2017 IndyCar series: Toronto talking points

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One week after a memorable victory for Helio Castroneves in Iowa, the IndyAutomotive Series headed north of the border for the annual occasion on the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Here are my talking points.

Newgarden wins
The Tennessean native led 58 of 85 laps en path to his second victory of the season for Roger Penske, avoiding a primary lap conflagration that ended principally ended the races of championship chief Scott Dixon and Australia’s Will Power. Newgarden took benefit of a yellow flag showing throughout a pit cease (for Tony Kanaan’s slide into the flip one barrier) and led Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi house by rather less than two seconds.

Newgarden is certainly the way forward for the collection. He’s sensible, well-spoken, personable and as quick as hell in a race automotive – all of the issues that Roger Penske covets. It’s implausible seeing the younger American taking these strides and let’s not rely him out so far as the championship goes, both. Another win, and he’s proper there among the many struggle.

Hinchcliffe third
The Canadian hope ran a strong race and introduced his Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda house in third place to cap an honest weekend for the Oakville, Ontario native who unarguably carries extra strain in Toronto than another driver. One day, he’s going to crack the highest step of the rostrum at Exhibition Place after which we’ll see a celebration.

A strong run for Alexander Rossi
The #98 Andretti Honda has been higher in 2017 than race finishes would recommend. Sunday’s second-place end was a very good reward for a staff that’s labored very exhausting to raise their efficiency all over the place.

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion is benefitting from visiting all these venues for a second time after a rookie season that, aside from profitable Indy, didn’t have many vibrant spots, and I feel he’s going to be a critical menace in all places subsequent season.

More Canadian races, please
The previous days when IndyAutomotive used to go to Toronto and Vancouver – and, in newer occasions, Montreal as properly – in the identical season have been implausible. It was a disgrace to see the Vancouver road circuit go away because of the 2010 Winter Olympics, and much more of a disgrace when the Edmonton’s airport circuit additionally ended. That was an amazing monitor and all the time drew an incredible crowd.

Canadian followers are nice. They love IndyAutomotive racing with a ardour, and deserve multiple race a yr.

IndyAutomotive’s Australian TV broadcast is a humiliation
Great race. Would’ve been higher if the parents in control of IndyAutomotive’s broadcast into Australia – that’s ESPN, in case you have been questioning – might have hit the best buttons to make sure that the race featured on-track noises. That’s proper, hundreds of followers throughout the nation have been subjected to a broadcast that solely featured the voices of NBC commentators Kevin Lee, Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell. The solely time we heard the automobiles on monitor was within the pits, by means of the microphones of the reporters overlaying the motion there.

Justin Wilson

(Image: Andretti Autosport)

This isn’t the primary time we’ve had this drawback in 2017. The similar factor occurred at Long Beach (though the difficulty was sorted late within the race there) and that was one too many occasions. For it to occur a second time is unforgiveable.

IndyAutomotive must take a great, lengthy exhausting take a look at the contract for it’s worldwide protection and the way it’s produced, as a result of they’re short-changing lots of followers who don’t get a correct race expertise by means of their televisions and who don’t have the choice of travelling to any given occasion.

Memo, IndyAutomotive: get it fastened.

Marco Andretti to sports activities automobiles?
One week in the past, the IndyAutomotive paddock was buzzing with the information that Helio Castroneves may be heading to Team Penske’s Honda/Acura IMSA sports activities automotive program in 2018, and the persistent – however denied – hearsay doing the rounds in Toronto was that Marco Andretti can be heading up an Andretti Autosport program in the identical collection, with an Indianapolis 500 look thrown in.

Rumours like this don’t usually come out of skinny air. It’ll be fascinating to see if the story develops by way of the yr. One factor is for certain: Marco hasn’t been a menace anyplace aside from Indy for a great 5 years, so it is sensible that if Michael Andretti is certainly on the lookout for somebody to go up a brand new sports activities automotive venture, Marco can be an excellent, recognisable identify.

Points race
Although Dixon recovered from the lap one incident with Power to complete tenth, the New Zealander noticed his points lead reduce down to 3 points. Helio Castroneves is stalking the Ganassi driver as he makes an attempt to win his first IndyAutomotive Series championship.

It’s Dixon main the 4 Team Penske drivers – Castroneves, then Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and Power, tied for fifth place with Graham Rahal – because the collection heads to Mid-Ohio in two weeks’ time.

Not a great weekend for Dale Coyne Racing
The smallest staff within the IndyAutomotive Series paddock simply can’t appear to catch a break. After tearing up automobiles at Phoenix, Indianapolis – the place star driver Sebastien Bourdais was significantly injured in a horrifying qualifying shunt – and Texas, the Coyne crew, no stranger to lengthy in a single day rebuilds, have been at it once more in Toronto when Esteban Gutierrez, filling in for Bourdais, crunched the wall onerous on Saturday throughout qualifying, necessitating one other rebuild.

Robin Miller reported on Racer.com that the Coyne squad is now right down to it’s final two automobiles. I can’t even think about how a lot cash the perennial underdogs have burned via this yr. If anybody deserves a superb karma win earlier than the season’s out, it’s these guys.

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