Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 2015

Welcome back to the most best-est unfiltered race notes!!! I have no idea what is in store for anotherindycarblog during 2015, but these were fun, so lets do it again!

—Pre-Race—

Alright alright alright… 7 month off-season, you have not crushed my spirit; I’m here and ready for RACEC… oh… basketball… well… I guess I can wait five more minutes.

IMSP knocking it out of the park. Thanks guys. If there is one constant shiny star in the sometimes-goat-rodeo-that-is-indycar-racing, it’s IMSP.

Note to self: Buy yacht, park in St. Petersburg Marina, watch IndyCar race.

Ugh. Cheever and Goodyear. Hopefully Bestwick can save us.

Wherever these joker are, it looks busy and packed; excellent location choice for this thing.

Interviews, Andretti Autosport montage, Interviews, Whatever.

Beekhuis getting all techy on us. I approve. This is the best look at some of the kit details I’ve seen yet.

Wings on wings on wings on wings. I’m not totally convinced that’s getting old yet.

I’m already tired of interviews. More montages please. In slow motion next time?

Having the drivers talk about the track instead of the commentators is an awesome way to complement the track map segment. Again, I approve.

32 minutes and 51 seconds into the season, and I’m on your side ABC, don’t loose me just as quick. I’ve even forgiven you for the 5 minutes of basketball during my racecar coverage.

Good Command. Let’s do this; it’s been far, far too long.

2 seater has the sharkfin but nothing else from the new Honda kit. I wonder if they think that is the defining aspect of their kit?

—Race—

GREEN

Clean through turn 1. Amazing.

The pack sounds awesome.

There was definitely contact further back in the field before T1.

YELLOW

For debris. Great start.

20K front wings. Wow.

GREEN

6

Penske train up front.

The cars look life damn spaceships out there. Cool

7

Coletti giving Kimball the elbow. Strong start Charlie; let’s at least try and not squander this Ganassi seat all year, please?

9

Nice shout outs for Hawksworth, Coletti, Chaves and Jakes. Always like to see the back of the field get some lovin’.

13

The cars look bad fast. Not nearly as lumbering as last year.

16

Onboard with Rahal. Dude is working really hard to not make any progress on Dixon. Keep at it Babe.

Coletti’s car looks hot. I love silver racecars.

19

Oh yea, Will Power is running away with it. Is there any doubt that he wont win?

20

Filippi takes a handful of front wing. He’ll be a good guinea pig racing without the wing flip doo-dads

22

Simona into Munoz. Ouch. Not covering yourself in glory there Simona. WE NEED BETTER FROM YOU!

No yellow. Thank goodness.

JPM not into Dixon. Well done!

23

Air jack failure on Dixons car. Slow recovery from the team. Surprising.

25

Power even farther out front.

YELLOW

For debris.

<<sigh>>

I’ll run out onto a live track and recover that crap. Call me IndyCar.

The cars look GREAT!

Racing has been meh, but St. Pete usually is. Thus far, this has been fantastic.

It looks like there may be RV camping along the front straight. That is cool as hell. The stands look very full as well.

I AM INTO THIS!!

32

Huertas out. Busted steering rack maybe? A Coyne car breaking? Nooo.

33

GREEN

Montoya passes 2 cars headed into T1, almost crashes himself out, gathers it up and continues on. Welcome back old friend!

And Sato elbows Bourdais.

Side-by-side through the entire back half of the track. Nutso. No, the racing has not been hurt with the aerokits.

34

YELLOW

Marco crushed his shiny new wing because he is not as good as he thinks he is. Come on man, that was rookie.

The racing ahs been good, but there’s no rhythm to this show at all. Lets click off some laps and get through a pit stop sequence without crashing into each other.

Who will be the first to run a stock Dallara front wing?

36

Looks like Sato also has a broken wing. Could it be? No, he has a new new wing. Boo.

38

GREEN

The entire field is much more collected. Looks like they want to get some laps clicked off as well.

39

JPM hunting Helio. Cue the Jaws music.

40

Chaves into Hinch. Carbon fiber flying. This could be a long afternoon. Debris everywhere.

42

These guys are cooking.

Shhh… Racecar.

43

Munoz around the outside of Jakes like a boss.

The booth is fawning over Andretti. I’m not sure they’re watching the same race I am.

47

YELLOW

Jakes off. Simona win a mean tire rub. Simona just crushed the rear of Jakes. Dammit Simona, that’s twice. This isn’t how we get more races added to our deal!

Props to the booth for throwing Jakes under the bus though.

Everyone into the pits.

Helio around Power in the pits. IS THIS REAL LIFE?

53

500 montage. Most excellent.

54

GREEN

Hawksworth and Karam leading us to green.

Power and JPM around Helio. The race is clearly going to be between these two.

YELLOW

Pagenaud into the rear of Kimball and Rahal puts Kimball into the tires just to finish him off. I know this wasn’t your doing CK, but it’s these kinds of things that make me have no hope in you. Wrong place, wrong time, every time.

JPM behind Power for the restart and JPM looks READY for trouble.

59

GREEN

I need to breathe.

JPM staying right with Power and both are gapping the field. For once, I want to see the lead cars circulating. JPM on Blacks?!?!

62

Someone ran onto the track to get a piece of wing. There goes my shot at glory.

Quite a few Chevy’s missing the winglet things. Rahal with a floppy wing.

65

Rahal drive through, and on maybe his best day in a while. Too bad? No.

Focusing on the Power/JPM battle. Very yes. This is the way to keep me watching during side-by-side coverage.

70

Hawksworth pits and doesn’t change his wing. I love it. Broken racecars limping to the end.

Yes, JPM on blacks and Power on reds.

72

Onboard with Power. Sounds like drivers are dropping gears quicker. I always attributed the slow downshifts to low-tech gearboxes. Could it have been braking grip dictating the slower downshifts?

76

Ok. It’s been a while without a caution. The race has settled in. What do we know?

-JPM can keep up with Power

-Simona may not be seen again this year

-wings are made of glass

78

I can’t help but think JPM may pull this off. He is too fast on blacks.

Side thought about the gearboxes: I would really like to see 7 speed boxes in 2017.

79

I see Dracone is out. Did we hear anything about that? Hmm…

80

Why does it feel like Pagenaud running in P5 is kind of a disappointment?

81

Final stops.

Power’s left rear fumbles the nut.

The director missed Power exiting the pits and the race with JPM. THAT WAS THE RACE WINNING PIT EXIT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABC???

83

The booth mentions the JPM/Power exchange up front. Thanks. A bit too late, and now we’re following Helio’s out lap. What

84

Pagenaud around the outside of Bourdais.

OK, we get the exchange on replay. I AM OFF THE BANDWAGON ABC!

87

Looks like no one pulled the jack for Power. That’ll do it every time. Penske perfect?

Good catch ABC.

90

Power is closing. Quickly.

I’m nervous.

91

Booth notes Power is knocking 0.5 seconds a lap off. Buckle up kids, here we go.

I could watch these two lap all day long.

96

Power peeking to the inside.

Let’s watch together now.

100

Montoya may be short on tires.

102

Buuut it doesn’t matter as JPM closes the door on Power. Decisively closes the door.

However, that was a low probability move at best Power. You’re lucky both of you are still running.

105

MOVE OVER SAGE! That probably ruined any hope on a knife fight at the end.

Look at Jakes! Verizon in the mirrors? Move over and slam on the brakes. At least he knows how to get lapped. A few other drivers could take some lessons there.

106

We never once went through the field. By the patented Eric Hall, is-this-a-boring-race-o-meter, no… this was not a boring race.

108

lappers ahead. It looks like they’re racing tough. Good to know there was action up and down the field as we were focused on the fron for the final ¼ of the race

These lappers may be making Montoya sweat.

109

WHITE

I would try and stay behind those idiots if possible.

Kimball spins it. Dude.

110

CHECKERS

Montoya. That’s the way to start the season.

I have nothing left to say. JPM for season champion, You heard it here first. It’s been proven that Power can be thrown off his game with ease if you can keep the pressure on. Montoya did not back down and physically reminded Power he does not own the top position in the team.

In fairness, Power knew the move was optimistic and didn’t have a single complaint. Kudos Mr. Power, that is a huge change from a year ago. All things considered, he’s in amazing good spirits.

Hell yes. That was a race. I totally approve.

Eric Hall

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8 Responses to Unfiltered Race Notes: Grand Prix of St. Petersburg 2015

  1. Oral surgery is not boring either but I like to avoid it if possible. The last time there was that much shrapnel flying was The Battle of the Bulge

  2. billytheskink says:

    I enjoy lap-by-lap race notes so much that I’m not even going to argue with your assessment of the Rahal penalty…
    Seriously, though, this was fun. Site bookmarked.

  3. DZ-groundedeffects says:

    Dude! Please keep these up for every race you watch on TV this season! Loved it.

  4. dylanpt24 says:

    Enjoyed the race notes, keep it up! On the other hand I really didn’t enjoy the race. I will say the aero kits look good, and they look much better than the standard DW-12. But, I do not like how they race at all. Both Power and TK said they make passing harder via dirty air, and combining that with fragile cars is a good way to make the racing less exciting. I had T&S up along side watching the race, and I noticed a fair amount of separation in the top 10. The amount of debris is disturbing, and the fact that there is a parts shortage is also disturbing. Penkse domination got pretty boring pretty fast. It seems to me that Honda is only half a tenth off of Chevy, but the adjustable parts have really helped Penske and to a lesser extent Ganassi pull away from the field.

    The race got interesting once Montoya caught Power. If a Penske has to win the title, I’d prefer it to be Helio or JPM, and since I cheered for JPM for years in NASCAR, I would enjoy seeing him return to Indycar and win a title. He improved all last year, and the fact that JPM outright beat Power means he should be a threat all year.

    Of course I am biased against this race because none of my favorite drivers (Hinch/Simona/Newgarden/Karam) did well. At all. That was horrifying, especially since Simona and Newgarden were alright in qualifying.

    Hawksworth and Sato were fairly competitive with Honda and Foyt, so that’s something. Coyne’s team might not finish a single race in the top 15, though I suppose strategy and attrition might help Huertas do well again.

    • Eric Hall says:

      I think It is still a bit early to judge the racing. We already know there would be more dirty air, but St. Pete is always kind of low to moderate in terms of passing.

  5. WingSideUp says:

    Excellent notes Eric! While CK needs something,(not sure what yet…), GR pulled a GR. Hated to see Simona struggle so much. Three of us had a Google+ Hangout and all three agreed that this was kind of a S*#^ show, but nonetheless still entertaining in a weird kind of way. Oh and Sato finished the race say whaaat? Keep up the good work!

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