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Jacques Villeneuve: A Man for All Seasons

My interview with Jacques Villeneuve: former F1 world champion, CART champ and Indianapolis 500 winner.

Villeneuve interview (pdf)

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NY Times F1 Year in Review

A story by the Times’ Brad Spurgeon on a lacklustre, yet unusual F1 season:

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Touring car’s final 2010 race

The checkered flag has flown on the final race in the Canadian Touring Car Championship. Here’s my story in Globe Drive and soon to be in The Globe and Mail‘s print edition.

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This just in…

My latest story on the Canadian Touring Car Championship is in The Globe and Mail‘s Globe Drive section. The series is at the half-way mark and is a supporting event at this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto.

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Stewart’s lament

Back to Jackie Stewart. A passage in his autobiography, Winning is Not Enough, about getting easy access to drivers at Grand Prix races, rings true with me: “…it is a pity that the modern  [F1] drivers seem to have become so remote from the enthusiasts. In 1953, I was walking up to drivers asking them for their autograph, standing and watching mechanics prepare the car, seeing, feeling, smelling and hearing the power and glory of this extraordinary spectacle and…. I became hooked. Nowadays, a 14-year-old boy can only experience a Grand Prix through television coverage, through the media or through his binoculars.”

He’s right. Of course, the sport has changed immensely since Sir Jackie competed, but this passage made me think of Lewis Hamilton and his complaints that he needed to move to Switzerland to escape all the fan adulation and media attention that dogs him in England. It’s ridiculous that a professional athlete thinks so highly of himself that he feels the need to isolate himself from his fans, further depriving a young follower of a chance to experience a moment that could set him or her on a path to racing passion.

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Honda’s F1 dream

Honda’s Formula 1 effort has yet to pay real dividends, and this season looks to continue that trend. But that hasn’t stopped it from promoting itself, and its green agenda.

Honda wrapped the March 5 edition of the U.K. trade magazine, Marketing with an eight-page wrap, with the question “Sport’s most innovative positive marketing programme? under the Earthdreams header and a green and blue shot of Earth.

Inside there’s a shot of Jenson Button’s F1 car, along with a brief explanation of the earthdreams marketing effort/green campaign.

Ads like this aren’t cheap. And. while they look great, any racing fan will tell you that it really doesn’t mean much if it’s not accompanied by some success on the track

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Miami: IRL rise and shine

Scott Dixon took the checkered flag in the first race of the newly merged/integrated Indy Racing League Champ Car World Series. Highlights? The battle for third spot, late in the race between Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan — 209 mph, 3 inches apart. Shows once again that both drivers are a factor in any race they’re in, no mater how far back they are. Lowlights? (other than the fact my household lights were off for an hour to mark Earth Hour, delaying my race viewing until after 9 p.m.) The lack of a substantial Champ Car field; the excessively long cleanup after some relatively minor incidents.

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Formula 1, Round 2

Formula 1, round two
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I was actually glad to see Kimi Raikkonen win the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday, despite my fears that thought alone will usher in new era of Grand Prix dominance by Ferrari. It was mostly because Lewis Hamilton seems a bit smug to me, and Kimi’s win took the wind out of the sails of the blatantly pro-British ITV race crew.