Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 is Underway!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg; I thought it was a good, interesting race. The winner was no surprise, but it was fun watching him do it.

For the first time I was able to watch live timing and scoring during the race. (Sometimes I'm a little behind the times...) What a fantastic addition to the race-watching experience! It added almost as much depth and detail as being there in person. For once, I was able to watch the leader and the rest of the field throughout the race. I knew Mike Conway was on the move, and wondered why the TV folks never seemed to notice. Is there a publicly-available source for every driver's lap times over the whole race? I have some questions about what Will Power was able to do. Quick notes on some of the race's controversies: Power's slow restart was fine. Were Conway's problems just the result of communicating with a new team? Once they get sorted out it doesn't look like Ed Carpenter Racing will have any problem proving the naysayers wrong. I was impressed with Jack Hawksworth. Takuma Sato and AJ Foyt Racing will not be ignored this year. There are lots of other great storylines that will carry over to...

The Grand Prix of Long Beach!
The second race of the year will be the first to feature standing starts. I'm not a fan of these. There's already a popular open-wheel series that uses standing starts. I don't see what they add to a race; if anything they seem to cause more problems, drivers don't seem to like them, and the DW12 doesn't seem particularly suited to the practice. There is nothing unexciting about a flying start-it's one of the trademarks of that big race in May.

Why we're talking about Long Beach and F1, it seems that the promoter is working to make the street circuit race a Formula 1 event in the near future. I'll admit I'm very pessimistic when it comes to combining "Formula 1" and "America" in any way: witness the number of American F1 teams talked about vs the number that have made the grid in the past 15 years and that second American race that keeps getting postponed, etc. But this move has the feeling of a cash grab for the promoter, damn whatever is best for the event, the host city, etc. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I just don't want to lose an Indycar event.

If you don't already, please follow me on Twitter: @FlatIntoOne . I try to get at least a few (and sometimes many more) tweets off during the race broadcast.

And now for a brief commercial message:
You may have noticed the button above advertising my Kickstarter. It's not Indy or Indycar related, but I think it's a cool shirt. Contributing $20 will get one shipped to your door. For some shirts closer to the theme of this blog, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page for the links to check out and order them.

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