Jun. 20, 2005

That was a race?

First the US Grand Prix: What a disaster! Only six cars ran. The other fourteen did the formation lap before the start and then returned to their garages. Why? The fourteen were on Michelin tires and two practice session crashes made Michelin realise that there was a serious safety problem with the tires they had brought to Indianapolis. Recent regulations require teams to race on the same tires they qualified on. The affected teams tried to find a compromise that would allow them to race, even forfeiting all points, but the FIA refused to allow any deviation. The fans were furious, even throwing debris onto the race track. I can understand their feelings. Ferrari, who alone was opposed to any compromise, came in first and second.

Fans of Indy or NASCAR style racing must be puzzled, and probably amused, by this turn of events but there are major differences in the design of a road course tire and an oval track tire. Road tires take stresses from both sides, with very little vertical strains. Oval track tires only take stress from one side and have to deal with significant vertical strain. The US Grand Prix race, which is a road course that incorporates one of the Indianapolis Speedway's banked corners, is unique in combining these two divergent requirements. Obviously Bridgestone got the balance right as their tires were up to the task, but something went badly wrong with Michelin's new design.

So what else happened this weekend? Lots of eating. Friday night Sheryl and I went to "Little India" (aka Gerrard Street east of Pape) for a cheap dinner. As we were looking for a nice restaurant we spied a friend of hers in a place we were thinking of trying. We joined him and his friend for a tasty buffet. Walking back to her car (mine was making sick noises which I discovered the next morning was just a dragging heat shield) we came across an office mate of mine whose mother-in-law was busy disciplining her wayward grandchildren (whack). We took my friend's advice on Indian sweet shops and dropped off a selection of goodies for Sheryl's daughter on our way home.

Saturday I fixed the car, cut the grass and had a good swim. When Sheryl got off work I brought her back to my place for dinner and a DVD. What looked to be an inexpensive evening at home turned into $30 worth of lobsters with butter sauce. Yum. We ended up watching Shrek 2 on The Movie Network as it caught our attention while I was loading Sleeper into the the DVD player.

Sunday started with french toast in my kitchen, which Sheryl ate the Australian way. Ketchup! I had a mouthful, but returned to the "proper" arrangement of butter and maple syrup. Lunch was steak sandwiches with my friend Brian while we watched the US Grand Prix. After a run I joined Sheryl at her daughter's condo for a Tandoori Chicken dinner. Nice to have a chance to get to know her and her fiancé. Every other time we've all been together her four-year old son has consumed everyone's attention. In a good way...

What happened about Father's Day? My son, who is at his mother's this week, phoned in the evening. Not to pass on any words of affection, but to ask me to record some TV shows for him! I did not. (Because I'd already left the house to join Sheryl for the evening...)

Listening to: Accidents Will Happen by Elvis Costello from Armed Forces.


  1. I am speechless concerning the race!!! Leave it to the amerincan, eh?


  2. Actually the Americans are innocent parties in all this. (Who'd have thought?) Except for the disgruntled fans who threw bottles onto the track... The Speedway owners were willing to make changes to enable the full field of cars to run but the FIA forbid them to do so.