This weekend does not bring the excitement of last did with the Women’s World Cup, but there are three notable events, two of which are even sports related.
First up is the German Grand Prix from the famed Nurburgring in the Eifel Mountains. Nurburgring was also the site of the 1961 German Grand Prix. Continuing with this year’s homage to the 50th anniversary of the Championship season for my late friend Phil Hill, let’s go back for a minute to the sounds and smell of The Ring in 1961.
Nurburgring was a far different circuit in the 60s than it is today. Phil Hill took pole position in qualifying by shattering the lap record, becoming the first person to lap in under 9 minutes, with a stunning lap of 8 minutes 55.2 seconds (153.4 km/h or 95.3 mph) in the famed Ferrari 156 “Sharknose”. In the race though, Phil could not match Stirling Moss in his Lotus-Climax. Here is the Wiki description:
The race was won by British driver Stirling Moss driving a Lotus 18/21 for privateer outfit the Rob Walker Racing Team. Moss started from the second row of the grid and lead every lap of the race. It was the first German Grand Prix victory for a rear-engined car since Bernd Rosemeyer’s Auto Union Type C took victory in 1936. Moss finished just over 20 seconds ahead of Ferrari 156 drivers Wolfgang von Trips and Phil Hill, breaking a four-race consecutive run of Ferrari victories. The result pushed Moss into third place in the championship points race, becoming the only driver outside of Ferrari’s trio of von Trips, Hill and Richie Ginther still in contention to become the 1961 World Champion with two races remaining.
It was the last home country appearance for points leader von Trips before his death at the Italian Grand Prix five weeks later. His second place finish saw Ferrari secure the constructors’ championship. The remaining championship points scorers were all from British racing teams. Scottish driver Jim Clark (Lotus 21) was fourth for Team Lotus; former motorcycle World Champion John Surtees (Cooper T53) was fifth for Yeoman Credit Racing and young New Zealander Bruce McLaren was sixth in his factory-run Cooper T58.
The Nurburgring of today is a far different, more sterile and safer track, and much shorter, with a length of just under 3 miles as opposed to the former 14 miles plus. Mark Webber of Red Bull was fast in practice Friday and took pole today with a surprising P2 for Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. Sebastian Vettel in the other Red Bull is in P3, the first time he will not start from the front row this year. The Ferraris of Alonso and Massa will start in P4 and P5 respectively. The race day weather forecast is for cool temperatures, clouds and some rain, which should make for a very interesting race. Again, the assholes at Rupert Murdoch’s Fox TV will make US F1 fans watch the race on a tape delay, starting at 12 EST and 9 am PST.
In other sporting news, it looks like the great NFL Football lockout is in Read more