Monday, April 6, 2020

E-SPORS: IndyCar joins the Fray

About Freakin' time NBC! Especially since Virtual Sports is Sweeping thou Nation right now...

Otay, I'll admit I was playfully accused of acting like a Kid on Christmas Morning after learning that NBC Sports had wisely changed its mind upon not wishing to Air the IndyCar's i Racing Series originally. But it's pretty sad that's All I could think about the 48hrs before the actual event. Hmm? Ain't that Jimmy Johnson's number? Oh Never Mind!

And I suppose I need to heed Leigh Diffey's words during the TV Broadcast 'bout it being a work in progress, but. I sat Thar listening to Thy Telie, after having tuned-in to the 30mins Proving Grounds vignette from Mother Speedway and was Bemused to note that the 1912 Indy 500 racecar that TK' follow-your-Schnoz! Kanaan and IMSA's Ryan Eversley? Co-drove round the Obstacle Course made more noise than the pack 'O 29 i Racing Virtual IndyCar racecars filling my television did!

As I mused to myself that it was a virtual Formula E race; CRIKEYS! Although I did hear someone scrubbing copious amounts 'O rubber off Thar Flinstone tyres and an audible WHUMP!  When somebody smacked the wall! Perhaps Thee Great Santini? Or may be Felipe Nasr?

As typically the real life On-track Indy Cars action usually Drowns Out the Talking Headz' Booth Boys! Yet this race was the complete opposite, sounding virtually Silent for more than Half the race! So it would be nice if NBC Sports could find a happy medium beginning next week and ultimately whenever we return to real Honest-to-Goodness Motor Racing.

As I think I enjoyed the winner's Post-race interview more than the actual race itself, since being Blind, obviously sound is a huge component of what I "See" on my virtual monitor!

As Scott McLaughlin who I've never heard speak before, was a total Breath 'O Fresh Air! And sounded very grounded for somebody who Leigh Diffey pointed out more than once had to get up at 2AM Australian time to compete in the event. With Scott noting it was 5:50AM local Brisbane time Me Thinks - When doing his winner's interview.
But what I enjoyed most from the 26yr old Kiwi' was how smoothly he wouldn't answer PT's Questione on what type of specific Sym Rig  equipment he was utilizing. Giving "Ol Sugar Ray Tracy the typical racer's non-answer answer.

As Diffey Dryly chimed in may be he's Not gonna answer you Paul; Hya! While Paul Tracy tried a second time and McLaughlin just casually noted he's running a Touring Car set-up a bit like his V-8 Supercars Gig', unlike the fancy IndyCar Rigs you Yanks' are Deploying.!

But he didn't seem to make too much out of his winning his first IndyCar race after Diffey noted he's the winner of 44 Supercars races. So Good On You Mate!

While the  Driver He'd most likely replace at Team Penske, DJ WillyP', aka Will Power, for which I'm just totally speculatin' here, but believe Power's the Elder Statesman at Penske, Righto? Nipped at the Kiwi's Heels chasing him home to the Chequered Flag in P2.

Whilst the Announce Booth Crew took great glee in making Quips 'bout Power having his radio turned off for making too many mouthy comments 'bout lapped traffic, for which I think PT' sardonically chimed was just like real life; Hya!

As apparently the IndyCar Driver who topped the virtual Time Sheets on Twitter, nee Conor Daly revealed that Will had called him A Wanker! Which led to his radio transmissions being cut...

While Conor also pointed out the differences between virtual racing and the real world by noting that Scott Dixon would never Spin Off-track in a Real Race!

And (Townsend) T-Bell' spent quite a Bitamyte 'O Time Belabouring how difficult it was to drive these virtual IndyCars while conceding he'd have qualified near the end of the field if racing, after having taken part in the open practice session.

With Scotty The Goose! Speed substituting for Marco Andretti bringing home his virtual No. 98 Andretti Autosport machine home in third place all-the-while on a massive Fuel Saving strategy.

And I also enjoyed Sage Dangerboy' Karam's forthrightness when queried over whether or not he liked the Competition Caution? Saying quickly and emphatically NO! As Sage apparently got a bit 'O Red Mist Fever this weekend, first tanglin' with Felix Rosenqvist. Then a penalty for Speeding in the Pits and finally parking his Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara.

Meanwhile how 'bout Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh's Alex Palou who reportedly was competing from a Coffee shop in Brazil alongside his girlfriend, as the IndyCar Rookie Spaniard finished fourth overall I believe! Whilst DCR Alphabets Soup Brigade team-mate Santino Ferrucci didn't have such a "Hot" Day...

But obviously the Feel-good story of the event was the return of Thee Young Wicky', aka Robert Wickens making his  competition return after nearly two year's hiatus while still recovering from his multiple injuries suffered in his Horrendous Accident at Pocono in August, 2018!

As much has been made 'bout Wickens utilizing a Hand Controls set-up, albeit he didn't get to use his "Mad Max" Massimiliano (Max) Papis set-up, which reportedly is similar to what El Zorro', nee Alex Zanardi used to compete in the 2019 Rolex 24. And instead used another Sym Rig provided by McLaren.

But it was great to hear Leigh Diffey interviewing Wickens briefly at the end of the TV Broadcast, with Robert noting he'd just gone for a Fuel Saving Strategy which helped him stay On-track en route to an eighth place finish.

With Diffey announcing at the end of the broadcast that next week's I-Race will be held on Michigan International speedway...