Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Written by Pat W

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Indianapolis 500 Qualifying - Pole Day

IZOD IndyCar Series 2012

Sidepodcast: Indianapolis 500 Qualifying - Pole Day

by Pat W

Qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 can be one of the most dramatic times in motorsport. While this year's smaller entry may dilute the drama at the bottom of the field, at the top the upside down form book brought with the new Dallara DW12 IndyCar and the competition among engine makers will hold our interest just as highly as ever. Qualifying this year is held over two days and as tradition dictates is a single-car run for 4 laps of the 2.5 mile circuit, with cars ranked by their average speed over the 4 laps. Pole day sets positions 1 to 24, then after a 30 minute break we go into the Firestone Fast Nine where the top 9 drivers advance to the final pole position shootout - the times are wiped and there's one more four-lap run to shoot for pole!

12 Hours of Sebring

World Endurance Championship 2012

Sidepodcast: 12 Hours of Sebring

by Pat W

F1 is not the only major racing series to kick off this weekend. The combined fields of the brand new FIA World Endurance Championship (the first global endurance title for 20 years) and the IMSA American Le Mans Series meet to provide an enormous 64-car grid for the 60th Anniversary 12 Hours of Sebring, the oldest endurance race in North America. A field so big that part-time entries were turned away.The battle at the absolute sharp-end may be a little flat, the withdrawal of Peugeot leaving Audi uncontested on sheer pace, but a very strong field of closely-matched petrol-engined contenders (including David Brabham, Karun Chandhok, Nick Heidfeld and more) are expected to provide a fantastic race - and of course Audi still has to complete the distance to win it, no guaranteed feat at this track with this many cars.The LMP2 class is the best it has been in years and for once is very much worth watching, whilst GT will surely be its usual fraught battle between Ferrari, BMW, Corvette and Porsche.

Daytona 500

NASCAR Sprint Cup 2012

Sidepodcast: Daytona 500

by Pat W

Thursday's Duels showed the rule changes implemented by NASCAR have all but eliminated the 'two-car tandems' of 2011, we're back to the classic restrictor plate pack racing we've seen for the previous decade or more - for better, or for worse. This means anyone can win, yet will also mean any accident is that much more dangerous. That said though, pack racing is a skill in itself. It takes a lot of effort to work through the draft whilst the cars are moving around, bumping, squirming, side by side for 10 rows! This race marks the Sprint Cup debut of Danica Patrick. FOX may mention this once or twice. Will she win? You'd think not, but one year ago the 500 was won by another series rookie, Trevor Bayne, so anything can happen!

2011 Milwaukee 225

The eighth race of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar series

Sidepodcast: 2011 Milwaukee 225

by Pat W

Hello and welcome to the live comments for the Milwaukee 225, race 8 of 18 on the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.The oval road course. The flat, minimal banking is a unique characteristic compared to the rest of the schedule and so it drives completely differently to any other oval, in that it doesn't drive like an oval at all.

2011 Le Mans 24 Hours - The race

Get the caffeine going, it's time for endurance racing for drivers and fans

Sidepodcast: 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours - The race

by Pat W

So here it is, one of the real highlights of the motorsport year and the pinnacle of the sportscar calendar! This is your introduction and guide to the festival of racing that is the Le Mans 24 Hours.In the modern era the LMP1 and GT classes are more like long sprints. Meanwhile the LMP2 class is more like 'old' Le Mans, cars breaking down and teams trying to coax them to the end.Who will prevail: Audi or Peugeot? Ferrari, Corvette, BMW or Porsche?Bring it on!

2011 Indy 500 practice sessions

Preparations begin for the highlight event of the IndyCar season

Sidepodcast: 2011 Indy 500 practice sessions

by Pat W

Hello and welcome to the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race!This post is for comments and discussion during the rest of what locals term 'The Month of May', as the anticipation builds towards the biggest and most important Indy 500 since the dark days of 'The Split'. Here we'll be talking about practice sessions over the coming week, with lap speeds and all the gossip and chatter from Gasoline Alley.

ILMC LMS 1000km of Spa-Franchorchamps

The endurance championship continues in Belgium

Sidepodcast: ILMC LMS 1000km of Spa-Franchorchamps

by Pat W

Good afternoon and welcome to the wonderful Spa-Franchorchamps. This race is the last long race before the 24 Heures du Mans next month and as such both Audi and Peugeot have brought their full fleet of new cars. The Peugeot 908 has already raced this year of course, but the much-tested Audi R18 has not. Yet it is the Audi which has been the faster all weekend as Peugeot claim they are running a Le Mans downforce spec which may be compromising them here.

2011 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

The new year kicks off with the Grand-Am Rolex Series

Sidepodcast: 2011 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

by Pat W

At last, winter is almost over! The racing season continues its awakening from slumber, following the Dakar Rally and the Rallye Monte-Carlo it is time for the first major circuit racing event of the 2011 season. Whilst the Dubai 24 Hours a couple of weeks ago was probably the first racing event on a closed course this year it isn't yet considered a major event, Daytona is the venue the motorsport world looks to to officially kick off the racing year.

On track with Pat - A day of firsts

A driving experience at the Thruxton circuit

Sidepodcast: On track with Pat - A day of firsts

by Pat W

For my 21st birthday I was given a certificate for a 'driving experience' at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire. I was keen to use it but couldn't find the time until much later when it was in danger of expiring, so it came to be that I found myself at Thruxton one cold morning in early December 2001 to drive a Formula Ford 1600. (This rest of this post has been adapted from a series of posts I wrote for the F1NGers newsgroup in the days afterwards.)

Le Mans: A guide

A comprehensive preview by Pat and Alianora

Sidepodcast: Le Mans: A guide

by Pat W

The Le Mans 24 Hours is an invitational race run by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO - literally "Automobile Club of the West"). It has been running since 1923 when the winners completed more than 2200km - this year we can expect the winners to run for over 5200km.

Le Mans 24 Hours - Practice & qualifying

Setting up the grid for the super duper endurance race

Sidepodcast: Le Mans 24 Hours - Practice & qualifying

by Pat W

There are many 24-hour races around the world but none have the history or prestige of the French event and none draw such a quality entry or feature cars almost fast as F1 cars - in fact the LMP1s are known to lap just as quickly as IndyCars at tracks like Mid-Ohio and Long Beach. Despite the geographic split in sportscar racing, this is the one all the top teams enter, the one everyone in endurance/sportscar racing wants to win.

2010 Indianapolis 500 - Bump day

A run through of the teams and drivers to watch

Sidepodcast: 2010 Indianapolis 500 - Bump day

by Pat W

Today marks 'Bump Day', the final day of qualifying for the 94th Indianapolis 500-Mile Race. The front-running cars qualified yesterday - today sets the balance of the field, positions 25-33. As it is lower-order qualifying I don't expect many Sidepodders to watch but I do hope this post serves as a primer for the race, and I hope you join us to watch it next Sunday!