Vote for Ferrari’s car name

Ferrari have become the latest team to announce the launch of their 2014 car. The as yet un-named challenger will be launched on Saturday 25 January. Before the car is unveiled, however, Ferrari have offered fans a unique opportunity to be involved with the naming process.

By visiting fans can vote five times for any of the following five options: F14 T, F14 Maranello, F14 Scuderia, F166 Turbo, F616. So far over 105,000 votes have been cast from all over the world with F14 T and F166 Turbo leading the way. 

Over the years Ferrari’s cars have been called F138, F60 and 412 T2 to name but a few. A number of cars have also carried the year in their names e.g. F2012, F2008, F2007 etc.

As well as being able to vote for the name, fans can submit questions for Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, and Stefano Domenicali. This can be done via the team’s Facebook page; by emailing; or tweeting with the hashtag #askstefano/#askkimi/#askfernando.

The answers to the questions will be revealed after the launch of the car, with the name being revealed on Friday 24 January. Get voting and asking!

Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix: What’s What

People usually talk about saving the best ‘til last. In the road racing world, it’s a case of saving the fastest ‘til last. Next weekend’s Ulster Grand Prix, taglined ‘the world’s fastest road race’ is the last international road race of the year and promises to be an enthralling one if the North West 200 and TT are anything to go by. Four time 2013 TT winner Michael Dunlop, fresh off the back of two wins at the Armoy road races, will be present along with a host of other familiar faces. This includes current lap record holder and eight time winner Bruce Anstey, whose impressive fastest lap of 133.977mph was achieved in 2010 around the 7.41 mile Dundrod circuit.

Conor Cummins during practice at Armoy

Conor Cummins during practice at Armoy

Bike Week kicks off on Sunday 11th August with a sponsored walk around the circuit. There will be various other events throughout the week, with practice sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Racing also takes place on Thursday, with Saturday featuring a six race timetable. Further information about the schedule for the week can be found at the Ulster Grand Prix official website.

So who will be there?

Guy Martin gets interviewed at the North West 200

Guy Martin gets interviewed at the North West 200

There will be plenty of popular names contesting this year’s races including eight time winner Guy Martin. Also competing are Lee Johnston, Jamie Hamilton, Maria Costello MBE, Conor Cummins, David Haire and William Dunlop to name but a few.

Aussie Cameron Donald is returning to the race with Wilson Craig Racing having missed the event in 2012 due to other commitments. Also back is 2012’s fastest newcomer Dean Harrison who has been impressing the road racing world in 2013.

What races will I see?

There is an action packed calendar spread over Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday will feature the Dundrod 150 National Races:

Dundrod 150 National Race – 5 laps
Ultralightweight/Lightweight Race – 5 laps
Dundrod 150 Challenge Race  – 5 laps
Dundrod 150 Superbike Race – 6 laps

Saturday is dedicated to the Ulster Grand Prix Races:

Superstock Race – 6 laps
Ulster Grand Prix Supersport Race – 6 laps
National Ulster Grand Prix Ultralightweight – 5 laps
National Ulster Grand Prix Lightweight – 5 laps
Ulster Grand Prix Superbike Race – 7 laps
Supersport Race – 6 laps
Superbike Race – 6 laps

For further information, including specifications for each race, follow this link.

Who won last year?

Michael Dunlop's Supersport bike at Armoy

Michael Dunlop’s Supersport bike at Armoy

Michael and William Dunlop, Guy Martin, Bruce Anstey, and Davy Morgan were amongst the race winners at last year’s event and will all no doubt be hoping to retain their victories this year. One notable absentee from this year’s entry list is Ryan Farquhar who won the Supertwins race ahead of his protégé Jamie Hamilton in 2012. Fresh off the back of his Irish Road Race Championship, where he was unbeaten in the Supertwin class, Hamilton could be the one to clinch this year’s Supertwin victory.

And that’s not all…

New Zealander Bruce Anstey will be completing a demo on the Britten V1000, an iconic bike of which there are only ten in existence! This parade lap will take place between races on the Saturday.

Want more?

Visit the official Ulster Grand Prix Website:
Follow them on Twitter: @UlsterGrandPrix
Like’ their Facebook page
Download the app (available from iTunes)
Stay tuned to The H Duct for a round-up after the event

Wristbands for the week cost £25 (under 16s go free) and can be purchased, along with programmes, from Lidl branches in NI. These are also available to buy at any of the 13 entry roads during Bike Week.

2013: Countdown to the NW200

hductlogo_RR_copyWith just ten weeks to go until the first international road race of the year, join The H Duct in the countdown to the Vauxhall International North West 200. With a brand new blog post every Monday, we will be previewing the event by profiling key riders and teams.

What is the NW200?

The North West 200 was first held in 1929, originally over 200 miles, giving it its name. Since then the course has been reduced to a 8.970 mile track in the triangle area in the North West of Northern Ireland encompassing Portstewart, Coleraine, and Portrush. Due to the nature of the track, with its long straights, speeds often reach 200mph with riders passing each other in the slipstream constantly. You could be eighth at the start of the last lap, and still go on to win if the leading pack is close enough. It certainly proves to be exciting racing for spectators as the track passes through residential streets and along the coast road. Recent Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis is a fan and a frequent visitor to the paddock.

A map of the course is shown below:


North West 200 Race Week

The North West 200 takes place over the course of a week with plenty of entertainment interspersing the racing. Events such as the Miss North West 200 competition and the “Givin’it Gas Chat Show” with Carl Fogarty and Jamie Whitham are just two highlights of this year’s schedule. A full schedule can be found on the official NW200 website. 

The Races

On Tuesday and Thursday roads will close between 9.30am and 2.30pm for practice sessions. At 5.15pm on Thursday the roads will close again for the following races:

  • Supersport 1 sponsored by Ballymoney Borough Council
  • Supertwin 1 sponsored by Anchor Complex, Portstewart
  • Superstock 1 sponsored by LiveWire AV Ltd

Saturday is the main day of racing, with five races including the NW200 Superbike race at the end of the day. Roads close at 10am and are due to re-open at 6.30pm. The race day schedule is as follows:

  • Supersport 2 sponsored by McKendry Fabrications fm Ltd
  • Superbike 1 sponsored by EventServ
  • Supertwin 2 sponsored by Vauxhall
  • Superstock 2 sponsored by CP Hire
  • NW200 Superbike race sponsor to be announced

Keep up to date 

The NW200 mobile app is available for Android and IOS. It includes:

  • Course map
  • GPS directions to great vantage points
  • Watch videos on the go
  • Events info
  • Send your picture

You can follow the event’s Twitter account @northwest200 and find them on Facebook. Their official website can be found at, which has all the information visitors to the North West 200 will need to know.

Watch this great promotional video for a taste of what’s to come:

Next week’s post will take a look at the newcomers including Karl Harris and local racer Sam Wilson. I hope you will join us!

Scrutineering Special: Sky Sports F1

Scrutineering has been looking at people, teams, and personnel in motorsport for the past few months, incorporating fan views into posts about Felipe MassaGordon SheddenProfessor Sid Watkins, the Sauber F1 Team and Gary Paffett amongst others. And so, to mark the 25th post, here is the first Scrutineering Special!

At the recent FIA Gala in Istanbul, Sky Sports F1 won “Best TV Broadcast Award for Outstanding Coverage” after their first year of broadcasting Formula One. The award had previously been won by BBC in 2011. But, do you agree with Sky Sports F1 winning in 2012? It’s now time to share your views.

  • What have you thought of the Sky Sports F1 coverage in general?
  • What has been your favourite feature?
  • Have you watched much on the dedicated channel, such as F1 Legends?
  • What have you not enjoyed about the coverage?
  • What do you think about the team who front the coverage?
  • Where have they got it spot on?
  • Where have they gone wrong?
  • What would you like to see in coverage next year?

You can get involved by tweeting me your thoughts @hannahhou/@thehduct or getting involved via The H Duct Facebook Page. You can also email your thoughts to You don’t have to stick to the above questions, they are just a starting point – you can share any view, positive or negative, you have about Sky Sport’s F1 first year of broadcasting Formula One. Your views will be added to a Scrutineering Special about Sky Sport’s F1! Happy sharing!

Scrutineering: A new H Duct feature

Scrutineering – The technical checking of cars by the officials to ensure that none are outside the regulations.

Race weekends in any motorsport generally throw up a lot of questions, controversial moments, and surprising results. Very rarely will you have a dull weekend. Yes, races can be unexciting but that does not mean that there is nothing to talk about both on-track and off-track. There are plenty of platforms for you to voice your opinion on – Twitter, Facebook, websites, blogs, forums etc. And this is now another one. Every Tuesday Scrutineering will focus on one particular team or driver, incorporating views from fans and those with opinions in order to take a closer look (i.e. scrutineering). This could be a driver who has performed particularly well in a race, or it may be completely unrelated to the race weekend just past. Of course, as it is a weekly feature it may not be related to any race weekend at all.

Another thing of note is, while The H Duct does focus primarily on Formula One and British Touring Cars, this feature is not exclusive to the two. The first post will be up on Tuesday 26th June and the team of focus is the eBay Motors Team (WSR) who currently compete in the British Touring Car Championship, fielding three cars driven by Rob Collard, Tom Onslow-Cole and Nick Foster.

So, I want to hear from you! Are you a fan of the team? What is it you like about them? What do you think of their season so far? Your answers don’t have to be question specific – you can share any opinions of the team you want. Any photographs you have of the team that you would like to share are also welcome.

Rob Collard in action for the team at Knockhill in 2011

Get in contact the usual ways – via Twitter (@hannahhou), via Facebook (The H Duct), in the comments section below, or via email ( I look forward to hearing from you!