Formula 1200 Is The Racing League For The Rest Of Us

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Emerson Fittipaldi dominated the 1994 Indianap...

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Race car driving is challenging, fun and expensive. Many people who have the talent to become a competitive driver and appear on television in the Indy 500 or on the streets of Monaco in a Formula One car never get the chance. The sport is simply too expensive for most young talents to give it a try.

Harry O’Neal believes that just isn’t fair and knows an affordable way for boys and girls to test their talent on the track. Harry is the president of the Ontario chapter of the Formula 1200 Driver’s Association. If you aren’t familiar with Formula 1200, perhaps you have heard of Formula Vee. They are the same international racing league.

A decent Formula 1200 car costs between $10,000 and $12,000. Fees and expenses for a race weekend run from $350 to $500. Expenses will be higher if the car gets damaged, but not significantly. O’Neal points out that rebuilding the front end costs about $500 for a Formula 1200 car compared to $2000 for a Formula Ford.

O’Neal is quick to point out that the key to success in Formula 1200 is the driver’s skill. The rules dictate that every car in the field has nearly identical performance. Stock Volkswagen 4 cylinder, 1200 cc, air-cooled engines are in every Formula 1200 car. They cannot weigh less than 464 kilograms and the wheels, brakes and transaxle are all VW stock.

Even though the engines only produce 55 to 60 horsepower, the cars can reach 200 km/h on a long straight. Because these are small cars, with a low center of gravity, it feels much faster to the driver. Formula 1200 is an exciting racing league and a great way for young drivers to experience the sport of open wheel racing. Best of all, this is a league that doesn’t require a huge budget to compete.

Make no mistake, however, if you have the talent in Formula 1200, there is every possibility you could pilot a car in one of the major racing leagues down the road. Nikki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi and Bobby Rahal all proved themselves in Formula 1200. This is a growing sport in Canada and around the world. If you know a youngster with a passion for racing but lacking the budget to compete in Formula Atlantic or Formula Ford, introduce them to Formula 1200. There is no telling how far they might go.

 

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  • Published: Apr 16th, 2011
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Diving is Too Expensive

Diving is Too Expensive

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Oxygen toxicity occurs when lungs take in a hi...

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This is a big one. First, remember what you’re getting for your money besides just the dive: A day on the water. A day in the sun. A picnic. A chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. Maybe one of those once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences. The opportunity to watch members of the opposite sex struggle in and out of wetsuits.

Piggyback diving. A way to stretch both time and money is to piggyback dive trips on to business or family trips ­the travel is already paid for. How many times have you seen business people traveling with golf clubs or tennis rackets? Why not a mask and regulator?

Make your stay less expensive. Check to see if there are accommodations with cooking facilities, such as a condo or an efficiency. Buying a few groceries local and having one or two meals a day “at home” will save a bundle.

Reason for the season? High season is often simply a measure of how many people are on vacation from school and work or are fed up with winter and ready to go anywhere warmer. It does not mean it’s the best time to be there for diving, but it does mean higher prices and bigger crowds. Check your dive travel specialist for destinations where low season coincides with the best diving conditions.

Pay less­, carry a big club. Dive clubs are able to negotiate group rates for diving and travel. Resorts will often offer free spaces for group leaders and the savings can be split among the entire group.

Watch the world. Keep up-to-date on your destinations­. For example, the current global financial crisis is making some of the best diving in the world suddenly more affordable.

Tax actions. It’s about time the government paid for some of your diving. Expenses incurred while participating in diving activities like fish counts and reef surveys organized for non-profit corporations are tax-deductible. Your dear Uncle Sammy may be happy to pay for almost a third of these dive trips­. Just don’t tell him how much fun they are. Also, any cost to join a marine-related non-profit organization that is considered a donation is deductible.

Solution: Realize what a great bargain you’re getting; scrimp and save; be a smart dive consumer.

Mavs Owner Mark Cuban is looking into starting a REAL NCAA Championship Playoff system for College Football.

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Mark Cuban has always been one of the most outspoken proponents of marketing in the NBA. But he has interests far beyond that sport. He attempted to buy the Chicago Cubs but was rebuffed by the Old Boys Club known as Major League Baseball. Now he has another idea and this one is something I can really get behind–He wants to finance a true NCAA Playoff system. He told ESPNDallas.com: “The more I think about it, the more sense it makes as opposed to buying a baseball team. You can do something the whole country wants done.”

There are precedents for starting a true playoff. Pryor to the first NCAA Basketball National Championship Tournament, the National Invitational Tournament was the “unofficial” championship. It took a few years before the NIT became a footnote and the NCAA Tournament became the central focus as the “real” championship.

Cuban wants to replace the BcS and most of the football world (except the pinhead ivy covered college presidents) agrees it should go. Cuban is totally correct that there would be a lot more money generated by a national playoff than by the 34 bowl games plus the BcS Championship game.

There are some that complain “we can not lose the tradition of the Bowl games in college football!” Who will ever recover from the loss of the Poulan Weed-eater bowl? I know I cried for weeks! There are 14 teams in bowl games with a 6-6 record. What Drama! What excitement to proudly claim “We’re number 33!”

There are 3 key questions. Question 1-Would TV pay BIG BUCKS to broadcast a true playoff? Oh, YES THEY WOULD. Today for example on the local ABC affiliate at 2PM opposite the ESPN coverage of the New Mexico Bowl is showing “Paid Programming.”

Question 2– Would the really good teams sign up to play vs going to a BcS bowl?

I will leave it to you. Do you think the undefeated TCU would rather play in an 8 team playoff for a national title rather than playing a one loss Wisconsin for all the roses in the Rose Bowl? I think so. Would Ohio State rather play Arkansas in the Sugar bowl or have a shot to win a national championship? No, they would rather have a shot at the big game.

Now an even harder question. If you were undefeated Oregon or Auburn, would you rather receive a crystal football from the BcS or win a true playoff? If the other top teams were going to the playoff, I think both would opt out of a fictional championship for a real playoff. That is particularly true of Auburn who could lose their BcS championship if QB Newton is eventually found to have been ineligible. When you win a playoff similar to that in the NFL, you have much more credibility.

Question 3-Will the schools go along with the idea? In terms of the Cuban plan to get the playoff started, here is what he said, “Put $500 million in the bank and go to all the schools and pay them money as an option. Say, ‘Look I’m going to give you X amount every five years. In exchange, you say if you’re picked for the playoff system, you’ll go.”

The only thing that is more important to college presidents than their dedication to a far left agenda is their greed. Pay them and they will come. The TV rights to an 8 team playoff has been estimated to be worth 2 billion dollars. That is where the playoff would probably start.

If it started this season, here is what the playoff would look like.

8 Arkansas v 1 Auburn

5 Wisconsin v 4 Stanford – Winner plays the winner above

6 Ohio State v 3 TCU

7 Oklahoma v 2 Oregon – Winner plays the winner above.

The first round would be played today and tomorrow. The second round would be played the following Saturday and the finals would be played on Jan 1.

The rest of the bowls could go on as usual. There would be 4 fewer bowls. The ones to go first would most likely be the New Mexico Bowl, the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and the hardest to give up–the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl. Somehow, I can face another day without those great games if there was a real playoff at the end of the season.

So, that is the plan. Do you think that would be a better system than the BS–I mean BcS?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

Also listen to the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear my draft analysis on Tuesdays on http://www.cleveland.com/dsn/index.ssf/2010/11/dsn_video_live_stream.html

Technorati Tags: BCS,BCS Championship game,Auburn,Oregon,Wisconsin,Ohio State,Stanford,TCU,Oklahoma,NFL Playoffs,Mark Cuban,ESPN,ESPNDallas.com,NBA,Dallas Mavericks
  • Mark Cuban Wants to Implement College Football Playoff System (blippitt.com)
  • Mark Cuban BCS Comments: Cuban Wants Collge Football Playoff (nowpublic.com)
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