Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts about Brazil

The IZOD IndyCar Series wrapped up their inaugural race in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil this past weekend. A 2.6 mile street course offered very exciting racing and lots of odd events that played out in front of the capacity crowd. IndyCar Garage leaves some thoughts from Brazil.

1. What a race

From the first lap race, to the long back stretch, the large mid race rain shower, and finally the last pass by Will Power, the race was everything the series could have hoped for. Will Power showed he will be a force to reckon with this season. Ryan Hunter-Reay was outstanding in his debut for Andretti Autosport. Vitor bounced back from his 10 month off-season with a podium for A.J. Foyt Racing. This race will only continue to grow, in terms of its popularity and demand, look for it to easily be the second biggest race of the season in years to come.

2. Lots of Passing

Tony Cottman did an excellent job of designing a race course that offered several passing zones for the temporary 2.6 mile street course. The 9/10 of mile backstretch let several drivers make great passes on the final turn of the course. Will Power was the key beneficiary, as his pass at turn 11 with four laps remaining in the race proved to be the difference maker. All street-courses should offer these many opportunities to pass, as the racing was dramatic and fun to watch.

3. Marco Andretti vs. Mario Maroes II

Moraes took out Andretti on lap one of the 2009 Indy 500, and this race was no different. At Indy both drivers argued about who was at fault, this time it was cleary Moraes who failed to lift off the gas when he came into turn one of lap one. The wreck sent Moraes straight onto the top of Andretti’s car, and provided a quick scary moment for a young 2010 season. Look for this feud to boil over into the rest of the season.

4. Versus / Direct TV dispute resolved

Even though the Versus / Direct TV conflict was not resolved by Sunday’s race, news of Comcast and Direct TV working out a deal to restore Versus back into the lineup of normal Direct TV channels is outstanding. Millions of viewers will now have access to a channel that has been not available for several months. If the IZOD IndyCar Series is going to capitalize on the momentum achieved from the Brazil race, this is a great stepping stone going into the domestic opener at St. Pete. Randy Bernard, good job for getting this done.

5. On to St. Pete and the first ABC race.

The Indy Racing League now moves on to their domestic open in St. Petersburg, Florida on March 28th. This weekend will showcase the d├ębut of the newly formed Road to Indy ladder program that was created over the off-season. USF2000, Star-Mazda, Firestone Indy Lights, and the IZOD IndyCar Series will all race on a long four day weekend. Graham Rahal also returns to the IZOD IndyCar Series with Sarah Fisher Racing, as part of a two race deal. ABC will also televise their first of five schedule races on the 2010 season, highlighted by the Indy 500. The IZOD Indy Car Series has generated the most momentum the IRL has experienced since the merger in 2008, due in part because of the this past weekends action, and hopefully they can keep building in two weeks.

6. IndyCar Garage Weekly – Wednesday night at 6:30 EST

IndyCar Garage Weekly returns this Wednesday night at 6:30 EST, streamed live on a Tune into to listen on thoughts from moderator Tyler Carmichael on the Brazil Race and other IndyCar Series news.

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