World of Racing: 16 Jan 2011

Links posts. Often useful, these can sometimes be seen an easy route to blogging, simply sharing what’s around as a way to have something on your own blog. Never one to shy away from stealing a good idea which lazily gives me content, I present ‘World of Racing’, my interpretation of the ubiquitous links post!

I’ve noticed many posts in this style focus on one championship, so you’ve got F1 sites sharing F1 links and IndyCar sites sharing IndyCar links, which great and these blogs do it very well indeed, but I don’t see many cross-motorsport blogs doing the same which I think is odd. Whilst it is true many fans focus on one series as their preferred championship and they might not watch all the races of other series or read the dedicated blogs/news sites, perhaps they are interested enough in other championships to watch the occasional race, catch up with a bit of gossip or read an interesting post on the topic. That’s where I hope to come in.

Let’s get started with the first set of links!

Continue reading “World of Racing: 16 Jan 2011”

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On The Limit: IndyCar Out of Control

Kick ass.

Credit: Created by Matt Archuleta and blogged with permission, featuring fully-authorised footage from Versus and IMS Productions (brilliant that they both agreed). Song: “Bodies” by Drowning Pool, what an epic choice.

I’m Watching… #6

I watch too much racing. Here are the races I watched in the few weeks before going away to Belgium, back in August. Sorry I’m late with this post!

American Le Mans Series
Mid-Ohio 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=American+Le+Mans&iid=9507520″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9507520/mid-ohio-sports-car/mid-ohio-sports-car.jpg?size=500&imageId=9507520″ width=”234″ height=”149″ /]

What a great race! The GT race was the undoubted highlight, multiple lead changes among several cars throughout the 2 hours and 45 minutes. Just as it looked like someone had settled in for the win there would be a twist and another car would be leading, great stuff. Ferrari, Porsche, Corvette, BMW – no matter what it was it seemed to take a turn at leading. The GT2 class in the ALMS is arguably the best GT class anywhere in the world at the moment. The class battle was won by the Risi Ferrari team of Melo and Bruni.

The Prototype field was sparse and on a clear track probably would have been terrible, but on a narrow track with a large GT entry it became a fascinating test of who could work through the slower classes more effectively. Even with so few cars there was a good level of passing and strategy and it too was a good race. Dyson eventually won to take it’s first outright ALMS victory and beat the Highcroft entry by just half a second after 2hrs 45 minutes! Intersport’s Lola led much of the running but lost out with a poorly-timed driver change under yellow, dropping them to third. I get the Fields confused but one of them was very irate on the team radio when he realised the outcome of that decision – that frustation surely became insignificant when the car retired from the race with mechanical failure.

GTC was quite entertaining and LMPC seemed to be a case of nursing the cars home from what I recall. There was some good racing but I’m not a fan of spec series in endurance racing and particularly ACO/IMSA-sanctioned endurance racing. Open these classes up to competition – under heavy restriction if necessary – and I may well become a fan.

I watched this live on the ALMS website with video streaming complete with Radio Le Mans commentary – all sportscar races should be available this way.

*

IndyCar Series
Mid-Ohio 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=IndyCar+Lexington&iid=9512110″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9512110/honda-indy-200/honda-indy-200.jpg?size=500&imageId=9512110″ width=”234″ height=”150″ /]

For an open-wheel race at Mid-Ohio this wasn’t too bad. I’ve seen some pretty dire ones over the years and this was among the better ones. You can hardly complain about a race when the top two finish half a second apart, the second major race at this venue in two days to achieve that feat, as Dario Franchitti managed to hold off a challenging Will Power all the way to the end. Justin Wilson was involved in a crash which was a shame as he was doing fairly well. The Andretti suite of cars were all generally quite slow for some reason, they seem to be getting worse on road courses.

The race was led for a large chunk by Alex Tagliani who’d switched to a different strategy to the rest of the field, he stopped early and was helped when a yellow followed not long after. Having started outside the top ten, the strategy worked and he wound up 4th. Tony Kanaan tried something similar but couldn’t make it work and had to make an extra stop.

I watched this live on the IndyCar website which seemed to be having a rare good day with a decent quality stream throughout.

*

MotoGP
Brno 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=MotoGP+Brno&iid=9553113″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9553113/motogp-czech-republic-race/motogp-czech-republic-race.jpg?size=500&imageId=9553113″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]

Pedrosa took the lead after his now customary good start, this time from pole – that was until Lorenzo from the outside of the front row jumped both Pedrosa and Spies, knocking Dani to 3rd. A couple of laps later Pedrosa got his way past Spies and set about chasing Jorge. Dovisioso had a scary fall when he dropped it in front of a chasing pack of bikes who somehow missed both rider and bike lying on the track, luckily he was able to pick it up and continue but had to pit the bike as it had apparently been too damaged in the fall.

The Finn, Kallio, ran into the gravel just seconds after the BBC team praised his good performance – the curse of the commentator. Stoner took 3rd from Spies in a fairly straightforward move and that was pretty much it for the remaining 13 laps, though there was a nice battle for 8th in the closing stages – when Bautista fell at the very last corner. Lorenzo had the legs of Pedrosa and held him back to take yet another win.

*

GP2 Series
Silverstone 2009

Feature – Romain Grosjean took an immediate lead off the start as most of the field had to avoid the stalled 4th-placed qualifier Jerome d’Ambrosio. There were a couple of spinners on lap one, Chandhok picked his way through the opening lap melee to move from 11th to 6th. It all settled into a rythym for several laps until Grosjean seemed to slow a little and allowed Valerio to challenge. Grosjean had speed on the straights but was slow through the corners and Valerio eventually made the pass into the Abbey chicane when Grosjean left the door wide open. This became the story the cameras followed as Grosjean did his best to fight off car after car.

Lucas di Grassi moved alongside Grosjean through Maggotts/Becketts and they tried to make it side-by-side through the sequence, but Grosjean couldn’t hold on and took to the grass. After the stops, Grosjean found himself heading a train of cars in 6th with Chandhok leading the chase. This became 5th with attrition and that was his position at the flag. Near the end, di Grassi and Perez raced a struggling Hulkenberg who seemed to have his own tyre troubles (the Perez battle was superb, he switched from side to side trying different lines through almost every corner as he tried to pass). Valerio held the lead to the end to take his first GP2 win, di Grassi 2nd and Hulkenberg 3rd with Perez a very close 4th – Perez was largely unseen but came from the very back with an early pitstop to almost reach the podium.

Sprint – After an extra formation lap for stalled cars, Maldonado took the lead from Zuber at the start with Chandhok 3rd. Di Grassi’s car wouldn’t move off the start but he eventually got going in 24th, but spun while setting fastest laps trying to catch the field. On the 3rd lap Petrov put a great move on Fillipi at Stowe, flying past him. Parente was making up lots of places. There was a long stint with no action until half distance when Razia tried to pass Clos for 13th but the cars collided, Razia retired on the spot and Clos had to pit for new tyres. A few laps later Fillipi seemed to lose pace completely, everyone started passing him. Drama at the end as Mortara’s engine blew and Clos spun into the middle of the track on the oil, causing a Safety Car with 3 laps to go, race over. Positions at the top remained unchanged as Maldonado won from Zuber and Chandhok.

*

That’s all for now, I’ll be back soon with more racing I’ve been watching.

Goodwood: Video Special

I want to share a few of the videos I recorded during my day at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, before I write up my final instalment (yes late, I know). I spent a bit of time playing around with videos after trying and failing to take photos of moving cars through the small gaps in the crowd.

I want to share a few of the videos I recorded during my day at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, before I write up my final instalment (yes late, I know). I spent a bit of time playing around with videos after trying and failing to take photos of moving cars through the small gaps in the crowd.

Here are the unedited results – they aren’t really good enough for the write-up posts because some are short and the camerawork is not steady, but equally they really are worth sharing because firstly there are some good car/driver combinations, and more importantly they get across the actual experience of being there. If you are looking with your own eyes it is the same as with the camera, you sometimes only get glimpses as the car passes faster or slower than expected or you don’t know it is there at all. That, and the sights and sounds are fantastic at Goodwood so the more chances to show that off, the better!


So I was finishing up my walk around the paddock when a truck drove by with a band on it.


I’d then moved to the small sheltered area between the collection area and the pedestrian bridge to watch the F1 cars leave the paddock. It wasn’t quite as good a vantage point as I’d hoped and then I’d got bored of the gaps between cars, but it was great fun to guess what was coming next.


A little later I was trackside between the main paddock and the next corner, on the paddock side of the track (drivers’ left). This is a McLaren Can-Am – what a noise.


I mentioned the NASCAR presence before, and like many American stars they were keen to put on a show. This is Mike Skinner peforming a mile-long burnout on the entire course! Despite the gentle rarified ‘garden party’ atmosphere of the place, sometimes you do need a bit of agricultural noise and power – and I do love the smell of tyre smoke..


Bruno Senna in his uncle’s iconic McLaren. I was looking forward to this and even for a child who grew up disliking Senna it was a very poignant moment. It was a bit of a shame to see him go so slowly but I’m guessing he was giving a photo op to everyone, which is commendable in itself.


Sir Jackie Stewart in Jim Clark’s Indy 500-winning Lotus which has only recently been fully restored. In tribute to his friend, Jackie wore a black helmet similar to that worn by Clark for that famous victory.


Karun Chandhok in the Williams FW08 driven by Keke Rosberg in 1982.


Sam Bird in the 2010 Williams. I’d moved slightly further up the hill to another little enclosed area here.

If you missed them, I posted more videos along with photos from my walk around the Cathedral paddock, the F1 paddock and also one of a 1929 Bugatti. I’ll be concluding this series on Goodwood soon with one final post, featuring a few closing photos and videos from trackside as well as a write-up of my day as a whole.

IndyCar – A New Hope

Wednesday evening saw the announcement of the car concept for the next era of the IZOD IndyCar Series starting in 2012, as decided after much deliberation by the ‘ICONIC’ committee.

Wednesday evening saw the announcement of the car concept for the next era of the IZOD IndyCar Series starting in 2012, as decided after much deliberation by the ‘ICONIC’ committee. This was a chassis announcement, engines were briefly discussed but they were not the focus of this decision.

The Committee

The qualifications of the committee seem to me to be unquestionable.

  • Gil de FerranĀ  – Indy 500 winner, IndyCar and (former ALMS) team owner, former sporting director of Honda F1;
  • Tony Cotman – among many other things the man responsible for the Panoz DP01 project at Champ Car, also the chief steward of Indy Lights I believe;
  • Brian Barnhart – President of Competition at IndyCar;
  • Tony Purnell – founder of Pi Research, formerly ran Jaguar F1 and Ford’s Premier Performance Division;
  • Neil Ressler – former Chief Technical Officer at Ford Motor Company;
  • Eddie Gossage – President of Texas Motor Speedway;
  • Rick Long – Speedway Engine Development;
  • and of course the new superstar CEO of IndyCar, Randy Bernard.

It was chaired by retired General Bill Looney, apparently he was responsible for a major engineering project in the US Air Force.

I can’t think of a better driver to consult than Gil de Ferran, he’s won races in the current cars and the CART Lolas, and has management experience in three major championships. Cotman was the last man to bring in a new car to a budget in North American Open Wheel racing and he and his group learned a lot, it is good to see that knowledge being called upon. Purnell and Ressler have a close working relationship from their time with Ford and Jaguar. Gossage is perhaps the most creative track owner/promoter in the series at the moment.
Continue reading “IndyCar – A New Hope”

Comments on the Meijer IndyCar 300 from Kentucky

Meijer IndyCar 300 Presented by Pepsi and Edy’s
Kentucky Motor Speedway, Sparta, Kentucky, USA
200 laps of a 1.5 mile oval
Held 9 August 2008, watched 11 August 2008

Coverage: ESPN2
Commentary: Marty Reid & Scott Goodyear
Pitlane: Jack Arute, Vince Welch, Brienne Pedigo

I managed to catch this last night, earlier than I’d expected, so no GP2 notes for now – maybe I’ll do them if I think I need practice but I won’t normally cover GP2 in that way. That makes this my first attempt at blog comments – wish me luck!

Prerace

Beverage of the pre-race: Tetley tea.

We start with a short season review.
Helio must finish ahead of Dixon to keep title fight open. It won’t be over if he’s behind, but it’ll be asking a lot.

Marty really has too much makeup for HD. I take the US coverage because it is better than the international feed (yes, really).

Quick flashback to Edmonton.
Dixon with Vince Welch. “We always go for wins. TCGR are 1-3 on grid. Meira will do well.” Vince says he’s always a threat.

Helio with Jack Arute. “Do the opposite. Be cautious if need to. Hopefully Meira and others can steal some points from Dixon.”

Points going in:
Dixon 505

Helio -65
Wheldon -115
Kanaan -118
Briscoe -181
etc

Flashback to Edmonton again, this time focus on AGR.
Radio to Danica harshly: “you’d better let TK pass you”. Unsaid: “..or else”.
Didn’t move over, didn’t reply on radio. Marco runs up inside and takes both out.

AGR team-mate crash montage. This could take a while.
Stupid echo on Goodyear’s commentary during montage as if he’s Obi Wan Kenobi!

AGR shut themselves in the truck after the race, team bigwigs and the four drivers, because of all the incidents this year.

Vince with TK: “A lot of yelling, team owner really upset. Did some laundry, now understand each other very well. I wasn’t happy but now we’re good.” TK signed again as he doesn’t want to leave a team that’s struggling, a team he’s been with for years.

Brienne Pedigo (keep wanting to hear ‘Petticoat’ when they cross to her) is with Danica who’s wearing stupid bugeye sunglasses: “Need to have good teammates. Great news TK with us. Lot of help from Tony.”
Will start last due to practice crash.

Marty and Scott doing a talking heads bit, I wasn’t paying attention – I’m accustomed to ITV’s F1 talking heads bit with Mark Blundell boring the pants off everybody, so my brain now automatically tunes out two men in suits with microphones in a race paddock. Read more about this in my upcoming F1 notes.

Michael Andretti: “A little upset at Edmonton race. Nobody working together thru weekend. Need to all work as one for the results.”

Goodyear asks why Graham Rahal drives for a team other than his Dad’s, and suggests Marco should do the same. Scott Goodyear expressed an opinion! This after they finding they aren’t covering many races next year – connected?

Briscoe now. Marty: “Go thru the lows to get to the highs.” Replay. MASSIVE crash a few years back in the Ganassi car. Amazing he survived unscathed.
Came back to IndyCar because “the opportunity to drive for Roger Penske meant the world to me.” Helio says he’s FAST and that they looked to their sportscar programme first, as soon as they knew Hornish was leaving his IRL seat.

I’m not sure why ESPN uses the radio commentary in replays rather than their own TV guys. What’s going on there?

( EDIT – I wasn’t really paying attention to the Penske love-in montage. And I like Penske! I’ve even forgiven him for ditching CART first, I realise now he was trying to end the split from the other side ‘cos CART wasn’t listening when he tried it there. )

*Race Coverage*

Command to start engines from Miss America, she’s not that into it. Marty says the same just after I thunk it!

Engines up.

Two pace cars apparently.

Goodyear: Don’t forget guys are also racing for points in the top ten, not just the title fight here.

Start order:

Dixon, Meira, Wheldon, Mutoh, Briscoe, Helio, TK, Carpenter, Andretti, Foyt the 4, Roth, Servia, Power, RHR, Rice, Fisher, Manning, Duno, Wilson, Rahal, Viso, Camara, Moraes, Bernoldi, Bruno, Patrick
Roth on the nitro in quali?

My tips: Roth to fall back or crash. Wilson to get a good oval finish. Meira to fall back despite what thingy said earlier.

Replays: Edmonton pit miscues. Cue dramatic music. Dramatic music suddenly ends.

Meira’s rookie test and his first start was at Kentucky some years ago. This is his 90th race now and he has a chance. Runs well here.

Cars move two abreast for the start: Sun is setting, glare in eyes at T3+4.

( EDIT – Key to notation: L = lap; S = start position or Q = qualifying position; P = current position; T = turn; )

START – 200 laps to go

Crowds are waving white flags or something. Are we in France? Looks more like old women’s underwear.

Wheldon jumped start, move back a place. TK on move.

L2 Power hit wall – YELLOW

Wheldon passed Meira before the start line. Can do that on restarts but not the race start. In European-based racing you can’t do that EVER.

L4 Power pit. Danica pit.

Power steering broke. Will Power’s steering broke not the power steering broke. Both maybe. Something broke and he only glanced wall. Sending him out.

Showing DP practice crash. Goodyear says wheelnut fail?

GREEN on L5 – Not too long a yellow. They’re learning. Laps go thick and fast here will try my best!

Power back in. Hope these engines get changed with the new car, that buzz is annoying.

L8 Tight, close racing.

L11 Mutoh vs Penskes.

L13 Meira going fast, looking to pass. Must keep Dan back else he’ll help Dixon.

L16 Carpenter Q8 now 5th.
Rahal Q20 now P13.

L18 Rahal pits. Ed Carpenter around Mutoh.

L23 Marco racing Briscoe. Going high..Not quite. Then ran wide. He’s already ahead of Helio.
Roth 17th.
Fisher 18th.

L25 Rahal now out.
TK falling back. Has to lift, car not working. Can’t hold it in the turns, turn-in understeer.
Crashed the race car in testing so using backup.

Teams will do 3 stops if enough yellows help them out, else it will be 4 stops.

Bit about Danica. Fisher racing Duno for position, looks faster than Danica, both ahead of Danica who is still working through the field.

L40 Dixon/Meria/Wheldon running V CLOSE, all are well ahead of the field.

L41 Up To Speed.
Dixon struggling to hear engineer Mike Hull.
Wheldon in Polaroid colours. Wants to know fuel mileage. Car a bit tight.
Marco 4th +3.5s leader, understeer.
Mutoh 5th, understeer, wing adj coming.
Ed 6th – he’s going under Mutoh.
ESPN lost Up To Speed here when the track action got dicey.

L45 Meira around Dixon through Bernoldi – nice move! Dixon had to lift.
Lapping commences.

Back to Ed, still fighting Mutoh, Briscoe catching both of them.

L50 Helio 11th but “I’m stuck”, can’t go faster “even using all of the tools in the car” as Goodyear says. Needs adjustment at next stop.

L51 Green flag pitstops commence with Meira in.
Wheldon beats Vitor out.
Dixon in. Pitlane very busy. TK in. Penskes in.

ESPN missed where Dixon emerged. Eventually we learn he’s leading but we had to see Princess Danica’s stop first despite her running no higher than 20th so far today.

Switching to Guinness.

This side by side box during the ads is a good idea but it’s fuckin tiny. Why all the borders? Ditch the borders and make both screens bigger, you can do that while retaining the leaderboard and still remain within the 4:3 dimensions.

I’m convinced TV people don’t actually watch TV.

L61 15 cars on lead lap. Dixon 1st, Dan 2nd.

L63 Ed, Foyt, Helio 9-10-11
Rahal is back out. Was dropping out of gear, 25th 9 laps down. Getting oval experience (and points if there’s a huge smack).

Mmm, cold Guinness and racing,
Moraes 3L down – why?

L66 Foyt went high, Helio and TK go by, then Foyt way high! Good save to keep it out of the wall. Surprisingly we don’t go yellow.

L71 Arute compares fuel strategy to Olympic rowing… okaaay.. Sidenote: Britain always does well in the rowing so that’s always one of our best hopes for Gold medals.

We keep jumping between Dixon’s fight and Helio v TK, and whoever is around them, which is understandable given the points battle but it would be nice to see the other 20 drivers.

L79 TK makes it around Helio.

L80 YELLOW – debris on the racetrack
Goodyear guessing Fisher/Patrick touched. Rahal back behind wall (unrelated).
Fisher came by Danica, wheel touched wing, possible debris.
13 cars on lead lap now.

Everyone pits.

Marco beat Meira out. RHR spins in pits! Ed up 3 spots. RHR spun his tyres too much, went around. Wilson being pushed down pitlane to his stall.

Viso, Servia, Camara, Patrick, Bernoldi stayed out to get their laps back.

L89 GREEN

Briscoe takes Meira
L90 Andretti under Wheldon
TK under Mutoh.
L92 Petticoat with Rahal: “20th to 12th in 10 laps. Gearbox broke, jumped out of 5th gear twice, looks like Wilson has the same.”
L94 Ed around Rice for P8. Ed’s passing a lot of cars but still lower than before, must be losing time in pits?
Marco caught Dixon.

3way camera! Outside, onboard Dixon, onboard Marco all at once. FOM (F1 world feed TV provider) needs to learn from this.

L100 we’re halfway

Roth slow in 3 & 4, pits. Scott: “Wait, you say Marty is slow?” Other Marty shoots back: “Roth not Reid!”

L100 Vince w/Power: suspension upgright broke, happy he didn’t hit wall.

L103 Marco getting a lot closer and has an overlap outside, can’t complete it.

L104 Bernoldi and Servia in. Oriol wants a good finish to build that Moe Mentum. Americans don’t say ‘mumentum’ like how wot we does do.

Leaders lap Viso, Marco struggles to do it. Viso not giving way! Goodyear advises him to blend out of the throttle. I wonder if EJ will watch the race replay.. half the field hopes so..

L108 Danica pitting.

L120 Dixon had to lift for traffic, Andretti speeds around. Slow car was Conquest car pitting.
Bernoldi.
Whedlon got by too. L122 Meria trying it. Can’t do it.

L132 YELLOW Duno major damage, hit wall. Mutoh had pitted, will drive thru and pit when it re-opens.

L134 pits open, leaders in. Will need to stop again.
Marco holds his lead. Or does he? Timing shows Dixon ahead. JUST gets it on the line on the replay. Has that pit advantage where he doesn’t need to swing around another team. I reckon they should move the teams down one or two boxes to prevent that, at venues where there is room to do so..

Foyt the 4, gearbox problem, behind wall. Goodyear/Reid: Why so many gearbox issues? This is an oval, they are in the top two gears. Maybe track is bumpy.

L140 TK 3rd. Was that in the stops? They need a camera at pit out, where the feeder lane rejoins the track not just where pitlane ends.

L143 Long yellow, could get within fuel window. Helio pits and tops off. Mutoh did it a little earlier.

L145 / 55 to go – GREEN Dixon leads the restart over Marco and TK

TK tries Marco, fails, falls back. Meira gets TK. It cost the Moe Mentum.

L149 Briscoe takes Ed.
Helio moved up to 10th on his high fuel strategy. A Penske with big fuel is faster than light midfielders. I know fuel costs less on an oval but even so…

L157 Mutoh in. I thought he was in under yellow?
TK vs Wheldon – close! Ed and Briscoe do same just behind briefly , but TK & Dan remain side by side…
L162 STILL they are side by side!
RHR now goes for Briscoe, HR recovering from pit spin.

L164 Marco passes Dixon for lead but they are approaching Viso again..
L165 Meira going for Dixon, backs out, spotter shouts, didn’t catch what he said.
Runs again, gets him! Spotter: “Go get ’em!”

Obligatory shot of Michael whenever Marco leads.

L173 TK and Dan at it again! This is for 4th. Dan gets him.

Nice save from RHR who got pushed high.

L179 Meira catching Marco.

L182 Green flag splash and dash stops will be needed for most of the top drivers. Rice blinks first from 9th. Helio is now 9th, last car on lead lap but will NOT have to stop.

L188 Fisher pits. Andretti AND Meira running nose to tail pit. Dixon stays out.
Meria beats Wheldon who also pitted, Andretti ahead of both.

L190 – TEN TO GO

Dixon trying to lap Helio before Scott pits.

L192 Briscoe pits as do TK and Ed.

L193 Dixon pits. Left wheel on grass on entry.

L194 Dixon pauses as Fisher unlaps from Helio, but she’s still a lap back.

FIVE TO GO, Danica unlaps from Helio – can he make it? He’s on mega fuel saving. Several lapped cars are catching him.

4 TO GO Rice unlaps from Helio, Dixon homing in FAST in 2nd

2 To GO Servia unlaps. Leader right behind him! Radio shouting: “Gotta go gotta go, white flag!”

1 TO GO – almost there, almost

last turn – he’s out of fuel! DIXON WINS!!!

Who said fuel strategy wasn’t exciting?

They dodged Sarah going walking pace into T3.

How’s that for payback for Chicago last year? Shades of Motegi for Helio. Twice in one year. It’ll work one day boys.

Postrace

Mike Hull: “Scott is very very good at making fuel, fuel saving.”

Helio, helmet still on – “what can I say?”

Dixon: “It was crazy, team told me nothing about Helio. He ran me into grass on way to pits.”

Helio is smiling. Is asked – What do you have to do? “We took a gamble, saved fuel, didn’t have the car. Just hundreds of yards short. Incredible strategy. 2nd seems to be my place. We’ll keep trying! If there’s still points we’ll go for them. Flashback to Japan. Should I finish the race or what do I do?”

2nd 7 times this year.

Meira 4th, ‘raced all night’ (Arute): “Doing a very good job of improving.”
What are you lacking? “Consistency.”

Marco 3rd: Rough few weeks, satisfied with 3rd?: “We had 2 bad races, today it was myself or Dixon for the win, not a bad run today. Seem to be racing the same guys, Ganassi + Penske.”
Marco only JUST missed out on 2nd at the line, we see it on slowmo replay.

Results:

Dixon, Helio, Marco, Meira, Wheldon, Briscoe, Ed, Briscoe, TK, RHR, Rice, Patrick, Servia, Viso, Junqueira, Fisher, Camara, Moraes, Mutoh, Manning, Foyt (DNF), Duno (DNF), Bernoldi (DNF), Roth (DNF), Wilson (DNF), Rahal (DNF), Power (DNF)

Carpenter 6th: “Good handling car until sun went down, 6th place was good, beat the guys we’re racing in the championship.”
Sarah 15th: “Was 11th until bearing failure! [on final lap] Great fun, I think it went well, so excited about Chicago.”

Points:
Dixon 558
Helio -78

Wheldon -138

TK -147

Briscoe -208

etc

Helio needs 26 points more than Dixon at each remaining event. Surely impossible?

Next IndyCar notes are for the race at Sonoma, California in a fortnight.

Things learned:
– I suddenly like drivers with short names.
– Ed is faster to write than Carpenter.
– I can’t spell ‘Meira’ at speed. I’ll call him Vitor from now on.
– Editing for spelling/grammar/readability seems to take almost as long as writing it in the first place!
– Blogger isn’t great at inserting images. There is a button to upload images but not to find one I’ve already uploaded.

I enjoyed that, it got me more involved in the race. Hopefully it wasn’t too similar in style to anyone else, and hopefully it was readable.

Okay that’s it from me, my next scheduled notes are for the F1 European Grand Prix around the marina of Valencia, Spain on 24 August. The Sonoma notes will be a couple of days behind those.

I may or may not do some other notes as practice beforehand, especially if I don’t have any other content to put up!

See ya.