Fernley: New tires best tested by full-time drivers

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Force India’s Bob Fernley has supported the FIA’s decision to allow teams to use full-time race drivers at the upcoming Young Drivers’ Test, saying that he is more comfortable having the new Pirelli tires tested by the same drivers who will use them.

The FIA’s decision has been questioned by many as it does undermine the purpose of giving young drivers a chance to test an F1 car, yet the move was taken following the fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix last month. For Fernley though, it would be unfair to test the tires using young drivers.

“The last thing you want to do is to put an untried tire on to Silverstone with young drivers,” Fernley told ESPNF1. “I think that it’s important for your own peace of mind as a team, and each team has to make its own decision.”

Teams are still able to test young drivers at Silverstone next week, but Ferrari and Toro Rosso have already confirmed that they will not be taking advantage of this in order to maximize the tire test available.

“I would feel more comfortable if our race drivers – having got the experience of the previous tyre to this one – were actually the first part of that process,” Fernley asserted.

The three day test will take place at Silverstone next week from 17th-19th July.

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