The temporary race track at Edmonton City Centre Airport (from above) where the Rexall Edmonton Indy was contested. It was formerly called the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton and was a round of the Champ Car World Series. It was one of three Champ Car races added to the 2008 IndyCar Series following the merger of the two American open wheel racing series. Image Credit: Edmonton City Centre Airport
It's Elation At Edmonton For CCWS/IRL Fans
Welcome to Edmonton, Indy Racing League officials and race fans.
The IRL was treated to some fantastic crowds (estimate at over 200,000 for the time of the event) and a warm CCWS reception all during the three days that the IndyCar Series was in town to compete at the Rexall Edmonton Indy - the IRL's first ever race in Canada. This is what it will be like at all former ChampCar World Series venues next year under a truly unified series. All the best drivers and all the best teams with enough experience throughout the paddock to make the 2009 season fun and competitive.
Here is the transcript generated as an off-line live blogging effort at The EDJE. The weather is perfect, clear and in the low 80's, with winds between 10-20 mph from the SE.
After three warm-up laps the pace car pulls off and the Green Flag is waved to start the race.
Race Start for the race held in 2008. This race was held by the ChampCar World Series and was won by Justin Wilson. Wilson qualified in position six and finished the race the highest of all the T-Team Eleven driver competing in the race today. Image Credit: Rexall Edmonton Indy
Graham Rahal gets through the first couple of corners then goes off track with a broken right rear suspension. Says he was tapped by Mario Moraes started 10th but soldiered on at 22nd.
Briscoe baubles and Castroneves takes over the lead.
Will Power started 5th came into the pits while running 13th for adjustments, fuel, and tires.
Will Power retires – left front wishbone is bent. Rolled the car back to the garage to see about replacement.
Tracy moves up to 10th position after starting 16th. Paul Tracy is making his first start of the IRL season even though he did run at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
Castroneves leads Briscoe by 3.2 seconds
Vitor Meira slides into the corner tires in turn one – brings out a full course Yellow and pit stops.
In the pits, Dixon skunks Servia to take over third position.
Restart – The Red & White parade is disrupted when Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Buddy Rice stay out to assume the lead over Penske (Castroneves and Briscoe), and Target Chip Ganassi’s Scott Dixon.
Right Rear wishbone of Dale Coyne Racing’s Mario Moraes breaks.
Andretti Green Racing’s Hideki Mutoh spins and crashes badly – Full Course Yellow.
Buddy Rice and Tony Kanaan come in to pit – Marco stays out.
Restart, Paul Tracy pulls up to position 11 behind Bruno Junqueira. Helio jumps all over Andretti and passes for the lead in to turn one.
Paul Tracy also jumps up a few positions on the restart to position 9.
Marco Andretti in the pits. Castroneves, Briscoe, Dixon, Servia, and Wilson round out the top five. Weldon, Bernoldi, Tracy, Hunter-Reay, and Junqueira make up the top ten.
Townsend Bell hits the tire barrier; it’s a tow – Full Course Yellow
Field takes a pit stop – Full fill up leaves a car about 7 laps short of making it to the end on Green.
Scott Dixon skunks both Penske cars off pit lane. Tony Kanaan stays out and assumes the lead. Other that stayed out include Foyt IV, Rice, and Carpenter.
Mario Dominguez climbed up to 14th at one time in the Pacific Coast Motorsports/Visit Mexico City Dallara, but had to retire due to mechanical problems. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)
Mario Dominguez of Pacific Coast Motorsports looses a right rear tire as a result of an improper tire change.
Dixon ordered behind Castroneves before restart.
Green, Green, Green – Kanaan leads the pack with 25 laps since his last pit stop.
Briscoe spins and looses places to the leaders – Ed Carpenter taps Briscoe and sends him to 17th.
AJ Foyt IV, passes Tony Kanaan for the lead. Tony spins and opens the door.
Briscoe in the pits, gets topped off on fuel and check for damage – can make it to the end.
Kanaan regains the lead on a driving miscue by AJ Foyt IV. EJ Viso punts Graham Rahal into the tires after Graham rejoins the race. Full Course Yellow
Dixon, Castroneves, Weldon, Tracy, and Wilson round out the top five at restart by staying out during pit open. Kanaan pitted.
Green Flag. Viso called in to the pits for a 15 second stop and go penalty.
Bernoldi spins and drops a couple of places from 12th place.
The top eight places will need a splash and go to complete the race if it remains Green. Ryan Briscoe riding in position 9 can make it all the way. Tracy is up to position 4 followed by Wilson, Servia, and Junqueira.
Servia passes Tracy for fourth. There is speculation that some of the top seven might make it to the end … laps will tell. Briscoe passed Danica Patrick to break into the top eight.
Wilson passes Tracy for fifth place. Twenty laps to go. Who will make it on gas to the end?
Marco taps tires with Danica Patrick and pushes her off of the track. Danica has a flat tire, Marco has a hurt wing and drops back to 15th. Local caution only.
Briscoe passes Junqueira for seventh position. The race is announced to become a timed race – to be run less than the 95 original laps.
Wilson assumes 3rd, Weldon drops back to 6th. Fourteen cars on the lead lap.
Castroneves locks his brakes and looses time behind leader Scott Dixon.
Junqueira passes Weldon for 6th.
Bruno Junqueira sputters and drops back to 11th. Briscoe up to 6th.
White Flag – Dixon, Weldon, Wilson, Servia, and Tracy in the top five for the last lap. Paul Tracy passes Oriol Servia for 4th place on this last lap!
Major thanks has to given to Tony George for clearing the way for Forsythe Racing to race under the Vision Racing banner with a Forsythe prepared SubWay Restruants sponsored Dallara. Image Credit: Covy Moore (2008)
The T-Team Eleven is bolstered by the presence of Paul Tracy who raced his first ever race in a Dallara all the way to the end.
Here is how the transition team drivers fared:
Pos. Driver/Car No C/E/T S Qual Speed Laps XL LL Status Pts
3 Justin Wilson McDonald's Racing Team 02 D/H/F 6 0.000 91 0 0 Running 35
4 Paul Tracy Subway/ Vision 22 D/H/F 15 114.122 91 0 0 Running 32
5 Oriol Servia KV Racing Technology 5 D/H/F 3 116.710 91 0 0 Running 30
14 Bruno Junqueira Z-Line Designs 18 D/H/F 7 115.871 91 0 0 Running 16
15 E.J. Viso PDVSA HVM Racing 33 D/H/F 20 112.879 90 0 0 Running 15
16 Enrique Bernoldi Sangari Conquest Racing 36 D/H/F 11 114.519 90 0 0 Running 14
20 Mario Moraes Sonny's Bar-B-Q 19 D/H/F 10 115.015 85 0 0 Running 12
22 Will Power Aussie Vineyards-Team Australia 8 D/H/F 5 116.410 72 0 0 Running 12
23 Jaime Camara Sangari 34 D/H/F 26 111.229 68 0 0 Mechanical 12
24 Mario Dominguez Visit Mexico City/PCM Racing 96 D/H/F 19 112.500 51 0 0 Off Course 12
26 Graham Rahal Rexall-Oilers 06 D/H/F 8 115.573 44 0 0 Contact 10
A really good race in general - not a great race for the overall advancement in the Rookie-Of-The-Year points race due to the fact Will Power could not take advantage of a last place finish by Hideki Mutoh, the current points leader (moved from 31 to 29 points behind).
... notes from The EDJE