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Old 30 Aug 2017, 23:02 (Ref:3763058)   #1
bjohnsonsmith
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Round 16: IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen, Watkins Glen, NY Sep 1-3.

Round 16: IndyCar Grand Prix at the Glen, Watkins Glen, NY Sep 1-3.

When last year's Grand Prix of Boston, which was scheduled for the Labor Day weekend was cancelled, Watkins Glen stepped in and made a welcome return to the IndyCar calendar after 6 years.

Once the home of the United States F1 Grand Prix, from 1961 - 1980, the idea of having a race track at Watkins Glen was down to a young, Ohio law student Cameron Argetsinger a member of the Sports Car Club of America, SCCA. The first event to be held was the Watkins Glen Grand Prix, in October 1948. It took place on a challenging 6.6 mile course that included asphalt, cement and dirt roads in and around the village of Watkins Glen.

After two terrible accidents in 1951 and '52, New York State banned racing on state highways and a new 4.4 mile course was created a short distance away in the town of Dix, using town and agricultural roads. However, drivers complained about the lack of run-off and poor visibility. It became clear that a permanent facility was needed and construction began on a new 2.3 mile long course on a section of land that overlapped part of the old course. The new circuit opened in 1956 and began establishing itself as a major national and international venue. NASCAR first raced there in 1957 and the first United States F1 Grand Prix was held in 1961.

For several years, concerns had been raised about the safety of the chicane on the inside of The Loop. Not to be confused with the bus stop chicane or Inner Loop added in 1992. Everything came to a head when Graham Hill was severely injured in the 1969 F1 GP. The track therefore underwent a major overhaul and redesign for the 1971 season.

With the costs of the 1971 redesign still not paid off and the F1 sanctioning fee increasing, the track was in financial trouble. When the sanction fee for 1981 could not be paid, the FIA decided to remove the race from the 1981 calendar. The circuit found itself in administration and for two years was effectively closed, hosting a handful of SCCA events without spectators.

In 1983 Corning Enterprises, a subsidiary of glass company Corning Inc., in partnership with International Speedway Corporation bought the track and renamed it, Watkins Glen International.

The circuit was renovated and the chicane at the Esses was removed completely. In 1984 sportscars returned with the IMSA series and in 1986, NASCAR returned, though only racing on the short course.

Since opening in 1956, the track has undergone several layout changes. The most significant was in 1971, with the track undergoing a major redesign at a cost of $2.3 million. The "Big Bend" and the turns leading up to it were replaced with a new pit straight. A new extension was built and was nicknamed 'The Boot' due to its shape. The track was also resurfaced and widened. As a result of Francois Cevert's fatal accident in the 1973 US Grand Prix, in which the armco barrier was uprooted on impact, a temporary chicane was installed in 1975 at the Esses.

Increasing speeds and the close proximity of the Armco barriers, continued to be a problem. In 1991, two accidents at The Loop, one of which was fatal forced a change. A bus stop chicane was therefore added to the back straight in spring 1992, known as the Inner Loop, establishing the current layout.

The IRL IndyCar Series made its debut at Watkins Glen in 2005, the first season in which the IRL added road courses to the calendar. The race was held on the full circuit, which includes the "Boot" and the "Inner Loop" and was won by Scott Dixon, for Chip Ganassi Racing, driving a Panoz G-Force-Toyota Indy V8. The last race was held in 2010. However, the following year Watkins Glen left the calendar, citing low attendance figures.


During qualifying last year, Scott Dixon took pole, shattering the lap record. On race day, Dixon lead from the start, pulling away from Power. There were two first turn incidents, with first Bourdais going into the tire wall and then Montoya and Mikhail Aleshin coming together but all cars continued and no full course yellow was needed.

Race leader Dixon was the first front runner to make a scheduled pit stop on lap 14, which would be a huge advantage as the first caution came a lap later, when Aleshin's left-rear tire deflated at Turn 4, spinning him and into the wall. This forced the other front runners to pit under caution, losing track position. Power, who was second had a surprisingly slow stop putting Chilton and Montoya into second and third respectively.

Racing resumed on lap 19 but after only one lap, the second yellow came out when Kimball and Rahal collided exiting Turn 1, sending Rahal into the barrier. The race resumed on lap 24, and by lap 28, Dixon had extended his lead by five seconds over Montoya, who had passed Chilton for second place.

The second round of scheduled stops came around lap 30. Dixon pitted on lap 31, handing the lead to Montoya, who pitted the next lap, handing the lead to Hinchcliffe. On lap 33, Hinchcliffe came in for his stop, which handed the lead to Hťlio Castroneves. Castroneves managed to stay out until lap 36, givinging the lead back to Dixon.

On lap 39, the third and final caution came out when Kimball and Power made contact at Turn 4, sending Power into the outside wall. Following a medical examination at the infield care center, staff stated that Power had displayed concussion-like symptoms and would not be cleared to drive at the following race until he underwent further tests. During the caution period, most drivers made their final pit stops of the day. During the pit stops, Castroneves was able to leap frog Dixon, giving him the lead.

The race resumed on lap 42, with Dixon almost immediately overtaking Castroneves. Only two laps later, Dixon had passed all those drivers who had stayed out during the caution, retaking the lead.

Despite the last round of stops, teams became concerned about fuel and finishing the race, with some drivers attempting to conserve fuel. This caused the field to be shuffled, with Pagenaud dropping back through the field, while Castroneves, Chilton, and Kimball were forced to make a splash and dash in the closing laps of the race.

With no such problems, Dixon cruised to his 40th IndyCar win. However, there were last lap dramas, as Juan Pablo Montoya spun at Turn 3, ruining a good finish, ending up 13th. Hinchcliffe, who was now second, ran out of fuel grinding to a halt two turns from the finish. Daly also ran out of fuel but managed to cost to fourth and despite the late splash and dash, Castroneves finished third.


Some trivia:
Driver with most wins: 4
Scott Dixon, 2005-2007, 2016
Team with most wins: 4
Chip Ganassi Racing, 2005-2007, 2016

Track layout:
Original layout: 1956-1970



Grand Prix layout: 1971-1980



Current full layout with inner loop:


Length: 3.450 miles / 5.552 km

Turns: 11

Lap record: Scott Dixon, September 4, 2016. 1:22.5259, 146 mph (230 km/h). Chip Ganassi Racing, Dallara DW12-Chevrolet IndyCar V6. Verizon IndyCar Series.

Last year's winner:
Scott Dixon
Chip Ganassi Racing,
Dallara DW12-Chevrolet Indycar V6

Laps: 60
Distance: 204 miles (328.306 km)
Race Time: 1:41:40
Average Speed: 119.334 mph (192.049 km/h)

Cautions:
3, laps 9

TV broadcast:
NBCSN, 1:00PM EST

Last edited by bjohnsonsmith; 31 Aug 2017 at 07:42. Reason: typo
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Old 31 Aug 2017, 02:17 (Ref:3763090)   #2
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IMSA returned to Watkins Glen in 1984, with a mid-season, double-three-hour event over two days. Can-Am and the FIA World Sportscar Championship also visited in the '60s and '70s.

I think Graham Hill crashed on the approach to Big Bend (then Turn 6 on the 8-turn course). F1 never used the chicane on the inside of the Loop/Carousel (then Turn 4, now Turn 5). The only major series I know of that did use that chicane was the old USRRC.

Course Layouts:
1956-70- 2.350 miles, 2.300 miles (with chicane)
1971- 2.427 miles (initially, used by Can-Am that year)
1971-74- 3.377 miles (GP Circuit opened later for F1)
1975-81- 3.380 miles (GP Circuit with Esses Chicane), 2.430 miles (Short Course with Esses Chicane)
1984-91- 3.377 miles (GP Circuit), 2.427 miles (Short Course)
1992-now- 3.400 miles (GP Circuit with Inner Loop), 2.450 miles (Short Course with Inner Loop)

Also, CART ran at Watkins Glen in 1979-81. The 1979-80 races were held on the Short Course. The 1981 race was held on the GP Circuit. For the 1981 race, Qualifying was clearly held in the wet, as the Race Average Speed is faster than the Pole Speed. However, I still cannot find a record of what the Fastest Race Lap was. Have any of you guys seen anything that might help with this?
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Old 1 Sep 2017, 19:25 (Ref:3763516)   #3
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Rahal had the top time in Practice 1.

Dixon is currently leading Practice 2, sitting on a time of 1:22.619 (148.150 mph).

Still waiting for another driver to dip below 1:23.
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Old 3 Sep 2017, 12:37 (Ref:3764055)   #4
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Qualifying

Congrats to Rossi on getting his first pole. Good to see Bourdais up in 9th, no mean feat after his accident. Just looking at the fast 6, Honda have it over Chevrolet but never discount Penske and Newgarden.

1 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta. Dallara/Honda. 1m22.4639s
2 Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 0.0529s
3 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 0.0530s
4 Takuma Sato, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 0.1021s
5 Charlie Kimball, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 0.3442s
6 Helio Castroneves, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 0.8711s
7 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 0.5215s
8 Will Power, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 0.6348s
9 Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing. Dallara/Honda. 0.6820s
10 Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Dallara/Honda. 0.7601s
11 Carl s Munoz, AJ Foyt Enterprises. Dallara/Chevrolet. 0.8320s
12 Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 0.8342s
13 Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing. Dallara/Chevrolet. 1.0278s
14 Conor Daly, AJ Foyt Enterprises. Dallara/Chevrolet. 1.0450s
15 Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing. Dallara/Honda. 1.5212s
16 James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Dallara/Honda. 1.2215s
17 Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 1.5343s
18 Jack Harvey, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Dallara/Honda. 1.6751s
19 Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 1.7373s
20 Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 1.7140s
21 J.R. Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter Racing. Dallara/Chevrolet. 1.9904s
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Old 3 Sep 2017, 13:32 (Ref:3764064)   #5
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Good to see Rossi on the pole and glad this race is on the calendar. Big weekend plans so I'll be recording this one but looking forward to viewing it!

Great #1 as always BJS. And in case you (or anyone didn't know) it was NASCAR Cup journeyman driver JD McDuffie that lost his life at the inner loop in 91. The other 91 accident was when Tommy Kendal stuffed his Chevy Intrepid to the same section of tire walls, with less impact on life. But Tommy's limb is still trouble today, or so I hear...
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Old 3 Sep 2017, 22:30 (Ref:3764300)   #6
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Result

Congrats to Rossi. Who would have guessed, the pole and the win. I thought Honda would have it over Chevrolet.

Unfortunately I missed the race but saw the result and will watch it.

Sonoma, looks intriguing.

1 Alexander Rossi, Andretti Herta. Dallara/Honda. 60. 1h:42m03.9024s
2 Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 60. 0.9514s
3 Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 60. 7.1592s
4 Helio Castroneves, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 8.8938s
5 Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Dallara/Honda. 60. 11.8863s
6 Will Power, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 15.3787s
7 Charlie Kimball, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 60. 16.1639s
8 Max Chilton, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 60. 28.0410s
9 Simon Pagenaud, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 28.2941s
10 Carlos Munoz, AJ Foyt Enterprises. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 29.4972s
11 Conor Daly, AJ Foyt Enterprises. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 30.2436s
12 Spencer Pigot, Ed Carpenter Racing. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 32.3478s
13 Ed Jones, Dale Coyne Racing. Dallara/Honda. 60. 33.1533s
14 Jack Harvey, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Dallara/Honda. 60. 35.6826s
15 J.R. Hildebrand, Ed Carpenter Racing. Dallara/Chevrolet. 60. 41.5905s
16 Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 60. 52.7948s
17 Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing. Dallara/Honda. 60. 54.0444s
18 Josef Newgarden, Team Penske. Dallara/Chevrolet. 58. 2 Laps
19 Takuma Sato, Andretti Autosport. Dallara/Honda. 56. 4 Laps
20 Tony Kanaan, Chip Ganassi Racing. Dallara/Honda. 46 Contact
21 James Hinchcliffe, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Dallara/Honda. 5. Mechanical
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Old 4 Sep 2017, 15:37 (Ref:3764462)   #7
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owrforever should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridowrforever should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Rossi's victory removes the "one and done" monkey from his back. He is now outperforming RHR, in the AA camp. Could be a spoiler in Sonoma. Dixon really is peaking at the end of the season, looking like "money in the bank." Rest of CGR is marginal, at best. On paper RP's team should be a steam roller, but at WGI they seemed to outsmart themselves with errors, some unforced. Not a supporter of "double points," at Sonoma, prefer a straight up show down. Dixon could snatch this one from JoNew, just like he did with JPM.
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Old 4 Sep 2017, 15:43 (Ref:3764464)   #8
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gert should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridgert should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridgert should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Quote:
Originally Posted by owrforever View Post
Dixon could snatch this one from JoNew, just like he did with JPM.
He could

The circumstances are quite similar too: Dixon against a lot of Penske drivers, but with the Penske drivers battling each other too.
Only difference was that Dixon could count on his team mates in 2015. Will that be the case in 2017?
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Old 4 Sep 2017, 19:06 (Ref:3764511)   #9
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NaBUru38 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridNaBUru38 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Great job by Rossi. Big mistake by Newgarden, it can define the season.
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Old 5 Sep 2017, 13:07 (Ref:3764721)   #10
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I haven't watched the whole race yet but I have seen the 30 mins highlights and it looks like it was quite a good race.

Newgarden must be kicking himself after that. He clearly got caught up in the moment and just overcooked it.
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Old 5 Sep 2017, 17:45 (Ref:3764771)   #11
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owrforever should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridowrforever should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Brings back memories of Ryan Briscoe grazing the inside pit exit wall at Motegi in September of 2009 and handing the race to Dixon!
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Old 6 Sep 2017, 14:32 (Ref:3764953)   #12
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NaBUru38 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridNaBUru38 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
And also Power's crash at Fontana 2012....
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