Friday, April 24, 2009

Milka's Back! (as is her front, and the rest :)

Milka Duno, whom I'll describe as Venezuelan Indycar hotness (and also oft dubbed 'moving chicane'), has been inserted into the #23/23t Dreyer and Reinbold entry for the Kansas race and quite likely Indy 500. Not much of a surprise really, but I will accept a half-point for getting this one right in my previous predictions.

Milka is known off the track for her abbreviated past in sports-car racing, multiple Masters degrees including engineering, connections to CITGO - the Venezuelan government's oil company, and for her... uh, invitingly ample physical attributes which often make hetero-males quickly take notice. On the track, many would consider her under-qualified, useless eye-candy, and even dangerous to others' (ahem) equipment.

I can only let history judge at this point and I'd have to say that the numbers show that no matter the shape of the terrain (road or oval course), she's off the 'race pace' by a noticable margin. I cannot attribute this to lesser equipment or team as other drivers who've filled in on the road/street tracks in the #23 have been more competitive in the same chassis.

I understand that a significant part of this autosport business is entertainment, meaning only a part is racing in its purest form. I don't mind her being part of the Indycar equation because I don't subscribe to the illusion that any major form of autosport in the world today is more about the racing and less about the entertainment. The ALMS is far closer in my opinion than even Formula 1. I see the ALMS as the closest thing we have to racing laboratories that will actually be translated into modern passenger cars, but that is a subject (read - argument) for another time.

Milka's participation in Indycar can be boiled down into a binary decision as a 'Yes' because I believe that to date, her positives outweigh her negatives. Positives being; a personality that brings fans from sources that were not interested in Indycar before, a sexy facade that garners attention and conversation, a racing pedigree that creates conversation amongst longtime fans of Indycar, and the almighty sponsor dollar into a team and sport that can use every bit of cash it can. Her negatives; subpar racing skills, semi-present on-track 'influence' (see moving chicane) of racing product (although it can be argued quite well that she is no different than many, many other slower drivers of the past).

On the whole, I'd rather she be here than not. I assume her colleagues would disagree, and thus ever shall be the dichotomy between pure racing and racing as entertainment. As a fan and race-watcher, I'll settle for the current condition of racing as entertainment.

PS Based on some of the images found for this post (like the one seen above), I wonder if something like this Indycar styling may be closer to truth in advertising...

'til next time...

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