July 2018 News
Are We Losing Detroit Grand Prix?

July 12 - IndyCar has raced at the island between
Windsor Canada and Detroit since 1992.  

Last year, it was calculated that the race brought $58
million in local spending per year.  This year, $1
million was raised for the Belle Island Conservancy.
The race is also advertising for the city of Detroit.
The race is also non-profit and all money goes to
make Detroit a better place.

Residents on the island have been complaining about
the disruption it causes them.  The race promoters
have made changes to address some oftheir concerns,
such as speeding up track set up.  This year it took
65 days to load in and load out.
RACE NEWS & VIEWS
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IndyCar's contract with Belle Island expired
this year.  It is looking like they will be unable
to secure another contract and Detroit will lose
the race.

Roger Penske leads the current group that
hosts the event with the Downtown Detroit
Partnership.
IndyCar Returns to Laguna Seca

July 17 - IndyCar and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna
Seca have announced that the historic Northern California
road course with deep Indy car roots will return to the
schedule in 2019.

The three-year agreement, approved Tuesday by the
Monterey County Board of Supervisors overseeing
operation of the facility, calls for Laguna Seca to be the
host site of the
final race of the 2019 IndyCar Series
season! Next year’s race weekend will be Sept. 20-22.  

The 22 previous Indy car races at Laguna Seca have seen
their share of the sport’s greats drive to victory.
Bobby
Rahal
won four consecutive years at Laguna Seca

One of the most famous racing moments in Indy car
history occurred at Laguna Seca in 1996, when
Alex
Zanardi
completed a daring last-lap pass of Bryan Herta
in the famous downhill Corkscrew turn to get the race win.

“It’s great news, but I might be biased,” Rahal, now co-
owner of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team that
competes in the Verizon IndyCar Series, said of the
agreement. “I personally won four Indy car races there
and won my first Can-Am race there. Our Indy car team
won with Bryan Herta and Max Papis and our sports car
team won IMSA races there, so I would almost bet you
that Laguna Seca is the site of more victories for me as a
driver and team owner combined of any track I’ve ever
raced on.

“There is nothing better than the Monterey Bay area, and
it’s a great circuit that always drew great crowds, so I’m
thrilled to have Indy car racing coming back to a circuit I
love so much. We will put on a good show, for sure.”
Bobby Rahal
Iowa Race

July 8 - James Hinchcliffe scored his and Schmidt
Peterson Motorsports-Honda’s first win of 2018 at Iowa
Speedway, while
Josef Newgarden, who led 229 laps,
lost second place when he pitted under the final caution
which never lifted before the checkers.

Will Power led from pole until lap 24 when he was
slowed by lapped traffic and Newgarden got around him.

By lap 39, Hinchcliffe passed
Ryan Hunter-Reay for
3rd.

While Newgarden’s lead over Hinchcliffe held steady at
around 4.5sec,
Spencer Pigot had now soared up to
third by Lap 125.

On Lap 139, out came the yellow for the first time.
Zach Veach, had drifted up into the gray in Turn 4 and
smacked the wall.

The restart saw a lap-and-a-half of side-by-side action
between Pigot and Hinchcliffe, briefly resolved in favor
of the ECR driver, before Hinchcliffe got back ahead on
Lap 153.

On Lap 171,
Takuma Sato almost rubbed wheels with
Pigot as he went down the inside of the ECR car
through Turns 3 and 4. The move stuck and the RLLR
driver was into third. Seven seconds ahead of these two,
Hinchcliffe was running one second behind leader
Newgarden, able to close the gap only through traffic.

After pitting on lap 222, Pigot moved into 2nd ahead of
Hinchcliffe.  Hinchcliffe got the position back on lap
250, then got around Newgarden to take the lead.
Ed Carpenter got sideways at turn 2 and had his front
wing run over by Sato, bringing out a caution with just
7 laps to go.

When pitlane opened, Newgarden,
Robert Wickens,
Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud and Carpenter all
stopped, taking a chance on having enough laps left to
take advantage of their new tires. However, there
wasn’t enough time to get back to green, and so the
stoppers simply and needlessly gave up track position.

Hinchcliffe won and Pigot finished 2nd - his best ever
IndyCar finish.  Sato finished 3rd ahead of Newgarden
and Wickens.  Power finished 6th, one lap down.

Despite finishing 4 laps down in 12th,
Scott Dixon still
leads the championship with 411 points
James Hinchcliffe
Toronto Race

July 15 - Scott Dixon started on the outside of the front
row and took the lead on Lap 33 after Team Penske’s
Josef Newgarden went very wide out of turn 11 and
brushed the wall on the restart. Once in the lead, Dixon’s
Honda was the class of the field and he went on to defeat
Team Penske’s
Simon Pagenaud by 5.2701 seconds.

There were two key moments in the race and Dixon was
able to easily avoid both.

The first came on lap 23 after
Sebastien Bourdais spun
in turn one for a local yellow. Newgarden and Dixon both
pitted for fuel and that put
Will Power in the lead.

Four laps later,
Ryan Hunter-Reay went off course in
turn three and
Alexander Rossi’s Honda incurred front-
wing damage after contact with Power on the back-
stretch.

When the race went green on lap 33, Newgarden went
wide out of turn 11 and brushed the wall at the start/
finish line.

Dixon got by him to take the lead.

As that lap progressed into turn one, there was a huge
pileup that included Bourdais, Power,
Max Chilton,
Hunter-Reay,
Graham Rahal and Rossi. When Rossi got
hit from behind, his car flew into the air before landing on
all four wheels.

Rossi’s Honda sustained damage, but his Andretti Auto-
sport crew was able to get it fixed and return him to the
track without losing a lap. Rossi would fight his way back
to eighth place, but combined with Dixon’s victory, he lost
a lot of ground in the IndyCar Series points race.

Dixon’s lead in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings
Scott and Emma Dixon
increased to 62 over Newgarden, who finished ninth and
70 over Rossi as Dixon attempts to win his fifth Series
championship.

It was Dixon’s third win in the Honda Indy Toronto
which ties him with
Dario Franchitti and Power on the
streets of Toronto.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Dixon said. “I’ll have to call Dario
tonight and say I finally tied him at something.

The two Canadian teammates had a good day.  
Robert
Wickens
of Guelph, Ontario, finished 3rd and James
Hinchcliffe
of Oakville, Ontario, finished fourth.

Charlie Kimball finally had a good race, finishing in 5th
for Carlin Racing.
Sonoma Drops IndyCar

July 17 - No sooner had IndyCar added Laguna Seca to
it's 2019 schedule, making it the track for the season
finale, that  Sonoma Raceway decided to not renew the
race series for next year.

Sonoma Raceway, which has a 14-year history with
IndyCar, has hosted the series’ final round for the last
three years and will do so again this September, but its
contract ends this year and will not be up for renewal.

It had long been perceived by some that Laguna Seca
would draw from the same potential spectator market –
the tracks are 150 miles / three hours apart – and there-
fore the inclusion of one on the schedule would preclude
the other.

Sonoma Raceway president and general manager
Steve
Page
issued the statement:

“Sonoma Raceway has invested heavily to build Indy-
Car’s brand and following in Northern California over the
last 14 years, and we would be happy to continue that
effort, but only under a sustainable business model. If
the series determines their long-term interests are better
served by moving the Sonoma race to another venue,
that is a business decision they are obviously entitled to
make, and we will turn our attention to other opportun-
ities.”

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., said that they were
only looking to fill the empty slot in the schedule made
by the loss of the race in Phoenix.  He doesn't see the
problem with having two races in the same general region
and apparently Page does.

I know IndyCar has successfully held races near Indy:
Kentucky Raceway  
Chicagoland Speedway
Gateway Motorsports Park
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Detroit Grand Prix
- 2.5 hours from Indy
- 3 hours from Indy
- 4 hours from Indy
- 4 hours from Indy
-
5 hours from Indy
Sonoma Raceway
formerly Sears Point Raceway (1967–2001)
and Infineon Raceway (2002–2012)
Opened   : 1968
Length    : 2.52 miles
Turns      : 12
IndyCar   : 1970, 2005-2018
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
formerly Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
and Laguna Seca Raceway
Opened    : 1957
Length     : 2.238 miles
Turns      : 11
CART     :  1983-2004