But Yuhs still Makes ah circle, even if running Backwards at IMS…
While I’d argue that you couldn’t say that this year’s Indy GP was a Great race, I’d have to say it was a very good race overall. Making me think of Grizzled F1 Journo’ Joe Saward who likes to point out the various tyre strategies during a formula 1 race make things Berry, Berry Interesting. Shush, We’re Huntin’ Wabbits, Hya!
Thus I found myself intrigued over all of the various tyre strategies being played out during the Indy GP, specifically which segment of the race to use the unwanted Black primary Firestone compound, since the Alternate red rubber was the preferred tyre.
And it was funny how I found myself somewhat conflicted whilst rootin’ for Romain Grosjean to do the unthinkable and win his maiden IndyCar race in only his third outing. Since surely this would cause many Across thou Puddle to portray how “Weak” the IndyCar competition was if they’d All been shown up by an F1 Refugee! Righto Sir Lewis? But I found myself rootin’ for him to win because it would be great for Romain and that plucky ‘lil Band ‘O Merrymen at Dale Coyne & Company.
Even stranger yet was rootin’ against my current Number 2 Favourite IndyCar Driver Rinus VeeKay, who I’m happy to say scored his Debutante IndyCar victory in dramatic style on Mother Speedway’s infield Road Course, giving Fast Eddie’, aka Ed Carpenter’s (ECR) Racing Team it’s first victory in nearly five years, when Josef Newgarden won at Iowa in July, 2016. Ironically five years to the very day that Max Verstappen won his maiden Formula 1 race at Barcelona.
As Grosjean who led the race’s first 44-laps and VeeKay who led the final 33-laps, Hmm? Where have I heard that number 33 before, Eh? Were undoubtably the Stars of the race, leaving everybody else in Thar wake! As Romain simply didn’t have the ultimate pace upon the black Flinstone’ rubber during his lone stint upon it and Rinus seized the moment, passing the Rookie IndyCar Frenchman into Turn 12 before saying Sayonara! As not even the brief rain sprinkles or needing to conserve fuel could deny the Dutchman!
Have to say I got a kick outta Graham Rahal’s Heated In-car radio transmission ‘bout their race strategy being Stupid! And then ultimately soldiering home to a fifth place finish after reluctantly running to a fuel saving number All race long. As may be you should leave the race strategy to the Engineers after all Graham!
Whilst I must say that I’m most Cornfuzed over that newest member of IndyCar’s vaunted “Big 4” not showing up over the entire weekend. As Arrow McLaren SP with three cars, since originally I wasn’t aware that Juan Pablo Montoya would be running the “Indy Double,” seemed a Ghost of his past Self Ontrack this weekend.
While I read on Racer.com AMSP “Boss” Taylor Keele claiming that Montoya and the No. 86 Boyz’ were just using the Indy GP as a tune-up for the Indianapolis 500, nonetheless, JPM started P25, Dead last and even being Outqualified by Jimmy Johnson, YOUCH! Before finishing P21 and think he ultimately went One lap down when trying to keep race leader VeeKay behind him.
As my question is has the Dallara DW12 changed that radically since Monty’ last drove one in the 2017 Indy 500 for Team Penske? As I know we’ve got the Universal Aero Kit (UAK) on the IR18 Dallara Spec chassis now. Along with the Aeroscreen adding what was it? 50 or 60lb atop the racecar and changing it’s balance. But is this a sign of how Team Penske’s cars are superior vs. the Upstart Arrow McLaren SP wanna-be’s or an indication of how much more competitive the field has become vs. Montoya’s Skills diminishing due to being 45 and having been away from IndyCar’s for four years?
Then again, Pato O’Ward was pretty much invisible this weekend with a less than impressive 15th place finish after starting P18. While Felix rosenqvist’s Rollercoaster season continued, seeing the Swede finish P17, albeit qualifying a team best 13th.
As I’m Not saying that Montoya’s a Slouch behind the wheel, and have never thought so. But it’s gotta smart somewhat to finish one place behind A.J. Foyt Racing’s Dalton Kellett, who in F1 Parlance would be deemed nothing more than a “Pay Driver,” Zoinks!
While what to say about the Andretti Autosport Boyz’, Eh? In what ultimately had to be another disappointing performance, although at least Alexander Rossi and Ryan Hunter-Reay righted their beleaguered Ships somewhat by moving up multiple places to finish P7 and 12th respectively…