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Home  /  July 2022  /  Comment

Yes readers, the 2022 Soapdodger Grand Prix last Sunday was way better than the season one finale of Love Island. You remember (how could you forget?) on 15 July 2015 when Jess Hayes and left handed batsman, Max Morely, stole the series, with Hannah Elizabeth and Jon Clark, 32, of Essex (Jon has joined Tinder in a bid to find love after his failed TV relationships), as runners-up. These days, Hannah is a proud mummy to baby Reggie. She’s still modelling and also runs a crystal healing class.

No crystal healing classes needed for Chilli Sainz who drove his Feezer to a great win over Red Bull’s Checo Perez with the Hamster driving brilliantly to take second of the losers. But what had the most eyeballs was Zhou Guanyu, 23, of Shanghai, China, surviving a 200kmh bump from Merc’s Georgie Russell that put Zhou’s Alfa on its roof (if it had one) and skidding over the tyre barrier into the gap between the wire fence and the spectators. Many thought he must have been brown bread including Georgie who jumped out of his Merc and ran to help. But thanks to the Halo — “a wishbone-shaped titanium bar that sits on top of the cockpit of the car and wraps around the driver’s head Zhou was fine. Although it is the kind of thing he’ll remember for a while.

Then in a scene that would even look fake on Love Island, seven protesters from Just Stop Oil, the Extinction Rebellion-linked group, jumped the fence and sat on the main straight. To paraphrase The Daily Telegraph’s Clarissa Bye, they “are just foot soldiers in the cargo cult of the mindless green movement that has our cars and freedoms in its sights.” Naturally the Bobbies arrested them and charged all with gross stupidity.

The whole delayed spectacle was more exciting than Drive to Survive season two, episode six, Raging Bulls. Talking of Bulls, today the whole circus happens again at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg (no relation), Austria. Why is it called the RBR? Because you drink so much of the stuff (I have mine with peach schnapps, vodka and a Coopers chaser) that Red Bull’s owner, Dietrich Mateschitz, bought the 53-year old track, renamed it and talked the FIA into putting an annual F1 race there. The old bloke, currently in Las Vegas (sorry that’s a secret, his family think he’s in Port Pirie, so keep it to yourself), reckons it should be renamed again, the All Bull Ring.

And while Danny R still has car problems our other Australian team dominated Sunday’s Indy 200. The east coast’s Scotty McLaughlin, 29, of Hamilton (no relation), NZ, won, with Will Power, 41, of Toowoomba, Australia, third and Scott Dixon, 41, of Brisbane (well he was forced to move to NZ by his parents) fifth.

And in even better news, we have found the person in charge of the ACCC and he is a car person. Be still all our beating hearts. Seriously how can it be that the greatest car loving nation on earth or any other planet can go for over 65,000 years without a petrol head in a position of power. Andrew Leigh, 49, formerly of Sydney but now of Pleasantville, ACT is Assistant Minister Competition, Charities (car makers) and Treasury. Andy just announced that car manufacturers now have to share technical information with independent mechanics on commercially fair and reasonable terms. That means, Andy says and I’m paraphrasing here, that Australians can get their car fixed at a Kmart, a JAX, an Ultra Tune, a Bridgestone or a Pedders — or, indeed, at a non-chain mechanic such as Island Auto Repairs in Bongaree (on McMahon Street, next to the Bribie Cinemas. cheerio call to owner Chris “Dutto” Dutton-no relation). Automotive Service and Repair Authority Limited Company Secretary, Stuart Charity (no, I didn’t make it up) said: “on behalf of 27,000 independent mechanical workshops right across Australia, plus many more collision repair workshops, this really is a game changing moment for us”. Can’t come too soon for reader Anne who is 70, deaf and lame and was ripped off by a grand on brake change on her Kia.

Moving to two of our favourite topics here, religion and art, Cristina Ruiz from our bible on all things in the culture caper, Artnet News, rang yesterday to say: “Holy Shirt, Johnny and Mick, a set of Pope Francis’s old Papal clothes is going up for auction on July 16”. Pope Francis, 85, formerly of Argentina now a resident of Vatican City, drives himself around in a 1984 Renault 4. The US auction house Heritage Auctions (who also have a nice collection of Superman comics on the block) tell us the lot includes: “one white cassock and matching white silk zucchetto, as typically worn by the Pope for daily use outside of liturgical functions. Each is boldly signed by His Holiness in black felt-tip marker (Texta) with the Italian version of his name, ‘Francesco’.”

Look, talking of issues needing divine intervention, can I bring to your attention excellent investigative work by two journalists in this global multimedia platform. The already mentioned, Clarissa Bye, tells us in an excellent column that there are plans by the communists in the NSW and Victorian governments to ditch private car ownership in favour of non-motor “cycling and mobility as service apps”. Lucy Callander reports that the Frankston flasher (no get your minds out of the gutter, it’s a speed camera in Frankston) is pinging at least 600 motorists every day leading to at least $8 mill in fines. “The most recent speed camera data has revealed a camera on the Western Ring Rd in Broadmeadows nabbed the most offenders from October to December, collecting a whopping $10,934,850 and issuing more than 30,000 fines across four lanes” Lucy says. Reality TV star Gamble Breaux on Wednesday joined the campaign after receiving three fines. “The Frankston Flasher is out of control, and that’s coming from someone who’s done 10 years of reality TV,” she posted. “In my opinion this camera is dangerous. A revenue shark veiled as road safety,” Ms Breaux said. More on this next week.

And three for Nissan lovers: RM Sotheby’s is offering a trio of exceptional Nissan Skylines in Monterey in August. Top of the list is the 1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R a race-winner by Japanese motorsports legend Masahiro Hasemi to 2nd overall in the season’s drivers’ championship. It also won the 1994 24 Hours of Tokachi — the only R32 Skyline to win a domestic 24-Hour endurance race. Yours for $700k with two days full warranty.

jc@jcp.com.au

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