Williams drivers pleased with improvement in Germany

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Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado have both praised the team for making a step forward despite failing to score for the ninth race in a row in 2013.

The team, celebrating its 600th grand prix this weekend, saw its drivers get into the top ten thanks to an alternative strategy, yet both cars came unstuck late on in the race to crawl home in 15th and 16th place, with Maldonado suffering from an issue in the pits.

“It was a good race for us today as we put everything together and we were on for some points,” Maldonado said in a team statement. “It’s disappointing to finish where we did today after the problem with the pitstops but we have to look at the positives and move forward from this.”

Bottas was similarly disappointed not to score, although he does believe that the team has improved its race pace.

“We didn’t get a good start today as we had a few problems getting away from the line,” Bottas explained. “We also lost some time in both pitstops so we need to work out what happened there. The race pace was better than we had seen previously this weekend which meant that we could have been challenging for points, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”

Williams are currently enduring their worst ever start to a Formula One season, failing to score in any of the opening nine races and currently sitting 9th in the constructors’ championship, level on points with Caterham and Marussia.

NHRA: New book a celebration of life, love and drag racing

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The overpowering smell from nitromethane that powers Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars in the National Hot Rod Association oftentimes brings fans to tears after getting a whiff of the stuff.

Now there’s a new inspirational book that will also bring tears to the eyes of die-hard drag racing fans.

Veteran crew chief Jim Oberhofer has released “Top Fuel For Life, Life Lessons From A Crew Chief,” a touching homage to both his late wife and persevering and overcoming adversity in the highly competitive world of NHRA drag racing.

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Oberhofer wears a number of hats as vice president of one of the sport’s most veteran and successful teams, Kalitta Motorsports, including serving as crew chief for Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta’s dragster.

Oberhofer relates a number of stories about overcoming adversity in the book, but none more touching than how he watched his beloved wife “Tammy O” lose a long and painful battle to stage 4 metastatic lung cancer.

While Oberhofer has spent his life using wrenches and tools working on 10,000-horsepower engines, his new book shows that he is also a very gifted writer.

Known in the sport as “Jim O,” Oberhofer describes the fight his wife went through in gritty and descriptive prose, but with a foundation built upon what the love of his life meant to him – and continues to mean to him more than two years since she passed away.

“When you take a long hard look at your life, I guarantee you that being a winner has little to do with crossing the finish line,” Oberhofer said. “After many mistakes and a whole lot of heartache, I learned that happiness comes from a deeper, simpler place. That’s the big win.”

“Top Fuel For Life” is available on Amazon for $19.95.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Report: Ecclestone believes F1 could be sold by year’s end

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Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Tuesday said the racing series is up for sale and has as many as three potential buyers.

Ecclestone told The Associated Press that a deal could still be struck by year’s end.

“I think so, maybe this year,” Ecclestone said. “There are three people mentioned to buy. So it’s a case of whether CVC or Mr. Mackenzie wants to sell.”

Ecclestone was referring to F1’s largest and controlling shareholder, CVC Capital Partners co-chairman Donald Mackenzie.

But even if F1 is sold, the 84-year-old Eccelstone doesn’t plan on going anywhere.

“The people that I’ve spoken to … have asked me if I would stay,” Ecclestone told AP.

Follow @JerryBonkowski