MMR Community Newsletter

October 12, 2013 Comments (0)

Santa Fe Concorso Continues…

Until Thursday, we had a note at the bottom of the editorial suggesting readers advise us on whether a move to a Saturday launch instead of Friday would be acceptable. Fate intervened and made the Friday launch impossible so here we are in your mailbox on a Saturday. We would nonetheless greatly appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

In last week’s MMR Newsletter we mentioned, in error, that the Santa Fe Concorso’s winning NART Ferrari car was one of 17 made. Our thanks to diligent readers who pointed out that it is one of only ten built. This may have been the second potential heart stopper in recent days for owners of the other nine NART 275s who may read the MMR Newsletter. The first had to be waking up on the morning after the Monterey sale of another of that litter and learning that it had just sold for $27.5 million! That had to be a pleasant surprise. (Then again… think of the folks who had owned these cars and sold them over the years for considerably less.)

F1 in Korea

The Race of the Degrading Tires went again to Vettel. The ever exuberant Kimi finished second. Was it just my imagination or did the crowd not cheer him as lustily as it did before he announced he would be once again a Ferrari man? Fighting Ferrari and Red Bull with a Lotus is like being David against two Goliaths. Fighting against Red Bull with a Ferrari is hardly as heroic. But the pay is steady.

Tires in F1

I find the F1 tire issues both annoying and totally unnecessary. In the past you had two types of tires, wet and dry. You also had at least two tire manufacturers involved in each race. The competitor who was fastest and stopped least times would win. The winning tire was the best compromise of longevity and speed. That is what racing is about in every aspect. Fast, soft tires shed themselves into what are called marbles and eliminate safe passing areas. Passing is exciting. So how did we get here? Again, in the old days, manufacturers signed one or more of the top teams to use their tires. They paid the teams to develop cars and tire tested with them throughout the season. Tire wars were a part of the competition. At some point series organizers, or perhaps even a manufacturer, determined that all this money was going to the racers and that if the series mandated only one tire, a slice of that money could go to the series management. The tire manufacturer saved on the testing process, no longer negotiated with individual teams and at times even had the series named after itself. Even better, they always won and were never forced to develop a better tire than the competitor for the obvious reason… there wasn’t one. The fans hardly noticed or cared. Differing tire performance, fixed fuel consumption, and increasingly quick pit stops are all a part of manufactured drama for the F1 show. This is not as exciting as passing on the track. Some of us would rather just watch racing. On the track!

IndyCar in Houston has a Problem

We were wrong! Again! We mentioned last week that Castroneves had the series locked up with a 49 point lead and three races to go. Houston is another of those concrete canyon parking lot tracks and so bumpy that it was breaking cars. In the two races in Houston, held on consecutive days and both paying full points, Castroneves’s normally reliable Penske broke. His arch rival, Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon finished first and second and now leads his Penske rival by 25 points, going into the final race on October 19th at Fontana. A spectacular last lap accident injured Dario Franchitti and several spectators. None fatally, thank goodness. Viewing that accident makes you realize how far race safety has come. No one should ever be critically injured or die in a car race.

This week’s issue features more images and stories from the Santa Fe Concorso. Thank you to Royce Rumsey and Tim Considine for their wonderful images.

Have a great weekend!

Peter Bourassa

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