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This weeks Top Gear

Should be a great show this week, what with Lewis Hamilton out on the test track in a Suzuki Liana(Suzuki Aerio for those on the west side of the pond) to see how he compares to the other F1 drivers, Hammond tries his had at the championship winning 2005 V10 Renault F1 car, Clarkson takes on the new Vauxhall VXR8, the Monaro replacement, and May visits some kind of car museum 😉

Don’t forget to check out the gallery from rehearsals and filming earlier this week.

Lewis Hamilton vs The Stig

Top Gear has launched a new video service, allowing you to see certain parts of the show. One of the coolest bits, are the “Uncut” news sections, like this one. Warning: the clip below will autostart, and contains language some of you may find offensive. There’s a reason it’s “Uncut” :-)

Sébastien Loeb finished first in this weekend’s Rally Ireland, taking a 6 point lead over Marcus Grönholm, after Grönholm crashed out for the 2nd successive rally on Friday. Although Grönholm lost consciousness briefly, he is OK after a brief stay in hospital.

Loeb is now in prime position to take his 4th consecutive WRC championship, with only Rally GB remaining in 2 weeks time.

There was some consolation for the Ford WRC team after Mikko Hirvonen’s 4th place clinched the teams 2nd consecutive championship.

Although I’m a Formula 1 fan at heart, I do follow motorsports generally. Well not so much American motorsports, despite my nearly 10 year tenure here.

The 2007 World Rally Championship has also been one of the most exciting for a while, with it potentially going down to the wire. Rally Ireland is this weekend (Nov 16-18), and is the penultimate round of this years Championship. Only Rally GB remains, at the end of month.

Currently Marcus Grönholm (Ford) holds a 4 point lead over Sébastien Loeb (Citroën) after they both crashed out in Rally Japan at the end of October, scoring 0 points each. Here’s hoping that it goes down to the final race in Wales.

Of course 2007 will also be sadly remembered for the loss of one of the greatest rally drivers the UK (Scotland), if not the world, as ever seen, in a helicopter accident. My thoughts go out to his family.

This is how I’ll remember him (vroom vroom)

Check out the latest “Earthrise” pictures from the Japanese lunar probe. Just awesome, and a reminder of how minuscule and wonderful our planet is when looked at from a different perspective.


Here’s an original from the Apollo 8 orbit back in ’68.


Earthrise as shot from Apollo 8 as it orbited the moon in 1968.

But Top Gear races itself out of existence ?? :-( Make sure you check out all 3 parts.

Part 2

Part 3

Sound Familiar ?

So, the ING Renault F1 Team has clarified it’s position regarding the latest “Spygate”. I would expect the decision of a $100 Mil fine and them to have their 2007 constructor points removed to be announced after their WMSC appearance on December 6th.

This of course throws an interesting light on Fernando Alonso’s future, given that Renault was one of the front runners for his services next year, and some of the comments made by Flavio Briatore earlier this year concerning the McLaren “Spygate” affair.

All we need now is for the BMW F1 team to be implicated in something and Ferrari will have a pretty clear run in 2008. What with Mclaren having their 2008 car being inspected to make sure it doesn’t contain any parts related to the 2007 Ferrari car on it, even though the McLaren 2007 car didn’t have anything on or in it. McLaren will also be at the small end of the pit lane for 2008, with Renault potentially following them there.

What a tangled web we weave.

So, I read today, the Atari 2600 video game system was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. While I don’t remember exactly when I was given one of these as a present, probably for Christmas, I do have a lot of good memories of playing games with it. I mean come on, who can’t remember playing Pitfall! ?

I also know I was at home in England at the time, and there were no personal computers in regular use, no cell phones and no computer networks (save military/university ones). Things have come a long way in the last 30 years, not always in a good way.

Congratulations Atari !

Ever had that feeling you need a break from the electronic typewriter in front of you ? The guys over at BBSpot have some signs to look out for.

Watch out if #4 applies to you. :-)

So, as was rumored way back in September, the Renault F1 Team is the next team that will be fined ~$100Mil… oh now hang on. Sorry I can’t say that until they’ve gone through the process can I ? Silly me.

Anyway, representatives of the Renault F1 Team are to appear in front of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), the same body that removed McLaren’s Constructor points for 2007 and fined them the equivalent of $100Mil, to respond to charges of being in possession of proprietary McLaren information relating to their 2006 and 2007 cars. Essentially the same charges that McLaren were punished for.

So the game is the same but the players have changed, the outcome however should remain the same. The FIA, specifically King Max, set a precedent this year. That of heavily punishing anyone found to be in possession of another teams proprietary information. Given that at any one time, most teams will be in possession of details of another teams car, it’s now down to a matter of who’s better at hiding it. It will be interesting how things shake out, although not as interesting as what is going to happen in the drivers market relating to Fernando Alonso’s drive for next year.

The 2007 season has just finished, and I can’t wait for 2008 to get hear. It’s been a long time since I felt like that about F1. Finally !

Yet another awesome Top Gear race ! This time Richard “The Hamster” Hammond takes on a Eurofighter in a 1001+hp Bugatti Veyron.

2008 Formula 1 World Championship calendar

Mar 16 – Melbourne, Australia
Mar 23 – Sepang, Malaysia
Apr 6 – Sakhir, Bahrain
Apr 27 – Barcelona, Spain
May 11 – Istanbul Park, Turkey
May 25 – Monte Carlo, Monaco
June 8 – Montreal, Canada
June 22 – Magny-Cours, France
July 6 – Silverstone, Great Britain
July 20 – Hockenheim, Germany
Aug 3 – Hungaroring, Hungary
Aug 24 – Valencia, Europe
Sep 7 – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Sep 14 – Monza, Italy
Sep 28 – Singapore
Oct 12 – Fuji, Japan
Oct 19 – Shanghai, China
Nov 2 – Interlagos, Brazil

Changes from 2007 are the movement of Turkey from August to May, removal of the US GP completely :-( , Belgium and Italy switch places, and of course the addition of Valencia and Singapore to the calendar. Valencia will be a street race, with Singapore being the first F1 night race. All in all it should be another interesting season, partially depending on where Alonso ends up driving next year.

Bring it on !

Welcome

‘Ello and welcome. Come on in, browse around, take a load off. It’s a little spartan around here right now, just moved in you know, but I’ll be decorating shortly, and who knows what might end up around here.

Just be sure to let me know what you think, don’t like the color of the wallpaper or the smell of the carpet ? Let me know, not saying I’ll change it, but hey, at least you can say you told someone :-)