Random Thoughts... (Motorsports Edition)

Mika Ahola passed away on sunday.

A bit late here but RIP indeed. Seemed like a great guy and wrote some pretty entertaining columns to a Finnish motorcycle magazine. Apparently he had a crash in practice a month before his death where he suffered some internal damage. I don't know what exactly but he announced about his retirement about two weeks after the crash, but later passed away from complications from multiple surgeries. Brilliant rider!

Looking at some events I'm surprised there are as few serious crashes in enduro/motocross as there currently are.
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I apparently missed it when it was on the news, but Manthey Racing does not take part in the N?rburgring 24 and VLN anymore. What a shame.

I thought they were still taking part, but only fielding cars for gentlemen drivers, Porsche have definitely pulled their factory support from the VLN and Nurburgring 24h. So maybe a Wochenspiegel or Haribo-sponsored Manthey Porsche might be there, but the green and yellow monster with Lieb/Bernhard/Dumas/Luhr definitely won't be there any longer, and neither will the GT3-R hybrid.
Yeah, that?s what I meant. I don?t really get it though, as the biggest race car maker in the world, with the GT cars being their main product, why would they pull out of the N?rburgring 24? I can?t think of a better way to promote your product than "We have won five out of the last 6 years of the most daunting endurance race in the world."
Three words: Balance of Performance. Particularly the GT3 BoP which was done 4 hours before the start of the race in 2011, which should have killed off the chances of Manthey's RSR. If you're a conspiracy theorist, you could argue that that BoP was done to help Audi in particular... and guess what, the Audis didn't have the pace even with better BoP conditions, they didn't have the fuel mileage, the Mercs didn't have the reliability, the Ferrari got loaded with weight which lost it time with a suspension failure, the M3 GT2s had a lunatic on the driver squad, and the RSR sailed merrily through all of this and won.
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Well that is an even bigger shame then. I always preferred endurance racing to F1 because it seemed to be much more about sportsmanship than politics. In particular, the N?rburgring 24 was just such a nice atmosphere, with all the older cars and little private teams taking part. Now though, Audi is seemingly trying to buy their way into the GT classes, and also use their influence in keeping the petrol cars nice and slow (comparatively) at Le Mans. Not too bright prospect imho. It?s great that they invest in the sport, but not at all cost. I don?t need to tell you about all the crap the current owners of the track come up with; maybe it is the right move for highly respected people like Manthey to step down a little to make them realise where they went wrong. We?ll see.
Rumour has it that Manthey may be stepping down from the VLN, but that they may have also been looking elsewhere for racing programmes for 2012. Namely ELMS and/or WEC.
never heard of them, but according to twitter, Joe Gibbs racing is burning atm
Apart from Kiwi's ? and partner drives in the enduro's
Max Wilson (Brazil)
Heard there was another but off the top of my Head I can't remember
Most of you probably know already but racecar-engineering is now available on iOS, and you get one issue free just by downloading the app.

If you're serious about motorsport engineering this is probably one of the best magazines around.
One should probably add that it's not the newest issue, at least for me it was September issue from 2011.

Still well worth a look, though. An excellent magazine.
Yep, forgot to add that bit of info.

Still, the iPad subscription price is a hell of a lot cheaper than the hardcopy one.
Lengthy interview with Allan McNish
Hey guys,

Bit of sad news coming out of the World Superbikes camp over the past few days. One of the riders, Joan Lascorz, crashed in testing and had to be airlifted to hospital with some pretty serious injuries. He has had to have surgery to repair his T6 vertebra, and now everybody around him is having to play the waiting game to find out what damage there is, and if it will be permanent. Not going to comment on the rumours here, but some of the tweets from fellow riders are suggesting bad news. It is early days so we can only hope any symptoms at the moment are temporary. You can read a bit more about it here

Just asking that everybody keep him in their thoughts and that the international motorsport community can band together for him- he had another very bad accident a few years ago in a race, and the support shown to him then was brilliant. At the very least, hopefully he can know that people are hoping for the best for him. : )

EDIT- his team just confirmed there is spinal damage, but obviously the extent is not known fully yet. Again, best wishes and thoughts are going to be appreciated by his friends and family now I think.
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Truth in 24 on DVD just came in the mail !!!