Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(80) F1 is IF spelled backwards

What an, um, interesting time in F1 we've had over the past few days. I'll summarize:

FIA: You will be summoned to hear your destiny!

FOTA: This! Is! FOTAAAAAA!

FIA: 'Kay.

I think I've done that rather well, if I don't say so myself.

The long version is that basically the FIA, or Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (hereafter reffered to as "The Establishment"), forgot that the world does not revolve around them, and made various decrees about the 2010 rules without really consulting the people they would be affecting. As a result, the FOTA, or Formula One Teams Association (hereafter referred to as "The People"), got mightily pissed at The Establishment and threatened to break away and form their own top-dog Formula. The People and The Establishment bickered via press statements and interviews, pointlessly, for a while until finally, today, they met face to face and the FIA agreed to make some concessions (FOTA probably made some, too). The bottom line is that the 2009 rules will hold, possibly with slight modification, for 2010.

What does the Gato think about this?

Retardation. Whoever's to blame, I don't care. The whole situation is stupid and childlike and frankly is a complete discrace to this sport. The FIA was willing to sit down and negotiate and it is highly in question whether it actually had any effect on the outcome. FOTA did not need to make it's "intentions" public when they did, if even voice them at all. A complete over-reaction.

And you think I'm taking the FIA's side, don't you? Quite the contrary. The FIA made a very stupid (yes, stupid, as in unable to learn) decision to simply decree and mandate, and look what it got them: nothing. If anything it caused harm to the reputation of this sport. I need to give them credit, however, for resolving this situation in a most anticlimactic fashion. We're back to square one now, if a little more doubtful than before.

Now, I hope both parties have learned from this, but I wouldn't count on it. The whole thing was and is simply dumb and further illustrates my disgust for much of what happens off the track in Formula 1.

Now, on to something more relevant.

Now that Formula 1 is back together again, so is our karting championship. The school realized how odd and confusing it would be to run 2 championships based on weight, which is based on an average system, especially with smaller groups. There would be too many people shifting back and forth and it would be a mess. So, both groups will share the same championship.

I know that sounds really pretty silly, but really it's the best way to do it. We run two groups so that we get the most track time, and since both groups are flexible, we can't run two championships. The best way to do it would be to run 1 group, but that's not the way the school wants to do it so this is the best way.

So, as a result, I'm 4th in the championship, 108 points behind the leader. I need to start winning if I'm going to get a podium in the championship.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

(79) Stalled

I'm going to keep it a little bit short this time.

That was an incredible race. I qualified 3rd. I was set to get pole but I pushed too hard in qualifying. There were 8 lead changes during the race and we were really going at it. I can't type out everything that happened, that would take days, so you'd better just watch the onboard.



Round 5 helmet cam footage.


When I stalled, I tried to restart it but the starters are sensitive and only require a small amount of throttle (otherwise you flood the engine and it stalls again). Since I was desperate, I couldn't get it restarted quickly. Luckily Jeff, one of the coaches, was out there watching and ran over to help me. That was a pretty rookie mistake, really.

I set fastest lap during the race and led 6 laps (cumulative). That's the first time I've led a race for more than 2 corners!

I learned a lot about scrapping and racing even though I finished 6th, but that's why I'm here - to learn, without it affecting a professional career.

After the race, Jeff said to me "keep racing like that and your time will come". I'll try to do the same thing next race, I'll just win this next time!

At the end of the day Townsend Bell (IndyCar driver) had a seminar for the Russell students. He had a lot of interesting things to say about sponsorship. It was very enlightening.

I'm bummed that I didn't finish well, but I learned a lot and broke some personal walls. And that's why I'm here.

Now I'm off to watch the 24 hours of Le Mans on my DVR!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

(78) Mr. Consistency

I think I made some improvements today. Bumped up the consistency a little bit. Got within a couple hundredths of previous laps and pretty much kept it there, within about a tenth or two most of the time. Fastest lap was a 56.1.

My rival wasn't there today. That's good, because I'm good at this track and I think I've got a major edge over him for Saturday. I want to win so bad, I can taste AND smell it. It smells like a pencil eraser. It tastes like chicken, of course.

I think this is the one that's gonna be my first win.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

(77) Midway

The 5th race of the 2009 season is next weekend, the same day as Le Mans starts. I wonder how many races world wide will be happening on June 13th? I wonder if the Le Mans weekend plays witness to more races, or less races than other weekends? I'll probably never find out.

I do know that next weekend we'll be back with the NorCal ProKart guys, since last race (our double-header) was without them. It's cool to be there with all the people and the excitement and to see the tents as you go down the front straight and to watch the great driving, but by the same token we get to drive twice as much when they're not here. I'm not sure which I like better. Actually, that's a lie. I like driving.

As it stands now, in the mid-season, I'm 2nd in the championship behind my main rival. The standings may have a few errors, simply because of the classification re-shuffle after the two first rounds. Last year we did a singular championship with both groups running separate races, so this way is a little more consistent but smaller championships for each side: (I'm only putting the first 6 drivers)

A Group (light group)
1st: 730 pts
2nd (me) 680 pts
3rd: 630 pts
4th: 600 pts
5th: 582 pts
6th: 580 pts


The points structure we use goes like this:

1st: 200
2nd: 180
3rd: 170
4th: 160
5th: 150
6th: 142
7th: 134
8th: 126
9th: 118
10th: 110

All the way down to 40th at 19 points. So every position gets points.

Mathematically speaking, I'm going to have to win 3 races in a row to gain 1st place assuming my rival finishes 2nd every time. If the only finishing places we're talking about are 1st and 2nd, then my rival can lock me out if he wins 2 more races, but anything's possible. I'm not sure if we're dropping 1 race this year or not, I'll check this Thursday. If so, then it gets too complicated and not worth doing the math. Just finish as high as you can!

I really want to get that first win. I should have had it last race(s), but the two guest drivers thew a curve ball to those plans. Still, if we don't have any more talent come into the series, I'm positive I can get around my rival.

Well, see you Thursday or maybe Friday.