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.
Anyway, here’ some good news. Ah…ah…geez…The Bear’s thinkin’…ahah! That’s it! Dyson will be back racing against Greg! Like last year. And there will be some P2 guys – no one really knows how many – but it might include the Payday Lender King. Well, perhaps not King, but Chief, since he’s “gone native (American).”
GT will be cool, though there are way too many indications that’s headed for a slip, too. But all the more reason to enjoy it when you can. The Bear still isn’t sure whether the Texas car dealer will be back with his Ferrari(s) (that “s” is pretty unlikely, for sure). That will leave the Mexican cactus squeezers in charge of Ferrari’s prospects – and they haven’t had a lot of luck cracking the top 5 – ever. Not likely to change.
Where were we? Oh, yeah. Good News. There will be a handful of spec. LMP’s and another handful of spec. Porsches on the ALMS grids. If that turns your crank, then by all means go for it. Brewskis and brats (with an “a,” you know who you are way over there “down under,”) – and stronger stuff – with friends at the track hasn’t changed, regardless of the rest of it, right? That part of sports car endurance racing is a big part of its uniqueness, something that the stocker guys and OW guys (and girls) really have trouble understanding while sitting on their tushes in grandstands, heads on swivels like a rotating perversion of the crowd at Wimbledon.
Watchin’ the Rolex
Anyway, back to racin’ Like it or not, the Rolex is racin’ and the Bear’s going to settle in to watch in a couple of hours. Last year he was in Daytona Beach and even spent some time at the track. A disaster, though he met some really cool people. This time it’s his comfy rocker and his telebision. Ain’t it great not to have to screw this the streaming crap? (And crap it is.) Hey, ‘burgers, where the hell is Roku? Too busy? You have to be fricken kidding.
Good Ole Georgia Boys, New York Lawyers, and a Formerly FIA Frog in Volusia County Court
And Don, ol boy, suing a poor graphic artist known for poster of ocean liners? (and a girl at that)? The Bear ain’t much of a speller, but he sure kin’ git a person’s name spelt right, specially on a lawsuit. Will it get tossed for the mis-spell do ya think? Jus more paperwork keepin’ the New York lawyer busy, I spose. Anyway, does the new Grand Am tech guru Gabriel Cadringher know too many secrets? Did you have a contract wit him? More busy-work. No wonder there’s no time to open a Roku channel of yer racin’.
The 50th and the 60th
The 50th Rolex at Daytona. The whole world knows it’s the 50th, what with the gnomes of International Speedway Boulevard telling a story-a-day for a couple of months it seems, making sure everybody knows that great history. While who knows that Sebring is the 60th? (The Bear’s got a Sebring 50th commemorative bottle of The Don’s red – he and J. had some back 10 years ago at your Chateau at the safety pin, pretty good stuff, but this one is staying firmly corked and in the Bear’s cellar, where it’s been for the past decade.) What’s your PR department doin’ to tell the folks about the big race in March? Other than the new book (cool) by Sebring’s PR boss Ken Breslauer, all we’ve heard so far is the Frogs ain’t showin’ up wit their diesel. That should make it a one-marque race up front – again. (Murphy still thinks that Audi truck looks like a platypus.) Still, Sebring is the best party on the planet, and for Le Mans-style racin’, bein’ the only WEC round, the only ALMS race worth going to – except for the hard-core partiers, of course, who can have a good time at all but the dumb-ass street courses. (Have ya’ll figured out The Bear really does not like street courses?)
Where Were We?
Ok, the Rolex. Here are Murphy’s famous “Top 5” picks of the classes. He’s been pretty good at this. You can look it up.
Daytona Prototypes (new or old), the Top 5 finishers, in no particular order:
10 Angelelli/Briscoe/Taylor SunTrust Racing Corvette DP
02 Dixon/Franchitti/McMurray/Montoya Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley
90 Garcia/Gavin/Magnussen/Westbrook Spirit of Daytona Corvette DP
5 Donohue/Fittipaldi/Law Action Express Racing Corvette DP
01 Hand/Pruett/Rahal/Rojas Chip Ganassi Racing BMW Riley
The Bear’s not enamored of the pole-sitter. DP’s become a pro driver’s class. Peter’s got some nice drivers goin’, -check out the two Scots and the German guy, but he’s had to sell too many seats, so the three that could win it all are carrying a pair of weak sisters. Is this the year that Bob can break through and bring GAINSCO the big win? Daytona’s not been kind to the insurance maggot. So Murphy can’t make them a favorite, either. Spirit of Daytona has a really nice driver line-up, but has France cash converted this team from a couple of guys in a Daytona garage to a real race team? Sun Trust always has a shot, and while the World’s Greatest Race Car Driver (hello to the family at home) will start at the rear, Chip’s Grand Am regulars will be back in the hunt soon enough.
In GT, Porsche’s got the numbers. (24 Porsches in the field of 60 sort of overwhelms the whole damn event, doesn’t it? Pretty soon we’ll not be able to tell the difference from ALMS until we read out ticket.) Ferrar’s got a new car. Murphy’s not a Mazda fan, but they won in 2010, and McDreamy and company climbed the podium last year. The Camaros have struggled in practice and qualifying. Will they find the pace in the race?
Again, the Bear doesn’t like the pole winner to come through on top, for pretty much the same reason as above for Daytona Prototypes. He likes the Lizards a lot, even with the owner aboard – that doesn’t hurt nearly as much in this field as it does in the ALMS GTE field – and Seth is experience even if not fast. That should help a lot on a tough, crowded track. The Ferrari’s may be new, but they look good, and the Grand Am configuration isn’t a “high stress” kind of thing subject to the teething issues the GTE cars are.
45 Bergmeister/Long/Neiman/Rockenfeller Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3
63 Beretta/Bertolini/Vilander Risi Competizione Ferrari 458
93 Auberlen/Dalla Lana/Marsa/Muller/Werner Turner Motorsport BMW M3
67 Bertheau/Bleekemolen/Goossens/Henzler/Pumpelly TRG Porsche GT3
23 Collard/Holzer/Leitzinger/MacNeil Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3
What? No rumors? Maybe next time.
Tags: Action Express Racing, Alex Job Racing, ALMS, Chip Ganassi Racing, Flying Lizard Motorsports, Gabriel Cadringher, Grand Am, Ken Breslauer, Peter Baron, Peugeot, Risi Competizione, Roku, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Sebring, Seth Neiman, Spirit of Daytona, Sun Trust Racing, TRG, Turner Motorsport, WEC, World's Greatest Race Car Driver