No fine for Red Bull’s latest donuts

Leave a comment

Red Bull went unpunished by the stewards after both their drivers did donuts following their one-two finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The team were stung with a $33,000 fine after Sebastian Vettel drove onto the start/finish straight to perform donuts in front of the crowd. The stewards said he had broken the rules by failing to bring his car into parc ferme.

However there was no such fine this time, partly because Vettel’s team made sure he knew where to go. “Sorry to be on your case but to be clear you do need to bring it home,” said his race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin on the radio.

Vettel clearly had one of Kimi Raikkonen’s celebrated retorts in his mind when he replied: “Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know what I’m doing!”

The teasing continued on Red Bull’s radio as Rocquelin told Vettel: “I’ve counted, that’s $125,000.”

“And by the way you can pay that one!” added team principal Christian Horner.

But Vettel wouldn’t be drawn on whether the celebrations will be seen at the Circuit of the Americas if he wins the next race. “I think there’s a lot of work before we get to decide whether we can do it again or not,” he said.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Leave a comment

When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Follow @JerryBonkowski