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Sears Point, Indycar-style: OFFICIAL thread


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Poll: What do you think of the track changes? (29 member(s) have cast votes)

Tighter Turn 7

  1. Yea (15 votes [51.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 51.72%

  2. Nay (14 votes [48.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.28%

Widened exit at Turn 9

  1. Me gusta (21 votes [72.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 72.41%

  2. No me gusta (8 votes [27.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.59%

Lengthened Turn 11 braking zone

  1. Make it so (25 votes [86.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 86.21%

  2. Negative, captain (4 votes [13.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 13.79%

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#1 Risil

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 14:41

IZOD Indycar Series, Round 13 of 15: Sonoma Sears Point Infineon [YOUR NAME HERE] Raceway

Posted Image

Things to bear in mind
85 laps
Lap length: 2.31 miles
Lap record (old config): 1:16.4913, Ryan Briscoe, Panoz-Toyota (2005 WHOA THAT'S OLD)
Previous winner: Will Power, Dallara-Honda
Indycar pedigree: for a road course, ancient. Here's Dan Gurney winning in 1970 in an Eagle-Ford.

Remember last year?
It finished Penske-Penske-Penske-Ganassi-Ganassi. Bourdais and Pantano had a bit of a fracas and the man from Padua was assessed a Castroneves. Charlie Kimball's recovered from his injury so we've got no chance of a repeat this year. Don't rule out the Penske-Penske-Penske-Ganassi-Ganassi part though. Racer magazine has named Pantano the Next Roberto Moreno, so watch this space for 2013.

Incidentally, looking through Autosport's news archive I discovered that it was at the Sonoma weekend Indycar's commercial division announced they were "close" to securing a race in Qingdao. I think they've moved further apart since then. This year it's the turn of the only-slightly-more-credible NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana. I'll believe it when someone tells me what NOLA stands for. Favourite bit of the article? Tony Cotman expressing his enthusiasm for the project by declaring "This is an average track".

The exciting month of August, everybody.

Who's going to be champion? Who cares?
Ross Brawn warns about "randomness" ruining the narrative of the World Drivers' Championship. I have no idea why I put this here.

Let's forget all that random nastiness suggestive of an indifferent universe presided over by an incompetent or malevolent creator. We've got three races with which to make a Titanic Championship Battle to rank alongside Montoya-Franchitti, Schumacher-Villeneuve, Hart-Mondale. Indycar's press office is making a lot of noise about the diversity of tracks in the championship run-in: Sonoma, Baltimore, Fontana (did you know Indycar is the only championship that requires drivers to be strong in three racing disciplines? Oh, you did). Will Power showed at Texas this year that he's capable of winning on big ovals. Dixon and Castroneves are pretty good on them too, and Hunter-Reay's a real all-rounder.

Like at Mid-O, I think the main story of the race will be the championship protagonists' struggle to separate their identities as The Big Men from the ultra-classy and inconveniently quick likes of Bourdais and Pagenaud. Hinch ran well here last year, and he's probs due a good result. Then there are engine penalties and the crazy qualifying system to consider. Indycar, this isn't F1 circa 2005. We can have exciting races when fast drivers aren't pointlessly starting from 17th on the grid.

Sometimes I feel like a member of an apocalyptic cult, always proclaiming The End to be pencilled in for next Tuesday, but I'm convinced that Power will win from pole this time. It's all over. Hold the awards banquet already. Switch over to NASCAR. Complain about Nelson Piquet Junior. Do some Wikipedia research about Paul Ryan. Move on. It's a cold winter that's coming.

Is this aero kit news?
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Ayton Engineering, a racing design and consultancy company, has set up a machine shop in Brooklyn, NY, for "a project designing the Honda IndyCar". Some digging says they're mostly involved in engine building, although I'd have thought all that would be done by HPD in California. Any help?

Bonus: some 24-carat comedy gold from the Billion-mayor himself, Michael Bloomberg:

"You might say this is 'Silicon Alley' meeting 'Gasoline Alley' and it's another example of how when it comes to creating jobs our administration has the pedal to the metal," said Mr. Bloomberg, failing to elicit much laughter for his word play, during a news conference at the site at 105 Metropolitan Ave.


The reporters were probably all Democrats or Republicans or something.

Interesting news about the Category Formerly Known As The Infiniti Pro Series
IMS's search for tenders to supply the new spec Indy Lights car is attracting interest. You can register your disgust about the Delta Wing proposal here, "]here and "]here.
Formula Nippon suppliers Swift and F3 car builders Mygale have submitted plans, and now so have Dyson Racing in collaboration with some ex-Lola personnel. The chassis is currently designated the "Hulman HGIL014". Yes, after the Speedway's owners. Flattery will get you everywhere. Or will it? Again, watch this space.

On the engine front, we've got talk of ALMS builders AER (LMP1, inline-four turbo) and HPD (LMP2, turbo V6) offering to supply engines, on top of "heavy interest" from the series about liquified natural gas power. Honda being involved in Indy Lights, Indycar and ALMS makes sense to me.

Schedule, oh yes
We're in beautiful California this weekend (the Indycar people are, I am in my imagination), in what's scientifically the awkwardest timezone for fans of the 10 o'clock news. That's -8 hours GMT; people in the UK might be interested to know that Sky Sports 3's coverage begins at 9:30pm. In America/the mysterious live TV grey areas of the information superwebs, it's on NBC Sports at 4.30pm Eastern Time. Great. These times below though, they're local times. Remember that.

Friday, 24th August
12.15-13.45: SCCA Pirelli World Challenge qualifying
14.30-16.05: Indycar practice one

Saturday, 25th August
10.50-11.50: Indycar practice two
12.00-13.15: Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS race
13.30-14.00: Formula Car Challenge (race 1) (I'm not really sure what this is, but a look on the website suggests it's sanctioned by NASA. Interesting!)
14.30-15.35: Indycar qualifying
16.10-17.30: Pirelli World Challenge touring car (races 1+2)

Sunday, 26th August
9.00-9.30: Indycar warm-up
9.50-10.30: Pirelli World Challenge touring car (race 3)
13.42: Indycar Greeeeeeen Flag
16.30-17.00: Formula Car Challenge (race 2)

A final word
James Hinchcliffe is hosting an INTERNATIONAL live chat on Saturday with Gray-Ray, Taku and the Newg. Details here. I estimate we're more or less Indycar's whole international fanbase, so I think it's our duty to get involved and not let the Mayor die on his arse out there. Occupy Indycar!

Edited by Risil, 22 August 2012 - 17:22.


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#2 PayasYouRace

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 15:07

I was beginning to get worried that we wouldn't have a thread for this, but that might have been partly because I thought the race would be last weekend.

Pantano will never be the next Roberto Moreno until his glorious hair starts falling out.

I'm not a big fan of over-tight hairpins, so T7 is the only track change I'm not too happy about.

I'm holding off opinions on NOLA until I see a map.

I'm all for unpredictability in the title race, and these last few races should be very exciting. The three disciplines thing brought back good memories of CART (and bad memories of Driven).

Edited by PayasYouRace, 22 August 2012 - 15:10.


#3 Option1

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 16:32

[b]lotsa words and stuff ... wish I could read.

13.30-14.00: Formula Car Challenge (race 1) (I'm not really sure what this is, but a look on the website suggests it's sanctioned by NASA. Interesting!)

some other lettery thingies.

NASA in this case being the National Auto Sport Association of course.

Oh and :up: :up: on all that there writin' and punktuetin'.

Neil

#4 Risil

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 16:45

Thanks, Neil. If all this encourages just one late bloomer to pick up a book, then it's been worthwhile.

Edited by Risil, 22 August 2012 - 16:47.


#5 sblick

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 16:48

Partial 2013 schedule in Indy Star today and Texas is on the schedule. NOLA is shown but who knows (New Orleans Louisiana, NO and the LA is for the postal service abbreviation of the state)

#6 Risil

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 16:52

NOLA is shown but who knows (New Orleans Louisiana, NO and the LA is for the postal service abbreviation of the state)


I'm sold! Let's go.

Anyone remember the IMSA race they held in the Big Easy? IIRC this one stars Perry McCarthy of Perry McCarthy: The Autobiography fame, and a rare win for the Intrepid-Chevy (OOPS 1991 SPOILER. I won't tell you what happens to the USSR though). I think Camel GT is my favourite old race series ever.

Edited by Risil, 22 August 2012 - 16:53.


#7 Rob G

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 17:21

I'm flying out tomorrow morning to be at the track. :clap: I've never been there, so I'm really looking forward to it. Sorry to say, I won't have internet access during my vacation (which lasts through next Thursday), so I won't be able to give you guys any insight until long after everything has happened.

#8 Risil

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 17:23

Post your insights during the Baltimore weekend! We won't know the difference.

Have fun out there. :)

Edited by Risil, 22 August 2012 - 17:23.


#9 Frank Tuesday

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 17:31

Track changes from the website.
Posted Image

#10 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 17:40

Track changes from the website.
Posted Image

How come this one looks like a lumpy octopus but the NASCAR version looks like a guitar with a broken neck?

#11 Andrew Hope

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 17:56

With regards to the poll, all three changes feels good man. Dunno why the final hairpin hasn't always been like that, the end of the drag strip is a good change and now they've at least gone some small way towards improving that dumbass bike chicane they shouldn't be running in the first place.

What doesn't feels good man is the lack of Pantano this weekend.

#12 anbeck

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 19:37

Track changes from the website.
Posted Image


Can we assume that this map is accurate enough to say that the hairpin will include the drag strip on the entry (unlike the track map Risil posted)?

#13 Risil

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 19:45

(unlike the track map Risil posted)?


Hey! That was an official Indycar communiqué! :drunk:

Edited by Risil, 22 August 2012 - 19:45.


#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 20:53

The maps are the same, neither will use the drag strip. But they cross it a little on the run to the hairpin.

Not sure why anyone is pro-widening the chicane. It's just faster now. That's never a better passing zone.

#15 Chubby_Deuce

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 21:21

Partial 2013 schedule in Indy Star today and Texas is on the schedule. NOLA is shown but who knows (New Orleans Louisiana, NO and the LA is for the postal service abbreviation of the state)


It's also the name of a race track. http://www.nolamotor.com/

AMA is headed there, it got some decent reviews when they tested earlier this year.

The maps are the same, neither will use the drag strip. But they cross it a little on the run to the hairpin.

Not sure why anyone is pro-widening the chicane. It's just faster now. That's never a better passing zone.


Slow chicanes suck on a motorcycle, I'm all for this change.

#16 Jim Thurman

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:40

Driving down to Los Angeles area today, and heading northbound (opposite of me) I-210 at about 12:20PM PDT, I saw a black & electric blue semi, on it was "Sarah Fisher-Hartman Racing"

Since the mid-1980's, I've seen several haulers on Interstates in California. I recall seeing the CART Kraco hauler on I-80 over the Sierra Nevadas on its way to Laguna Seca.

#17 anbeck

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:53

The maps are the same, neither will use the drag strip. But they cross it a little on the run to the hairpin.


I don't think the maps are the same. In the map from the website, the run down to the hairpin is on a line parallel to the start/finish straight (which itself is parallel to the drag strip). If you look on the map provided in the Official IZOD IndyCar Series communiqué© brought to you by Risil ( :wave: ), the run down to the hairpin is not at all parallel to the s/f straight, but 'bent' towards turn 5.
The website's map at least gives the impression that they run down the drag strip - which of course does not mean that they got it wrong.

Edited by anbeck, 23 August 2012 - 06:54.


#18 PayasYouRace

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 08:38

The MS Paint version is wrong. The fancy graphics one is right. The MS Paint version, which unbelievably really is an official image from the Indycar website, should show the track continuing up the "drag strip" in the middle.

It's probably confusing enough because this is the third variation they've used here. At first they used the standard sportscar layout (outside route on the way in, inside route on the way out). Then they used the straighter run into the corner with the NASCAR corner on the way out (inside in, outside out). This year they'll be using the really tight version (inside in, inside out).

#19 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:13

Driving down to Los Angeles area today, and heading northbound (opposite of me) I-210 at about 12:20PM PDT, I saw a black & electric blue semi, on it was "Sarah Fisher-Hartman Racing"

Since the mid-1980's, I've seen several haulers on Interstates in California. I recall seeing the CART Kraco hauler on I-80 over the Sierra Nevadas on its way to Laguna Seca.

I was in Vegas the week before the Cup race and like on Wednesday or something I was at Hoover Dam and on the way back I saw tons of NASCAR haulers--they were coming up from the race in Phoenix the weekend before.

Does IRL do a hauler parade? I went to the Vegas one and it was pretty cool.

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#20 Muppetmad

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:18

I really enjoyed seeing both Bourdais and Pagenaud up there at Mid-Ohio - I hope they can both continue their excellent form here at Sonoma/Infineon/Sears Point/whatever. I do hope that Pagenaud can get a win before the season's out, I really think he deserves one.

#21 Risil

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 12:30

I really enjoyed seeing both Bourdais and Pagenaud up there at Mid-Ohio - I hope they can both continue their excellent form here at Sonoma/Infineon/Sears Point/whatever. I do hope that Pagenaud can get a win before the season's out, I really think he deserves one.


Amen, brutha. :up:

Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports have been really impressive this year. Sixth overall with three races to go is an achievement for team and driver that ranks with last season's Newman-Haas/Servia combo. And SP's got a lot of years left in him. There are a lot of "future champions" in the Indycar field right now, but I have a feeling that all Pagenaud would need is the right team behind him. If he hadn't been diverted into ALMS by the collapse of Champ Car, he'd have been considered for an F1 drive by now.

Edited by Risil, 23 August 2012 - 12:32.


#22 Jim Thurman

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:42

I was in Vegas the week before the Cup race and like on Wednesday or something I was at Hoover Dam and on the way back I saw tons of NASCAR haulers--they were coming up from the race in Phoenix the weekend before.

Does IRL do a hauler parade? I went to the Vegas one and it was pretty cool.

Now, that is really cool :up: I've seen several over the years, and even though I'm not jaded about it, I once posted to a message board that it was cool, but not that big a deal. One of the regulars there said he thought it was ridiculously cool because he'd not seen a single hauler from any touring series. Really put it into perspective for me.

Saw the Roush Trans-Am haulers once, in formation, also headed to Sears Point. JP will appreciate that once, as a very small kid, I was in a car directly behind James Brown's equipment semi. A massive portrait of James' head covered the back.

I'm not aware of a hauler parade, but that's a great idea. Send it to Randy.

#23 Jim Thurman

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:44

While it doesn't mention Fisher-Hartman Racing, perhaps this was the reason they were on I-210 instead of I-80?

Test at Fontana:
http://www.nationals...ws.com/?p=61794

Edited by Jim Thurman, 24 August 2012 - 04:44.


#24 Risil

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 23:50

Power and Briscoe 1 and 2 for Penske in first practice. Pagenaud, Bourdais and Barrichello in the top six. :up:

Oh, and Saavedra's racing in a fourth Andretti entry this weekend, which initially passed me by. He's on the pace, so good for him (and Michael).

Edited by Risil, 24 August 2012 - 23:53.


#25 PayasYouRace

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:12

Practice 1 Highlights



Warning: Contains non-existent words like "threepeat" and "Sebass-chen" Bourdais :mad:

This is the first look at the track changes. The T7 hairpin doesn't look as tight as I thought it would be. Meanwhile T11 isn't as far down the track as I thought. Looks like they could have moved it a bit further.

Edited by PayasYouRace, 25 August 2012 - 08:19.


#26 anbeck

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 09:07

Power and Briscoe 1 and 2 for Penske in first practice. Pagenaud, Bourdais and Barrichello in the top six. :up:


:up: I guess it would be asked too much to keep it like this over the week-end, huh?

This is the first look at the track changes. The T7 hairpin doesn't look as tight as I thought it would be. Meanwhile T11 isn't as far down the track as I thought. Looks like they could have moved it a bit further.


I think the hairpin is ok. The drag strip is quite wide, so overall it seems like something Tilke might have built to improve overtaking (compare to Hockenheim). :) I think it might be good for some manoevres during the race, voire crashes.

Actually, I wonder whether Bourdais and Barrichello's positions might indicate that this is one of the trickier tracks. They weren't super-convincing at the other non-oval tracks, and now both are doing well (okay, it's only free practice....). Does it mean that Sonoma with all its ups and downs and off-camber corners and all this is quite some challenge?

Warning: Contains non-existent words like "threepeat" and "Sebass-chen" Bourdais


Actually his Chen is quite good for a Chinese Chen, contrary to the Chan usually used. If the Olympic Games have taught me one thing, it is that sports commentators can pronounce hardly any foreign name at all.

#27 PayasYouRace

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:01

I have no doubt that Sears Point is a very challenging track. Elevation changes, off camber corners are two factors, but I think the main thing is that there's not much straight anywhere on the track. It highlights the skill of being able to string together long sequences of corners with no break in between. Just like the Esses as Suzuka is where the best drivers find so much time.

#28 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:25

Actually his Chen is quite good for a Chinese Chen, contrary to the Chan usually used. If the Olympic Games have taught me one thing, it is that sports commentators can pronounce hardly any foreign name at all.


Last week's Nationwide race the 3 commentators in the box each pronounced Villeneuve a different way - It's Veal-nurv, definitely not Veal-noo...

#29 anbeck

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:43

Last week's Nationwide race the 3 commentators in the box each pronounced Villeneuve a different way - It's Veal-nurv, definitely not Veal-noo...


I thought we had agreed on the fact that one commentator said "Ville-noob" on purpose :D

#30 Muppetmad

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 13:21

Power and Briscoe 1 and 2 for Penske in first practice. Pagenaud, Bourdais and Barrichello in the top six. :up:


:up:

I second the notion that this should be the top 6 all weekend (although in a different order preferably ;)), it's so good to see Bourdais actually has a hope in hell of getting solid results. I don't think I've screamed at the television more this year than when Bourdais got taken out at Toronto :lol:

Edited by Muppetmad, 25 August 2012 - 13:22.


#31 Risil

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 14:10

Bourdais and Pagenaud being up there doesn't surprise me, but Barrichello's performance is very promising. Barrichello tested at Sears Point preseason: he's said time and time again that the main difficulty he's having is getting used to the Indycar tracks. Could be a genuine threat to the top five. I hope so.

#32 jonpollak

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 15:00

Jp on radio silence again for the next few weeks....

Damn those exotic holidays

Jp

#33 Andrew Hope

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 18:27

Last week's Nationwide race the 3 commentators in the box each pronounced Villeneuve a different way - It's Veal-nurv, definitely not Veal-noo...


Lest we forget Patrick Carpontay, Patrick Carponchay, and the best of them all, Patreek Carponteeyay. You'd think with three of them entering the Nationwide race at Montreal every year, they'd've won it by now.


#34 PayasYouRace

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 19:54

Practice 2 Highlights:

No crimes against language this time, and a few spins and other hairy moments.

I'd never noticed that the chequered flag has diabetes a Sunoco logo on it.

#35 Option1

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 22:51

What on earth is with the NBC Sports banner taking up the entire top 1/4 of the screen with nothing in the top half of that banner!! Farrkkk, why not just make the whole screen black?

Neil

#36 Muppetmad

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:24

Power pole, Briscoe 2nd, Bourdais 3rd. Great qualifying from Bourdais :up:

#37 anbeck

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:22

Power pole, Briscoe 2nd, Bourdais 3rd. Great qualifying from Bourdais :up:


:up: :up: Looking forward to the race!

#38 billm99uk

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:20

Power pole, Briscoe 2nd, Bourdais 3rd. Great qualifying from Bourdais :up:


Yeah, nice to see Seb up there again :up:

#39 Andrew Hope

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:22

Will be interested to see how Saavedra does, didn't he run well here last year until he spun near turn 2 or 3 and sent her way the hell up the hill? He's in an orange and yellow car that looks like a giant candy corn if you want to keep an eye on him.

And to try and avoid some of you having Seabass heart-attacks when you catch glimpses of him suddenly running at the back of the field, remember it's actually Katherine Legge running the sister car this weekend. Hildebrand running a shit hot livery this weekend as well.

Edited by Andrew Hope, 26 August 2012 - 17:27.


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#40 Andrew Hope

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:32

Ah jesus, I just saw this. The spotter guide has all the drivers twitters under their cars. Most of it is what you would expect:

@hinchtown
@simonpagenaud
@bourdaisontrack
@josefnewgarden

etc.

@charliekimball?

Nein.

@racewithinsulin

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#41 PayasYouRace

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:33

So, how many cautions will there be? Do the drivers remember what the pace car looks like?

#42 PayasYouRace

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:34

@racewithinsulin

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I doubt Sulin is very happy about that.

#43 Prost1997T

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:43

So, how many cautions will there be? Do the drivers remember what the pace car looks like?


Zero, I hope. I liked the last two races being caution-free. Throwing yellows unnecessarily can be left to NASCAR.

#44 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:45

What channel is this on? I can't find it.

#45 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:47

it's on NBC Sports at 4.30pm Eastern Time. Great. These times below though, they're local times. Remember that.

F you for burying this deep in your post!

#46 Disgrace

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:51

Zero, I hope. I liked the last two races being caution-free. Throwing yellows unnecessarily can be left to NASCAR.


This circuit is too challenging for no cautions. How long until the race starts from now (call it the hour)?

#47 Andrew Hope

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 17:54

This circuit is too challenging for no cautions. How long until the race starts from now (call it the hour)?


Race starts in 2 and a half hours, there's a countdown on the mainpage of Indycar.com.

#48 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 18:02

I think last year was pretty uneventful, caution free for most of it. Which is why we all cheered when Saavedra tried to drive up a mountain.

#49 Option1

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 18:26

Who is this Sulin and why does Kimball want to race within him?

EDIT: well that moved on quick and I see payasyourace has already made a very similar joke. <insert self-disparaging face palm here>

Neil

Edited by Option1, 26 August 2012 - 18:27.


#50 billm99uk

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 18:31

I think last year was pretty uneventful, caution free for most of it. Which is why we all cheered when Saavedra tried to drive up a mountain.


...and disappeared into a massive ball of dust, from memory. Hope they've had more rain this year.