As the Indy Car series left one street circuit (Long Beach) they arrived at another in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Arriving on the home turf of several Indy Car drivers the stakes were high but it was an American who took first blood as Ryan Hunter-Reay managed to capture the pole position. However, race day was a different story…
SPOILER ALERT BELOW!!!
Ryan hung on to the lead for as long as he could and it became that much harder when Tony Kanaan caught his second wind and hounded the 2012 champion mercilessly. The two drivers traded the lead back and fourth several times, each time Tony would take the lead the crowd roared. However, the hometown celebration was short lived when TK’s engine gave out on him. Ryan lost the lead when the younger drivers came gunning after him from the mid pack.
In the end it was James “Hinchtown” Hincliffe who pulled off a beautiful last lap move on Takuma Sato to take the win. Marco Andretti rounded out the podium with a third place finish (which also now puts him second in the points behind Sato). All the race highlights are below and trust me when I say it definitely worth your time to watch!
I know I am a little behind but hey I took on three days and three different motorsports all by myself! It was rough, but fun. By now you probably already know that Takuma Sato made history by winning the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach and becoming the first Japanese driver to win an Indy Car event as well as the first Japanese driver to win at Long Beach. However, despite what he said in his post race interview, it did not come easy.
Long Beach is known for being a dangerous narrow street course and the walls ate up plenty of drivers this year, including defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Sato was able to navigate his way through all of the random carnage unscathed and his team managed a top notch pit stop to keep their driver up front which allowed him to go on and get the victory. Graham Rahal came second behind Sato and Justin Wilson got his first podium of the season with a third place finish.
If you want to see all the action for yourself check out the highlight reel below. If you want to see the fruit of my three days of labor hit the red text for the full gallery on our facebook page.
Over the weekend Indy Car made a stop at the famous Barber Motorsports Park for round 2 of the 2013 season for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Bo Jackson was the grand marshal! But enough about celebs. Here are the quick cliff notes…
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things started off in typical Barber fashion with a hectic dash towards turn one. Everyone made it out clean but soon after there was an incident with Graham Rahal and Oriol Servia which also involved last race’s winner James Hinchcliffe. Both Servia and Rahal were able to return to the race but Hinchtown had to literally sit on the sidelines for most of the race until track workers could get to him.
Once the mess was cleaned up, all attention was up front as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, and Scott Dixon battled for the lead. Once the smoke settled it was the defending champ Ryan Hunter-Reay who captured the race win. He was followed by Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves, who took second and third place respectively. Helio’s second consecutive podium finish has put him on top of the points standings.
The next round is my favorite: the Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach! Look forward to a ton of content from me throughout the race weekend! For now, if you want to check out the race highlights from the weekend just scroll down for the video.
Imagine, if you will the team behind movies such as Ice Age, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda decided to make a film about Indy Car. Now, imagine that film stars…a snail! If “oh god” was your reaction then I ask you to withhold judgment for a moment. Despite the silly premise, I think after you watch the trailers you may change your mind about what DreamWorks has cooked up with their movie “Turbo“.
The film centers around a snail named Turbo (get it?) who loves speed and daydreams of racing. The only problem is that well, he’s a freaking snail! His speedy dreams seem pretty far out of reach until a freak accident turns him into the fastest gastropod on the planet. With his new found ability Turbo sets his sights on the Indy 500 and hilarity ensues.
To DreamWorks’ credit they have actually worked with the Indy Car series to make Turbo and even brought on Dario Franchitti as an advisor. There are even current Indy Car chassis in the movie. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a few Indy Car drivers make cameos in the flick as well. However, to the non-race fans out there the selling point is the voice cast that includes names like Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Ken Jeong. Personally, I think Turbo has some real potential but you can come to your own conclusion by watching the two trailers below.
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.
In a bit of breaking news, word is coming out from California Speedway that Indy Car driver Mike Conway has told his team A.J. Foyt Racing that he does not want to compete in the season finale this weekend on the 2 mile oval track because he is “not comfortable”. Now before you call Conway out as a wuss let us go over some facts that I think contributed to his decision today. First, Mike Conway is in no way shape or form in the battle for the championship at this point. So by backing out he personally does not lose much. Secondly, ovals have not been kind to him Back in 2010, Conway had a horriffic crash at the Indy 500 which put him out of commission for a good long while. He had to fight physically and mentally to make his come back. Then, only a year or so after his return he watches his fellow Brit driver Dan Wheldon die at the Las Vegas speedway oval track in a crash that was very similar to what Conway himself went through at Indy. Then, there is California Speedway…
It has been years since California Speedway has had a proper open wheel car race. This is for a few reasons. One is that the track is incredibly fast. I believe Gil De Ferran still holds the record for fastest lap in an American open wheel series at over 240 mph which was at California Speedway. Then, more importantly California Speedway is where legendary Canadian driver Greg Moore lost his life in a fatal crash. Moore’s incident on the oval is what prompted the gradual “slow down” of open wheel cars in American racing.
After reading all of that it does not seem so far fetched or “chicken” for Conway to want to step back from the finale does it? While Conway feels more comfortable not participating, you may be asking what A.J. Foyt Racing is left to do? Well the team “respects” Conway’s decision and they have brought in Wade Cunningham to fill the seat for this weekend’s race. At this point it is unsure if this could mean Conway will back out of Indy Car racing for good since it looks like ovals will be a significant part of Indy Car’s future for at least the next decade. Either way, I do not fault the man for taking his safety and life into consideration.
With the F1 and Drifting break it has been a while since I’ve had some motorsport news here so it is good to have some today! We are starting off with the GoPro Indy Grand Prix Of Sonoma at the Sonoma Road Course in what was a rough weekend for many drivers at the top of the points battle. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Dixon, and James Hinchcliffe all had pretty bad practice sessions which left them with a lack of confidence going into qualifying and the race on Sunday. On the other hand Team Penske seemed to find their groove as Will Power and Ryan Briscoe both had strong practice and qualifying efforts. Helio Castroneves had a few hiccups but kept himself at the front of the field for the race start.
NOTE: IndyCar now puts entire races on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. If you want to watch the whole thing unfold for yourself then just watch below. If you want the cliff notes just scroll past the video and read on.
However once the race went underway Helio got into the back of Scott Dixon, spinning him out which effectively jacked up Scott’s day and Helio’s as he was given a drive through penalty for avoidable contact. Later on James Hinchcliffe retired after being punted by a lapped car which upset the oil pressure and ended his day early. Up front, Will Power was running away from the field for the most part and everything was going his way until a late caution while he was in the pits caused a mix up that ended up putting him behind his teammate Ryan Briscoe in the restart. Behind that Ryan Hunter-Reay shook off any anti-confidence demons he had to work his way up to third but a dive-bomb boner by Tagliani spun Ryan out and put him at the back of the field with less than 10 laps remaining.
With Ryan Hunter-Reay put way in the back Will Power decided it would probably be best to avoid pressuring Ryan Briscoe too much and possibly ruining his points run. As such Ryan Briscoe went on to win the race with Will Power coming in second, and Dario Franchitti taking third. Will Power remains in the championship lead and Ryan Hunter-Reay is now 35 points behind Power and only 5 points ahead of Helio Castroneves going into the next race at Baltimore. After Baltimore is the final race of the season when Indy Car returns to California Speedway for the MAVTv 500.
Can Will Power keep his lead and get his first championship? Or will Ryan Hunter-Reay or Helio Castroneves come from behind? Only two more races to go!
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.
Just after Formula Drift finished their skirmish in New Jersey, the Indy Car series was getting ready for a night time shootout in Iowa for the Iowa Corn 250. Although, things got off to a late start due to mother nature litterally raining on the parade. After about an hour or so of rainfall the skies over Iowa cleared up and the race was underway as well as the action. Before the green flag had a chance to drop, Dario Franchitti suffered a major engine failure taking him out of the race which severely hurt his shot at the title. Later on around lap 68, points leader Will Power made a mistake and clipped E.J. Viso taking them both out and opening up the points even more for the likes of James Hinchcliffe who was second place in the points due to his consistancy all year.
Marco Andretti made a run for the lead but problems with his car combined with the agressive tactics of his teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe kept him from making a solid run at the front. When it was all said and done Ryan Hunter-Reay stayed ahead of Marco Andretti and a hard charnging Tony Kanaan to take his second victory in a row. Ryan’s win rockets him to second place in the overall points putting him just 3 points behind Will Power. While James Hinchcliffe falls all the way to fifth in points after suffering an incident which ended his race in 17th place.
With Iowa in the books it marks the last oval race Indy Car will see until September when they return to California Speedway. With a slew of road courses ahead look for Dario Frachitti, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves to put a serious dent in the points battle! In the meantime check out the video below of all the race highlights.
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.