Quick Thoughts REV Group Grand Prix

That was quite a  bold move Alexander Rossi made  to take the lead over Colton Herta. Then an F 1 race broke out.

Rossi did what he needed to get done today- f inish ahead of Josef Newgarden and Cut into the lead as much as possible.. The gap is down to seven points.

Dixon is not quite out of the points race, but he is edging closer to waiting another year for title number 6.

There was great racing and action in position three through six most of the day.

Will Power and Newgarden knew they had nothing for Rossi.  Power said, “I never saw Rossi all day. A yellow or rain might have helped.”

Newgarden was satisfied that he got all he could out of the car and third was the best they could do.

Simon Pagenaud had an impressive drive finishing ninth after starting 16th.

Dixon made a great comeback for a top five after spinning on the opening lap.

Turn five was a very busy, action packed area today.

Santino Ferrucci finished a lap down, the third lap he hasn’t completed this season.

Rossi has now won the three crown jewels of Indycar circuits- Long Beach, Indianapolis, and Road America.

Look for my full report on Wildfire Sports tomorrow.  I will also have a  Road America postscript with photos in this space Tuesday. Thanks for following along this weekend.

 

 

 

It’s Race Day!

Good morning from Road America. We are about six hours from the green flag. There is still a chance of rain but the timing is uncertain.

Yesterday’ s qualifying sets up some interesting situations. Can Colton Herta get his second win of the year? Can Alexander Rossi get his second win of the year and gain ground on Josef Newgarden? What strategy will Newgarden and Tim Cindric use to get the lead?

The results could give us a hint of how the rest if the season will go. Will Scott Dixon starts with a new engine and need a good result to keep his chances of repeating as champion  alive.

I’ll be back after the race with Quick Thoughts and my full race report will post tomorrow on Wildfire Sports.  Enjoy the race. Remember it’s on NBC at noon ET

Newgarden Tops Practice 3

Josef  Newgarden laid down the quickest lap of the weekend in the last few minutes of practice 3 this morning with a time of 1:42.882.  Coton Herta was second 0.35 seconds behind. Will Power had the third best time 0. 38 seconds off Newgarden’ s lap. NTT  Indycar  Series qualifying for the REV Group Grand Prix is at 3:0 pm Central Time.

Yesterday’s session leaders, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi, were fourth and fifth respectively. Four rookies finished in the top ten. In addition to Herta, Felix Rosenqvist was seventh, Santino Ferrucci eighth, and Patricio O’Ward tenth.

I am not surprised by the results of this session. Penske cars have been pretty dominant here, and Newgarden and Power were the front row last year. We could see a repeat of that lineup.

I did some more exploring this morning and found two great viewing spots. One is at the top of the inside of turn seven. There is a large bleacher from where you can see turns six and seven plus the beginning of the carousel after the Speedville bridge.

The other location is somewhat secluded with few spectators. I will just say it is an amazing spot to watch from, but I’m not divulging where it is.

Back after qualifying with Quick Thoughts.  Watch for my full report on Wildfire Sports later tonight.

Saturday Morning at Road America

It’s a very busy day today. On track action begins at 9 ET and is continuous throughout the day. The Road toi Indy has a full slate with race 2 qualifying for Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights. Following the Indycar practice at noon ET all three RTI series hold their first races of the weekend. USF 2000 at 1, followed by Indy Pro 2000 and then Indy Lights.

Indycar qualifying for the REV Group Grand Grand Prix starts at 4 ET.  There is little threat of rain today, but Sunday still looks iffy.

I’m looking at the combined practice results from yesterday. Four drivers had their fastest lap in Practice 1, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, who led that session. Hunter-Reay is sixth on the combined chart. Jack Harvey, Marcus Ericsson, and Max Chilton were at the bottom of the charts in both sessions.  Harvey had a couple of incidents in Practice 1.

Will Power and Josef Newgarden are the only Chevys in the combined top 10 at second and third.

Back with an update after Practice 3.

Rossi Leads Practice 2

Photo: Alexander Rossi had the day’s fastest lap. Photo by Kyle McInnes

 

Alexander Rossi led the afternoon practice with a  quick lap of 1:43.120. Rossi’s lap was the fastest of the day. Will Power was second at 1:43.408. Seven Hondas were in the top ten, one more than in the morning session.  Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden and Carlin driver Patricio O’Ward were the only other Chevy drivers in the top ten.

The top ten drivers were separated by 0.953 seconds. The fight for the pole tomorrow should be that close.  The entire field is separated by more than 2 seconds.

In the pit stop practice period each car was allowed one hot lap before pitting.  Ryan Hunter-Reay had the fastest lap of that session, 1:44.484.

Saturday’s Schedule:

Practice 3:      12 ET NBC Gold

Qualifying:      3 ET  NBC Gold

 

Hunter-Reay Quickest in Practice 1

Ryan Hunter-Reay led the first practice for the REV Group Grand Prix at Road America this morning. The first session for the NTT Indycar Series was dominated by Honda cars with six drivers in the top ten. The three Chevy machiunes from Team Penske were all n the top along with Spencer Pigot of Ed Carpenter racing. Will Power was the fastest Chevy in fourth.

The top 5- Hunter-Reay 1:43.755; Takuma Sato 1:43.824; Scott Dixon 1:43.984; Power 1:444.039; and Newgarden 1:44.070. Alexander Rossi was sixth, still behind Newgarden.

The practice was stopped twice for incidents involving Jack Harvey. The second issue saw Harvey miss turn 12 and slide into the runoff area on the driver’s left. Harvey is okay.

I spent some time during practice exploring various parts of the back part of the track from turns 13 and working down the backstretch to turns 10 and 11. The speed the cars have heading to Canada Corner is amazing.  I drove back to the front stretch through the campgrounds. This track never ceases to amaze me with the skill set a driver needs to do a lap here.

Graham Rahal’s car sure looks Bobby’s MGD car when at speed. Very cool to see that look again.

Welcome to Road America

Just arrived at Road America. Today looks like the best day weather wise. There are chances of rain both tomorrow and Sunday. Sunday’s rain may affect the race.

Today’s Indycar schedule:

Practice 1  12:05 ET

Practice 2   4:00  ET

Pit Stop Practice  5:00 ET

All sessions are on NBC Gold.

 

Remember to set your DVR for Sunday to NBC. If you have the series set to record on NBCSN, it will not transfer over. Back with an update after Practice 1..