Could door be opening on an F1 race in London?


The dream of a Formula One race on the streets of London may be in line for a boost.

Daniel Johnson of the UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports that the British government has announced a consultation that proposes a relaxation of certain rules which have an Act of Parliament as the necessary requirement to suspend national speed limits on closed roads for races.

Johnson reports that under the new plans, local authorities would have the ability to temporarily suspend dangerous driving laws in order to allow races to take place.

London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, has said that he’s open to the idea of a “London Grand Prix,” and other figures such as three-time World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart have endorsed the proposal.

Ditto for former World Champion Jenson Button, who told British F1 broadcaster Sky Sports that London’s wide roads would lend itself nicely for a “unique grand prix.”

“When you combine all of that with the world-famous monuments that would feature in the backdrop, you can see why it would be an awesome addition to the calendar,” Button added to Sky.

“The dream has taken a step closer this week, and I’d love to see this amazing concept finally happen.”

Per Sky, the consultation on closed-road motorsport events in mainland Britain would run for six weeks to April 10.

As you’d figure, there is also opposition to the idea of a race in London’s center. Darren Johnson, a member of the London Assembly Green Party, has urged Boris Johnson to nix any proposal for such an event as he believes it would set a bad example.

“This is definitely a decision for local representatives, rather than Parliament, but I hope the mayor will recognize that racing cars around central London would send out the wrong message at a time when road casualties amongst pedestrians and cyclists are on the rise,” Johnson said.

“A Formula 1 race along local high streets and past people’s homes is going to give a green light to a load of silly boy racers and others that these roads are safe for them to speed along. We need less speeding, not more, and this is one event the Mayor should firmly reject.”

NHRA Gatornationals: John Force has another spectacular motor explosion

Photo courtesy NHRA
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Legendary NHRA Funny Car driver John Force endured yet another spectacular motor explosion – his third in the NHRA’s first three national event races – during Friday’s qualifying at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.

It’s the kind of consistency the 16-time NHRA Funny Car champ could do without.

The 68-year-old Force came to Gainesville hoping to break the jinx that saw him endure explosions in both the season-opening Winternationals and the second race of the season in Phoenix.

Both motor explosions sent Force to the hospital for examination before he returned to the race track.

Friday, even though the motor in his Chevrolet Camaro blew up again (in the second round of qualifying), at least this time, Force didn’t wind up in the hospital.

He did have his right hand bandaged from a cut suffered in the explosion, but did not have to go to the hospital this time.

He even joked about not having to add yet another ambulance bill to the nearest Gainesville hospital.

But the explosion still proved costly.

“That was another body and that hurts the financial (bottomline),” Force said. “I was out $500,000 to $600,000, and now we are probably out $800,000, going on a million. In drag racing, you have to be tough.”

He ended the day qualifying 14th, not a very comfortable position with two more rounds of qualifying set for Saturday.

Force continues to be mystified why the motors keep exploding.

“I really thought we had it, I thought we were there,” Force said. “In the first round we drove it 500 feet and shut it off. It looked great. We ran it again that run and I was only going to drive it 800 feet even if we didn’t make The Show.”

Force will attempt to improve his qualifying spot during Saturday’s final two rounds to make Sunday’s eliminations.

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