The streets of Baltimore were transformed into a high speed raceway over the weekend of 2 September to 4 September 2011 for the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix. The new race now forms part of both the American Le Mans Series and the IndyCar Series. A multi-year contract was signed between IndyCar and Baltimore Racing Development to secure the future of this event. The circuit was laid out past the Inner Harbor and through Baltimore’s downtown area. The course is 3.28 kilometers in length with the Pratt Street intersection being the start and finish line of the event. The first person to win the Baltimore Grand Prix was Will Power.
Last weekend Will Power was able to capture the IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma, and this past weekend he was able to grab another victory on this new course. This talented Australian race car driver seemed extremely confident as he negotiated his car around the hairpin turns and the parts of the course that were a little bumpy, and did not make one mistake while taking on the Baltimore Grand Prix. During the practice sessions, which took place on Friday, 2 September 2011, Power was able to secure the best times through the course and when race day arrived, he was able to lead for seventy of the seventy-five laps of the race. Power was extremely happy with what he called a “championship run”, but said that he was exhausted. The competition is most definitely heating up, as Power is now a mere five points behind Dario Franchitti, who is the current points leader, but could only manage a fourth position during the Baltimore Grand Prix.
Oriol Servia from Spain finished in second position, followed by Brazil’s Tony Kanaan. Fifth position was taken by Scott Dixon, with Danica Patrick in sixth, who will be moving over to NASCAR in three races time. The massive bottle of champagne that was sprayed out in victory was a crowning moment for Will Power, and he is looking forward to trying to deliver another spectacular performance in the next IndyCar event, which will be another road course at the Indy Japan 300 on 18 September 2011.
Sunday, 26 July 2011, the 2011 edition of the Edmonton Indy was held, and Will Power took on this event from second pole position, with Takuma Sato in pole position. It was a wonderful day for Power, who gained his fourth victory of the season and has slowly begun to narrow the gap between himself and Dario Franchitti, who is the points leader. The race consisted of eighty laps and was hosted at the City Center Airport. It was not an easy victory for Will Power, as teammate Helio Castroneves along with Dario Franchitti kept the pressure on.
Takuma Sato led the field for a quarter of the race, and was then overtaken by Will Power. While the double file restart was being led by Mike Conway, the green flag was waved and Conway did not accelerate, as he did not see the flag, and Franchitti mistook the green flag, thinking he was only allowed to accelerate at the straight’s end. This lost him great track position, and he found himself in tenth position. He commented that he was very disappointed in himself, and knew that his error cost him valuable time and position. Franchitti called on his experience, and began to make his way back up towards the leaders, but unfortunately catching up to Helio Castroneves and Will Power did not help much as he was not able to find a gap to pass, and was forced to follow the race leaders to the finish line. Power commented that the victory was exactly what they needed.
Power has now increased his championship points to three hundred and fifty, but remains in second position to Dario Franchitti, even though the lead has now been reduced from fifty-five points to thirty-eight points. Power took the victory over Franchitti by 1.2 seconds. Even though there seems to have been some friction between the two drivers, it looks like they have managed to put it aside, especially while on the track. Will Power delivered a spectacular performance and won a fantastic racing event, boosting his running for the championship title and giving his team the victory they so richly deserve.
The Milwaukee Mile is a historical racing track that dates back to 1903. On Sunday, 19 June 2011, the track was filled with cars fighting to win an IndyCar Series race. The Milwaukee 225 was a nail-biting event, with it becoming a race between three drivers, namely Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan. But, as misfortune fell upon his rivals, Franchitti’s road to victory was cleared, giving him his third event victory for this season.
Dario Franchitti did dominate for most of the race, but as the laps increased, so did the progress of Castroneves and Kanaan, becoming serious rivals for Franchitti. Castrovenes did so well that he eventually took the lead, but it was not to be for him. As a rear tire began to go flat, he was forced to decrease speed on Lap 167. Castrovenes did not leave the track, as he was patiently waiting for the caution flag to come out, but when it eventually did, with only thirty-one laps left of the race, Kanaan had an unfortunate incident that saw him spin out. After Castronoves made a pit stop for his tire and rejoined the race, he came back in tenth position. Franchitti was therefore able to widen the gap between him and the other contenders and won the Milwaukee 225 comfortably. Due to Franchitti being able to steer clear of trouble, he was able to secure another victory followed home by Graham Rahal in second place, Oriol Servia in third, Will Power in fourth and Danica Patrick finished fifth. Castroneves was only able to move into ninth position after returning from the pits.
Even though Kanaan and Castroneves were ripped from their positions due to misfortunes, all the drivers commented that they had a good race and that the competition was fierce, making it an exciting and fun event for all involved. It was the twenty-ninth time that Franchitti has found victory during his career, and he said that he was absolutely delighted by his victory. Both Franchitti and Will Power now have 271 points in the series, and both have three victories. It is beginning to be a very exciting series and fans will be looking forward to the next meeting with great enthusiasm.
It’s already been a gruelling season but things are looking up for Dario Franchitti after his win at the Iowa 250 this past weekend. The triumph marks his second victory so far this season and gives Franchitti an edge over many fellow competitors.
Dario Franchitti’s winning streak started earlier this year in April at Long Beach where he walked away with the winner’s trophy for the ninth time in his career. But it seems things weren’t about to end there for Franchitti – just this weekend he managed to take home another trophy at the Iowa Corn Indy 250. The achievement also marks his second victory at the Iowa Speedway.
However the win wasn’t easy. With the race barely underway, a number of accidents and cautions brought the race to an almost unbearably slow pace. By halfway as many as seven cars had been eliminated from the running – knocked out by other drivers who were also no doubt doing their best to stay on course. One of those eliminated was Tony Kanaan who had been leading the pack for the first 48 laps. With Kanaan out of the way it was easy for Briscoe to move into first place and continue leading the pack for 85 laps. However Franchitti slowly made his way to the head of the pack, eventually overtaking Briscoe with just 50 laps to go and forcing Briscoe to finish second for the third time in a row. The two were followed over the finish line by Hideki Mutoh and Dan Wheldon respectively. Hardly anyone could have expected pole-sitter Helio Castroneves to finish only seventh.
After Sunday’s race Franchitti now has ten career wins under his belt and no doubt he has set his cap on getting more. Fans will be watching closely for the rest of the season to see if he can race well enough to gain any more victories before the season ends. However, opposition will be fierce if this race was anything to go by, since spectators were treated to some of the best competition the IndyCar Series has seen so far this season.
It may not be the first season of unified racing for the IndyCar Series, but teams returning to this year’s events will likely feel that it is. Last year the unification decision was announced in February, just days before pre-season testing commenced. Drivers were ill-prepared for the changes and many suffered for this during the course of the season. This year they can kick off their season truly prepared for it.
Things started out a bit rough-and-tumble for the 2008 IndyCar racing season after some major changes were made a little too close to the first open test. The February Open Test in Homestead, Miami, was missed and a separate Open Test was held in Sebring, Florida. Teams had to spend at least half the season preparing back-up cars just to make it through with some hope of success. Fortunately the drivers were eventually able to catch up, and by the end of the season there were two rookie breakthrough wins by Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal.
Now the 2009 IndyCar series unified racing season is ready to begin as cars get ready to return to the track from February 24-25 for the Open Test. Stating his expectations for the year, Vitor Meira, who has been racing the series for seven years and will be moving to AJ. Foyt Racing for the season, said: “It’s definitely going to be tougher. With the off-season that we have, the new teams have had a lot of time to think, a lot of time to correct their mistakes. Since their learning curve is higher than ours, they’re going to be able to start in better shape than last year.”
Apart from the Open Test announcement, teams will also be racing two new street courses in Long Beach California and Toronto. Drivers seem to be excited about being given the chance to race where people like Mario and Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti have raced and won before. Will Power remarked that “Unification was the best thing that could’ve happened for open-wheel racing in North America”, due to the fact that “it’s created a lot more interest in the sport.” He couldn’t be more right and no doubt the 2009 IndyCar Series will be a massive success.