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 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama **spoilers**

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
HDT05 Posted - 01 Apr 2012 : 00:44:57
Mar 29 - Apr 01 US
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Drivers make the most of limited time at Barber

LEEDS, Ala. – Team Penske didn’t dispatch Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe onto the rain-soaked Barber Motorsports Park asphalt ribbon for the afternoon practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. They were thankful for such a prudent decision.

Not much data could be gained, though it was the first time during an IZOD IndyCar Series event that the new car-engine-tire package had run in the rain.

Click it: Combined practice results || Practice 1 results || Practice 2 results

“We just wanted to do some stuff, but at the end of the day the rain was getting a little bit too much,” said Castroneves, winner of the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg five days earlier. “By the weather forecast it sounds like we’re going to have a dry qualifying (10:40 a.m. ET March 31) and Sunday it seems even better, so there is no point for us to go out there and take any chances.

“In the dry, it went really well. It looks like the testing we did here so far is paying off. But again, it’s too early, it’s only one session, but right now I feel comfortable.”

Watch: Practice 1 highlights

Power was comfortable in the 30-minute morning session for all cars that was preceded by 30 minutes for entrants outside the top 10 in points and rookies, topping the time chart with a field-best 1 minute, 11.2886 seconds on the 2.380-mile, 17-turn road course.

“We have tested here a lot and know the track very well and the set-up very well,” said Power, who won the second edition of the race in 2011 from the pole. “We just made minor adjustments to the car because we basically know what we want.  I think with the rain qualifying will be mixed up, and if the track has weepers there will be wet patches.

“Driving the new car really isn’t all that different. You carry a lot more speed everywhere on the track.  I just hope the results are similar.”

Takuma Sato returned to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing tent with a towel around his head. He was among the 17 drivers to put in laps in the downpour that cut short the session by 14 minutes. Sato had the best lap of the group at 1:18.8684 and was third-quick in the morning session.

“After the test here in late February we came back with a much better understanding," Sato said. "I was reasonably happy with the balance and hoped that we could improve in the afternoon, but unfortunately it rained during the second session and we only ran a couple of laps. We made some changes to the car between sessions and although it was wet conditions, it felt better so I hope we have a strong package (for qualifying).”

Note: The No. 22 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing car for Oriol Servia made an unapproved engine change and will be penalized 10 positions on the starting grid. 

"It's a new motor and we came out behind the Chevy and the Honda and we're still struggling to come up with testing days," team co-owner Dennis Reinbold said. "Unfortunately, these are things that we are finding and due to time we're finding them out during a race weekend. We found a problem with the motor, which is causing us to change it."

7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
HDT05 Posted - 03 Apr 2012 : 02:11:43
Good job from Power....
Wrighty05 Posted - 02 Apr 2012 : 17:57:15
Replay on at 5pm EST on Speed for those interested.

By that I mean now!
Mr.McPhillamy Posted - 02 Apr 2012 : 17:52:58
Good from Rubens and Seabass!!!

This is really starting to feel like a good series now.

New cars are good, new engines are good, the drivers a top notch, and it's basically a road course series with the select good ovals!

Essentially - the reason it's doing well in the eyes of the true fans so far this year is because it's finally taken the best from IRL/CCWS and have merged them - mainly road courses with several quality ovals including the 500, great new cars/engines, great mix of IRL/CCWS stars... win.

The ratings of both IRL and CCWS were never good individually - but this year, we should see growth, certainly more so than 2008-2011. IMO the old Dallara really held the series back starting at the merge - they should've got new cars then.
LP11 Posted - 02 Apr 2012 : 15:02:35
Will Power wins!!

Will Power’s first win of 2012 in Alabama
Australian IndyCar star Will Power has come from ninth on the grid to take out the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama holding off Kiwi Scott Dixon to take the win.

Power inherited the lead from Penske team-mate, Helio Castroneves when he pitted his Chevrolet on lap 68 of 90 and then survived a restart on lap 74 to take the 16th win of his career – equalling the IZOD IndyCar Series wins by the late Dan Wheldon. It takes Chevrolet to an undefeated streak since re-entering the Series this year.

“(Race strategist) Tim Cindric kept putting me in such a good position so we could use our speed,” said Power. “That last restart was kind of hairy. I knew Scott was going to be really quick and hounded me for a couple laps there.

“Just with good stops and good strategy calls put me out in clean air so we could use our speed. We slowly passed one by one. It was a very good team effort. The strategy was perfect. The stops were perfect.”

Dixon has finished second in all three of the events conducted at Barber Motorsports Park and is off to his best start in the IndyCar Series since his 2008 Championship year.

“We got caught up there in some traffic in the pit; the pit sequence kind of got us there,” said Dixon. “I think we had the car to beat. We had the speed and for the most part the right strategy, but just wasn’t our day today.

“All in all, Team Target did a fantastic job with Honda. I think we’re starting to get on something with this car, so hopefully in the next few races we might be looking at the top spot on the podium.”

Helio Castroneves ended the race in third placing – just holding out Graham Rahal. Both Sebastian Bourdais and Formula 1 convert, Rubens Barrichello finished within the top 10, Bourdais delivering the Lotus powerplant its first top 10 in the Series.

Ryan Briscoe struggled with rear tyre life and came home in 14th position.

Castroneves now leads the Championship by two points from Dixon with Power a further seven points behind.

Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (top 15):

1 Will Power
2 Scott Dixon 3.3709
3 Helio Castroneves 19.1150
4 Graham Rahal 19.3395
5 Simon Pagenaud 20.1050
6 James Hinchcliffe 23.3093
7 Mike Conway 24.5552
8 Rubens Barrichello 25.4023
9 Sebastien Bourdais 27.1815
10 Dario Franchitti 32.7377
11 Marco Andretti 33.5038
12 Ryan Hunter-Reay 35.8730
13 Oriol Servia 37.8944
14 Ryan Briscoe 41.6742
15 JR Hildebrand 44.5059
HDT05 Posted - 01 Apr 2012 : 23:11:40
Wouldn't be surprised if Castroneves wins again...Power had a shocker.
Mr.McPhillamy Posted - 01 Apr 2012 : 22:02:46
Yeah they sound ****ing great

And the cars seem to really blend well with a beautiful road circuit like Barber.
rps788 Posted - 01 Apr 2012 : 19:11:11
Helio Castroneves kicks off what he finish at st petesberg with Pole

rest of the lineup

also vids from the firestone fast six

gotta say more i here these cars the more i think they are the best sounding cars going around in motorsports atm

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