Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Barber Motorsport Park, IndyCar, 2018

Alabama Grand Prix postponed due to rain


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Round four of the 2018 IndyCar championship has been postponed following heavy rain at Barber Motorsport Park.

Just 23 of the scheduled 90 laps of the Alabama track had been completed when race officials abandoned efforts to run the race on Sunday. The race will resume at 11:30am local time on Monday.

Pole sitter Josef Newgarden led the opening period of the race which began after an extra lap under caution and a single-file start. After a dozen laps of green flag running, Charlie Kimball hit the wall, blaming contact from Ed Jones. Kimball’s subsequent stoppage caused a lengthy caution period.

By the time the race resumed several large puddles had appeared on the pit straight. One of them almost caught out Newgarden, and another one finished team mate Will Power’s race. His car snapped sideways approaching turn one and he almost took Ryan Hunter-Reay with him as he spun into the pit wall.

The race was red-flagged shortly afterwards. A brief attempt to restart the race was made half an hour later, but with track conditions clearly no better the cars returned to the pits after a handful of laps under yellow.


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Keith Collantine
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12 comments on “Alabama Grand Prix postponed due to rain”

  1. Bummer, Barber has some areas that don’t drain adequately during heavy rain. Can’t race with standing water on numerous areas of the track.

  2. Ohh.. Are they using Pirellis too?

    1. Justin (@boombazookajd)
      23rd April 2018, 2:53

      @jpvalverde85 Worse, Firestones. The tires are small and aren’t very good. In fact, Firestone is bringing a new wet tire for a later race, I think it’s Chicago but maybe I’m wrong.

      It all kinda went downhill after a safety car was called out for a stranded car. The track went right back to soaking wet. Granted they use track drying vehicles but the damage was pretty much already done. It probably doesn’t help that they use a little Honda for a safety car… I can only imagine how Lewis would react behind that grocery getter.

      1. He’d react by saying the tracks fine, let’s go racing…..

      2. @jpvalverde85 @boombazookajd The abandoned effort to restart the race was quite an exercise in optimism. The track looked worse than when they’d originally red-flagged it.

      3. @boombazookajd – Or Bridgestone as they are known in the rest of the world.

        1. Ha, learn something new every day. Did not realise the connection – its bloody obvious now I have though! 😀

      4. They are to be delivered for Detroit, first races after Indy, but when it rains Detroit is even worse than Barber. It is a state park on an island, drainage was not a top priority in road construction.

      5. The Firestone tires are very good.

        “Bringing for a later race Chicago” You obviously have no clue about the tires or IndyCar. They don’t race at Chicago.

  3. wonder if the new car design played a role in the problems?

    as i recall from when ground effects was a thing in the past ground effects is less effective at lower speeds and it was always a problem with the wet. also you have to run ground effect cars stiffer to maintain the stable platform and that isn’t always something you want to do in the wet where you tend to need to soften the car but doing this reduced the ground effect effectiveness.

    i also recall drivers of the early 1980’s when f1 was using ground effects saying that the tunnels under the car and shaped underfloor was throwing more spray into the air and creating much bigger visibility problems in the wet conditions.

    there were reasons ground effects went away, reducing speed for safety was one but there were also other concerns (how stiff cars needed to be run, they had a tendency to lift easier, drivers didn’t like the way they drove, they could lose grip suddenly over bumps or rises in the road among other issues) and i feel people have forgotten those things and that they are going to be coming back to haunt us.

    1. According to the drivers, aquaplaning on the straights was their biggest fear. There were a lot of puddles & the Barber facility seems to have an issue with drainage. Apparently they have ‘worked on improving’ the issue but I couldn’t see any kerb or corner where there appeared to be any water disappearing down a drain.

  4. It’s also the volume of rain that fell, I live 90 min away and everything is saturated with more rain expected after continuing all night. Barber does not drain at the best of times so multiple inches, reports of 6+ so far means rivers across the track no matter what you do.

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