Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bruno Spengler; a Canadian Battler

While I admit to have been impressed when TSN responded to my....question (we'll leave it at that shall we?) about where the praise was for Bruno Spengler winning the 2012 DTM title last week at Hockenheim, I wasn't that happy to see it only warranted all of 10 lines of text.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Now, you could probably make a claim to Spengler not being Canadian at all given he was born in France. But he moved to a town in Quebec when he was three, and races with the red maple leaf on the side of his car, so that's good enough for me.

In winning the season-ending, and title deciding, race last Sunday, he became the first Canadian to win a major international racing title since 2003 (Paul Tracy in Champ Car) and the first to do it in Europe since 1997 (Jacques Villeneuve in F1).

Finally, after eight years, Bruno enjoys the moment.

He's come close to winning the DTM the last few seasons when he was in contention towards the end but fell short (a pair of thirds in 2010 and 2011). 2012 saw a big shakeup as he switched from Mercedes-Benz to BMW. I say shakeup as, while BMW have a mighty impressive racing history, they haven't raced in the DTM this millenium....and I think we all can agree that the car business moves along at a pretty fast pace in the technology and performance department.

It was therefore a big surprise when, in just their second race since their return, Spengler nabbed the win at Lausitz. He followed that up with wins at the Nurburgring and Oschersleben and rolled into Hockenheim just three points behind Gary Paffett (who is McLaren's test driver not exactly a duffer behind the wheel).

Despite qualifying behind Paffett, Spengler got a near-perfect start and soon took the lead from his fellow BMW driver, Augusto Farfus, when he made a mistake on the first lap. Bruno was able to build a lead to four seconds before the pitstops. Paffett managed to jump Farfus and emerge second once the stops were done and did his best to nibble away at the gap, getting to within a second, but it just wasn't enough as Spengler held his nerve to clinch the title in his eighth year of trying.

Bruno takes the chequered flag, winning the title in style.

So from someone who appreciates that accomplishment, congratulations to you, Bruno...maybe you can shed that nickname of 'the secret Canadian' now eh?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chrysler looking at V8 Supercars

V8 Supercars could return to the 'old days' where multiple manufacturers battle each other instead of just the two we have now. With the introduction of the 'car of the future' in 2013, the V8 big wigs are encouraging other car companies to enter. BMW, Mercedes and Toyota have all been touted as possibilities, but Chrysler are the first to actually confirm V8 Supercars is an option.

Chrysler are getting prepared to launch the next generation of 300C and the V8's are heading to America next year...could be a case of perfect timing.

It wouldn't be the first time the 300C has been used in a touring car series though. Back in 2008, the German group, Zakspeed, raced a 300C SRT 8 in the Italian Superstar Series.