was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
For some reason it's perfectly acceptable to tweet too much during a rally.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (kimi)
Remember this entry of mine from July last year? stupidly excited by the vaguest prospect of Kimi Räikkönen going rallying?

Well there's been rumour and such, and when the seemingly nailed-on Kimi to McLaren deal turned out to be more postit-noted-on, it looked a hell of a lot more likely. The rumour of Kimi to Citroën, paid for by Red Bull (sponsor of Citroën in the WRC and sponsor of Kimi in, um, life in general I suppose) was out in the wild very very early.

This week there have been the sort of denials that mean "yeah it's true, I just can't announce it *yet*" from both Citroën and from Kimi's Finnish spokesbeing, and this morning, finally, IT'S OFFICIAL, IT IS ON.

I will probably have a rethink of where I put motorsport shit from now on - LJ might end up being your rally-free and F1-free zone and it might go on Facebook instead. This is because I have added more rally people on FB. As a courtesy to those of you who don't give a shit (that'll be 98% of you) you get one place where you'll be free of it, without having to take me off your default view or block me or whatever.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (kimi)
I think it is worth underlining just how excited I am about Kimi Räikkönen's participation in this weekend's Rally Finland. Through the trees and over the jumps, with one of the world's best codrivers (Kaj Lindstrom) shouting at him the whole way through. Kaj is very impressed with Kimi's skills, and thinks they could do quite well. I think we'll have to wait and see how he does with the jumps and blind crests. There are a hell of a lot of them, and the drivers have to get them all right - get the line and speed spot on and be on the gas at the exact right moment or they'll end up in the ditch, up a tree, or with broken suspension.

Here is a photo of his Kiminess with Dave TV presenter (and general good egg) Neil Cole, post interview this morning. Interview will be on the WRC programme on Dave at 6 this Sunday.

Kimi is well up for it and I think it's looking more and more like he will come right over to the rally side. I bet Heikki is sulking awfully about the fact that Kimi is allowed to go rallying and he isn't.

In other Rally Finland news, Jari-Matti Latvala has promised to try very hard to be good. Or, on second reading, has said that he thinks he may be capable of being good. Which isn't the same thing. Quite sweet that he was surprised to be allowed to keep his job. I wonder, would someone less sweet-natured and adorable have gotten the boot? Seriously, it may have been a factor (I doubt the claims that he pays to drive. I do think that not wanting to lose him to another team was a factor in Papa Wilson's decision to keep him on for next year, though).

I shall be following the rally and the Edgbaston test throughout the weekend, with one browser window for wrc.com and one for cricinfo.com. Shame Birmingham is underwater today, so no play possible (thus far, but I bloody doubt the pitch will dry out by five-ish or whenever). It'll probably be a draw, but who knows.

EDITED TO ADD LINK TO SHORT Q&A ON wrc.com and also to say, well, play is going to start at Edgbaston at five after all. We have to try to take advantage of any chink in the Australian armour, and we must absolutely not be tempted into any kind of overconfidence. It'll still be a bloody draw, though.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
Some of you ladies and gentlehobbits like Torchwood, innit?

John Barrowman, star of said show (and many other prime-time tv entertainment things) is a rally fan, and got to have a go in a group N Subaru Impreza on the Sweet Lamb complex in mid Wales courtesy of Fifth Gear and Prodrive. He and Tiff Needell had a lot of fun; he was actually pretty good in the car but then went on to show what happens when confidence level > skill level*.

You might well have already seen this on Monday's Fifth Gear. If, like me, you didn't, then here am some youtube videos.






*these sorts of things can also happen when concentration level < required concentration level (hem hem hem. wonder who I might be referring to.)
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (yay)
He's back, back, BACK!

Jari-Matti Latvala is back to winning form. Latvala and codriver Miikka Antilla have won the 2009 Rally Italia Sardegna, putting an end to a run of bad luck, mistakes and crashes. Since lunchtime on Sunday I have been a very happy rally fan indeed.
read about it if you like )
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
After having seen the off - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT6XyGndD_M and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJA723adBGA - it's amazing that Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Antilla walked away from that. The safety cage inside a modern rally car is an amazing thing.

Not to be mawkish or anything, but if that had been a Group B car from the mid 80s, they'd have been goners. Crushed, or burnt to death like Latvala's hero Henri Toivonen. And Latvala will know that, for sure.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (sad)
Guess who was leading the rally by over 10 seconds after superspecial + two stages proper?
Guess who has now rolled.

On his birthday, as well.

Driver and codriver OK physically, but bloody hell.

This is happening more and more often, and the team boss will not have infinite patience. I know that there are often backward steps on a learning curve, but it looks like something about Latvala's psychological approach is broken at the moment and needs a-fixin'. I hope he doesn't run out of chances to fix it before he gets ditched from the team. On the other hand, maybe that would be a good thing for him in the long run.

But poor lad. On his birthday.

Edited to add: Having heard an interview where the poor chap admits that he has let the team down too many times now, and his future is "open", let's consider options... Read more... )
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
Marcus Grönholm really is back this time. Just for one event. Well, just one event for now, at least.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
OMFG.

No Subaru next year at all.

So in response to the question from the other day, yes actually, the downturn is really affecting rallying a lot worse than we thought.

This is really dreadful news.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
OK, I am still sad and angry about the future of democracy in my country.

BUT... Right now I am cheering, running a few victory laps of the house, and cracking open a beer.

BECAUSE... if French motorsport news blog autosportinfo is correct, then MARCUS GRÖNHOLM IS BACK, BACK BACK!

for eight, 8, kahdeksan, count em, EIGHT rounds of next year's 12 round championship. Not just the rally of Norway. EIGHT, that must be almost all the gravel and snow rounds. With Subaru - as a third car I guess or in the Subaru Adapta M2 team, I dunno.

Well if he's in a third car for the main Subaru team, there's mud in the eye of anyone who wanted in. Guy Wilks? enh. Brice Tirabassi ffs? Pah!

BOSSE IS BACK!

With Timo by his side, bien sûr.


pleeeeeease let this be true.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
I have a twitching muscle just off of the bridge of my nose. It's odd and slightly distracting.

I was still kind of sick for the first week of my holiday. Spent a lot of time napping, didn't overdo the walking. Had to bail out of our climb of Liathach two thirds of the way up, unfortunately.

Stands of mature Scots pines are where it's at, particularly the Loch Maree strain of ol' Pinus sylvestris. I find Scots pines very calming.

Yesterday I caught up on two weeks of rally highlights. I love YouTube and mtv3.fi.
In brief: Rally Catalunya has got boring. Corsica is as beautiful as ever and I really wish we'd gone there. Henning Solberg is delightfully honest: "It's just me - the other guys can all drive on this kind of surface. But I just don't know how to do it." In a continuation of a theme, everything happens to Toni Gardemeister (the flu; catching up to and getting stuck behind a slower car; depantsed spectators waving their cocks at him*). Jari-Matti Latvala has got his mojo back (YES!). Malcolm Wilson overdid the team orders. Loeb will be unbeatable on sealed surfaces until he retires.



*yes, really.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
Clearly we should have checked the sporting and TV calendar before we booked our holiday - missing two rallies, one grand prix, and the starts of both Stephen Fry's and Simon Schama's TV series on America.
Still, I have today's action in Rally Catalunya to follow on the World Rally Radio. The boy Latvala is in charge of the music selection this weekend: some highly dubious 80s choices there. He's also been going round the service park interviewing fellow drivers - his interview with teammate Mikko Hirvonen was comedy gold. Smashing lads, both of them.

Predictably, Citroën have already building up quite a lead over the first 3 stages. Ford have improved a little after the midday service, though. The Citroën C4 WRC seems to be so much better on asphalt, whereas the Ford Focus and the C4 are fairly well matched on gravel. Andreas Mikkelsen, the young Norwegian who's being seen as the next big star of the WRC (by Marcus Grönholm among others), has had the chance to try out in a few cars before deciding where he'll go next season, and it was very interesting to hear what he had to say after testing the tarmac spec C4: basically it's so incredibly good that nothing else comes close. Mind you, Mikkelsen is doing very bloody well in his privately entered Ford Focus so far. Marcus knows what he's talking about, that's for sure.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
1) Well yes, there it went, the Ryder Cup. It was always going to be wrong in one way or another. Had Europe won, it would have been bad for the Ryder Cup. Had the USA won, it would have been bad for Nick Faldo. And so it is. Nick was always going to get damned by the press and their sidekick, YourTextsAndEmails. To be fair, I think he did make some mistakes. Pádraig Harrington needed to be rested on the second day, and it would have been better to have weighted the line-up for the singles towards the earlier matches. But all in all, we lost mainly because of things the Americans got right rather than because of things we got wrong. Having four captain's picks was a huge change and a huge step forward for the American team. The thing that the Americans need to do now is ban Tiger Woods from the Ryder Cup completely. He's a legend, for sure, but I am among those who believe he destabilises the team. Team USA had a great spirit this time, and to be honest I would have been rooting for them if they'd been playing anyone other than us.

2) I don't mind it when people are busy and preoccupied, but I do mind it when they a) are outright rude about it, and b) expect me to be put on the pause button so that the "five minutes" they say they need can turn into half an hour, forty minutes, and *click* on the button and I pop back into existence: ready, pronto, eager and alert for the next command or instruction. I know that when a person is busy with something difficult, they can become both preoccupied and stressed, so that they do not always remember 100% of their best manners. But there is a limit to my understanding. I am maybe nearly half way through my life now, and when it's gone it's gone and over, and maybe I don't want to be spending much more time on the pause button.

3) 7 cetirizine hydrochloride tabs for 50p? Result!

4) 3 100g bars of proper chocolate for £1? Result!

5) I am getting better at the Tiger Woods game on the PS3.

6) There is little quite so glee-inspiring as the moment when one sees life imitating art.

7) I think I am going to get a new pair of glasses. Probably black with red arms.

8) Marcus says it's a 50-50 chance! And Timo says he's up for it if Marcus is!
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
Colin McRae would have made a return to the WRC with Subaru for a couple of events last season, and then would have done the whole of this season in the Subaru team (third car? Replacing Petter? Replacing Atko?). The Subaru technical director and team boss had both been talking to McRae about it. It was looking like a done deal at their last meeting last September, just a day before McRae died.

The heights of his career might have been behind him, but for sure he would have brought something back to the sport. Ah, it's all very sad.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
Jari-Matti!
No!

Still stopped on the Whaanga coast stage. I shall cry, I really shall.

Well, I just hope and trust that Mikko will hold it together to win.

Everything was going so well. Everything was going so so well, but the Whaanga coast stage is very problematic.

He was nailed on for 2nd or 3rd. Now no points. Nothing. No manufacturers points. Ei ei ei ei ei.

Of all the people for this to happen to.

ETA: oh bugger, Mikko has just spun as well. Bloody hell. Bloody Loeb.
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (codrivers)
What with the time difference (because we're on daylight savings, it's +13 hours, which is taking the piss if you ask me), it's not easy to follow the action live. At least not when one's in the habit of going to bed at a sensible time. Back in the day I would sometimes listen to England v Aus or NZ cricket matches until the small hours, but not any more.

anyway, so I listened to the first stage on World Rally Radio, and then gave up and went to sleep. Latvala was fastest in the first stage (*beams*). Loeb, running first on the road, nearly rolled near the end of the first stage, and scared himself a bit.
Read more... )

addendum

Aug. 26th, 2008 10:24 am
was_tansu_now_badhedgehog: (Default)
8) Slightly, dunno if "concerned" is the right word, about the rumours concerning the Suzuki world rally team and their potential sabbatical from competition next year. It seems as if the curse of Toni Gardemeister might be striking again.

9) I have to lay off the choccie biccies.
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