Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:17 PM
Rubens Barrichello may be the most experienced driver in the Indianapolis 500 field, but at IMS, he's only a rookie. And he knows it. Though Barrichello has been entirely flawless this month, he's the first to admit how humbling the Speedway is. For a man who has seen all of Europe's greatest circuits, calling the four corners of Indianapolis among the hardest he's ever negotiated is very high praise, and based on past performances of first-year drivers, it's very accurate. But Barrichello's been smooth, delivering under pressure to turn his fastest four laps of the month in qualifying. He, too, has endeared himself to the fans like few other F1 imports have, taking time to sign autographs, and always displaying a positive, respectful attitude. He's not afraid of some fun at his own expense, either, letting Robin Miller take him to the Mug 'N Bun last week.
In 2009, Alex Tagliani failed to qualify for the Indy 500, and sponsor obligations meant he would have to step into Bruno Junqueira's car. The next year, Tagliani owned the FAZZT Racing team, and when he decided to field a second car, he knew it would only be fair to field Junqueira. Boosted by his classy gesture, Tagliani finished tenth that year, his best finish to date at Indianapolis. It appeared as though he may change that, winning the pole just two years after losing out on Bump Day, but his 2011 race was filled with disappointment, something the one-time CART winner has become accustomed to. Tagliani now joins Bryan Herta Autosport, the defending winners, a team freshly with Honda power after struggling earlier this season.
Graham Rahal wasn't alive in 1986, when his father Bobby won the Indianapolis 500, but he still knows that the expectation for him to accomplish the same feat is there. He came as close as ever in 2011, finishing third, and returns to the same Chip Ganassi team that helped him get there. Though Rahal's attitude has been criticized in the past, his efforts with the Dan Wheldon auction and organizing a bus trip from Indianapolis to the Milwaukee Mile race have won him favor with crowd. Now he has to win favor with the Speedway, putting his two DNFs from three races in the past, and ending a losing streak that dates back to St. Petersburg 2008, his promise of winning more not yet manifesting.
SparkNotes: Everyone's a winner.
Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:40 PM
Little under six days until the 500! So excited.
Posted 21 May 2012 - 10:54 PM
Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:34 PM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:55 AM
I'll give you a hint. He's married to Robin Miller's favorite woman1 and is third from either direction in the bottom row of my signature.
1 Every woman who has ever been within a hundred feet of Miller is his favorite, especially if she's already in some type of committed relationship with a driver. James Hinchcliffe's "sister," whom Craig mentioned, is actually his secret new girlfriend, Kirsten Dee, Miss Indy Australia from some year. Rebecca Hinchcliffe owns a pet spa in Ontario and may or may not be James' PR girl at Indy this year (I'm pretty sure she was the other girl around Hinchcliffe's car after his qualifying run). None of this matters but it's a slow news day in Speedway, other than Jenna Fryer with her typical anti-IndyCar pro-NASCAR rumor-mongering about the penalties being unjustified and Roger Penske refusing to speak with Randy Bernard over the "turbogate stuff." Though I guess by mentioning the article and the content, I, too, am rumor-mongering. Oh dear.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:59 AM
Tim Cindric says one fine was warranted (Power's), but not the other (Briscoe's). He says after being caught for Power, they would have (would have? Did you or didn't you?) changed the brakes on Briscoe's.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't, eh?
IndyCar goes transparent with their penalties (finally), and now we get a lot of complaining about "well are they really fair." Next we'll get a whole imaginary court system like NASCAR.
Oh well, fines or no fines, it's the Indy 500 and that's good enough for me.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:02 AM
Some quotes, articles, and videos:
Oriol Servià said:
E.J. Viso said:
Will Power said:
That's an endorsement and a half considering the source.
Fluff piece about Briscoe: http://www.indystar....ut-Ryan-Briscoe
Wade Cunningham's cat, Tigger: http://bcove.me/2o7dr5cs
Fluff explanation of things you already know with Charlie Kimball: http://bcove.me/cugnzpd9
James Hinchcliffe talks about driving the #271 in the context of Danica and Dan: http://bcove.me/a9l4h0lb, you can tell he's hanging around Indiana a lot, starting to talk like a Hoosier
1 Only Canadian winner of the 500, Jacques Villeneuve, drove 27 that year.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:10 AM
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:59 AM
I don't want to turn my Indy 500 thread into an American open-wheel politics thread, so I shall present that as a fun fact without any comment further than this is the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and it's not always a spectacle exclusively for the racing.
Now to listen to the Delta Force theme and "Europe" by Tom Blades, the two songs most commonly associated with the 500, to start feeling good about race day again.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 05:28 AM
Paul Page said:
Between these walls, the risks are great. Emotions come from both ends of the spectrum. The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race is quite simply a spectacle, a celebration of technology and humanity. Today it celebrates the diamond anniversary running.
It was no different when the track was first planned. The first 500 was the spectacle of its day; the giant track beckoned the best of the age, and eighty thousand fans, many arriving by horse-and-buggy. Ray Harron won the first challenge.
Since then, the lineage has raced on, men who share a special look, the brotherhood of the best. Down the years, they have sought a common goal: victory in the Indianapolis 500.
In 1925, Pete DePaolo averaged one hundred miles per hour. Today, two-hundred-and-twenty is the standard.
In the 30s, the cars led the technology, cast iron and shaped sheet metal. Today, titanium and carbon fiber define the ultimate racing machine; space-age electronics now help tame the raging horsepower.
Danger has always been a passenger. Like the track and the speed, it is a constant, ever-present; it, too, is a part of the lure. Without that risk, the men are just ordinary. In a flash, a skilled drive transforms to disaster, but man can, and does, survive the machine.
This spring has proven no exception. The fates strike at random: Rick Mears, one of the best; Mark Dismore, one of the rookies; or veteran, Randy Lewis. Each spent his moment over the edge. But man triumphs, as did Rick, a day later, in a new car to take the pole at over two-hundred-and-twenty-four miles an hour.
Now the heroes of this age wait. They weigh the odds, consider the risks, and they pray the dream, today, will be theirs.
As much changes over seventy-five races, much stays the same. Skilled hands still lovingly caress and coax the ultimate performance. Thirty-four years ago, A.J. Foyt was an apprentice. Today he is a master, starting in the center of the front row. In 61, Tony Bettenhausen died chasing a victory. Today, his son may fulfill his father's dream. Twenty-six years ago, the rookie stripes came off for Mario. Today, there are four Andrettis. Now, the 500's first African-American and first Japanese will join the line. Jules Goux drank six bottles of champagne on his road to victory. Today, it's a frosty bottle of milk that awaits the eventual winner. That, and so much more.
The yard of bricks have (sic)1 witnessed the high-speed passage of history. In just a few hours, 500 miles from now, a seventy-fifth story will have been written, a new likeness will be added to a timeless silver cup, and a new name will sit atop the lineage of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing: the Indianapolis 500.
1 Should be has...talking about the singular yard, not the plural bricks...though I make far worse errors.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:07 PM
I have known for a few weeks from my email conversations with Mr. Bob Jenkins, the commentator who you may have heard on the NBC Sports Network this year among many other places in the past, that his wife had been seriously ill. Last night, Bob announced publicly that he will be leaving the broadcast at the end of May as his wife has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Bob himself is a cancer survivor.
He's had a great career in broadcasting. One of just five men in the entire world to be the voice of the Indianapolis 500 (radio announcer). He's also called the Indy 500 and IndyCar Series on television, as well as NASCAR Sprint Cup, Formula One, USAC, and the Champ Car World Series. Bob's been a huge advocate for the Indy 500 over every year, no matter what criticisms were being thrown at it. He loves Indy.
Best wishes to Bob and Pam Jenkins. Bob's a great, great guy.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:21 PM
ABC's coverage of the 96th running of the greatest race in the world will feature:
Host: Brent Musburger
Play-by-play: Marty Reid
Analysts: Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever, Jr.
Pit reporters: Dr. Jerry Punch, Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, and Vince Welch
Coverage begins at 11 AM GMT -5. The race goes green at 12:12 PM GMT -5.
Opening teaser (which I assume won't include Delta Force ) will focus on Hélio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power, and J.R. Hildebrand, a very welcome departure from past years where they were extreemly cinematic and lost sight of what they were actually broadcasting. If this is done well, I approve.
The coverage will include: a tribute to Dan Wheldon, a feature on J.R. Hildebrand and last year's final corner, James Hinchcliffe in a parody of the Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com commercials (this could either really suck or be awesome), Dario Franchitti touring the IMS museum, Charlie Kimball and a 12-year-old girl with diabetes, a detailed look at the DW12, and a piece on Memorial Day that will no doubt be nice but seems to be a bit misplaced in Indy 500 coverage.
ESPN International will broadcast the race overseas.
Don't tell ESPN/ABC I told you this but I know where it will be streaming. PM me if needed.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:17 PM
Indianapolis 500 champions
Hélio Castro Neves: 3 (2001-02, 2009)
George Dario Marino Franchitti: 2 (2007, 2010)
Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2008)
Indianapolis 500 champions (teams)
Team Penske: 15 (1972, 1979, 1981, 1984-85, 1987-88, 1991, 1993-94, 2001-03, 2006, 2009)
Chip Ganassi Racing1: 3 (2000, 2008, 2010)
Andretti Autosport2: 2 (2005, 2007)
A.J. Foyt Enterprises: 2 (1977, 1999)
Bryan Herta Autosport: 1 (2011)
RLL Racing: 1 (2004)
Indianapolis 500 polesitters
Hélio Castro Neves: 4 (2003, 2007, 2009-10)
Ryan Briscoe: 1 (2012)
Alexandre Tagliani: 1 (2011)
Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2008)
Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (2005)
Indianapolis 500 rookies of the year
John R. Hildebrand, Jr. (2011)
Simona de Silvestro (2010)
Alexandre Tagliani (2009)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008)
Marco Michael Andretti (2006)
Hélio Castro Neves (2001)
George Dario Marino Franchitti: 4 (2007, 2009-11)
Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 4 (2004-07)
Scott Ronald Dixon: 2 (2003, 2008)
Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (2004)
Freedom 100 champions
Wade Cunningham: 3 (2006, 2009-10)
Josef Newgarden: 1 (2011)
Everette Edward Carpenter, Jr.: 1 (2003)
Indy Lights series champions
Josef Newgarden: 1 (2011)
John R. Hildebrand, Jr.: 1 (2009)
Wade Cunningham: 1 (2005)
Townsend Bell: 1 (2001)
Scott Ronald Dixon: 1 (2000)
Oriol Servià i Imbers: 1 (1999)
Antoine Rizkallah Kanaan Filho: 1 (1997)
Grand Prix de Monaco participants
Rubens Gonçalves Barrichello: 19 (1993-2011)
Giovanni Alesi: 12 (1990-2001)
Satō Takuma: 4 (2002, 2004, 2006-07)
Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 2 (2008-09)
Justin Boyd Wilson: 1 (2003)
Daytona 500 participants
George Dario Marino Franchitti: 1 (2008)
24 Heures du Mans participants
Sébastien Olivier Bourdais: 9 (1999-2002, 2004, 2007, 2009-11)
Simon Pagenaud: 4 (2008-11)
Giovanni Alesi: 2 (1989, 2010)
Marco Michael Andretti: 1 (2010)
Justin Boyd Wilson: 1 (2004)
1 Chip Ganassi was a minority owner of the Patrick Racing entry that won the 1989 Indianapolis 500 prior to the formation of his own team.
2 Does not include Team Green (1995 Indianapolis 500 champions); though the team originated as Team Green, that ownership group no longer has any involvement in the team, and thus only results from the Michael Andretti majority ownership era are counted.
3 I include every series of American Championship car racing. We're merged. Deal with it.
Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:49 PM
"25 men, 3 women, 5 ex F1 drivers"
So on that basis, F1 drivers are neither male nor female...
Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:18 PM
Lotus will use the 130 kPa boost just like everyone else. Good call, INDYCAR. That's fair and correct.
With a great guy, Bob Jenkins, stepping down...I just thought I'd leave two little videos. Ten years apart, two of the best races ever run, both called in part by Bob. The first one, Bob is in turn four (and Paul Page calls the finish...what a lineup). The second one, Bob's the lead announcer (start/finish and main straight; first to talk). One of his best calls.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 05:32 PM
I shall leave this as the only comment I find fitting:
Scott Dixon said:
Though, to be fair, on the subject of pairs, it takes a pair to wear white sunglasses at Indy so good for Dan for not giving a damn.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:35 PM
...and there's no entry list on the entire Internet. Come on! Best guess I have:
2. Gustavo Yacamán (Team Moore Racing) - Colombian prospect with the recommendation of Montoya, one of the most experienced Lights drivers in the field
3. Victor Carbone (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Second-year driver with the top team
4. Jorge Goncalvez (Belardi Auto Racing) - Last year, Bryan Clauson made an incredible move, which led to both Belardi cars wrecking. Goncalvez got the worst of it:
7. Oliver Webb (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Was racing over in Europe prior to this, has some promise.
8. Alex Jones (Brooks Associates Racing) - Welsh driver who I know very little about.
9. Alon Day (Belardi Auto Racing) - Israeli driver with an F3 background.
11. Esteban Guerrieri (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - Guy was lights-out in World Series by Renault. With more money, he would have been in F1.
16. Peter Dempsey (Younessi Racing) - The faster Dempsey in auto racing, this one from Ireland, very talented.
19. Mike Larrison (Belardi Auto Racing) - Indiana native who has raced motocross, karts, and sprint cars in the past.
20. Darryl Willis (Hillenburg Motorsports) - 50-year-old rookie from Corpus Christi, TX, home of the NASCAR champion Labonte brothers.
22. David Ostella (Team Moore Racing) - He's Canadian.
24. Armaan Ebrahim (Fan Force United) - Known in Europe for participating in GP2, F2, and other series.
26. Carlos Muñoz (Andretti Autosport) - Spent the last two years in F3 Euro with few results.
27. Sebastián Saavedra (Andretti Autosport) - Also running the Indianapolis 500 this year. Perhaps the favorite to win.
28. Anders Krohn (Bryan Herta Autosport) - THE VIKING. Before he wrecked, he was absolutely hauling last year, really made the high line work. Exciting to watch.
42. Emerson Newton-John (Fan Force United) - Of the Newton-John family. Maybe Olivia's nephew or something like that.
76. Juan Pablo García (Jeffrey Mark Motorsport) - A bit of a journeyman driver in Indy Lights over the years.
77. Tristan Vautier (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) - French Star Mazda champion. This guy's really good. Finished first in his first Indy Lights race, second in his second, and third in his third.
86. J.V. Horto (Juncos Racing) - Had a win in Star Mazda last year.
87. Chase Austin (Juncos Racing) - Only African-American in the field; formerly part of the Hendrick Motorsports and Rusty Wallace development teams on the stock car side before Willy T. Ribbs brought him over to Indy-style racing last year.
Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:44 PM
I can't believe we're going to make it all month without a single session rained out! Very cool.
Gov. Mitch Daniels will wave the green flag.
Howie Mandel will give the "all cars to the grid" command pre-race.
Fly-over will be a Heritage Flight. One A10, one F16, and two P51s.
Jim Nabors will not be in attendance due to health issues. A recording of him singing "Back Home Again in Indiana" will be played instead.
The United States national anthem will be performed by Martina McBride.
Guy Fieri will drive the pace car.
The more you know...
Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:45 PM
Ryan Briscoe: Takes huge criticism for un-Penske-like performance. Every year the armchair team managers fire him. Big-time redemption if he pulls it off.
James Hinchcliffe: Driving the car Danica couldn't win in and the car Wheldon would have driven this year. Just about the best personality to send out to the mainstream media, too. All he's needed to be a superstar are better results; a win is a damn good result.
Ryan Hunter-Reay: He joined Racing with Cancer a few years ago due to his mother's battle with it. Very cool for him to be involved in that.
Marco Andretti: The most famous surname in racing (at least in this country) only won the most famous race once. Marco needs to undo all the tracks' crimes against his grandfather, father, and even himself in 2006.
Will Power: He's arguably the best driver in the series but has no concrete results to back that up. He needs to win the big one, especially because it's an oval.
Hélio Castroneves: He'd be tied for the all-time greatest driver at the Speedway with four wins.
Josef Newgarden: I think everyone wants to see Sarah and Andy in victory lane. Huge underdogs who really built a great little team and did an awesome job signing someone with a bright future. Great people in this group.
Tony Kanaan: The victory lane celebration. Can you imagine? No one would appreciate this more than Tony.
E.J. Viso: It would be a huge surprise, but a real turning of the corner for a guy who sometimes struggles to turn corners.
Rubens Barrichello: He's just such a great guy. I'd be happy for him and I'm sure his wife, who isn't the world's biggest oval-racing fan, would be glad she let him do it.
Alex Tagliani: It'd be great to see Bryan Herta get back there, and Tagliani's an emotional guy, so it'd be a good interview. After building his team his way and then having Sam Schmidt remove him from it, and after all the ups and downs he's had in his career, like in Germany 2001 and then again at Vegas 2011 which he took pretty hard, it'd just be cool for him.
Graham Rahal: We've been waiting years for him to do that. Second-generation Rahal to win if he did.
Ana Beatriz: She'd be the first woman to win the 500, and I bet it would help her get a ride after a disappointing year in 2011. Indy has a huge following in Brazil, too, so a lot of people would appreciate it.
Charlie Kimball: This guy was the goat last year. A lot of people blamed him, wrongly, for the Hildebrand wreck. And that doesn't even get into the diabetes thing. He and his sponsor are great ambassadors for the sport and for diabetics.
Scott Dixon: Watching him win from the outside of row five would be really cool. First time in a while a Ganassi win would be a surprise.
Dario Franchitti: Similar to Dixon, but also to mention that he'd be a three-time winner, which would then create, assuming both return in 2013, a race to four wins between himself and Castroneves. That'd be really cool. I don't think there's ever been a time when two drivers could win their fourth in the same race.
James Jakes: Failed to qualify in 2011, wins in 2012 is a pretty cool story. And you have to love Dale Coyne and what he's done to build his team and keep it going for decades despite such limited success and resources.
J.R. Hildebrand: Corner 800. That's all I'll say about this one.
Takuma Sato: First Asian to win Indy if he did. Good guy, too.
Townsend Bell: He's sort of been a forgotten talent, partly because he's chosen not to be full-time, but also partly because he's always been passed on by teams. I think they'd remember him if he won the 500.
Justin Wilson: Gave Dale Coyne his first, now give Dale Coyne his first big one.
Michel Jourdain, Jr.: Sixteen years between his rookie year and his return for his second one. I don't think anyone would expect it, at all.
Simon Pagenaud: A lot of people would love to see Sam Schmidt win Indy.
Sebastián Saavedra: It's his first normal 500. Qualified in 2010 while on a stretcher headed to the hospital. Failed to qualify in 2011. He has his big break, and it's great seeing people make something out of their big breaks.
Sébastien Bourdais: Dragon Racing debuts Thursday, makes up all the lost time and wins the race. That would be huge for the team that worked nights into 3 AM to get these cars ready. Plus a return to victory for one of the greats.
Wade Cunningham: A.J. Foyt's team returns to the glory that's eluded them for quite some time with a kid who has been turned down for six years after his Lights title. Plus he has a nice cat.
Oriol Servià: The journeyman driver hits it big. Only has one win in his entire career despite multiple top five points finishes; probably should have two after the Loudon controversy but hey, the records say Hunter-Reay won so what are you going to do? Recycled to a Lotus team when Newman/Haas closes, wrecks a car, comes back.
Ed Carpenter: The USAC boy from Indiana. I think a lot of people go to Indy and say "he's one of us." Winning in a team he built himself would be cool.
Mike Conway: After everything he's gone through at Indy, serious injuries, failing to qualify, having times disallowed this year, the fact he even comes back to this place every year is commendable.
Katherine Legge: Would be the first female to win, and to win for her Dragon Racing team that worked so damn hard to make this happen.
Bryan Clauson: The other USAC boy from Indiana. Randy Bernard takes a chance on this kid, rejected by NASCAR for a lack of money, tearing up all the oval tracks, dirt and paved, across the country and can't get his break. Small team with Fisher, wrecked race car, it'd be awesome to see him win.
Simona de Silvestro: Would be the first female to win, and what an upset with a Lotus.
Jean Alesi: Last to first in a Lotus at 48 years old. That would be tremendous.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:54 AM
I hope Franchitti doesn't win. Nor Helio. Would love a TK win. Or someone completely out of the blue.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:27 PM
The 27 is the same team as last year's 7. He replaced Danica. It's not the same chassis and engine but it's still the Danicar to me.
Pit stops every 20-30 laps for fuel. Tires will likely outlast that. Cunningham expects up to ten stops (including yellows). Chevrolet getting much better fuel economy than Honda which says to me that Chevrolet's going to win this one. You never know at Indy, though, but fuel mileage is probably the number one thing.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:54 PM
Still trying to figure out who is actually entered in this race. I see Brandon Wagner is in the Team E car; I didn't have him on my list. He's a former sprint/midget driver with some Davey Hamilton ties. Won an Indy Lights race in 2010 if I recall correctly.
Fast lap right now is 188.428 mph. About six miles per hour clear of the NASCAR pole speed. I've always advocated giving Indy Lights a boost to be more like IndyCar to ease the transition of promising young rookies into the big show. One idea I've had was to take last year's Dallara, give it a less powerful engine, and make that the new Indy Lights car when the DW12 came into play. Obviously, they didn't do that.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:03 PM
Thirty-third place in the 500 pays more than a win in any other IndyCar race. The way it should be.
Thirty-third place in the 500 also pays more than third place will pay in that night's Coca-Cola 600.
This race is still a pretty big deal.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:06 PM
Looks like Alex Jones and Darryl Willis aren't there, while Team E and Brandon Wagner are. My guess wasn't so bad after all.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:00 PM
Gustavo Yacamán starts from the pole. Victor Carbone, Carlos Muñoz, Jorge Goncalvez the top four. Five through nineteen are being kept a secret by the series' own website so no help there.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:16 PM
Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:37 PM
Bryan Clauson is racing in the Hoosier Hundred tomorrow night as well as the Indy 500 Sunday.
But two races in a weekend is nothing if you were Tony Stewart, John Andretti, or Robby Gordon running the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
Tony Stewart completed all 1,100 miles in 2001, and 1,090 miles in 1999 (he finished both races, but was four laps down at Indy). Robby Gordon was good for 1,098.5 miles in 2002 (completed all but one lap at Charlotte). John Andretti did 840 miles in 1994 (finished Indy four laps down, did not complete Charlotte). Robby Gordon attempted the double in 2003 and 2004, as well. In 2003, the Coca-Cola 600 was shortened due to rain, and in 2004, the Indy 500 was shortened by rain (due to rain delays, Gordon actually left for Charlotte before the race was called and Jaques Lazier drove the car for the remainder of the laps run).
Petit Le Mans is a 1,000 mile race, to put that into perspective.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:52 PM
This is it guys. Just one more practice session, then the cars won't be on the track until Sunday, sometime in that pre-noon, post-morning period, when they line up in eleven rows of three on the track and eventually roll off just past noon GMT -5. Good stuff.
Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:31 PM
Fun trivia: I have been to far more Girl Scouts meeting than Boy Scouts meetings.
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