Indy Car and general US Motorsports

McLaren's F1 afternoon might have been tinged with disappointment but theyve struck gold in indycar. pato o'ward on pole for the GP of Alabama. that will start at 8pm tomorrow

Marcus Ericsson, i never seen him so fast 5th on grid, Romain Grosjean really impressed the Americans they quite pleasantly surprised that he was 7th on debut. McLaughlin from V8s 12th & Jinmie johnson 21st
I always thought he was something of a "Button" fast, and capable of winning things given the right car. But not one of those drivers who drags cars to where they have no right to be.

Hopefully he'll win.
bit behind live , so only on lap 17 but how good is Grosjean driving currently. make it look easy with a 7 second lead

to do this in 3rd race is impressive to do regardless, but to do it in a minnow of dale coyne. is even more impressive
Conor Daly with 1 of the great sponsorship liveries
you know its a american sporting event when they have a full concert beforehand

still wasnt expecting full looking stands at indy..but looks good
it is an incredible sporting fairytale, helio castroneves winning the Indy 500 at 46 for the 4th time. a 1 off part time entry, hasnt raced a full season for 4 yrs & was let go by penske for being too old. up there with, Schumacher at Monaco GP, Nicklaus at masters, Ivansevic at wimbledon, williams at crucible.
turning into a strange year of Indycar. we just had a 48yr old win the indy 500 & it wasnt by luck. it was on merit after qualifying 6th. sunday at Road America was 6th race in a row that driver who has led the most laps hasnt won the race. also in very rare occurrence in could be changing of the guard in IndyCar as we have young guns in Palou & O'ward in the top 2. who could be youngest champion since Sam hornish Jr in 2001. in a previous era more oval based championship during the IRL/Champ car split & in the current circuit based era (2008 onwards) only 1 driver in their 20s has won the title that was newgarden (27) in 2017

Penske have had some terrible luck in last 3 races. led all 3 only to be denied in final laps. & now on biggest losing streak since 1999
  • power led detroit 1. til a caution with 2 laps to go & in the searing heat the ECU cooked while waiting at the end of pit lane.
  • Newgarden led Detroit 2 but on the restart O'Ward had incredible pace & mugged him on final lap
  • then on sunday, newgarden had pole & led 53 of 55 laps. until at restart his gearbox broke & wouldn't shift into 6th gear. being stuck in 5th gear he lost 20secs a lap
Just catching up on the nashville race from indycar, i think the way they highly publicised this race throughout the season, it was hugely important to indycar. but it was bigger farce than indy 2005. the track was bad as they basically decided they wanted racing over both sides of this bridge & be near the big sports stadium

we had 9 caution periods & 2 red flags all within 80 laps. it took til lap 12 to do a full racing lap. i cant be confident but if we had 25- 30 racing laps of them 80 id be shocked. it overran so much the sun was setting like korea 2010. many team bosses thought they wouldnt complete the 80 laps

their was same amount of skill in Ericsson winning the race, as winning the euromillions. because vast majority of was behind the safety car. & only gained the lead because he crashed into bourdais & had to go off strategy to repair & take the stop go penalty. so when everyone pitted he cycled to the front. then no could make a gap on him to undercut because they never were racing long enough to create a gap

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after the russian gp a few hours later, its the finale of indycar at long beach on sunday. what has been a very enjoyable season the standings are as follows going into the finale, with effectively 51 on offer
Palou 517
O'ward 482
Newgarden 469

it should be a 2 horse race & a brand new champion, the youngest 1st time winner since 2001 & Sam hornish jr. it should be alex palou's to lose which would cap an extraordinary season because palou strugging in europe 10th & 15th in GP3 then 7th in FIA F3. then last season 16th & managed 1 podium. then he moves to chip ganassi won the season opener has just blossomed, has taken 3 wins & 8 podiums beaten scott dixon which is no mean feat, as might have to go back to days of dario franchitti the last time he was beaten by a teammate over a season.

its not allover for O'ward because we are on the streets of Long beach & with the barriers so close. 1 mistake & your in the wall. its wide open. the permuations are
- If palou finishes in the top 14 title is his
- If O'ward finishes outside of the top 3, Palou is the champion
- Newgarden has to take pole, win, lead the most laps & hope Palou retires + O'ward finishes out of the top 3, for him to be champion ,

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if testing has got you interested in some racing, Indycar begins tomorrow at 5pm on sky sports F1. i think this might be the best lineup since 2009 as we got some
Indycar stars & stalwarts, in Scott Dixon, Will power, Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud
Ex F1 stars in Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Marcus Ericsson, & Romain Grosjean
new Generation with Reigning Champion Alex Palou, Colton Herta, Pato O'Ward, Rinus Veekay & impressive rookies like kyle kirkwood
F2 & overseas drivers. trying their luck, Calum Ilott, Christian Lundgaard, Scott McLaughlin

On pole is ex V8 supercars driver, with the top 10 as follows
McLaughlin --- Power
Herta --- VeeKay
Grosjean --- Pagenaud
Dixon --- Ericsson
Newgarden --- Palou

if i was going to make a season prediction of a champion, to make me look stupid. Colton Herta is for me the most talented driver on that grid & if he can get more consistent. he should have more than enough to win that. is USA best hope for competitive F1 driver
FB ill admit for me league cup final took preference & i watched the race after the cup final. both very entertaining. both had great endings

but great win for McLaughlin, does make me wonder if we are going to get a champion out of the blue. for 2nd consecutive yr. as that was impressive achievement as its no mean feat to go from V8 Supercars to IndyCar, as i cant imagine Ashley sutton going into Formula E & winning in his 2nd season

palou drove fantastic from 10th to 2nd. but its extremely weird because iys its obviously of a case of a driver thats found a series that suits him as he was a also ran in feeder series. coming 7th, 10th, 15th, 21st etc in series's like F2 F3 F4 & Macau
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