Saturday, August 4, 2012

Will Power on Mid Ohio Indycar Pole; Muscle Milk Dominates American LeMans

Will Power blitzes the Mid Ohio track record to win the pole
Road course maestro Will Power set a new track record in qualifying at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course to take pole position for tomorrow's IZOD Indycar Series race. In the process, he let his competition know that he is a serious contender for the season title with just four races to go including this weekend. Power oudueled nemesis Dario Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud, who continued his strong showings this season by snagging third ahead of Alex Tagliani. Scott Dixon was not happy to wind up fifth ahead of Ryan Briscoe and Sebastian Bourdais. Perhaps the most unhappy however was the Andretti Autosport team which was shut out of the Fast Six and had to settle for 8th with Ryan Hunter-Reay and 9th with Marco Andretti. Rookie Josef Newgarden rounded out the top ten with another strong showing.

The morning started off well for Justin Wilson as he was fastest in the morning practice session but he could only muster 12th when a misfire cost him top end speed during qualifying. The same cannot be said for Helio Castroneves as he had a run-in with Mike Conway heading into the Keyhole and injured his left wrist. He did not have it bandaged during qualifying but he could do no better than 13th on the clock. It will be interesting to see how sore he is tomorrow and whether it will effect his ability to race on Mid Ohio's notoriously difficult and physical road course. I would suggest that this is Will Power's race to lose however, so someone else will have to do something dramatic to take the win away from him.

In the American LeMans Series race, the Muscle Milk team of Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr motored away from the field in the slim P1 class ahead of the 16 Dyson car. A stout field of 32 high tech sports cars has a relatively clean day at the racetrack with lots of close racing but few incidents of any significance. The class pole winning P2 car driven Martin Plowman finished second in class in the race to the 55 piloted by Christoph Bouchut. One of the highlights of the day was the celebration of the 100th ALMS race of veteran Sasha Massen, who has won 30 times with 3 championships during that time. He was not rewarded on track today however as he finished 8th in GT. Oliver Gavin gave Corvette another GT win over the Flying Lizards Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister.

It was a sweltering day at Mid Ohio today and the ALMS competition was as hot as the weather.  as this racetrack always delivers for the sports car crowd who come out in droves to see the most varied equipment formula of any major racing series. Tomorrow promises even more of the same, with the threat of rain added in, for the Indycar race and I'll be covering the whole track again tomorrow again, so stay tuned for more, and please enjoy the slideshows.

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