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Castroneves wins at St Petersburg
25th March 2012, 22:21 at 10:21 pm #131161
Good win for Castroneves today, particularly impressed with his pass on Dixon at turn one. Relaxing the defensive driving rules seems to have paid off!
Power looked to have it under control over the first dozen laps but that early pit call was a disaster.
Bourdais showed some good pace with the Lotus engine during the race as well but they’re clearly suffering from limited development and have some work to do.
And a fairly low-key run from Barrichello on his debut with 17th, spoiled by a late-race ‘splash and dash’.
Judging from his interview before the race I’d say Franchitti still has some significant reservations about the new car. Dropping to 13th on the last lap by running out of fuel won’t have improved matters. But if anyone stood to lose from the switch away from the old cars it was the guy who won four titles in them.
The first race with the new cars wasn’t a classic and there were some technical problems, though really not as many as there might have been. The good news for the season ahead is Chevrolet and Honda seem closely-matched.25th March 2012, 23:06 at 11:06 pm #198067
Loved it! Congrats Helio. Rubens is going to find out there are some very good drivers in IndyCar.26th March 2012, 5:52 at 5:52 am #198068
A great race! I look forward to seeing more of these young guys mixing it up.26th March 2012, 10:19 at 10:19 am #198069
Great to see Helio win. Kind of perfect it was the fence-climbing Brazilian who did it in Wheldon’s home town. Great scenes after the flag.
Outside the big guns, very impressed with Pagenaud and Newgarden. Top run for Hinch too considering he didn’t do St. Pete last season, and tough on Taku. Roll on Barber!26th March 2012, 14:10 at 2:10 pm #198070
Remarks from Barrichello on his debut:
The strategy in F1 is to just fill up the car and go. In IndyCar racing, there are so many elements of strategy in relation to the yellow flags and fuel. It’s something I’m going to have to learn. I wasn’t really allowed to push the car as hard as I could today, and that was frustrating.26th March 2012, 15:27 at 3:27 pm #198071
Think he’ll have a better run at Barber, nice big open facility where errors are punished by a trip through the grass rather than heavy contact with the wall. It should also be a more straightforward race there.26th March 2012, 15:56 at 3:56 pm #198072
Great to see Helio banging on the Dan Wheldon Way street sign at the end of the race. It will be iteresting to see how Rubens qualifys at Barber next weekend.
Thanks for including IndyCar news Keith!27th March 2012, 4:03 at 4:03 am #198073
Finally got to see the recording tonight. The first half of the race made it seem like it was gonna be a processional, but apparently everyone was just getting their feet wet in the new car. Have to say things REALLY came alive in the second half and I fully agree that the new relaxed blocking rules made for MUCH better racing. Helio’s outside maneuver into turn one was great one. Sad to see Ruby finish so far down, but not too surprised. It’s gonna be a few races of a learning curve, I think, but by the end of the season I expect he’ll be dicing higher in the field.
All in all, this was a worthy first round for this year.27th March 2012, 13:27 at 1:27 pm #198074
Some interesting comments from Pippa Mann on Twitter:
This weekend as someone who was standing on the inside of turn one I saw a LOT of passing. Looking thru my live tweeting timeline from Sun I have counted 12 passes that I saw live into turn one for position inside the top 10 – including a pass around the outside for the lead. The crowd were on their feet and cheering lap after lap.
Even if no one passed on a particular lap someone was looking, thinking… I also saw attempted passes into one where the other car ducked back underneath, or held inside line thru 2 to maintain position.
To me, a kid who grew up a race fan, it was great side by side action. And it went right down to the last lap when JW passed Josef for p10.
Is it hard to pass in this style of cars? Yes. But there WAS passing this weekend, and plenty of it! I just wish TV had shown it…
I know the directors have a tough job, but it kills me when there was so much action in real life & so little made it to you guys at home!27th March 2012, 18:46 at 6:46 pm #198075
To much fuel saving by everybody dont you think ??27th March 2012, 20:02 at 8:02 pm #198076
I don’t think so. I think that’s just how the yellows played out and wound up luring most into a strategy that required a bit of discretion with the pedal on the right.28th March 2012, 3:53 at 3:53 am #198077
Interesting remarks from Pippa and Rubens indeed. I think it was a very promising start to the season.
Helio was great and a true class act in honoring Dan.
Honda Vs. Chevy will be great, but I hope Lotus can get in on the action. Bourdais was looking excellent till he ran into car trouble.
As far as the fuel saving goes, I think it was exacerbated by the very short nature of the St. Pete layout. Laptimes just over one minute mean than any pitstop is going to be costly, it just means it’s easier to save fuel. That is of course, not as exciting. Next week at Barber should be a more exciting race on a proper circuit where Rubens can flex his muscle and the cars can show higher speeds. Should be great!
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