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.
When the Champ Car World Series merged with IndyCar earlier this year, the 2008 race schedule was thrown into confusion. A large number of races were cancelled in the struggle to fit so many events into an already cramped schedule and a lot of fans saw red. But it would seem that the dents are slowly being beaten out the schedule and things are getting back on track. The IRL recently confirmed that the IndyCar open-wheel auto racing series would be a feature at Edmonton on July 26. The track has received the race under a new three-year deal and officials are already saying Toronto is next on the list to receive a race.
Terry Angstadt, the head of the IRL’s commercial division, said that things were still in their early stages but that the IRL wanted to bring at least two events to Canada and that they were working hard to that effect. He also said that the IRL had a very good relationship with Andretti Green Promotions and they expected to sign a deal with this company soon. It hasn’t even been a month since former race driver Michael Andretti announced his decision to form a wholly-owned Canadian company under Andretti Green Promotions. Even as he took ownership of the assets belonging to the Grand Prix Association of Toronto, he commented that he hoped to start hosting an IndyCar series event at the track again soon. While it seems that this may be a reality from as early as next year, Edmonton will be the only track hosting an IRL event in Canada in 2008.
While moving an IRL event to Edmonton has been on the cards for a while, there has been quite a bit of red tape to get out of the way before it could become a reality. A number of legal problems arose from the fact Champ Car filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and this meant that the IndyCar open-wheel auto racing series could not be a confirmed feature of the 2008 season at Edmonton until these problems were sorted out. Fortunately things have finally been taken care of and drivers are already looking forward to the race. Veterans of the track may think they have an advantage over the others, but in truth it doesn’t take long for a good driver to learn the track and start making their way to the front of the pack. Up to 30 drivers are expected to compete in the race on the 14-turn, 1.97 mile circuit later this year. In previous years the race has seen as many as 167 000 fans making their way to the track to watch the race over a period of three days. No doubt the 2008 Edmonton season will be every bit as great as it has been in previous years, so make sure you get in on the action and book your ticket now!