It’s that time again and I’m not talking about that vain hope of Britain finishing on the left hand side of the board (one day we’ll do it again, one day). Here’s the top and bottom three moments of the opener to the Month of May, the IndyCar Grand Prix.
Twin Checkered Flags
1: Feel the Power
After one of the worst opening three races in his IndyCar career, Will Power is firmly on the rebound.
A second place at last week’s race at Phoenix has been built upon with a qualifying lap at Indy that broke the previous record, was almost half a second faster than teammate Helio Castroneves and was the 250th pole for Team Penske. While Castroneves was the only other driver to lead laps, it was only 24 next to Power’s 61 as he cruised to victory, finishing ahead of Scott Dixon by five seconds while third place Ryan Hunter-Reay was a further seven seconds back still.
With win number 30 secured, he’s now one ahead of Castroneves and Team Penske legend Rick Mears and one behind his old rival Dario Franchitti and Canadian bad boy Paul Tracy. Could he get another ten wins to join that rather elite club of 40 or more wins?
Yes, I really think he could do it.
2: An Andretti Car on the Podium
Remember when we’d always have an Andretti Autosport car on the podium?
When they were constantly getting or snapping at wins?
When they really were one of the big three?
I know, I barely remember it either.
The good news, after a horrid start to the season with two races that have had the full team DNF, THEY FINALLY GOT A PODIUM.
Did I celebrate it like Hunter-Reay actually won?
YOU CAN BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR I DID.
3: Fifth or above only
I know that we shouldn’t be surprised that Dixon is sitting second in the championship, a man whose 6th place finish in the standings last year was the worse he’d had since finishing 4th back in 2006. We shouldn’t be shocked either at Simon Pagenaud continuing to show his strength since winning the championship last year.
The lowest finish either man has had so far this season?
When you think about how competitive the series is, that’s some impressive driving.
1: Eurovision and Twitter, better commentary.
Saturday wasn’t just race day, oh no, it was also the Eurovison finals. As such although I was watching the race and following the live timing and twittersphere, especially the rest of the Grid Girls (podcast on all their takes of the race, if you haven’t already listened, is available here), all I could hear was Graham Norton’s dry wit, Epic Sax Man’s return and should-really-be-in-a-Disney-movie-with-that-song-and-those-looks Salvador Sobral winning it all. Turns out, that was pretty much an improvement on what we got. But then again, it was ABC which, as we know, stands for…
2: Always Bad Coverage
Lets be honest, there’s always a sense of dread when it comes to ABC handled races. Action is often missed and then glossed over in replays if we’re lucky. Otherwise the commentary team seems just as confused about how drivers are doing too which really isn’t a good look. Then again, neither is putting the wrong driver image to the name (yes,it was noticed). Thankfully we only have to deal with them for a few more races, Detroit and the Indianapolis 500…
3: Marco, Marco, Marco…
With the rest of the Andretti Autosport team sitting just within the top ten, you’d think that Marco Andretti would also be close to or outside of it.
Nope, he’s eighteenth.
Now granted, you can put two of those results, Long Beach and Barber, down to mechanical issues and Phoenix to a case of wrong place wrong time. But that sloppy start at Indy which ended up with him punting Tony Kanaan off the track and earning himself a drive-through penalty?
Come on man.