Getty Images

Ex-Moore Formula Ford a cherished piece of history for Hinchcliffe

Leave a comment

The more we get to learn about IndyCar star James Hinchcliffe, we find there’s still more about him that we don’t know.

It’s what makes Hinchcliffe so unique and such a fan favorite.

Dan Proudfoot wrote a great piece Monday in Toronto’s The Globe & Mail about Hinchcliffe and fellow Canadian and lifelong hero, the late CART racer Greg Moore.

Moore was killed at the age of 24 in a crash in the 1999 CART season finale at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

While Moore’s death devastated Hinchcliffe and millions of his fellow Canadians, it also gave Hinchcliffe some solace from one of his fondest memories of Moore that occurred just 3 ½ months before the latter’s death.

It was during race weekend at the 1999 Molson Indy in Toronto that the-then 12-year-old Hinchcliffe waited patiently outside Moore’s transporter – three hours, in fact – in hopes his Canadian idol would autograph a steering wheel Hinchcliffe had in-hand.

“He was super kind,” Hinchcliffe said of Moore to Proudfoot. “Now, knowing from experience how stressful that time at the track can be, especially at a Canadian race, I’m all the more impressed that he couldn’t have been nicer, more courteous. I thought at the time, I’d been right to choose him as my hero.”

Incidentally, Hinchcliffe’s father, Jeremy, had secretly purchased the Van Diemen RF91 Formula Ford that Moore won rookie-of-the-year honors in the 1991 Esso Protec F1600 championship.

Somehow, even though his father’s purchase was a secret, James managed to get a hold of the steering wheel from Moore’s 1991 race car.

That signed steering wheel remains one of the Mayor of Hinchtown’s prized possessions. And he and his father both still own Moore’s race car, that is in storage in Bethany, Ontario.

“I just don’t think I’ll ever race Greg’s Formula Ford again,” Hinchcliffe told Proudfoot. “There’s too much sentimental value in it at this point.”

In addition to the Formula Ford, Hinchcliffe has a significant collection of Moore memorabilia that he’s collected over the years, including a driver’s suit, gloves, shoes, trophies and more. Hinchcliffe’s 2012 Indianapolis 500 qualifying run, his first with Andretti Autosport and second overall, saw him carry a pair of Moore’s trademark red gloves with him en route to qualifying second on the grid.

“This car should go to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame,” Hinchcliffe told Proudfoot.

The CMHF has not built a permanent structure yet, so another option would be to potentially give Moore’s 1991 racer to the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame, which houses a permanent display about Moore and his life.

Click here to read Proudfoot’s entire story about Hinchcliffe and his hero, Greg Moore.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean to launch cookbook

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean may be one of the sport’s most promising talents on-track, but he also has a burning passion off it: cooking.

Grosjean may have been spent a good part of this year cooking his brakes, but you’ll now be able to cook bakes instead…

F1’s resident foodie is set to release a cookbook alongside wife Marion Jolles in the coming weeks, as announced on his Facebook page.

Grosjean currently sits 13th in the F1 drivers’ championship with 18 points to his name, helping Haas to match the points total from its debut season after just 10 races in 2017.

Mercedes F1 engine chief warns against underestimating Honda

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mercedes Formula 1 engine chief Andy Cowell has warned against underestimating the threat of Honda despite its ongoing power unit struggles, tipping the Japanese manufacturer to bounce back in the near future.

Honda returned to F1 as a manufacturer in 2015, supplying V6 turbo power units to the McLaren team, but has struggled for either performance or reliability through that period.

The struggles have led McLaren – currently sat bottom of the constructors’ championship – to consider cutting ties for 2018 given how far adrift compared to the other three engine suppliers Honda has been.

Mercedes has been the benchmark for engine performance since the change in regulation for 2014, but Cowell feels that Honda could make up ground quickly, with the removal of the token system for 2017 helping performance to converge through the field.

“I think collectively we’ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,” Cowell said.

“But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying ‘please can we take this crazy token table away because it’s bad for the sport?’

“It’s bad if somebody can’t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it’s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like.

“I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly. No pressure…”

Williams happy to ‘hold off’ on 2018 F1 driver decision

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Williams is happy to “hold off” on making a decision on its Formula 1 driver line-up for 2018 as it focuses on improving its on-track displays after a tough start to the season.

Williams currently fields Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, a mix of experience and youth, but has failed to keep up with midfield front-runner Force India through the first half of the year.

Force India sits fourth in the constructors’ championship with more than double the points of Williams, who leads a tight-knit group down to Renault in eighth place, 15 points adrift.

While Stroll looks set to continue with Williams and Massa has hinted he may look to continue through to 2018 despite initially planning to retire at the end of last season, deputy team boss Claire Williams has confirmed that no decision about next year’s line-up will come any time soon.

“There’s a lot of talk already isn’t there, about drivers across the paddock. For us, we’ve decided we’re going to hold off a bit on our driver decision,” Williams said.

“We’ve got a fight on our hands on the race track at the moment and to be distracted by those kinds of conversations isn’t something that we want to be happening at the moment.

“[Force India’s] got a nice points haul on us at the moment we need to focus on, rather than anything else.”

Nico Rosberg visits Stanford University, considering study options

Getty Images
1 Comment

2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg is considering study options at Stanford University after visiting the college earlier this week as part of his tour around California.

Rosberg sensationally announced his retirement from F1 just five days after winning his maiden world title last November, wanting to spend more time with his young family.

The German has been enjoying his retirement, recently embarking on a tour of Silicon Valley and California that saw him hold meetings with electric car giant Tesla, among other companies.

In a video posted to his Twitter account on Sunday, Rosberg spoke warmly about a visit to Stanford, revealing that he is considering some study options in the near future at the historic institution.

Rosberg was previously offered a scholarship to study engineering at Imperial College London when he was younger, only to turn it down in order to embark on a racing career. He also reportedly holds the highest ever score on Williams’ engineering aptitude test.

Should Nico sign up to a course at Stanford, we imagine he’d take things one class at a time…