Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's Put-Up Or Shut-Up Time For Will Power At Twin Ring Motegi

Twin Ring Motegi (ツインリンクもてぎ, Tsuin Rinku Motegi?) is an automobile racing track located at Motegi, Japan. Its name comes from the fact that there are two race tracks at the facility: a 2.493-kilometer (1.549 mi) oval and a 4.8-kilometer (2.98 mi) road course. It was built in 1997 by Honda, as part of Honda's effort to bring the IndyCar Series to Japan, helping to increase their knowledge of American open-wheel racing. The oval course is the only one of its kind in Japan, and currently is only used once a year for racing. It is a low-banked, 1.549-mile-long egg-shaped course, with turns 3 and 4 being much tighter than turns 1 and 2. On March 28, 1998, CART held the inaugural race at Twin Ring Motegi Speedway. The race was won by Mexican driver Adrian Fernandez. CART continued racing at Twin Ring Motegi Speedway from 1998-2002. In 2003, Honda entered the Indy Racing League and the race became a part of the IRL schedule. In addition to IndyCar Racing, the track has also hosted a single NASCAR exhibition race in 1998. Honda, which had built the oval for the express purpose of developing its oval-racing program for Indycar Racing, did not win a race at the track for its first six years of operation. In 2004, Dan Wheldon took the first win for Honda on the oval. In 2008, the Motegi oval gained additional publicity when Danica Patrick became the first woman to win an Indy car race there. Caption & Image Credit: Wikipedia

It's Put-Up Or Shut-Up Time For Will Power At Twin Ring Motegi

Qualifications for the IZOD IndyCar Series penultimate 2010 season race Japan 300 being held at Twin Ring Motegi, Tochigi, Japan finds the season points leader Will Power of Verizon Penske Racing in P3 along side Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi in P4, who at just 17 points behind, is looking to close the gap before the final race.

Tonight is time for Will Power to put-up or shut-up if he wishes to capture his first ever open-wheel championship in the IZOD IndyCar Series ... where as Dario Franchitti seeks his third championship in four years and is in his element on an oval track.

The reason it is time for Will Power to take command is that he will not find a better chance over these last two races on oval tracks to put distance between himself and Dario Franchitti because of two main factors:

1) Twin Ring Motegi is not a symmetrical track. The track is designed with a large corner at one end and a very tight corner at the other end which gives an edge to the driver that has the greater attention to detail - advantage Power ... the IZOD IndyCar Series inaugural 2010 Mario Andretti Road Course Trophy winner.

2) The front row is filled with Penske Racing teammates Helio Castroneves in P1 and Ryan Briscoe in P2. With a little creative team management during the course of the race aired on Versus 11:00 PM ET tonight.

Dario's challenge will be made a little more difficult in that he will start the race with three Andretti Autosport cars directly behind, all wanting a piece of this Japanese pie. Andretti Autosport's Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay are behind Franchitti, and E.J. Viso of KV Racing Technology recorded his best start on an oval this season in eighth. Panther Racing's Dan Wheldon will start ninth.

Scott Dixon, Dario's Target Chip Ganassi teammate will be starting nine positions behind at P11 and qualified over one-half a second behind at -.5320 of a second. It will be difficult for Dario to find any partners to run with whereas Will has a chance to be shepherded to a high finishing position before the final race to be held at the symmetrical style oval Homestead-Miami Raceway on October 2, 2010.

How they line up at Twin Ring Motegi:

Pos Driver Team Speed
1. Helio Castroneves Penske 201.992mph
2. Ryan Briscoe Penske 201.594mph
3. Will Power Penske 201.463mph
4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 200.964mph
5. Marco Andretti Andretti 200.187mph
6. Tony Kanaan Andretti 200.011mph
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 199.623mph
8. EJ Viso KV 199.487mph
9. Dan Wheldon Panther 199.225mph
10. Takuma Sato KV 199.191mph
11. Scott Dixon Ganassi 199.020mph
12. Danica Patrick Andretti 198.935mph
13. Bertrand Baguette Conquest 198.794mph
14. Vitor Meira Foyt 197.950mph
15. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne 197.556mph
16. Graham Rahal Newman/Haas 197.402mph
17. Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas 197.361mph
18. Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold 196.850mph
19. Raphael Matos De Ferran Dragon 193.813mph
20. Mario Moraes KV 196.460mph
21. Roger Yasukawa Conquest 196.296mph
22. Paul Tracy Dreyer & Reinbold 195.709mph
23. Alex Tagliani FAZZT 195.483mph
24. Simona de Silvestro HVM 193.561mph
25. Milka Duno Dale Coyne 192.527mph

... notes from The EDJE

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