Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Toyota Motorsport GmbH Successful At Electric Vehicle Timed Speed Record

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle next to its new electric lap record time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife [ctrl-click image to launch video of speed record run]. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Toyota Motorsport GmbH Successful At Electric Vehicle Timed Speed Record

Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has set a new lap record for an electric vehicle (EV) at the legendary 20.8km Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany.

The TMG EV P001, with 100% electric powertrain and Jochen Krumbach at the wheel, set a new lap record of 7mins 47.794secs to beat the previous lap record, which stood at 9mins 1.338secs, by a very substantial margin.

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle on its way to setting a new lap record for electric vehicles at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Using two electric motors, the TMG electric powertrain has a top speed of 260km/h (161.556509981707 miles per hour) which combined with 800Nm of torque to achieve impressive speeds on the extremely challenging Nordschleife track, which includes significant elevation changes and lengthy flat-out sections.

TMG’s target, prior to the 29 August record run, was to become the first electric vehicle break the eight-minute barrier and this was achieved comfortably on a day when the notoriously changeable Nürburgring weather stayed fine, although track temperatures were relatively low.

The TMG EV P001 electric vehicle photo shot before its lap record attempt at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Image Credit: Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Such performance shows TMG’s electric powertrain is ideal to power any future single-make electric motorsport series and TMG will begin commercial sales of this technology in 2012. TMG continues to advance its electric vehicle capability for motorsport applications with in-house development of the electric powertrain and ongoing investigations into alternative chassis solutions.

The future of alternative powertrain racing (non-petro/non-liquid fuel) is at hand ... but, to what end?

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18

Penske Racing teammates (Power, Castroneves, and Briscoe) hold the line against the rest of the field during the double-file start of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Image Credit: Richard Dowdy via IZOD IndyCar Series

Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18

From the command of "Drivers, start your engines" and the audio of "Row 1, Hot" - "Row 2, Hot" - "Row 3, Hot" - and etc. one felt that this was the race that would keep the 2011 points race alive as the sound of the Honda engines echoed throughout the Sonoma valley. Power, at 46 points down to Dario Franchitti, had to win and keep the Target Chip Ganassi drivers (Franchitti and Dixon) as far down in the order that was legally possible. Qualifications gave a blessing to Will and the rest of the Penske Racing team with a 1-2-3 starting position with Helio Castroneves, and Ryan Briscoe acting as protection to any erosion to the running order from the starting grid of the race.

From the very drop of the Green Flag starting the race, Ryan Briscoe kept the Red Target team cars behind both Will Power and Helio Castroneves which allowed Power to pull comfortably away.

All went smoothly through to the first round of pitstops by the leaders with eight cars opting to come in earlier for a change of sequence. On lap 5 of 75, Tony Kanaan running back at P25, was the first to opt for a change to Red tires and a change in pit sequence followed by Takuma Sato, JR Hildebrand, Simon Pagenaud, Charlie Kimball Danica Patrick, and Vitor Meira.

First, Mike Conway from P7 on Lap 22 of 75 began the process with Tagliani, who had just been passed by Graham Rahal due to poor handling in on Lap 23. Hinchcliff, Ryan Hunter-Raey, Helio Castroneves on LAP 25.

Lap 26 has Dixon taking on primary Black tires. Next on Lap 26 Power comes into the pits, leaving Briscoe leading until Lap 28.

Briscoe comes out in sequence with all three Penske Racing cars holding station at 1-2-3 keeping Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon behind. This may seem boreing to some, but clean and precise racing to a strategy toward a championship is just that ... predictable and boreing. Gotta' love it if ya' like a tight season points race.

Top 10 after 32 laps of 75 sees Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Viso, Bourdais, and Rahal.

On TV, Robin Miller reports that there are about 130,000 people in attendance as opposed to about 30,000 sitting in the stands at the last race (oval) in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Fan stands are full of people who traveled to the middle of nowhere to see a premiere open-wheel race for season championship points. Image Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher via IZOD IndyCar Series

Robin asked Randy Bernard, CEO of IZOD IndyCar Series, if Sonoma was on the schedule for next year and Randy reported that the schedule has not been finalized and that the people who run Infineon Raceway have not committed to the race fee as yet.

Lap 39, Tony Kanaan stalls out on pit lane and appears to have an engine stuck at full throttle. KV Racing Technology's Kanaan retires from the race.

Fieldof33 Paul Dalbey
Thank God for side-by-side. If hate to miss watching the sand grow.

pressdog Bill Zahren
Nailed it. "@spikerogan: @99forever You could make nachos from scratch and not miss a thing. By scratch I mean from growing the corn. lol"

Lap 45 of 75 has Will Power on the radio complaining about lapped traffic not clearing out of the way. It has him braking at odd times and kicking up some blue tire smoke.

All of the drivers are looking to get back on REDS again on the next pit sequence. Oriol Servia takes on a set and fuel on lap 47 - good to go all the way to the end.

Before this next round of stops, P1 Power leads P4 Franchitti by about 32 seconds. Castroneves pits on Lap 49 ... Dixon in for REDS ... 25 laps to go and more stops with side-by-side passing in the pits.

Lap 50 Will Power comes in with little traffic to contend with ... comes out ahead of Castroneves and all is right in the Penske world with Briscoe leading.

All top 10 drivers complete pit stops and are good to the end - Lap 53 P1 to P10 are Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Viso and Rahal.

SBPopOffValve Mr. Pop Off Valve
Wally Dallenbach says (correctly) that Sonoma is a blast to drive. Doesn't make it any easier on the spectators.

Fieldof33 Paul Dalbey
@SBPopOffValve I believe the Sr Official has discretion to mandate Power pull over, let Castroneves by, and drive rest of race 1 handed.

Lap 56 Marco Andretti brushes JR Hildebrand's rear tire causing a rear flat for the driver from the Sonoma area.

AllenWedge Allen Wedge
Can't wait for the eventual Panther Racing press release saying JR got Marco'd

PantherRacing Panther Racing
Marco & Hildebrand make contact for the second consecutive year @InfineonRaceway .... looked like that was on Marco to me. But I'm biased.

toomuchracing Pat W
They want to bring Belle Isle back... that's even worse for IndyCar. I liked the ALMS there though

99forever Steph@MoreFrontWing
Interesting. TK refutes Cavin's story and says he's not signed at KV. #indycar

Ten laps remain and it is still Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Hinchcliffe, Bourdais, Rahal, and Viso.

YELLOW Flag - Ho-Pin Tung slides out of control and into a tire wall - look out for a crazy restart as the cars get bunched up. Power looses about a 20 second cushion to the YELLOW Flag full course caution.

IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series
Full course Yellow for incident in Turn 9 involving #88 Ho-Pin Tung cot.ag/d3QLxP

Restart cones are clearly defined and Power looses an advantage as to surprising the rest of the drivers as to when he will apply the fuel peddle to take off on the GREEN Flag.

Penske is sitting at 1-2-3 so, to be frank, who knows what Will Power is talking about.

IndyCar IZOD IndyCar Series
Back to Green @InfineonRaceway. cot.ag/d3QLxP

GREEN, GREEN, GREEN LAP 70 - Will Power gets the advantage and everyone comes back into station. Franchitti baubles and Dixon holds everyone else off.

shagers Shane Rogers
Double file restarts are the best thing for these mickey mouse road courses. Drivers hate them, but they are awesome.

SBPopOffValve Mr. Pop Off Valve

Saavedra and Conway get together and up the dirt bank on the last lap pushing hard for position.

Top 10 with four laps to go - Power, Castroneves, Briscoe, Franchitti, Dixon, Pantano, Bourdais, Hinchcliffe, Rahal, and Viso.

Verizon Penske Racing's Will Power takes the Checkered Flag at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point, in the Sonoma Valley. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Will Power gets maximum points and wins the race. This will be his 5th win of the season and the most by any driver this season. Gains 20 points on the event and moves from being 46 points to 26 points down with only four races to go in the season.

toomuchracing Pat W
Chequered. Snoozefest. Power and his teammates held station for the duration, followed by Dario and Dixon.

racintoday Jim Pedley
Power Cruises At Infineon bit.ly/rhPlBs #indycar

toomuchracing Pat W
Great drive by Pantano to take 6th in Wilson's car after not racing these cars for 6 years (and only then he did two starts).

FollowAndretti Andretti Autosport
Checkered flag at @InfineonRaceway. Ryan 11, Mike 17, Danica 21, Marco 24.

in dy44 Matt Archuleta
Ckrd Power Helio Briscoe Dario Dixon Pantano Bourdais Hinch Rahal Viso RHR Servia Plowman Ana Saavedra Pagenaud Conway Sato Jakes Tagliani

Will Power jumps once again into the wall of confetti at the winner's podium. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

JamieLittleESPN Jamie Little
Penske sweeps the podium at Sonoma and Sweeps the @NASCAR and @IndyCar this weekend!

Post race interview has Power saying, "It was just a perfect race. This one is pretty important. I have been unbelievably motivated after a few bad races this season. I knew that Verizon Team Penske was better than this as a team and we came here with a good set-up, finished strong and we are on the right track now ... Verizon baby, we are back on top now!"

Fingers Up - Will Power was fined $30,000 for a gesture not too dis-similar to this gesture. That's right, Will was fined about $15,000 a finger when he showed his initial displeasure toward Brian Barnhart and the folks at Race Control at the decision to restart the race at Loudon, New Hampshire. At least Power has the sense of humor to mimic his fine-able action of a couple of weeks ago. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Next up, a shiny, brand new temporary street course in Baltimore will have all teams searching for what will work. Penske had the "special sauce" here at Infineon Raceway but will they be able to maintain the edge and keep Dario and the Target Chip Ganassi racing team at bay. Thank God that hurricane Irene decided to show up on the East coast this week so everything remains on track for the season.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Will Power's Rally In The Valley - IZOD IndyCar Series Race 14 of 18 on Technorati]

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Qualifications - Penske's Day At Sears Point

Penske Racing's Will Power as he navigates his way around the corners of Infineon Raceway while achieving his sixth PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Qualifications - Penske's Day At Sears Point

Qualifications for Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma by Team Penske, and in particular - Will Power, the session result could not have been planned any better. If Power has any hope of gaining points back on series points leader, Dario Franchitti, he needed to get the pole position and get as many places between himself and Dario to give any cushion at all.

Well, Team Penske came through with superior car preparation and an amazing performance put in by Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe to capture P2 and P3 on the grid in front of Franchitti for the race. For Dario's part, he did the best he could to maintain the first starting position behind Team Penske, leading Will Power going into this weekend by 46 points with only five races remaining (Road/Street cources at Sonoma, Baltimore, and Twin Ring Motegi followed by two oval courses in Kentucky and Las Vegas).

In earning his sixth PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season, combined with Franchitti starting fourth in the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car, Power gains one point in the season championship to bring the pre-race season points deficit to 45.

Will Power smokes 'em up in capturing the pole position in qualifying at Sonoma. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

"Qualifying is very important here," said Power, who recorded a quick lap of 1 minute, 18.6017 seconds on the 2.303-mile, 12-turn road course in the Firestone Fast Six. "A Penske 1-2-3 is good, and we have two guys between the Target cars. This qualifying session was as perfect as it could go. We were able to put a perfect lap together that was mistake-free and hit all of the sectors and that was the key to posting the quickest lap.

[The championship] is going to come down to who is going to make the least amount of mistakes," continued Power, driver of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car. "Dario still has a reasonable lead, but that could turn around in one weekend. Obviously, if we have a bad weekend and he is 70 points ahead with four weekends to go it will be tough ... near impossible.

"We need to execute this weekend and just keep finishing ahead of Dario. It's as simple as that."

(quotes ht: indycar.com)

Will Power accepts the Peak Pole Award for the second time in as many years. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

Fact remains, if Will Power believes he has any chance at all, he needs to be the best at Road/Street courses and the Oval courses the balance of the season to prove he deserves to become a first time champion.

With the top 10 cars covered by only a half of a second on a 2.52 mile 12 turn road course in qualifications, the proving begins here at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point in Sonoma, California.

Pos -- Driver -- Team -- Time -- Gap
1. Will Power Penske 1m18.602s (Q4)
2. Helio Castroneves Penske 1m19.092s (Q4) + 0.490s
3. Ryan Briscoe Penske 1m19.111s (Q4) + 0.505s
4. Dario Franchitti Ganassi 1m19.164s (Q4) + 0.545s
5. Scott Dixon Ganassi 1m19.389s (Q4) + 0.788s
6. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas 1m19.545s (Q4) + 0.853s

7. Mike Conway Andretti 1m18.939s (Q3) + 0.337s
8. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne 1m18.971s (Q3) + 0.370s
9. Ernesto Viso KV 1m19.072s (Q3) + 0.471s
10. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.110s (Q3) + 0.508s
11. Giorgio Pantano Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.241s (Q3) + 0.640s
12. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 1m19.803s (Q3) + 1.202s

13. Graham Rahal Ganassi 1m19.331s (Q2) + 0.729s
14. Marco Andretti Andretti 1m19.378s (Q2) + 0.770s
15. Martin Plowman AFS/Sam Schmidt 1m19.379s (Q1) + 0.776s
16. Takuma Sato KV 1m19.384s (Q1) + 0.719s
17. James Jakes (Dale Coyne) 1m19.474s (Q1) + 0.873s
18. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas 1m19.396s (Q1) + 0.739s
19. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1m19.640s (Q1) + 1.039s
20. JR Hildebrand Panther 1m19.465s (Q1) + 0.864s
21. Tony Kanaan KV 1m19.727s (Q1) + 1.125s
22. Simon Pagenaud Dreyer & Reinbold 1m19.564s (Q1) + 0.962s
23. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest 1m19.752s (Q1) + 1.150s
24. Ho-Pin Tung Sam Schmidt Dragon 1m19.589s (Q1) + 0.988s
25. Danica Patrick Andretti 1m19.785s (Q1) + 1.184s
26. Charlie Kimball Ganassi 1m19.835s (Q1) + 1.233s
27. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher 1m20.627s (Q1) + 2.713s
28. Vitor Meira Foyt 1m20.121s (Q1) + 1.837s
(chart ht: autosport.com)

The race will be broadcast Sunday Aug. 28 on VERSUS at 4 pm ET and IMS Radio.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma Qualifications - Penske's Day at Sears Point on Technorati]

Thursday, August 18, 2011

And It Begins - The 61st Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

The Tour is a drive and show, car show that takes place from The Lodge at Pebble Beach to downtown Carmel so that fans can get a hint of what will be on display along the 18th Green at Pebble Beach. The Tour starts Thursday morning of Auto Week on the Monterey Peninsula and officially begins the first activity at Pebble Beach for the Concours d'Elegance.

Over 20 Ferrari 250 GTOs will be exhibited on Sunday. Ferraris are revered the world over for being among the finest, fastest and most exotic sports cars ever conceived, and the Ferrari 250 GTO is considered by many to be the greatest Ferrari ever manufactured.

The display of Ferrari 250 GTOs on the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of this model, more than twenty of these exclusive sports racing cars will take to the 18th fairway show field of the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on Sunday, August 21.

... notes from The EDJE

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Loudon Loop The Loop And Decisions For The Good Of The Game

Graham Rahal and Mike Conway come together before completeing one lap at the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. Image Credit: Bret Kelley via IZOD IndyCar Series

Loudon Loop The Loop And Decisions For The Good Of The Game

Race 13 of 18 at the paperclip "oval" in New Hampshire looked to be like a phone it in affair through warm-ups and qualifications, all of the way to the drop of the Green Flag!

Dario Franchitti - in his new Nikon liveried Dallara from Target Chip Ganassi gained an extra point for capturing the pole position, bringing his IndyCar Series (ICS) championship points lead over his closest rival, Will Power, to 64 with every expectation of greatly increasing the season points lead by the end of the day. Will could only muster a P13 in qualifications and that put him way down in a very racy field.

Other notable drivers in the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 grid have positions 2-10 filled with Oriol Servia - Newman/Haas, Tony Kanaan - KVRT-Lotus, James Hinchcliff - Newman/Haas, Ryan Hunter-Reay - Andretti Autosport, Ryan Briscoe - Penske Racing, Takuma Sato - KVRT-Lotus, Helio Castroneves - Penske Racing, and Charlie Kimball - Ganassi Racing.

The quick reading on this stacking is that if everyone stayed out of trouble, it would be a long way to get up front on a tight one mile oval especially when last year's oval track champion (Franchitti) was out in front.

It was at this point a proposed title of most any posting would read - "Franchitti Closes Door On Challengers At New Hampshire Motor Speedway's Paper-Clip".

The loop the loop action began very early at the very beginning of the race when Service Central Ganassi Racing's Graham Rahal car took a spin and was out aided by Andretti Autosport's Mike Conway in the first lap (pictured above). This was notable because Graham was consistently one of the top two or three fastest cars all weekend in practice and pre-race warm-up but had to start from P23 due to a bauble and save during qualifications.

With this chance of a great car and driver looking to make some noise ... out of the running so early, it set the tone of the race that would end up having as many Yellow Flag cautions as maybe Toronto ... with almost as many retirements between the top drivers as anyone could expect.

Helio Castroneves spins on lap 6 bringing out another Yellow Flag caution.

By Lap 18 of 225, Franchitti was already catching up to the back of the field to begin to lap cars. First there was the Swiss Miss, Simona de Silvestra, then Ed Carpenter, Sebasttian Saavedra, and Ana Beatriz.

The march by Dario continued through to Lap 42 and the leaders are stretching it out with the top five being Franchitti, Servia, Hinchcliff, Hunter-Reay, and Sato. with Dario approaching Will Power and may lap him in about 6 laps.

Lap 48 has Hinchcliff pass Servia for P2. and Danica Patrick breaks into the top 10.

Lap 52 of 225 has Dario setting up just behind Will Power with only 20 car-lengths separating them. The skies are threatening to rain ... this might be a factor.

On Lap 55, the pole-sitter passes Will Power in P12 and puts him one lap down. Bye bye to Will Power's possible challenge to Dario Franchitti's repeat as ICS Champion for 2011.

Nikon liveried car of Dario Franchitti. Image Credit: Bret Kelley via IZOD IndyCar Series

Dario continues his charge in a dominating fashion through the pitstops around Lap 73 with a very fast and clean in and out until a Yellow Flag Caution for rain on Lap 76. At the time of the Yellow, the rain is very light.

Field reset with the top 10 on Lap 80 being Franchitti, Sato, Servia, RHR, Hinchcliff, Briscoe, Dixon, Hildebrand, Patrick, and Kanaan.

The drivers lapped around the track as the light rain passed by until Green Flag Restart on Lap. Scheckter and Kanaan get together with Kanaan's KVRT-Lotus flipping upside-down after hitting the tires lining the inside wall. Kanaan is OK.

Tony Kanaan goes upside-down in his GEICO KV Racing Technology-Lotus Dallara. Image Credit: LAT Photo USA via IZOD IndyCar Series

Marco Andretti was squeezed by Scheckter from the outside lane, breaks Andretti's suspension and this sets up the incident with Kanaan bringing out the fourth caution Yellow Flag period. Also, at Lap 113, the race is official due to passing the halfway point.

Lap 118 of 225 Green Flag Restart has Dario taken out by Takuma Sato with a tire tap spin sending Dario's black with yellow lettering car into the pitlane wall, and this causes a flat tire on Sato's car. Will Power escapes the accordion effect and gets his lap back. Fifth Caution.

Hummmmmmmm, spoke a little early. The top ten are reset as Ryan Hunter-Reay (RHR), Servia, Dixon, Hinchcliff, Briscoe, Patrick, Power Sato, Kimball (1lap down), and Viso.

Will Power, after being one lap down and as many as about 90 points down in the championship fight with Dario, is on the lead lap looking to take back some points against Dario's retirement.

By Lap 166 sees Dixon on pit in, with Will Power inheriting the lead.

Lap 167 sees Briscoe in the pits, Power will need to come in for fuel if the race goes the distance.

Lap 173 top 10 - Power, Sato, RHR, Servia, Dixon, Hnichcliff, Patrick, Briscoe, Carpenter, and Lloyd.

Power in the pits for fuel on Lap 178 and the rain drops begin to show up. Short fuel fill, new tires, Sato gets the lead.

RHR in turn 3 at Loudon New Hampshire. Image Credit: Bret Kelley via IZOD IndyCar Series

Top 10 reset on Lap 180 as Sato, RHR, Servia, Dixon, Hinchcliff, Power Patrick, Briscoe, Carpenter, and Kimball.

Rain still misting and not really posing a threat. Sato may need to pit for fuel on Lap 188. Carpenter in and comes out in P13.

Sato comes into the pits on Lap 190 of 225, comes out in P7. Top 5 are RHR, Servia, Dixon, Hinchcliff, and ... Power!

Ryan Hunter-Reay passes E.J. Viso. If this lead holds, RHR is on track to take his first oval win in the ICS on Lap 202.

Caution Flag out on Lap 206 due to rain ... a light rain based on complaints from RHR not being able to see out of his visor. If I were him I would have complained as soon as I took the lead!

Lap 208 the rain is almost a heavy sprinkle.

The signal is given from the flag stand that there will be one lap to go for a restart on Lap 215 ... a nine lap shoot out!

On Lap 216 - Green Flag is called off ... next Lap will restart.

Green, Green, Green! Lap 217, side-by-side eight laps remain. Will Power, Danica Patrick, Takuma Sato, spin ... with Power backing into the wall. RHR looses the lead, Michael Andretti was yelling at the officials on the fact the track was too wet!

The race is placed in a Red Flag situation - The restart will be disputed. Will Power was hit from behind when the cars were checking up on the Patrick spin. Will Power caught on camera freaking out on the officials.

As it stands on the track with the Red Flag out, the top five is set with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Oriol Servia, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliff, and Danica Patrick ... WOW, with five laps to go.

In an interview, Will Power begged the race officials NOT to restart the race on Lap 217 and said that Barnhart should be removed because he makes radical decisions like this restart again and again. The TV played the radio communications of RHR saying that a restart is STUPID!

Checkered flag is flown from the flag stand and the race ends after much discussion.

RHR wins but stated that the restart was a wrong move on Race Control's part.

Brian Barnhart decides that the race should not have been re-started and insists that Race Control did not receive any communications from the race teams.

Race Red Flagged - Action Stopped. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

The order will be set as they were at Lap 215:

Pos - Driver - Team - Time/Gap
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti 1h58m01.5843s
2. Oriol Servia Newman/Haas + 0.2361s
3. Scott Dixon Ganassi + 1.4839s
4. James Hinchcliffe Newman/Haas + 2.1750s
5. Will Power Penske + 2.8250s
6. Danica Patrick Andretti + 3.6173s
7. Takuma Sato KV + 4.1174s
8. Ryan Briscoe Penske + 1 lap
9. Charlie Kimball Ganassi + 2 laps
10. Vitor Meira Foyt + 3 laps
11. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher + 3 laps
12. EJ Viso KV + 3 laps
13. Alex Lloyd Dale Coyne + 4 laps
14. Ana Beatriz Dreyer & Reinbold + 5 laps
15. Sebastian Saavedra Conquest + 5 laps
16. Simona de Silvestro HVM + 6 laps
17. Helio Castroneves Penske + 13 laps


James Jakes Dale Coyne 176 laps
Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt 137 laps
Dario Franchitti Ganassi 118 laps
JR Hildebrand Panther 118 laps
Tony Kanaan KV 109 laps
Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold 109 laps
Marco Andretti Andretti 109 laps
Mike Conway Andretti 0 laps
Graham Rahal Ganassi 0 laps
(ht: chart via autosport.com)

In the post race interviews, Scott Dixon not totally happy with the changes in decision making on this issue ... Danica Patrick was also not happy that Race Control decided to Go Green but still apologizes for swinging her car out-of-control.

The race is called on Lap 220 of 225 with the official order to be that of Lap 215 before the Green Flag was thrown ... for the good of the game.

Will Power advances to being 47 points down from a race start of -64 points and still alive with only five races to go. Scott Dixon sitting third in points at -73 and only -26 to catch Power.

The next race (14 0f 18)scheduled to take place in two weeks is clear across the country at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. Sonoma, North of San Francisco, is known for its In-N-Out Burger stop on the way to the track, elevation changes, many tight corners, and wheel rubbing action.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Loudon Loop The Loop and Decisions for the Good of the Game on Technorati]

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Senna - Dirty Champion?, You Decide!

Three-time world Formula One driving champion Ayrton Senna, as he sits in his Williams F1 racing machine. Image Credit: Working Title Productions

Senna - Dirty Champion?, You Decide!

Senna, the documentary-style movie, is a beautiful work of taking existing film footage and piecing together a seamless reflection of the passionate pursuit of a talented race car driver. It exposes us to a life pursuit where driving, and winning at the highest pinnacle of a discipline, is the only thing that mattered to a life couched in a strong spiritual connection with GOD. In Ayrton Senna's case, rightfully so.

This excerpted and edited from the producer's release notes -

For producer Eric Fellner, co-chairman of Working Title, SENNA proved a true labor of love and added a new dimension to the company by being the first documentary it would make.

"I used to be a fan like a lot of people and then lapsed, but from this period in the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, I was absolutely fascinated and intrigued by Formula One," he says. "I just really wanted to make a film about that world and had met with Bernie Ecclestone to try to find to find a way in and couldn’t. We have never done a documentary before but this seemed the best medium to make a film about Formula One."

When the producers brought director Asif Kapadia on board, they knew they were hiring a talented filmmaker. The director of BAFTA winning feature ‘The Warrior’ and the thriller ‘Far North’, Kapadia is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, and has an eye for exquisite composition. Pandey says, "We interviewed a lot of directors for this. There was a lot of interest to do this project, but Asif got it right away."

Kapadia, while a sports fan, was not an F1 enthusiast and proved to have a completely unbiased approach to the producers’ subject matter. "Before the film, I had never read a book on Senna, never looked at one motor sports web site and never read a book on Formula One," begins the director. "I had never been to a race. So that’s where I came in to it – having a fresh set of eyes on the material."

"I could see that Senna was an amazing driver and had this deep spiritual side, which was really fascinating, and it became all about paring the film down to the bare minimum so that somebody who has never heard of Senna will get the film, understand the character and actually be moved by his story." He smiles. "It’s all about character."

"His story is amazing, and we have this great three-act structure to work with," says Kapadia. "You have his rise, his success, and then the challenges he faces when he gets to the top. There is the ‘bad guy’ Jean-Marie Balestre (France’s head of F1 racing), and the rival with four World Champion titles Alain Prost. Then there’s Senna’s personal side – his family, his girlfriends, the relationship he has with Brazil. There’s tension, drama, tragedy. It is absolutely what films should be, and it is all real."

"If you had written this story as fiction, you would say that it is a clever piece of writing," smiles the director. "One year Prost crashes into Senna at the slowest point of the track, in such a way that his own car was not even damaged. The following year, Senna crashes into Prost at one of the fastest points of the track, saying, ‘I don’t care what happens, I am going for it.’ It is very interesting how you are what you do and Senna and Prost’s characters are revealed by these two accidents."

A re-creation of a Senna helmet design sighted at the pre-premiere pizza party put on by MAZDASPEED Motorsports. The helmet was the work of Scott A. Crawford - SAC Design. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2011)

Before going into last night's pre-release screening of Senna at the EDWARDS WESTPARK8 in Irvine (arranged by Dean Case and the folks at MAZDASPEED Motorsports), one conversation that was overheard stated that it was too bad that Ayrton Senna needed to intentionally take out Alain Prost in order to achieve a world championship in the last race of the season at the Japan GP ... it was a dirty move. This was a remarkable statement to overhear going in ... because it expressed the passion of someone who had decided exactly what had happened on the track during the second contact accident the two rivals shared.

The surprise and artful twist in this presentation brings this perception into question - Was Senna a dirty champion, or not?

There is an sage and age old adage in Hollywood that states ... "the camera never lies!" This adage, of course, is based on non-CGI (computer generated images) and relates to the truth that film images can, and will deliver.

Senna is a very wonderful movie and story well told, especially when one considers all of the film images that were gleaned from archives (the on-board shots were gold) in order to make this 104 minute PG-13 movie. Go see Senna for yourself and at the end, after seeing the film images, development, and exposure of the three time Formula One world champion, ask yourself ... Was Ayrton Senna a dirty champion? ... then decide!

You will never regret the experience.

Set for release in specific theaters on the following schedule:

August 12 - Los Angeles, CA - The Landmark

August 12 - New York, NY - Landmark Sunshine Cinema

August 19 - Austin, TX - Violet Crown Cinema

August 19 - Berkeley, CA - Landmark Shattuck Cinemas

August 19 - Cambridge, MA - Landmark Kendall Square Cinema

August 19 - Chicago, IL - Landmark Century Centre Cinema

August 19 - Detroit, MI - Landmark Main Art Theater

August 19 - Irvine, CA - Edwards Westpark 8

August 19 - Miami, FL - AMC Sunset Place 24

August 19 - Nashville, TN - Belcourt Theater

August 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Landmark Ritz at the Bourse

August 19 - San Francisco, CA - Landmark Embarcadero CTR

August 19 - San Rafael, CA - Rafael Film Center

August 19 - Washington, DC - Landmark E Street Cinema

August 26 - Atlanta, GA - Landmark Midtown Art Cinema

August 26 - Dallas, TX - Angelika Film Center

August 26 - Denver, CO - Landmark Chez Artistes

August 26 - Indianapolis, IN - Landmark Keystone Art Cinema

August 26 - Minneapolis, MN - Landmark Uptown Cinema

August 26 - Palm Springs, CA - Cinémas Palme d'Or

August 26 - Palo Alto, CA - Aquarius Theater

August 26 - Portland, OR - Regal Fox Tower Stadium

August 26 - San Diego, CA - Landmark Hillcrest Cinema

August 26 - Scottsdale, AZ - Harkin's Camelview 5

August 26 - Seattle, WA - Landmark Varsity Theater

September 2 - Charlotte, NC - Park Terrace

September 2 - Knoxville, TN - Regal Downtown West Cinema

September 2 - St Louis, MO - Landmark Tivoli Theater

September 16 - Kansas City, MO - Tivoli Theater

September 16 - Las Vegas, NV - Regal Cinemas Village Square

September 16 - Milwaukee, WI - Landmark Downer Theatre

September 23 - Santa Fe, NM UA - DeVargas Mall

For more information, go to - http://sennamovie.com

Universal Pictures and Producers Distribution Agency Present
in association with ESPN Films
a Working Title Production
in association with Midfield Films


Directed by Asif Kapadia
Written by Manish Pandey

Audience Award World Cinema Documentary
2011 Sundance Film Festival

Audience Award for Best International Feature
2011 Los Angeles Film Festival

Trailer: www.youtube.com/sennamovie

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Senna - Dirty Champion? You Decide! on Technorati]

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Magic For Power In Round 11 Of 17 At Mid-Ohio

Scott Dixon preparing for warm-up session on race day. Dixon went on to win the Honda 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Image Credit: Dan Helrigel via IZOD IndyCar Series

No Magic For Power In Round 11 Of 17 At Mid-Ohio

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, Round 11 of 17 delivered a fatal blow to Will Power's chances at getting his first IndyCar Series (ICS) season championship. The Verizon Penske Racing Dallara driver, who was on track to get the ICS championship last year up until the final race of the season when Dario Franchitti was able to eclipse Power's season points total, was looking to climb back into the challenge at 38 points behind and a perfect track for his talents, was caught out twice in pit stop strategy by full course cautions.

"We were making great fuel mileage and we were going to go a lap or two longer than the leaders on the second stop, which would have put us in great position to challenge for the race lead in the last stint," said Power of the Lap 58 incident involving contact between the cars of Graham Rahal and Danica Patrick. "Basically, today we suffered for doing a great job of driving a smart race. We just got caught out by that last yellow flag.”

Will Power as he is being followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

This dropped Power to P16 and allowed Target Chip Ganassi team-mates to duke it out for the win with Scott Dixon passing Dario Franchitti on a restart to eventually take the win. It may have been doubtful if Will Power had anything for the Scott Dixon Dallara because of how well the driver and car had been hooked up all weekend long (fastest Lap - 1:09.1271 / 76), but to finish so far down in the order with a competitive car (set 2nd fastest lap late in the race - 1:09.2376 / 85), placed a stake through the heart (a loss of 24 points against Franchitti - at 62 points behind) of Will Power's chances for a ICS season championship. In fact, with the points Scott Dixon gained with his win (he is now just 29 points behind Power with six races left), Will Power may not even become a repeat "bridesmaid" (runner-up) at season's end in 2011.

The Penske Racing fleet of Dallara cars had a terrible outing at Mid-Ohio. After qualifying Ryan Briscoe at P2, Will Power at P4, and Helio Castroneves at P15, the three drivers end up with Power at P14, Briscoe at P16 and Castroneves at P19.

Newman-Haas's Oriol Servia runs nearly side-by-side with replacement driver for Dreyer & Reinbold's Simon Pagenaud. at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Image Credit: Chris Jones via IZOD IndyCar Series

KV Racing Technology ended up having a fair showing with two of their three cars placing in the top five. Takuma Sato missed the podium for the second time this year, repeating his finishing position at the street course in St. Petersburg at P4 (qualified P9) followed by Tony Kanaan at P5 (qualified P16) ... a good outing for E.J. Viso who finished the race running, and came in just behind Will Power at P15 after qualifying in P12.

Last note: Justin Wilson had an off in turn one and compressed his back but at this point, it does not look like he will need surgery as Vitor Meira required when he suffered a similar injury. He was replaced by former ChampCar World Series driver and ALMS Champion, Simon Pagenaud, in the Dreyer & Reinbold #22 Roll Coater Dallara and delivered a steady performance coming in ahead of Power at P13 after taking the Green Flag at P18.

Said Pagenaud after the race, “Considering that I was thrown into the car yesterday morning, I think that it was a good weekend. Obviously qualifying was a bit of a roller coaster for me with getting in the car quickly and trying to do my best. We started at the back in 18th position. It’s difficult to pass here, so we finished 13th. We had a really good racecar, but it’s just frustrating because I didn’t have the chance to run by myself and show the pace of the car. I think that the Dreyer & Reinbold Racing / Roll Coater car was one of the fastest out there today. We just needed to qualify up front and we would have been okay. All in all, considering the bad luck that the team had all weekend, the team should be glad about that. Bia did a great job and we should all be proud. We will see what happens next.”

Round 12 of 17 sends the teams off to the oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where the race is set to be run August 14, broadcast at 3:30pm ET on Versus.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as No Magic for Power in Round 11 of 17 at Mid-Ohio on Technorati]

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eight Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR's Bruno Junqueira

The #99 Jaguar XKR driven by Bruno Junqueira and Ken Wilden leads a group of GTC and GT Class cars just past pitout at Mosport International Raceway. Image Credit: JaguarRSR

Eight Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR's Bruno Junqueira

Weekend before last, The IndyCar Series was in Edmonton and the ALMS was near Toronto at Mosport International Raceway. Two standout performances were registered by drivers from the former ChampCar World Series (CCWS) and both performances were to set the fastest competitive lap in the their respective races. The two drivers, Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira, it could be argued, were the most competitive drivers of the CCWS era. Sebastien, the perennial champion for four years straight from 2003 - 2006, and Bruno with near consecutive runner-up season performances from 2002, 2004, and 2005 (the last two as a team-mate to Sebastien).

While the Frenchman (Bourdais) posted the fastest IndyCar race lap on lap 80 of an eighty lap race, the Brazilian recorded the fastest GT race lap posting a 1:18.102. Almost two hours into the race, Junqueira came into the pits to pass on the "fast cat" to Toronto area native and team-mate Ken Wilden, who drove the remainder of the two hour and forty-five minute race to take the checkered flag and salvage a 15th place GT finish.

JaguarRSR race control keeping tabs on the progress of the #99 Jaguar XKR of Bruno Junqueira as he sets fastest race lap in the ALMS GT Calss at Mosport International Raceway. Image Credit: JaguarRSR

This excerpted and edited from IndyCar.com Bio -

Bruno Junqueira entered the IZOD IndyCar Series full time in 2008 with a wealth of experience in open-wheel racing, including four starts in the Indianapolis 500. He earned the pole position at Indianapolis in 2002, driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing. [Further, he was able to qualify a car into the 33 car field of the INDY 500, only to be replaced by a primary or more strongly sponsored driver who did not qualify their car into the field (Alex Tagliani - 2009 and Ryan Hunter-Reay - 2011)]

Junqueira enjoyed success competing in Champ Car for seven seasons. With his 2005 win at Monterrey, Junqueira became the first driver in 19 years to win races in each of his first five years in Champ Car. He also finished runner-up in the series standings three times. Junqueira is part of a proud tradition of Brazilian open-wheel drivers, coming up through the Brazilian karting ranks and competing in South American Formula 3 and FIA International Formula 3000 before landing a ride in Champ Car.
[Reference Here]

Bruno Junqueira (left) and Ken Wilden (middle) prepare to take the #99 Jaguar XKR out for qualifications at Mosport International Raceway near Toronto, Canada. Image Credit: JaguarRSR

We last saw Bruno Junqueira on Pine Avenue during a fan appreciation activity the day before the cars took to the track at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach catching the sights and sounds as just a fan in the crowd. We catch up with Bruno, now, just before Round 5 in the ALMS GT season of 9 races to be held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge.

(1) Many teams call on your skills when they have a problem with their "regular" drivers, crashes, etc. But you haven't been able to secure a ride in IndyCar. It's almost a rhetorical question, but is it funding?

A - There are many reason because I didn't find a full time ride for the last 3 years in IRL. At Champ car, I was one of the winningest drivers and finished the championship 3 times 2nd. I was able to always find rides and win races and get paid. With the unification of IRL and Champ Car, it changed for me. I still did well, but I never got a good ride for the year. Probably, because in Indycar, more then half of the drivers have to bring money, or sponsors for the teams. Many good Champ Car driver struggle to find rides as well and the Champ Car team to find sponsors.

(2) Just how difficult is it to secure funding in the present IndyCar series?

A - In the last 12 years, I have been a professional driver. The correct is that the teams find the sponsor and hire the best drivers. It has changed, and I tried to find sponsor for 2010 season, but the TV rating in USA and Brazil made it hard to find money.

(3) Do you think that the new IndyCar will make a difference in the competition tightening up?

A - I think the new car will make the best teams have a bigger advantage. They will be able to develop the new car faster.

(4) Does the ALMS GT series seem to have a chance at becoming a viable series?

A - It already is viable. There are many manufacturers involved and a very good competition

(5) Do you enjoy this series as a continuation and evolution of your career?

A - When I was 25, I thought that when I about 35 I would be going into sportscar racing. I will be 35 in November. I am enjoying it lot driving for Jaguar at ALMS.

(6) How competitive is the GT series in ALMS?

A - Very competitive. Good drivers and teams and a big support from the car and tires manufacturers.

(7) Do you still want to compete in the IndyCar series?

A - If I have a good opportunity, it will be nice.

(8) How did it feel to set the fastest race lap in GT at Mosport, and did you know that fellow ChampCar ex-pat Sebastien Bourdais also set the fastest race lap at the Edmonton Indy on the same weekend?

A - It was good to run fast at Mosport. The Jaguar RSR team did a good job. It was my first time there and loved the track. I always like to race in Canada . I didn't know that Seb set the fastest lap, but I wish that the races were in a different weekend, and I could race both.


It's August and this weekend it is all about the dedicated road track outside of Cleveland known as Mid-Ohio. The two top technology major automobile racing series converge, showcasing the best drivers American auto racing has to offer driving everything from open wheel, prototype closed body, and modified sports cars. IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series repeat in a double header event as thay did earlier in the year at Long Beach California.

The JaguarRSR team looks to carry the momentum of posting the fastest GT race lap in the last event at Mosport to Mid-Ohio this weekend. With track veterans behind the wheel of the pair of JaguarRSR XKR GTs, the team will be looking to make additional strides to move up the 16-car GT field set to take the green flag in the fifth round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6 with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7. Live video coverage on race day will be available at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com in the US, and americanlemans.com for international viewers. Canadian fans may also watch live coverage on Rogers Sportsnet. Worldwide radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com. or more information on the broadcasts, go to americanlemans.com/tv.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Eight Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR's Bruno Junqueira on Technorati]

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Five Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR Team's Rocky Moran Jr.

All eyes are on Rocky Moran Jr. as he tracks around Mosport International Raceway, outside Toronto, in the #98 Jaguar XKR during round 4 of 9 in the ALMS GT season. Image Credit: JaguarRSR

Five Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR Team's Rocky Moran Jr.

It's August and this weekend it is all about the dedicated road track outside of Cleveland known as Mid-Ohio. The two top technology major automobile racing series converge, showcasing the best drivers American auto racing has to offer driving everything from open wheel, prototype closed body, and modified sports cars. IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series repeat in a double header event as thay did earlier in the year at Long Beach California.

At Long Beach, during the pre-race media day activities, we first met Rocky Moran Jr. behind the wheel of a Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Camary pace car providing laps around the famed 11 turn temporary street course that features the long straightaway of Shoreline Drive. Rocky cuts the figure of an American football linebacker at well over six feet tall which is a little disarming when he might be standing in a field of car jocky's like Cristian de Matta (around 5'5"), Oriol Servia (about 5'8"), Bruno Junqueira (around 5'9")and Patrick Long (also around 5'8").

Rocky is the son and business partner of famed All American Racers' Grand Touring Prototypes Toyota Eagle MKIII driver Rocky Moran (as team driver, helped cement the IMSA Manufacturing Championships in ’92/’93 for Dan Gurney's AAR team) who himself is a long, tall glass of water, standing at 6'3" and over 200 lbs. during his racing career.

Rocky Moran Jr. at 32, married with two kids, hailing from Southern California, is coming into his own as a regular on Paul Gentilozzi's JaguarRSR ALMS GT effort. This weekend at JaguarRSR he teams with PJ Jones driving the #98 Jaguar XKR GT in the fifth round of nine in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón held at Mid-Ohio. We catch up with Rocky the week after Mosport where his #98 just missed making the top 10 in Class when a tire puncture and change dropped Moran Jr. and Jones back to P11.

Driver's Roundtable - The JaguarRSR team drivers take a moment to review the track at Mosport. From right to left are pictured #98 Jaguar XKR drivers PJ Jones & Rocky Moran Jr., #99 Jaguar XKR drivers Ken Wilden & Bruno Junqueira. Here, Rocky engages Ken in a discussion with an intent PJ looking on. Image Credit: JaguarRSR

(1) Your Father enjoyed success in the GTP category in IMSA back in the day. How do you see the LMP1 cars fitting in with such low car counts?

A - The GTP era was very unique and quite a bit different than the current ALMS era. Obviously, the biggest difference is the car count, for most years the GTP field was quite full and they enjoyed large factory involvement and support. You had Jaguar, Toyota , Nissan, etc. Today the LMP field is smaller and most of the factory support seems to be in GT classes where we are currently competing. The LMP cars are really cool, I wish there were more of them on the track with us, I'm sure they will figure out a way to attract more cars in the future.

(2) Have you ever considered the Grand Am series as an alternative in the Prototypes or are you satisfied with the GT series in ALMS?

A - I have raced the Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes with Gainsco Racing and Segal Motorsports in the past so I now have experience in both series. The Prototypes are faster but not necessarily any more difficult to drive, any car becomes challenging when you put it on the limit.

I am more than satisfied to be racing in the GT class
in ALMS, I truly love this division. It is competitive, the series is very well run, and it is interesting to be in the class where you are passing cars but also still getting passed by LMP cars.

(3) How many drivers in GT switch back and forth between Grand Am GT and ALMS?

A - I don't think too many drivers do the switch back and forth. I know many of them do for the 24 hours of Daytona and certain select events but I think it helps to stay focused in one area.

(4) Coming from a racing family, do you ever think about running LMP1 in Europe ?

A - I have not given much thought to racing LMP1 in Europe , but I'm sure it would be a blast. I would love to race the 24 hours of Le Mans , as this is such a huge event.

(5) How do you like piloting a car with the #98 in the ALMS?

A - I race the #98 car in GT and I love it. The #99 car is driven by Bruno and Kenny and they make for great teammates. We are only getting faster and more complete as a team so I am really looking forward to Mid-Ohio.


The JaguarRSR team looks to carry the momentum of posting the fastest GT race lap in the last event at Mosport to Mid-Ohio this weekend. With track veterans behind the wheel of the pair of JaguarRSR XKR GTs, the team will be looking to make additional strides to move up the 16-car GT field set to take the green flag in the fifth round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrόn.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 6 with ESPN2 airing the race starting at 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7. Live video coverage on race day will be available at 3:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com in the US, and americanlemans.com for international viewers. Canadian fans may also watch live coverage on Rogers Sportsnet. Worldwide radio coverage will be available on American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com. or more information on the broadcasts, go to americanlemans.com/tv.

... notes from The EDJE

[Article first published as Five Questions With ALMS GT JaguarRSR Team's Rocky Moran Jr. on Technorati]