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This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

I was super pumped Friday at the introduction of all-electric rallycross machines.

IMG promotes the World Rallycross Championship and next year it will introduce a support series called Projekt E.

WRX Projekt E

The new car is a collaboration between IMG and an Austrian R&D shop. This is all a first for global motorsport.

Projekt E next season will showcase the all-electric cars at European rounds of the championship. The short races in rallycross and high torque racing environment is perfect for electrification.

These will be 612 horsepower machines, 14,000 rpm motors and full torque within 32 milliseconds of the start. Top speeds? 150 miles an hour.

The electrics will fit in new builds or converted current chassis.

Frankly, this is the future. Automakers want this. And those who ignore that fact face losing automaker interest. Can’t wait to see it.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Antonio BrownEven if you don’t like stick and ball sports you learned to hate Antonio Brown this week.

The NFL wide receiver calls his antics Boomin.’ That’s slang for unfathomably hot or irresistible.

We’re left with believing Brown is the idiot supreme or he’s Boominly brilliant. The stories say Brown left thirty to forty-five million dollars on the table in Oakland.

He’ll get some of that back if he sticks under the New England Patriot discipline. The rest and more could come from a deal with his new helmet company and growth in his Social Media presence. Sunday morning he had 3.6 million fans on Instagram alone.

No one in sports has made more of Social Media than video legend Ken Block who has half again more Instagram followers than Antonio. And NASCAR drivers have long known that sponsors want Social Media presence over race wins.

Maybe Social Media has infected football now and Antonio Brown is following the Boomin’ noise from the racetrack.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

We normally think of motor racing as a young man’s game. But that wasn’t the case at last night’s IndyCar race outside St. Louis.

Takuma Sato42-year-old Takuma Sato got the win. And that was good to hear after he was crucified on Social Media for his part in the first lap accident at Pocono Raceway last weekend.

Second last night was 38-year-old Ed Carpenter an oval track specialist. And third was Tony Kanaan, at 44 the oldest on the podium.

That put the average age of the top three finishes at just more than 41 years. Rare in modern racing.

It brought a smile when 21-year-old IndyCar rookie Santino Ferrucci finished fourth at the Checkered Flag.

Josef Newgarden still leads the championship race by 38 over Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud with two races left in the season.

Gotta love the Senior’s Tour, though, right?

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Really bad news for a Friend of the Freaks.

Scott Speed2American rallycross champion driver Scott Speed is recovering in a Salt Lake City Hospital after a terrible accident Friday at a Nitro Circus Rallycross event at the Utah Motorsports Campus.

Early Saturday Scott told his Social Media community that he broke his back after landing hard in a qualifying heat. He said he destroyed his T6 vertebrae in his upper back and fractured three others in the accident. He said Friday night he was in a pretty dark place.

A race official who was trackside told me Scott overshot the small jump and missed the landing area. I’m told that Speed finished the heat, stopped the car, climbed out, took a step and collapsed on the track in pain.

Scott won three rallycross titles in four years with Andretti Autosport. He was leading this year’s ARX standings by five points over former VW teammate Tanner Foust. It could be months before Speed gets back in a car for competition.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Lots of drama, competition and strategy in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

And largest headline might be Ferrari. They were so far from the leaders today that Lewis Hamilton was able to make a pit stop for new tires in the last 20 laps and not lose his second place position in front of Ferrari.

WLewis Hamiltonith those new tires, in fact, Hamilton made up nearly 20 seconds in those final 20 laps to win going away over Max Verstappen.

Max VerstappenIt’s easy to say that Verstappen’s race craft is now equal to Hamilton. Verstappen is the only driver in the series to finish in the top five of every race going into the annual August break.

But the pony in the pile is Honda. Verstappen’s Red Bull team uses Honda engines and Honda racing continues to shine after leaving McLaren two years ago.

The headlines after the break? Can Verstappen and Honda continue pushing Hamilton and Mercedes? And can Valtteri Bottas do enough to keep his job at Mercedes?

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Honda had a frustrating three years in Formula One supplying engines that weren’t competitive at McLaren.

The break up after the 2017 season was visible and embarrassing for all concerned.

Honda Racing Logo

But Honda today had a collar popping weekend at the German Grand Prix. The wild race in pop-up rain storms at Hockenheim was described as a horror movie with a bit of polite comedy.

But Honda emerged with a first and third on the podium when it was done. Considering the nightmare with McLaren today was a dream come true.

Honda had more good news this week. It re-upped with Andretti Autosport in IndyCar. That allowed Alexander Rossi to stay with Andretti and Honda.

In addition, Honda powered two of the three on the podium at Mid-Ohio including winner Scott Dixon. Must be champagne corks we hear popping at Honda Racing.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

INDYCAR_logoThe IndyCar Series goes to Mid-Ohio next weekend with a tough championship still unfolding in 2019.

There are five events left in the season including Mid-Ohio. And there’s less than 100 points separating the top four drivers in the battle. Points leader Josef Newgarden won last night in Iowa but second was the 2018 champion Scott Dixon, a long-time Friend of the Freaks.

Dixon’s fourth in the standings but I’d be afraid to say he’s not in the chase with five events left. In fact, Alexander Rossi, the number two driver in the list, will be hard to ignore along with Simon Pagenaud who’s third in points.

The Wild Card in this game, though, is the double points available in the last race at Laguna Seca.

Newgarden, Pagenaud and Dixon all have titles in their chip stack. So they know how to cash in down the stretch. Rossi still must prove he can get it done and not leave any money on the table.

Remember Rounders? Check! Check! Check! Check! Check! No one’s eating Oreos in this game! Let’s play some cards…

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

Between workouts, walks and bike rides I’ve become a pretty good consumer of podcasts.

The Los Angeles Times, in fact, did a great series called Dirty John. I understand it’s even becoming a television show. Now the LA Times Studios have a series made for The Freak Nation. It’s called Larger Than Life and that’s the only way to describe Big Willie Robinson, the founder and president of the Los Angeles County Street Racers.

Larger Than Life

Long before TV’s Street Outlaws in the 405, there were street racers ON the 405 in Southern California.

I discovered Big Willie one night in 1968, standing in a pickup bed screaming to the assembled throng in a shopping center at Crenshaw and Slauson at 3 AM. If a large muscled black man in a black derby hat screaming at that time in the morning with the LAPD watching and doing nothing didn’t get your attention you needed to move along and wake up later.

The Larger Than Life podcast describes how Big Willie saved LA streets from illegal racing and rioting at a time when everyone wanted nothing more.

It’s a Larger than Life story about a Larger Than Life man at a time when LA streets were making Larger Than Life headlines. Listen and learn.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

How do you do a 19th anniversary show without first saying thank you to the Freak Nation. Without you no one would care about The Freaks. Thank you.

SC_FreaksIt’s crazy to think about where we’ve come from. One hour. One station. And one night we only had one mic to share between us.

We’ve been in studios where the trash wasn’t emptied until we emptied it ourselves. We had giant crows camped outside one studio. Now I’m in a studio where I can watch deer amble by the window.

There have been drivers who’ve become friends. Drivers who are no longer with us. Drivers who were so lengendous you had to pay attention that they were actually talking to us. Nineteen years of life changing memories.

One of the biggest memories for me? The people who thought we wouldn’t make it 19 weeks much less 19 years. A couple of them are in jail now and we’re still spending Sunday nights with you.

The Freaks are 19 years down the road and still grabbin’ gears still accelerating and still looking for 19 more.

Peace.

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

I’m not sure I understand all the drawing board rules of the new world sports car category for what’s called hypercars. But I do understand that hypercars will expand hybrid technology, electrification and production-based machines at the top of world sports car racing.

I think that’s a wonderfully good thing and, evidently, manufacturers are seeing it that way as well. Toyota has committed along with Aston Martin. McLaren is studying the new rules along with Ford.
2020 Hypercars
This top class will replace the uber expensive LMP1 class with lap times approximately equal to what is now LMP2. That alone indicates the rule book will tilt toward production-based machinery even though prototypes will be allowed.

Ford’s departure from GT racing to consider a hypercar program will tell you that manufacturers are interested in less expensive machinery that somehow makes people think showroom and not wish worlds.

Now, if only the NASCAR-based IMSA program would get on board.

Peace.