Matt Kenseth took first place in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, with Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch coming in at second and third place. But it was the twenty-something car pileup caused by Tony Stewart that took all the attention, with drivers blaming restrictor plate racing for the mayhem, and a number voicing their concerns regarding this NASCAR rule which results in cars bunching up and unable to get away from one another. As the field headed for the finish line, it was four lanes deep with no place for maneuverability when Stewart moved in front of Michael Waltrip, triggering the pileup.
Initially implemented for safety reasons, restrictor plates are used at superspeedways such as Talladega and Daytona, and more recently New Hampshire, to effectively slow cars down. Consisting of a square aluminum plate with four holes drilled into it, the size of which is set by NASCAR, a restrictor place is placed between the carburetor and the intake manifold with the aim of reducing the flow of fuel and air into the combustion chamber of the engine, thereby reducing horsepower and speed. With improved aerodynamics and technology of racecars over the past ten years or so, they have become capable of reaching speeds exceeding 225 mph (362 km/h), which experts believe is too dangerous for both drivers and spectators. When Bobby Allison crashed into a retaining fence at Pocono Raceway on 19 June 1988, he was traveling at a speed of 210 mph (338 km/h). The crash nearly killed him and endangered the welfare of hundreds of fans.
While traveling at slower speeds may be to increase safety, it also levels the playing field to an extent, causing all the cars in the field to be bunched up and leaving little space for top drivers to pull away from the pack, or to work their way out of the bunch. Having all the cars bunched together traveling at speeds of 190 mph around a track presents safety issues of its own, as one poor decision can cause multiple-car crashes – and this problem was resoundingly illustrated in Sunday’s race at Talladega.
Known as one of the most famous legs of the Formula 1 season, the Grand Prix de Monaco has been taking place since the year 1929. Its intricate and exciting course is laid out through the streets of Monaco, and as it features difficult corners, tunnels and even elevation changes, it is also known as one of the most challenging races of the season. Even though extremely high speeds cannot be reached on the course, is remains one of the most dangerous and on Sunday, 29 May 2011, the course showed just how treacherous it can be.
The 2011 Monaco Grand Prix was filled with nail biting action, heart stopping accidents, penalties, accusations and fast paced maneuvers that left spectators breathless. It was a race that will long be remembered. The most chilling session of the race came very near to the end. It was a battle between Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, with Jenson Button doing extremely well in gaining on them in the last twenty laps of the race. It was going to be an epic battle, as Vettel was racing on old tires with a one stop strategy, and with Button having fairly new tires he was doing very well in catching the front runners. Things began to slow down a little as they hit traffic, and with all the traffic and front runners trying to get ahead, it was inevitable that chaos would ensue. After emerging from Tabac, Adrian Sutil could not avoid hitting the barrier, while Lewis Hamilton had the unfortunate luck of being hit in the back of his car by Jaime Alguersuari. Vitaly Petrov tried his utmost to avoid the accidents ahead of him, but in his attempts to get around the situation he hit the wall.
Safety cars and flags immediately came out, which ended up being a lucky break for Vettel and the Red Bull Team, giving them time to put new tires on his car. Another safety car was brought out after the tunnel claimed the cars of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, with the two cars colliding into each other. After that there was no stopping Sebastian Vettel, who won the Monaco Grand Prix, putting him in the championship lead with 58 points.
Stylish, contrast-enhancing eyewear is no longer limited to daylight hours. TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear has created Squadra Night Vision – the world’s first ophthalmic mask made specifically for night driving. This high-performance eyewear combines proven technologies for ergonomics and comfort, with contrast-increasing lenses to enhance night-driving safety. Utilizing patented technology, TAG Heuer Night Vision is the first in the world to provide a correction for “universal nocturnal myopia” – the tendency of human eyes to lose sharp distance viewing at night – while better distinguishing contrasts in the dark, reducing eye fatigue. The Squadra Night Vision’s innovative design and performance has received the prestigious Red Dot Design Award from among 4000 entries from 40 countries.
The Squadra Night Vision eyewear fits comfortably and securely with a flexible titanium inner arm, overmolded by a hard outer elastomere and a soft composite inner rubber. Ideal for under-the-helmet wear, TAG Heuer was the 2010 Official Partner to record-breaking motor-racing team Audi Sport, who swept the podium at the 78th edition of 24 Hours of Le Mans while wearing Squadra Night Vision glasses. Squadra is also the preferred eyewear of the 2004 NASCAR Cup Champion, Kurt Busch.
By working with professional drivers like these, TAG Heuer has perfected its Night Vision lenses to offer constant clear, sharp vision that maximizes performance from dusk to dawn. Now, you don’t have to be a professional driver to benefit from Squadra Night Vision. The new TAG Heuer Squadra Night Vision collection is available at authorized retailers nationwide. Shields are available in two shapes and offer a combined black and yellow temple.
TAG Heuer – maker of high-end sports watches and chronographs since 1860 – has been applying the same standards for design and quality found in their timepieces to the creation of exceptional eyewear since 2002. All TAG Heuer “Avant-Garde” Eyewear lenses are shatter-resistant, ultra-light and provide 100% UV-A and UV-B protection. TAG Heuer Eyewear is available at authorized retailers nationwide.
To add to the fantastic quality and spectacle that is guaranteed by all the drivers who have confirmed their participation in the Corona Rally Mexico, Rally of Nations edition, the Organizing Committee has introduced speed stages that will surely be a great attraction for the audience, and which include the Super Special Scotiabank Stage in the competition’s itinerary, to take place at León’s race circuit, the Autódromo, as it has done during previous editions of WRC. In addition, a road race stage, the Coca-Cola Street Stage, is to take place for the first time in the city of León.
Once again, León’s race circuit will be the setting for a display of rallying at its highest level, where this coming July 10th, 11th and 12th, the venue will host speed stages involving head-to-head races, in which two cars will start out at the same time, competing to their maximum capacities against each other and against the clock, given that this stage is an integral part of the rally.
Under the name “Super Special Scotiabank Stage”, this phase of the rally will be played out over a 2.21 km route. On Friday 10 and Saturday 11, this route will run twice, starting at 3:00 p.m. on both days. On Sunday, July 12th, there will be only one run, starting at 10:00 a.m., so the Organizing Committee suggests the audience should arrive early because of the various side events that will be taking place.
Entrance to the race circuit costs 80 pesos in the general area, 150 pesos in the stands overlooking the straight, and 300 pesos in the marquee area. Tickets can be bought on the day at the ticket offices or beforehand via the web site, at www.rallydelasnaciones.com, where you can buy and print an e-ticket, which will be good for access, without any need to change it for a pre-printed ticket.
As for the Coca-Cola Street Stage, this will, without a doubt, be quite a novelty, since it is the first time that the Organizing Committee has tried such a thing. The stage consists of a 1.87-km route along the street that divides the Explora Park and Poliforum facilities and the Nou Camp Soccer Stadium.
In this stage, cars will set off one by one, in a race against the clock to be held on Friday, July 10th and Saturday 11th only. On Friday, things will start at around 10:30 a.m., and on Saturday, under the name “Powerade Street Stage”, at approximately 10:50 a.m. It is important to mention that this event will be free of charge.
Safety measures will be very strict and there will be public areas available, though with limited capacity, as well as special areas to accommodate authorized photographers, cameramen and journalists.
Jackie Stewart aka The Flying Scot is a renowned Formula One driver from the ’60s and ’70s. Stewart took home 3 world titles and participated in the Can-Am championship. After his career as a race car driver ended he went on to become a popular commentator, consultant and team owner.
Sir John Young Stewart, OBE was born on 11 June 1939 in West Dunbartonshire. Stewart’s interest in cars was piqued at an early age as his family owned Dumbuck Garage in Milton. His father had previously been a motorcycle racer and his brother Jimmy was an increasingly popular race car driver. In 1953 he competed in the British Grand Prix with team Ecuri Ecosse. Although his parents discouraged their sons from racing after Jimmy was injured, Jackie accepted an offer by Barry Filer to test his cars at Oulton Park. During the test runs Jackie Stewart left a major impression on the spectators. Ken Tyrrell of Cooper soon heard of Jackie and quickly contacted his brother to organize a tryout. Tyrrell was suitably impressed by Stewart’s fast times and asked him to join the team in 1963.
In 1964 Jackie Stewart took part in Formula Three and had his first win at Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit. In 1965 he joined BRM so as to compete in Formula One. He debuted in South Africa and later gained a victory at the BRDC International Trophy. Unfortunately in 1966 he would have won the Indianapolis 500 had it not been for a mechanical problem and thus he was given the honor of Rookie of the Year. During the Belgian Grand Prix of 1966 Stewart was involved in a terrible crash due to rainy weather. The marshals were unable to help him, so his teammate Graham Hill rescued him. Because of this event Jackie Stewart began a campaign to improve safety in motor racing. Removable steering wheels and a main electrics switch became mandatory and BRM provided a medical truck.
In 1968 and 1969 Stewart drove F1 for Ken Tyrrell. Behind the steering wheel of a Matra MS80 Jackie Stewart became the 1969 World Champion. He once again became World Champion in 1971 and 1973. During his racing career, Jackie Stewart received great recognition including the Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” award and BBC’s “Sports Personality Of The Year” in 1973. In 2001 Stewart received the title Sir. Even after retiring as an F1 driver Jackie Stewart, The Flying Scot, has gone on to exert an influence on the sport.