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IndyCar 2009 (merged)


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#1251 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:18

Back from Barber. Saw Indy Lights yesterday and the morning session of IndyCar, then left because I work tomorrow. Hope to post some photos tomorrow, but a few thoughts:

1. The expected people were quick right out of the box: Kanaan, who holds the track record from a prior practice here, Dixon, Franchitti, and Andretti. Penske did not rush to take to the track, and Power and Briscoe spent several laps familiarizing themselves with the track before laying down some fast laps. Doornbos and Rahal also looked quick.

2. Doornbos's car is, as yet, not showing sponsorship.

3. Mike Conway did the most laps as he comes to grips with the car. Dad's Root Beer is the major sponsor.

4. Danica didn't look that quick. The timesheets bear that out. Neither did Wheldon. Moraes was quick early, but dropped as others adjusted. He looked good though, very smooth.

5. Brian Herta was in the Vision pits offering advice to Carpenter before Ed took to the track.

6. Franchitti posed for pictures and spoke to the fans gathered by the Ganassi haulers during lunch. He looks glad to be back. He set the fastest time during the morning session, and said of the track that it was "interesting," with several nearly blind corners. He attributed his speed to luck, but both he and Dixon looked loose and ready for the season to start.

7. Over at Penske, Power is coming to grips with his new team. At Birmingham he was able to travel about virtually unseen, even when on his Penske motorbike. He seems thrilled to be there, and startled when people recognize him. Better get used to it.

8. Wilson was giving an interview to local press at lunch. Seems happy to have a ride and working hard to make the best of it.

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#1252 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 02:28

Oh, and if you're in or near Birmingham (Alabama), and have any interest at all in motorcycles, the Barber Museum on the racetrack grounds is a must. I didn't know enough about motorbikes to truly appreciate it, but there's also a nice selection of Lotus cars, about two dozen, which are arrayed so you walk can right up to them and around them--just don't touch. John Surtees's Ferrari 158 is also displayed.

#1253 rghojai

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 04:39

Thanks for the insights, Red Stick.

#1254 indyracefan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 07:37

I've never been to Barber Motorsports Park nor have I seen any events from there. Judging by photos and small video pieces it appears a very fine facility with 17-turns and changing elevation. The drivers seem to like it and think it to be a fun course with fast corners and aside some minor tweaking would be a good event. Birmingham is apparently lobbying hard to get a date on the 2010 schedule, an estimated 10,000 turned out Sunday to watch 16 cars test.

#1255 potmotr

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:28

Originally posted by red stick

3. Mike Conway did the most laps as he comes to grips with the car. Dad's Root Beer is the major sponsor.


Very slow though. Near the bottom of the timesheets.

#1256 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:24

Originally posted by indyracefan
I've never been to Barber Motorsports Park nor have I seen any events from there. Judging by photos and small video pieces it appears a very fine facility with 17-turns and changing elevation. The drivers seem to like it and think it to be a fun course with fast corners and aside some minor tweaking would be a good event. Birmingham is apparently lobbying hard to get a date on the 2010 schedule, an estimated 10,000 turned out Sunday to watch 16 cars test.


A lot of people were there Saturday too for Lights testing. The IndyCar drivers had an autograph session on Saturday afternoon where the line started forming an hour early and eventually stretched from the control building to the end of the paddock. The Sunday edition of the Birmingham newspaper featured the event at the center top of the front page.

Barber's a beautiful facility, well-kept and run with pride. It's the only track I've been to though where spectators have to sign a legal-sized closely spaced liability waiver before they'll give you a paddock pass.


Oh, and if the cars sound different this year it's largely lost on my ears.

#1257 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 13:55

I can not add much to redsticks detailed comments about the test yesterday but here are my views:

1) The event was heavily promoted on local radio stations, a collegue of mine actually won free tickets on a radio station call-in competition. Prior to reading about the count on autosport.com I estimated at least 5000 people in attendance on sunday. There was no science used in my estimate, just observation of the parking lot capacity and people hanging around.

2) The cars didn;t sound as bad as I imagined....but they still don't sound 'good'.

3) Dario, Dixon, and Kannan looked fast all day. They were supremely smooth and the speed seemed effortless.

4) Doornbos plugged away all day and you could tell that he was getting faster. He appeared to be trying harder than other fast guys but that was probably becuase he was still adjusting to the cars.

5) Agree that Danica didn't look comfortable, actually missed a shift in front of us to the groan of the crowd. Most spectators within my earshot only new Danica and Dario.

6) Marco was ragged. He consistently hit the curbing on the quick kink on the backside of the track causing the car to be unsettled. This must have cost him a few tenths.

7) Barber is a nice facility but I prefer Road Atlanta and VIR due to the fact that you can get access to more of the track at those other facilities. Viewing at Barber is limited to a handful of corners.

All in all it was a good day out and I'm glad I went. My son liked the inflatable playground the best :-)

Here's a link to some pics I took:
http://picasaweb.goo...stBarber090322#

I've got a couple of short video clips as well that I'll upload tonight.

CC

#1258 aportinga

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:05

Believe it or not IRL up's have reached out to a few anti-TG/IRL sites and had no luck what so ever.

I still cannot tune into the IRL - not out of hatred but out of zero interest what so ever. I think that the next few years are going to be critical for this series. The general public has to start tuning in - which will be impossible based on the deal the series inked with VERSUS - a remote network.

I think the first step is to get all the fans - former, on board again before reaching out to new fans. Best start id to open up the engine and chassis regs, bring Cleveland, MIS and Road America back on board.

Other then that I have no interest.

#1259 917k

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:27

Originally posted by aportinga
Believe it or not IRL up's have reached out to a few anti-TG/IRL sites and had no luck what so ever.

I still cannot tune into the IRL - not out of hatred but out of zero interest what so ever . I think that the next few years are going to be critical for this series. The general public has to start tuning in - which will be impossible based on the deal the series inked with VERSUS - a remote network.

I think the first step is to get all the fans - former, on board again before reaching out to new fans. Best start id to open up the engine and chassis regs, bring Cleveland, MIS and Road America back on board.

Other then that I have no interest .




:lol:

Your hundreds of posts, throughout the winter, belie that. In fact, I take you to be the MOST interested Indycar follower, although probably most interested in their failure.

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#1260 jeze

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:28

I think tat Barber's is a great track, and with the surprisingly high local interest, the an IndyCar race could be a very good idea. It really needs more high-profile-evets in the south (apart from Saint Petersburg).

#1261 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:34

Originally posted by Crazy Canuck
5) Agree that Danica didn't look comfortable, actually missed a shift in front of us to the groan of the crowd.


Jesus.

#1262 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:44

Originally posted by Crazy Canuck
3) Dario, Dixon, and Kanaan looked fast all day. They were supremely smooth and the speed seemed effortless.


Ditto. These guys were all fast right out of the box.


5) Agree that Danica didn't look comfortable, actually missed a shift in front of us to the groan of the crowd. Most spectators within my earshot only new Danica and Dario.


I watched for awhile on the hill overlooking the pit out. She came by so slowly at one point I worried she was going to get hit from behind. Putting together a series of corners at this track seemed to be a problem for her Sunday morning.

And, to continue a discussion from several months back, Marco didn't have this problem. He may have been ragged, but he was quick. I wouldn't be surprised if he smooths off the rough edges and is quicker today.

CC, looks like you were on the rise over the kink near the museum?

#1263 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:47

Originally posted by OfficeLinebacker


Jesus.


:D

I'm not sure how you miss a shift with a flappy-paddle gear shift...in her defense it could have been a technical malfunction.

CC

#1264 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:51

Originally posted by jeze
I think tat Barber's is a great track, and with the surprisingly high local interest, the an IndyCar race could be a very good idea. It really needs more high-profile-evets in the south (apart from Saint Petersburg).


I agree, for the selfish reason it would be a shorter trip for me. :D

The folks I spoke with were very knowledgeable. Not the NASCAR fans uninterested in any other motorsports the South is stereotyped with. Lots of Dale Jr. fans present if you could judge from the attire, but also several Indy and sports car racing fans. I hope Birmingham gets a chance to put on a race.

#1265 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:54

Originally posted by aportinga
[BI still cannot tune into the IRL - not out of hatred but out of zero interest what so ever. . . .
Other then that I have no interest. [/B]


What 917k said. :wave:

#1266 indyracefan

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:56

Originally posted by Crazy Canuck


:D

I'm not sure how you miss a shift with a flappy-paddle gear shift...in her defense it could have been a technical malfunction.

CC


This is in no way any attempt to defend the Princess however I believe Castroneves last season had a problem shifting due to the electronics in the paddle shifter. They switched steering wheels to correct the problem.

#1267 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by red stick

CC, looks like you were on the rise over the kink near the museum?


Yes, we started at the entry to turn 9 and then walked along the track through-out the day and covered turns 10, 11, & 12.

CC

#1268 aportinga

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 16:34

Originally posted by 917k




:lol:

Your hundreds of posts, throughout the winter, belie that. In fact, I take you to be the MOST interested Indycar follower, although probably most interested in their failure.


If success is that god awful dog of a car and one manufacture with nothing more then Danica as the only marketing point then why would anyone want it to succeed?

Maybe you're just that shallow?

#1269 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 19:43

Originally posted by aportinga


If success is that god awful dog of a car and one manufacture with nothing more then Danica as the only marketing point then why would anyone want it to succeed?

Maybe you're just that shallow?



Yes, that's it.

We're extraordinarily shallow.

Just when you're sure we can't be any worse, we let a little more water out of the pool.

Clearly there's no hope for us. Heck, some (one?) of us just drove nearly 900 miles in a weekend to see testing.

Testing!

But there's still time to save yourself.

Run.

RUN!




:rolleyes:

#1270 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 20:06

Originally posted by red stick



Yes, that's it.

We're extraordinarily shallow.

Just when you're sure we can't be any worse, we let a little more water out of the pool.

Clearly there's no hope for us. Heck, some (one?) of us just drove nearly 900 miles in a weekend to see testing.

Testing!

But there's still time to save yourself.

Run.

RUN!




:rolleyes:


Wait.
If you had gone 450 miles the other way you could have been at Sebring?
And to think, you have a chapparal on your sig
At one point I did have hope for you.
The illusion is destroyed...
:
small

#1271 red stick

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 20:11

Originally posted by whitewaterMkII


Wait.
If you had gone 450 miles the other way you could have been at Sebring?
And to think, you have a chapparal on your sig
At one point I did have hope for you.
The illusion is destroyed...
:


:lol:

Sebring is more like 900 miles from here, so 1800 round trip.

Maybe next year.



When there are more than 28 cars.
:crossed fingers:

Heck, maybe we can have a group meeting!

#1272 aportinga

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 01:18

Originally posted by red stick



Yes, that's it.

We're extraordinarily shallow.

Just when you're sure we can't be any worse, we let a little more water out of the pool.

Clearly there's no hope for us. Heck, some (one?) of us just drove nearly 900 miles in a weekend to see testing.

Testing!

But there's still time to save yourself.

Run.

RUN!




:rolleyes:


Really... I guess our standards differ greatly. I too am amayzed at your avi...

#1273 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:46

Since CC posted several very nice car photos, I'll post some of my pitlane and paddock shots.


Posted Image

Dixon enjoying a moment before Sunday morning practice. And some say the man lacks personality . . .

#1274 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:48

Posted Image

Dario.

#1275 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:49

Dixon at speed.

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#1276 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:51

After morning practice, Dixon and Franchitti debrief. This is Dario in his "cool" mode.



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#1277 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:52

Doornbos in his unmarked car.

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#1278 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:54

The Dreyer guys, Sunday morning.

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#1279 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:58

Wheldon in his Panther uniform.


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#1280 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 03:59

Carpenter consults with Herta at Vision, Sunday.

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#1281 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:01

Wilson favoring the local press.

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#1282 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:03

Dixon again.

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#1283 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:05

The Andretti Green Racing area Sunday morning. Kanaan is behind the car conferring with a team member.

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#1284 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:08

Power speaking with friends out in the open. The crowd passed seemingly without knowing he's a driver, on the way to the Danica Patrick hauler. Danica was easily the crowd favorite, judging from autograph requests, people following her down the pitlane, and persons taking pictures next to her hauler.

Franchitti was also immensely popular. The crowd seemed glad to have him back where he belongs and he seemed very happy to be back in IndyCar. Being quick all weekend certainly helped.

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#1285 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:10

Will Power debriefing with Tim Cindric following the Sunday morning session.

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#1286 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 04:48

Originally posted by aportinga
I guess our standards differ greatly. I too am amayzed at your avi...



There are more things in heaven and earth, Aportinga, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

:D

#1287 Seanspeed

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 13:06

Power up to speed quite quickly.

1. Will Power Penske 1m09.4557s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m09.7776s + 0.3219s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m09.8401s + 0.3844s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m09.8904s + 0.4347s
5. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m09.9176s + 0.4619s
6. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m10.0229s + 0.5672s
7. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m10.0908s + 0.6351s
8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m10.3072s + 0.8515s
9. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1m10.3177s + 0.8620s
10. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m10.3573s + 0.9017s
11. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m10.5267s + 1.0710s
12. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.6965s + 1.2408s
13. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m10.7051s + 1.2494s
14. Mario Moraes KV 1m10.7207s + 1.2650s
15. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m10.8411s + 1.3854s
16. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m11.5245s + 2.0688s

#1288 wewantourdarbyback

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 13:39

Originally posted by TheHumanPromise
Power up to speed quite quickly.

1. Will Power Penske 1m09.4557s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m09.7776s + 0.3219s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m09.8401s + 0.3844s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m09.8904s + 0.4347s
5. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m09.9176s + 0.4619s
6. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m10.0229s + 0.5672s
7. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m10.0908s + 0.6351s
8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m10.3072s + 0.8515s
9. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1m10.3177s + 0.8620s
10. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m10.3573s + 0.9017s
11. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m10.5267s + 1.0710s
12. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.6965s + 1.2408s
13. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m10.7051s + 1.2494s
14. Mario Moraes KV 1m10.7207s + 1.2650s
15. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m10.8411s + 1.3854s
16. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m11.5245s + 2.0688s


Good to see Justin climbing the times, I hope it lasts

#1289 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 13:45

Originally posted by TheHumanPromise
Power up to speed quite quickly.

1. Will Power Penske 1m09.4557s
2. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m09.7776s + 0.3219s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m09.8401s + 0.3844s
4. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m09.8904s + 0.4347s
5. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m09.9176s + 0.4619s
6. Robert Doornbos Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1m10.0229s + 0.5672s
7. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1m10.0908s + 0.6351s
8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1m10.3072s + 0.8515s
9. Justin Wilson Dale Coyne 1m10.3177s + 0.8620s
10. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1m10.3573s + 0.9017s
11. Dan Wheldon Panther 1m10.5267s + 1.0710s
12. Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold 1m10.6965s + 1.2408s
13. Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon 1m10.7051s + 1.2494s
14. Mario Moraes KV 1m10.7207s + 1.2650s
15. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1m10.8411s + 1.3854s
16. Ed Carpenter Vision 1m11.5245s + 2.0688s



Wilson showing much better too. And the NHL guys were quick from the beginning.

Power seems a nice guy who knows he's got an incredible opportunity. I think it'll be a big year for him.

#1290 jeze

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 14:24

Originally posted by red stick



Wilson showing much better too. And the NHL guys were quick from the beginning.

Power seems a nice guy who knows he's got an incredible opportunity. I think it'll be a big year for him.


Don't forget that if Hélio is assumed not guilty, then Power will be history in the team!

#1291 potmotr

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 14:33

Great shots Red Stick, thanks! :wave:

#1292 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 15:07

Originally posted by potmotr
Great shots Red Stick, thanks! :wave:


:up: agreed, you got some good candids. Now I regret not going into the paddock!

CC

#1293 rghojai

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 16:35

Yah, good ones, especially Dixon laughing.

Gotta be weird for Power. In his heart of hearts, does he really want to not race for Penske this year (see Helio get acquitted)? But hard to imagine he's thinking, "I hope he gets convicted in a big way."

If Helio is acquitted, looks like there's darn little out there for Power, seemingly nothing close to Penske/IRL. Maybe they'd throw Will a bone, run him at Indy (and get additional data from a third car)?

#1294 B Squared

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 16:42

I saw the theory of Gil de Ferran's proposed team as a place for a third Penske driver, if the need should arise. The scenario I read about had Castroneves as a possible driver at Indy for Gil's team with Penske support.

Thanks for the photos and updates from the test.

Brian

#1295 Alfisti

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 16:44

The opinion in Australia is that Power has always been a better driver than Briscoe. Will has been fast in anything he sits in.

Is that DC's dad behind Will?

#1296 aportinga

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 16:56

Power is pretty good. IMO I think even if Helio is aquited Power will keep the seat.

#1297 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 17:22

I can't see them running three cars, but maybe Scheckter will find he doesn't have a ride.

#1298 aportinga

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 17:48

Can you see them dumping Power though?

Furthermore I think the longer this trial drags on the less Penske will want to bring HCN back on board.

#1299 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 17:57

No telling what Penske's agreements are with HCN and Power. The kid only topped the timesheets--I'd say he's keeping up his end.

In fact I think that speed should be the new track record.

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#1300 red stick

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 18:14

Originally posted by B Squared
Thanks for the photos and updates from the test.

Brian


I'll cover the Mid-South if you'll get the Mid-West.  ;)