American racing driver Jon Miller has started a petition to try to convince Porsche Motorsport to make the last race in the 2013 Porsche Supercup championship a non-points race so that the late Sean Edwards, who is in first place in the series but was killed recently while instructing at a driving school, will win the title.
Says Miller: We want to make sure that Sean goes down in the record books, as he was in the hearts and minds of his family, friends and competitors, (as) a champion. Even his competitors can’t argue: Sean Edwards has dominated Porsche Supercup this year. He deserves the title.”
Drivers Andy Lally and Marino Franchitti have signed on and are urging their fans and Twitter followers to follow their lead. Interested? Click here for a link to the petition.
Now, I was asked (with others) to publicize this — and I did. But I won’t sign it.
I’m sorry Sean is gone, but that’s the chance you take when you participate in a high-speed sport. But to call a halt to a championship because the guy who’s in front isn’t around to defend his lead is more than a little much.
Jochen Rindt is the only F1 world champion to win the tittle posthumously. He was killed while practicing for the Italian Grand Prix in 1970. He had won five of the 10 races to that point and had a healthy lead in the championship. Did anybody suggest then that they declare the season over?
Of course not. And Jackie Ickx gave it his best shot but could only win two of the last four races and thus fell short of catching Rindt.
Which is exactly how it should have turned out then — and should now. If Sean Edwards is meant to win that championship, he will.
The selling out of Formula One is continuing. The news this week that 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat would drive for Scuderia Toro Rosso next season wouldn’t be so astonishing if it wasn’t so sad.
Although he’s not a “winner” in the classic sense (you actually have to win races and championships to be awarded that honour), he’s done okay in GP3 this year and that’s a series that's seen two of its champions, Esteban Gutierrez and Valtteri Bottas, go on to F1. Significantly, he’s also been driving in European F3 this season, which indicates he has more than the normal amount of big-money backing.
While the natural progression would be to go from GP3 to GP2 and then, maybe, to F1, the guys with megabucks are skipping GP2 and going directly to F1 and the teams are welcoming them with open arms.
He might have had his faults (and that’s putting it mildly) but Max Mosley was right when he was president of the FIA and tried to talk the F1 teams into a cap system that would have stopped, or at least put the brakes on, their out-of-control spending.
The big boys — Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren — fought back and the limit on spending didn’t happen. And yet look at what’s taken place since? With the exception of those three teams at the top, plus Mercedes, all others — and that now includes Toro Rosso — must depend on their drivers bringing money just to stay in business.
And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
GoDaddy might have withdrawn from the IndyCar Series, but its CEO is wild about Oakville’s James Hinchcliffe, who will be in Toronto Thursday to make the draw at Woodbine for Sunday’s Pattison Canadian International horse race. Blake Irving has been quoted as saying that the company would be very open to doing business with him again in future.
In an interview with the AP’s Jenna Fryer, Irving said this:
“The highest compliment I can pay is he's the kind of guy I'd love to just have a beer with, besides being an unbelievable spokesman for the company, an incredibly talented driver and a guy who has got very, very creative ideas.
“I definitely wouldn't rule out GoDaddy working with James again in the future. There's a lot of options, a lot of ideas we've been discussing as a company, and we are so positive on him.”
And here’s something for all the Danica haters out there to chew on.
After explaining that IndyCar “is the most expensive acquisition vehicle we have, (it’s) pretty expensive on a per-customer cost,” Irving made it clear that GoDaddy is very happy with NASCAR and Patrick.
“We frankly love Danica and think that Danica represents and personifies what GoDaddy represents — small businesses and people who have ideas,” Irving said.
“Here's a woman who had an idea and went through the challenges to become a driver in a male-dominated sport. She represents the idea that the totally impossible is possible and we love that kind of person.
“She's going to be with us for an awful, awful long time.”
And I have a friend, one of the top marketers in the United States, who told me a few weeks ago that if GoDaddy ever decides to end the relationship with Patrick, there is a lineup of companies, particularly those who deal in feminine hygene products and other pharmaceuticals, ready to sign her up.
NASCAR Vice President of Innovation and Racing Development, Gene Stefanyshyn, a native of Oshawa, has been presented with the 2013 Engineering Achievement Award by Ketteringt University for his contribution and lasting effect in the field of engineering.
Stefanyshyn, a 1981 graduate of the Flint, Mich.-based university who went to high school in Oshawa at Eastdale Collegiate, got his masters at the University of Western Ontario and began his career as a co-op engineering student at GM of Canada in 1976, received the honor for his more than 30 years with General Motors, many as a member of its senior leadership team.
Throughout his three-decade career at GM, Stefanyshyn held increasingly senior roles spanning all facets of vehicle design and development, global project management, engineering strategy, finance, manufacturing and quality control.
Western Canada;’s Northern Provincial Pipelines is sending two Canadian racers south for some late-fall racing. NPP Late Model Champion Darrell Midgley of Sidney, B.C., will race in the Fall Classic at the dirt track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend (Oct. 24-26) and two-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion D.J. Kennington will be at the Phoenix International Raceway round of the NASCAR K&N Series scheduled for Nov. 7-9.
Said NPP owner Dwight Kennedy: “For several years we’ve had cars compete in Phoenix and Vegas, so it’s basically a tradition now.”
The Grand Prix of India will take place this coming weekend and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at Martinsville. Sebastian Vettel will very likely wrap up the world championship — his fourth straight — with three races remaining after this one while the Sprint Cup Chase, which is now essentially between Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth, will likely go down to the last race of the season, of which there will be three after Virginia.
That’s the sum total of my weekend advance. My dear aunt, Jean Snell, whose picture graced the cover of Toronto Star Wheels in the fall of 2012 after I took her for a ride in a Chevrolet Volt, has died at age 96 and I have to spend time with the family.
See you next week.
- NORRIS McDONALD