Last night I had the kind of restless sleep that is usually reserved for the night before then Indianapolis 500. It was one of my last mornings to sleep in, but I awoke before 5 AM still excited about the race. I began to watch the replay of the GMR Grand Prix. my heart was racing just thinking about watching it. The first lap set the tone for the race.
Yesterday’s race is what racing is all bout- fighting changing conditions, making snap tire decisions, passing, taking risks. Many races these days are run somewhat on the conservative side, but yesterday’s show was a fun damn the point standings full speed ahead race. I can’t recall a race that exciting and intriguing.
Some fans have compared the GP to Nashville last year. I thought that was just slapstick follies. Fontana in 2015 had lots of action, but the rain Saturday added an element of tension to the event.
I hope we have a tone for a 500mile race that will be just as incredible. This race will stick with me for a long time.
Aeroscreen’s First Rain Test
The aeroscreen had its first test of performing in the rain. Reviews from the drivers are mixed. In a post race interview Conor Daly, who finished fifth, said,
“…the water just stayed in the center of the
screen, and I don’t know why, but even as you went faster,
which you would hope it would clear, it didn’t. Again, I can’t
Runner-up Simon Pagenaud suggested a wiper.
“I mean, if we had a wiper, it would probably help, but that
was the first real race with the aeroscreen, so you got to
give credit to INDYCAR. The safety is amazing, but in
these conditions you would need a wiper like they do in the
It’s very similar to a wind screen you have on a sports car.
There’s a (inaudible) wiper. It’s possible, and it would
probably help in these conditions.”
Will Power had a different perspective.
“Actually, I didn’t have much problem with
the rain. The worst part for me was when it was half wet.
We’re on drys, and you have kind of that gritty just dirt on
top of water. That was when I struggled to see a little bit,
but in the full wet, I mean, the biggest problem for me was
the spray from the cars.
There’s really nothing can you do about that with
open-wheel cars. It’s just going to be a lot of spray.”
When the aeroscreen was under development, what would happen during rain was one of my concerns. Unfortunately, there was no good way to test for this situation. Now that Indycar has some feedback, they will look for ways to improve visibility in wet conditions.
Rosenqvist Begins to make His Case
Felix Rosenqvist is in a contract year and it is widely assumed that he is fighting for his job. he has qualified well this season, with one pole and three Fast Six appearances, but has faded in several of the races. Yesterday he started and ended sixth despite a collision with teammate Pato O’Ward on lap 42. Rosenqvist has climbed into the top half of the standings. He needs a good showing on May 29 to help his position on the team.
Ericsson: Adversity is My Friend
This is nopt a direct quote from Marcus Ericsson, but it could be. In last year’s victory at Nashville, he ran into the back of Sebastien Bourdais, causing his car to get airborne. After serving a penalty and thanks to some timely cautions, he ended up in victory circle.
Saturday Ericsson started 18th and found himself in the lead nearing the halfway point during a caution. He stayed out hoping the race would be called at the and made official at the 43 lap mark. The race continued and Ericsson was forced to pit on lap 47. He dropped far down the standings, but came back to finish fourth.
Like 2021, Ericsson is one of those drivers you don’t really notice who is suddenly in contention. I think he will have a great second half of the season.
Thanks for following along this weekend. I will have a photo gallery up on The Pit Window on Facebook and on @tutorindie and @Pit WindowToo on Twitter in a bit.