Round two of my Race Sunday, the Indy Car Grand Prix of Sao Paulo is about to begin.
No surprise, Dario Franchitti is on pole.
Big surprise, (not to me) Former Champ Car drivers, Canadian Alex Tagliani P2 and Justin Wilson P3 and Will Power P5.
Tagliani is driving for his own team, FAZZT Race Team, Wilson is driving for Dreyer and Reinbold Racing and Power for Penske. No problem here telling who the players are.
Start on hold. Light rain falling. Race control trying to decide if they should let them go on dry tires or change to wets.
Let them go. Lets get this party started.
Engines have started. Here we go.
Green! Huge crash into turn one. Immediately goes yellow. Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves invloved in the midpack crash caused by Takuma Sato. Mario Moraes coming from the end of the line trys to avoid the carnage and ends up on top of Marco Andretti`s car.
Back from break still under caution. Still trying to get things cleaned up.
Castroneves gets a new nose in the pits and is back out.
Marco climbs out of the car and walks to the safety car on his own. Wow. Nice to see after such a big crash.
Several cars into the pits under the yellow to get checked out. Dixon back out as well. Everyone still on the lead lap.
After all that only 3 cars out, Sato, Moraes and Andretti.
Very weird watching the Penske cars in their new colours. Gone is the red and white Marlboro car and replaced with black and white.
Lap 9 restart ... everyone gets through turn one clean. We are finally racing.
Really tight street course. Its going to make passing tough, but at least they know how to do that in Indy Car.
Dixon moving through traffic. Makes it look easy.
Nice bumper back from break. These guys at Versus have their shit together. Nice montage of the opening dust up on lap one with music. Indy car sets the standard on in-car cameras.
Lap 17 ... Nice racing between Hunter-Reay in 3rd and Tagliani in 2nd for position. Tags holding him off.
Lap 20 ... Ryan Hunter-Reay gets by Alex Tagliani for 2nd position. Tags tires are starting to go off.
Lap 21 ... Now Tony Kanaan is all over the back of Tagliani.
Lap 22 ... Milka Duno brings out the full course yellow. Stalls it in the racing line. Tagliani breaths a big sigh of relief.
Lap 24 ... Pits are open. Everyone comes in. Only car to stay out is Rookie Simona De Silvestro in her first Indy car race, who takes the lead and Franchitti, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan and Tagliani slot in behind her. Simona is not on an alternate pit strategy, she pitted on lap 20 and is on the same cycle as everyone else.
Storm clouds looming in the distance.
Lap 26 ... Restart. Simona holds them off and puts a gap between her and Francheitti. Hunter-Reay takes Franchitti for second in the last corner.
Lap 28 ... Hunter-Reay is flying. Passes Simona for the lead and is not looking back.
Lap 29 ... Contact. Kanaan taken out in the corner by Tagliani who was punted by Dan Weldon. Tags ends up the loser and is out of the race.
Lap 30 ... Ryan Briscoe comes in for rain tires. Great call by the Captain. It is now starting to rain. Everyone else dives into the pits for rain tires.
Danica spins. Cars are beginning to slip and slide everywhere. Full course caution has come out as it begins to pour. Alex Lloyd hard into the wall and his day is done.
Back from break. Everyone is behind the pace car. It is coming down hard. No timing and scoring. No one really seems to be 100 percent sure who is leading, but its Hunter-Reay, Power, Franchitti and Conway.
Red flag. Race is stopped to clean up the track and get everything sorted out.
After a 30 minute rain delay (enough time to walk the dogs) we are back to racing. Rain has stopped, but track is still wet. It is now a timed race. Everyone comes out behind the pace car with their rain tires on and no one elects to pit for slicks.
A lot of the front runners come in for slicks. Order gets shuffled. Pace car is still out. Order is Franchitti, Dixon and Conway.
Green flag. Back to racing. 38 minutes to go. More shuffling as the leader who are still on rain tires dive into the pit. Ryan Hunter-Reay is back on the charge.
Vito Meria is doing everything he can to keep the car off the wall. He is pushing hard. Hunter-Reay P1, Briscoe P2 and Power P3, Matos P4 and Miera P5.
Briscoe gets by Hunter-Reay for P1, who is suddenly having to conserve fuel to make it to the end. Hunter-Reay falls in behind to take advantage of the draft. Smart thinking.
Briscoe goes wide and into the tires and Hunter-Reay goes to P1 again. Fuel issue is solved as full course yellow comes out. Horse shoes for Hunter-Reay and heartbreak for Briscoe.
Back to green flag racing. 6 minutes to go. Hunter-Reay P1, Power P2, Matos P3, Meria P4.
Vito Meria takes Matos for P3. Injured last year at the Indy 500, this is Merias first race back and he is on fire.
Will Power takes Hunter-Reay for the lead. 3:30 left to go. About one lap to go.
This is some great racing all the way up to 10th place.
Will Power wins. Ryan Hunter-Reay second and Vito Meria third. What a race. Talk about a world of difference between F1 this morning and Indy this afternoon.
My vote goes to Indy, rain delay and all.
pictures courtesy of www.racer.com