Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Will Someone Please Explain IndyCar to Me?

by Tammy

This is an honest request. I don't mean to be dismissive, but I don't understand. I just don't get it. So if someone can explain what I'm missing, I'd appreciate it.... I'm watching the IndyCar street circuit race in Baltimore, and I have some questions.

First of all, aren't races supposed to start with cars in a two-by-two lineup? The first three rows (of 14 potential rows) formed up, and the rest were so far behind that they hadn't even turned onto the front straight before the green flag waved. That put the cars at the back about a half-mile behind the leaders at the start of the race. That doesn't seem fair. Second, we're 12 laps in, and I've seen three passes. So far it seems like a one-by-one tour ... perhaps in part because most of the field was in a line at the start?

Now, I absolutely get that the cars are tough to drive. They have lots of power and touchy handling, and aero that can go away when you get close to other cars. The folks who race them are good drivers. No disrespect intended. I guess what I'm really asking is what's with all the hype about the series?

My bias in this, of course, comes from the fact that I love the multi-class racing of the American Le Mans Series. And I just watched an ALMS race on the same circuit that was phenomenal, with incredible wheel-to-wheel battles for the lead in the final laps of not one, not two, but three of the classes. I've yet to see that kind of competition and racing in an IndyCar race (any of them, not just this one). Am I missing some subtlety? Am I expecting the wrong thing?

Educate me, would you?

1 comment:

  1. You're such a Phyllistein, Tam Tam.

    I missed the beginning of the race, so I can't comment, but I'm not a fan of rolling starts. It's a GP start or nothing.

    I would say that I wasn;t a fan of Baltimore. The circuit looked very cramped. Toronto is probably the best street course in the world.

    That said, I like the IRL a lot. I think it is competitive. The racing is very tight. Most seasons, I can;t tell who will win the race. I must admit, I do wish the cars had bigger tanks so pit stops played a smaller issues in the winner and loser.

    THe big thing to remember is that 30 cars go into the race and any one of them could win.