Tag Archives: Autosport

2016 Bucket List – Autosport International

Every year for the past couple of seasons I have come away from the Autosport International with a few new additions to my bucket list of new things to try before the season is out, if I make it to one or two I am usually happy here are six things I’ll be looking out for in the season ahead.

Ford Fusion, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

In 2003/4 my passion for motorsport was reignited after a decades abstinence when I started reading articles by veteran NASCAR writer Jerry Bonkowski.

By 2009 when I visited Talladega Superspeedway I was as hooked as I had been back in the 1970’s when I first discovered it.

I’m under no illusions that having the privilege to drive a non emergency ambulance up to 450 miles in a ten hour day is any kind of training to drive a 500 hp Cup car but top of my bucket list for 2016 is to shell out £150 for a couple of laps in the Ford Fusion above at a Rockingham Performance Driving Day.

Chevrolet Camaro, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

Sadly to date the only drag track I have visited is Shakespeare County Raceway which is due to close this year, so as well as making a final visit to Shakey I also hope to make it to Santa Pod where I have been informed the big boys like Andy Robinson go to play.

Andy drives the Pro Mod Chevrolet Camaro above which will reach 239.05 mph from rest in less than six seconds !

Winnebago Tour, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

I do not have a licence to drive anything as big as the £249,999 Winnebago Tour® nor the financial credentials to drive one to the end of my street, but I am planing on visiting the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours with a school friend and I have been informed the best way to spectate is to park an RV in the infield.

So if anyone reading this has room for two well bred and groomed Europeans in their RV at the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours please chime in below ?

March Chevrolet 717, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

One of the new features of this years Silverstone Classic will be a race for Can Am cars like the March Chevrolet 717 seen above, at the end of the 1980’s these cars were a regular site in historic events and it will be great to see a full field of them for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Sin R1 GT Cup, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

A couple of years ago Sin launched their R1 model at the Autosport International this year I hope to so one racing in either the British GT Championship, GT Cup, or if it is legible in the Britcar series.

Ford Focus WRC, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

Finally I have been wanting to go and see a rally cross event ever since Ford took a four wheel drive Ford Capri to Croft for Roger Clark to drive in 1969, it has always looked like great sport on TV so maybe this year I’ll finally get to a Rally Cross event, one I will be looking out for is Guy Martin’s debut in the Ford Focus WRC owned by Ollie O’Donovan and prepared by Tony Brady Motorsport seen above which will be at a date towards the end of the British Rally Cross Championship.

Watch this space to see if I achieve any of the above and chime in with your bucket list for 2016 below.

Thanks for joining me on this “2016 Bucket List” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Daytona 24 Hour challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Soft Alloy Special – Lotus Ford 38/7

On the back of their success with Jim Clark in 1965 Lotus took orders for two new Ford powered Lotus 38’s for the 1966 season, while the now STP Oil Treatment sponsored works Lotus team intended to use a new car powered by a 4.2 litre / 256 cui version of the fearsome BRM H16.

Lotus were busy preparing new cars for the new 3 litre era Formula One season and so they subcontracted the building of the chassis for these cars, ordered by Dean Van Lines and Sheraton Thompson to be driven by Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt respectively, out to Abbey Panels of Coventry, when it became apparent the BRM H16 would not be available a third Lotus 38 chassis was ordered from Abbey Panels for works driver Al Unser to drive.

Lotus 38, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

For reasons unknown Abbey Panels of Coventry built the three Lotus 38 chassis with regular aluminium instead of the high tensile alloy used to build the first four Lotus 38 chassis and as a consequence the “Soft Alloy Specials”, as they are unofficially dubbed, needed substantial strengthening to make them race worthy.

Mario only practiced his Dean Van Lines Lotus 38 and opted instead to race the Dean Van Lines Brawner Ford, AJ qualified his Sheraton Thompson/Anstead Lotus 38 18th after wrecking his Coyote only to wreck the Lotus in the opening lap meleé of the 1966 Indy 500.

Lotus 38, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Al Unser meanwhile qualified #38/7 23rd and was classified 12th after crashing in turn 4, 39 laps short of the race full race distance.

Once it became apparent the BRM H16 would not be available for the 1967 Indy 500 Team Lotus hastily prepared two Lotus 38’s for ’65 winner / ’66 second place finisher Jim Clark and ’66 Indy 500 winner, aboard a Lola, Graham Hill.

Lotus 38, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Jim was assigned #38/7, which had been “rebuilt” around a new chassis while Graham was given #38/8 and a Lotus 42F, intended for the BRM H16 motor, but fitted with the by now ubiquitous twin cam Ford.

After qualifying #38/7 16th Jim retired with a burned piston classified 31st after 35 laps, lasting 12 laps more than Graham who retired the faster Lotus 42F for exactly the same reason.

Lotus 38, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

#38/7 became the subject of a legal dispute after Colin Chapman and mid west Lotus dealer Jim Spencer managed to sell the car to two parties.

After the dispute was settled Middleton M. Caruthers bought #38/7 and entered it for Wib Spalding into three events in 1969.

Wib only started on his third attempt at Continental Divide where he retired with a clutch problem that may have been responsible for his non starting earlier at Hanford and failure to qualify at Langhorne.

Lotus 38, Autosport International, NEC Birmingham

Until #38/7 appeared at the Autosport International, as seen in these photographs wearing the 1965 Jim Clark winners livery, the car was believed to have been residing with a collector in Japan.

Thanks for joining me on this “Soft Alloy Special” edition of “Gettin a Li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the start of a look at the first of next months 26 Le Mans racers. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Ultimate 25 – Lotus 33 #R10

The Coventry Climax V8 powered Lotus 33 was developed from the 1963 Championship winning Lotus 25 for the 1964 Formula One season to take advantage of the latest 13 inch diameter broad tread tyres which had been developed by Dunlop.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

Designer Len Terry described the 33 as “stronger, stiffer, lighter, simpler” than the 25 and noted it was “a lot quicker too”.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

After problems with hydrogen embritteld chrome plated suspension had been over come Jim Clark used the Lotus 33 to score a season high 5th in his 4 1964 Lotus 33 starts, after winning 3 1964 Championship races in the older Lotus 25, similarly Walt Hangsen finished 5th in the 1964 US Grand Prix at the wheel of a 33.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

By 1965 Lotus had got it’s act together again and after Jackie Stewart gave today’s featured chassis R10 it debut in the non championship 1964 Rand Grand Prix, where he retired from heat one for which he qualified on pole and finished 1st in heat two after recording fastest lap, team leader Jim Clark took over the car for the 1965 championship opening South African Grand Prix for which he qualified on pole, set fastest lap during the race and won.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

Jim repeated the feat of pole, fastest lap and winning driving R10, seen in these photographs at the Autosport International earlier this year, in the 1st heat of the non champinship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch but understeered, push, off at Bottom Bend while being chased down by Dan Gurney in heat two bringing R10’s in period racing career to a premature end.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

Jim Clark missed the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix opting instead to start and win the 1965 Indianapolis 500 with the Len Terry designed Ford Fairlane powered Lotus 38.

Lotus 33, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham,

On returning to the 1965 Formula One championship trail Jim drove Lotus 33’s to five consecutive victories in Belgium, France, Britain, The Netherlands and Germany which was enough to secure the 1965 World Drivers Championship despite the fact that he posted retirements in the final 3 races of the season !

Jim Clark remains the only man to have won the Indianapolis 500 and the World Drivers Championship in the same season, of the other Indy 500 winners only Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Jacques Villeneuve have also won World Drivers titles.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Ultimate 25” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a break from Maserati Monday’s to bring you an unusual Hot Champ. Don’t forget to come back now !


Reliability Dividend – Marussia Cosworth MR02

In 2009 John Booth’s Manor Grand Prix was one of three teams selected to join the Formula One™ Chmpionship series in 2010, by which time the team had change it’s name to Virgin Racing in deference to their principle backer the Virgin budget airline.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

None of the three new teams did particularly well in 2010 and Virgin racing finished the season with the Championships would spoon for scoring a seaoson high two 14th place finishes like Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) but with only one 15th place were unable to match the Spanish teams three 15th place finishes.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In 2011 Russian automobile manufacturer and sponsor Marussia’s increased involvement in the team was recognised by a change of name to Marussia Virgin Racing but the team finished the season with a second consecutive wooden spoon with three season high 15th place finishes unable to match the single 13 th place finish scored by HRT.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, British GP P1, Silverstone

In 2012 the team became known as the Marussia F1 Team as Virgin ceased it’s involvement after two disappointing years. With two season high 14th place race finishes Marussia finally bested HRT who could only manage a season high 15th place race finishes before the Spanish team folded at the season’s end.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Bianchi, British GP P1, Silverstone

Rookies Jules Bianchi, seen above during Practice Session 1 (P1) of the British Grand Prix and Max Chilton, seen during the Young Driver Test below joined Marussia for 2013.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Chilton, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Marussia also hired former Renault Technical Director Pat Symonds to act as a consultant and employed input from McLaren Applied Technologies wind tunnel on their MR02 design.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, González, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

By now Marrusia were the only team still using the most affordable but unfancied Cosworth V8 spec motors, closest rivals Caterham having switched to Renault power in 2011. Venezuelan test driver Rodolfo González is seen driving the Marussia Cosworth MR02 during the Young Driver Test at Silverstone above.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Despite regularly qualifying behind the Renault powered Caterhams Jules managed not only to regularly out qualify team mate Max but against expectations Max also finished a season high 13th in Malaysia which turned out to be enough to save Marussia from regaining the Formula One wooden spoon in 2013.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Max meanwhile became the first rookie in the history of Formula One to finish every race of the entire season, Jules had three retirements, a finishing feat only matched in 2013 by seasoned McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Sergio Perez.

Marussia Cosworth MR02, Chilton, British GP P2, Silverstone

For the first time in the teams history Marussia will keep the same driver line up for 2014 while much else changes, Pat Symonds has been snapped up by the, relative to their own Championship winning standards, struggling Williams team.

So far we know that Marussia will employ a Ferrari power train on the 2014 MR03 design, to keep abreast of Marussia’s developments you might try joining the fastest growing Formula One Team facebook page on this link or try Marussia’s official web site here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Reliability Dividend” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a field full of Indiana State law enforcement vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !


Schoolboys And A Handrill – Bloody Mary

Half brothers John and Richard appear to have been born in 1910 and 1912 respectively to Vary who married Richards father Richard (Snr) Bolster in 1911 the same year in which she and John’s father were granted a Decree Absolute. Richard (Snr) was killed in action in 1917 while serving with the rank of Major in the Royal Field Artillery. During the 1914 to 1918 Great War Vary, who was very interested in cars and motoring, is said to have driven her own Napier and a Mercedes as part of her contribution to the war effort. After the war Vary Bolster is said to have driven a 3 litre Bentley and spectated at Brooklands events organised by the BARC who’s strap line ran “The right crowd and no crowding”.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

While still at school John and brother Richard set about building a special with the object of “driving around a field as dangerously as possible”. To build the tapered from the front to rear chassis the boys fashioned three longitudinal chassis rails from ash and joined them together with with steel brackets to two cross members front and rear. It would appear the most sophisticated tool at the boys disposal was a hand drill.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

The original front axle had no suspension other than that afforded by the balloon aircraft tyres fitted to the wheels or brakes. The 1914 13 hp vee twin JAP motor, mounted between the center chassis rail and left chassis rail drove a chain attached to the Juckes, motorcycle, gearbox which in turn drove a rubber belt attached to a solid rear axle, carried in a pair of bronze bushes in gunmetal housings sourced from a Grahame White cycle car, mounted below the chassis rails and suspended by quarter elliptic springs. With the driver sitting to the right almost alongside the motor and gearbox the contraption in it’s original guise weighed around 230 kgs / 507 lbs and was said to be capable of 55 mph, and was slowed using “negligible” band brakes on the rear axle.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

Not having scared them selves sufficiently, over time the car was developed, a GN tube front axle with leaf springs bound with “best quality blind cord” to the chassis replaced the original though again without brakes. The output was more than doubled to over 30hp with the acquisition of a more modern 4 cam JAP vee twin motor which required the rubber final drive be replaced by a chain twixt gearbox and rear axle. A semblance of a body was added along with the name “Bloody Mary” which has been interpreted as a jest against the stuffy preeminent establishment still prevalent in Britain between WW1 and WW2. Described as a determined “bon viver” John would later become well known for his “very blue“, language, after dinner speeches.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

As the boys became undergraduates, John at Oxford and Richard at Cambridge, they started entering the road registered car into speed and trials competitions which meant wiring torches to the mudguards for illumination and obliging the passenger to perch precariously twixt hot exhaust to the front and above the rear chain. After finally scaring himself in Bloody Mary Richard eventually went on to build a second GN based special of which John said “owing to some oversight on the part of the licensing authorities, both cars had the same registration number” meaning care was taken that the two specials were never seen together.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

John persevered with Bloody Mary fitting a new tubular front axle carrying 1928 vintage Austin Seven brakes and wheels. After two unfortunate “wild” young men fell off their Brough Superior motor cycles John replaced the 4 cam JAP which had given as much as 40 hp after much development, with first one over head valve KTOR JAP motor and fitted the second when it unexpectedly also became available using an ingenious spring loaded sprocket to compensate for firing irregularities between the two motors. In order to avoid back fires which would destroy the drive train John always needed four strong blokes to give him a push start, it was a tribute to Johns good standing in the paddock that he never had a shortage of volunteers.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

On his first outing at Lewes Speed Trials in the now twin engined junk yard special the hubs burst as John was accelerating, while John fought to control the car through a series of wild slides he switched off the motors and coasted over the line with a time fast enough to win his class. The hubs were subsequently replaced with sturdier Frazer Nash items and in 1937 John was just a shade over 3 seconds slower than Raymond Mays’s supercharged ERA R4B up the Shelsley Walsh Hillclimb, a performance described in one contemporary report as ‘a miracle of wheel-winding’. At this point John retired Bloody Mary to build a new, faster, special with independent suspension augmenting the two JAP engines from Bloody Mary with two more to fashion beast with four JAP vee twins.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

After the 1939 – 1945 war, in which half brother Richard lost his life serving in the RAF over Germany, John rebuilt Bloody Mary and from 1948 to 1953 he held the VSCC course record at Prescott with the machine in which he sat a mere 5″ off the ground. As Bloody Mary was becoming increasingly less competitive John’s competition driving career came to an end after a major accident in a race at Silverstone while driving a borrowed ERA.

Bloody Mary, 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend, Gurston Down

John became a well known author one of his most popular books was called “Specials” and journalist with Autosport Magazine, he never used a type writer preferring to use Biro and paper as the tools of his trade. His activities included commentating on motor racing events for the BBC and in a similar role he was immortalised on film with a cameo role in the comedy The Fast Lady.

Bloody Mary eventually found it’s way to the National Motor Museum with ownership passing to his widow Rosemary Bolster upon John’s death in 1984. The car is seen in these photo’s at the 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend run at Gurston Down earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “Schoolboys And A Handrill” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend – Gurston Down

On Sunday I made the first of what I hope will be many visits to Gurston Down for the 5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend hillclimb. Gurston Down just west of Salisbury is set on a working farm and was devised by six time British Hillclimb champion Tony Marsh in 1965.

Gurston Down, Wiltshire

The course is just over a half a mile long and rises a total 140 feet, it is also the only Hillclimb in the UK that starts on a downward slope. As I found out on Sunday the facilities and viewing areas are excellent and it is no surprise to hear that Gurston Down has won the Norrie Galbraith Memorial Trophy for best organised British Hillclimb Championship event a record eight times.

Mortimer, Porsche 911, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

After a cup of tea and obligatory bacon and egg roll in the excellent restaurant on arrival I made my way up to the Ashes Bend towards the top of the hill during the opening practice runs arriving in time to observe the second practice runs. Above Bob Mortimer lifts an inside front wheel in his Porsche 911 at the apex of Ashes.

Gates, Force LM, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

On his second practice run Johnathon Gates was forced into a bit of lawn mowing at Ashes bend as the back of his car stepped out unexpectedly under braking. No damage was done and he ended the day with 8th fastest time.

Rudge, Westfield SEi, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Mike Rudge is seen correcting oversteer / push coming out of Ashes in his Westfield SEi, he easily won his class by seven seconds more surprisingly to me he finished with 9th fastest time of the day beating a number of single seat open wheel cars in the process.

Stapely-Bealing, Formula 1300, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

During her second practice run Hannah Stapely-Bealing came by showing signs of contact with the Wiltshire scenery however the car was repaired and put in two timed runs, however the motor of her Formula 1300 Clubmans car was no longer running cleanly and she was around a second off her first practice run.

Bloody Mary, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

National Motor Museum Beaulieu kindly sent along former Autosport Technical Editor John Bolsters “Bloody Mary” Special for a welcome demonstration. The special started as a project for two teenagers to scare the cow’s in a nearby field and became a successful if by all accounts rather terrifying Brough Superior powered hill climb winner.

Penfound, Lester MG, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

I was introduced to another new, to me, manufacturer at Gurston namely Lester who built MG powered cars in the 1950’s. Stewart Penfound navigates the steep and tight Karousel in his example above.

Pamplin, MG XPAG Special, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Another interesting MG was Chris Pamplin’s MG XPAG Special as listed in the programme and 1935 MG Magnette according to the registration plate.

Spicer, Ferrari 328 GTB, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Standing out from an otherwise mostly red crowd of Ferrari’s was Mike Spicers Modena Yellow 328 GTB seen approaching Deer Leap which recorded 2nd fastest Ferrari time of the day.

Fanner, Subaru Impreza, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Lewis Fanner will have given his wife with whom he shares their Subaru Impreza a scare as he spun the car going into Karousel. Fortunately he did not hit anything and returned to the paddock for his one remaining run.

Hadfield, Lotus 22, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Simon Hadfield and Geoff Hunt shared this Lotus 22, originally designed for Formula Junior competition, and finished the faster of the two albiet second in class to the more modern Ensign LNF3 driven by Fyrth Crosse.

Beale, Ginetta G33, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Over the past couple of months the lines of Graham Beales class winning Ginetta G33 have really grown on me, apparently the idea for the Rover V8 powered car was conceived on a table cloth in a pizzeria by Mark Warklett and Noel Palmer.

Street, Ford Escort XR31, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Darren Street was another who found the entry to Karousel a bit tricky in his Ford Escort XR3i, here he is seen on his way to an appointment with the hay bales. Fortunately he suffered no injuries and he eventually drove to the top of the hill under his own steam.

Lewis, St Bruno Roughcutter,  Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Like the Bloody Mary Special Adrian Lewis’s St Bruno Roughcutter Clubman’s car has an Autosport connection it being the creation of Barry Foley, best known as Autosports ‘Catchpole’ cartoonist. Barry built the car in the early 1970’s crediting help from a variety of sources including design input from Maurice Phillipe himself a part time Clubmans racer when not busy designing Formula One cars.

Dent, Hornet F3,  Gurston Down, Wiltshire

On both of his timed runs Alistair Dent lost time when his tail got onto the grass on the exit of Karousel, which had the benefit of at least entertaining those of us watching, above Alistair is seen on his first run in the Hornet JAP powered 500 F3 car.

Chard, Mazda MX5, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

By for the most serious incident of the day was when Karl Chard left the road at Karousel and ended up going straight into the hay bales. Fortunately again Karl was unhurt which is more than can be said for the Mazda MX 5 which he shares with his brother Ian. At least all the wheels were still attached.

Flagg, Subaru Impreza STi, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

David Flagg lost 3/10ths of a second on his second timed run this display of wheel spin from his Subaru on the run to Deer Leap probably did not help his cause.

Hollier, Pilbeam MP62, Gurston Down, Wiltshire

Edward Hollier set best time of the day (BTD) running the course in 29.19 seconds in his Pilbeam MP62, both of his runs were quicker than the next fastest competitor Peter Smith who was driving a Force in the same class as Edward. Coincidentally Ed won last time that I saw him running at Wiscombe Park last month.

Another great day out at yet another great venue, if you have never been I doubt you will be disappointed.

Thanks for joining me on this “5th Tony Marsh Memorial Weekend” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Shameless plug my British Grand Preview can be found at Motorsports Unplugged on this link.


It’s Not A Pick Up Truck – Ferrari 150° Italia

Having snatched World Drivers Championship defeat from the jaws of Victory at the Abu Dahbi Grand Prix in 2010, where Fernando Alonso went into the last race of the season with a 15 point lead over third placed Sebastian Vettel but left 4 points in arrears to the German in the final Championship standings, Ferrari regrouped for 2011 building a new vehicle with the design credited to Aldo Costa and Nicholas Tombazis which was known at its launch as the F150 in celebration of Italy’s 150th unification anniversary.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Formula One attracts controversy like flies to jam and a large number of jokes by even the most technical minded Formula One anoraks aside it was not long before Ford objected to Ferrari’s use of the trade marked F150 name and eventually Ferrari settled on the 150° Italia in which the ‘°’ stands for the ordinal cento cinquantesimo or one hundred and fiftieth in English.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Technically Ferrari’s 2011 2.4 litre/146 cui V8 powered challenger was caught on the hop having failed to spot the potential handling benefits of off throttle blown diffusers, a failure which echoed Enzo Ferrari’s assertion that aerodynamics are for teams that cannot build engines.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

As a consequence Alonso was rarely in contention for podium finishes as Red Bull and McLaren who had refined their off throttle blown diffusers, won the opening 8 races of the 2011 season with Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull winning 6 and Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button driving McLarens winning the remaining two.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

For the ninth race of the season the British Grand Prix Ferrari had managed to persuade all the teams that they should run without off throttle blown diffusers, which basically hooked up an electronic engine programme to wind up the engine speed when the driver was off throttle to force hot air through the exhaust into the diffusers which produced additional downforce when running off throttle through the corners.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

In the prevalent wet conditions which dried through the race Alonso, starting third, managed to beat the Lewis Hamilton driving a McLaren and Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull to score the Ferrari teams only victory in 2011.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

By the next race the teams despite objections from Ferrari and the Ferrari powered Sauber team reverted to running off throttle blown diffusers in anticipation of a ban on these devices for 2012.

Ferrari 150° Italia, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Ferrari ended up a distant third in the manufactures championship behind Red Bull who scored six further victories to take their 2011 total to 12 and McLaren who scored four further victories in the 19 race season.

Fernando finished the 2011 championship 4th behind Vettel, Jenson Button and Mark Webber who scored just one point ahead of the Spaniard. De facto Ferrari number 2 driver Felipe Massa was lucky to keep his Ferrari seat for 2012 after he finished 6th in the championship 99 points behind Lewis Hamilton having failed finish any higher the 5th all season.

Thanks for joining me on this “It’s Not A Pick Up Truck” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !