Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gale Banks And Mike Ryan Will Be Breaking Bad At Pikes Peak

The Freightliner Cascadia racing machine of Mike Ryan, seen here 'drifting' through Turn 1 at Irwindale Event Center, is truly like no other. It competes in hill climb and drift competitions and currently holds records in both the Pikes Peak “Race To The Clouds” and the Mount Washington “Climb To The Clouds” events. Image Credit: Dr. Pneu via Facebook

Gale Banks And Mike Ryan Will Be Breaking Bad At Pikes Peak

The 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), which got its start as the promotional brainchild of the developer/owner of the Broadmoor Hotel resort, has grown in stature over the years as one of the last remaining motor culture/motor racing events where people bring what they got to win fame, notoriety, and promote automotive technology solutions to the world.

The Indianapolis 500, in the majority of its history, was structured in this way but has devolved into just an endurance race with specification vehicles through the refinement of technology and safety concerns.

The pressures of this kind of human control have yet to dampen the creative spirit of the challenge of taking the 12.42 mile, 156 turn, and in its second year of having a fully-paved course that begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, CO.. An international field of 157 competitors, 70 automobiles and 87 motorcycles will include a purpose-built, diesel-powered, Freightliner Cascadia racing machine of Mike Ryan and engineered by Gale Banks Engineering.

The Freightliner Cascadia racing machine is equipped with a 14.0L Detroit Diesel 60 series engine with a compression ratio of 15-1 and a fuel red line of 2700 RPM. The body is constructed entirely of fiberglass and carbon fiber, even still weighing in at just over 5 tons. Like any well balanced race vehicle, it is a mid-engine design. This truck truly tests the merit of each and every one of its systems. Good acceleration requires a responsive engine, high speed requires massive horsepower and cornering and handling require extreme braking capability. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

In a recent exclusive interview with Gale Banks, developer of the Straight-Shot Water-Meth (water and methanol) Injection System which is a high-tech application of a decades-old aircraft fuel technology, he exclaimed that this Water-Meth injection power enhancement to the diesel engine is addictive ... very addictive. Hence, the reference to the popular cable TV series 'Breaking Bad' where a down on his luck science teacher discovers making the drug Meth (speed) in the basement of his home allowed him to make a lot of money so he could help his family through its problems.

Replace the turbo-charger with a water-meth injected super-charger and gain top end red-line for a diesel. This injection technology is especially useful in turbocharged or supercharged applications, and often allows for ignition timing to be advanced for increased performance. The addition of methanol to the water contributes an anti-freeze property as well as including a combustible fuel in the charge which further increases power potential. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

To have Gale explain it, when the driver, Mike Ryan, steps on the fuel pedal - "So what we've done is we've done a super-turbo set up wherein I have a very large 8.3 liter super-charger and we turn it about four-times the speed of the crankshaft, which is, the red-line on the engine is 2,700 rpm, which is high for this 14 liter Detroit Diesel (engine). Basically, what the super-charger does is it kicks the turbo-charger in the tail, makes it respond! I eliminated one turbo-charger and replaced it with the super-charger. So as you come off the turns, the idea here is, he (Mike Ryan) pedals it and it rips off the turns.

The other thing we've done with this is overlaid it with - we've created a new technology for an old technology - Water-Methanol injection ... or as the Germans called it, Methanol-Water injection.

The idea of putting methanol and water into an aircraft engine is a very old idea. So we have nominally an 80 year old idea and nobodies really refined it much beyond what we did and the Germans did in World War II (when this technology was first used aircraft). In other words, have a nozzle, turn it on ... some mechanical reference and it blows water-methanol into the intake system.

What we've done is taken to a new technological level, in that we're sensing things. Automobiles are becoming just sensors on wheels - remember that because it's going to be incredible on what's coming because of 'autonomous driving' - so, essentially, we now modulate the flow of the liquid which chills the air after its been compressed in a super-charger or a turbo-charger,  makes it more dense so that every cubic foot of air that engine displaces has more oxygen and is capable of supporting more fuel.

In its most elemental form this is a power improving technology - we've just mapped it like you would map the injection on an engine. We have created our own injection controller for our diesel engines, so why not do this?"


Charge air cooler with water spray enhancement help to increase the overall power output through cooling. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

Other benefits that come through this injection technology approach are, Gale Banks continues, "We are able to reduce emissions output, we are able to improve fuel economy, we are able to - with our auto-chiller, which is the same mechanism spraying water on the face of the charge air cooler or inter-cooler - we're cooling the brake rotors by fogging into the inside of the rotor ... they're slotted, you know, they've got slots through the inside, so the thing is really a fan ... it's already pumping air to cool itself. What we're doing is adding a water mist - so we've actually got three systems on the vehicle doing three different things all based on the same technology which was originally to improve power output."

Enhanced fan cooling of the brake rotors through spray injectors allows the Freightliner Cascadia racing machine to drive deeper into the 156 corners of the Pikes Peak challenge - giving another way to express ... 'Brakeing Bad.' Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

Gale mentioned that since this 5 ton (10,000 pound, plus) Freightliner platform will encounter 156 turns that these three injection systems (Water-Methanol, fog-cooling action on the brake rotors and etc.) allow Mike Ryan to "go further, at speed, before he sets up for the turn, then as he comes off of the turn, we've given him another 'bout 500 horsepower that he didn't have previously. This is like a maiden voyage with this technology."

The Banks Straight-Shot Injection system offers the user an unprecedented opportunity to control the injection process. In its simplest form, a user interface provides control over a pump that operates at system pressures up to 300 PSI to inject the fluid through an atomizing nozzle. Control strategy features include the ability to select injection start point and ramp rate. Input signals may include boost pressure, exhaust gas temperature (EGT), intake manifold temperature (IAT) and even throttle position (TPS). Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

The record (for this type of vehicle) is about, nominally, 12 minutes and 39 seconds. If I can pick him up a tenth of a second per turn, and I can pick him up on maximum speed about 25 to 30 miles per hour - as we expect to, we'll be in the 11's!"

Gale shared that, while on with Adam Corolla on his internet radio show, he came to this revelation, "This Water-Meth set-up, and the way we are controlling it, is habit forming. To me, this is (equivalent of) automotive crack. This stuff is habit forming."

It now can be said that Banks Power, Gale Banks, with Mike Ryan at The 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be ... due to this new application of injection technology - Water-Methanol fuel shot in the engine and cooling for brakes and other parts ... 'Breaking Bad' or Brakeing Bad, in a good way, on the pursuit of a new Pikes Peak climb world record.

If successful, there will be no 12-step program for the people at Banks Power ... as in, "Hello, my name is Gale Banks, and I'm addicted to Water-Meth injection!"

... notes from The EDJE



TAGS: 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Banks Power, Banks Racing, Breaking Bad, Gale Banks, injection, Mike Ryan, Super-Charger, The EDJE, Turbo-Charger, Water-Meth, Water-Methanol, WM

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 requires cheat sheets

Defending Iowa Corn Indy 250 race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay: "The Iowa Speedway oval is one of a kind; a very unique track that makes for some of the closest racing of the year. Last year's race came down to the wire and I expect the same this year." Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

Qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 250 requires cheat sheets

Let's be honest, changing racing formats up to create attention and increase fan interest sounds like a good idea until one recognizes that the elements that have changed will not be televised. That's right, for Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB, the three 50 Lap sprint races (150 Laps total) to be run Saturday evening, used to establish the starting order (with bonus points awarded for positions 1-12 earned) of the official points paying race on Sunday, will not be televised.

The lack of television broadcast options leaves real fans with IndyCar Race Control Timing and Scoring, Smart Phones (IndyCar 13 App) and ... cheat sheets.

Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB cheat sheet. Eighteen-second laps on the .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval -- 150 Laps for qualifications and 250 Laps in the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB -- is a dizzying pace for IZOD IndyCar Series drivers ... and spectators.  Image Credit: IndyCar.com

This excerpted and edited from IndyCar.com -

The heat races include transfers to Race 3 for the top two finishers in the first two qualifying races.

Positions in the three heat races will be determined by single-car, single-lap qualifying (4 p.m. ET) on the .875-mile, variably-banked oval. A blind draw will determine the qualifying order. Practice  (11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. ET) and qualifying also are featured on indycar.com and INDYCAR 13 with Timing & Scoring and the IMS Radio Network call.

Here's the format, which adds the lure of bonus points – from nine points for the Verizon P1 Award winner and descending by one point each position to three points for seventh-eighth, two points for ninth and 10th and one point for 11th and 12th:

Race 1 -- Will consist of the even-numbered positions, starting with position 8 from single-car qualifying. The results of Race 1 shall determine the even-numbered positions in the starting field, starting with position 12. The top two finishers will transfer to Race 3 and start in positions 8 and 10.

Race 2 -- Will consist of the odd-numbered positions, starting with position 7 from single-car qualifying. The results of Race 2 shall determine the odd-numbered positions in the starting field, starting with position 11. The top two finishers will transfer to Race 3 and start in positions 7 and 9.

Race 3 -- Will consist of positions 1 through 6 from single-car qualifying plus the first- and second-place finishers from Races 1 and 2 to determine the pole winner and the first five rows of the starting grid.

(Reference Here)

As far as the race is concerned, IndyCar, with its patchwork of television broadcasting of points paying races will have Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by DEKALB be presented by the network general broadcast outlet of ABC and its affiliates. Anytime IndyCar can appear on general broadcast versus cable only outlets increases access and should be the major consideration for fan base expansion going forward post unification.

The lack of televised coverage (Cable Only or General Broadcast) for the 150 Laps of qualifications racing (more than half of the number of laps to be run in the race itself on Sunday), seems really counter-productive to fan interest development, especially when one includes the complexity of the 3 Heat Race format.

The race will also be available on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM/Sirius 211, indycar.com (IMS Radio Network and Timing & Scoring) and INDYCAR 13 (in-car cameras, Timing & Scoring, IMS Radio Network).

... notes from The EDJE


**Article first posted as Qualifications For The Iowa Corn Indy 250 Requires Cheat Sheets at Motorsports Unplugged**

Monday, June 17, 2013

Rayhall revels in Mid-Ohio racing tradition and glory

A peak into the business end of Sean Rayhall's Mazda-powered Elan DPo2. Image Credit: Racelite Protection


Rayhall revels in Mid-Ohio racing tradition and glory

His first time at taking to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in anger gave the young driver with the familiar sounding name ... especially here, very familiar results.

The road course at Mid-Ohio will always be linked in motor culture lore as the home turf of the Rahal racing family, and more clearly, Bobby Rahal.

Bobby Rahal and his father, Mike, visited the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for its first-ever race in 1962, and throughout his motorsports career Rahal has been tied to the track and its former owner Jim Trueman.

In addition to other series, Rahal competed in 16 Indy car races on the road course, earning victories in 1985 and 1986 - on his way to the CART championship, six other podium finishes, and pole starts in 1983 and 1985.

Bobby Rahal, in a 2012 interview to IndyCar.com said, "In 1987, I made a mistake and tried to pass a guy I was lapping and he came down on me and flattened the tire with a few laps to go and (Roberto) Guerrero won instead and I had been well in the lead."

Sean Rayhall, for his first time experience, also contended with moves that may be common for the track layout at Mid-Ohio with its elevation changes, corner-leading-to-corner, and fast sections design.

Sean Rayhall in the #14 Robert Talbott Motorsports, Racing Radios, Race Lite Protection, Comprent Motorsports prepared Mazda-powered Elan DP02. Image Credit: Robert Talbott Motorsports®

Through the qualifications, young Rayhall had little trouble with cars 'coming down' on his car in the corners because, after all, this session was only for where one was to start the races for the weekend.

Qualifications for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda ,at the Diamond Cellar Classic June 14-16, 2013, was interrupted by two RED Flags but through it all Sean Rayhall was able to prevail over his next closest competitor, Ryan Booth by a margin of 0.086 seconds on the 2.258 mile, 13 turn road course. Booth, in car #18, was able to post a fastest lap on LAP 6 of 1:18.530 only to have it eclipsed by Sean on the very next lap at 1:18.444 on LAP 7 of the qualification session. The other competitors in the field were in the 1:20.000's or beyond.

Rayhall, for his part, after the first RED Flag stoppage posted a lap of 1:18.474 on LAP 13, just before the second RED Flag stoppage just to make sure that his car would beat the best qualifying time laid down by the #18 car of Booth's.

Round 5, however, saw the following mechanical event that effected the outcome of the first race of the weekend.

The Diamond Cellar Classic In Round 5 Rough For Rayhall ... After leading for 14 of the eventual 18 laps (timed 30 minute race session), posting the fastest lap time of the race - 1:19.326 (as opposed to the next fastest - 1:19.780), and creating as much as a 4 second lead gap before the first of two YELLOW Flags that led to thirteen minutes of the timed 30 minute race to be run under caution. Sean Rayhall finishes Round 5 in P2 to end up being tied in the points championship at 76 points with #18 Ryan Booth.

Round 5 podium with Ryan Booth P1 (c), Sean Rayhall P2 (l), and Daniel Goldburg P3 (r). Image Credit: imsalites.com

In an exclusive post race interview, Sean Rayhall shared what happened on the second restart that led to being passed by car #18 - "Left rear (brake) caliper ceased up. It was completely locked when I stopped in the pit (at race's end), went down off the back-straightway into the braking zone and the car just turned sideways before the corner, saved it from an off, got passed, and wasn't able to achieve over 500 lbs. of brake load without the car coming out from under me. Definitely not the result we were hoping but I salvaged what I could."

So five races into a 14 race season have the points race tied largely explained through two race-time equipment failures on the #14 Comprent Motorsports Elan DP02. The first race of the season netted zero points out of a possible total of 20 for the young Rayhall due to a transmission linkage failure.

Round 6, contested the very next day, Sunday June 16, 2013, Father's Day, saw the kind of move (twice) that had happened to Bobby Rahal late in the race where he lost his bid to 'three-peat' at the famed Mid-Ohio road course when the eventual winner was Roberto Guerrero. In this case, the outcome was dramatically different.

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series grid for Round 6. Image Credit: imsalites via Twitter

Rayhall Regains Luster in Diamond Cellar Classic Round 6 ... In what could be a bit of deja vu for a race car driver with the same sounding name at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sean Rayhall survives a car 'coming down' on his car twice in the Round 6 of 14 2013 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series.

The race went GREEN Flag after the Keyhole Turn 4 which allows the cars to sort themselves out along the back straight through Turn 5. In this case, according to Rayhall in a post race phone conversation, the #18 car of Ryan Booth 'came down' on me, we touched and spun. "I re-entered the track at P15 and was able to make up two positions by the end of the first lap (no YELLOW Flag full course caution).

One corner leads to another flow at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Image Credit: imsalites.com

The following Tweets from the Prototype Lites twitter account (@imsalites) and entries from @TheEDJE -

Prototype Lites ?@IMSALites
Contact between @seanrayhall and @RyanBoothRacing on lap one. Rayhall has continued, Booth is off driver's left in the gravel trap Turn 4.

@seanrayhall dropped back to P10 after the incident and has now moved up to P7 on lap 4.

@TheEDJE
P5 on LAP 6

@seanrayhall working his way back up, eight minutes into the race and is now P5. #CooperLites

P4 LAP 7

@seanrayhall passes @ChrisPoto22 entering Lap 7 to take fourth position. #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic

12 minutes in @seanrayhall gets around Jon Brownson on lap 7 to take P3. #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic

P3 LAP 10 - @seanrayhall rapidly catching the top two and just turned the fastest lap of the race: 1:19.524. #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic

P2 LAP 11 - @seanrayhall's nose is right on the tail of Goikhberg as he battles for the second position. #CooperLites

Daniel Goldburg remains the leader, @seanrayhall now P2. #CooperLites

LAP 13 - Rayhall - 1:19.357

@seanrayhall pressuring Goldburg now for the lead entering Lap 14 at @FollowMidOhio. #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic

19:29 - left @seanrayhall has been putting pressure on Daniel Goldburg for five laps now, but Goldburg hanging onto the lead entering lap 17.

@seanrayhall and Daniel Goldburg side-to-side contact made, but both continued. Goldburg still leads heading into Lap 18. 20 mins to go!
- break in tweets-

Here is where Sean recounts that Daniel Goldburg 'came down' ("door-slammed") on his car while having the inside position in the Carosel Turn 14 by no less that 3/4th of a car length after Goldberg drove in a manner that could be characterized as very fat for several laps. In this case, unlike what had happened to Bobby Rahal in the 1987 passing of a back-marker, Sean Rahall went on in a very strong way putting additional time distance between him and the next closest competitor, #10 JDC Motorsports Mazda of Mikhail Goikhberg, on each sucessive lap.

- resume tweets -
@seanrayhall is the new leader now on Lap 18 after getting past Daniel Goldburg at @FollowMidOhio. #CooperTires #DiaClrClassic

Daniel Goldburg is now off the track, driver's left Turn 4. Mikhail Goikhberg is now P2.

15 mins remain at @FollowMidOhio! @seanrayhall P1, Mikhail Goikhberg P2, Jon Brownson (M) P3, @ChrisPoto22 P4, Lamont Harris (M) P5.

13 minutes left LAP 23 - @seanrayhall is 10.213 seconds ahead of P2 Mikhail Goikhberg

LAP 25 - @seanrayhall is 11.544 seconds ahead of P2 Mikhail Goikhberg - turning laps in the 1.20s

7 minutes left - LAP 27 - @seanrayhall is 14.185 seconds ahead of P2 Mikhail Goikhberg - still turning laps in the 1.20s

5 minutes remain - LAP29 - @seanrayhall is 21.508 seconds ahead of P2 Mikhail Goikhberg - 1:19.778

The white flag is out. Last lap here at @FollowMidOhio. #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic

1 minute remains - LAP 32 - @seanrayhall is 27.828 seconds ahead of P2 Mikhail Goikhberg

@seanrayhall sees the checkered flag first and takes Race Two at @FollowMidOhio! #CooperLites #DiaClrClassic
- end of tweets -

Image Credit: Robert Talbott Motorsports®

The race ended with the #14 Robert Talbott Motorsports, Racing Radios, Race Lite Protection, Comprent Motorsports prepared Mazda-powered Elan DP02 having a 30.088 second lead.

Sean Rayhall shared that the team entered the weekend short handed given that the team race engineer, Mike Davies could not be physically at the track for the weekend which left the duties to Sean and the Crew Chief who usually provides the data analysis, Brandon White, to ... multitask!

Quite a charge and brilliant luster (from P15 to the win in Round 6) that capped a weekend that saw mechanical failure, followed by tough driving and 'coming down' tactics result producing a seven point lead in the series championship at The Diamond Cellar Classic run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

... notes from The EDJE


**Article first published as Rayhall Revels In Mid-Ohio Racing Tradition And Glory on Technorati**

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Sean Rayhall visits the cusp of Rahal racing history at Mid-Ohio

Sean Rayhall leads Ryan Booth around Andretti Hairpin in Turn 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Emily Rogers via Motorsport.com

Sean Rayhall visits the cusp of Rahal racing history at Mid-Ohio

While not directly related to the Bobby and Graham wing of this racing racing family, Sean Rayhall shares the Lebanese DNA, speed, and racing passion the more familiar Rahal family share in automobile motorsport.

This weekend, Rayhall will be racing in the 2013 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series at Mid-Ohio ... a venue that has a long and storied history with the Ohio-based Rahal family that started out over 50 years ago when Bobby attended his first race as a kid with his father.

Bobby grew up and with the early support of Jim Truman, the one-time owner of the track at Mid-Ohio, won several times with a pair of wins in IMSA GT, IROC and of course CART. The Ohioan won the Indy 500 as driver in 1986 for TrueSports, a team sponsored and built through the efforts of Jim Truman, on the way to capturing three CART championships to his Rahal name.

Graham Rahal, Bobby's son, has always considered the Lexington, Ohio-based track a home track due to his father's history running there but Graham is frank about being stumped at doing well at Mid Ohio. Last year, he shared before a Mid-Ohio IndyCar test teleconference, "I've never really had a great result there. We've always been fast there. We've had some really strong runs, but we always have contact, I made a mistake in 2009, 2010. We were kind of charging through the field, made contact with Danica. Things have not been quite what we want."

Sean Rayhall's Comprent Motorsports Robert Talbott Mazda as it negotiates the flat corners of Sebring. Image Credit: Eric Gilbert via Motorsport.com

Sean Rayhall currently leads the points championship, in a very tight grouping, as the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series heads into Mid-Ohio for two races - Rounds 5 and 6 of a 14 Round series season. Sean has 58 points followed closely by four drivers that are all within 13 points of each other (Mikhail Goikhberg - 57, Ryan Booth - 56, Daniel Goldburg - 52, and Scott Tucker - 45).

If Sean is able to have the same success as he did at the last two race venue of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (where he captured the pole starting position and won the 2 races), he would be able to take command of the championship and make the kind of statement few drivers are able to make at near mid season.

With the pressure on, and starting out the year in the first race at Sebring not scoring any points at all, Sean Rayhall answered a few questions going into the weekend at this famed road race course ... not looking at the Rahal family history, but to set a tone at making his own Rayhall history for his first time run at Mid-Ohio.

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course track map. Image Credit: The Free Radical

START
No points were scored in Round #1 ... did you race, and if so, what were the circumstances that led to not scoring a single point?

The circumstances were a failure with the shift mechanism in the car.


Have you ever driven Mid-Ohio in a race car, a track car, ... or even walked the course - how familiar are you to Mid-Ohio (general reflections)?

We tested at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago. I have a lot of confidence in the car and the team after how the test went.


With two races, again, over the next couple of days, what do you see are the critical sections of the track and what do you intend to be on the look-out for?

Every corner at this place is critical, because most of them lead into another. So, consistently having a smooth flow is key from a driving standpoint.


Pre-Race - What are the team's thoughts on the upcoming weekend's races (Rounds #5 & #6)?

Teams thoughts are always to win, but we are really focused on making our car even more consistent for the race. Yes, we hope for the pole, but a long race on this course with an ill handling car can lose races.



Additional thoughts on the season so far - racing in Prototype Lites from previous experiences - and what you are looking forward to after this weekend in the heartland of "Rahal" country?

The prototype Lites championship is going extremely well, I am fortunate to be a part of it and wear Robert Talbott's name in every event! I am looking for a smooth weekend in Ohio behind the wheel of this Robert Talbott Mazda, and looking forward to making Racing Radios, Race Lite Protection, Comprent Motorsports and Jerry Peters proud as well!
ENDS

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda title chase resumes this weekend (June 15-16) with a doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The teams and drivers first roll on-course at Mid-Ohio today, Thursday (June 13), taking part in three track test sessions. The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda doubleheader officially commences Friday (June 14) with a morning practice session, followed by the lone qualifying run after the lunch break. Round Five is scheduled to take place on Saturday (June 15) at 9:10 am local time, while Round Six is slated for Sunday (June 16) at 12:55 pm local time. Live timing and scoring will be available at http://prototypelites.com/timing/html

... notes from The EDJE


**Article first seen as Sean Rayhall Visits The Cusp Of Rahal Racing History At Mid-Ohio at Motorsports Unplugged**

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The IndyCar Texas 550 Queries Wisdom Of NASCAR's Oval Popularity

Helio Castroneves's 200+ mph turbo and Firestone Tires tire management wins the IZOD IndyCar Texas 550. Disney Animation's cartoon character, TURBO, as it was depicted on the DW12 aero-panel of Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves' Chevy-powered turbo-assisted engine Dallara race car at the 39th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

The IndyCar Texas 550 Queries Wisdom Of NASCAR's Oval Popularity

The Texas 550 leaves one with a most disturbing revelation or question concerning the popularity of oval racing. Why do fans prefer the slow, methodical ... almost certain predictability of NASCAR oval draft-pack racing over the lowered down-force exhibition put on by the IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) on the 24-degree banking found at the Texas 550?

Andretti Autosport's #25 DW12 Dallara of Marco Andretti, pre-race co-leader in championship points attributed to consistent finishes with no wins. Image Credit: IndyCar Garage via Twitter

By any measure, the sophomore year Dallara DW12's combined with the experienced driving talent found in the IICS had the most educated and ardent fan guessing at the beginning of last Saturday night's race as to what factors would carry the day and deliver a most entertaining result.

ABC Sports Jamie Little catches up with IICS Championship points leaders Helio Castroneves and Marco Andretti. Image Credit: Penske Racing via Twitter

Would there be yet another, different winner (first time, or not) to win a race in this 2013 season? There has been one repeat winner with James Hinchcliffe and in seven previous races run, five first-time race winners had been crowned ... counting the INDY 500 as a stand alone event - Hinchcliffe, Sato, Kanaan (INDY 500), Conway, and Pagenaud. The only other race winner was last year's IICS champion Ryan Hunter-Reay at Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

The track located near Ft. Worth, Texas has held 24 IndyCar open wheel races before and in the last seven years there had been no driver to repeat a winning result. Last year, in fact, a known road/street course specialist in the form of British race car driver, Justin Wilson, driving for Dale Coyne racing received his second overall win in the series. Also, one can win from any qualifications position ... Wilson won last year from the 17th starting position. Further, this 1.5 mile track, is noted for the most close finishes registered (measured in .1000's) by any on the schedule.

Race Director, Beaux Barfield discusses pit-in and pit-out rules with the drivers before heading out to the track to race. Image Credit:  Paddock Insider via Twitter

The 24-degree banking is a major factor in delivering the close quarters racing with a varied result because the 4-G down-force the speed and banking create has the cars set up with lower down-force which has the focus clearly placed on tire wear (for grip) and driver acumen in achieving the fine balance of speed versus longevity of GREEN Flag racing run. Longer runs and the maintenance of grip through the tire wear curve are rewarded here at Texas Motor Speedway.

Lastly, this has been an amazingly competitive season amongst the teams that where not perceived as power house teams. Outside of the very capable Andretti Autosport team, the other two perennial championship caliber teams, Penske Racing and Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR), had yet to achieve a win and had only three podium finishes through seven races (that's 3 out of a possible 21 podium finishes). Would these two teams continue to be locked out in winning?

Qualifications had Penske Racing's Will Power capture the pole with Helio Castroneves slotting in at P6 with TCGR's Dario Franchitti ahead at P4. Andretti Autosport had its three of its four drivers - Andretti P2, Hunter-Reay P3, Viso P5, and Hinchcliffe P13 - in the top five positions.

The race itself starts out in the late afternoon/dusk and ends under the lights at night after a total of 278 very fast over 200 mph, 1.5 mile laps (under 20 seconds). Weather was clear, spring-like and not a factor.

Penske Racing's Will Power leads the field off of pit lane having qualified for the pole position at a speed of 219.182 mph. “These days you have a one-in-24 chance because that is how many cars are starting and there are so many good teams and drivers," Power said. "To get a win here would be phenomenal. My wife is from here, all the family is coming out so if I don’t win here I’m probably not coming home for dinner.” The crowd in the stands behind seemed short of expectation. Image Credit: Paddock Insider via Twitter

The final 75 laps as reported from 140 or less characters as posted on Twitter - Tweet-By-Tweet -

Formula Ràpida @FormulaRapidaV
#indycar 75togo 1. Castroneves +10 sg 2.Power 3. Reay 4. Carpenter 5. Franchitti 6. Kanaan

heriberto briceño @toni5632
#indycar #Firestone550 #TEXAS 166 de 228 #lider: castroneves 2 power 3hunter-reay 4carpenter 5franchitti @EJVISO P9 entra sato

Ricardo Cardoso @ricardo_engsoft
Castroneves pit-in. Lap 175/228. #IndyCar #Firestone550

Kenny Shook @KennyShook
The difference that new tires are making in this Indy race is rediculous. #firestone550 #texasheat

Dakota Hunter  @ElKotaLoca1499
41 laps to go: 9 cars on the lead lap as pretty much the whole field has made their final pit stop. #IndyCar #Firestone550

@The EDJE
Helio, TK, Marco, RHR, Carpenter, Power, Jakes, Newgarden

Scott Tackett @ScottTackett24
Everyone wants a caution except for Helio Castroneves. He has a 15 second lead over 2nd place with 36 to go! #Firestone550 #IndyCar

Ash (アシュー) @racingAsh
When these tires fall off, they REALLY fall off. @h3lio @penskeracing doing a great job conserving his tires. #IndyCar #Firestone550 on @ABC

@The EDJE
203 - Helio Marco, RHR, Carpenter, Jakes Dario, only on lead lap

Eric Smith @Ericsportsguru
New Order 23 to go: Helio, RHR, Carpenter, Jakes, Dario, Power Only cars on Lead Lap #Firestone550

ForTheLoveofIndy @4TheLoveOfIndy
RHR almost a second quicker that time by. #IndyCar #Firestone550

@The EDJE
16 laps to go - RHR now 5.6 seconds

@The EDJE
198 mph vs 202 mph with Helio vs RHR

heriberto briceño @toni5632
#indycar #Firestone550 #TEXAS 12 para ir #lider: castroneves 2hunter-reay 3carpenter 4kannan 5franchitti @EJVISO P9

@The EDJE
TK, who just pitted for new tires, is out on a terror at 208 mph and a full straight difference

@The EDJE
Podium if ends now with 7 laps - Helio, RHR, Carpenter, ... TK just passes to grab P3

@The EDJE
5 laps to go - 201 vs 198 - Helio vs RHR

@The EDJE
Helio has opened up the throttle and leads by 5.4 sec with 2 laps to go

Erik @WeAreBullied
FINAL LAP WOOOOO #INDYCAR

@The EDJE
Penske and Helio wins the G-Force challenge at Ft. Worth - 22 point lead in IICS Championship

Mark Panichelli @markpanichelli
Congrats @h3lio , wow ! class of the field tonight ! First 4-time winner of #Texas #IndyCar race

So it's Helio, RHR, TK, Carpenter, Marco, Dario, Power, Newgarden, Hinch, and Viso are the top 10

Eric Smith @Ericsportsguru
#Firestone550 finishing order: 3,1,11,20,25,10,12,67,27,5,14,16,77,6,19,78,83,55,4,7,15,98,9,18

BuckeyeGDO @buckeyegdo
“@nascarcasm: Typically, climbing a fence in the state of Texas isn't something that's met with fanfare. #IndyCar”

Randy Bernard @RBINDYCAR
Cont. @eddiegossage #indycar prime time race on #ABC prior to me leaving.  Please tell the truth when you do interviews

Tony Olufson @Tolufson
Agreed! “@tonydizinno: After all the angst over pack races in the past, enjoyed the differentiation tonight and the safe race #IndyCar”

ENDS

Gotta' love the winner's prize - a cowboy hat and a couple of pearl handled six-shooters handed off to Helio under the flames of a podium that had his name in lights! Image Credit: John Cote via IndyCar.com

Last year we got to see a 6'3" Brit, Justin Wilson, pop off a couple of rounds, this year Brazilian Helio Castroneves put a little boot-scootn' into climbing the fence and shooting the six-irons. He looks almost too good in a cowboy hat.

At the end of the race, again this question pops up, why do fans prefer the slow, methodical ... almost certain predictability of NASCAR oval draft-pack racing over the lowered down-force exhibition put on by the IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS) on the 24-degree banking found at the Texas 550?

Answers ... anyone?

... notes from The EDJE


**Article first seen as The IndyCar Texas 550 Queries Wisdom Of NASCAR's Oval Popularity at Motorsports Unplugged**

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit Race 2 Tweet-By-Tweet

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race 1 Results >>> @TheEDJE – Dale Coyne Racing nets a P1 Conway and a P3 Wilson for a double podium finish after waiting 25 years for first win. Top 10 – 1 Conway, 2 RHR, 3 Wilson, 4 Dixon, 5 Castroneves, 6 Franchitti, 7 Newgarden, 8 Power, 9 Rahal, 10 Jakes!!! Penske Racing’s Helio Castroneves by finishing 5th captures the season points through six of nineteen races. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit Race 2 Tweet-By-Tweet

The IZOD IndyCar Series experimented with a format of holding two street/road course races at the same venue over the same weekend and by most anyone's standards, the weekend was a great success.

This was be the first time IndyCar had tried this format for this type of racing (not an oval) and going in, people wondered if the physical demands of driver and track could hold up to the pressure and rigors of two 70 lap races in two days ... after all, the drivers were not just turning the car to the left all the time and last year, parts of the track surface came apart with about 25% of the race still to be run.

Another concern was the potential of the typical spring pop-up shower but the weather only became a bit of a factor during the first qualifying session on Friday - the rest of the weekend was fine.

In hosting the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans, there are several new features to the street circuit for the race weekend **Extended the circuit to create more overtaking opportunities. A half-mile straightaway between Turns 2 and 3 has been added **More than 100,000 square feet of road surface has been refurbished **Curbing at Turns 3 and 4 has been reworked or removed to create tighter turns and, consequently, more overtaking opportunities. Image Credit: IICS

The first race was an exciting affair that featured passing due to the new, longer and wider configuration and very few YELLOW Flag cautions. The race was won by a first time winner from a smaller team that has two British drivers for street/road course races - Mike Conway driving for Dale Coyne Racing's Sonny's Bar-B-Que sponsored Honda-powered Dallara DW12.

Justin Wilson, Dale Coyne's full-season driver of the Boy Scouts of America sponsored Honda-powered Dallara DW12 had won the only other races for the team with two wins (one street/road course and one oval) came in at P3 giving the team a first-time double podium.

Dale Coyne Racing team-mate Justin bends over to congratulate Mike Conway on his first ever IZOD IndyCar Series win in Race 1. Image Credit: IICS

Before the Dual in Detroit Race 1 was run, in the morning's warm-up and Race 2 qualifications session, Mike Conway had already secured the Pole position for Race 2 so there was a lot of anticipation for Conway to become a double race winner for this first Dual in Detroit and take home a $50,000 prize in doing so.

Winning sportcar and Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports driver, Frenchman Simon Pagenaud became the second first-time IZOD IndyCar Series race winner in as many days. Pagenaud started from row 3 in P6 ... six positions better than he finished Race 1 on Saturday at P12. He's the sixth different winner -- from six different countries -- in seven races and the fourth first-time winner this season (Hinchcliffe, Sato, Conway, and Pagenaud). Image Credit: Simon Pagenaud via FB

The following New Media entries are a combination of Tweets from Twitter and comments from the author in observance to the events that transpired during the Dual in Detroit Race 2 … welcome to the 7th race of this 19 race IZOD IndyCar Series 2013 season -

@IndyCar
DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES! #IndyCar #DetroitGP

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN - LAP 1 of 70 in the Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit Race 2 begins

@stephanie_b_89
"@INDYCARPR: FULL COURSE YELLOW: Car No. 2 makes contact with the wall. #DetroitGP #IndyCar" @AJDinger : (

@Joshua_Rogers
Dinger wads up another car. Perhaps he needs to stick with vehicles with fenders. #IndyCar #DetriotGP

@DawnsKiss
@12WillPower Leader #IndyCar #Dual2 #Detroit under caution

@estradawriting
Power apparently got past Conway before the yellow light. Willy P your new leader. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@DannieAsphall
"@INDYCARPR: Back to green on Lap 4. @Mikeconway26 took the lead entering Turn 1 on Lap 5. #DetroitGP #IndyCar"

@HalfShaftBlues
#IndyCar powerhouses Mike Conway & Dale Coyne Racing continue their dominance, while plucky upstarts like Penske & Ganassi keep hope alive.

@ComingToTheFlag
Simona in the wall. Full course caution. #indycar

@MattEmbury
oh and Simona de Silvestro's dead in the water turn 9. Crash. #indycar #detroitgp

LAP 10 of 70 - 1-Conway 2-Power 3-Pagenaud 4-RHR 5-Jakes 6-Dixon 7-Viso 8-Wilson 9-Hinchcliffe & 10-Castroneves

GREEN Flag Restart - LAP 13

@ScottManifold
Reds should last longer today with more rubber down. #indycar

@MattEmbury
@IAIndyFan Several as I predicted before the race, interesting though that Power and Pagenaud stayed out on reds. #indycar #detroitgp

@WoodsiesGarage
Josef Newgarden slows on the backstretch as the track goes yellow again. Most of this race has been run under caution. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@AutoweekRacing
Cation out again for crash involving @tagliani. Sheesh. #DetroitGP #IndyCar

@jopijedd
I think it is time for the traditional "Ed Carpenter struggling with the fact that this circuit has corners in BOTH directions"... #indycar

GREEN Flag Restart - LAP 15

@BaronVonClutch
.@EJVISO has damage after contact with @h3lio's car. #IndyCar

@TomcatNASCAR
16 laps of #IndyCar is already more exciting than 375 laps of #NASCAR.

@Pablomg228
Difference between Indy and F1: Indy drivers have the guts to try to pass in places like this #detroitgp #indycar

@BoBarkfield
Detroit...crash city! #indycar #DetroitGP

@MattEmbury
Oh and Hunter Reay has a busted suspension, wall contact likely #indycar #detroitgp

LAP 20 of 70 Top 10 - 1-Conway 2-Power 3-Pagenaud 4-Dixon 5-Jakes 6-Kimball 7-Castroneves 8-Wilson 9-Hinchcliffe & 10-Franchitti

@tonydizinno
Yellow again, wiping out an 8.8 second lead for @Mikeconway26, aka the Stig, aka Conweezy. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

No one is riding on REDS after a round of pitstops on 4th caution - for debris

Top 10 - 1-Conway 2-Dixon 3-Kimball 4-Wilson 5-Franchitti 6-Kanaan 7-Vautier 8-Sato 9-Bourdais & 10-Saavedra Top 4 have not pitted

GREEN Flag Restart - LAP 23

@CarlsonsRaiders
Meanwhile, they're back to green once again in Detroit! #Indycar #DetroitGP

Vautier touches Sato and sends TAKU in the wall

@FormulaThoughts
Takuma no! :( #SuperSato #Indycar

With all of the YELLOW Flags - 5 now - three fuel strategies seem to playing out

Top 10 - 1-Conway 2-Dixon 3-Franchitti 4-Kanaan 5-Vautier 6-Power 7-Pagenaud 8-Bourdais 9-Hinchcliffe & 10-Andretti - Top 2 yet to pit

@RLenziBlade
It's official: At the 26th lap, half of the #DetroitGP has been run under caution. #IndyCar

GREEN Flag Restart - LAP 27

YELLOW Flag - Power gets punted from behind, Wilson, Carpenter, Viso, Tagliani, and Briscoe all involved - Sebastien Bourdais is the culprit on the punt that collected

everyone - Hinchcliffe busts a wing on the way through

@CarlsonsRaiders
Will Power clearly pissed at Bourdais, decides to just throw his gloves rather than the double birds this time. #Indycar #DetroitGP

@npssandy
@indycaradvocate At least it wasn't the track falling apart this year... #IndyCar #DetroitGP

Riiiight ... it's just the drivers that are falling apart

LAP 30 of 70 - Top 10 - 1-Kanaan 2-Dixon 3-Vautier 4-Franchitti 5-Bourdais 6-Conway 7-Pagenaud 8-Andretti 9-Jakes & 10-Kimball

@jimlefko
Crazy amount of crashes/cautions at #indycar race at Belle Isle. Infinitely more entertaining though than seeing MConway drive solo in front

@elmondohummus
You know, this race really DOES represent Detroit: No matter what efforts you bring, it all goes downhill. #indycar

@FilipCleeren
Restart order: 11 55 10 7 25 83 9 18 77 67 4 6 1 16 3 20 #detroitgp #indycar

Top 10 - 1-Kanaan 2-Vautier 3-Franchitti 4-Bourdais 5-Andretti 6-Kimball 7-Dixon 8-Conway 9-Pagenaud & 10-Rahal

GREEN Flag Restart - LAP 37

Conway is just carving up the field and he making it look easy - passes three cars left-right-left

@neilhudson
Conway already up to fourth, will be third when Bourdais serves his penalty if he even waits that long #IndyCar

@4TheLoveOfIndy
Vautier to the lead. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

LAP 40 of 70 - Top 10 - 1-Vautier 2-Conway 3-Kanaan 4-Kimball 5-Dixon 6-Franchitti 7-Pagenaud 8-Saavedra 9-Jakes & 10-Andretti

@WoodsiesGarage
Vautier pits, giving Conway the lead again. >1s lead over Kanaan. Kimball P3, 2.6s behind Conway. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

LAP 42 - Conway already is 2.7 seconds in the lead over Kanaan - WOW!

@racer_27
First Hinch and Will Power is back too! All hail #IndyCar mechanics. #DetriotGP

@spunk72
Man, @Mikeconway26 is driving this race LIKE A BOSS.  #Indycar  #detroitgp

@Deke15
 That replay of Conway passing the Ganassis looked like he DROPPED THE HAMMER and the others were standing still. #IndyCar

Kanaan pits and comes back out in 12th

@4TheLoveOfIndy
This is Ganassi's best shot at a win so far in 2013. Currently occupies 2-3-4. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@drewallennews
Charlie Kimball gaining on Conway #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@racewithinsulin
No. 83 current lap time: 80.2126 for P2. Conway P1 at 82.4594. #DetroitGP #IndyCar -PLR

First time in two races and Conway gets passed ... Kimball in the lead

@mfriedman_63
Really, almost anyone can win these Indycar street races. Except the expected favorites! #DetroitGP #Indycar

@drewallennews
Pagenaud gets around Conway. Those tires are done. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

Conway in the pits - back on Blacks! - Conway out at P6

LAP 50 of 70 - Top 10 - 1-Pagenaud 2-Jakes 3-Andretti 4-Franchitti 5-Conway 6-Rahal 7-Kimball 8-Dixon 9-Kanaan & 10-Saavedra

@kenspi
This--> “@curtcavin: Great tweet from @BourdaisOnTrack "Seb avoids all the mess." Uh, he helped cause the mess. #IndyCar”

@MADMAUtwotwo
3-wide racing on the streets of Detroit!!!!! @IndyCar #indycar

@miller_j18
once they've figured out how to not hit each other, this is getting good! #IndyCar #DetroitGP

Conway up to P4 - Pagenaud and Jakes will need to pit for sure

The race is between Franchitti and Conway - first four cars are Honda-powered

@carbonconcepts
Why no Conway in-car?  #indycar #detroitgp

Pagenaud in and out and ahead of the Franchitti Conway battle

@IndyCar
Great battle between Conway and Franchitti for 3rd. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@INDYCARPR
Of note: these are the first laps led on road/street course for @JamesJakes. #DetroitGP #IndyCar

@michaelw2000
Anyone notice that Power is getting closer to Bourdais?!?! LOL!!! I sense a "Duel" coming! About 4 sec difference! #DetroitGP #IndyCar

Conway passes Franchitti on LAP 57 - 28 seconds behind Pagenaud - Jakes in and comes out in P2 ahead of Conway

LAP 60 of 70 - Top 10 - 1-Pagenaud 2-Jakes 3-Conway 4-Franchitti 5-Dixon 6-Andretti 7-Kimball 8-Rahal 9-Kanaan & 10-Castroneves

There is racing all through the top 10

@drewallennews
Pagenaud is one of those drivers who has constantly been knocking on the door. Does he get his first win today? #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@4TheLoveOfIndy
Kanaan pits from ninth. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@OfficialGinaN
Top two have never won #IndyCar race... Makes it more exciting! #DetroitGP

@99forever
In the top 3, Pagenaud and Jakes both just set fastest laps of the race. Jakes's was faster. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

The top 3 cars are all in sight of each other - what a grand street course race ... real ChampCar racing is back bigtime!

@WoodsiesGarage
Vautier spears the wall during another ad break, now stalled. Bourdais also went off but is still going. Local yellow. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@julesia18
ABC is picking the WORST times to go to commercial!!!! #indycar

LAP 65 of 70 - Top 5 are 1-Pagenaud 2-Jakes 3-Conway 4-Dixon 5-Franchitti and the field is stable unless something happens

@CarlsonsRaiders
Pagenaud is the fastest guy on track right now, doesn't look like Jakes or Conway have anything for him. #Indycar #DetroitGP

@indycaradvocate
Jakes trying to hold on to P2. Big day for Pags and Jakes both. #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@Jose_Galvan
The lethargic ABC @IndyCar announcers are describing an exciting race as though it were a medical procedure. Come on! #indycar

@IndyCar
. @simonpagenaud out up front with just a couple laps to go! #IndyCar #DetroitGP

Conway closes on Jakes at 2 LAPS to go

@TheoTradeMark
Two laps to go. Conway trying to battle Jakes for the 2nd #DetroitGP #Indycar

WHITE Flag

@therossbynum
At this point the circus clowns just tumble out of the clown car. Exhausted. Clown union preparing strike as we speak.  #IndyCar #DetroitGP

Race 2 Podium drivers congratulate each other during the cool down lap at the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans. Image Credit: Nicolas Dura via Twitter

@mfriedman_63
A podium of Schmidt/Peterson, RLL, and Coyne??!! Are you kidding??!! :) #Indycar #DetroitGP

@scottaltimaman
Oui Oui! Pagenaud wins! #IndyCar

Schmidt Hamilton Racing’s Simon Pagenaud, driving the Hewlett Packard sponsored Honda-powered Dallara DW12, wins his first IZOD IndyCar Series race in 39 starts. Image Credit S. Pagenaud – iOS photo

@CrashGladys
BEST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD! 6 winners in 7 races, from 6 different countries. It doesn't get any better than THAT, race fans! Epic

@AutoweekRacing
Pagenaud wins #DetroitGP ahead of Jakes and Conway, but Conway was the undisputed star of this race and the weekend. #IndyCar

@BaronVonClutch
.@simonpagenaud Wins Race Two at the @detroitgp! Pagenaud also banked the fastest lap of the race. #IndyCar

First win for proven ALMS sportscar series winner Simon Pagenaud.

@ScottManifold
What a wacky year! Someone predicted that right? Nice job podium! Pagenaud, Jakes, Conway #indycar #detroitgp

Honda-power captures the top 5 positions with more horsepower than Chevy-power ... in DETROIT!!!

Overnight television ratings for ABC's live telecast of the second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit on June 2 grew 14 percent over last year's Sunday telecast, which also aired on ABC.

The network earned a 0.8 overnight rating, up from a 0.7 overnight for last year's race at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park. The June 1 race, which was new this year, earned a 0.7 overnight rating on ABC.

... notes from The EDJE


**Article first published as Chevrolet Indy Dual In Detroit Race 2 Tweet-By-Tweet on Technorati**

Monday, June 3, 2013

IndyCar’s Dual In Detroit On ABC Is More Than Just Racing

E.J. Viso was second (1:19.5572) in the No. 5 Team Venezuela/PDVSA/CITGO car for Andretti Autosport to tie his best qualifying effort in Brazil in May. Joining him on the front row will be Mike Conway, driving the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing car in the two races this weekend. Conway has qualified for the Firestone Fast Six in both of his events this season.. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

IndyCar’s Dual In Detroit On ABC Is More Than Just Racing

The IZOD IndyCar Series (IICS), after holding one of the most exciting and flawless INDY 500′s in its record-breaking 97th edition, move into Detroit’s Belle Isle for back-to-back temporary street course races where the points race can be shuffled.

The “Dual” double entendre for two races (one on Saturday, one on Sunday) and a (duel) street fight for championship points will be shown on general broadcast television … a rarity in this modern cable/satellite broadcast feed age. Any modern digital television, or a CRT television with a digital signal converter box can dial up the general broadcast signal for the local ABC Network station and watch Dual in Detroit – American open-wheel racing, with pitstops for fuel and tire changes for changing weather conditions, YELLOW Flag cautions, and push-to-pass at its absolute best.

For the two races in Belle Isle, P2P will allow the driver to utilize Detroit give a power boost for 10 total engagements that last 15 seconds per push for a total of 150 seconds of “up-time” during the running of each race.

In hosting the inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series doubleheader in the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans, there are several new features to the street circuit for the race weekend **Extended the circuit to create more overtaking opportunities. A half-mile straightaway between Turns 2 and 3 has been added **More than 100,000 square feet of road surface has been refurbished **Curbing at Turns 3 and 4 has been reworked or removed to create tighter turns and, consequently, more overtaking opportunities. Image Credit: IICS

To quote from an article published by IICS -

Push-to-pass, which was introduced to the new engine-chassis package last July on the streets of Toronto, will have parameters for each of the road/street course events, including doubleheader races at Detroit, Toronto and Houston. The option gives drivers a turbocharger boost from 21.7 Psi to 23.2 Psi and additional 200 RPM with the push of a button located on the steering wheel.
There’s no delay in activation or refresh time.

“If the driver chooses to use one, they can’t cancel it. It’s use it or lose it,” INDYCAR vice president of technology Will Phillips said. “That in itself makes it more difficult to choose to use as a defense mechanism rather than as an overtaking opportunity. You’ll have to be careful because there are only 10 opportunities to use it during a race. The length of each push of the button should cover the longest straight, if that’s where they choose to use it, of each circuit.”
(Reference Here)

The “Firestone Fast Six” (FF6) three round format of qualifications became a little dodgy due to weather and a major miscue by Helio Castroneves when he spun off-track and could not get his Chevy-powered Dallara DW12 into reverse which brought out a RED Flag that effectively ended the Round #2 group of twelve transfer effort. This allowed @RyanHunterReay @dariofranchitti @Mikeconway26 @tagliani @EJVISO @JamesJakes to advance to the FF6 leaving behind Rookie Tristan Vautier, P2 in the IICS points – Takuma Sato, Simon Pagenaud, Penske’s Will Power – who is having a terrible year, Sebastian Saavedra, and Helio Castroneves.

Dario posted the fastest time in the FF6 receiving the points – the money – and the sticker, but due to an earlier engine change at the INDY 500, had to give the P1 position to start the race to the second fastest qualifier E.J. Viso, No. 5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Chevrolet … his first P1 start in American open wheel racing.

“Very excited,” said the ChampCar ex-patriot. “It will be my first pole start in IndyCar. I’ve been on pole in other car races, but being on pole in IndyCar is definitely one of my targets… my aims that I wanted to accomplish. And little by little, working with this group, things are starting to come together. I am very proud of all this hard work that we have been doing as a team, as a crew. I am very excited about this year.”

About being at the front for a street race:
“It is good. I think it has given me some good chances to stay in the front and be sure I’m going to have a competitive car. We have proven that so far. And I’m really looking forward to it.”

Race 2 qualifications in the FF6 three round format are set for 9:15 a.m. June 1: Round 1 – all cars will participate in one of two groups for 12 minutes each, with five minutes of guaranteed green-flag time. Group 1 will consist of even-numbered positions on the practice time sheet, while odd-numbered positions will comprise Group 2. Round 2 – the top fastest 6 cars from each of the 2 groups in Round 1 transfer for a 12 car qualification session where the Firestone Fast Six are taken from the fastest six cars. Round 3 – the “Firestone Fast Six” compete for the top six positions (first three rows, side-by-side) to start the race.

Four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais marks his 100th Indy car start this weekend at Detroit, which was acknowledged by the IndyCar Series Friday morning <

Weekend broadcast schedule as communicated by the IZOD IndyCar Series -

ABC will televise both IZOD IndyCar Series races at Belle Isle — the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans — at 3:30 p.m. (ET) June 1 and 2.

Chief announcer Marty Reid will be joined in the broadcast booth by Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. The network also has coverage of the Firestone 550 on June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway — its first prime time IZOD IndyCar Series race broadcast.

TV broadcast: ABC (3:30 p.m. ET June 1 and 2)
… Chief announcer: Marty Reid

Radio broadcast: IMS Radio Network affiliates, Sirius and XM 211, American Forces Network, INDYCAR 13 app, indycar.com
… Chief announcer: Mike King

Timing & Scoring: INDYCAR 13 app, Race Control on indycar.com

Twitter: @IndyCar (#indycar), @detroitgp (#DetroitGP)

Track layout: 2.346-mile, 13-turn street circuit … Race 1 and 2 length: 70/164.22 miles

Verizon P1 Award winner: Dario Franchitti, No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car
Championship points: Full points for both races, including bonus points for earn the pole (one for Race 1) and quickest qualifying lap (one for Race 2)

Start: Rolling … Restarts: Double file

Losing positions: The entries for Franchitti, Charlie Kimball, Josef Newgarden and Graham Rahal will incur 10-grid spot penalties for the first race at Belle Isle because of unapproved engine changes at Indianapolis.
(Reference Here)

The Dual in Detroit weekend is more than just racing because having two points-paying races in one weekend, broadcasted on free general broadcast television is a welcomed modern day rarity – one that should be repeated many more times in order to re-kindle the interest in the most competitive top level automotive speed competition that exists in the world today. It’s all about access!

Weekend UPDATES:

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race 1 Winner – Dale Coyne Racing’s Mike Conway driving the Sonny's BBQ No. 18 Dallara-Honda DW12.


Mike Conway at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as he sits in his Rahal Leterman Lanigan prepared Dallara DW12. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2013)

Dual in Detroit Race 1 post race Tweets:

@TheEDJE
Dale Coyne Racing nets a P1 Conway and a P3 Wilson for a double podium finish after waiting 25 years for first win #DetroitGP #IndyCar

@joselomacias
RT @indycaraldiaweb: #IndyCar Carrera 1 (Detroit): 1Conway 2RHR 3Wilson 4Dixon 5Castroneves 6Franchitti 7Newgarden 8Power 9Rahal 10Jakes

Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves by finishing 5th captures the season points through six of nineteen races!

Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans Race 2 Winner – Schmidt Hamilton Racing’s Simon Pagenaud driving the Hewlett-Packard No. 77 Dallara-Honda DW12.

After multiple cautions that jumbled the running order and ruined the weekend for many drivers on Belle Isle. After multiple pit stop and tire strategies seeking to gain an advantage on the 2.346-mile, 13-turn street circuit. After multiple battles and high drama, let alone tempers, stood Simon Pagenaud in Victory Circle. The French driver was as exhausted as the push-to-pass operations available in the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car over the 70-lap race but smiling broadly after earning his first (1st) IZOD IndyCar Series victory. Caption Credit: Dave Lewandowski | Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2012)

Dual in Detroit Race 2 post race Tweets:

@therossbynum
At this point the circus clowns just tumble out of the clown car. Exhausted. Clown union preparing strike as we speak.  #IndyCar #DetroitGP

@mfriedman_63
A podium of Schmidt/Peterson, RLL, and Coyne??!! Are you kidding??!! :) #Indycar #DetroitGP

@scottaltimaman
Oui Oui! Pagenaud wins! #IndyCar

@CrashGladys
BEST DRIVERS IN THE WORLD! 6 winners in 7 races, from 6 different countries. It doesn’t get any better than THAT, race fans! Epic

@AutoweekRacing
Pagenaud wins #DetroitGP ahead of Jakes and Conway, but Conway was the undisputed star of this race and the weekend. #IndyCar

@BaronVonClutch
.@simonpagenaud Wins Race Two at the @detroitgp! Pagenaud also banked the fastest lap of the race. #IndyCar

@TheEDJE
First win for proven sportscar series winner Simon Pagenaud.

@ScottManifold
What a wacky year! Someone predicted that right? Nice job podium! Pagenaud, Jakes, Conway #indycar #detroitgp

@TheEDJE
Honda-power captures the top 5 positions with more horsepower than Chevy-power … in DETROIT!!!

 … notes from The EDJE


**Article first seen as "IndyCar’s Dual In Detroit On ABC Is More Than Just Racing" at Motorsports Unplugged**