Did you happen to miss the Indy Car race as well as the F1 race? With no hope of watching a re-broadcast? Never fear! For I am here to help once again. WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!
The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersberg ended with James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe getting his first ever Indy Car victory. Hinchtown’s win is the first by a Canadian in Indy Car since Paul Tracy back in 2007. Coming in second behind James Hinchcliffe was Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti, showing a strong performance landed the third podium spot. Check out the race highlight flick below for all the action.
Just as Formula 1 was wrapping up across the pond the Indy Cars were getting warmed up in the land of hockey, maple syrup, and teen drama/rap artist crossovers AKA Canada. Toronto to be more exact. The Honda Indy Toronto race was the official 2/3rds mark of the season and the points race heated up significantly thanks to Will Power’s previous fumbles and Ryan Hunter-Reay’s back-to-back wins. This was the time for the likes of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and Scott Dixon to not F-up and re-establish some dominance in the battle for the 2012 championship. Unfortunately, each one of them F’d up! Dixon suffered a crash that put him out of the race, Dario had contact which took him out of the race just long enough to lose all hope before he rejoined to try and earn some points, and Will Power had a fight with the wall which screwed his suspension up and put him down a lap over the rest of the field.
At this point you might be asking yourself “who took advantage of all of that misfortune?” The same guy who did the last two times, that’s who! Yes, Ryan Hunter-Reay took his third win in a row after the best laid plans of the top two teams fell apart once again. Charlie Kimball scored a career best second place and Mike Conway nabbed a third place finish. With his win in Toronto Ryan has officially taken over the points lead (34 points over Will Power to be exact) and with 5 races left is looking to be a serious threat for the 2012 championship; which would be the first championship for Andretti Racing since Dario won it for them right before leaving the team to try his hand at NASCAR.
For all the race highlights check out the video below.
Barely recovered from their stop at Texas, the Indy Car grid came back to the Milwaukee mile after a brief absence for “Indy Fest”. Not sure where the new name comes from but I supposed it does not matter much. What does matter is that Milwaukee is just the same as it has always been: short, flat, fast, and unpredictable! If you walked away from the race after the first half you would swear that Dario Franchitti or Scott Dixon would take the victory. However it certainly did not play out that way! Franchitti actually had his day ended early when he had an unfortunate meeting with the wall and Scott Dixon was penalized for jumping a re-start (that decision was later ruled to be “wrong” but it wont change his finish result much). This may leave you asking who was at the front? Why none other than Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport. Ryan was being chased down by Tony Kannan and James Hinchcliffe respectively. While he faced some tough contention from TK he managed to hold off the Brazilian and take the win which actually brings things full circle for Ryan. Back in 2004 he scored his first win at the Milwaukee mile when he raced for Jimmy Vassar in the Champ Car series. To see all the highlights from the race scroll down for video from Indy Car.
Over the weekend the Indy Car Series stopped in my home town of Long Beach, California for the 38th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. This was my first chance seeing the new cars, engines, and drivers up close and it was awesome! More on that in a later post though. This post is to give you the results of the race in case you missed out and for some reason can’t watch a rebroadcast.
First a little background. The weekend started off with controversy as Chevrolet decided to pull their engines from Chevy-backed teams and replace them with new units. Per Indy Car rules changing an engine before its “desginated threshold” will cost a team 10 grid spots. Since most of the top tier teams are powered by Chevrolet engines it meant that the likes of Team Penske and Andretti Autosport had to start in the middle or back of the field. This left the door wide-open for teams powered by Honda or Lotus engines.
Despite Will Power getting the pole it was Dario Franchitti and rookie Joseph Newgarden who started in the front row (both drivers with Honda engines). However due to some expert strategy and pit stops Will Power was able to fight his way to the front on a two stop strategy. In the end Will had his hands full with a very agressive Simon Pagenaud who nearly took the win from Power in the last 5 laps. James “Hinchtown” Hinchcliffe was granted a third place spot due to his teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay being religated to 7th due to a penalty.
For highlights of the race check out the video below. Also stay tuned for a full event gallery from the entire weekend!
The Indy Car season finally kicked off its 2012 season over the weekend on the streets of St. Petersberg Flordia. This race kicked off a lot of firsts. It was the first race for the new DW12 chassis, the first race for new engine suppliers Chevrolet and Lotus, and the first race without Dan Wheldon. Although it seemed like Dan was there all along as not only St. Petersberg Dan’s adopted home town but in remeberance a section of the track which is also part of the streets of the city was named Dan Wheldon Way in his honor.
As things got started it was Will Power returning to form by capturing the first pole position of the season, setting a track record in the progress. However, his performance during qualifying would not hold up during the race as it was Helio Castroneves who managed to take the first victory of the season. Scott Dixon of Target Ganassi racing finished second and Ryan Hunter-Reay of Andretti Autosport took third spot on the podium. If you want to see some of the best action from the race scroll down below for a highlight video.
I waited all year and the time finally came for open wheel racing to come back to town in the form of the IZOD Indy Car Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Last Sunday was race day and I was parked in my usual spot in grandstand 29 along the main straight of Shoreline Drive and waited for the cars to come blasting by me at 180mph into turn 1. With 2 races in the season already completed (St Petersberg and Alabama) victories were split between the Target Chip Ganassi team and Penske Team with one each so fans were playing the “Ganassi or Penske” game coming into this weekend. With Will Power scoring pole position it was looking like the round would go to Penske but then we were reminded that Long Beach is a street course and street courses almost always equal chaos.
The first bit of anarchy started when Helio Castroneves spun Justin Wilson by making contact with him in the hairpin coming on to Shoreline Drive. That mishap brought out a full course yellow which bunched up the field and destroyed any gap that Will Power had built up on the rest of the field. A double file restart was attempted once Justin was clear but the drivers caught stage fright and for the most part stayed in a single file line when the race went green again. Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to snag the lead from Will Power but just when Ryan was starting to get used to being out front another incident with EJ Viso and Danica Patrick brought out another full course yellow which again bunched the field back up and killed any gap that the front runners put on the pack.
This time race control made sure the Indy Cars really did make a double file restart when the track went green again. The result of which was everything going wrong! Helio Castroneves struck again but this time he got into his own teammate Will Power causing both to spin around which totally screwed up Team Penske’s day. Then inexplicably Takuma Sato got a flat and ran into the tires just past the convention center, and a few other rookies mysteriously spun out in the same area just after Sato came to a stop. It was all absolute madness. With all the carnage another full course yellow came out and once things were cleaned up they went for the double file restart once again. This time things went more cleanly, yet things still kicked off with a surprize as Alex Tagliani, Dario Franchitti, and Mike Conway all put pressure on front runners Ryan Briscoe and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the start. First Tagliani seemed to get the jump on the two Ryans but out of no where Mike Conway makes a move on Dario Franchitti then weaves past Tagliani just as Ryan Hunter-Reay’s car decides to take a dump. Then Conway puts a brilliant move on Briscoe to take the lead in the last 6 laps or so and holds on to take his first ever win in the Indy Car Series! It looks like the rest of the season could turn into a three way battle between Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, and Andretti Autosport!
Scroll down for a few highlights from the race and stay tuned for more Grand Prix posts coming up!