From Road to Oval

Indianapolis- A picture perfect day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IndyCar Grand Prix. This was the “Will Power Show” Power had the most powerful car in every practice session,and setting the Pole and leading 61 of the 85 laps.Rewind 12 months ago to the same track was a huge blunder for Power and qualifying which put him starting outside the top six, and spun in the first lap. Will Power was never able to rebound. It was imperative that Team Penske fix the issues in the off season. Indeed Team Penske did just that. Will Power has had a career that has seen its Highs and Lows. Saturday’s Victory was definitely a high. In the post race presser Will Power said “You cant be consumed by the highs or the lows”,and being a new father has taught him that. It seemed like it was density for Will Power to win at Indy!

Team Penske IndyCar driver Will Power (12) sprays and gets sprayed with champaign as he celebrates his winning the IndyCar Grand Prix Saturday, May 13, 2017, afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)
Team Penske IndyCar driver Will Power (12) sprays and gets sprayed with champaign as he celebrates his winning the IndyCar Grand Prix Saturday, May 13, 2017, afternoon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
(Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

So today we are at different track …same Indianapolis Motor Speedway but different track over the weekend teams here at IMS began the transformation process of converting the road course back to the famed oval. The entire process is about 42 hours. That’s how long Verizon IndyCar Series teams have from the checkered flag of Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix to Monday’s opening practice for the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil.

Teams are accustomed to working late in the garages getting their cars ready. I am sure most of us do not realize just how physically demanding it is to transform an Indy car set up for the 14-turn, stop-and-start, 2.439-mile road course to be ready for the flat-out,2.5-mile oval. Julian Robertson, Chip Ganassi Racing technical director says . “The guys will start on prep Saturday night after the race. The race is quite late in the afternoon, which means it will all go late into the evening to get a head start.” Chip Ganassi Racing is one of the series powerhouse teams, led by four-time series champion Scott Dixon and 2004 series winner Tony Kanaan, each of whom have won the Indy 500. Owner Chip Ganassi has celebrated five Indy 500 victories in addition to 10 Indy car series titles, which means excellence is expected.

“The car looks the same, but it’s pretty different,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

The cars differ in brakes, aero kits, rear wings, suspension, shock absorbers, gearbox setups and dampers, among other things.

Also The Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced a first-ever opportunity for race fans at the INDYCAR Grand Prix in May. IMS will offer spectator camping for recreational vehicles and tents in the infield.

Another beautiful day in Indy…today Practice 1 for the ROP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so far we have seen Fernando Alonso hit a speed of 220.805 ,Oriol Servia 220.805,Ed Jones 219.288. Jack Harvey currently on track 220.805 and has completed stage 1 of “ROP”

Later this afternoon all teams will have chance to turn laps.

The 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 is just around the courner

Grand Prix Weekend at Indy

Photo Credit  http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com
Photo Credit http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com

Indianapolis- As we begin the month of May Indy…It’s time for the 1st race in the month of May.

Its a action packed weekend at IMS

If you have never been to the Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. So 1st thing you may notice is cars are going backwards? Ok not literally but the configuration of the road course sends cars down the front stretch in the reverse direction than what you may be used to seeing on the oval.

The 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course incorporates portions of Turns 1 and 2 and the frontstraight of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and the remainder of the circuit is within the infield, allowing for great spectator viewing.

It’s the dream of every driver to race at the corner of 16th and Georgetown in Speedway Indiana, just to the west of downtown Indianapolis. This weekend the dreams of many drivers of the future will come true. As IMS will feature races from the USF2000,Mazda road to Indy Pro Mazda, and the Indy lights series.

In the USF2000 you see drivers age 15 and up (with 14-year-olds eligible pending review and acceptance of a driving resume by the series and approval by INDYCAR). Can you imagine being 15 years old turning laps here at IMS

Drivers will tell you turn 1 is so tight…this is sure to see some action this weekend…Will we see the what is becoming known as the “1st Turn Curse” in the 3 years of the Grand Prix at Indy cars have never seen lap 1 without a caution. The inaugural race, pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra —stalled and was hit by Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin. Last year, Bourdais collided with “TK” in Turn 1, ending Tony Kanaan’s day.

Another big story-line of the weekend will be a race between Sam Schmidt and Mario Andretti yes the same Sam Schmidt that crashed into the wall during a practice round at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Speedway leaving “SAM” paralyzed for life. He will race Indy Car Legend Mario Andretti using semi-autonomous cars. The Corvette Z06s will be their cars which are developed by Arrow Electronics and are controlled by head motions. Steering with head tilt sensors, accelerate and break with a sip-and-puff device. They switch gears using voice commands. The race is at 12:35 p.m. Saturday, preceding the IndyCar Grand Prix at 3:50 p.m. Fans can make a $10 donation and root for their favorite driver by texting either “Sam” or “Mario” to 50555 before or during the race. Proceeds go to Schmidt’s nonprofit Conquer Paralysis Now

This is a great weekend to come out to IMS and see a different race style without the “Indy 500” Crowd. Grand Prix has generally attracted around 40,000 fans. Looks like weather will not be an issue this year. We all remember the bitter cold rainy day last year.Also This month of May has seen it’s share of rain in the Indy area. So we welcome the sunshine.

Pagenaud the favorite to win this year. However he is going to have to earn it.Pole Sitters have won the last 2 road course races at IMS, and if that holds true its looking very good for Penske teammates Power and Castroneves. All of Penskes are a threat to win the the Grand Prix. Newgarden won this season’s only other road-course race, and Juan Pablo Montoya returns to Penske for Indianapolis races.

Scott Dixon leads the charge for Team Honda, yet he has never finished in the top five in the Indy road races, he and Pagenaud are the only drivers who have finished in the top five in all four IndyCar races this season.

Bourdais and the “The Mayor of Hinchtown” James Hinchcliffe will also be in the mix on Saturday

Other noise makers Andretti Autosports’ Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished second in 2014, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal, who was the 2015 runner-up!

We are at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway so stick around this is aboout to get good !