IndyCar Round #4 - Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle
A very exciting and competitive season start to 2011 to say the least.
Ok, complain that there was some predictability through the first street and road course races, in that, the first race through the streets of St. Petersburg was dominated by last year's championship winner, Dario Franchitti, and that the second race on the dedicated road course through the rolling landscape at Barber in Alabama was dominated by last year's inaugural Mario Andretti trophy for dominance in road and street courses, and 2011 Championship runner-up, Will Power but the level of competition and the mix of drivers and teams that have shown great promise have increased in this fourth year since American open-wheel racing became unified (and this last year of the old Dallara chassis).
Take the third contest through the streets of Long Beach ... it was won by six seconds by someone who started the last Yellow Flag caution period in P6. Mike Conway ran and qualified fairly well most all weekend, but no one had anything for him at the end of the race where he conserved his car and unleashed it with about 17 laps to go to end with a dominating win. Qualifications had four of the top six spots filled with three former ChampCar Series drivers with Power - P1, Servia - P4 and Wilson - P5 ... and one European transferee from England, Mike Conway in P3.
In the IZOD ICS Championship points race going into Round #4, we see a pattern developing because as it was in qualifications at Long Beach, four of the top six places are occupied by three former ChampCar Series drivers with Power - P2, Servia - P4 and Tagliani - P6 ... and one European transferee from England, Mike Conway in P5.
Day one of Round #4 down in Brazil, this trend of competition in the old Dallara chassis, continues. Ryan Briscoe sets early fastest laps in the first practice session of the day at 01:25.1072 - 107.272mph. The top pacesetters followed with teammate Will Power - 01:25.1421 - 107.228mph - 0.0349 difference / Ryan Hunter-Reay / Helio Castroneves / Justin Wilson / Dario Franchitti round out the top six. Mike Conway, Round #3 winner at Long Beach ended up in the middle of the first session order in P12 at 01:25.7720 - 106.440mph at over a half-a-second off of the pace at 0.6648 behind.
[Session #1 Results]
Round #4 second practice session yields a surprise fast lap by HVM driver, Swiss born Simona de Silvestro. She was able be the second fastest of the session behind Will Power (01:24.151 - 108.491, nearly a second faster than practice session #1) at 1:24.231. Scott Dixon / Ryan Hunter-Reay / Dario Franchitti / Helio Castroneves round out the top six. Knock out qualifications begin via live Timing & Scoring with the augmented IMS Radio Network call on indycar.com at 2 p.m. (ET). VERSUS' coverage begins at 6 p.m. (ET).
[Session #2 Results]
Firestone Fast Six Qualifying - this excerpted and edited from indycar.com -
Will Power earned his fourth consecutive PEAK Performance Pole Award of the season and gave Penske Racing its 200th Indy car pole in the Firestone Fast Six qualifying for theItaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle.
Power, driving the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, set the track record of 1 minute, 1.8958 seconds with three minutes left in the 10-minute shootout on the 2.536-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
Like at Long Beach two weeks earlier, Ryan Hunter-Reay will join Power on the front row. They finished 1-2 in the inuagural IZOD IndyCar Series race in Brazil, with Power starting the 2010 season with the victory.
Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe will share Row 2, while Graham Rahal and Dario Franchitti will be on the third row for the 75-lap race (noon ET on VERSUS). It's the best start of the season for Rahal, driving the No. 38 car for Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing.
Vitor Meira, who finished third in the 2010 race, missed advancing to Segment 2 by 0.0647 of a second – the third time this season (gaps of 0.0091 of a second at St. Petersburg and 0.1937 of a second at Long Beach). … Sebastien Bourdais, completing his initial road/street course stint of the season with Dale Coyne Racing, will start a season-high 12th in the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America car. … Eight different teams were represented in 12-car Segment 2. … James Hinchcliffe bumped Simona de Silvestro, who posted the second-quickest lap in practice, from advancing to Segment 2 on his final lap.[Full Results]
... and Mike Conway, the third winner in as many races? ... he will be starting inside row 5 in P9, his best position of the weekend.
Schedule of events HERE.
... notes from The EDJE