Motor racing’s autumnal treats


I have been asked to get back to the blogging, from which I have been absent these past weeks. So here I am. Where have I been hiding? All over the place actually, as is my wont. I was set to take a holiday – my usual lolling around on the Ionian island of Corfu – when I became embroiled in an event called Vintage at Goodwood.

This has little to do with cars and a lot to do with music, although there were some lovely cars there including spectacular 1950s hot rods and Ford Mustangs. I have long coveted a good, genuine Mustang. This new event was a huge success and, as Bob Marley famously said, “one good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain”. Not like motor racing.

Now I am preparing for the Barum Rally in the Czech Republic and a visit to the Skoda Museum. Then it’s back here for the Goodwood Revival, which has little to do with music but a lot to do with some wonderful racing cars. And between these two, I’ll be going to the World Championship finals of the F1 stock cars to understand a bit more about why people go blasting round ovals in the dark in close company with some very high-powered, very dented cars. This season the championship is as close as it gets, as close as the championship for Grand Prix cars. But they’re spending thousands, not millions.


After an enforced (by the FIA) two-week shutdown, invented to cut costs, we are now approaching Spa and the second half of the Formula 1 season. Who will come back on top? Red Bull surely, or will they? McLaren is well equipped to take the title, both technically and financially. Ferrari is very cross with itself, and everybody else, and will return with Alonso firmly favoured. It can’t get worse for Mercedes, can it? It can, but it probably won’t because they’ll be terrified of further shame. My prediction? Hamilton will be World Champion – just – with Vettel very large in his silver mirrors.


On the subject of Grand Prix racing, the paddock will be well represented at the Revival, where Adrian Newey will share his rapid E-type Jaguar with Bobby Rahal in the TT Celebration race. Also out on this demanding circuit will be Christian Horner in the St Mary’s saloon car race, an encounter guaranteed to loud cheers from the grandstands. Red Bull boss Dieter Mateschitz is clearly a generous and spirited man, allowing two of his key people to take part in this spectacular meeting. Both Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna are determined to get in on the act as well, possibly relishing the prospect of racing further up the field. And I hear Gerhard Berger will be there this year. Stand by for mischievous humour and impressive lap times. They don’t forget how to do it.

Finally, keep a close eye on the Formula 2 series. There is a distinctly feisty battle being fought out between Jolyon Palmer and Dean Stoneman, a fierce rivalry which will see one of them win not only the title but also a test drive in the 2010 Williams F1 car. Let’s hope it’s a fair and sporting contest.

Autumn may be on the horizon, but there’s a huge amount for us fans to look forward to. Back soon.

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