Posted 12 May 2012 - 10:01 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 12:48 AM
Engines are leased at a loss to the supplier. The loss is supposed to be made up for by marketing benefits (which don't really exist when no one watches, but...). They did this so it was cheap for teams; that made it easier to get high grids at normal races. But at Indy, the more engines you run, the more of a loss you're getting, and Indy's the only race with any marketing benefit whatsoever, so they want to do this as low-cost as possible. Hence they aren't willing to open up leases to teams, and I certainly suspect they conspired to not have more than 33 because a lease that FTQs is a big loss.
Aerokits will also be leased at a loss to the supplier. Not a lot of suppliers jumping up and down to do that, but that's a way from now. What matters now is that we only have 29 entries that 1) have engines and 2) have drivers who have passed orientation.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:26 PM
Justin Wilson is on top at 220.615. He did that lap with a huge tow from J.R. Hildebrand.
His teammate, James Jakes, is second: 218.905. Bryan Clauson and Charlie Kimball complete a Honda sweep of the top four. Not the names I expected to see on top, though there's still a long way to go.
Hunter-Reay, Hildebrand, and Saavedra take the next three spots for Andretti. Rounding out the top ten currently: Hildebrand, Newgarden, and Servià.
No Penske or Target Ganassi cars in sight. I like that. Ana Beatriz is heading out; Andretti drove her car earlier.
Jean Alesi is slowest. 204.860. Simona de Silvestro is yet to turn a lap.
Wade Cunningham ran today. His fastest time is 215.165, which puts him twenty-third. I assume he passed the third phase, but I don't know yet.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:42 PM
Green flag back out and we're going...well, we aren't, I personally am not, and no one else is.
Ana Beatriz in the #25: 214.745. Marco Andretti in the #25: 214.745. Car's pretty consistent, eh?
Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:46 PM
I figure IndyCar will give it to Alesi if he keeps running steady. It's becoming evident that a Lotus-engined car isn't capable of going over 210 mph. Alesi's been solid. Not a hazard for his driving. I'd approve him. Better than Simona so far. She goes to 200.571 now. About what she was doing yesterday.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 07:56 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:26 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:51 PM
We have 10 minutes to go. Sebastián Saavedra is fastest. 221.556. Getting quicker. Teammates Bryan Clauson and Josef Newgarden are second and third. 221.173 and 221.158 for those guys. Dixon and Wilson rounding otu the top five.
Simona de Silvestro is 20 mph off the pace. She's just plain dangerous out there.
Tony Kanaan was in the #8 for Rubens Barrichello. Back in his old role as setup guy. Ironically, his setups never really worked for his teammates. Patrick felt much more comfortable in 2007 with Franchitti's setup than Kanaan's in 2008+.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 09:55 PM
Carpenter (P11) and de Silvestro (P33) out with five minutes to go.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:01 PM
Simona goes purple. That's 202.179. Embarrassing engine with a not-that-great driver. Bad combo.
Tagliani and Jourdain out for the senior circuit...and Tagliani pits without doing a lap.
I think I've figured the DW12 out. Solid color livery: awful. But with a design, it's not too bad. Especially on the nose; there needs to be some sort of trim or something on the nose. I hated the chrome noses on the Andretti cars last year, but this year, they actually help.
Jourdain does his best of the day. 10 mph plus off the pace, it's 211.267.
Tagliani's back out. I wonder if he's doing pit stop practice? Hard to tell. No, he stays out now, one minute to go.
213.679 for Jourdain, best of the day for him.
Tagliani and Jourdain will take the checkers this time around.
214.117, Jourdain ends with his daily best. Tagliani ends at a 215.725. He had been quicker earlier.
That's it for day two.
Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:03 PM
Posted 13 May 2012 - 10:14 PM
I suspect no one is really trimming out the cars and getting crazy with downforce leves.
Which makes me wonder...how much faster can they really go...even without the extra horsepower they will get on Friday through Sunday...
Posted 13 May 2012 - 11:27 PM
Another source of unknown credibility has stated that there are a few options to replace the two Dragon cars. I'm not sure what those options would be. I know Roger Penske has said himself he'd field a fourth car for the sake of the 500 if no one else stepped up. Maybe an HVM second for Legge, and a Penske fourth for "helluva driver" Sébastien Bourdais? That seems like a popular theory, but one that doesn't have the greatest basis right now.
Just get Bourdais in something good. The guy deserves it. He may be the best driver overall in the entire series, no exaggeration. I think he could take Bill, and for those discounting him on ovals, the guy was unbeatable in Champ Car on ovals, and beat all the NASCAR drivers at Texas in IROC, which was a NASCAR series running NASCAR tracks for NASCAR drivers to get an ego boost in very NASCAR-esque spec cars set up by old, retired NASCAR drivers. The guy's good. He'd win the title with ease if he had Penske/Ganassi stuff and it's a shame he's out-priced himself out of a good ride. He wants to get paid and few are paying. He's also not the easiest to work with.
But he's good.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:07 PM
I actually never realized he had a mullet, until I watched an interview with him from rookie orientation. Seems like a bit of a jerk. I'm disappointed. He's a good driver. They've always said he has an attitude problem, and parties too much, and all sorts of stuff and now I can see a bit of the attitude in the media. I hope Foyt sets him straight. It's always been "Wade deserves a ride, but no one will hire him because he's just not good within a team." Similar to Tomas Scheckter, one of Wade's buddies, just that Scheckter also has a proven track record of crashing a lot. I guess the people in the garage sort of knew, but Foyt won't take crap. Then again, Foyt wouldn't sell out his ride to someone who failed to qualify...oh wait.
But the hair...I'd respect it if it were his own, so I'll pretend it was.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 02:20 PM
105% will not be enforced in qualifying. They're tight on entries, obviously, so they aren't sending anyone home. However, 105% will somehow be enforced during the race (how, I do not know...are they going to recalculate 105% of the fastest lap every single lap? Seems tedious. They can't use pole speed; there's an extra 50 horsepower on Pole Day. I'm sure it will be enforced by a "that driver looks slow" judgment call). Anyway, the consensus is that both Lotus entries will be black-flagged pretty quickly.
Simona de Silvestro is afraid of pushing the car too hard. I guess the handling is really awful and she goes in and out of having grip. How the hell do Alesi and Fan Force United, a new driver and team, figure out how to get a Lotus to stick enough to do 208s, and HVM, a team that's won in IndyCar with a driver who has done this three years now, have no idea how to get a car to handle properly?
Because Bump Day won't feature bumping, IndyCar are planning to do something. No, not entice engine suppliers to release some engines, though Jay Howard and Vitor Meira are both floating around with some money to spend. They'll award a prize of about $5,000 to the fastest driver at the top of each hour. I don't think that's going to really generate too much excitement, but...
And then there's Dragon. If they drop the lawsuit, they are still contracted with Lotus, and can only run a Lotus. But they won't run a Lotus, so they will only drop if Lotus releases them, and even then, that's not a guarantee they'll drop. If they don't drop, they don't get a Chevrolet/Honda under any circumstances.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:54 PM
May is so kind to my post count.
Yesterday, Curt Cavin suggested that Scott Dixon, Takuma Sato, and Dario Franchitti were the fastest without any tow. That would bode well for their qualifying. However, drivers will tell you that you get a tow even if the car is on the opposite end of the track, so it would have to be purely single car. Sato was quickly up to speed, though, on day one, doing four laps all by himself.
Practice is about two hours in now on racecontrol.indycar.com.
Newgarden, Saavedra, Kanaan, Clauson, and Andretti are the top five right now. SFHR are just plain fast in every session. This is going to be fun.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:58 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:01 PM
Interesting to hear Newgarden, an Indy rookie, make comments a bit different from some of the veterans complaining about turbulence. Newgarden doesn't seem to mind, and perhaps that's why he is so fast.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:10 PM
The Honda engine sounds good, and these cars don't look so bad at speed. Some liveries look good at all angles. And I think we're going to see some good racing. I can get used to the oval-spec DW12.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:13 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:14 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:18 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:25 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:36 PM
Good rivalry of two young surprises.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:42 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 08:12 PM
Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:47 PM
Josef Newgarden has reclaimed the top spot, he did a 222.486. Ryan Hunter-Reay: 221.639. Andretti and Saavedra are third and fourth, that's three AA-prepared cars in the top four. J.R. Hildebrand locks Penske and Ganassi out of the top five once more, but Franchitti is a stout sixth. Servià, Sato, Hinchcliffe, and Dixon round out the current top ten with a few cars on track now.
Big surprise? How far off Penske is! They sent all three cars out, plus James Jakes, to do a huge tow. They broke off into two-car tows, they had three and four cars towing, they tried it all, and they hold 15-17. It's going to be a fuel strategy kind of race for Roger's boys. Don't count them out.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:51 PM
I would say a tow is good for 2-3 mph around the track. So 218-219 is a reasonable speed. Add the horsepower and go negative angle with the wings and I think my 223-224 estimate for Pole Day is very fair.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 09:52 PM
And Dixon goes to fourth thanks to that. 221.499.
Posted 14 May 2012 - 10:01 PM
Definitely been a lot more laps turned today than the other days.
Strange: Wilson is slower than Jakes, even though Jakes is the leading car and Wilson is the one in the draft. Hmm...
Now Jakes peels off and Wilson and Jourdain are out there on opposite ends to close out the session. Dixon comes out between them.
One minute now.
Jourdain's best of the day: 215.970. He's well off his teammate Takuma Sato, though it has been sixteen years since he last raced in the Indy 500. Last Champ Car race? 2004. Last win? 2003, same year he last ran a speedway (EuroSpeedway Lausitz for a 500k race. He finished third).
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