Saturday, October 12, 2013

Indycar: Houston races

Last weekend Indycar had a double  header at the Reliant Park complex in Houston. We are very opinionated about all street courses and ovals being off the Indycar schedule, so surprisingly, this is a street course we liked at first glance. The road was wider than expected on a street course. It was a refreshing sight compared to Baltimore and Long Beach, but we still had issues with the layout.

It seems the track designers seemed to want to create unnecessary "troubles" by installing corner-pinching curbs at every corner. Curbs were installed so that they pinched the cars' racing line at the corners. Not that we're expert race track designers, but the competitors should have been given more room to manoeuver at the corners, instead of installing those unneeded curbs. They do more harm than good. There was even a quick left-right complex, where there was only one racing line through. In a series where cars have similar speeds, it should be a requirement that tracks are designed to accommodate 2-3 cars running side by side EVERYWHERE.

A big crash such as Dario Franchitti's are the events that make us cringe at the sight of a street course. It reminded us once again that it's always a good bet something will go wrong during the event. Indycars should take the safety issue a lot more seriously than it is currently doing.


Scott Dixon won race 1 at Houston and was 2nd in race 2. His championship challenger Helio Castroneves, finished 18th and then 23rd in race 2. Huge contrast. Given that the remaining race is an oval, Dixon looks to be able to make the most of the opportunity. The driver makes less of a difference on ovals. Ganassi racing has won 4 of the past five Indycar driver championships. We don't see them screwing this opportunity unless something out of the ordinary were to happen. For Castroneves to pull through, he will need Scott Dixon to have car trouble for .

On our end, we're still holding out hope for a driver's title for The Captain, Roger Penske.