Sunday, August 31, 2008

T-Time At The Detroit Grand Prix In Belle Isle

Justin Wilson claimed his first win in the IRL IndyCar Series in Detroit after Helio Castroneves was awarded to relinquish the lead by race control having allegedly blocked the Newman/Haas/Lanigan driver. /// Until the controversial late call by the officials, Castroneves looked set to take his third win at the Detroit street course and carve into title rival Scott Dixon's championship lead. With Dixon only finishing fifth, Castroneves has still reduced his deficit, but the title is now Dixon's to lose at Chicagoland next week. Image Credit:
T-Time At The Detroit Grand Prix In Belle Isle

On a very tight street course and a former staple on the Champ Car Series, the race featured three of the "Transition Team" drivers in the final “Firestone Fast Six” shootout in the knockout qualifying format used for street/road courses.

At the end of the 12 minute session where the drivers are ranked by the fastest time they are able to post, Justin Wilson (NHL Racing) and Oriol Servia (KVRT) filled the second row in positions 2 and 3 on the grid. Graham Rahal, Wilson’s teammate was not able to improve beyond position #6.

Originally, the Detroit GP was held around the Renaissance Center downtown and the track was hard on both car and driver. The racing surface was very rough and included a railroad crossing! The circuit was also very narrow with concrete barriers surrounding the track with little run-off room. This resulted in a high level of attrition. By 1989, F1 had had enough and terminated the Detroit GP, but CART stepped in and raced at the current location, but not the current configuration, on Belle Isle. Michael Andretti won the pole of that innaugural race at Belle Isle, but at the end of the day it was Emerson Fittipaldi, winner of that year's Indianapolis 500, who emerged victorious. Belle Isle was also the location of Helio Castroneves first major open-wheel victory, finishing first in both the 2000 and 2001 GPs. 2001 was the last year for the CART races at Belle Isle, and racing didn't return until Roger Penske organized a complete revamping of the circuit in 2007. The area was made much more accessable and many of the fan areas and paddock areas were paved to avoid the mudpits that the paddock had become in previous years. Image Credit: IndyCar Garage

This excerpted from -

Dixon beats Castroneves to pole

By Matt Beer Saturday, August 30th 2008, 17:07 GMT

Pos Driver Team Time:
1. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1:12.2861
2. Helio Castroneves Penske 1:12.7649
3. Oriol Servia KV 1:12.9618
4. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1:13.0530
5. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1:13.1004
6. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan 1:13.6464
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman 1:12.9511
8. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green 1:13.2339
9. EJ Viso HVM 1:13.5354
10. Danica Patrick Andretti Green 1:13.9158
11. Dan Wheldon Ganassi 1:13.9267
12. Will Power KV no time
13. Marco Andretti Andretti Green 1:14.1623
14. Vitor Meira Panther 1:13.6678
15. Darren Manning Foyt 1:14.2619
16. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green 1:13.9010
17. AJ Foyt IV Vision 1:14.3486
18. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold 1:15.0969
19. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne 1:14.4841
20. Ed Carpenter Vision 1:15.3061
21. Alex Tagliani Conquest 1:16.6407
22. Jaime Camara Conquest 1:16.7047
23. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold 1:19.0865
24. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne 1:22.3955
25. Tomas Scheckter Luczo Dragon no time
Reference Here>>

Lap Notation of the Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone:

Green Flag – The race starts on Belle Isle.

A clean start until Milka Duno tries to chop down on Bruno Junquiera, touches tires and is spun out of turn #3.

Officials rule the Bruno was guilty of avoidable contact and sent to the back of the grid. Thomas Schechter pulls in and un-straps to get out of the car – reports of a broken driveshaft.

Four cars at the back of the field peel off and top off on fuel.

Green Flag re-start – Dixon leads Castroneves, Servia, Wilson, Briscoe, Rahal, and Kanaan.

Dixon and Castroneves pull away from the field and have a two second cushion.

LAP 10
The lead has grown to seven seconds. If the race were to end this way, Dixon would capture the season points' championship over Castroneves.

LAP 12
The lead is now over 10 seconds from P2 to P3.

LAP 13
Dan Weldon pits early in order to put in place a different fueling strategy.

LAP 15
Bruno Junqueira has made the biggest move up the field so far moving six spots from 24th to 18th.

LAP 16
Everyone is holding station in the top seven positions mentioned before. The rest of the T-Team drivers are running Viso in 9th, Power in 10th, Moraes in 17th, Junqueira in 18th,

LAP 17
#34 Jamie Camara takes out #10 Dan Wheldon going into turn 9. Weldon is penalized for unavoidable contact for tapping Jamie Camara in the corner.

LAP 20
The field pits with Dixon in but Castroneves stays out to counter the strategy of Dixon. Most of the leading positions stay out.

LAP 21
Green Flag restart – Dixon back in position #18 behind Buddy Rice.

LAP 22
Dixon moves past Rice and now sets up behind Alex Tagliani in position #16.

LAP 23
All of the cars are bunched up after the restart, very tight single file racing.

LAP 24
Castroneves is turning two laps a second faster than Dixon who is stuck back in the field; Helio has a sixteen second advantage and growing.

LAP 25
Dixon gets passed by Ed Carpenter for P15. The lead pack of #3 Castroneves, #5 Servia, #02 Wilson, #11 Kanaan, and #17 Hunter-Reay have checked out from P6 #33 EJ Viso.

LAP 27
Castroneves and the leaders are expected to pit in four laps.

LAP 28
Race in the race has EJ Viso is just ahead of Will Power as the highest T-Team points leaders for rookie-of-the-year, if Power passes Viso, he will take the points lead.

LAP 29
Dixon down 27 seconds to leader Castroneves.

LAP 32
Servia, Kanaan and others pit … Castroneves solders on.

LAP 33
Wilson and Castroneves pit.

LAP 34
Danica Patrick and Darren Manning get together and further down the track EJ Viso taps the wall … all three cars are out.

LAP 35
These incidents move Dixon up to P5. Helio, Justin Wilson were able to maintain P1 and P2 respectively … followed by Servia and Kanaan in P3 and P4.

LAP 36
Danica Patrick was able to come in and get restarted and rejoins the field.

LAP 38
Green Flag restart – If the race were to end right now, Dixons championship points' lead would be cut to just 20 from 43.

LAP 39
Hideki Mutoh’s car is off the pace and is getting passed and drops four positions to P15.

LAP 41
Castroneves and Wilson pull out a 2 second lead over Oriol Servia in P3. Junqueira is now up 12 positions to P12 from P24 where he started the race.

LAP 42
Bruno Junqueira of Dale Coyne Racing is now up to P10.

LAP 43
#3 Castroneves and #02 Wilson have checked out and opened a 5 second lead over P3 #5 Servia.

Justin Wilson of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing prepares to run at the Detoit Grand Prix on Belle Isle. Image Credit: Andy Sallee (2008)

LAP 45
The Race is half way over and #3 Helio Castroneves has been in control for most of the race.

LAP 49
Castroneves has pulled away from Justin Wilson by a margin of three seconds.

LAP 52
Castroneves now leads Wilson in P1 by 5.4 seconds and Dixon in P5 by 16.3 seconds.

LAP 53
Rahal pits, giving Junqueira P8 up 16 positions from his start.

LAP 54
Power has contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay while battling for position and damages both cars. Dixon dives into the pits. Will Power stays out a couple of more laps while his wing flaps around

LAP 55
With Dixon pitting, Junqueira to P6. Wilson pits from P2.

LAP 56
Briscoe pits to leave room in the pit box for the expected pit in for Castroneves.
Dixon is 43 seconds behind Helio.

LAP 58
Helio Castroneves takes what he hopes to be his last pit stop. Servia was able to get past and this leaves Dixon 33 seconds behind P2 Castroneves.
This should be good to go till the end.

LAP 59
Servia comes in while P1 and comes out in P4 behind Kanaan.

LAP 63
Dixon short fueled at his last pit stop and has to throttle back in order to make it to the end. Dixon is behind Servia in position 5 and if the race ends now there will be a 20 point margin and the championship goes to Chicagoland Speedway.

LAP 65
Fourth Full Course Yellow of the race for #10 Dan Wheldon and #19 Mario Moraes in turn 8.

LAP 67
Pits open but none of the leaders come in.

LAP 68
Castroneves captures the three bonus points for leading the most laps in the race.

LAP 69
Green Flag restart and it is a sprint to the end of the race. Dixon is quagmired in P5 and still has to conserve fuel.

LAP 71
Wilson makes a move for the lead and gets blocked – Officials rule that Helio has to give up the position and drop to P2.

LAP 72
Castroneves begins to move out, gets space and does not let Wilson by.

LAP 73
Castroneves complies with the IRL ruling and gives up the lead to Justin Wilson. The Penske team states that the delay was tactical.

LAP 76
#02 Wilson is in control and it's his race to lose. With 14 laps to go P1 thru P3 have checked out from P4.

LAP 78
Race Control: This is now a 2 hour timed race. This means that the race will be shortened from its scheduled 90 laps.

LAP 84
Rahal pits for fuel. With under 4 minutes left in the race is #02 Justin Wilson's race to lose.

LAP 87
#02 Justin Wilson wins the Detroit Indy Grand Prix presented by Firestone. He is the ninth different driver to win this year and the 41st to win an IRL race. Hats off to Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing.

After Wilson was P2 Castroneves, P3 Tony Kanaan, P4 Oriol Servia, P5 Dixon, P6 Ryan Hunter-Reay, P7 Bruno Junqueira … from P24, P8 Will Power, P9 Ryan Briscoe, and P10 AJ Foyte IV.

Justin Wilson sends additional congratulations to team owner Paul Newman. His dedication of this race to Paul is poignant in that team owner Paul Newman is suffering from cancer and the situation looks terminal.

The Championship moves on to the penultimate race of the season in Chicago (the final race is set for the streets of Queensland, Australia – Nikon Indy 300 - Sunday, October 26 aired at 10:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 25 ESPN).

Castroneves finishes the race 30 points behind Scott Dixon which means that all Dixon has to do is finish eighth at the PEAK Chicagoland Indy 300 next weekend (Qualifying: Sat, September 6 - Race: Sun, September 7).

This excerpted from -

Wilson takes first IRL win in Detroit
By Matt Beer - Sunday, August 31st 2008, 21:44 GMT

Pos Driver Team Time
1. Justin Wilson Newman/Haas/Lanigan 87 laps
2. Helio Castroneves Penske + 4.4058
3. Tony Kanaan Andretti Green + 17.6815
4. Oriol Servia KV + 26.5468
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 27.7185
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Rahal Letterman + 28.2688
7. Bruno Junqueira Dale Coyne + 28.6815
8. Will Power KV + 28.8776
9. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 35.5244
10. AJ Foyt IV Vision + 38.1040
11. Hideki Mutoh Andretti Green + 38.3811
12. Darren Manning Foyt + 44.4662
13. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas/Lanigan + 47.8028
14. Ed Carpenter Vision +1:01.2770
15. Mario Moraes Dale Coyne + 1 lap
16. Danica Patrick Andretti Green + 1 lap
17. Vitor Meira Panther + 4 laps
18. Marco Andretti Andretti Green + 6 laps
19. Buddy Rice Dreyer & Reinbold + 11 laps
20. Dan Wheldon Ganassi + 23 laps
21. Tomas Scheckter Luczo Dragon + 31 laps
22. Alex Tagliani Conquest + 33 laps
23. Milka Duno Dreyer & Reinbold + 41 laps
24. EJ Viso HVM + 55 laps
25. Jaime Camara Conquest + 71 laps
Reference Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

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