Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Live Thread

The IndyCars Samba in Sao Paulo [Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Live Thread]

5/5/13 in IndyCar   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Blog Photo - Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300 Live ThreadLast year, Will Power won at Sao Paulo. That wasn't the surprise. It was his third straight win at the Brazil street circuit (he's still the track's only winner), and his third straight in the 2012 season.

The surprise is that he has not won since.

That's right, it's been a full year since the recent king of road and street circuits has seen Victory Lane. Going through each race has seen just a slight misfortune cost Power wins, and in the end the championship. This year that bad luck has mostly continued. The hex has shown up already this weekend, but it was very much by the team's design. In the first round of knockout qualifying, Penske didn't send Power's #12 out until late in the session. Before he could turn a hot lap, the red flag came out ending the session. Without a top lap, Power didn't advanced and thus will start way back in 22nd. It's going to take a special drive for Will to break his winless streak and win a fourth straight in Sao Paulo.

IndyCar has had a long history of great Brazilian drivers, currently led by longtime stalwarts Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves. TK has had a good weekend and will start 4th. Helio was also caught with his pants down by going out too late in qualifying, and is thus back in 18th. There's only one other Brazilian this year, Ana Beatriz. She's starting 16th, her best start of the year.

So far, this weekend has belonged to Andretti Autosport. They filled the front row, with Ryan Hunter-Reay taking the pole and EJ Viso surprising everyone by taking the 2nd spot. James Hinchcliffe also made the Fast Six and will start 5th, while Marco Andretti in 10th gives the team nothing but top ten starting spots. Filling out the Firestone Fast Six are the Ganassi boys: Dario Franchitti in 3rd and Scott Dixon in 6th.

As has been the norm so far this season, the field is very tight, with anywhere from 15 to 18 cars within a second of each other each practice session. In addition, the Sao Paulo circuit is arguably the most wide open street circuit in the world. It boasts multiple places to pass, most notably the one mile straight that leads to the hairpin final turn. The result is a race that will likely be action packed. It also boasts one of the coolest turn names in racing, the Esses of Samba, for the opening esses after the start/finish stripe.

Coverage starts on NBC Sports Network at 11 am, with the green flag at 11:40 am eastern. Timing and scoring can be found here, and More Front Wing's indispensable Event Summary can be found here.

Q it up here throughout the Itaipava Sao Paulo Indy 300.
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5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Points Standings after 4 Races:

1. Takuma Sato 136
2. Marco Andretti -13
3. Helio Castroneves -20
4. James Hinchcliffe -24
5. Scott Dixon -35
6. Ryan Hunter-Reay -42
7. Justin Wilson -45
8. Oriol Servia -47
9. Simona de Silvestro -50
10. Charlie Kimball -56

Very different top 10 than we're used to. Dario is tied for 15th, 66 points back. Power is tied for 18th, 68 points back.

And with that, the next race is the Indianapolis 500.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Unofficial Results of a race that if you didn't enjoy, I just don't know what to tell you.

1. James Hinchcliffe (last turn, last lap pass for the win, doesn't get better than that)
2. Takuma Sato
3. Marco Andretti (another street course podium)
4. Oriol Servia (huge run for a guy who really really needs it given the team's uncertain future)
5. Josef Newgarden (new career best, great run for an emerging talent)
6. EJ Viso
7. Dario Franchitti
8. Simona de Silvestro
9. Simon Pagenaud
10. Charlie Kimball
11. Ryan Hunter-Reay
12. Alex  Tagliani
13. Helio Castroneves
14. Sebastien Bourdais
15. JR Hildebrand
16. Tristan Vautier
17. James Jakes
18. Scott Dixon
19. Sebastian Saavedra
20. Justin Wilson -2 laps
21. Tony Kanaan -3 laps (running out of fuel? *facepalm*)
22. Graham Rahal -4 laps
23. Ed Carpenter -4 laps
24. Will Power DNF (Mechanical)
25. Ana Beatriz DNF (Mechanical)

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinchcliffe wins on the last turn! Absolutely incredible racing at the end. One of the best ending ever.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinch to 2nd. Both him and Sato have 1 push left.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Josef went for it, and Taku with some ridiculous defensive driving! 4 to go.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Great battle for the win! 6 laps left.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinch into 3rd. He gets by Pagenaud.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Sato has 1 push to pass left. Newgarden is right behind with 4 pushes.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Josef and Simon both started in the back. Now they're in podium spots. Pagenaud had pitted 6 times today and had a drive through penalty. Incredible.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Newgarden takes 2nd on the restart! Pagenaud then gets by Hinch for 3rd.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Top 10: Sato, Hinch, Newgarden, Marco, Pagenaud, RHR, Servia, Viso, Jakes, Dario.

TK ran out of fuel. He's back out there now.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JR pits. Sato assumes the lead.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Sato into second, and Wilson into the tires. Caution with 20 laps to go.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hinch and Sato get by Marco on the restart. Graham is between JR and Hinch. JR is going to need lots of yellow still to make it.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

JR leads Marco at the restart.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

A bunch of cars pitted before the caution, which had now come for Kanaan.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

The final pit stops have started, not counting RHR's forced stop. Everyone should be able to make it from here, with the possible exception of Hunter-Reay.

Oh no, TK is slowing.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Servia and Dario get by TK for 2nd and 3rd.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Now Marco takes the lead! It's suddenly action all over the front.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Tire going down for Hunter-Reay.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK gets it done on the outside of the hairpin and takes the lead! Marco is up to 3rd and now passes RHR for 2nd! Servia by Dario for 4th!

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

So, first we had a great battle for 4th between Servia and Andretti, then we had a total mess between Bourdais, Helio, JR, and Pagenaud. Caution yet again.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

(Edited by Eric_)

Yellow for debris caused from Rahal. Sato pits, and it's not a good one. He drops back to 17th. RHR back in front, then TK-Dario-Dixon-Servia.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Hunter-Reay has been told to save. Sato has not, thus Sato has run away from RHR.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Sato is flying. He passes Hunter-Reay for 3rd. Top two (Bourdais and Newgarden) are on different strategies and are pitting now. So Sato will inherit the lead of the race.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Restart was...not good. Multiple cars involved, including Helio (cut the corner), Jakes, Rahal, and Carpenter.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Pit stops under caution. RHR takes back the lead, followed by Dixon-TK-Sato-Dario. 9 cars did not pit and are the top 9, led by Bourdais.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

And just as I say that, his car is on fire.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Will Power is up to 12th so far. Moving up like Jaws.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

TK passes Dario for 2nd, and the crowd goes nuts! Now TK takes the lead!

This is TK's 200th consecutive IndyCar start. He's still suffering from an injured hand from his wreck at Long Beach.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

(Edited by Eric_)

Bia is slow. That sucks for her on what I'm sure is a huge weekend for her and her sponsors.

Edit: Caution out now for it. A bunch of cars pitted and now commit to a three stop strategy.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

First lap clean somehow.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Also, we now have 33 entrants for the Indy 500. The last three spots were filled by Pippa Mann (Coyne), Townsend Bell (Panther), and Buddy Rice (Schmidt). Still working for rides are Jay Howard, Bryan Clauson, and the Lazier brothers.

5/5/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

One note. Unlike every other year, rain is not in the forecast for this race.