I turn my back for a minute and look what happens!

Posted by Shane Rogers | 8/05/2009 | , , , , | 3 comments »
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Crikey! I turn my back and look what happens! The Iron Hand of Aerodynamic Assistance has crunched the numbers and rolled midnight, and at the same time all of the sudden Australians are the new Brazilians.

While Will Power’s win given his part-time status on the trail has grabbed the headlines, it’s Disco Briscoe’s win on the 1.5 that might be the turning point in 2009, and perhaps even in 2010 and 2011.

Ryan’s win at Kentucky is his first win on a cookie cutter, a significant step in his career on the western side of the Atlantic. While the oval purists (me included), lament the perpetuation of the road course reality that is 2010 and beyond, there are still a significant portion of 1.5’s in Indycar racing. While that is the case, putting numbers in the W column on the 1.5’s is still a prerequisite for a championship. Can that be this year? Well now, I think it can.

On the other side of the Penske transporter, our friend from Queensland who’s so bright pilots are using the bloke as a reference marker, is not doing too shabbily either. I hear rumours# that if Roger doesn’t renew his contract, he could line up for a guest role as the third banana in the Australian children television show Bananas in Pyjamas#. Will Power as B3 next year; you heard it here first.

This is what Will Power might be doing next year, if Penske doesn't renew his contract. No suit change required.

Unencumbered by the burden of conservatism in chasing for the points title, the Toowoomba Tornado touched down with destructive force in Edmonton, the final stint reminiscent of Rahal’s display the latter stages of St. Pete last year. With the proportion of road courses is this game only set to only increase in the coming years, Power could well have the series in a few years time come to him. Remember, in 1995, only six of the 13 races were ovals…

And the other person that deserves some love from the latest race, and that’s the IHJ himself, Mr Barnhart.

It’s credit on a number of levels. As most people have acclaimed, it’s credit to the Indy Racing League for getting it right.

It’s also credit to the IRL for not overreacting. It would have been easy to make a more sweeping change. The racing in Richmond was bad. Really bad. More bad than the Richmond Australian Rules Football team, and that’s saying something. Remember the Colts when they were really bad: That’s Richmond.

Doing “something” was always going to happen after that. The question was “how much of something is enough?” It would have been very easy to move into early-2000’s pack racing territory, with a technical decision in excess of what was required.

Additionally, it’s credit to the IRL for fostering the right relationships with their partners. Honda was lent on by the IRL for a push-and-maybe-if-you-breathe-in-at-the-same-time-you-might-get-past system and Honda delivered what appears to be a flawless system that exceeded expectations first time out. Firestone brought a good tyre# too.

I still think the root cause of the aero malady had something to do with the new exhaust design. Kanaan didn’t get as close as I expected him to in the last few laps given Carpenter wasn’t taking the shortest route round in defending Briscoe.

Whatever the problem, it seems like for now, the IRL have found a solution, which is good, because plan B was dictating to all drivers that they run a Sebastian Saavedra high downforce haircut setup. That thing generates some serious downforce, and while Tony Kanaan doesn’t approve, it might at least get Hideki some action given his poor pickup technique.


International CelebrityShane Rogers is a 32-year old Indycarologist from Kangaroo Flat, Australia, whose main motivation for working for his current employer us because they’re they only people he knows that gets the channel that has Indycar racing on television there. He has worked for the Australian Motor Sport governing body, CAMS, and served on their National Track Safety Committee. He eats Vegemite on toast for breakfast, unlike Pressdog who has not “had the courage to taste the stuff.”

# (sic) Australian spelling alert.


  1. H. B. Donnelly // August 05, 2009 7:16 AM  

    Funny you should make that connection between the racing and the mid-90's Colts because I've noticed an interesting correlation: the success of the Colts and the fortunes of open-wheel seem to be inversely related. Evidence: 1996, open-wheel splits and the Colts somehow, miraculously, make it to within one play of the Super Bowl. Up until 2000, CART still seemed strong and the IRL was doing well enough; 2000 is also about when Peyton Manning started coming into his own. As the Colts began doing better in this decade, CART fell to pieces and the IRL did nothing good and nothing bad. Just after blendification, open-wheel's big moment, the defending Super Bowl champs' big star (Manning) had to have knee surgery and the Colts' early games were awful. But then, as the IRL floundered in the economy, the Colts came back to the level they had gotten used to.

    Coincidence? ....probably...but on the off-chance I could be right, I think there's only so much moxie around Indianapolis and the Colts have been soaking it up lately, leaving naught but table scraps for the Pacers and the IRL.

  2. redd // August 05, 2009 7:42 AM  


  3. Iannucci // August 05, 2009 9:21 PM  

    So, which one is Captain Feathersword?