Here’s today’s first quick quiz: What’s happening this weekend in the capital of Shirvan Baku Khanate that’s bigger and faster than the NBN?
While true, the correct answer is not “anything is faster than the NBN”. The correct answer is another crazy race around the streets of Baku where Val Bottas will try to better his 378km/h top speed record; Chuck Leclerc says he will accept team orders to stay behind teammate Seb Vettel “in some situations” and all the drivers will try to avoid hitting the world heritage walls of Baku Old City particularly on turns 8, 9 and 10, where the 2m-wide cars have to find their way through a 7m cut between city buildings and the old town’s walls.
Sportsbet sees Lou taking gold, Seb or Val silver and Chuck Leclerc bronze. Fighting for the lead medal is the Danster, Kimi and Nico at $501. Talking of gambling, despite the FIA forbidding competitors from betting on races they’re in, the Danster revealed he had a few innocent punts with Red Bull boss Helmut Marko last year. Making the change to Renault might mean the Honey Badger could lose out on one of his two ambitions. Writing in the Players tribune, Dan says “I want (to win) at least one Formula One championship” and “I hope (my Wiki entry says) that I changed the sport somehow, that I had fun, that I drove hard and fair”. He’s already achieved the second.
Don’t forget what’s left of the 2019 F1 season will be live and on demand on Kayo Sports for just $25 per month for two devices at once but unfortunately not on my BlackBerry or Motorola StarTAC.
Here’s today’s second quick quiz: What has 265 cars ranging from a 1938 Dodge Speedster Special to supercars including Fezzers, Vipers, Porkers, Aston Martins and a 1990 BMW racing on 33 competitive stages covering an overall distance of 2000km around the world’s most beautiful country including the sister city of Baku? No, it’s not the Socar Azerbaijan GP. But before you ask, Socar is the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic. It was created after the Bolshevik Revolution and is headed by soccer fan Rovnag Ibrahim oglu Abdullayev. If you are in Baku for the GP head over to SOCAR tower and tell Rovnag we sent you. You can’t miss it. It’s on Heydar Aliyev Avenue, it’s 42 storeys (biggest building in the Caucasus), a wonderful example of structural expressionism and — don’t mention this to Rovang — perfect for the patriarchal society in Azerbaijan as it looks like a male naughty bit.
Anyway, the correct answer is Targa Tasmania and of course Baku’s sister city is Lonnie, where the tallest building is the seven-storey Mantra Charles (dry cleaning service and laundry room available), which is a wonderful example of the Vdara Hotel & Spa school of architecture. You remember the Vdara in Vegas? Opened in 2009, many guests mentioned to management that they were being singed while sitting at the pool. It appears the architects had designed the building to collect the sun’s rays and direct them to the swimming area. As Complex magazine describes it: “In addition to skin burns, guests reported plastic bags melting before their eyes and pieces of hair burning right off their heads.”
While most competitors shipped their cars to Lonnie for tomorrow’s Silverdome Targafest Expo from 6-9pm (where the public can enjoy a cavalcade of motoring history, photos with the two oldest competitors in our new polo shirts of which, due to further productivity measures in the Business section, there are only three, so we have to turn them inside out when they are dirty) all under one roof, and Monday’s ceremonial start outside the picturesque Lonnie Country Club and Casino, WART co-driver, Michael McMichael, decided to drive our full rally (ie: stripped down, no sound deadening and only an eight-track with Mantovani and Nat King Cole cassettes for entertainment) BMW from Adelaide to Lonnie via the good ship, MS Spirit of Tasmania I. While quite an accomplished person of the sea, Michael was not prepared for last night’s weather in Bass Strait, which one old Tassie salt described as generating waves as tall as SOCAR Tower. Mick said he eschewed the movie theatre, gaming lounge, gift shop, restaurants, bar and disco for the security of his own cabin where, as the old bloke so quaintly put it, “I spent the whole trip talking to Bill and Bert on the big white telephone”. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to fill up on Coopers and Jim Barry’s The Armagh Shiraz 2014 ($325 a bottle) before a long ocean voyage.
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