IndyCar Mid-Ohio

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    There are just four races left in the 2012 IndyCar championship and the next is at the scenic, undulating and very narrow Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

    However Charlie Kimball (he has diabetes, you know) won’t be racing this weekend. The Ganassi driver injured his hand during testing at the track last week.

    In his place comes Giorgio Pantano, the 2008 GP2 champion and former Jordan F1 driver who made three appearances for Dreyer & Reinbold last year:

    Craig Woollard

    Charlie Kimball has diabetes? Never could have guessed.

    Giorgio Pantano, technically the least successful GP2 Champion of them all?

    In all honesty though, looking forward to this race, Franchitti really needs to win it if he stands a shot at the title.


    I initially shouted “pay driver” before I found out Kimball was injured.

    Still, I only remember Pantano for two things: being totally anonymous at Jordan and crashing on the start line in GP2 (in the same race Ernesto (E.J.) Viso had his massive accident). Wonder if he’ll make any better impression on me in IndyCar.


    They finish so early, on September 15. Is that to avoid driving in bad weather?

    That’s a serious winter break, especially without the need to develop a new car.


    Probably. The winter in the northern hemisphere can be pretty harsh, even in Europe, and even more so in the US. Remember there are also very few (read: 1) flyaway races in IndyCar, so in that respect it’s not dissimilar to F1 which goes to warmer and more exotic climes after September.


    It didn’t used to be that way – the F1 season has really stretched out in the past five years or so, but in the nineties the CART/Champ Car season frequently started earlier (many times the first week in March) and ended later (in the last couple of weekends in October) – than F1. Seasons began in the warmer climes of Florida, Arizona, California (as well as Brazil and Australia) before moving up into the freshly thawed-out mid-west. When the weather became unfavourable in the north, they returned to the balmy states in the southern regions.

    They don’t travel to Homestead, Phoenix, Laguna Seca or Rio anymore so the season has been clipped at the extremes, more’s the pity. Makes for a long winter.


    @Lin1876 Are you talking about Magny-Cours 2007? If so I think you’re doing Pantano a disservice. It was Timo Glock and Andreas Zuber who hit each other at the start:

    Shocking crash in F1 support race


    Will Power headed the first practice session at Mid-Ohio. He had a minor off-track moment during the session but set a best time of 1’06.8632.

    Alex Tagliani had a spin and James Hinchcliffe made almost an identical mistake a few moments later.

    Simona de Silvestro had a technical problem in what remains the only Lotus-powered car in the field.

    Highlights from the session are below, beginning with footage of Pantano in the Ganassi car:


    anybody in the states going? i may have scored free tix for race day. this will make up for not going to montreal this year


    Championship contender Helio Castroneves had a scare in the second practice session when he hurt his hand after contact with Mike Conway’s car.

    Conway appeared to be trying to let Castroneves past but in the confusion the pair came together (see the video below).

    Castroneves has been cleared fit to compete in qualifying.

    Justin Wilson headed the session by 0.0116s over Simon Pagenaud.


    1 Will Power 0 1:05.6474 1:05.6474 0 5 5
    2 Dario Franchitti 0.2476 1:05.8950 1:13.0078 0.2476 4 3
    3 Simon Pagenaud 0.2564 1:05.9038 1:05.9038 0.0088 4 4
    4 Alex Tagliani 0.3573 1:06.0047 1:06.0206 0.1009 3 2
    5 Scott Dixon 0.4493 1:06.0967 1:06.0967 0.0920 4 4
    6 Ryan Briscoe 0.5531 1:06.2005 1:06.2219 0.1038 4 3


    @keithcollantine You’re right there, not sure where I got Pantano mixed up in all that.

    Anyway, should be a good race tomorrow. Pagenaud could go well, and Power will be looking to claw back Hunter-Reay. Having him with Franchitti on the front row could make the first couple of laps explosive!


    So Will Power will start on pole position at Mid-Ohio, sharing the front row with Dario Franchitti.

    Simon Pagenaud starts an excellent third and last year’s winner Scott Dixon will join him on row two as Alex Tagliani collects an engine change penalty.

    Championship leader Ryan-Hunter Reay qualified eighth and will start seventh.

    Helio Castroneves, second in the championship, took 13th on the grid but will be starting ten places further back after he too takes a penalty as his race engineer confirmed:

    Here’s highlights from qualifying:

    Join us for the race tomorrow on F1 Fanatic Live. UK coverage begins at 5:30pm.

    Carrick Stonehouse

    Rain looks like it could be playing a part in the race. Will be interesting to see how the former F1/Gp2 drivers fair against the full american racers. Would like to see Sebastian Bourdais do well; How do you go from 4 consecutive Champ Car titles to to failing at Torro Rosso?


    @cstonehouse He’s not the first. Alex Zanardi didn’t score a point in F1 in 1999 after two consecutive CART titles. It’s mostly because IndyCars are more raw than F1 cars despite looking similar, so it’s difficult to switch between the two (though certainly not impossible).

    Still, rain is the great equaliser so nothing is certain. Chance of madness which could help Castroneves coming from the back.

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