HPD Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paddock Report 12 – Toronto by the Numbers

-Dan Layton


And now for something completely different…., a little numerology from the Honda Indy Toronto, which turned out to be one of the more, ahem, unusual races in this year’s IZOD IndyCar Series.

1 – Number of races FAZZT Race Team principal Rob Edwards has missed in his entire, 30-plus year career in IndyCar racing. Toronto was the first and only time Edwards has been absent with his car(s) on track, so he REALLY was sick with some sort of virus that left him completely drained of energy. Fortunately, he was back in action the following weekend at Edmonton.

2 – Number of consecutive years that Alex Tagliani and Tomas Scheckter have managed to take each other out at Toronto. Last year, it was Tags tagging Tomas. This time it was “wreckter” wrecking Alex. Are they even now?

3 – The turn where almost all of the contact in a contact-filled race took place.

4 – Number of paint schemes on Tony Kanaan’s Andretti Autosport entry this season, with at least a couple more to come. This week, the featured sponsor was Nestle Pure Life bottled water so the car’s primary color was blue, instead of the usual green/white.

5 – in seconds, Justin Wilson’s lead just before the caution period and ill-fated restart that saw him lose a potential – no – expected race win to Will Power.

6 – The number of tire sets distributed by Firestone to each IndyCar entry, including three sets of primary (“Black” sidewall) tires, and three sets of the quicker, softer “Red” alternate compounds. This is why proper tire management is essential over the course of the race weekend. There are also rain tires (up to five sets per driver) if needed.

7 – Cars eliminated due to various incidents of contact during the race.

8 – The ill-fated turn where Wilson spun after losing the lead to Power. But, special bonus points to Justin for manning-up after the race, raising his hand to admit that both losing the lead and the resulting spin were his fault and apologizing to his Dreyer & Reinbold team.

10 – Number of mechanics it took to repair Scott Dixon’s cars between the first and second practice sessions, after Dixon did substantial gearbox/rear suspension damage as the meat in a three-car crash with Bertrand Baguette and Takuma Sato.

21 – (and climbing) – The number of crashes so far this season by the various KV Racing Technology drivers. That’s an average of just over two shunts per race. Surely. This. Can’t. Continue. Forever. The only KV driver not to have damaged a car this year: Paul Tracy. I kid you not.

32 – The lap on which Helio Castroneves attempted to use Vitor Meira for an auxiliary braking device entering Turn 3, ending his race with a heavy impact and not doing Meira any favors, either. For Helio, it continued a string of DNFs at Toronto; he has finished only once here in his entire career.

150 – Number of open-wheel racing wins (in USAC, CART and IndyCar competition) for Team Penske. Truly, the Greatest Team of All Time.

349,000 – In dollars, the cost of a new 2012 rolling chassis manufactured by Dallara to IndyCar specifications. This is a 45 percent price decrease from what Dallara charges in the current IZOD IndyCar Series formula. “Aero kits” (i.e. bodywork) will be priced at $70,000, and there also will be a $150,000 discount/subsidy from the great state of Indiana on the first 28 chassis purchased by Indiana-based teams. Hmmmm, wonder if Penske, Coyne, Newman Haas and Foyt will be setting up post office boxes in Speedway anytime soon……

Infinity (I need to get the sideways ‘8’ installed on my keyboard) -- Number of angry post-race tweets issued by, between and among Mssrs. Rahal, Briscoe, Scheckter, and Tagliani regarding their various racing “incidents”.

Next up: Edmonton.

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