The Formula 1 racing season began today at Bahrain, and I'm sure Alonsofan is very happy, as am I. Especially since his obnoxious ads no longer pop up in the BGG Forum.
The off-season does drive me a little crazy, and so I often turn to The World of Motor Racing to ease the pain. It is a very engaging solitaire game that should appeal to any race fan who can't get enough opponents often enough for their favorite race game.
Many seasons stats are available, but I favor the seasons from my youth, the 60's.
We begin in South Africa. The year is 1965.
Overcast but dry weather welcomed race fans to round one of the 1965 championship. All of the major teams made the trip, and a large contingent of South African local talent was on hand as well.
Qualifying was uneventful and found Jim Clark on the pole. John Surtees and Sir Jack Brabham rounded out the front row, with Mike Spence and Graham Hills' BRM on row two. A surprise was Dan Gurney in the 9th spot, he having experienced engine problems in both sessions. Rookie Jackie Stewart made an admirable 11th in his first drive for BRM.
At the start, Clark, Surtees and Sir Jack got away clean and the trio pulled out a three second lead by lap two. Spence spun trying to hold off Hill's BRM and dropped to 11th.
By lap 4 Clark had a three second lead over Surtees, but alas, his day ended prematurely when a half shaft snapped on the back straight. Surtees inherited the lead, but Sir Jack was only a second back. Hill's BRM was sounding very rough, and he fell back to 7th. Gurney had made a great start, and was in 5th at lap 4. He quickly dispatched Jo Bonnier, and with Clark's retirement, found himself in 3rd place, 5 seconds back of John and Jack. Bruce McLaren's Cooper dropped it's rear axle soon after Clark, and it seemed that attrition was going to play a major role in the race. After nine laps the the running order was Surtees, Brabham, Gurney, Bonnier, Bandini and the now charging Spence in the number two Lotus, and by lap 12 Spence was by Bandini and Bonnier as well. He was at this point lapping a full second a lap faster than the rest of the field.
Graham Hill spun on lap 13 after going through the oil dropped by Tingles' anemic LDS. The top six remained the same for the next 10 laps, Jack hounding John with Gurney and Spence closing, until Surtees made an error in the esses, and allowed Brabham to slip by. Sir Jack's Climax V-8 immediately picked up a misfire, and although he was holding Surtees at bay, we wondered aloud how long before the engine would let go completely. Gurney stormed past Surtees' Ferrari to make Team Brabham 1-2, and on lap 42 the slowing Sir Jack dutifully let his teammate through.
Graham Hill had found his form following his spin, and had worked his way back into the points. The order was now Gurney-Brabham-Surtees-Spence-Bandini-Hill-Bonnier.
The next ten laps saw a most amazing drive by Mike Spence. Seven seconds back at lap 42, the Lotus was simply marvelous as he passed Surtees and Brabham on the same lap, and two laps later came by in front of Gurney.
Colin Chapman and Clark were celebrating wildly in the Lotus pit, and Spence looked unbeatable. Alas, eight laps later he stuffed it into the hay bales at Copse Corner, and Team Lotuses day was done. This put Gurney back in the lead, and miraculously, Sir Jack was still holding off Surtees, misfire and all. It was now the two Brabhams followed by the two Ferraris, with G. Hill and Bonnier rounding out the top six.
Seven laps from the scheduled 65, Surtees' day came to an end when he picked up a puncture and crashed heavily. He escaped injury, but a fine drive came to naught.
From here on Dan cruied and with the threat of Surtees' Ferrari now removed, Sir Jack backed off. Bandini moved up to third, and a delighted Graham Hill came home fourth after a tough afternoon. The privately entered Brabhams of Jo Bonnier and Jo Siffert rounded out the points scoring positions.
So, we are once again underway in Formula 1, and no one is happier than Sir jack, who has 15 points in the Manufacturers' Championship. Except perhaps Dan Gurney, who has put himself on top as the man to beat.
Next stop, Monaco!
Thank You for this review...a joy to read.