Monday, May 6, 2013

The World Turned Upside Down (In A Small Way)

The Dallara chassis's aero package makes it look fat and ugly.  But no worse than F-1 cars, I guess.  This is James
Hinchcliffe's Andretti Autosports car.  Andretti Autosports has won 3 of the first 4 races of 2013 (Hinchcliffe has
won 2).  Penske Racing appears to be clueless, and Ganassi Racing is struggling.  The world turned upside down?

I am not a fan of street racing between Jersey Barriers, but channel-surfed through the Sao Paulo IndyCar event yesterday.  Sao Paulo isn't much of a course, and on top of that, the 2013 edition was quickly on pace to match its full-course yellow flag record of 6.  (It managed to set "...a new track record!!!..." of 7.  Gauges nominal for a street course...)

But go figure.  The last 12 laps were some of the best IndyCar racing I've seen in many a day.  And by IndyCar racing, I mean to include CART in its road racing glory days.  Takuma Sato led, barely, with his tires going off, for Foyt Racing (a perennial also-ran team).  Josef Newgarden (who is a 22-year-old American despite his name looking and sounding German) had come from deep in the field to shadow Sato and his tires were in ready-to-pounce condition.  He was driving for Sarah Fisher's relatively new and underfunded Fisher-Hartman team.  Coming up fast was James Hinchcliffe for Andretti Autosports who's race had been star-crossed with no reasonable expectation to find himself in third. Fourth and fifth were contested too, and within a long camera shot of the first three.

Sato excepted, the driving in the last laps was clean (he blocked).  Newgarden faded only when he used up his tires trying to get around Sato.  Hinchcliffe got by Newgarden and, on the last lap, provoked Sato into outbraking himself and did a fine "over-under" move for the win.  Brilliant stuff.  IndyCar drivers deserve some real road courses and a sanctioning body that can get out of its own way.

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