Australian Racing’s Biggest Crashes Of 2013 Part II

Australian V8 Supercars, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Spultured

Here’s the second half of our top 10 Aussie motorsport crashes of 2013. What’s your number one?

5. Scott Pye

V8 Supercar Championship
Symmons Plains, Tasmania

4. Steel Guiliana

Australian Formula 3 Drivers’ Championship
Hidden Valley Raceway, Darwin

3. Adam Marjoram

V8 Utes
Gold Coast

2. Brendon Tucker

Aussie Racing Cars
Homebush, Sydney

1. James Courtney

V8 Supercar Championship
Phillip Island, Victoria

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Australian Racing’s Biggest Crashes Of 2013 – Part I

Australian V8 Supercars, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Spultured

Ladies and gentlemen, here is Spultured’s list of Australian motorsport’s top ten crashes of 2013.

Being involved with motorsport, you see the highest of highs – with drivers standing on the podium and spraying champagne, yet also the lowest of lows – as drivers face death as they tumble and crash at unbelievably high speeds. And this year, like every year, our Aussie drivers showed just how strong and safe these racing cars are.

Note: none of these crashes were fatal and all drivers walked away with non-life threatening injuries.

10. Gus Robbins, Darren Chamberlin and Clarke Quinn

Aussie Racing Cars
Gold Coast

9. John Magro and Ben Gersekowski

Australian Formula 3 Drivers’ Championship
Symmons Plains, Tasmania

8. Six-car V8 crash

V8 Supercar Championship
Hidden Valley, Darwin

7. Glenn Seton and Andrew Miedecke

Australian Touring Car Masters
Mount Panorama, Bathurst

6. Simon Hodge

Formula Ford
Homebush, Sydney

Check back tomorrow for our top five!

Cheers Mark, G’Day Dan

Formula 1, Spultured

Well, another season of Formula 1 is done and dusted, with the time now coming to say goodbye to our Aussie mate, Mark Webber.

And what a great finale at Brazil. Webber got an OK start (for him…) before carving through the field, making outstanding passes on Lewis Hamilton and one of his best mates Fernando Alonso, proving to me that he still has it – even at his last race. Watching him just made me realise this was going to be the last time we were going to see old mate Webber on the track in a Formula 1 car.

Webber had a fantastic career, showing us Australians that he could do it and by hell – he has made us proud. It was just fantastic to see him holding the Aussie flag on the podium in Brazil and I’m sure he will be doing our country just as proud while racing for Porsche next year.

Before all of the fame and fast race cars, Webber took the gamble to go from racing Formula Fords in Australia to trying his hand in Europe. Along the way he made it look possible that even without a lot of money, you could still make it to the pinnacle of motor racing.

webber

And thank God he did. With Webber departing from Red Bull Racing and ditching his rival Sebastian Vettel, our fresh new Aussie talent Daniel Ricciardo gets his chance. Stepping up from the Toro Rosso Formula 1 team to Red Bull Racing, he gets his show with arguably the strongest team in the series, period.

Ricciardo of course will have a tonne of pressure next year, but the young Aussie knows he can do it. Moreover, the blonde German won’t threaten him, something which is slightly hard to imagine considering his teammate is a four times world champion.

So Mark, you have done Australia proud over the years. From your first Grand Prix in Australia, to finishing on the podium in your final race, we have been lucky to have someone like yourself. You demonstrated to the world what true Aussie grit really is. Thankyou, you’ve been a blast to watch.

Now c’mon Dan, show this German how it is done.

Why Hatchbacks Are Manly

Spultured

I know what you’re thinking. This article is written by a female. But before you run out and rev your V8, hear me out. There are some seriously hot hatches out there right now and they have some intense horsepower. A lot more than your V8 Commy, actually.

Being a female who loves cars, I am just following the stereotype that men dislike hatchbacks. And working in cars, I have had my fair share of male customers whinging about how much power these hatchbacks have.

They’re just threatened.

car 1

Look at Ford. They re-created the Focus, marking it up from a chic-city car to something with serious grunt. The Ford Focus XR5, using a Volvo five-cylinder turbo-charged motor was the start of this evolution, but it wasn’t until 2010 that they released their beast out of its cage. The Ford Focus RS, released in electric green, was rated by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson as one of the best cars he had ever driven… Wow.  The 2.5-litre 20-valve engine puts out 224kW and 440Nm of torque. Who would’ve known?

car 2

If Ford isn’t fancy enough for you, try out the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Yes, most of you would shit your pants if you drove this bad boy. The new 2013 model has had some upgrades, with the 2.0-litre turbocharged motor now weighing 7.8 less kilos and putting out 162kW and 350Nm of torque. Yeah, who would have known a five-door hatch could do that?

car 3

Then there’s the canary yellow Renault Megane Sport 265 Trophy. With only 500 released worldwide, everyone would have wanted just a little test drive. This Renault Sports model can reach a top speed of 254km/h, with total horsepower of 265.

Still not sold? Well, check this.

car 4

The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is sex-on-wheels. With this Benz being compared to a race car, most enthusiasts will agree this AMG is second-to-none. With a 2.0 turbocharged motor, it kicks out 265kW and 450Nm when you put your foot down (on a race track, of course). Then add AWD grip and a seven dual-clutch system that makes it growl on downshifts, you’ve got a serious recipe for a hot hatch.

So you’re still not interested? Understood. I will let you get back to your V8 Commodore, I mean I don’t blame you; they probably won’t be around for much longer. This is the future, and it’s goddamn exciting.

How To Punt This Bathurst

Australian V8 Supercars, Spultured

153586177

Can’t decide how to bet at Mount Panorama this year? We’ve got you covered.

At the moment, Sandown 500 winners and reigning Bathurst champions Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell are sitting at $3.00, with their teammates for the great race Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff at $4.33. Red Bull’s season has not been as dominant as previous yearsbut they still continue to lead this year’s championship.

Next up is Ford Performance Racing. Mark Winterbottom is partnering up with Steven Richards, with ‘Frosty‘ looking for his first win at the mountain ($7.50). Teammate Will Davison has previously won Bathurst with the Holden Racing Team, with Davison partnering up with Steve Owen ($8.00). Ford has shown great pace this year, but unfortunate pit stops have cost them the championship lead.

Holden Racing Team, this year have James Courtney joining Greg Murphy to make a fiery duo and are currently priced at $9.00. Keep an eye out also for Garth Tander and Nick Percat who are at $13.

Brad Jones Racing present a dark horse, with victories coming their way throughout this year’s V8 Championship. Jason Bright will be teaming up with Andrew Jones, and at $18 they offer a bit of value, as do Fabian Coulthard and Luke Youlden.

A great car to put money on would be David Reynolds and Dean Canto, with the duo finishing a close second to Whincup and Dumbrell last year. The Bottle-O Falcon currently stands at $26. A real smokey however are young guns Scott McLaughlin and Jack Perkins. McLaughlin this year took the record for being the youngest driver ever to win a V8 Supercars race, with Jack Perkins bringing a wealth of knowledge to the pair. This duo, running for Gary Rogers, currently sit at $26.

So there you have it – there’s plenty of value around, even if you are having a punt just to make laps 1-140 that bit more interesting. Either way, Bathurst is definitely not something you want to miss this Sunday.

What A Bloody Rush

Film and TV, Formula 1, Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, Spultured

RUSH

Ladies and Gentleman, fasten your seatbelts because Rush is by far one of the most inspiring yet adrenalin pumping movies you could ever watch. Whether you’re a racing fanatic or know nothing about those things that move on four wheels, this movie is a winner.

Directed by Academy Award Winner Ron Howard and written by Peter Morgan, Rush is based on the true story of Niki Lauder and James Hunt’s rivalry in Formula 1 back in the late 70’s, entering a world that most Formula 1 fans would have never discovered.

The movie is rather long, but definitely worth the time. It starts off with Lauder and Hunt’s rivalry back in the Formula 3 days, showing straight from the start how different the two characters were and how they progressed to the pinnacle of open wheel racing leading in two different directions.

If you aren’t familiar with the rivalry between these two amazing drivers and the 1976 Formula 1 season, I’d strongly suggest you Google it before watching the movie. The way Howard conducts the life of these two drivers is impeccable, with Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt) and Daniel Brühl (Niki Lauder) turning in outstanding performances as these Formula 1 champions.

This movie shows the audience just how dedicated you have to be to race in Formula 1, especially when it’s life or death. Rush will definitely keep you on the edge throughout, making you wonder just how those two drivers survived racing all those years ago.

If you loved Senna and World’s Fastest Indian, I’d strongly suggest you go see this when it hits cinemas (October 3). Rush follows a similar storyline to the World’s Fastest Indian, yet draws you in on the true story just like Senna. Motorsport fan or not, this movie is a must see.

Keep your eyes peeled and go feel the rush – everyone’s driven by something.

Why Car of the Future is Good

Australian V8 Supercars, Spultured

event 02 of the 2013 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series

I’m sure all us motorsport fans have thought it. V8 Supercars is built around the support of bogans and you’re either a Ford or Holden fan. So much speculation was built up across the 2012 season with Nissan and Mercedes-AMG barging their way through the series, but it’s been the best thing yet for the sport.

I have personally followed the V8 Supercar series my whole life. I remember watching the greats like Dick Johnson and Peter Brock battle it out for all of us Holden and Ford fans. I honestly was a sceptic a year ago and I thought this Car of the Future thing wouldn’t work – well, how wrong was I!

Unfortunately for Ford fans, the Falcon is dying in the series, with only six from the blue oval on the grid for this season. Although this hasn’t stopped the blue army from winning races – with three Ford drivers taking wins this season.

Championship wise, you could say it is the tightest battle in the history of the sport and heading into the Enduro season it will definitely be a race to the finish line for the championship at Sandown, Bathurst and on the Gold Coast.

Jame Whincup, who dominated the series last year with his teammate Craig Lowndes alongside him at Triple Eight has endured an interesting season, not winning nearly every race. In fact, Whincup hasn’t won that many at all, as there have been 12 different race winners to date this year (and it’s only just passed halfway through the season).

Not only are more people taking the cake on race wins, there are some top-notch rookies hitting the scene this year. For instance, Scott McLaughlin has won three races this season and also broke the record for being the youngest driver in V8 history to win a race at 19. Then came along young Chaz Mostert, who won Dick Johnson Racing’s first race in two years at Queensland Raceway a few weekends ago.

With more young rookies running in the Dunlop Development Series this year, who knows how next year’s season will go, especially now that two rookies to the series have taken race wins.

Volvo will also join the V8 category next year, so it will only spice up the category for what is to come. Rumours have circulated for what other manufacturers will join the category next year, but of course they won’t tell you until it unfolds!

At this stage of the competition, I definitely wouldn’t be placing bets on who wins the championship this season, so hold on race fans for what is to come!

The Formula 1 Line-up Of Beards

Formula 1, Spultured

In recent years, I have noticed a new trend appearing across the Formula 1 field and it isn’t helmet design. Apparently now it’s all about the facial hair you’re sporting under the lid. Let’s take a look at some of the heavy hitters when it comes to those fuzzy face warmers.

hamilton

The Lewis Hamilton
Having recently made a switch into the Mercedes team, Hamilton is pictured here running in the clean-cut look. This is where the beard highlights the outside of the face, while having a shorter haircut. Also known to be very aerodynamic.

bearded feature

The Button Blonde Babe
Having one World Championship up his belt, the McLaren driver has made this blonde-babe look very popular among his rival, Sebastian Vettel. Jenson Button’s facial hair is blonde in colour, highlighting his messy hair-look. Also works well with helmet hair.

rosberg

The Nico DiCaprio
After recently cutting his long blonde locks, Nico Rosberg has gone for the rougher, edgier look. Having similar looks to Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosberg’s beard is neat but brings out his Hollywood style. This look works well with winning races.

webber

The Webber-Wolf
The retiring Australian has let his beard go wild this year, representing a similar style to Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. Mark Webber is pictured here with his cat, with his beard dark in colour and wildly un-shaven, matching his hair. This look works well with Multi-21.

raikkonen

The Iceman
Kimi Raikkonen, aka. The Iceman, runs a clean look with no facial fuzz, as he has to keep his reputation up as The Iceman. Also known to not show emotion.

grosjean

The Peach Fuzz
Romain Grosjean was famous for his turn one crashes last year, but the facial hair he is sporting looks like he hasn’t shaved since he started his F1 career. The Lotus driver’s facial hair highlights his youth, running the bare minimum on the face. This look works well with going into turn one on three wheels.

GP USA F1/2012

The Fernando Alonso
This cheeky Ferrari driver has been in the game for a while and knows how to grow a mean mow. Fernando Alonso is pictured here with a faint moustache and beard, while keeping his chunky brows neat. Also known to look good with the colour red.

While some of the younger and developing drivers in the field are trying to grow more facial hair, let’s just hope the 2014 list doesn’t include any ‘The Nigel Mansell’.

Dick Johnson: I’m in the Sh*t

Australian V8 Supercars, Spultured
Dick Johnson at his workshop in Stapylton, Queensland

Dick Johnson at his workshop in Stapylton, Queensland

Most 68-year-olds would be celebrating their success and settling down to retire, but for V8 Touring Car legend Dick Johnson, things have taken a turn for the worst.

Johnson, who has been involved in the V8 Supercar industry for over three decades, recently came out and told the media that he is broke, simply putting it as he is ‘in the shit’, having lost $9.1m dollars in recent years due to dodgy deals surrounding sponsorship for his team Dick Johnson Racing.

A company called Westpoint came on-board with Dick Johnson Racing after Shell Helix ended their sponsorship contract with the team, with the company later becoming bankrupt and costing Dick Johnson Racing millions.

Since Westpoint’s failed sponsorship, Dick Johnson and his team have struggled to make it by. Johnson then decided to create a phone company called Firstrock, with the company one year later falling to pieces.

Jim Beam then came to DJR’s rescue, sponsoring the team until the 2013 season. Things were looking up for the team here, with Dick Johnson Racing securing their first V8 Championship in decades with James Courtney, who later moved to Holden Racing Team.

Since Courtney’s departure, Dick Johnson Racing is yet to pick up another race win. Steven Johnson (Dick Johnson’s son) was forced to leave the team this year and opted for the Porsches in the Carrera Cup series, as another driver was able to bring more money to the team.

John Reid was the driver set to replace Junior Johnson (Editor’s note: *muted laughter*) at the start of the year, but not long after the first couple of races was replaced by young Ford Performance Racing driver Chaz Mostert.

Dick Johnson is currently living on $365 per week, just getting by. Johnson also noted that he is paying his employees correctly and the only thing he owns a part of in the company is the workshop.

A new book will be released soon, highlighting the struggles of Dick Johnson Racing and also his personal life. You ought go out and buy it and give the old fella a hand!

A Tribute to Retiring Webber

Formula 1, Spultured

mark_webber_5

Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber last night ended all of the rumours circulating the pit paddock and announced he will be moving from the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team to be apart of Porsche’s World Endurance Championship sportscar program.

We can’t ignore the fact that Webber and his young German teammate Sebastian Vettel did not get along like a house on fire, but this was not a considering factor of why the Australian decided to leave the sport.

The 36-year-old believed it was perfect timing to join Porsche’s program, as he believes it is a sensational challenge and the perfect timing for his future work.

With Webber announcing this ground-shaking news, I thought it was time that I’d look at the highlights of the Aussie’s racing career and how it all started.

It all began in 1991, when Mark started racing sprint go-karts around Australia competing against some great names in Australian motorsport. It was only a few years later in 1994 when Webber started racing in open-wheelers.

Formula Ford in Australia in the mid-nineties was the lead way for young Australian drivers who wanted to further their motor racing career.

Mark Webber in his Formula Ford

Mark Webber in his Formula Ford

Mark Webber then struggled with funds for his racing, going over to the UK with virtually no money. Webber raced at the prestigious Formula Ford Festival in 1995 at the Brands Hatch circuit, finishing an astonishing third place on debut.

The 19-year-old at the time was then offered a factory drive with Van Diemen to compete in the European and British Formula Ford championships. Webber went on to win the 1996 British Formula Ford festival that year, which in many cases was known to be a gateway for Formula 1.

After competing in Formula Ford for three years, Webber graduated to Formula 3000 with Alan Docking Racing for the 1997 championship in Europe. Without having a stronger financial backing like Webber and his team had in the Formula Ford season, Webber and the team nearly had to pull out of racing the category halfway through. Fortunately an Australian personal investor came on board and financially helped Webber out.

Webber was approached at the end of his Formula 3 campaign by Mercedes-AMG to compete in a sports car race. He traveled all around the world racing at Japan, Europe and the United States, but his sports car career came to an early end after an aerodynamic fault, which caused Webber to go airborne and flip twice in practice for the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Webber escaped without injury, but this ended the Mercedes campaign and saw Webber return to open-wheel racing.

Mark Webber's aerodynamic failure at Le Mans

Mark Webber’s aerodynamic failure at Le Mans

Webber made his first steps in Formula 1 in 1999, testing for Arrows F1 team. It wasn’t until 2002 when Mark made his debut racing in Formula 1, where he was teamed up with Minardi Asiatech. Webber impressed on his debut, racing at his home Australian Grand Prix. He qualified 18th for the race, but managed to climb his way through the field to grab fifth place, claiming the first ever points for the Minardi Asiatech team.

2009 marked an important year when Webber was racing for Red Bull that Webber qualified on pole for the first time in Formula 1 at the Nüburgring. This was the first time an Australian driver had claimed pole position since Alan Jones back in 1980. He went on to achieve his first Formula 1 victory despite receiving a drive through penalty early in the race for causing an avoidable collision at the start. Webber went on to dominate the race and win ahead of his teammate Vettel, heading a Red Bull 1–2.

Mark Webber's debut in Formula 1 finishing in fifth

Mark Webber’s debut in Formula 1 finishing in fifth

After the German Grand Prix, Webber was ready to take charge in the championship campaign for 2010, having great success in the season taking victories at the Spanish, Monaco and Hungarian Grand Prix’s. Webber unfortunately lost the championship battle to his younger teammate Sebastian Vettel, but finished in third place.

As the tension grew between Vettel and Webber at Red Bull, Webber was determined to go better in 2011. The Australian had to wait all year to claim victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but remained consistent throughout the year to claim third place in the driver’s championship.

After coming so close the previous year’s before for the championship title, Webber in 2012 won the British and Monaco Grand Prix’s, which he claims to this day are his sweetest victories.

Webber this year haven’t yet claimed a race victory and is currently sixth in the championship, so it was very interesting to find out that he announced the end of his Formula 1 campaign. He has come so close, yet for the 36-year-old other plans have come in the way and the Aussie believes Porsches is the way to go.

Mark Webber celebrating at Monaco in 2012

Mark Webber celebrating at Monaco in 2012

Despite having a huge crash at Le Man’s many years ago in his AMG-Mercedes, Webber believes he can overcome his fear of racing at Le Mans and give it a red hot go.

All the best to Webber and his sports car career, it will be sad to see an Australian leave the sport who has brought much joy to the Formula 1 paddock and will be sadly missed.

Let’s see if our young Aussie driver at Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo can take his seat at Red Bull Racing!