This is actually going to be my first post about INDYCAR. I was going to do a preview for yesterday's race, but my plan fell through due to time constraint. Well, I don't always have 24/7 internet access.
Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix, through the eyes of a person who doesn't even have VERSUS or ABC or ESPN or SKY or whatever on TV. Lucky you, people. Be thankful for what you have.
All I could do here in Indonesia to follow ICS is watching through the internet, while the livestream itself comes from an "illegal" source, since Race Control doesn't show live footage anymore. You can imagine how uncomfortable it is to deal with webstream, with significant, lower video quality. You have to be prepared for the occasional lag.
I want to start reviewing as early as... right when the track was on YouTube.
I don't understand why INDYCAR didn't seize their partnership with iRacing to make some more virtual videos. All I know Immersion Media has also made some content for other company, like NFL and NASCAR. I was never really satisfied with their product, until they amazed me with a quite detailed city of Baltimore. But only THAT.
I don't like the way the car moves. It's like riding on a constantly galloping horse, and I failed to feel the sense of speed. Probably it has something to do with the animation department, but I couldn't see the driver hands shifting through the gears. Lastly, it doesn't show us the chicane before the start/finish line, and I guess you know why.
In the morning warm up, the crash between Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves took many people's concern. Fortunately, the two best friends didn't hurt each other. They had to start the race from the tail end, though.
Please watch this Giorgio Pantano interview I captured, just in case you want to see how "decent" the livestream was. On top of that, the race started at midnight Indonesian time, as usual!
Respect, at least we always get same day highlights. I was expecting Sebastien Bourdais to battle Will Power at front, but it didn't turn out as I expected.
- New venue, well attended. American Le Mans Series joined the party too.
- Robin Miller is a character. He should have dressed as Bozo the clown. I wonder if he would meet Tony George again.
- Clean start, yellow flag didn't come until later in the race, disappointing for "crash fan" and some pundits who already predicted there would be so many accidents.
- Classic IndyCar trafic jam, eventhough turn 3 is wider than the old Long Beach hairpin.
- Some nice scrap going on, including when Dario saved himself from a spin.
- Enjoyable race overall, with unexpected turnout in the final results.
- Please, Pantano. I hope you'll get another chance to show your promising talent.
- Who took control of the mic? Seriously, how many times it happened this season?
- A WTF moment right after the start. Who else to blame?
- Please abolish those kind of knee-jerk chicanes.
- Unorthodox pit road location could have caused some problems I guess, or maybe not.
- Bourdais went out of contention early. Could have played major role in the afternoon.
- Another awkward long caution period.
- When the traffic jam ensued, people were screaming and crying so BB could penalize Briscoe.
- Graham Rahal's day was "screwed" again.
- What's all the fuss about Danica?
Power is now trailing Dario Franchitti closely in the point standings. Prior to this race, I thought it would never be that closer. I voted for Oriol Servia in Firestone Tire-ific Move of the Race, eventhough I should have voted for TK. I don't know, but I think Servia should get more "chances" to shine this year with Newman/Haas. Historically, I support TCGR, but now I dislike their drivers.
I think Baltimore should become a mainstay event, no matter how bumpy the track is. It's going to be good for the sport. IndyCar Series events need to be accompanied by other series events in the same weekend, Firestone Indy Lights is fine and ALMS will surely boost track attendance, but how about Formula 1? Or maybe TG doesn't really want IndyCar to be compared directly with F1. Wonder how Road America and Laguna Seca will fare in the upcoming years. Now we only have three races to go, one road course, two ovals. Too bad, I can't see some "all-star" drivers coming for Las Vegas race.
The only driver I could think of, was Willy T. Ribbs, but he had a rather uneventful day in his return to FIL.
For some reason, when I hear Baltimore, I always remember my fellow former exchange student Gineng. He said he wanted to be hosted in Baltimore because the music video of Toni Braxton "Un-break My Heart" was made in the city. I haven't asked Gineng again, maybe someone knows something about that song.
OK folks, that's it for tonight, hope you enjoyed it. Take care.