was on the podium to shake
everyone's hand.  Usain Bolt performed the post race
interviews and gave Hamilton a pair of gold running shoes.
Saturday Air Race Qualifying

Oct 14 - The weather was sunny and not windy.

Challenger pilot
Melanie Astles set the fastest time in
this afternoon's Qualifying session with a time no other
competitor could beat. Astles was second to fly and set
the early pace with her 1:18.059.

Master Class Qualifying belonged to
Matt Hall.  The
Australian pilot posted a time of 1:04.149 in his first run
of Qualifying to top the timesheet in this afternoon's
session.

The conditions for Qualifying became more and more
testing as the wind picked up. The pilots had two
separate runs in Qualifying due to the standing start and
the majority of the pilots set their best time in the first
session.

Closest to Hall was
Petr Kopfstein who was only
0.241s behind the Australian – the only pilot to be less
than a second behind. Third on the timesheet was
Juan
Velarde
with Martin Sonka, the championship leader
in fourth.

Current World Champion
Matthias Dolderer, who will
relinquish his title tomorrow, had to settle with sixth on
the timesheet, 1.777s behind Hall.

Pete McLeod, who is looking to challenge Sonka for
the title, was just behind him in fifth.
Yoshihide
Muroya
, who is second in the standings struggled in
Qualifying and found himself down in 11th – his fastest
time included a two second penalty. His 11th place
finish means he will go up against Sonka in the Round
of 14 – making it an extremely tense affair.

American
Kirby Chambliss, the fourth pilot that could
take the title, had an even worse time in the track
finishing 13th overall.
Sunday Air Race

Oct 15 - It was cold, rainy and windy today.  

The Challenger race, to begin at noon, was cancelled
due to the weather and low clouds.  The winner was
chosen by the Qualifying results and pilots were
awarded 50% of the total available points.

This meant that
Melanie Astles will make history as
the first female pilot in the Red Bull Air Race to take a
race win as she was fastest in yesterday's Qualifying
session.

And due to only half points being awarded it means
Florian Bergér also makes history by becoming the
first pilot to win back-to-back Challenger Cup
Championships.

Yoshi Muroya has become Japan’s first Red Bull Air
Race world champion, following in the tire prints left by
Takuma Sato.

The Indianapolis 500 winner was on hand Sunday at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway to see his countryman
win, as were about 25 credentialed Japanese media.
Muroya, 44, was moved to tears.

“I couldn’t believe this,” Sato said. “This is something
very special.”

Muroya met Sato on Saturday and said he felt “really
powerful emotion from him.”

Muroya set a track record to win the race (1 minute,
3.026 seconds,) overtaking
Martin Sonka of the Czech
Republic and seizing the overall title. Sonka, who could
have claimed the championship by finishing second, was
fourth. Muroya edged Sonka 74-70 in total points.

To win, Muroya climbed from the No. 11 spot in
Saturday’s qualifying and defeated the defending world
champion, Germany’s
Matthias Dolderer, and series
leader Sonka (twice). Muroya had to cope with winds
that caused the 82-foot nylon pylons to move erratically
and with a rain delay.

“It’s very, very difficult to fly,” Muroya said in between
flights. “It’s really turbulent.”

Muroya won 4 races this year including his home race in
Japan.
Strong winds blowing the pylons around
Air Race Winner Yoshi Muroya and
2017 Indy 500 Winner Takuma Sato
Today Muroya won both of these trophies -
World Championship and the Indianapolis Race.
Mélanie Astles
So Long Danica

Oct 24 - Danica Patrick exploded on the world stage in
2005 when she became an IndyCar driver.  She was a
media sensation that would overshadow all of the other
male drivers in the series.  She won the 2005 Indy 500
Rookie of the Year as well as the IndyCar Rookie of the
Year titles, beating out Patrick Carpentier, Ryan Briscoe,
Tomas Enge and Paul Dana.  Patrick won a race in 2008
at Japan, becoming the first, and so far, the last, woman
to win an IndyCar race.  She also finished a high of 3rd
place in the 2009 Indy 500.

In 2012, Patrick switched series and began driving for
Stewart Haas Racing in NASCAR.  Her main sponsor
regnegged on paying this year and now she is out of a
ride unless she finds a new main sponsor.

Patrick is the only woman to win a Cup pole -- at the
2013 Daytona 500 -- and her seven top-10 finishes are
the most of any female Cup driver.

She says she will not continue racing in Nascar unless
she is able to drive for a team good enough that can win
a race.
Usain Bolt showing Lewis Hamilton his
trademark 'lightning Bolt' celebration.
Ganassi Hires Ed Jones

Oct 27 - Chip Ganassi Racing has decided to pair back
its IndyCar operation to two cars next season.

They have not enjoyed the same level of success since
switching to a four-car program in 2011. For years,
Ganassi boasted super teams in
Scott Dixon and Dan
Wheldon
, then Dixon and Dario Franchitti as
championship contenders. But ever since the team
switched to a four-car program in 2011, it has only
enjoyed one year with multiple drivers contending for
a championship (2011).

Since then, Dixon has won 14 races, while his team
mates have won just three.

So, after the IndyCar racing season ended this year,
CGR let
Max Chilton, Charlie Kimball, and Tony
Kanaan
go.  So far only Kanaan has found a new
team for next year - at AJ Foyt Racing.

2016 Indy Lights Champion
Ed Jones raced for Dale
Coyne racing this year.  He was supposed to learn
from his teammate
Sebastien Bourdais , but Bourdais
was severely injured during qualifying for the Indy 500
and Jones had to step up to being leader for the team, at
age 22, as various drivers moved in and out of the team
through out the season.

Jones won the Rookie of the Year this year, finishing in
14th place.  (Kanaan finished in 10th, Chilton in 11th
and Kimball in 17th)  He probably should have been
awarded Indy 500 rookie of the year since he finished
3rd, but that honor went to F1 ace Fernando Alonso,
who spent much of the race in the Top 5 before engine
failure 20 laps from the end.

Will Jones be any better than Chilton?  Apparently
finding a young up-and-coming great driver is a priority
for Ganassi, as he's let Kanaan go, and Montoya and
Castroneves are available.  Ganassi knows he's going to
need a driver that can take on Penske's
Josef
Newgarden
down the road.
St Pete
Long Beach
Birmingham
Phoenix
Indy GP
Indy 500
Detroit 1
Detroit 2
Texas
Road America
Iowa
Toronto
Mid-Ohio
Pocono
Gateway
Watkins Glen
Sonoma
18
13
11
16
13
11
21
17
19
11
8
15
15
11
12
15
18
10
6
16
11
19
3
9
19
17
7
18
20
21
17
13
13
19
Race
Started
Finish
Ed Jones 2017 Record
- Mechanical trouble
- Contact


- Mechanical trouble




- Off Course
Ed Jones
Alonso Will Race in Rolex 24

Oct 29 -  
Fernando Alonso is to contest next January’s
Daytona 24 Hours sportscar race in Florida, McLaren
have confirmed. Alonso will race for the United
Autosports team in what will be his first-ever
endurance event.

The Spaniard will share one of the team’s Ligier cars
with McLaren development driver
Lando Norris,
recent winner of the FIA European Formula 3 title, and
established sportscar racer
Phil Hanson.

Two-time F1 champion Alonso has made no secret of
his ambitions relating to motorsport’s ‘Triple Crown’
(winning the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500
and the Le Mans 24 Hours)

"The Daytona 24 Hours is the most iconic US
endurance race and one of the world’s great races,” he
continued. “Everyone knows it. It’s not part of the
Triple Crown but, as I have always said, my aim is to
be a complete driver and this experience will help me in
the preparation for any other endurance race I might
take part in.

"Before I went to Indy, I had never driven on an oval,
now I know what an oval is and how to deal with it. I
am excited to go back and race in America. After the
great time I had during the month of May for the Indy
500, I am looking forward to taking part in another
legendary race that will bring back all those amazing
sensations that US fans gave me.”
United Autosports - Ligier JS P327 Prototype
United Motorsports – co-owned by McLaren’s
Executive Director,
Zak Brown – will enter two
Ligier JS P217s in the Daytona race, with Williams’ F1
reserve
Paul di Resta also among their confirmed driver
line-up.
Fernando Alonso
F1 Mexico Grand Prix

Oct 29 - Yesterday, Max Verstappen beat the track
record during qualifying.  But then along came
Sebastian Vettel who topped that time by 0.086s to
secure pole for todays race.

To NOT win the Driver's Championship today,
Lewis
Hamilton
had to finish worse than 9th if Sebastian
Vettel finished 1st or 2nd.  If Lewis finished 5th or
better, he would win the championship regardless of
Vettel's finish.

This race had a great and exciting start.  At the end of

the long front straight, Verstappen was phenomenal,
forcing his way past Vettel.  Hamilton unwisely tried to
bring the fight and ended up with a pucntured tire which
would relegate him to the rear of the field.

Lewis would work his way up through the field, finding
it hard to get past some drivers, particularly
Fernando
Alonso
, who he had an excellent battle with.

Verstappen easily hung onto the lead to the finish of the
race while Vettel finished in 4th behind his teammate
and Hamilton came in 9th.

Hamilton won this 4th F1 Championship.
Lewis Hamilton Celebrates Title
First Turn, First Lap