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June 20, 2005

Michelin's Farce

Left: Michelin-shod cars coming in after the formation lap, Right: Six-car field of the USGP


To say I would have been miffed had I taken the time, money, and energy to attend the United States Grand Prix would be an understatement. Of the twenty cars that were on the formation lap, only six started, raced -and finished*. Why did seven teams not race? One word: Michelin.


Due to high vertical loads, particularly on the shoulder (red spot), on the left rear tyre on the Michelin-shod cars, the tread could potentially separate from the sidewall. Therefore, Michelin made an announcement that deemed the tyres they brought to Indy were unsafe.

The French tyremaker then had the gall to request that a chicane be placed in Turn 13 to slow the cars down to "safer" speeds. Tony George and the Indianapolis Speedway team were prepared to install said chicane or do whatever necessary to proceed with a race. Bridgestone's major team, Ferrari, objected to the chicane. The FIA objected to the chicane. And rightly so. Why should the teams that came properly prepared be penalized for Michelin's inferior tyres?

Blame seemed to be shuffled around but the teams running Michelins never once blamed themselves for the outcome of the race. Only two drivers tested at Indy. It was not Tony George's fault. It was not Bridgestone's fault. It was not Ferrari's fault. It was not Bernie Ecclestone's fault. It was not the FIA's fault. Michelin did not provide their teams with a competitive product and fans worldwide fell victim. This turn has been there since 1909 and this is the sixth time the USGP has been held at Indianapolis.

I can understand the position of the teams for wanting to protect the lives of their drivers, but this is entertainment, and they did not fulfill their obligation to the fans. There were some ideas thrown out that would have had the cars on Michelins simply run slower through turn 13, go through the pits each lap, change tyres more often, or install a chicane and dock all Michelin-shod cars championship points. But alas, only Ferrari, Jordan, and Minardi competed in the USGP. I am honestly suprised to see that the majority of fans stuck around for the "race" and the relative civility of the crowd.

As a result of the debacle, Toyota's first pole position was for naught and Schumacher went on to his first victory of 2005. He and Barrichello have moved into third and fourth in the drivers standings while Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes are tied at 63 points in the Constructors Championship, 13 behind Renault.

As of this writing, the FIA has summoned the seven Michelin teams to appear at a hearing of its World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday June 29 following their controversial withdrawal from the US Grand Prix. Stay tuned and visit formula1.com for the latest USGP developments.

*Not since the 1961 Hungarian GP has an entire F1 field started and finished a race. As an aside, I think the current FIA tire rule is ridiculous and should be revaluated for future seasons, especially in light of what has happened recently to Kimi and Ralf. There is real potential for bodily harm, not to mention the millions of dollars of race car lost because teams are reluctant to change tyres due to fear of moving to the back of the pack.

June 20, 2005 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Taco Meter


It looks like I've been getting some hits for the TRD 10,000 RPM Tachometer and turning up some false results due to my CSS tach icons. Well here are the pictures of my "TACO METER". I think something was lost in translation there.

I'm very glad I purchased this rare and discontinued item around the time of the second wave of popularity and availability. It appears that the last sets of tachs sold for for $450 -zing!!! Needless to say, I could sell my mint tach and make a significant profit.

The white balance was obviously off in the shots, but the strong yellows work with the orange and red in the redline portion of the tach in my humble opinion. Images are copywrited and property of hungwin.com. Don't bite.

June 8, 2005 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

Make Mince Meat Outta That Beat


"I'll make mincemeat out of that mouse!!!"

The duo known as DANGERDOOM has a new track, Mince Meat, on the punk rock compilation Punk-O-Rama 10 -from Epitaph Records of all places. The comp is only $4.99 at one of the machines this week. Backup download link.

The beat is bare bones simple, just some hard drums and an Asian flute sample. The true meat, as with most DOOM songs, is the rhymes. Who else can shout out the Ionic Breeze Quadra and make a hook out of a quote from The Underdog Show? Dumile adds "beat Mouse" to Klondike Kat's favorite saying: "I'm gonna make mincemeat out of that mouse!" to get "I'll make mincemeat out of that beat [Danger] Mouse". Ill.

For another taste of what DOOM and Danger Mouse together sounds like, download DM's remix of Zero 7's "Somersault." This track is new to me, but I can tell it's gonna be one of my favorites. Very very chill with hints of Fiona Apple on the chorus. Download and enjoy this dope track.

Just Blazevillain? ". . . Blaze . . . is totally into Stones Throw, him and Jay-Z were pumping the Madvillain shit in their car stereo alot . . ." Word?! It's not inconceivable given the fact that Blaze produced a track for Med's upcoming album and Mad Lib showed up on the S. Carter The Re-Mix album -mixed and arranged by Blaze, coincidentally.

Finally, here's a video for Shadows of Tomorrow from the Stones Throw 101 DVD: MOV, WMV. I thought I watched most of the videos on the DVD, but I guess I must have missed this one. The video is comprised of an amalgam of stills and video clips, some of which are from "Space Is The Place" featuring Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Sun Ra. Sun raw. Lord Quas. Madlib.

June 7, 2005 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

NBizarroA Finals and Danica

I don't usually comment on sports, but damn, if it wasn't disappointing enough to see Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, and the rest of the Phoenix Suns get bowled over by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs, how about the Miami Heat getting beat by the Detroit Pistons in a Game 7. Not to take anything away from the teams that made it to The Finals, but I'd much rather see the Suns and the Heat in a seven game series than Pistons-Spurs. Besides the fact that it will be a slow-paced, boring, and low scoring series, there's just something about the players on the two remaining teams that I don't like.

ENOUGH WITH DANICA. She did well for her first Indy 500, but get off of her proverbial jock. Dan Wheldon won the race but gets a fraction of her pub. Podium finishers don't even get mentioned on the site, it goes directly from Wheldon to Patrick -ridiculous!!! Oddly enough, with all of the hype about the race for the month of May, I didn't know when or what channel it aired on. I caught the F1 race and even the NASCRAP race, but I entirely missed the Indy 500. C'est la vie -I didn't miss much- open wheel cars shouldn't be racing LTO anyway.

In a related story, the mainstream and sports press is giving Robby Gordon a hard time about bringing up Danica's weight, but Gordon has a valid point. If all of the Indy cars weigh the same and the drivers are not counted in the minimum weight measurement, there is a significant advantage for the more svelte drivers. Wilbon, you're making yourself look like a fool yourself for calling Gordon a idiot.

June 6, 2005 06:38 PM | Comments (0)