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