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Michael & Andrew Cotton
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In a moment of corporate delinquency Renault allowed, nay encouraged our star
scribbler to have "a go" in a Renault V6.

While Andrew was making vroom noises to himself in the pits at Estoril I was
boarding a flight out of the country having been advised by Health and Safety
officials of the overwhelming risks in photographing this grisly incident.

The event passed off predictably but the car has suffered some form of lasting
psychic damage as evidenced by the antics of regular pilot, Hayanari Shimoda, at

Don't try this at home folks........................

Homer drives Renault

Marge: "Hey Homer, I got this through the mail this morning. It says that you have
won a drive in a Formula Renault V6 single seat racing car!"

Homer: "Woo hoo!"

Bart: "Way to go, Dad!"

Marge: "Now Homie, you are going to be careful, now aren't you. You are not going
to crash it?"

Sound of Homer screeching off for a quick lap around the block in the family
passion wagon.

Homer: "Woo hoo!"

Marge: "Hmmm."

Cut to race track, Sunday.

Marge: "Now Homie, there is another treat in store, there's that nice man Mario
Andretti! He's going to take you around the track and show you what to do!"

Homer: "I need to finish my lunch. Renault feed us well."

Principal Skinner: "Hey, Homer, you are eating all of Renault's profits! Get out of

Mario: "Hi, I'm Mario Andretti. Now I am going to take you on a very fast drive
around this track, and you are going to do exactly what I tell you tomorrow
morning…Hey, Homer, wake up!"

Homer: "Huh, what? Oh, yeah, fast drive, do as you say. Yeah, right, what do you

Car sets off on fast lap.

Mario: "…And when you get to the end of this straight, the fast guys will be doing
more than 160mph and braking at around 100m…Hey Homer, was that your
lunch just gone out of the window? Now, at this corner, you need to take the apex
of the corner early, it is second gear and let the car drift out…"

Homer: "Yeah, right…"

Mario: "And watch out for this corner, it is a bit bumpy but you want to be short
shifting from fifth to sixth mid-corner. Right, I'll be back tomorrow to see how you
all get on."

Homer, a little green: "You're gonna be soooo disappointed in us."

That night, Homer hits the bar with Lenny and was last seen being carried home
by a big hairy gorilla, who claimed to be a photographer.

Next morning, Homer meets Marge, Bart, Lisa, Principal Skinner, and Mr. Burns at
the track.

Skinner: "Welcome to the Renault Media drive. Just remember, don't crash these
things, they will have to be at Monza in two weeks and the teams don't have time
to repair them. We understand that you all have potential inside you as racing
drivers, but your talents are locked away. Please don't try to unlock that door here
today. The teams can't afford it."

Mr. Burns, who has turned into a Japanese ex-Grand Prix driver for the day, spies
Homer approaching in overalls that don't fit. "Oh, boy, this is going to be a comedy
show! You drive this car? Hey, this boy is going to drive this car!"

Cut to most of pit lane falling over laughing as Mario Andretti sets off on some very
fast laps in another car. Homer gets in.

Dr Hibbert: "OK Homer, just remember that this car will only go as fast as you
want it to. Oh, and this red button is the fire extinguisher, for when you crash and
catch fire. I meant if, didn't I? Heheheh!"

Bart: "What does this button do, man?"

Moe: "That is my data logging. We can see exactly what Homer is trying to do, and
exactly how he manages to get it wrong."

Bart: "Cooooool! Can we make the car crash?"

Moe: "By the look of him, I reckon he can do that all on his own."

Cue Homer, receives signal to start car.

Homer, to Bart: "Hey, boy, watch this!"

Stalls it immediately.

Homer: "Doh!"

Bart: "I'm watching, Dad!"

Cue Homer trying again. Stalls it immediately.


Cue Homer receiving idiot-guide instructions from Dr Hibbert: "You need more
revs than that, Homer, try 3000rpm…Aaarrgghhh!" Homer narrowly misses his
foot as he drops the clutch.

Marge, shouting after the departing car: "Remember Homie, right paddle is
upshift, left paddle is down, right is up, left is down!"

Homer, still in the pitlane: "Hey, what the hell does this button do? Change gear,
oh right."

Homer rounds the bumpy corner onto the main straight.

Homer: "Aha, no corners, lets open this baby up."

Inside Homer's brain there is a little voice: "If you don't brake early, you will
crash…if you don't brake early you will crash…if you don't brake early, you will

Homer, slowly: "oooohhh, I am going very fast…Aaarrrgggghhhh!"

Homer drops anchor, still 100m too early, but gets the car slowed up from
150mph anyway.

Cut to Homer doing far better this lap than the last. He confidently flicks to sixth
gear on the back straight and really doing rather well, by his standards. He
'powers' through the lap before reaching a first gear left hander, at which he spins.
And stalls.

Homer: "Doh!"

Homer tries and fails to get the car started and return to the pits. The film crew
and photographers on the bank start laughing as the truck arrives with a tow rope
and slowly tugs Homer back to the pits.

Homer: "Hey, there's something wrong with this car! It stuck me in some really
weird gear."

Moe: "Let me see, now Homer. Nope, you were in first gear, look, you just booted
it long before the apex of the corner. Let's have a look and see how your trace
compares to Mr Burns."

Mr Burns: "Hey, man, this really is a comedy show!"

Moe: "OK, Homer, you were travelling at the same speed at the apex of the corner
as Mr Burns, but you braked far earlier and accelerated far later. You lost two
seconds here, three here, another two here, and so on until you spun. At that
speed, it would have taken you ten laps to get any heat into the tyres."

Homer, in amazement: "But I was in sixth gear on the back straight!"

Moe: "Yes, Homer, but you have to be in the right rev range. If this was a Formula
Three car, you would have blown up the engine. Thank God you were in this

Bart: "You sucked, man."

Marge: "Well Homer, you got it back in one piece and it looks very nice with that
extra rope and that flat spot on the front tyre. I think you did very well. Just don't
expect to be asked back."

Homer: "Thanks, Marge. I had a really great time, but I think I will stick to my
passion wagon from now on. It is probably much safer for everyone."

Fade to black.

Andrew Cotton