Welcome to the Hooniverse Motorsport News. Formula 1 ran their second event in as many weeks in Malaysia. NASCAR went back out West for more roundy round action. IndyCar opened another season in Florida at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. SCCA’s Pro Racing World Challenge series supported IndyCar at St. Pete with a double header. This was the first truly big weekend of Twenty-twelve with practically non-stop racing. This report is aimed at telling you what you missed, and what you will miss in the near future. This round of Motorsport News will include more spoilers than a ricer convention.
- IndyCar starts its season
- World Challenge supports them
- F1 sprints through Malaysian rainstorms
- NASCAR in California
- A few for the road…
Helio Castroneves crossed the finish line of Sunday’s St. Petersburg Grand Prix 5.5 seconds ahead of Scott Dixon to end a drought which he has suffered through since Motegi in 2010. Castroneves, who traditionally celebrates a victory by climbing the fence between turn 1 and 2, this time chose to use the fence at the outside of Turn 10, which is built on a street that was renamed in honor of Dan Wheldon last week.
The race was predominately decided by strategy and fuel mileage. Positions changed regularly as everyone played out their strategies, but Dixon and Castroneves remained close throughout. Castroneves made the final move with a great pass around the outside at Turn 1 on the 73rd lap, and from that point he showed Dixon the ugly rear end of his Dallara chassis opening a large gap that he would maintain to the end.
Ryan Hunter-Reay finished third ahead of Andretti team-mate James Hinchcliffe and Penske’s Ryan Briscoe. The exciting debut of Rubens Barrichello ended with the Brazilian finishing the event in 13th position. Barrichello said “I enjoyed the race, and dicing with other cars, although I would have liked to have been able to push more. It has been a good learning experience this weekend, and I look forward to being back in the car in a few days for the next race.”
I will concede the fact that I didn’t actually watch the NASCAR event in Fontana, California. Therefore, I havn’t got much of a clue as to what occured, and frankly, I couldn’t be bothered. I do know that Tony Stewart won this event, his second of the season, and the fact that the race was shortened by rain.
A few for the road
While not exactly news, I will comment that waking up for Formula 1 at 4AM Eastern Time is practically a religious experience.
The new IndyCars are not particularly pretty, though they are functional. The new chassis provides better wheel to wheel racing with wider sidepods, more downforce, it is stronger, safer, and the new turbocharged engines are more powerful. Lap times are almost describable as competitive.
IndyCar’s tribute to Dan Wheldon at the beginning of their television broadcast was touching, but Helio’s spiderman play on Wheldon Way was more so.