The graphic on the left is called "Conflicted Loyalties".
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
Lap length: 2.258 miles
Lap record: Dario Franchitti, 1:05.347 (1999)
Nice circuit, this. Mid-Ohio fits nicely with Barber, Sears Point and Laguna Seca in that elite group of American natural road courses where you shouldn't expect much overtaking or excitement. Here's Graham Rahal and
And I say elite group, but as a matter of fact all of NASCAR's ovals lately have moved onto this turf so fast you'd barely have time to say "There goes the neighbourhood". But we're race fans! We make our own fun! Also if you're a total road course nerd you might be interested in things like undulations and cambers and trees and shit. Go back to Spa-Francorchamps, hippie.
Mandatory Points Standings Talk
This season I haven't really felt the championship as a very urgent or gripping matter. This feeling wasn't alleviated by my discovery that Chevy wrapped up the engine contest last week. However I suppose we've got one now and courtesy of Will "Aggressive Pit Exitist" Power, we've even got a fraction of controversy. RHR says he needs another race win to keep himself in the good seats but as Power has shown, a points advantage in Indycar is a remarkably difficult thing to maintain. And Helio Castroneves's been one of those consistent-finishing, good-qualifying, crash-avoiding bastards your mother warned you about.
RHR: 362 points
HCN: -23 points
Willy P: -26 points
Ryan's racing in green this weekend, by the way. If you want to know why, it says so here. (Auto Racing Daily dot com: come for the press releases, stay for the Danica swimsuit pics!)
Do you remember how absorbing and easy-to-follow the Edmonton race was? How your understanding of the race wasn't totally ruined by the whole field shattering into 20 different fuel strategies the moment the yellows came out? My anguished cry into the eternal night of Indycar decision-making cannot be fully reduced to language, but if one tried, phrases like "God damn race announcers", "can't polish a turd with double-file restarts" and "Code 60" might be intelligible.
Bit o' news
The big one first. The protagonist of Indycar's favourite adversity-story-cum-infomercial encountered a little more adversity at the general test last week. As a result, GP2 Thread cult hero Giorgio Pantano is subbing in at Team Ganassi. Now personally I'll always remember Pantano as the man who didn't win the 2002 Formula 3000 title. But it might be wise to note that you could fill a very talented grid with people who Didn't Win The F3000 Title. Pantano's also an old associate of the Coloni team, as featured in OPs passim.
This month's race at Sears Point has a new sponsor (cool) and a slightly altered layout (meh).
All this talk about Ryan Hunter-Reay is probably making you ask, Where's James Hinchcliffe? I know I was. I'm not anymore though, because he's the subject of this week's Indycar 36!
Jeremy Shaw's Team USA has announced candidates for its scholarship to Euro open-wheel racing. Two of the successful nominees will contest the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy at the end of this year, another will race in the last two rounds of the BARC Formula Renault championship. Fellow Indy-fanciers, I urge you to go to one of these events and lend them your support/curiosity. And hands up if you ever suspected Jeremy Shaw looked this awesome? Hasselhovian, even.
Here's a schedule with some unusual features! (Ohio uses EST, which is equal to GMT -5. Race is live on SS4 from 5.30pm, so you might just want to remember that time.)
Friday, 3rd August
08.45-09.45: American Le Mans practice one (ALMS! Remember ALMS?!)
11.15-12.15: American Le Mans practice two
12.25-13.35: American Le Mans qualifying
14.00-15.30: Indycar practice one
Saturday, 4th August
08.00-09.00: Indycar practice two
09.20-09.50: ALMS warm-up
11.00-12.15: Indycar qualifying
13.05-15.50: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge
16.15-16.55: USF2000 race 1
17.10-18.20: Porsche World Challenge race 1
Sunday, 5th August
08.05-08-35: Indycar warm-up
09.55-10.55: Porsche World Challenge race 2
11.10-11.50: USF2000 race 2
13.00: Green Flag! Thunderbirds are go!
That's right! A race programme with more than one race on it you might actually want to watch! Indy Lights are in Trois Rivieres this weekend.
Indycar's website notes that Mid-Ohio boasts "a challenging entry to pit lane". You have been warned.
Edited by Risil, 02 August 2012 - 22:19.