2011 IndyCar Rd.2--Alabama Indy Grand Prix

All about Indy Racing League (IRL)

Moderators: Ed, mlittle

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

2011 IndyCar Rd.2--Alabama Indy Grand Prix

Postby mlittle » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:34 pm

Normally, when one associates motorsports, the month of April and spring weather with the heart of Dixie, the first place that comes to mind is Talledega and the 2.67-mile Talladega Superspeedway. Well, they're going to have to make room for the Indycars' for the IZOD IndyCar Series is headed to one of America's most picturesque racetracks, the 2.38-mile natural terrain road course that is Barber Motorsports Park.

Set in the rolling hills of central Alabama near the state capital, Barber is a modern-day road-racers' dream circuit, with challenging vistas and an 80+ foot elevation change from start-finish, the track will challenge drivers from the drop of the green to the checkered flag.


Weekend Schedule
--Practice Session 1: 2:20-3:35pm, 8 April 2011
--Practice Session 2: 5-6pm, 8 April 2011
--Practice Session 3: 9:9:20am, 9 April 2011
--Firestone Knockout Qualifying: 10:25am--11:40am, 9 April 2011
--Warm Up Session: 10-10:30am, 10 April 2011
--Alabama Indy Grand Prix: 3pm, VERSUS

Past Winners
2010: Helio Castroneves
Last edited by mlittle on Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:36 pm

Image
Track Map, Barber Motorsports Park
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Postby mlittle » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:56 pm

Alabama Indy Grand Prix Entry List

Helio Castroneves, #3 AAA Auto Insurance
(R)J.R. Hildebrand, #4 National Guard
Takuma Sato, #5 Lotus-KV Racing
Ryan Briscoe, #6 Penske Truck Rental
Danica Patrick, #7 GoDaddy.com
Scott Dixon, #9 Target
Dario Franchitti, #10 Clorox
Will Power, #12 Verizon Wireless
Vitor Meira, #14 ABC Supply Co.
Raphael Matos, #17 Automatic Fire Sprinklers
(R)James Jakes, #18 Acorn Stairlifts
Sebastien Bourdais, #19 Boy Scouts of America
Justin Wilson, #22 Charter Media
Simon Pagenaud, #24 Ipiringa-DRR
Marco Andretti, #26 Venom Energy
Mike Conway, #27 Window World
Ryan Hunter-Reay, #28 DHL-Sun Drop
(R)Sebastien Saavedra, #34 Conquest Racing
Graham Rahal, #38 Service Central
E.J. Viso, #59 PDVSA-KV Racing
Alex Tagliani, #77 Bowers & Wilkins
Simona de Silvestro, #78 Nuclear Clean Air Energy
Tony Kanaan, #82 GEICO-KV Racing
(R)Charlie Kimball, #83 Levemir & Novolog FlexPen
Oriol Servia, #02 Telemundo
(R)James Hinchcliffe, #06 Sprotts-NHR
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Pagenaud Humbled By IndyCar Debut......

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:26 pm

Image

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing set a nice precedent last season when the Dennis Reinbold and Robbie Buhl-owned team cycled a number of young drivers through Mike Conway’s car after the Englishman was injured at Indianapolis.

Rather than stick with a cast of familiar veterans, DRR gave JR Hildebrand his IndyCar break, expanded Ana Beatriz’s season and also drafted in a rideless Graham Rahal for one round. The team also plugged Paul Tracy and Tomas Scheckter into the No. 24 entry, but DRR’s willingness to experiment was both refreshing and unexpected.

With Beatriz forced out of the cockpit for this weekend’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama with a wrist injury, DRR chose to stray from convention once more, signing 2006 Mazda Atlantic champion Simon Pagenaud to contest his first IZOD IndyCar Series race.

DRR’s curiosity played a major part in Pagenaud’s acquisition, and while the 26-year-old says he’s not 100 percent sure why he got the call instead of a Tracy or Scheckter, he’s quite pleased to find himself on the entry list for Barber Motorsports Park.

“After Ana’s accident, the team was looking for a replacement for Barber, and they picked me. And why they picked me…I really don’t know!” Pagenaud said honestly and with a slight chuckle. “I have to say it is a great honor to be trusted by Dennis Reinbold, Robbie Buhl and Larry Curry to step in for Ana and to represent her and Ipiranga/Blazemaster. It makes me really proud, and I just hope I can do my best for them to reward their faith.”

The team made significant investments in infrastructure and R&D over the winter, but like most teams on the rise, those fruits of investments can take time to show up in the final results. DRR’s Justin Wilson, one of the premier drivers in the series, qualified sixth and finished 10th at the St. Pete season opener, while Beatriz qualified back a bit in 20th and finished 14th, giving the impression the team is still searching for the last bit of pace.

With a new engineer to work with and all-new surroundings at DRR, Pagenaud says working closely with Wilson—who he knows from their days in Champ Car—will be critical to any success he might achieve at Barber.

“Justin has always been a great racer. In Champ Car we used to race against each other, and he was one of the guys you had to respect because of his talent and because he knows how to setup cars. I’m really keen to work with him. I’ve been really lucky with [the caliber of] my teammates in the past, and I think it’s another great honor to work with Justin. I don’t know the team from the inside like him, so I hope we can work together to help Dreyer & Reinbold to have a good weekend. Obviously I don’t have any experience in these cars, so I’m going to have to just follow Justin’s lead and drink in everything he can share with me.”

Most drivers enter a race weekend with the expectation of a top finish, if not an outright win, but Pagenaud says that without the benefit of testing prior to the event, being humble and realistic is necessary.

“I don’t think I could have that kind of ‘I must win at all costs’ spirit this weekend. It would be very pretentious. The reality is that all the IndyCar drivers are at the limits of their knowledge with the cars and tracks. Dario [Franchitti], Will [Power], my teammate Justin, [Scott] Dixon, and so many others—they are so, so good and ready to attack the minute they start practice. They all go into this race with the reasonable goal of winning. For me, it’s a very different story. Compared to them, I don’t know anything."

“Adaptation will be the word for me this weekend,” Pagenaud continued. “Being smart, staying out of trouble and learning will be my goal. I want to do the best possible job for the team, and I want to help Justin all I can. But my approach is maybe a little bit different to the weekend than the guys going after the championship.”

Pagenaud has been firmly planted in the rumor mill lately, with mentions of a run at the Indy 500 and the Las Vegas finale most commonly mentioned. He wouldn’t confirm his presence at either race, but did say he hopes to use what he learns this weekend the next time he races in the IndyCar Series.

“I have two mindsets this weekend. First, I have to be fully focused on myself for the race. I need to keep that focus to make sure I’m doing everything right so I can have the best weekend for the team and their sponsors. Then, obviously, my goal is to be in the IZOD IndyCar Series in the future and to race full-time in 2012. I’m very lucky that I get to do one or maybe more races in 2011.

"So I’m taking this as a learning experience, and all of these experiences will be helpful for the future, for sure. But I’m also here to perform to the best of my ability for Dreyer & Reinbold. I guess you could say I have short-term and long-term goals to accomplish.”

The 2010 American Le Mans LMP champion closed our conversation by revealing just how much the opportunity with DRR means to him. “I’ve been waiting for so long for this. I think of [Pagenaud’s Highcroft Racing ALMS teammate David Brabham] who keeps telling me ‘when things are meant to happen, they will happen.’ And this was very true. I got the call from the team last week and have just been waiting for the green light to get on a plane and fly to Barber. You never know what to expect; you don’t have all the cards in your hand, but it’s a dream come true. Just a dream. Now it’s my turn to hopefully make everybody happy. It’s an odd situation when you step in for an injured driver, so it’s important to do a good job and leave things in a good place for when Ana returns.”
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Rivalry Heating Up Between Power & Franchitti...........

Postby mlittle » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:32 pm

Image
It was an interaction that lasted only second, but Franchitti's pass of Power let the world know that points, not feelings, matter most in the run for the IndyCar Series championship. (LAT)

----It was discussed to some degree back at St. Pete following round 1 of the 2011 IndyCar Series season, but the message sent by Dario Franchitti during his pass of Will Power for the lead at St. Pete was packed with different meanings. In terms of season-long implications, have we ever seen a more bold and declarative statement made by a defending champion in an opening round? Racing fans are accustomed to championship contenders making risky moves in the final stages of the season, but rarely have we seen it happen just a handful of laps into the first race, and done with so much conviction.

For those old enough to have lived through the heated Ayrton Senna vs. Alain Prost rivalry in Formula One, the sight of the Brazilian turning up the heat on the Frenchman whenever possible became an accepted part of the show. Senna’s style of forcing the issue—of placing himself in a position where Prost had to relinquish the corner or risk crashing both cars—was an unpopular tactic at the time, but the precedent was set and has been used in every level of racing since. Case in point................

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiGUSyN9-zk

Michael Schumacher made an entire career out of the Senna-style pass, and it was used constantly during CART’s heartier times in the 1990s, but it hadn’t been seen much of late. At St. Pete, the reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion dusted off the Brazilian’s signature move to let the world know just how badly he wanted to take the lead from Power.

Franchitti, in an interview with Speed's Marshall Pruett, said he didn’t design the pass to have such a high Senna-esque risk vs. reward factor, but knew it would require some give and take from whomever he pulled the maneuver on. “I started thinking about the [turn 1] pass and if it was possible on Saturday night. I thought that if it could be done just right, there’d be no way to defend against it. It was never going to be easy, though, and at some point, the guy on the inside was going to have to give or…” His voice trailed off before having to state the obvious: the guy on the inside was going to have to give or run the risk of crashing.

If Power had chosen to concede the corner early, it’s possible he could have tucked in behind Franchitti, stayed glued to his gearbox through Turn 3 and attempted to re-pass the Target car under braking into Turn 4.

But, with this battle on down between the two most hyper competitive drivers in the series, the chances of Power—or Franchitti, had the roles been reversed—willfully lifting to hand over the lead was never going to happen. Power fought Franchitti every inch of the way and dealt with the consequences.

ABC missed the pass—and the consequences-- but the end result was easy to see: Franchitti, pinching Power towards the apex at Turn 1, held him in place as they rounded the corner and accelerated towards the left-hander at Turn 2. With Turn 1’s wide expanse narrowing to the choke point at Turn 2, and with Franchitti on the outside and lined up to drive over the grippy normal line, Power was forced to the dirty right-hand portion of the turn.

With both cars turning left for Turn 2, but with Franchitti on the line and Power on the marbles and struggling for traction, the Verizon Wireless car was skating on ice and shot to the right side of the track, making a glancing blow off the barrier. Not only did ABC miss the pass, they missed Power clouting the wall and continuing.

The next camera shot—looking at Turn 3 from Turn 4—showed Franchitti and a train of cars accelerating out of the corner on the outside while Power gathered himself up and gassed it down to Turn 4.

Power was later clobbered by Simona De Silvestro on a restart, making a comeback all but impossible. It left Power feeling a bit grumpy and Franchitti feeling like he’d just upped the ante to the point where everyone had to throw in their cards and push away from the poker table.

IndyCar fans are used to seeing Franchitti with a smile on his face, but his pass on Power revealed an aspect of his personality that he usually keeps hidden from view. Being friends with everyone in the paddock is a bonus, but when you strip away the niceties, Franchitti is paid to perform for his team, not to make sure the driver he’s passing is happy with how the transaction went down.

“I do this to win races,” he said. “My job is to give value to my sponsors and to promote the IndyCar Series as much as I can. I don’t want to be famous, or whatever that is; I just want to be a racing driver. I want to be on the podium and to win. It’s about as simple as that, really.”

The 2011 season might have kicked off looking like a repeat of last year’s season, but the dynamic—and the temperature-- between two men at the top is changing, even if it’s just by a few degrees. The friendly rivalry that existed between the two last year took an odd, if not uncomfortable turn at St. Pete. We have a grittier Franchitti and, as I expect to see at Barber Motorsports Park, a slightly pissed off Will Power.

That’s a character we’ve never really seen before. We don’t know that guy. The happy-go-lucky version of Power won poles and road course races at a frightening pace last year, and that was done with his normal amount of motivation. After the pass at St. Pete, will we see an even more motivated Aussie? Will he be even faster?

We’ll know in a matter of days whether Franchitti’s pass screwed with Power’s head, or if he, unknowingly, awoke something in Power that no one will be able to deal with over the 16 remaining rounds. Either way, the gloves are slowly coming off and IndyCar fans are in for one heck of a duel between those two all season long.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Power Leads Rain-Shortened Opening Practice......

Postby mlittle » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:23 am

---Showers halted the opening to the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend at the one-hour mark of the 75-minute practice session on Friday, but it didn't stop Team Penske's Will Power from topping the field in just five laps of running before the rain began to fall. Power pushed his No. 12 Verizon Wireless car to a lap of 1:12.750, .658 ahead of Dario Franchitti's 1:13.407 in his No. 10 Target Chap Ganassi Racing machine.

The Penske/Ganassi 1-2 theme continued in positions 3-4 with Power's teammate Ryan Briscoe in third with a lap of 1:13.408, and Franchitti's teammate Scott Dixon posting the fourth-fastest lap with a 1:13.646. Mike Conway, continuing the trend from St. Petersburg, led the four-car Andretti Autosport team home in fifth with a 1:13.778, just .017 ahead of the defending race winner, Helio Castroneves, who registered a 1:13.795 to claim sixth.

Surprises included Ganassi rookie Charlie Kimball who ran 10th with a 1:14.201, and Newman/Haas rookie James Hinchcliffe who ran 11th with a 1:14.234. Simon Pagenaud also impressed after being out of open-wheel racing since 2007. He turned his first laps at Barber and in a Dallara-Honda Indy car Friday, finished the session in 25th with a 1:15.294, just 2.5 seconds off Power's fast time.

Pagenaud's countryman, four-time champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, ran a 1:14.430 which was only good enough for 17th in the dry, but he chose to venture out during the downpour, thrilling fans with 20-foot trails of water behind his Boy Scouts of America-sponsored Dale Coyne Racing car.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Power Leads P2 At Barber

Postby mlittle » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:25 am

Image


----It took a little while for IndyCar's second practice session to gather momentum at Barber Motorsports Park on Friday, but once a new layer of rubber was put down after rain showers fell on P1, Australia's Will Power needed just two laps to set the fastest lap of the hour-long session. The 2010 Barber pole sitter posted a 1:12.836, just slightly off the 1:12.750 he ran to lead P1. Scott Dixon Jumped to P2 in the final minute of the session, pushing Penske's Ryan Briscoe down to third.

Power was the only driver to dip into the 1:12's for the second straight session, but Dixon's 1:13.027 was a scant .190 behind. Briscoe was .088 behind the Kiwi with a lap of 1:13.116, forming an Australia-New Zealand-Australia top 3. "The Verizon car was good today,” said Power. “This track is very fast and the car is very sensitive to changes. We were trying a couple different things with our set-up and we actually made some pretty significant changes. The No. 12 car was reasonably quick throughout the day so we should be in good shape for qualifying tomorrow."

Briscoe was also satisfied with his car, despite executing a quick, harmless spin during the session. "I think we've unloaded a good car here at Barber this weekend,” said Briscoe. “Team Penske did some good work and preparation from our pre-season test here. We didn't do a lot of running today, but we know the Penske Truck Rental car is good, now we'll just work on making it better for tomorrow. "

Scotland's Dario Franchitti set a 1:13.241 which was good enough for fourth, while Brazil's Helio Castroneves completed the top 5 with a 1:13.254. "Today was certainly a lot better than the open test here," said Franchitti. "Although we are closer to the front, we are still struggling and it doesn't feel that great. Judging on everyone else's time, I think that several drivers are feeling uncomfortable. We will look at it overnight and the team will hopefully come up with some magic and we will see what we got for tomorrow."

Graham Rahal improved from P19 in the first session to run sixth in P2 with a 1:13.298, making it a Penske 1/3/5 and Ganassi 2/4/6 for the session. Rahal's teammate, Charlie Kimball, fell down the time sheets to P21 after running 10th in the first session.

Newman/Haas continues to look strong with Oriol Servia placing seventh with a lap of 1:13.364 and James Hinchcliffe, Friday's fastest rookie, running ninth with a 1:13.424. The young Canadian says he's satisfied with his efforts on Friday. "For the first day on the job as an Indy car driver getting a top-10 in practice for the Sprott car is pretty good," said Hinchcliffe. "I think there is a little bit more time in it but it's just so competitive. I sit here and think 'Man, I wish we could be a couple of spots higher' and then I look at the names of the guys who are a couple of spots higher and think 'No wait, I shouldn't be anywhere near this.' The racer in me wants a little bit more but realistically I think the Sprott team had a really good first day. Thank you to the team for all of the hard work today."

Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay used the dying minutes of the session to move to eighth, running a 1:13.374 to top his teammates, and ended the day feeling cautiously optimistic about their chances in qualifying.

"It was an up-and-down day with the rain," said RHR. "It kind of knocked us out of our rhythm a little bit. But, we're eighth and within reach of the top five, certainly, so we'll go to work tonight. The DHL/Sun Drop car is definitely a lot better than it was last year, so that is a big positive. The gap is only going to close tomorrow; all the competition is going to get tighter, so we're going to have to make some improvements tonight."

Danica Patrick ran a 1:13.792 to grab P13, while Marco Andretti (P17) and Mike Conway (P20) were well off the pace. "I think we're OK, overall," said Conway. "We just went the wrong direction a little bit in the second practice, so we didn't get much time out of the car, but we'll be alright. We'll revert some changes, see what the other guys learned and be ready to go in the morning."

With many teams focusing on perfecting their setups for Sunday's race during Friday's second and final session, the bulk of P2 was not spent looking for speed, but with a late caution giving teams a final opportunity to post a fast time, Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti spoiled the 1-2-3 Team Penske had going before E.J. Viso brought out the yellow with his crash in Turn 1.

Viso went off at high speed, backing his KV Racing-Lotus car into the tires with just under 10 minutes left in the session, causing extensive damage. Like Viso's three accidents at St. Petersburg, the Venezuelan driver walked away from the crash unharmed. Despite the crash, Viso posted a promising 1:13.792.

KV Racing-Lotus had mixed fortunes, with Takuma Sato leading the three-car effort in 10th with a 1:13.447, followed by Viso in 12th and Tony Kanaan, who spun during the session and ran only 10 laps, last in P26 with a 1:14.616.

"Today we struggled a lot," said Kanaan. "The first session was cut short because of the rain, which didn't help. For the second session we tired something I really didn't like and we just ran out of time to make the necessary adjustments."

Rafa Matos impressed in his second outing with AFS Racing, taking P18 with a lap of 1:14.056 for the low-budget effort. The separation between Hinchcliffe as the top rookie in ninth and the next rookie, James Jakes in P19, was considerable.

Jakes' 1:14.084 led fellow rookies Kimball (P21), Sebastian Saavedra in P22 with a 1:14.389, Simon Pagenaud in P23 with a 1:14.443, JR Hildebrand in P24 with a 1:14.515, and also led his Dale Coyne Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais who ran 25th with a 1:15.907.

Pagenaud reduced his gap to Will Power from 2.5 seconds in P1 to 1.6 seconds in P2, making steady improvement now with 46 total laps of IZOD IndyCar experience to draw from.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Power Takes Pole At Barber

Postby mlittle » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:56 am

Image

----BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Ryan Briscoe, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves are seeking to recoup points lost in St. Pete. Will Power is seeking to transform his second consecutive PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season – and second in a row at Barber Motorsports Park – into a victory.
Justin Wilson is seeking relief from the cumbersome brace associated with the fractured left wrist he suffered in the season opener. Oriol Servia and James Hinchcliffe, first-race teammates, are seeking to make a splash with the re-emergence of Newman/Haas Racing.

All of the above will start the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy from the first four rows. Oh, one name not mentioned – reigning IZOD IndyCar Series champion and current points leader Dario Franchitti, who will join Hinchcliffe on Row 4 after missing the Firestone Fast Six for the first time in eight road/street course events.

The action during the 90-lap race on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn natural-terrain course undoubtedly will flow as freely as the bountiful storylines. Power, who has converted four of his 12 poles into victory, is determined to be the main story about 5:30 p.m. local time.

“I’m very focused on winning this race,” said Power, who finished fourth at Barber last year and was second to Franchitti in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. “I felt we had a really good car last year, a better car than we have this year with speed. We just made a wrong call down on strategy. I just want to make it work.”

Power, driving No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, laid down a quick lap of 1 minute, 11.4546 seconds with less than three minutes remaining in the 10-minute Firestone Fast Six shootout. Briscoe popped a 1:11.7361 with a minute left in the bright yellow No. 6 Penske Truck Rental car, but Dixon spoiled a 1-2-3 Team Penske lineup by recording a lap of 1:11.8826 with about 30 seconds left in the session.

“Well, at least I was beaten by the guy who no one seems to be able to beat in qualifying,” said Briscoe, who started fifth but finished 18th at St. Petersburg after being among the six involved in the first-lap incident. “The car is feeling great this weekend; we really unloaded strong and we’ve been right up there in every practice session. Wish we could have gotten the pole, but we got the front row. It’s going to be a long race and I’m looking forward to it because I need to get some points back from St. Petersburg.”

Dixon, who dropped 13 positions at St. Pete, and Castroneves, who lost 11 spots, after both were involved in the green flag incident, see the opportunities from starting toward the front. “Last night we were able to make several changes for qualifying,” said Castroneves, who went to Victory Circle last year. “It wasn’t the ultimate result but I can’t complain because we are starting in fourth position here. Last year, we were able to win from third position so I hope to repeat that tomorrow. I am quite happy with the AAA Insurance Team Penske car especially after the first race in St. Pete.”

Servia, who came home ninth in the No. 2 Telemundo car at St. Petersburg after starting 15th, made his fifth Firestone Fast Six appearance in eight races since 2008. “It feels great to be here in the Firestone Fast Six,” he said. “It was frustrating in St. Petersburg when I was knocked out after the first round and I felt like I had only started. It feels great to have the opportunity to go for the pole at the end. We don’t quite have what it takes to make the Team Penske guys nervous yet, but we are working our way there.”

Servia did prevent Franchitti from advancing by 0.0016 of a second with his best lap in the waning seconds of Segment 2. Hinchcliffe, the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights championship runner-up making his IZOD IndyCar Series debut, will join Franchitti on Row 4. “It’s one of those things where you say, ‘Man I’m only a tenth (of a second) out of the fast six,” said Hinchcliffe, who was 0.1109 of a second behind Servia after the 10-minute session. “ ‘I could have been there.’ But then you say, ‘It’s my first race and I’m only a tenth out of the fast six.’ We are super happy with how the session went for the Sprott team and we are really happy that Oriol made it into the Firestone Fast Six. It’s one of those things that says a lot about the cars that Newman/Haas Racing brought here.”

Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal will share the fifth row and Takuma Sato and Alex Tagliani also advanced to the second round of qualifications and will be on Row 6.
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:

mlittle
Forum Hall of Fame
Forum Hall of Fame
Posts: 11205
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:51 pm
Location: At the F1 Idiots Bar.............where else?
Contact:

Flag-To-Flag Win For Power In The Heart of Dixie............

Postby mlittle » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:36 pm

Image


---BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- After sweeping to the PEAK Performance Pole Award for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy, Will Power was emphatic that this was a race he wanted to win ... badly.
Power, who also started on the pole in the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race on the 2.38-mile, 17-turn Barber Motorsports Park course, finished three positions behind Team Penske teammate and race winner Helio Castroneves last April. It cost him points in the championship race over the course of the 17-event season, and he believed he let the victory slip away.

So the Aussie held it tightly in his grasp from the green flag on the picture-perfect spring Sunday. “That is one of the easiest races I have done physically," said Power, whose 3.3828-second victory over Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon gave him a seven-point advantage in the driver championship heading into the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17. “I have been training really hard for the season and Scott Dixon was pushing me to the limit at the end. It was a lot of fun and I am really happy for the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. Leading the race from flag to flag just came down to getting the jump start and staying consistent the whole time with where I started. It came down to holding Scott Dixon off until the end.”

Dixon kept the pressure on through the final round of pit stops, trailing by less than a half-second before letting up on the final lap when the rear tires started to lose grip. “It was a tough day for us,” said Dixon, the runner-up for the second consecutive year. “We cruised around and saved a bit of fuel and I gave it all I could with Will Power. I was trying to give as much pressure as I could on the restart with 20 laps to go and he just didn’t give any. It was an overall good day for Target and we earned ourselves some points.”

Dixon, who started third in the season opener at St. Petersburg two weeks earlier, had the promising outing wiped out when he was among the six drivers involved in the Lap 1 incident. Following repairs, he returned to finish 16th. “It seems like St. Pete is a bit of a race that we shouldn't have turned up to, because it wouldn't have mattered points-wise,” he continued. “It's nice to get on the points table here. It's going to take a long time to try to regain what we lost at St. Pete with the competition being so tough and with Will and Dario (Franchitti) finishing so high every time.”

Eight different teams were represented in the top 10 for the second event in a row. Franchitti, the reigning series champion who won the season opener, brought the No. 10 Clorox car for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in third. Marco Andretti, who wound up upside down on the first lap at St. Pete, finished fourth for Andretti Autosport and Oriol Servia continued to impress with a fifth place for Newman/Haas Racing.

“It's like we said last year, every point, whether it's St. Pete, here or the last race, you have to fight for every position,” said Franchitti, who’s second in the standings. “So to get from seventh to third was a good team effort.”

Tony Kanaan advanced 18 positions to finish sixth and Castroneves had an adventurous run to seventh. Simon Pagenaud, who was filling in for the injured Ana Beatriz (broken wrist) was eighth after starting 23rd. Simona de Silvestro earned her second consecutive top 10, while rookie Charlie Kimball recorded his first.

"It was the first IZOD IndyCar Series race I finished and I definitely learned my lesson from St. Pete," said Kimball, who started 23rd and finished 22nd (contact). "The guys did some great strategy on the pit wall. All I had to do was drive by people on the track. I did that and I was able to come home 10th. Points mean prizes at the end of the year and now we can build on this for racing my home race at Long Beach."

Top-10 from the heart of Dixie......
1st} #12 Will Power, 90 laps
2nd} #9 Scott Dixon, -3.383 sec
3rd} #10 Dario Franchitti, -15.524 sec
4th} #26 Marco Andretti, -28.905 sec
5th} #02 Oriol Servia, -29.882 sec
6th} #82 Tony Kanaan, -30.386 sec
7th} #3 Helio Castroneves, -30.781 sec
8th} #24 Simon Pagenaud, -31.210 sec
9th} #78 Simona de Silvestro, -32.581 sec
10th}(R)#83 Charlie Kimball, -35.004 sec
The Sci-Fi Station Come by and visit when you get the chance. :)
The Wayward Tarheel I'm even in the blogosphere.... :shock:


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest