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Home  /  April 2022  /  Comment

Of course, you want the insightful analysis into last Sunday’s St Kilda multinational, multiethnic, one gender road race and reality TV show. There’s a sentence on that further down. But we have more important issues to canvas here.

Issues like knickers.

“If you want to check my ass, feel free, I have nothing to hide. My penis, everything. If that makes you happy, feel free,” says Pete Gasly, 26, of Rouen, France and lately of the AlphaTauri F1 team. One friend, twenty readers and one family member, can you, like me, see some changes here in the focus of F1 racing drivers. For instance, hopefully not talking about himself, Hamo backed up Pete: “And then I don’t really understand the little things that they’re picking up, like underwear”. Both were making their feelings (and other parts) visible in response to new race director and worm charmer, Niels Wittich’s complaints at the Melbourne driver’s briefing that the racers were being cheeky and breaking the rules by wearing their own knickers and not asbestos ones as per the rules.

It appears Niels was suggesting that there would be a clampdown (note to non-male persons-this is a male-persons most painful nightmare) and after a period of freedom there would be random inspections of the twenty drivers’ nether regions. Niels didn’t indicate how the authorities would do the inspections but some of the lads suggested they were already going commando, thus reducing the chance of their private parts catching fire and making the inspections infinitely more interesting.

In other news, some drivers and team bosses such as Sergio Michel Pérez Mendoza (we call him Checo), 32, of Guadalajara, Mexico (who came first of the losers on Sunday) told everyone who would listen that “coming to Australia for a single race is quite painful for everyone” and it “really has to be back-to-back” with another race. His boss, Christian Horner, 48, of Royal Leamington Spa and partner of Ms Ginger Spice, 49, of Watford, told everyone that Checo didn’t tell: “To come here (St Kilda by the Sea) for one weekend, it’s a massive time change, it’s expensive”. To which Australian Grand Prix Corporation boss, Andrew Westacott, replied “stop whinging”.

Finally, Mad Max, who decided it was better to pull out at the end rather than be the second quickest driver in St Kilda complained about the Aston Martin safety car. “The Safety Car was driving so slow, it was like a turtle. Unbelievable. With that car, to drive 140km/h on the back straight, where there’s not a damaged car anymore, I don’t understand why we have to drive so slow. We have to investigate. For sure, the Mercedes Safety Car is faster because of the extra aero, the Aston Martin is really slow”. Naturally Mercedes driver and soap dodger, George Russell, who was pleased as punch to come third and in front of teammate and usual winner, Hamo, said: “We don’t have the issue with the Mercedes AMG safety car! On a serious note, the Mercedes AMG is like five seconds a lot quicker than the Aston Martin safety car, which is pretty substantial.” It’s a cruel game F1.

It’s been an even tougher week for our local car companies.

In November 2021, the Federal Court found that Mazda Australia engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations to nine consumers about their consumer guarantee rights. The consumers had each requested a refund or a replacement vehicle from Mazda, after experiencing serious and recurring faults with their new Mazda vehicles within a year or two of purchase. Mazda ignored or rejected the consumers’ requests, telling them the only available remedy was another repair, even though the consumers’ vehicles had already undergone multiple unsuccessful repair attempts, including complete engine replacements. One vehicle had three engine replacements. You’ll remember the faults included the vehicles unexpectedly losing power and decelerating while being driven, putting the drivers’ and families’ lives at risk.

After repeated attempted repairs, over months and even years, in some cases Mazda offered to refund only a portion of the vehicle’s purchase price or offered a replacement vehicle only if the consumer made a significant payment. The Court found that Mazda made 49 separate false or misleading representations relating to the nine consumers.

Australia’s best writer of judgments, Justice Michael Lee, wrote a cracker this week when decided Toyota could end up paying more than $2bn to customers because of faulty diesel particulate filters in Hiluxes, Fortuners and Prados. He found Toyota customers purchased vehicles with defects and as a result, the value of their cars was reduced by 17.5 per cent on the average retail price, or more than $7,000 per car.

While this is not the legal section can I tell you a little bit about Mick? His first job was in a monastery in Kensington in Sydney where he worked for the Missionaries of the Sacré-Cœur. “It soon became evident, however, that given the order’s, vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, it was difficult to conceive which vow presented the most formidable challenge to me.” He then became a copy person at Fairfax (the evil empire). “The experience made me somewhat wary of journalists. Despite this, it had its memorable moments such as spending Saturday mornings at an early opener in pre-gentrified Ultimo with the Herald’s racing team, having a greasy breakfast washed down by a couple of schooners – all accompanied by the soundtrack of 2KYs “Three-Way Turf Talk”.

And this week at Bonhams’ Goodwood sale, Phil Windsor’s Albatross motorboat, sold for $121k, more than twice its pre-sale estimate. At RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction next month, among a lot of Feezers, is this beautiful 1988 Jaguar XJR-9, chassis 388, 1990 24 Hours of Daytona winner. The car achieved four podium finishes and never finished a race outside of the top seven. I think a bit over $3mill.

Last weekend the Sultan and I did the recce for the upcoming Targa Tassie. Apart from getting lost (which Pete Gasly said reminded him of his father who stopped rallying when he “fell of [a] mountain” after his co-driver made a mistake reading the pace note), we had a great retro Chinese at the Mandarin Palace in Burnie complete with “English Menu” and lots of food we didn’t order, drove on some of the world’s best roads with spectacular scenery (don’t worry you’ll be flat out reaching the speed limit in a road car) and Mick organised sensational breakfasts of sausage rolls and hot cross buns. A greasy breakfast not washed down by a couple of schooners – an no 2KY “Three-Way Turf Talk”.

jc@jcp.com.au

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