Month: October 2011

The Q4G Radio Hour – Season 1 / Show 32

On this week’s show we welcome new Q4G F1 and V8 Contributor Cody Globig and talk about the upcoming F1 and V8 races in the US.  Jeff Gluck from SB Nation called in to talk about the story he broke reporting the Chad Knaus instructed Jimmie Johnson to wreck the rear of the #48 if they won the race.  We also have an interview with Truck Series driver Jen Jo Cobb and Troy and I make our Martinsville picks…. listen here:

 

Meet Cody Globig – Q4G F1 and V8 Contributor Preview

Queers4Gears is excited to announce we continue our expansion into covering other forms of motorsports.  I started it all in 2009 with a primary focus on NASCAR – we now have a few folks covering stock cars and in the past year we have added Indy Car and NHRA contributors to the site.  Now we add Formula 1 and V8 Super Cars to the site.  Both series have announced plans to race in the US in the coming years – so the timing could not be better.  Join me in welcome Cody Globig.  You can follow Cody on Twitter: @theSAABwriter or email him: globigcy AT mail.uc.edu

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I’m Cody Globig. I’m a 21 year old English and Journalism student at the University of Cincinnati, I’m gay, and I am obsessed (which is putting it very lightly) with cars and motor racing.

I’m just a lil’ (and at 5’3” I mean that very literally) old country boy from Hamilton, OH (about a half-hour  North of Cincinnati) but with a particular proclivity to non-US motoring.  Many of my family members have worked in the auto industry – most for Ford, hence I have a distinct bias toward the boys from Dearborn – so naturally I was immersed in all-things-automobile from a very young age. Most of the credit would have to go to my grandfather, bless his 91 year old heart! An insatiable tinkerer to this day, he gave me the foundations of my mechanical knowledge and fascination which I’ve grown and refined my entire life.  These days, I actually teach my own father about cars more than he teaches me anything (except life lessons; he’s good at that – love you Mom and Dad!), but we still have a tight hobby-bond over our family’s other pastime: hunting.  I’m not an obsessive white tailed deer hunter like my father, but I do have two bucks mounted in my bedroom from my pre-college days as a family venison provider.

Compared to my long-standing passion for road cars, my interest in racing is somewhat new.  When I was younger, I always loved cars, yet I never got the point of racing.  February 18, 2001 changed that though.  The ’01 Daytona 500 was the first race I ever watched (nothing else good was on, and I liked cars, so I figured, “What the hell… Why not?!”).  Over that 5 or so hours, I saw the power, speed, and excitement of motor racing.  I saw the highest of highs in Michael Waltrip, then racing’s lowest of lows just minutes later.  I’ve always been a fearless soul, and I suppose the realization of watching the most dangerous moments of a race sealed that passion into my heart. Ever since, I have been fascinated with the men and women who participate in one of the most dangerous sports in the world; their courage, tenacity, and undying will to win.  Moreso, I am a massive nerd, and my obsessive fascination with the machinery involved is an absolute illness.

For that first year of my NASCAR fandom, I either didn’t realize or didn’t care that other racing series existed (that turned left and right!).  During the ’01 off-season, though, I discovered the wonders of touring car racing from across the globe each weekend when Speedvision (God bless that long-forgotten channel format) showed the British Touring car Championship, European (now World) Touring Car Championship, Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, and my favorite: the Australian V8 Supercar series.  Road racing tin-tops became my life’s passion that winter, and come March, I discovered the (at the time) 19,000rpm wonder that was the FIA Formula One World Championship. Oh yeah, and I’m also quite big into rallying (which is why my first car was a 1967 SAAB 96 two-stroke).

Now don’t get me wrong, I like all forms of racing, but at heart I’m a road racing guy, though I still follow NASCAR fairly closely.  My specialties these days are my very close following of the Aussie V8s and Formula One, which is why I reached out to the great Michael Myers and asked if he’d like a contributor for F1 and the V8s since (respectively) one is returning to the US in 2012, and the other coming to our shores for the first time in 2013, both to Austin, TX and the magnificent Tavo Hellmund and Hermann Tilke lovechild: Circuit of the Americas.  NOTE: Ross and Michael, you lucky b******s… Living so close and all…

Too much, too soon

simoncelli_motogp-300x168Marco Simoncelli, 24, died Sunday after crashing and being hit by two other riders at the Malaysian MotoGP motorcycle race, another racing death that occurred too soon after last weeks Indy Car race. The last couple of weeks in racing have brought back too many bad memories. The death of Dan Wheldon brought back me back to Dale Earnhardt’s death in 2001, which was the culmination of too many other deaths in a short period of time in the motor sports world. At the time, I was a crew member in the ARCA racing series and had just been through the deaths of Scott Baker, Blaise Alexander, and Chad Coleman in that series, as well as John Nemechek, Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Jr., and Tony Roper (who’s father, Dean was also killed less than a year later) from the NASCAR ranks, and Greg Moore from CART. The death of Earnhardt was the breaking point for me at the time. It was too many, too quick, and I couldn’t stand the thought of even going to a race track. It took awhile, but I eventually went back to races, but it was five or six years before I made it back to another Cup race.

If I heard one more person tell me they only liked racing for the wrecks, I thought I was going to vomit. Not only was it dangerous, it was also a lot of work for teams and crew members, most of which were volunteers in the ARCA racing series. I too am guilty of watching a race and in the heat of battle screaming at the TV for a driver to hit something, but I quickly change my mind and just wish for their engine to blow up. I do not, and have never watched a race for the crashes, at least not big crashes, some bumping and banging always makes for excitement, but when a bad crash occurs I immediately cringe and hope for the safety of all involved.

Racing is dangerous, no matter the series, no matter the type of vehicle. Drivers know this, and drivers know that the possibility exists of… well, they know. Drivers are not forced to do what they do; they do it because they love it. Other sports are dangerous as well, and bad things happen and will continue to happen. There is no reason to place blame on a series, a track, or a driver. Thankfully, a lot has been done to make drivers, crewmembers, and fans safer, and a lot will continue to be done to make them all safer. This is a constantly evolving sport, and the safety efforts made in the last 10 years have, undoubtedly saved numerous lives.

Next time someone tells you they love racing for the wrecks, speak up, let them know these are real people, real lives.

Forget Planking, We Go Hopping on the Gold Coast Preview

October 23, 2011 – by Cody Globig; Aussie V8 Supercar Guest Blogger – follow Cody @theSAABwriter

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I figured that as soon as I got home from my long day at work I would be instantly jealous of everyone in Surfer’s Paradise on Queensland’s gorgeous Gold Coast. Sure enough, I was. Here I am, sitting in my pajamas in 40 degree, partly cloudy Cincinnati and watching the SPEED Channel telecast of the V8 Supercar Armor All Gold Coast 600. Yep, way jealous. Great weather for the second race day (the 600k race is run over two 300k heats on Saturday and Sunday), great cars as always, great racing, great international drivers, and being Surfer’s Paradise: some seriously hot men everywhere… Ugh…

The Gold Coast 600 is in its second year of being an international motorsports festival. Each team has its primary driver paired with some star co-driver from around the world. The Indy Cars were well represented, especially in the wake of the tragedy one week ago, by Helio, Gil deFerran, Sebastian Bourdais, among others. NASCAR had Boris Said (close enough…). There were touring car/GT/sportscar stars galore (Andy Priaulx, Gianni Morbidelli, Darren Turner, Dirk Muller, Emanuele Pirro, etc.). Formula One was also well represented with current Force India F1 driver Tonio Liuzzi, and former driver Mika Salo (and Pirro/Morbidelli if you’re an anorak like me). America’s favorite GT stars Joey Hand and Patrick Long were also there.

The weekend started tricky yet again (same as Bathurst a fortnight before) with rain hitting just five minutes into the first qualifying session. Jamie Whincup and his co-driver SeaBass Bourdais (who was by FAR the quickest co-driver throughout the weekend) set a blinding pole time before the rains came, and they repeated the feat on Sunday for the second race as well.

The first race was decently uneventful. Most of the international co-drivers aren’t exactly used to standing starts, let alone ones in cars weighing 1.5 tons, 600+ bhp, and on piddly 11” tires… It became very apparent very quickly when the start was botched by what looked like half the field (the cars were started by the guest drivers, then handed off to the series regulars after a stint or two). The main theme of the races all weekend was curb-hopping. The V8 Supercar officials have always been fairly strict at Surfer’s, and at the season-openning Clipsal 500 on the Adelaide street circuit, about cars putting four wheels over the curbing going through the many chicanes. Earlier this year at the Clipsal 500, officials came up with the bright idea of putting in timing loops in the middle of each chicane bend and placing transponders on the centerline of each car. If the timing loop gets tripped by a car’s transponder, it means the car had cut the curb far enough to give an unfair advantage. Drivers are allowed 5 free curb-hops, and if that number is exceeded then a drive-through penalty is handed out. What I didn’t expect to see at Adelaide was how many bloody drive-throughs there were! Every lap at least one car got a penalty, and the Gold Coast was no different! In fact, the timing loops were getting such a workout that they BROKE and V8 Supercars had to send officials to each chicane to watch the cars and report back who they deemed needed to be served a drive-through.

In any case, Bourdais took to the Vodafone Commodore like a duck to water and he and Whincup soared to an easy Race 1 win.  Teammate Lowndes (who was leading the championship after Whincup’s electrical dramas at Bathurst) ran into his own issues in qualifying and the race. Some electrical issue cropped up in his Commodore this time and prevented a decent finish in Race 1. Overnight the 888 Racing crew changed the car’s entire wiring loom and got it to behave properly for the first time all weekend.

As I mentioned earlier, Whincup and Bourdais had the pole for Race 2 as well, and the second time around the start went a bit cleaner. P2 starting Ryan Briscoe in the #2 Toll HRT Commodore balked the start and bunched the field up, but that was about all – until halfway through the first lap…

Jan Magnussen in Russell Ingall’s Supercheap Auto Commodore punted the Bottle-O Racing Falcon of Christian Klein sending Klein spearing off into the barriers. The car was destroyed and the Safety Car was deployed.

Soon, the race went green and the rest of the race (save for a couple more Safety car periods) went off rather well.  There were numerous epic battles throughout the field, one involving teammates Lowndes and Whincup after the first stint, others involving archnemesis teams Team Vodafone battling HRT.

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By the time the race boiled down to the last 10 laps, the battle was on between Whincup and Mark Winterbottom’s Orrcon Steel Falcon. Frosty was clearly faster than the Commodore through the twisty bits, but, being a street circuit, just couldn’t get by until lap 94 when he outbraked Whincup and just eked past.

Winterbottom’s win came as his first of 2011 after being overshadowed by Ford compatriot Shane van Gisbergen of Stone Brothers’ racing (who claimed his first ever career Supercar win earlier this season). Co-driver Richard Lyons was absolutely thrilled to have the victory under his belt since he doesn’t have a full-time drive anywhere. “It’s great to help get other teams to notice you. I’d love to come here full-time! It’s such a great championship!”

It was also a fine day for the Kelly racing squad with three of their four cars in the top ten. It nearly ended badly for Todd Kelly, though, on lap 100 when he and Ingall had some serious contact, then getting into it with Jonathan Webb immediately after getting past Ingall.

The weekend came full circle with respect to our remembrance of Dan Wheldon. The weekend at Surfer’s commenced with a small memorial ceremony with all V8 Supercar officials, drivers, and crews involved, then culminating Bourdais was awarded the Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy for being the highest scoring international co-driver after Race 2.

The championship fight is still white hot after Whincup’s 2nd and Lowndey’s finish well down the order in 20th place. The next race is the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmonds Plains Raceway in three week’s time.