Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Indy Cars Texas Two Step, Now and Then

Pretty Weird how just Temperature Change improves a Race, albeit more Flinstone’ shredded rubber Helps too…


Kudos to Racer’s Marshall Pruett for his thoroughly fascinating lookback at CART’s (Championship Auto Racing Teams) 2001 Firestone Firehawk 600k IndyCar race two decades ago.


As even Leigh Diffey got in on the action Sunday when bringing up On Air that ‘Ol sugar Ray Tracy, better known simply as Pt’ or Paul Tracy had run a lap in excess of 236mph over that weekend and casually asked what’s that like Paul? As Tracy ran a lap of 22.542 seconds in Saturday morning’s practice at 236.678mph, Aye Karumba!


As I’m going off memory here, after having watched four races this past weekend. But think Marshall noted that at the speeds the CART Guys were running, they were completing an average of 4 or 5 miles in One Minute! And basically anything above 228mph (sustained) on Texas Motor Speedway’s (TMS) 24 degree Banking was simply physiologically Impossible since it was Sucking the Blood out of the Brain, YIKES!


As the Top-3 Qualifiers were Kenny Brack at 233.447mph , Patrick Carpentier at 233.345mph and Oriol Servia at 232.987mph. while somebody named Bryan Herta was P4, with almost the entire field averaging above the 228mph threshold.


As IndyCar rookie Scott Dixon driving for PacWest Racing in 20th was the first of the 25 Drivers participating with a speed under 229mph, Crikeys!


While 24 of the 25 Drivers claimed laps at 226mph and the field averaged 229.9mph! As it’s definitely worth reading Marshall’s three part Racer story.


As compare that to Tony Kanaan’s top speed of 220.173mph in practice this Saturday, with today’s “aging” 2.2-litre twin turbocharged V-6 lumps’ producing 700bhp. Versus Kanaan’s lap of 23.142 seconds at 230.542mph when qualifying P14 in 2001 for Mo Nunn racing aboard it’s Reynard 01i Honda 2.65-litre V-8turbocharged lump’ cranking out a very healthy 900bhp!


As Kanaan and Dixon were the only two drivers in this weekend’s Double Header event that Qualified for the Ill-fated 2001 CART (IndyCar) event, the only CART race ever cancelled due to Safety reasons…


Which makes me wonder why IndyCar wants to develop 2.4-litre V-6 Hybrid powerplants that would produce 900bhp. Since I’m All in favour of faster lap-times, but isn’t this just a recipe for disaster on the few remaining “super Speedway” Oval tracks? As I’m Not an engineer, but think most of the current drivers who took part in the IMS Oval test to try mimicking these conditions All thought they were pointless…


Meanwhile, after Saturday’s “Dud” of a race, where once again the Dreaded PJ1 Traction Compound reared it’s Ugly Head over the Double Header weekend, inducing more One-lane racing. Seriously, TMS and Eddie Gossage cannot remove this Sticky Substance from Thar racetrack, WTF!


Oh Yeah, that’s right, I’d almost forgotten that that PJ1 traction compound was put down in order to liven up those Roundy round Taxicab Bombers and that IndyCar is just a support series for RASSCAR!


As Scott Dixon led a whopping 206 of 212 laps and Nobody had an answer for the Kiwi’, who was followed home by fellow Countryman Scott McLaughlin finishing second on his Oval track debut! The firs time in IndyCar history that two New Zealander’s had ever stood atop the Podium. I was afraid that Sunday’s race might be a carbon copy?


No need for rehashing that Ugly six car Pile-up on the race’s start! As I’m sure other in Ye Blogosphere have already done so…


As I’ll admit I’m totally biased, since he’s been my Numero Uno IndyCar Driver since arriving in 2019 but! You’d have to say that Patricio “Pato” O’Ward was certainly one of the Stars of the race beginning with him ceaselessly picking on Team Penske’s DJ WillyP’, nee Will Power during his multiple attempts to pass the Aussie.


But I really sat up in my seat on Ye couch when Pato was P2 prior to the race’s final restart. And with four sets ‘O fingers crossed started chanting C’mon Pato when the plucky 21yr old got tired of having to sit behind leader Josef Newgarden and with 23 laps remaining said it’s time to G-O!


Slingshot On! Before swooping past Newgarden and simply Streaking away into the sunset, steadily increasing his lead en route to his Debutante IndyCar victory!


As an elated Pato said during the winner’s interview, Finally! As it’s been a long time coming, with O’Ward saying candidly he was surprised his  first IndyCar win (in 26 Starts) would come on an Oval. Oh Yeah, that’s right, it’s almost my Birthday, Thank You! As O’Ward turns 22 on May 6th.


Have to say I was mildly annoyed with Newgarden’s Sour Puss interview for finishing P2, with the only slightest nod towards Pato being when saying his Chevy was Faster then Mine, Uh Duh!


Whilst Scott Dixon who finished a quiet fourth after leading a race high 163 of 248 laps, had me Bursting Out loud in laughter! As Dixon not only Congratulated O’Ward multiple times but wryly said, Man I hope He Doesn’t do that too often, Hya!


As O’Ward becomes the first Mexican Driver to win an IndyCar race since Adrian Fernandez’s final win in the Indy Racing league on October 3, 2004 at Fontana.  


As I spent the rest of the evening with a glowing Smile on my face! As it’s Cool that Zackery Brown Tweeted immediately after O’Ward’s win that a “Deal’s A Deal,” See you later this year in Abu Dhabi at the Formula 1 Young Drivers test. But I just hope Pato will still be able to put his helmet on at the next race and Not get too far ahead of himself…