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Home  /  June 2019  /  Racing

Try this quick quiz.

1. What was the most boring motor race in the world? 2. Who came first and second as usual? 3. Which Australian recently told a Dutch TV interviewer “F..k ’em all, how does that sound?” 4. Which used, low mileage, 1992 bright yellow car should bring $5.5 million next week?

Of course, we’re talking last weekend’s French Grand Prix where Lew Hamilton won from Val Bottas. Hamo was over 19 seconds ahead of Val and a lap or more ahead of 13 of the rest of the fleet. Now no one should be surprised by this. There have been eight F1 races this year. Two drivers (Hamo and Val) have won the eight. Hamo has won six. They both drove Mercedes. At least last year, by this stage, three drivers (Seb, Hamo and the Danster) had won a couple each.

Getting one podium (first three places) in a F1 race is like winning a gold medal in any other sport. Many drivers go their whole career without a champagne spray. Winning is a combination of great car, great driver and great team. Less than great in any aspect means no podium.

Last year the Danster won two races in his Red Bull car and then he made what I think was an emotional decision to move to Renault. The Renault is not a great car. He has been struggling and that’s seen him take a lot of risks, most of which, like last weekend, haven’t paid off. He copped two five second penalties and hence the frustrated “F..k ’em all”.

Dan went on to say: “All jokes aside, every time I’m breaking late and deep, trying to make a move, I am struggling to pull the car up.”

Still he’s suffering on $1m a week. Poor old Val is doing it tough on $230k a week (I know you don’t believe me but that’s more than I make working here). Near the bottom of the pack is Torro Rosso driver Alex Albon on $2k a week.

If you want to race an F1 car and you don’t have much talent, the $20m to buy a one-season ride, or you just don’t want the constant attention from the media and very attractive persons of the opposite and same sex, then head out to Goodwood next weekend for Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale (and the Festival of Speed is pretty neat too).

Up for grabs is the 1992 Williams-Renault FW14B F1 car as driven by Nigel Mansell. Mr Moustache got five pole positions and five wins in succession in this politically incorrect beast. It’s yellow on top with the blue Camel logo (note to kiddies and younger readers: Camel was a brand of gaspers with a photo of the factory on every pack) and blue on the bottom with the Labatt’s beer sign on the sides. It’s packed with more features than the Hyundai Genesis although having only one carbon composite seat and no starter motor does cramp your style. But best of all it’s in perfect running order, ready for any track day.

Just think: at every other track day you’ve been in, some hoon in a Mitsubishi Evo always passes and then laps you. After you’ve paid $5.5m for the Williams, that’s in the past, baby! You’re down at Wakefield Park and your mates engage the electric starter to the V10’s rear coupling and the 550kw engine roars to life, turning over 14,000 times a minute. You push a button in the centre of the steering wheel, click the finger paddle and out you go. It’s exit Evo time.

There are other ways to own an F1 car. Take Kiwi neuromuscular therapist Hamish Hurley. Ham is a certified Poliquin International performance coach and has the Biosignature Modulation credentials. Up till recently he also had a serious car collection including we’re told a Ferrari F1 driven in 2003 by Michael Schumacher (RM Sotheby’s are selling Mick’s 2002 F1 car at the end of the year for about $10m). He also had a soulmate, wealthy divorcee Mandy Gray. As the Daily Mail so nicely sums up the story: “Mother-of-two won $130m from her tycoon ex-husband and began a life of unimaginable luxury with her fitness trainer lover. But now she’s suing HIM for ‘ruthlessly controlling her’.” Mandy also claims Hamo was manipulative which, given he is a physical therapist, is probably not too much of a shock.

“Over the six years that followed her 2013 marriage breakup, Mandy and New Zealand-born Hamish Hurley gallivanted around the world on private jets, helicopters and a $7m yacht bought with Mandy’s riches, until January 18 this year when 50-year-old Mandy unceremoniously dumped her 46-year-old lover while staying at their rented home in Malta.” Mandy is in court to try to keep Hamo’s hands off the assets. Here’s another F1 car you can buy soon.

Finally, some shocking news. Consulting engineer and public house historian John Bowley has revealed one of Australia’s best kept secrets. “As you mention your mate Michael, and the Kensi, so much I thought I might throw a little light on the probable reason he is a customer there,” John said.

“Before gentrification, the Kensi was originally a classic working person’s pub, with a front bar for the men and a ladies lounge and not much else.

“The Kensi, however, did have a big advantage over the others in that it had a Wheel of Fortune, about the only gambling then allowed, where if your number came up you won a prize, a meat tray or similar.

“On its own this would not have warranted a trip from Stepney to Kensington, but for the fact that the wheel was spun in the front bar by extremely well endowed and topless young persons who mingled among the boisterous punters when not spinning the wheel! On a Friday evening in particular, at the proper working person’s hours of 5-6pm, the place was pumping, the likes of which you just don’t see any more.”

John says when Roo (Mark Ricciuto, the Adelaide Crows captain and Brownlow medallist) and partners took over the pub he cleaned the place up and moved out the shockingly sexist Wheel of Fortune and its spinners. Well done Roo.

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