Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Live Thread

Who Will Conquer the Streets of Belle Isle? [IndyCar Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Live Thread]

6/3/12 in IndyCar   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix Live ThreadIndyCar is still buzzing from what was unquestionably one of the best Indy 500's in history. At the end of the day, it was Dario Franchitti taking home his 3rd Borg-Warner Trophy, while Takuma Sato was left to wonder what might have been as his last lap move for the lead ended with him in the wall.

IndyCar is the more diverse series in the world in terms of where it races, and this week shows it. After a month at the biggest super speedway in the world (well, that or Talladega if we're talking size), the series heads to a street courses, the Raceway at Belle Isle. The track is on the streets of Belle Isle Park in Detroit. This race returns to the schedule after a four year absence. This is a big week for the DW12. While the racing so far has been great, Belle Isle is it toughest task so far, and this track is notorious for lack of passing. This begs the question, why did IndyCar come back here? Because Roger Penske and Chevrolet wanted to, that's why. If this an actual race, and not a parade, then the DW12 will be a super car. Rain is the forecast, which could further still promote unpredictability.

At Indy, Chevy dominated right until the biggest day of all, race day. Honda had the last laugh and controlled almost the entire race. This week though, things appear to have evened out. 3 Hondas and 3 Chevys made the Firestone Fast Six. In the end, Scott Dixon (in a Honda) beat out Will Power (in a Chevy) for a pole by a mere .0044 of a second. Given how hard it is to pass, that .0044 could loom large. As for the principals from Indy, while Sato qualified a solid 12th, Dario was surprisingly off paced and only qualified 15th (both will move up a spot due to an engine change penalty on Graham Rahal). The rest of the grid has some surprises as well. On the second row is Alex Tagliani and Simon Pagenaud, while the always unpredictable EJ Viso starts 5th.

In the end, this is a street course, and the master of those right now is Will Power. He's won the last three road and street races, and will be hungry for number four after his disappointment at Indianapolis. He's my pick. My darkhorse, meanwhile, is Sebastien Bourdais. Finally freed of the Lotus, he can now turn on the jets on the road and street circuits (which are the only races he'll be in the rest of the season, Dragon Racing was given just one Chevy engine lease after Indy, and thus Bourdais and Katherine Legge will split the ride, with Legge running the ovals). Starting 10th (well, 9th with the Rahal penalty), look for the 4 time Champ Car champion to flex his muscle.

Coverage starts at 3:30 on ABC, with green flag around 3:45. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's Event Summary can be found here.
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6/4/12   |   Debi_L   |   11781 respect

What I got to see (but not hear) was painful.  I only have one thing to add:

Josef Newgarden is KEEEEEYYYYYYUUUUUTTTE!!! :)

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Unofficial Results (race stopped after 60 laps due to 2 hour red flag due to track conditions):

1. Scott Dixon (lead every lap)
2. Dario Franchitti (was 6th at the red flag, moved to 2nd during late restarts)
3. Simon Pagenaud (Honda sweeps podium, as someone noted, bad karma for Chevy for taking this race here instead of MIS)
4. Will Power
5. Oriol Servia
6. Tony Kanaan
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay
8. Charlie Kimball
9. Mike Conway
10. Alex Tagliani
11. Marco Andretti
12. JR Hildebrand
13. Ed Carpenter
14. Simona de Silvestro
15. Josef Newgarden -1 lap
16. Ryan Briscoe -1 lap (spun during the half wet/half dry track kabuki dance)
17. Helio Castroneves -1 lap (ditto)
18. EJ Viso -1 lap
19. Graham Rahal -2 laps (car wouldn't fire when they went back out to restart)
20. Takuma Sato DNF (Contact)
21. James Hinchcliffe DNF (Contact)
22. Justin Wilson DNF (Mechanical)
23. James Jakes DNF (Mechanical)
24. Sebastien Bourdais DNF (Mechanical)
25. Rubens Barrichello DNF (Mechanical)

Power's points lead drops to 26 over Dixon. Helio drops to 3rd, 55 back. Dario and Hinchcliffe are tied for 4th, 56 back.

Now let's get the hell out of here.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Dixon wins wire to wire, and I think we're all just glad it's over. Newgarden had some fun passes late in the race, even though he was a lap down. I applaud him for taking it upon himself to give those were stayed (and still watching on essentially The Ocho) some entertainment.

Results to come shortly.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Dario has gone from 6th to 2nd on the two restarts. Yellow again because Marco punts Viso.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

As they were heading out to restart, it started raining too. Went green and Helio, Newgarden, Carpenter, and Briscoe all spun. We're officially into farce territory.

Dixon got the better of Power on the restart, and Will lost 2nd to Pagenaud.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

We're going back racing soon. 2 laps of yellow followed by 13 laps of green. Let's just hope everyone finishes safely.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The race has been shortened to 60 laps (was scheduled for 90) once we go back to racing. 45 laps are complete as of now.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

East Coast race feed being moved to ESPN News. Joy.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

This is unprecedented for AJ Foyt. Think about that for a minute: AJ FOYT.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK interviewed. Concrete hit his mirror...then his helmet. Officials say they're working on it, but I highly doubt we're going back to racing.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Red flag, and this is why. This is beyond embarrassing. All the momentum from Indy is gone.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

That's just terrible. Hinch was right to be pissed. There are huge strips coming apart.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Wow. Hinchcliffe was complaining of debris before he smashed the tires. It was like he took some lessons from Marco. Unfortunately, Hinch was right. Pieces of track are coming up and that's what Hinch ran over and caused him to wreck.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinchcliffe in the tires, and Sato in the wall. Full course yellow.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Viso has had so many issues and no one can still get by him. It's ridiculous. Viso is 4th and is 37 seconds behind.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

There's a huge Viso Train right now, as 5th through 17th are stuck behind 4th place Viso.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

RHR warned for blocking. Rubens now in the pits with a suspected engine problem. Everyone's in fuel saving mode and it's very, very difficult to pass. Blah.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Tags got refired and on the track, but Justin Wilson is now stopped in the pits and might be done with a damaged wishbone. The defending champion (from back in 2008) is now essentially out of it. Sheesh.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Huge bummer for Tagliani, as something goes wrong before the green, and he doesn't start. Everyone got through the opening corners cleanly.

6/3/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

One more grid adjustment: Rubens Barrichello changed chassis overnight, and thus was given a 10 spot grid penalty. He will now start 24th.

Dario was complaining about being blocked by a slow Ed Carpenter in qualifying, calling him a "moving chicane." Good old whining Dario. It helps explain why some weren't happy with his Indy win.

Weather looks ominous as the broadcast starts. It's very windy and there are reports of rain on the way, which could help the proceedings.