6 Thousand Fan Limit for Mid Ohio

A news release from Mid Ohio a few minutes ago:


After working with the Ohio Governor’s office and local health officials to confirm a reschedule date, INDYCAR and Green Savoree Racing Promotions have released the details and protocols for limited spectator attendance at The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course set for this weekend, September 11-13.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that a variance to the Ohio Department of Health Director’s Order has been granted for a total up to 6,000 spectators to attend. Currently purchased event tickets and Mid-Ohio Season Race Passes will be valid for entry. A very limited number of tickets remain for sale at midohio.com on a first come, first serve basis. No tickets will be available for purchase at the gate during the race weekend.
“We greatly appreciate Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership and support in granting the variance to the sports order to allow a limited number of spectators to attend The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio this weekend,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Racing Promotions. “Our team would also like to thank Lt. Governor Jon Husted, Interim Health Director Lance Himes and Morrow County Health Commissioner Stephanie Bragg for their guidance and time to review our plans.” 
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be a doubleheader weekend for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with 75-lap races on both Saturday, Sept. 12, and Sunday, Sept. 13, on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio. NBC Sports coverage of the doubleheader weekend will begin Saturday with Race 1 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continue with Sunday’s Race 2 coverage on NBC at 1:00 p.m. ET. Practice and qualifying sessions will be available for live streaming on NBC Sports Gold. 
“We’re looking forward to an exciting NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Green Savoree has been an outstanding partner throughout this process, working diligently with the Ohio Governor’s office to ensure the right protocols and procedures are in place to host a limited number of spectators,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO, Penske Entertainment Corp. “Our doubleheader will provide an action-packed and thrilling experience for fans on site and viewers tuning in via NBCSN on Saturday and NBC on Sunday.”
In accordance with Ohio’s statewide mask mandate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is required to wear facial coverings while indoors or outdoors on Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course property. All spectators will enter the facility through Gate 1. They will also be subject to a temperature check and health screening upon entry. The CDC’s recommended guideline of at least six feet of social distancing must be maintained while on property.
Limited tickets are available online only on a first come, first serve basis. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate.
“It’s exciting to open our gates to fans again this weekend. The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio is one of Ohio’s premier annual events,” said Craig Rust, president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. “For those who attend, we ask for everyone’s cooperation and adherence to all the COVID-19 protocols which will be in place to make this a great weekend for us all.”
Fans should visit midohio.com/covid19 for more information on the essential health and safety protocols and social distancing procedures. Additional answers to common questions can be found at midohio.com/covid19faq as well as information for those who had purchased grandstand seats, paddock and pit passes since these areas will be closed during The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.

Mid Ohio Postponed

From Indycar this afternoon:

The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio will be postponed to later in 2020
LEXINGTON, Ohio (August 1, 2020) – INDYCAR and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Coursehave agreed to postpone The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio scheduled for Aug. 7-9 until a date to be determined in September or October. This decision was made through communication with local health officials given the current environment.
Our team continues to work with all of our partners and our local government to identify a date later this year when we can host The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available. Visit midohio.comfor ongoing updates.
We appreciate the patience and understanding of our fans as we navigate this postponement.
ABOUT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
A comprehensive motorsports facility in Lexington, Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course sits on 330 acres and features a permanent road-racing circuit with two primary track configurations: 2.4-mile, 15-turn or 2.258-mile, 13-turn layout. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the natural terrain road course is commonly referred to as the “Most Competitive in the U.S.” and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned race events for amateur, club and professional drivers and riders. It is also home to The Mid-Ohio School, featuring over 20 driving and riding courses, for teenagers to professional racers using Honda vehicles. Opened in 1962, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is owned and operated by Green Savoree Racing Promotions since 2011, just the raceway’s third private ownership group in its history.

Portland Cancelled: Double Header at Mid Ohio

Per Motorsport.com this afternoon, the Indycar race scheduled for September 13 at Portland international Raceway has been cancelled.  The race will be replaced by a second race at Mid Ohio August 8, the day before the already scheduled Honda Indy 200.

Qualifying will follow the two group format traditionally used at Detroit and used at Road America this year.  Cars will be impounded after qualifying.

I don’t think we are done with double headers yet.  I still expect the races at Laguna Seca to be cancelled as well. Those events will be replaced by a double header at Gateway and another one at the harvest Classic at IMS in October.

The October races at IMS could end up being the season finale, as I remain skeptical about the St. Pete race at the end of October going forward.

IMS also released the schedule for practice and qualifying this afternoon. I will post that tomorrow, along with some thoughts about qualifying and the double headers.

Last Notes and Photos From Mid Ohio

Per Dave Furst on Twitter- Track management said yesterday’s crowd was the biggest since Indycar returned in 2007. I don’t doubt it. It seemed like a bigger crowd than previous years.

This was the first Ganassi 1-2 finish since 2015 when Dixon and Tony Kanaan went 1-2 at Texas Motor Speedway.  I didn’t think it was that recent.

The race really needs to begin at 2:30 instead of 4. Once again, I wasn’t asked.

The first photo below shows Sato next to Ericsson and Hinchcliffe just before contact. Sato started three rows behind them. how did he get next to them so quickly and avoid contact with cars in between? All photos are mine.

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Quick Thoughts- Honda Indy 200

That was one of the most entertaining Mid Ohio races I’ve ever seen. There was lots of action and passing in the esses.

Will Power must have nightmares about Felix Rosenqvist coming up behind him. He passed Power twice today and also got by Power at St. Pete.

Speaking of Rosenqvist, he had the drive of the day.

I can’t remember the last time Ganassi cars finished 1-2. I’m thinking 2013 or earlier.

Who would have won if the race went 95 laps?

Horrible start of the day both Arrow Schmidt Peterson cars.

Rossi doesn’t seem to be bale to catch Penske cars. He didn’t seem to have anything for Power.

Josef Newgarden’s spin out dented his points lead significantly.  He still has a lead he can easily maintain with his usual results.

Dixon is the fourth multiple race winner this year.  Four drivers have won 11 of the 13 races.

There were some good battles between Spencer Pigot and Colton Herta all day. They seemed pretty equal in speed all weekend.

I love watching cars go side by side through turn 5 at Mid Ohio.

Look for my full race report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.  I have two special features coming up this week.

 

 

Herta Leads Warm Up

Colton Herta led his third session of the weekend, recording a time of 1:05.7048 in the final warmup before this afternoon’s Honda Indy 200.  Spencer Pigot was second jus0.06 seconds behind HeHarding Steinbrennerrta. Pole sitter Will Power finished seventh. Alexander Rossi, who starts alongside Power in row one, was third fastest.

The session was green the entire time. Many teams used part of the time to scuff in  red alternate tires. Sebastien Bourdais ran the most laps, 25, and Marco Andretti ran the fewest, 17.

Tire choices will be announced shortly.

 

Race Day at Mid Ohio

Photo: Kyle McInnes

We are ready for Round 13 of the NTT Indycar Series, the Honda Indy 200 at Mid Ohio. Yesterday’s qualifying will make this an interesting race. Can Will Power break his winless streak?  Can Alexander Rossi gain ground on Josef Newgarden? How aggressive will Rossi be at the start? Will a two or three stop strategy lead to victory?

Power said that he is planning on three stops. Rossi used a two stop strategy last year on his way to a convincing win. Teams may not decide until after the noon warmup. The heat may be a factor today as well.

Qualifying Doesn’t Reflect Practice

Six of the top ten in final practice failed to advance in qualifying. Santin Ferruci, Graham Rahal, and Spencer Pigot didn’t get out of Round 1. Pigot was second fastest in the morning practice.  Colton Herta, who led the last two practices, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and James Hinchcliffe fell out in Round 2.

Power ran two laps at the end of the Fast Six on reds. He had a slower first lap, saving his tires for the  final circuit. He beat Rossi by 0.38 seconds.

Sebastien Bourdais made it to the Fast Six after flirting with it for the last few races. he has been a consistent Round 2 member this season.

DVR Reminder

The race is on NBC. You may need to set your DVR.

Back after the noon warmup and then after the race with Quick Thoughts. Look for a ful race report on Wildfire Sports.