IndyCar races in Brazil

More racing! IndyCar races at Sao Paulo Brazil

4/27/12 in IndyCar   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Blog Photo - IndyCar races in BrazilThe IndyCar series has raced on three road courses so far this year and they continue with the road courses for one more weekend before heading to the history and pomp and circumstance that is the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.  

The week off hasn't been without action, however.  On April 18th, Chevrolet filed a protest with IndyCar after it was announced that an alteration to the turbo charger of "another engine manufacturer" would be permitted.  Chevrolet, who has been quite successful in the series so far this year, felt that the alteration would be giving the "other manufacturer" an unfair advantage.  IndyCar disagreed, and the "other manufacturer", Honda, has commenced making the changes.  For those who are technically inclined, IndyCar approved the use of a "0.74 compressor cover for the Borg-Warner turbo-charger".  

I freely admit that although I know what a turbo-charger is, and what it does, exactly what this means for Honda is a little beyond me.  I'm sure one of our on-site engine experts can explain it further.  
Blog Photo - IndyCar races in Brazil
In any case,  Alex Tagliani is reportedly happy with the decision, even though he won't be racing at Sao Paulo.  Tags races for Bryan Herta Autosports, which is reportedly out of Lotus and into a Honda for the Indianapolis 500.  Tags was vocal about his approval of the move, saying he would "have a chance for the pole at Indy".  So far 34 teams have committed to entry in the Indy, which runs May 27th.  Of course, festivities, practices and qualifying leading up to the 500 start on May 12th.

IndyCar racing this year has been rather spectacular.  Of course I am a huge fan of the IndyCar road courses.  The low to the ground sleek, open wheel cars hugging the curves of a road course appeals to me.  I like it even better when the cars can actually pass, and at Sao Paulo, that is a definite.  The track has a long straightaway with a lot of little jigs and jags throughout the track.  There aren't the abrupt hairpin turns of other courses, so the cars seem to be swooping around the track. 

Chevy won at Long Beach, with Will Power, who has shown that he can win from nearly anywhere on the track.  With the change being allowed to Honda, Will might have a bit more competition.  Simon Pagenaud was strong at Long Beach, and will no doubt be strong in Sao Paulo.  If you follow any of the IndyCar drivers on twitter, Simon is a hoot.  He is famous for losing belongings, most recently, his sunglasses, or "sunnies'.  His team teased him by posting pictures of the lost sunnies in weird places and on weird faces.  The things teams will do with a little free time.

Practice for the race gets underway tomorrow, and the race runs on Sunday, but with the time changes, and playoff hockey, the race isn't showing on my television schedule.  Live timing and scoring and online streaming may be the only way to view the race.

If you have comments about the turbo changes, the advantages or disadvantages to the teams, or thoughts on the race, please join in!
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4/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Debi_L wrote:
I understood about the twin turbo and the single turbo, and the 10-15 HP.  What I don't understand is how this .74 "compressor COVER" is supposed to make the difference.  So, rather than explaining wrong, I chose not to explain at all.  I couldn't find an explanation to put it all in laymen's terms.  Matter of fact, I couldn't even find an explanation in highly technical terms.  I'm lame.

Then I join you in the lame pool. I read the explanation and my eyes gloss over.

4/27/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Great job Debi! Green flag is approx. 11:40 AM eastern time.

Despite my name here, I'm not much of a technical guy, but to the best I can tell, the issue is Honda has a single turbo, which is supposed to be quicker on big ovals (i.e. Indianapolis). Chevy (and Lotus, but they're so far behind it doesn't matter), meanwhile, has a twin turbo that is supposed to be, and has shown to be, quicker on road and street courses. Honda got permission for this turbo compressor change (which they're estimating will be worth 10-15 HP) before the halfway point of the season, which is when changes were to be allowed. Not surprisingly, Chevy isn't happy. In the end, I don't really care. This is how engine competition works: each manufacturer will try to get every edge they can. This is a feature, not a bug.

Agreed that the racing has been awesome this year. I never would've thought Barber and Long Beach would've been as exciting as they were. This week's race should be great given the long straight and multiple passing zones at Sao Paulo. It would be nice if we could get a dry race for once (rain is in the forecast again), but maybe a wet race will jumble the order a bit and give the poor Lotuses a chance.

I understood about the twin turbo and the single turbo, and the 10-15 HP.  What I don't understand is how this .74 "compressor COVER" is supposed to make the difference.  So, rather than explaining wrong, I chose not to explain at all.  I couldn't find an explanation to put it all in laymen's terms.  Matter of fact, I couldn't even find an explanation in highly technical terms.  I'm lame.

4/27/12   |   Debi_L   |   11868 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Uh oh. It just came down the pike (both Cavin and Fryer tweeted it) that Newman Haas has withdrawn its Indy 500 entry. With Ed Carpenter Racing not expected to enter their second car, we're down to....*gulp* 32 entries. Hopefully Michael Shank Racing can get the engine they need to complete their entry and make 33.

Just came to post this....and you beat me to it *sigh*

4/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Uh oh. It just came down the pike (both Cavin and Fryer tweeted it) that Newman Haas has withdrawn its Indy 500 entry. With Ed Carpenter Racing not expected to enter their second car, we're down to....*gulp* 32 entries. Hopefully Michael Shank Racing can get the engine they need to complete their entry and make 33.

4/27/12   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Great job Debi! Green flag is approx. 11:40 AM eastern time.

Despite my name here, I'm not much of a technical guy, but to the best I can tell, the issue is Honda has a single turbo, which is supposed to be quicker on big ovals (i.e. Indianapolis). Chevy (and Lotus, but they're so far behind it doesn't matter), meanwhile, has a twin turbo that is supposed to be, and has shown to be, quicker on road and street courses. Honda got permission for this turbo compressor change (which they're estimating will be worth 10-15 HP) before the halfway point of the season, which is when changes were to be allowed. Not surprisingly, Chevy isn't happy. In the end, I don't really care. This is how engine competition works: each manufacturer will try to get every edge they can. This is a feature, not a bug.

Agreed that the racing has been awesome this year. I never would've thought Barber and Long Beach would've been as exciting as they were. This week's race should be great given the long straight and multiple passing zones at Sao Paulo. It would be nice if we could get a dry race for once (rain is in the forecast again), but maybe a wet race will jumble the order a bit and give the poor Lotuses a chance.