Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Obligatory Intro

Hey, you. Yes. YOU!

Yeah, I'm not actually starting with that one. That'd be fairly lame, right? Hello and welcome to my new little motorsports blog that I've set up... frankly just because that horrible 140-character limit is getting a tad too restrictive for speaking my opinion. You know? Twitter. The thing that's been doing so well for replacing blogs after all. If you're expecting revelations, technical knowledge or insight, I have none. Just a guy from Russia that watches too much racing. And pretty much nothing else.

If, in spite of this, you feel the need to stick around and read some of my rambling incoherence, filled with grammar errors and other stuff, here's the scoop: 18, Russian, on and off fan of F1 and, most recently, other autosport categories, videogame and football (that's soccer for some of you) enthusiast and professional sarcastic jerk.

Let's go a little more in-depth into that third one, shall we. It's what the blog is about after all:

F1. The biggest autosport category there is, F1 has for me, like surely for many others, been the jumping off point into watching autoracing. And, while it's not the only category I watch anymore, it still remains one of the most entertaining ones. A spectacle. An incredible show. The highlight of every weekend when it's on.

What does "on and off" really mean when it comes to me watching F1? Not really sure on that myself. Pretty sure I watched some of it during the Schumi years, lamenting the absolute dominance of the German (or, at least, I think so). Caught the first Alonso title in 2005. Saw the spectacular ending to the 2008 championship and first half of 2009. Got seriously back into it second half of 2010 (falling out with football helped - the terrible referee calls during the WC 2010 invoked a stunning hatred of the sport's officials and the incapability to get totally into it anymore). Now and, probably for a very long time, F1 is my favorite thing to watch and nothing seems to even come close.

Favorites: Mark Webber, Jenson Button, compatriot Vitaly Petrov, the new Michael Schumacher.

Feeder series. Casual fans of F1 probably don't know that there's an entire diverse wonderful world of different leagues, races and other great things that lead a driver into F1. Found that out last year myself. Official feeders like GP2 and GP3 (if I'm not mistaken, half the grid are GP2 graduates), the WSR championship (Kubica, Vergne, Ricciardo and others), the new AutoGP (Grosjean's way to GP2 and F1) and tons of sub-series to these. Forget the fact that there are future F1 championships driving in there right now - even as standalones, with drivers switching series and teams, loads of familiar faces and great one-make racing - that is something to watch. And, well, I do.

Favorites: Richie Stanaway (World Series by Renault driver, German F3 champion), James Calado (GP2 driver, GP3 vice-champion), Robert Wickens (World Series by Renault champion, left without an F1 seat for 2012 because the world is a horrible place without justice, suspected future DTM driver with Mercedes)

Touring Cars. While F1 is something you can easily catch on Russian TV, DTM, WTCC and V8 were... not. Which is a great shame, too, because for the most part, these series offer racing that's a lot more condensed and bumpy. Plenty of intrigue there, too, due to the common two-race a weekend structure.

Plenty to watch there for a fellow F1 fan, as well. Many F1 retirees and hopefuls take up touring racing alongside single-seaters. Such was the case with Paul Di Resta, who won the DTM title in 2010 to end up in F1 in 2011. Such is the case with Tiago Monteiro, ex-F1 driver for Jordan, now in contention for the top-5 in WTCC. Such is the case with David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher who are racing in DTM. Such is the case with Roberto Merhi and Robert Wickens, two of the best single-seater prospects looking to break into world-class racing with very likely DTM spots in 2012.

Favorites: Tom Coronel and Norbert "Pigeon-hunter" Michelisz (WTCC), Bruno Spengler and Mike Rockenfeller (DTM)

Oval Racing. Probably a sore spot for most European racing fans who consider NASCAR and the like to be all left turns and boredom, in my eyes, that is anything but true. Disregarding the fact that driving on an oval isn't as easy as you'd expect, it gets a lot harder when there's twenty cars in spitting distance of you.

Only real knock I have against these things is they start way too late in the day and go on for far too long. But, oh well. It's still racing.

Favorites: Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth for NASCAR, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Rubens Barrichello and Tony Kanaan for IndyCar (if that is still to be qualified as oval racing, that is)

Rally. Not the TV-friendliest of sports, but still has been a favorite of mine, even despite the 8-in-a-row championships of Sebastien Loeb in WRC. Because, despite that, it's still highly competitive (winning by a margin of less than 10 points is not uncommon for Loeb, twice he has won by ONE point), fairly unpredictable and gorgeous to look at.

Favorites: Mads Ostberg and Sebastien Ogier for WRC

Motorcycle Racing. While it's not entirely fair to chalk all of motorcycling to one category, I feel I have already bored everyone sufficiently about 1537 paragraphs ago, so there you are. While last year's MotoGP was dominated by Aussie biker Casey Stoner in a complete Vettelian way, in British Superbikes one second was the difference between the title and the closest rival. There's absolutely no reason for autosport fans to ever look down on MotoGP, motocross and other disciplines - in essence, they offer more of the same and are just as varied as their four-wheel alternatives.

Favorites: Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies for MotoGP are all top-class riders and I honestly would be happy to see any one of them grab the title in 2012.

So, that's the list in a nutshell. Obviously, this is just my take on the diverse world of racing, there are plenty more competitions and categories I've omitted, but, in short - yes, this is what I watch and this is what I watch regularly. So, stay tuned for whatever you're staying tuned for in this little web thingie I'm doing - hopefully you'll enjoy it, because I know I will.