200. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

September 3rd, 2012

…it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…(Charles Dickens)

Dear Jeannie,

The American Le Mans Series will pass away before the week is out.

The latest “good source” information is that the France’s have purchased all of The Don’s racing-related assets outright. That includes tracks, hotels, series, sanctioning bodies. The Le Mans name will endure for the length of the current contract (2013), then be dropped. Prototypes will be “similar” (that covers a lot of sins, doesn’t it?) to P1’s, but will not in the future “follow ACO rules.” The Don and The Boss will be on the board of directors of the new sports car racing entity. In other words, they’ll get expenses and free dinner to attend the occasional board meeting, but have no place in running anything (the one bit of good news in this). If there’s anything important for the board to vote on, they’ll each get a vote, but allies will be firmly in control. Is this the new boss? Read the rest of this entry »

199.1 Murphy and AC discuss the Big Buyout (July 2009)

September 2nd, 2012

Originally published as Paddock Poop 130. Shocking news at a clandestine meeting. Murphy and his friend were just a bit (three years) early. It does give an idea of how long this thing has been stewing. A read for you while you’re waiting for Paddock Poop 200, soon.

Murphy called his friend A.C. “I’m hearing some interesting stuff. Can we talk?”

“So am I, buddy, so am I. Sure. But not over the phone. Can you meet me?” was the response from NASCAR’s favorite local scribe.

“Sure, where?” asked the Bear.

“I hear you’re in town on business, I’m near Hooter’s on International Speedway…across the street, actually. Can you meet me there?” asked A.C.

“I’m close,” said the Bear, with a grin (Hooter’s in Daytona Beach is one of Murphy’s favorite places.) “When?”

A.C.: “About 15 minutes.”

Murphy: ‘You’re on, my friend.”

The Bear got there first, renewing acquaintances – and getting hugs.

By the time he’d ordered a Warsteinerand some wings (Murphy’s been a Warsteiner fan since the “German Budweiser” sponsored the GT1 championship in the late ’90?s), a shadowy figure with a turned-up collar and a turned-down hat was sidling up to the table.

It was A.C.“What the hell…” blurted the Bear.“Shhhhh…” from the muffled figure.

Murphy: “A.C?”

“Yes. Hold it down…if someone sees me…” whispered A.C.

“Hell, A.C., you’re right across the street from the World Center of Racing in a trench coat, talking to a stuffed animal, and you think no one will notice?” asked Murphy. Read the rest of this entry »

199. Tucker was for Suckers. No Soup for You. Sports Car Racing, the Money Laundering Activity of Choice.

April 3rd, 2012

On John Dagys

John Dagys has been the topic of an almsfanforum thread of late. Some of it runs along the lines of “lucky guy.” Luck? Murphy’s furry backside! Young as he his, John Dagys worked his tail off to get the gig the forum numpties (that rather descriptive word coined by an anonymous “industry observer” who the Bear claims as a friend) dream of. Anyway, John was haunting media rooms writing – on his own nickel – for an independent website (The-Paddock.net, in which he was a partner and the chief editor) while still a journalism student at Columbia College, Chicago. Read the rest of this entry »

198. Just Shootin’ the Bull. The Bear’s Rolex Picks.

January 28th, 2012

Murphy was just killin’ time here waiting for the Rolex start, doin’ nuttin’ much, and realized he’s been doin’ nuttin’ much for like a long time. Of course, wit da Braselburgers doin nuttin much lately, he’s gotten a little bored with the whole scene.

He’s been thinkin, how much can you rip the gang that can’t shoot straight before it’s just same ol’ same ol’? Which it has been for a long time. When The Bear launched this thing – way back in 2005 – he was documenting exciting and fun stuff. That started fading about three years later, and the whole damn thing’s turned pretty dark. Which Murphy doesn’t really like. At all. Read the rest of this entry »

197. The 2012 ALMS Field. Braselburg Schedule Still Unsettled. Bahrain, Baltimore Buh-by?

December 19th, 2011

Audi Advances

Audi  was running at Sebring this week. According to the best minds that analyze such things (Mulsanne Mike, for instance), the 2012 R18 really quite a different car than last year’s R18. Hopefully, the changes will improve the outward vision. A pal of a friend of the Bear drove the R18 a couple of months ago, and reported an “absolute blind spot out of the right hand side.” “It explains the McNish crash at Le Mans,” he said.

In other news from the Bear’s Chief European Correspondent, Romain Dumas is headed back to Porsche soon, there’s a big tug of war over Timo Bernhard, and Oliver Pla was quick at a secret Peugeot test.

Insiders in Europe believe ALMS will have Audi, Mercedes, and perhaps others not fully homologated by the ACO in some form of local GT class – but it’s unclear when that gets done. Read the rest of this entry »