2012 IndyCar Grand Prix of Baltimore

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    IndyCar will not use the temporary chicane on the long straight at Baltimore on its second visit to the circuit this year.

    You can see the chicane in question – a particularly unsightly affair, it must be said – in the background at the start of the highlights from last year’s race:

    The changes will mean higher top speeds at the first corner which should increase overtaking opportunities at turn one, which will also be widened.

    But with that comes added danger. There was a particularly nasty crash at that corner in practice last year involving Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves:

    There will be other minor alterations to the track as well as grinding to alleviate some of the bumps. Details here:


    I can sense why the chicane was added. But it is also obvious why they want to increase the amount of overtakes at the expense of safety.This will never happen in F1…


    I remember that turn 3 mainly for the traffic jam close to the end of the race, good if they widen it.

    As for the accident, wasn’t it partly caused by the chicane?


    Sadly much of the excitement in the championship battle has been extinguished thanks to the blunders of Castroneves and Tagliani at Sonoma.

    Heading into the penultimate race at Baltimore Power has a 36-point lead over Ryan Hunter-Reay and can clinch the title this weekend.

    A win from pole position with most laps led would give Power a total of 475 points. In that scenario Hunter-Reay would be the only driver who could keep him in range going into the season finale at Fontana. He would have to score at least 36 points and the only way he could do that would be by finishing second behind Power. Castroneves, Dixon and the rest would be unable to stay in contention.

    It’s crunch time for Power’s rivals – they have to finish in front of him to keep their title hopes alive. But Power dominated this race last year, winning from pole position and leading 70 of the 75 laps.

    Here’s the points standings:

    1. Will Power – 422
    2. Ryan Hunter-Reay – 386
    3. Helio Castroneves – 381
    4. Scott Dixon – 368
    5. Simon Pagenaud – 337
    6. Tony Kanaan – 327

    Points system:

    1 point for pole position, 2 for most laps led. Finishers awarded 50, 40, 35, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24, 22, 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13 then 12 for 18th-24th and 10 for 25th-33rd.


    I’m pretty sure that if Power wins the Baltimore race, where RHR finishes won’t matter. Like, there’s little doubt that Will will start in the Fontana race, so he’s guaranteed at least 10 (usually 12) points. If he wins Baltimore and starts at Fontana, the lead he has will be unassailable.


    Bruno Junqueira will substitute for Josef Newgarden who broke his finger in his crash with Sebastien Bourdais at Sonoma:


    IndyCar are scrapping the push-to-pass delay for this race. They used a five-second delay at Mid-Ohio and a 3.5-second delay at Sonoma, neither of which were especially popular with the drivers:

    Prisoner Monkeys

    there’s little doubt that Will will start in the Fontana race, so he’s guaranteed at least 10 (usually 12) points

    Maybe, but Power has been knon to be weak on ovals before. If he gets a dud result in Baltimore, he’s going to be under a lot of pressure at Fontana.


    One of the ALMS drivers reckons the chicane may have to make a return:


    Sure enough concerns about the state of the track materialised during practice:


    …and the decision is to put the chicane back. Which is a pity but at least they’ve taken the decision early:


    Was the train tracks where Pagenaud nearly took off? If it is, I can absolutely see why they want to put a chicane there.


    Made me remember this:
    The chicane is indeed ugly as hell, but given the nature of the surface, it’s necessary. Sad but imagine passing by at full throttle and the car jumping…

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Some of the jumping cars in action here:

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Here’s a nice article on why the chicane was installed in the first place, what it was removed ahead of this weekend, and why it was put back in:

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