Saturday, April 30, 2016

IndyCar 2016 Season underway

Four races down, next race is the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 14 and the drivers are starting to collect points. Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe finished in sixth place last week and sits in 12th place overall with the top three drivers being Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Simon is doing well with two wins in seven days and the Birmingham Grand Prix was run without a single yellow caution flag. Colombian driver Juan Pablo started the race in last place and drove up through 16 places to finish in fifth spot. Hinchcliffe spoke of Juan's feat after the race  “He must have had an amazing stint in there somewhere,” he said. Hinch admitted that tire selection was crucial in the mid-80s weather of the U.S.southeast. “The challenge for both drivers and their engineers was to get the settings right for the tires,” he said. The No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry began the race on blacks and moved up with a stunning 5.8-second first pit stop to go to sticky red Firestone tires early in the race."

The Birmingham, Alabama race course was also a road course like Toronto. The site is a permanent with a 2.38 mile, 17 turn track that challenges the drivers with it's grade changes and a narrow roadway. In qualifying, Simon won the pole position while James Qualified 8th with a speed of 123.406 mph.
After the race the Mayor of Hinchtown said “It was a frustrating end to the day, to be honest. We were struggling a little bit with the reds, but I think everybody was. The track temperature was way hotter this afternoon. We were on a lap during the second round that was good enough to get us into the Firestone Fast Six and I made a little mistake in Turn 5, and it cost us the time that would've advanced us. I was a bit steamed after, not because we didn't make it but because we should have made it. I think everybody probably has a story like that.”

Honda Indy Toronto comes to town right after the Iowa Corn 300 race at the Iowa Speedway on July 10.  The streets of Toronto road course is a 1.75 mile, 11 turn circuit taking place in and around Exhibition Place during the July 15-17 weekend.

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