PTCG Crimson Invasion Pre-Release #1: Best one yet!

Well we just had our pre-release event for the new Crimson Invasion set and wow what a day it was. That was the most fun I’ve had in a pre-release of the six I’ve been to so far. We were the first in Singapore to open Crimson Invasion packs and the first to have the pre-release. We might have even been the first in the world to host a pre-release event for Crimson Invasion. And it it was a big one too, 44 of us! Easily the biggest pre-release event I’ve been to.

So far my luck have been rather good in pre-releases. In the four previous ones, I had the promo card I wanted to get (Charizard for Evolutions, Oranguru for Sm1, Sandslash for Sm2 and Seviper for Sm3).

For this set I was hoping to get the Registeel promo card because it looked amazing and it’s a strong one too, sure helps my steel type Metagross deck. As it happened, I did pick the right box as it was the one with Registeel so the streak lives, now 5 in 5 pre-release events I’ve got the promo I wanted.

It was a good day so far as I got to play test a bit with my friends before the event, trying out my fun Gengar deck and while I lost to Volcanion, I managed to beat a Raichu-GX deck. The power of the Creep Show is still strong. There were a lot of top players looking at our games so it felt good when they saw my addition of Latios in the deck and thought it was an interesting but very good choice. Latios did get my two prizes early on with knockouts on Pikachu and  Vulpix.

 

Now back to the pre-release and from what I saw from my evolution pack, I kinda knew I might have to build a Fighting & Steel type deck. Thankfully the cards I got from my 4 booster packs helped. I managed to pull another Regirock and Registeel. But the best one was easily the Buzzwole-GX hyper rare pull! Yes, for the second pre-release event in a row, I’ve pulled a hyper rare! And a good one at it too. I brought along my Gengar plushie as a good luck charm in the hopes of pulling the holo Gengar and even though I didn’t get that, I still got some good cards so thank you lucky charm.

So I decided to build my 40 card deck around the two Regis, Registeel and Regirock with Buzzwole-GX as the suprise attacker and Gastrodon, Mawile and Escavalier as back-up. The only trainer card I pulled was two Gladion but that ended up helping me in two of my matches so I’m really liking it so far.
The idea of the deck was to hopefully start with Registeel and get some quick knockouts or start with Regirock, do some damage first and when it gets knocked out, get Reigsteel to power up another Regirock or Buzzwole. The fact that Regirock adds 10 more damage to Registeel’s move sure helped.

 

The way our pre-release works was that we’d play 3 rounds, each a best of 1 match instead of the usual 3. Each decks were 40 cars instead of 60 and playing with 4 prizes instead of the usual 6. After the game, everyone gets 2 packs plus the amount of wins they got from the event, so the max was 5 packs. So it was possible to open 9 new packs in one day. Now to the matches.

Round 1: vs Gengar/Registeel – W (1/0/0)

Two turns later and this match was done. Yup it ended pretty quickly. My opponent started with just one Gastly and I started with Registeel. I had the one Steel energy and used the first move for 30 damage. My opponent didn’t do anything for his next turn so then came the easy knockout for the first prize and the game win. The match was over in about a minute. We did play another match and it lasted longer, his Nihilego did give me some issues but luckily Regirock came to the rescue there. There was a point where my opponent kept hitting me for 30 damage on my Shellos and I would recover those 30 the next turn an we’d repeat that for a few turns.

 

Round 2: vs Gengar/Mawile – W (2/0/0)

This was the toughest match I had of the three matches. I didn’t get to start with either Regis so I had to settle for Shellos. Gengar showed up not long and it’s ability was that if anyone attached an energy from their hand to their pokemon, it takes 20 damage counter. It knocked out Regirock so I had to get Registeel up and set-up Buzzwole. It worked nicely as I missed the confusion damage and even managed to knock Gengar out before I was ready with Buzzwole which helped me get that last prize. Close match but I managed to get it in the end. I was really liking the combo of Registeel and Regirock, they were working perfectly together during my matches.

Round 3: vs Guzzlord/Registeel – W (3/0/0)

And now for the match I was a bit worried about. My friends and I had been joking about us hoping to pull that Guzzlord because of how good it was for a pre-release event. Easy choice to use it and 39 dark energy right? Should have been but some didn’t see it. There were 3 other guys with Guzzlord and all three were different. The one who did go with the ideal plan of 1 Guzzlord and 39 dark energy did end up winning all 3 matches and finished 1st in the event.

 

My opponent included  Registeel in his deck which I wasn’t sure why he did but I saw the idea behind it. I put a Karrablast at the start just so it can take the hit while I powered up Regirock. Since Guzzlord did have a fighting-type weakness, I was waiting for the right time to use Regirock and when my Karrablast did get knocked out, Regirock was ready to go. I managed to get a straight knockout on Guzzlord and the rest was easy for me, thanks to Regirock. My opponent had no answer for Regirock so that was win #3 for me. Yup, for the first time in a pre-release event I was unbeaten with a 3-0 record and I finished 2nd out of 44 players. Not bad at all. Just one spot away from seeing my name at #1 for the first time ever. I’ll get there one day, be it a pre-release or the usual standard format.

20171020_214136.jpgSo it was a fun event with the biggest crowd I’ve seen for any event at Qisahn. More progress being made. Turns out that, other than the usual Guzzlords, the Regirock/Registeel combo was actually quite good and helps you beat that Guzzlord match. With my 3 wins it meant I was getting 5 packs. I was already happy with the fact that I had some good pulls from my kit. And it got better from my prizes. I ended up getting 3 white codes from it, two of them were GXes. I was a full art, the other was a rainbow rare.

Yup I couldn’t believe myself on  what I was getting. Two rainbow rares in one event, what are the odds of that happening? Must have been my lucky day. 2nd place out of 44 people is something new for someone like me. Just one more spot to go. Or maybe it was the work of my mini-Gengar plushie. Oh well, it was easily the most fun pre-release I’ve been to and there’s still one more to come next week. Here’s to more pre-releases to come in the future!

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PTCG: Two best finishes in tourneys in a week

So for a noob like myself in the art of Pokemon Trading Card Game, I actually managed to finish 3rd and 4th in a field of 21 and 23 players within the space of 5 days! Yes, me doing so well at a PTCG tourney? My luck must be turning around.

 

So the first one was my usual Friday tourney, and it was the biggest tournout yet at my usual spot in Qisahn. 21 players! Usually I’d see 8-12 players but now more is coming so that’s always good news, nice to see the community growing. With fire types owning at other places, I stopped using my Metagross-GX deck and started playing the Gardevoir-GX deck. Yes, the same one that won worlds this year. Why? Not because I follow the trend but I got that GX the most of any in SM3 so why not?

 

And it’s a deck about numbers, you’re always calculating your potential damage (kinda reminds me of my old Yveltal-EX deck). And I am a numbers guys so I had to try it. I’d been trying a few different variations out but it seems to me the Sylveon version is much better so I’ve stuck to that for a few weeks. Plea GX can help you beat your one un-winnable match in Metagross/Solgaelo matches.

 

R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WL – 0/0/1

This was a tough one. I misplayed a lot in he first match and my opponent still scooped the match because he realized he was out of options. Second match was worse, I couldn’t set up my team properly and his Volcanions wrecked me. The third match was going alright for me but time was called.

Usually I’d do a gentlemen’s agreement with my opponent to flip a coin to decide who wins since no-one will get an extra pack for drawing. My opponent didn’t want it so we took a draw. My first draw ever at a Qisahn event. Not cool. All my friends were surprised about it because our prizes are based on wins not points so there’s no point taking a draw but some people don’t see the point of it I suppose. Turns out he drew his next match too so maybe he was just there to ruin our games. Not cool.

R2 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon WLW – 1/0/1

Yup a mirror match. So this matches took a lot of thinking on both our parts. It was very even in all three matches but luckily I scraped through on the match that mattered most, the final one. He was about to knock my Sylveon out but Acerola came to the rescue and Gardevoir took it’s mirror out. That got me the advantage and the win.

R3 vs Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt WW – 2/0/1

This match wasn’t really fair. Both times my opponent failed to set up his team and a Vikabulu deck needs to set-up to do well. The first match he never got a Grubbin out so easy win for me. The second match he did get them out but I took two of them out thanks to Guzma.

3rd place finish out of 21 players, my best finish in a tournament of that size. Not bad at all. 2 wins and one draw gave me 7 points and also the only other person to go undefeated along with the two guys who won all 3 matches. We had some interesting decks that day, finally got to see Raichu in action but it didn’t do so well. Gardevoir and Ho-Oh decks were the most common ones with 4 a piece yet the outright winner was a Metagross deck, and the only one there too haha! Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs, oh what a bummer.

 

The next one was a Diwali special tournament and since it was a public holiday a lot more guys showed up. 23 players! And I knew 6 others who couldn’t make it so it could have been even more. Progress being made here at the store, that’s nice to see. I stuck with Gardevoir but tried a different list this time, similar to Pablo Meza’s list in which he won the Vancouver regionals (I think) the past weekend. Out when the Mallows and Rescue Stretchers and in came the Float Stones and a few more cards to add to the consistency of the deck. And I can say the deck felt that bit better after the changes but still needs some changes. That’s the best part about this game, even if you have a great list, you still want to make some changes. All part of the fun of this game.

 

R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WW 1/0/0

 

Yup, starting off with another Volcanion/Turtonator match up again. I had played this guy before and he beat me so I wasn’t feeling too good about this match. Turns out everything went my way. Everytime he tried to set someone up, I had a counter for it. And in one of the matches, I had 3 Gardevoirs set-up in turn 4. Never had a set-up as good as that before. So that was good really good wins for me. Pretty stoked about that.

R2 vs Ninetales/Zoroark WW 2/0/0

So my opponent is someone I know quite well, he’s one of the regulars in our place so I knew what his deck was about, now with the added bonus of Zoroark-GX to help set up Ninetales-GX quicker. First match I had to take some risks in knocking out some prize attackers and it helped. Managed to get a one-hit KO on a Ninetales for the win. Second match wasn’t going my way until Gallade showed up and knocked out his Zoroark. The end of the match was tense. Either I had get a super draw to one-hit his 210HP Ninetales or I get knocked out. And with Octillery’s Abyssal Hand ability, I could draw cards until I had 5 in my hand. I needed to draw 3. Perfect secernario would be a Fairy Energy, a Double Colorless Energy and a Choice Band to knock Ninetales out. And that’s what I got from my draw! Luck of the draw I suppose. That was another really good match.

 

R3 vs Decidueye/Espeon LL 2/1/0

And now for the bragging right of who would probably win the whole thing (we thought). I was up against my friend in the final and I tend to playtest with him and a few others in Orchard every other week so I knew what his deck’s plan was. Spred the damage with Decidueye and kill everyone off with Espeon. So I wasn’t too dissapointed to start with Tapu Lele for once! My plan was to make sure he couldn’t snipe anyone but he saw it coming and started attacking my Lele so I fell for his trap and set my team up..for disaster.

 

Second match was just me throwing the result away in turn 2. When I went to do my Brigette start, I had planned to take a Ralts, Remomraid and an Eevee. For whatever reason I took a second Ralts and I only realised my mistake once I had played them. I could have asked my opponent for a re-do but since we’re in a tournament setting, I didn’t dare ask. And I had a Guzma in hand to help my Sylveon start off. So I never got going in that second match.

2 wins and 1 loss and I still ended up 4th, best results of those with 2 wins. This time around Ninetales was the most popular deck followed by Gardevoir. But I was the only Gardevoir player in the top 9. The rest? Three Vikabulus (and all three of them in the top 9, two with 3 wins), two Ninetales, a Metagross, a Volcanion and a Decidueye. So I am starting to get better at this game, maybe it’s time I should challenge myself and try the next tournament at Metagame where all the best players in Singapore usually play. I’ve not been there in a while because I never felt comfortable playing against those guys. I should change that soon. Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs again, oh what a bummer.

 

Still it was a fun week of playing Pokemon TCG, 4 wins out of 6 matches is quite unheard for me since I still don’t feel I’m that good at the game yet but progress is being made. A 3rd and a 4th placing, not too bad at all. Still need to make that climb up to get 2nd and eventually 1st someday soon. Slowly but surely. And tomorrow, it’s my favourite event for Pokemon, the pre-release! Yes, Crimson Invasion pre-release is tomorrow at Qisahn which means we’ll be the first in Singapore to get to play the new SM4 cards. That’s pretty cool. Time for a break in the serious stuff and two weeks of fun battles to come. And also a battle against my sickness too. Why do I always fall sick during holidays?
Oh and I won a Litten plushie in one of the lucky draw prizes! 

2017 Formula One Malaysia Grand Prix – The Final One for Sepang

Yes the race was two weeks ago but I’ve been so busy that I’ve completely forgotten to post this up until now.

 

When I heard this year’s F1 Malaysia Grand Prix would be the last one at Sepang, I knew I had to make the trip up north one last time. My feelings aside about the country, Sepang is one of the better circuits I’ve been to, it’s got so many good spots around the circuit and you get to see the cars a lot longer than what you normally would like for those street circuits in Singapore and Melbourne.

 

So two weeks after the Singapore Grand Prix, and the first wet night race for F1 too, I was off to Malaysia and like always, took the early morning flight on the Friday itself. I got to Kuala Lumpur with plenty of time to just stroll to the bus that takes us to the circuit. And of course the driver lost his way trying to get to the circuit so we reached there while it was drizzling. Thanks man.

 

For FP1 I found a neat spot right in front of the Haas pit garage with a good view of the Renault, Toro Rosso and McLaren garages too. But that was all I got to see for a bit as the rain got heavier and that delayed FP1 by 30 minutes. Still, it’s not always you get to see the driver walking around their pit garages and talking to their guys up close, or in my case, with the aid of my camera.

 

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It was pretty cool to see the drivers just before they got into the cars and getting out of pit-lane and even seeing a few pit-stops practices. That’s one of the best bits about the Sepang race weekend, it’s free seating anywhere on Friday, including the main grandstand. So of course I took the chance to walk around a bit. Not so much for FP1 due to the rain though.

 

 

For FP2 I did walk around. Instead of seeing the pit-lane opposite me, I was seeing Turns 9 and 10 and the backstraight. After the first few minutes I went over to the tower to get the best views of the car and then came the bad news. Seems like I wasn’t the only one with that idea as the whole top deck of the tower was packed with people. I had a hard time just trying to get a picture of any of the cars around the sea of people. I did get some good shots after all. And once again it was a shortened session due to the Grosjean crash.

 

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I got to Sepang a little later than usual on Saturday and I realised it was a mistake. I had completely forgotten that Sepang did do those F1 forums witht he drivers so I missed that one. I will say that Liberty Media have done a great job making the fan experience even better off track, there were a lot of activities you could do in the F1 fan village, from the gaming zone to the pit-stop challenge to even a trampoline bit while waving the flag!

 

I got the same tickets as I did last time I was in Sepang at the K1 Grandstand but this time it was free seating, no seat numbers allocation, nothing! And when I got to the grandstand, the first 6 blocks were full! Not ideal at all. But since it was FP3, I went all the way to the end of the grandstand to see the view from in front of Turn 3 and some bits of 1, 2, 4 and 5. The middle bit is still much better.

 

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So that’s where I was for qualifying and also because the superscreen was there so we could at least follow what was happening on track. Turned out to be a good spot for taking some pictures too actually. Anytime a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull drivers came out, they had the loudest cheers. So imagine the reaction from the fans when Vettel never came back out for Q1. I had a good laugh, more bad luck for Ferrari. I’m all for that.

 

Not much else happened in Q2 and Q3, Lewis Hamilton took pole ahead of Kimi Raikkonen with both Red Bulls on row 2. The travel back was a nightmare though, we were stuck in traffic for what feels like forever. You’d think that it wouldn’t take long to get from Sepang to KLIA, since they’re just opposite one another, yet it took us almost an hour to get there. Not much else I need to say here.

 

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Raceday Sunday and guess what, I got there just as the driver’s parade ended. Yup, that damn traffic again. And once again the first few blocks were full so I ended up sitting almost the same area as the day before but this time in the 2nd row because I realised I could get a clear view of the cars for my pics even from there so why not get closer? And no-one will block me right? Not quite.

 

The race was pretty good from my point of view. Kimi Raikkonen never started the race so even more bad luck for Ferrari so more joy for me. The race start was clean, Hamilton lead and Bottas almost got 2nd but Verstappen held on. Then on Lap 4, in came the move from Max Verstappen to take the lead from Hamilton and the fans went nuts (as did I)! That was good stuff. A few laps later, Ricciardo had another great overtaking move to get 3rd from Bottas. Good day for Red Bull!

 

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I got to see a lot of close racing from my area since turn 1 was the hardest braking point on the circuit. And yes I did see a few incidents and spins that happened right in front of me. The Sainz-Ocon incident and Palmer-Magnussen incident happened at Turn 1. It’s not everyday you see two racing cars spinning around in front of you. I also saw the Alonso-Magnussen shuffle happening, that was a close one.

 

 

Verstappen ended up winning the race, only his 2nd win in F1 and a day after his 20th birthday too. Hamilton finished 2nd and Ricciardo just held off Vettel at the end to make it two Red Bull cars on the podium, that’s a good day in my view. And then Vettel had just three wheels, he collided with Stroll after the race! Haha! Vandoorne had his best race with 7th so another good day for McLaren so more good news for me. Not a bad last race for F1 in Sepang, I will miss watching racing there. The three times I’ve been there, it was always good. We need more circuits like these in F1 and less street circuits with restricted views.

 

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2017 Formula One Singapore Grand Prix – The first ever wet F1 race at night

So last weekend was a historic race huh? For the first time in the long Formula One history, we had a wet race at night! So that was a pretty cool experience to be in the first one ever. Oh and the Ferraris before retiring on Lap 1 for the first time ever too which really made my weekend haha.

 

So after my bad experience of sitting in a grandstand in Singapore 2 years ago and saying I probably won’t ever get another grandstand sit here again….yup I bought one. I couldn’t help it and I just had to give it a try so this time I went for the Esplanade Bayfront grandstand, I thought it might be a good spot to check out. Turned out to be a really good spot so I’m glad I did get seats there.

 

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For once, I didn’t really do much in the lead up to the racing weekend. It didn’t help not hearing about any driver’s public events or appearances anywhere! They must have been all private events this year so that really sucked. You want to bring the sport closer to the fans but you keep blocking them off with little events and the only way to go to their autograph session is by winning tickets for it. Not cool. They really need to look at the way Australia does it.

 

I was really looking forward to watching the cars in action this year. Unlike some others, I actually do like how the cars look this year. And there were some good looking cars this year. Toro Rosso, Force India, McLaren, Sauber and Renault all have great liveries on their cars for the 2017 season. Quite rare to have that many good ones on the same grid.

 

So for Friday I started the day out at Turns 11/12. Since I was stuck in zone 4 for this year, that was the first place I had in mind to check out. After all, there aren’t many good spots in zone 4 so I might as well spend most of my time at the better spots. At any point you could be seeing the cars from the side view, the back view or the front view around that Turns 11-12 area. Good spot for taking pictures of the cars too. So much so I spent the entire FP1 at the Turns 10-12 area.

 

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If you’re ever at the Singapore Grand Prix and all you’ve got is a zone 4 ticket, the really good spots are at Turn 8, 11/12 and 14. I even tried to see the action at the turn 13 hairpin but you had to stand on a railing just to see the cars. The bit before Turn 14 is also another good spot, that’s the place where you’ll hear the cars at their “loudest” and also the easiest place to see sparks flying off these cars which is always a nice visual. Too bad I can never get a good picture for it. It’s usually the one spot where I’ll be taking videos instead of pictures. You can actually hear the differences from each power units in action.

 


There is an interesting spot on top of the Esplande building overlooking Turn 15, you can see the cars from the view of the 4th floor and since the building is inside the circuit, anyone with a ticket can watch it from there. It’s also one of the few spots around the track where you can get a picture of these cars without those catch fences being in the way but only for one specific spot. I liked it so much I almost spent all of FP3 at that spot. I probably should have as I didn’t get one good picture of the cars from Turn 15 when I decided to switch with 20 minutes to go.

 

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The atmosphere was amazing with fans from everywhere coming down to Singapore. There were people from Netherlands (lots of Dutch fans here), Denmark, Mexico, Canada and even good ol’ USA but the main ones are the Brits and the Aussies. I ended up sitting around some of them during the race and of course they had a friendly banter with one another with Hamilton and Ricciardo fighting for the win.
There’s no clear cut favourites on who the fans all support so it’s nice to see all different supporters, as it tends to be the case around here. You’ll always hear a cheer for either the Ferrari guys, Mercedes guys, Red Bull guys or the McLaren guys (McLaren fan here). Oh if you were wondering, there was a loud cheer when the two Ferraris crashed into each other during the race. Guess my area was the anti-Ferrari zone.

 

The same can be said during qualifying. I went back to Turn 11 because there was a super screen there and I wanted to see what times everyone was doing. The crowd around me for qualifying were pro-Verstappen. I was a bit surprised to see a lot of Dutch fans here in Singapore, they really do travel around to support their guys. Good on them. I was sure a Red Bull car would be on pole position with how quick they were in all three practice session but of course Sebastian Vettel had to ruin that and take pole away. Laugh it up Ferrari fans, guess who got the last laugh?

 

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For once I didn’t really bother with the music concerts. I mean look who was there. One Republic? Don’t know them. Chainsmokers? Never heard of them. Calvin Harris? Who the heck is he? I honestly have not heard of him until the friday of the racing weekend. Turns out his is dance music. Really, you’re going to have that shit at an F1 circuit? Where’s our rock & roll music? I mean think about it, F1 is an adrenaline pumping sport, rock and roll gives you that adrenaline rush too! I mean it’s perfect for an F1 race and it’s my kind of music. So until we get someone good, I won’t bother with these concerts. Then again, I’m here at an F1 circuit for the racing itself. I guess you can see why the Australian Grand Prix is still my favourite race to visit, it’s all racing there.

 

So Sunday was fun in some ways. Looking up in the sky, I knew this could be the day we actually do get hit by the rain during the racing weekend. For some weird reason, the only time it has rained was two Fridays and it was well before any of the F1 practice sessions started. The weather really didn’t help that day. It was raining, then it stopped, then it rained again, then it stopped again, it went on and on. Especially around 10 minutes before the race started, the rain came down again. It wasn’t fun hiding under the grandstand to avoid the rain and still get hit by it! Oh and a piece of advice here, always bring a poncho! I forgot to bring mine and I had to buy one (just for $2) because they didn’t allow umbrellas to be used in the grandstands. I should have known better from my experiences in Suzuka and Melbourne.

 

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So the rain actually rejuvenated the fans around my area, we were all psyched and ready to see the start of the race. We all kinda knew we were about to witness history, the first ever wet race at night in F1. And these guys have never raced around the track in the wet session too so it was a step into the unknown for everyone involved.

 

And then the start happened. So if you didn’t see, how did you not? Vettel started on pole, Verstappen 2nd and Raikkonen 3rd. Kimi gets a better start then the front two, Seb gets a slower start, tries to cut off Max and this caused Kimi to hit Max and then his own team-mate! The Ferrari guys took each other out! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I’ve never had a good laught at a race like that. People who know me knows how much I hate Ferrari so this felt like my birthday, the greatest gift of them all seeing those two cars out in the first lap!

 

It was weird seeing the cars race while shivering in my poncho. This was actually my first wet race! I’ve seen wet practice or qualifying sessions in Melbourne, Suzuka and Sepang but never the race itself. Of course I had a tall bloke sitting in front of me in a grandstand as per usual but this time he didn’t really block my view that much when trying to take a picture of the F1 cars in actions.

 

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In the end it was Lewis Hamilton picking up an unlikely win in Singapore. I wasn’t expecting to see a Mercedes car on the podium this weekend since Singapore is their weakest track so to see both of them on the podium was something else. Good ol’ Daniel Ricciardo was on the podium for the fourth year in a row but still not the win. One day Dan will get it and I hope I’ll be near the podium to see it happen. Special shout out to Carlos Sainz, Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne, all 3 of them got their best career finishes in that race with 4th, 6th and 7th respectively.

 

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So it was another good weekend at the Marina Bay street circuit. I already know which tickets I’m aiming to get for next year’s race. Yes, there will be a next year after the news broke that Singapore has re-signed the race for another 4 more years among all the other breaking news to come out last weekend (McLaren switching to Renault power, Toro Rosso switching to Honda power and Carlos Sainz moving to Renault as part of the whole deal). Always good to have my fix of racing in for the year and hey, it won’t be the last, I’ll be at Sepang for the final Malaysian Grand Prix. I hope it doesn’t rain there too.

 

PTCG Burning Shadows Pre-Release: Double the fun!

It’s that time again, pre-release for the next pokemon set is here. This one was a little different as first of all, those of us here in Singapore had to wait 2 weeks longer than the rest of the world to have our pre-release events which sucks (and also means it was more a “post”-release since the set was already released the day before). The other reason? Well I’m going for two pre-release events for the first time so that should be double the fun. As it turned out, it sure was.

 

Pre-release time!

And I notice I never did do a post about the previous pre-release for Guardians Rising but that was a fun one too. I was in the middle of my exam period so I didn’t really have much time for Pokemon cards at that time. I did have fun playing the Vanilliuxe and Honchkrow deck, I think I won 2 out of my 3 matches with it and I got a Mallow full art in my kit.

 

The first pre-release was at Metagame, my second time there for a pre-release and the main place for the top players in Singapore to go to. The main promo card I was hoping to get was Seviper just because it’s a snake and I like snakes so I have to stick with my snakes. And for the 4th pre-release tourney in a row, I got who I wanted! Seviper! Woohoo! Better still, in my pre-release kit, I pulled a rainbow rare Noivern GX! One of the GX I wanted, great start to this pre-release already.

My Psychic-Dark deck

The focus of my deck was not the Noivern GX or the Toxicroak but instead little ol’ Meowstic. It’s second move looked too fun to pass up the chance of trying it out since it was a pre-release and you’re bound to have a lot of cards in your hand. 
Meowstic’s second move does 10 damage times the number of cards in your hand and that helped me out a number of times in the first pre-release. Toxicroak was there to provide backup with Seviper to help it out and of course Alolan Raticate because I did pull one tool card to make it’s free attack go from 10 to 60 damage. And well I had to put Noivern GX in since I was playing psychic and dark types and that’s what Noivern uses. Fun fact, a Noivern deck was the first deck I used when I got back into playing pokemon card. Yup, I’m loyal to it.

My first opponent is probably the person I played against the most since I got back into the game. It’s like we’re always bound to meet each other, be it our friendly weekly tourneys or pre-release events. She had a Toxicroak/Vileplume deck, so even though we both pulled the Seviper promo, we had different 2nd typings. I had the dark ones, she got the grass ones. I had the perfect hand to start the game off, Croagunk and Toxicroak so all I needed to do was set them up and the rest was set. Even her Wobbuffet had no answer to my Toxicroak. Luckily for me, she never got her Toxicroak so I ended up getting the win in about 5 minutes. After round one, score is 1-0.
And of course as fate would have it, my next opponent was also a good friend of mine. First I played against the girlfriend, now I’m up against her boyfriend haha. My boss had a much different deck, Crabbominable and Marshadow GX. And of course, he started with his GX car and who did I get? Two Ratattas and one Espurr. Of course I had to get a dark type when I’m playing the psychic type. I never stood a chance in this match. In about 5 minutes or so he won. After round two, score is 1-1.

Seviper promo and Noivern GX rainbow rare

And for the final round, it was a unfamiliar face, never met this opponent before but he had the same deck my friend had in the first round, Toxicroak/Vileplume. This was a trickier match as I did not get who I wanted initially. Finally after a while I got the Meowstic I needed. My Crogunk was posioned and I used my first Acerola to pull it back before getting knocked out. 
That worked really nicely as my hand size went up to six, which meant it knocked out my opponent’s Meowth. Meowstic paralyzed by a second Meowth when my second Acerola showed up to save me, taking out Mewostic and in came Alolan Raticate, with a Weakness Policy attached to make it’s free attack higher, to knock out Meowth for the win.

End of the tourney and I had a 2-1 score, and I finished 5th out of 21 people. Woohoo, my first top 5 finish. And better still, one of my prize packs ended up having a Gardevoir GX in it, and the full art version too. Of course everyone was asking me if I was selling it but nope. I’m keeping this one. It is after all the “Tapu Lele” of this new set.

Lots of Burning Shadows goodies there

And now for my second pre-release. Yes, I’m going to two of them for the first time, so double the fun I hope. I already had so much fun in the first one anyway. This one was at Qisahn where I usually go to for a friendly tourney every Friday night (because it’s closer to my place). This time I wanted either Crabominable or Zygarde as I already had my Seviper the day before and I don’t really want Bewear. And so the streak continues again, I got who I wanted, Crabominable.

My Fighting-Psychic deck

But looking at the cards I got along with what I pulled from my 4 packs, I wasn’t sure if I’d do well in this one. For starters, no GX in this deck because the one GX I pulled was Gardevoir (yes, again!) and I only had the one Ralts to work with so that was a no go. In the end I went for an almost full fighting type deck with Rhyperior and the promo Crabominable being my main two attackers. And lucky me I had two Meowstic to continue what I did yesterday and because Meowstic doesn’t really need psychic type, that suited the deck nicely. Also added in a Rimbombee line just in case I didn’t get my energies (which I did and in one match, a bit too much of it).
The good thing about this one was that there were 4 rounds so more fun for us to play with our pre-release decks. All 4 of my opponents were new to me, all friendly so that’s good. The first one was a kid, yup all different ages here. He had a Toxicroak/Meowstic deck which is what I used yesterday so I knew what was coming. Luckily for me things worked my way, my opponent struggled to get energy in within 4 turns, I got my 4 energies on Rhyperior and knocked 4 of his pokemon out with it’s 170 damage move in the next 4 turns. End of round 1, score is 1-0.
Second match was a mirror match, my opponent was also using the Rhyperior/Crabominable deck but this one was a bit one-sided. I drew Crabrawler and Crabominable in my starting hand so if everything went well I had this in the bad. Less than 100 seconds later I had already won the match. Crabominable knocked his 2 basics (Crabrawler and Rhyhorn) in consecutive turns. Possibly my fastest match ever. Crabominable’s first move needs just the one fighting energy but does 80 damage. Way too dangerous. End of round 2, score is 2-0.

The Crabominable promo card

Third match was against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck and well this one really didn’t go my way. I had too many energy cards in my starting hand and just Rhyhorn to defend myself. Worst still, he got his Alolan Raticate a Weakness Policy up straight away so no advantage for me. I had no chance with Zygarde also powered up since Raticate didn’t need energies after all. Another short match but this time I loss. We played a friendly game afterwards and of course that one I won. Just my luck haha. End of round 2, score is 2-1.
The final round and once again it was up against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck but this one was much better for me. For starters my opponent had no Weakness Policy on Raticate. Problem was, I had no Rhydon or Crabominable to take advantage of it but Meowstic saved the day (for the second day running) with it’s second move and because my hand was big enough, I got some big damage of his Raticate and Hoothoot for the win. End of the final round, score is 3-1.

The four Burning Shadows pack art

So unlike yesterday, I got 5 packs this time. But the pulls weren’t as good as yesterday. Just two holos to show for, Raichu and of course, I got Rhyperior after doing so well with it today. Still I can’t complain, I got some good stuff from the 17 packs I opened up in the two days of pre-release events. And for the second day running, I was in the top 5, this time I was 4th out of 30 players so there’s an improvement, that’s my best result in a tourney so far. And I did it with no GXes in my deck in this one.

 

My pulls from both days of pre-release

Hopefully in the next pre-release, I can go one better and try to do one pre-release tourney undefeated. I gotta start with small aims before I try for big the actual competitive tournaments. Another awesome pre-release week done, my fourth series and it was probably the most fun one I’ve done so far. These pre-release are my favourite events, everyone has to make decks on the spot and it tests your deck building skills. And it sure is nice to play something different and not the usual standard stuff since it is for the fun of playing the game after all. And it’s nice to see that four different places were hosting pre-releases that week, that is awesome to see the community growing even bigger here. Can’t wait for the next pre-release for Crimson Invasion in October…without any delays this time I hope.

4 pre-release and 4 times I got the promo I wanted

Oh and after the pre-release, me and my friends (two of them I played against in the other pre-release) stayed back to play this new game of Monopoly Gamers. Really interesting game, I might want to get it but apparently it’s hard to get. Never thought I’d see Mario in Monopoly haha!

Monopoly Gamers

WWE Live in Singapore (Jun 28 2017) – Another good show

Wow how about that? After just 2 years since the last time WWE came to Singapore, they’re back in our little sunny island! Woohoo! And of course that means I’ve got another WWE Live event to watch. This being my sixth WWE event and the third one at the National Stadium in Singapore. If you can’t tell, I’m a huge wrestling fan.

 

But for once I got to see the WWE guys and gals up close for once. I had to go to Bedok to pick something up so I thougth why not just head down to Changi Airport too since they’ll be there around the same time. Apart from Booker T, Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler, I’ve never seen these guys in the flesh outside a wrestling ring or arena before. Of course I knew not to distrub them, after all they’ve had a 20+ flight over and I know how that feels like.

 

But it was really cool to see how these guys actually are in the real world. I mean I’d never know that Maryse and Alexa are pals and Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns are buddies too. Even though most of them were tired some were still very friendly and saying hi to us fans, guys like Seth, Heath, Bray, Samoa Joe, Titus, Emma and Nia to name a few. Emma was nice enough to even let me take a picture with her! She probably had no idea I was a huge fan of hers, she and Alexa are my two favourite female stars in WWE today. I gotta support my Aussie peeps!

 

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I got there maybe an hour early just to relax and wait for the show. They started it off with the RAW opening video which I thought was pretty cool. And to make things better, they started the show with Chris Jericho vs Hideo Itami. Yes, I’m a huge Jericho fan and I wore my Jericho shirt for this event so it was cool to see him here in Singapore. He was working as a heel and yes, I refused to boo him. I can never do that even though he was so good at being that heel you wanted to hate. It was cool to see a first time ever match in Jericho vs Itami and it was a good match with some comedic bits in there. Of course Itami won, after all, it was the Gift of Jericho. DRINK IT IN MAAAAAANNNNNN!!!!

 

 

Titus O’Neil vs Bo Dallas was the next match and it was a short match but Titus Brand…or more like Titus Worldwide now got it’s first international win. RAW Tag Team Champions Sheamus & Cesaro vs Heath Slater & Rhyno was the third match and of course the champs retianed their titles. I have to say, I’m really digging Sheasaro as a tag-team now, you’d never know that they were only a tag team from last year with how well they’ve been working with each other lately. Shame we didn’t get to see the Hardy Boyz in Singapore.

 

Between the third and fourth match, Enzo Amore & Big Cass had a little promo segment which was almost a rip off of what they did a few nights ago for Monday Night Raw. I will say I do like Big Cass as a heel, he did alright on the mic that day. Then came the fourth match and for me the best match of the night, The Miz & Samoa Joe vs Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins. You heard me right, Miz and Samoa Joe in a team! I’d never though I’d see that. And also a mini-Shield reunion with Ambrose & Rollins. I’m not afraid to say I’m a fan of the Miz and he really showed how good he was in that match. He entertained me and did good in the ring. He knew how to make the fans hate him and have a good laugh at him. At one point Rollins called Miz a chicken and us fans started a KFC chant at Miz. Everytime he got in to the match after that, he got the “KFC!” chants at him. It was really funny, it’s called sports entertainment after all right? I will say this, we need to see The Miz and Rollins in a fued together, it could be really fun to watch. Ambrose picked up the win.

 

 

After the transmission break it was the six women tag match Nia Jax, Emma & RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs Bayley, Sasha Bank & NXT Women’s Champion Asuka. It was cool to see the RAW and NXT women’s champions square off in the same ring for once. Asuka got the win for her team. The sixth match was Finn Balor vs Karl Anderson with Luke Gallows. Yup, the Bullet Club brothers were up against each other. I still hope these guys will be in a group together and not be fighting each other. Balor got the win.

 

The main event was Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns. Of course I was cheering on Bray Wyatt because I actually like him, he reminds of the old Undertaker back in the day. I wish WWE would do a better job with him though, they’re really wasting a good talent like him yet Reigns keeps getting a push and I’m not a fan of his. I don’t see anything in him, just a big guy, that’s all. Of course Reigns won. But it still was a good time, it’s always fun to watch wrestling live, cheer on your favourites, boo the ones you don’t like and make up some funny chant like KFC. Wrestling is great, isn’t it?

 

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10,000th Days Old

Holy shit today I’m 10,000 days old. That is a HUGE number. 5 digits! Damn now I officially feel old. Yes I have been counting down the date June 17th 2017. Lots of 17s there. It’s been a good 27.5 years in this wonderful world of ours eh?

Liam Gallagher is back!

I don’t really have a reason for this but I just had to share this, the legend himself Liam Gallagher is back! Anyone who knows me knows I’m a massive fan of Oasis and to me Liam Gallagher may just me the greater singer of all time. Just heard his first solo single, sounds good! Really liked it. Can’t wait to check out his first solo album in October. Good to have Liam back where he belongs, in the music world. Enjoy! 🙂

101st Indianapolis 500 Preview

Just one more day to go until the 101st Indianapolis 500. Yes the biggest day in racing is coming. The Monaco Grand Prix, the Coca Cola 600 for nascar and the biggest race of the whole year, the Indianapolis 500. Of course I’m more interested in Indy over the other two. Monaco doesn’t have much racing and I don’t really need to say about nascar races lately (especially the timing is not good for me) and Indy for the last five years have always had great races.

 

Here’s how everyone is starting and a bit of fun stats if anyone is interested.

 

101st Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid

 

P1 – Scott Dixon – Chip Ganassi Racing – New Zealand

indycar-indy-500-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 14 (2003-2016)
Wins: 1 (’08)
Podiums: 3 (’07, ’08, ’12)
Top 5 Finishes: 6
Top 10 Finishes: 10
Poles: 3 (’08, ’15, ’17)
Fastest Laps: 1 (’06)
Laps Led: 434
Finishing Rate: 78.57%

Best Result: 1st – 2008

  • Four-time IndyCar Champion (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015)
  • 92nd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 39 wins in IndyCar
  • 2006 and 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 2000 IndyLights Champion

 

P2 – Ed Carpenter – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-carpenter-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 13 (2004-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 2 (’13, ’14)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 69
Finishing Rate: 61.54%

Best Result: 5th – 2008

  • 3 wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Freedom 100 Winner

 

P3 – Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 1 (’16)
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’16)
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 1st – 2016

  • 100th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2008 Formula BMW World Final Champion
  • 5 races in Formula One with Manor in 2015

 

P4 – Takuma Sato – Andretti Autosport – Japan

indycar-indy-500-2017-takuma-sato-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 7 (2010-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 31
Finishing Rate: 57.14%

Best Result: 13th – 2013 and 2015

  • Podium finisher in the 2004 United States GP at Indianapolis
  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2001 Macau GP Winner
  • 2001 British F3 Champion

 

P5 – Fernando Alonso – Andretti Autosport – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-fernando-alonso-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2005 and 2006 Formula One World Champion
  • 2006 and 2007 Monaco GP winner
  • 32 wins in F1
  • 2017 Indianapolis 500 Fastest Rookie Qualifier
  • 1999 Euro Open by Nissan Champion

 

P6 – JR Hildebrand – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 11
Finishing Rate: 83.33%

Best Result: 2nd – 2011

  • 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 IndyLights Champion

 

P7 – Tony Kanaan – Chip Ganassi Racing – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-tony-kanaan-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 15 (2002-2016)
Wins: 1 (’13)
Podiums: 4 (’03, ’04, ’12, ’13)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 8
Poles: 1 (’05)
Fastest Laps: 3 (’03, ’05, ’07)
Laps Led: 305
Finishing Rate: 73.33%

Best Result: 1st – 2013

  • 2004 IndyCar Champion
  • 97th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 16 wins in IndyCar
  • 1997 IndyLights Champion

 

P8 – Marco Andretti – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-marco-andretti-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 11 (2006-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4 (’06, ’08, ’10, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 7
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (’08, ’12)
Laps Led: 141
Finishing Rate: 72.72%

Best Result: 2nd – 2006

  • 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2 wins in IndyCar

 

P9 – Will Power – Team Penske – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-will-power-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 5
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’10)
Laps Led: 74
Finishing Rate: 88.89%

Best Result: 2nd – 2015

  • 2014 IndyCar Champion
  • 28 wins in IndyCar

 

P10 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ryan-hunter-reay-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 1 (’14)
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 134
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 1st – 2014

  • 98th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2012 IndyCar Champion
  • 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 14 race wins in IndyCar

 

P11 – Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing – United Arab Emirates

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-jones-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2016 IndyLights Champion
  • 2013 European F3 Open Champion

 

P12 – Oriol Servia – Rahal Letterman Racing – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-oriol-servia-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Starts: 8 (2008-2009, 2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 4th – 2012

  • 1 win in ChampCar
  • 1999 IndyLights Champion

 

P13 – Mikhail Aleshin – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Russia

indycar-indy-500-2017-mikhail-aleshin-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 1
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 21st – 2014

  • 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion
  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P14 – Graham Rahal – Rahal Letterman Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 6
Finishing Rate: 55.56%

Best Result: 3rd – 2011

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 24 Hours of Daytona Winner

 

P15 – Max Chilton – Chip Ganassi Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-max-chilton-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 15th – 2016

  • 35 starts in Formula One

 

P16 – Charlie Kimball – Chip Ganassi Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-charlie-kimball-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’15)
Laps Led: 13
Finishing Rate: 83.33% (How ironic for car #83)

Best Result: 3rd – 2015

  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2013 24 Hour of Daytona Winner

 

P17 – James Hinchcliffe – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Canada

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Starts: 5 (2011-2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 1 (’16)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 53
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 6th – 2012

  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter

 

P18 – Juan Pablo Montoya – Team Penske – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-juan-pablo-montoya-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2000, 2014-2016)
Wins: 2 (’00, ’15)
Podiums: 2
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’14)
Laps Led: 192
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 1st – 2000 and 2015

  • 84th and 99th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2007, 2008 and 2013 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Monaco Grand Prix Winner
  • 7 race wins in Formula One
  • 2 race wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup
  • 1999 ChampCar Champion
  • 1998 International F3000 Champion
  • 2017 Race of Champions Winner

 

P19 – Helio Castroneves – Team Penske – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-helio-castroneves-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 16 (2001-16)
Wins: 3 (’01, ’02, ’09)
Podiums: 6 (’01, ’02, ’03, ’07, ’09, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 13
Poles: 4 (’03, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 296
Finishing Rate: 93.75%

Best Result: 1st – 2001, 2002 and 2009

  • 85th, 86th and 93rd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2001 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 23 wins in IndyCar

 

P20 – Jay Howard – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jay-howard-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2011)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0%

Best Result: 30th in 2011

  • 2006 IndyLights Champion

 

P21 – Sage Karam – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-sage-karam-dreyer-reinbold-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2014-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 2
Finishing Rate: 33.33%

Best Result: 9th – 2014

  • 2013 IndyLights Champion
  • 2010 US F2000 National Champion

 

P22 – Josef Newgarden – Team Penske – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-josef-newgarden-team-penske-chevrolet

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 3rd – 2016

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2011 IndyLights Champion

 

P23 – Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske – France

indycar-indy-500-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 35
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 8th – 2013

  • 2016 IndyCar Champion
  • 10 wins in IndyCar
  • 2010 American Le Mans LMP1 Champion
  • 2006 ChampCar Atlantic Champion

 

P24 – Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Enterprises – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2013-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 25
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 2nd – 2013 and 2016

  • 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 1 race win in IndyCar

 

P25 – Gabby Chaves – Harding Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-gabby-chaves-harding-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 2 (2015-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 16th – 2015

  • 2015 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2014 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2014 IndyLights Champion
  • 2009 Formula BMW Americas Champion

 

P26 – Conor Daly – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-conor-daly-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2013, 2015-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 22nd – 2013

  • 2012-13 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Champion
  • 2010 Star Mazda Champion

 

P27 – Jack Harvey – Michael Shank Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jack-harvey-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2015 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2012 British F3 Champion

 

P28 – Pippa Mann – Dale Coyne Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-pippa-mann-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 5 (2011, 2013-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 80%

Best Result: 18th – 2016

  • 1 race win in IndyLights

 

P29 – Spencer Pigot – Juncos Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-spencer-pigot-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 25th – 2016

  • 2015 IndyLights Champion
  • 2014 Pro Mazda Champion

 

P30 – Buddy Lazier – Lazier Partners Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-buddy-lazier

Starts: 19 (1991-92, 1995-2008, 2013-14, 2016)
Wins: 1 (1996)
Podiums: 3 (’96, ’98, ’00)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 6
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’00)
Laps Led: 70
Finishing Rate: 52.63%

Best Result: 1st – 1996

  • 80th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 IndyCar Champion

 

P31 – Sebastian Saavedra – Juncos Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-sebastian-saavedra-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2010, 2012-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 20%

Best Result: 15th – 2014

  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P32 – Zach Veach – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-zach-veach-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: –

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 6 wins in IndyLights

 

P33 – James Davison – Dale Coyne Racing – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-davison-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 50%

Best Result: 16th – 2014

  • 2 wins in IndyLights

 

I have to say Scott Dixon is the heavy favourite going into this race. It’s bad enough for everyone he’s always gone well around here (400+ laps led here in all of his starts), he will start on pole position and expect him to add to his laps led count and stay near the front the whole way. I do expect Rossi to give him a challenge, he’s been impressive yet again and he has a real possibility of making it two Indy 500 wins in two starts.

 

Alonso does have a chance to score a big result. The last guy to jump from another series into the Indy 500 was Kurt Busch and he did well with Andretti too, finishing 6th so if I was Alonso, my aim apart from winning would be to get at least a top 5 finish. Do look out for his Andretti team-mates Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Sato, they should be fast…if their reliability holds on.

 

It’s a huge surprise to see only one Team Penske car in the top 10, usually there’s three or all of them up there. They won’t be at the back for long, I am very sure of it. Especially with the caliber of talent they have in all five cars, don’t be surprised to see one of them up there challenging for the win. It should be a good race as it has been for the last 5 years. I can’t wait for the biggest race in all of motorsports. Bring on the 101st Indianapolis 500! Start your engines!

Alonso to race at Indy 500! It’s really happening!

So big news coming out of Indianapolis…or Texas…or Bahrain, wherever it may have been from but two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race the 101st Indianapolis 500! Oh wow talk about huge news, this is massive news for IndyCar, the Indy 500, us Indy fans and well motorsports fans in general I suppose.

 

And the first thing to pop out of my mind when I heard about this….”Did Fernando remember my question to him all these years?”. Yeah so I did ask him about racing at the Indy 500 a few years ago and he actually replied back on Twitter which then became a big story on IndyCar, ESPN and whatever it may be. Check it out here -> https://kashwinner.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/the-time-i-asked-alonso-about-the-indy-500-on-twitter/

 

Alo 2

 

It’s really happening! I mean I don’t blame him, clearly McLaren’s latest F1 challenger is a step down and he’s starting to lose patience so why not try something new? After all, he’s only skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, possibly the worst race of the lot because there is ZERO racing on it (never been a fan of Monaco in all honesty). And he’s going into the BIGGEST race of the entire year where overtakes are aplenty and well anyone can win it. So a good deal there from Mr Alonso. I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

 

I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing Fernando Alonso in an IndyCar for the first time, in a super-speedway for the first time and on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway….not for the first time but for him the first time driving in the opposite direction to when F1 last visited Indianapolis.

 

And he’s got a decent chance of taking his second step to complete the Triple Crown (Monaco GP, Indy 500 and 24 hours of Le Mans). He is racing for Andretti Autosport who have gone well in Indy for the past few years. Let’s not forget, they won the big race last year with a rookie driver coming in from F1 (Alexander Rossi) and Kurt Busch did alright in his attempt with them so clearly Alonso, if all goes well, has a chance to do well there.

 Alonso should do alright. He’s in the right team with maybe the best guys to learn from (Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Sato and Rossi), two guys who have jumped from F1 to IndyCar and all four guys have at one point or another found themselves in a position to win it. 🙂

I thought last year’s 100th Indy 500 was the biggest one ever and now with this news, this might be even bigger! I can’t wait for this month of May to see how Alonso does in an IndyCar. It really is happening! 😀