Weekend Australian citizens, you’re quite rightly confused. It’s clear now that reality isn’t what it used to be.
Have you thought about just some of the things that may have happened this year, depending on what universe you happen to be in? Pop Up Putin, current leader of Russia – population 146,075,362 and famous for Sputnik; Laika first dog in space, Lada cars, the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis, nuclear weapons, permafrost, gulags, vodka and caviar – is coming number two to Ukraine, population 43,143,866 and famous for beetroot soup with different vegetables and sour cream, beautiful women and others, Bogdan cars and a terrible nuclear disaster.
Alexander Boris de Pfeffel (Boris) Johnson, 58, born New York, now resident of southeast London, father of at least seven ankle biters, whose hair (his, not his kiddies) makes Donny Trump’s look like Tom Cruise’s, resigned after 99 per cent of his Conservative Party walked out on him to be replaced by Mary Elizabeth Truss, 47, of 10 Downing St in London, whose answer to 22 per cent of her country living in poverty, including 4.3 million children, was to give tax cuts to the 200,000 wealthy Conservative party members that voted her in as PM.
The UK has a population of 70 million. Her country is famous for David Beckham, fish and chips, Black (not being racist, that’s what they call them) Cabs, tea, the Beatles, Indians and the Chinese owning the car industry, and the late Betty Windsor.
In what universe does Chinese billionaire Li Shufu, 59, of Hangzhou, population 13 million, own Volvo, Lotus and big slice of Mercedes and now Aston Martin?
There really are no soap dodger-owned car companies anymore. No smarty, Morgan is owned by the Italians and McLaren is owned by the royal family of Bahrain.
And it’s pretty clear that Mr Li wants all of Aston Martin and is prepared to wait.
And then there’s all the news this week about car sales roaring back; Tesla sales roaring up and Toyota sales roaring down.
Well, I love click-bait as much as my boss (who has had the same car for 15 years and has driven it three times during that period) but let’s take a look at the facts. You can’t buy Australia’s most popular cars. Want to buy a Corolla? That’ll be delivery in two years.
Want to buy a Tesla because you live in Peppermint Grove, Toorak Village, anywhere on the Gold Coast (twin towned with Port Moresby), Noosa (South Yarra by the sea), Mosman, NSW or Stirling in the hills near Adelaide? That’ll be delivery in five minutes (charging cord, battery and power extra).
And the top selling car in Australia, in September? Toyota with double the sales of the number two car and three times the sales of Tesla.
Let me tell you what I think happened at the Singer’s Grand Prix and circus.
So, to get things rolling, Philippines President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, turned up rather than stay at home for Typhoon Noru.
Jon Bon Jovi who many of us thought had transitioned to rock’n’roll heaven, played a few sets for the first time in 120 years. And the battlers were paying $100k for a suite at the Amber Lounge. Don’t know it? Well, you didn’t crack an invite then to the original and world’s most exclusive Grand Prix lifestyle event that follows the F1 around the globe. For only $10k you did get access to the Paddock Club including the ponytailed Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill.
Twenty cars were meant to line up for the 8pm start last Sunday. Chuck Leclerc and Sergio Perez were on the front row.
Mad Max, who just needed a result here to win the world championship, was way back in eighth. Why? Well on the last lap of qualifying, his Red Bull team told him to come in because he was about to run out of fuel. Not happy Max.
The hamster was in third spot, teammate G. Russell, 24, of Kings Lynn soap dodger land was starting from pit lane and Daniel Ricciardo was way back in 16th.
The rain was bucketing down but that’s what the lads (no lassies or others) are paid for and what the fans love watching. Hold on. Race officials decide to hold the race for 90 minutes until after the rains stopped. Everyone was wondering what the wet-tread tyres were for if not these conditions.
Anyway, when it did start on the toughest course on the calendar, there were two safety cars, three virtual safety, six cars had chucked it in. Hamo had massaged the Armco and headed down an escape road; after a two hour wait after the finish, race winner Sergio Perez was wacked with a five-second time penalty for not staying close enough to the safety car but luckily he won by 7.5 seconds – but the penalty should have been sorted during the race itself.
Danny Ricciardo had the drive of the night finishing fifth and race control stopped drivers using DRS for most of the race. As F1 blog tj13 wrote: “Once again Mohammed Ben Sulayem’s all-new FIA is demonstrating how little it knows about Formula 1”.
OK forget the Japanese GP. The real race action this weekend is the Bathurst 1000 where it’s the last chance for a Holden to win.
Easy to see Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander winning in theirs but the value bet at 1000:1 is Chris Pither and Cameron Hill in the PremiAir Racing Holden. And at the same odds put some money on your WART team in the MX-5 Cup next Saturday at Eastern Creek raceway and refuse exchange pit.
Talking of Beemers (which we weren’t) Bonhams just sold a rare example of BMW’s glamorous ’50s flagship sports car, a 1957 BMW 507 Series II Roadster, which had been hidden in a Philadelphia garage for more than 40 years, for $3.7m.
One of only 252 made, this 507 was bought by the seller’s dad in 1979. Dad drove it straight into a pretty ordinary garage, where it sat without moving, only being started up from time to time.