IndyCar »

Ganassi 1-2 in shortened Belle Isle event

Scott Dixon dominated the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix despite a two hour red flag for a crumbling track that ended up helping boost Dario Franchitti to second.
With its cramped street course layout, the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix was hardly likely to be a festival of overtaking any more than Monaco is for F1. Starting from pole position alongside Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon therefore always had the whip hand and looked like the man to beat.

No man could: but the track itself gave it a good try of beating all the drivers when it started to disintegrate mid-race, resulting in a two hour red flag for new concrete patches to be laid down before racing could resume - with Dario Franchitti emerging as the unlikely principal beneficiary of the ensuing chaos.

It hadn't exactly been the cleanest start to the race in the first place. Alex Tagliani was absent from his hard won fourth place in the line-up with problems with his Honda engine's electronic control unit and had to duck into pit lane before the green flag, and while the top three - Dixon, Power and Pagenaud - quickly went line astern, the rest of the field was a muddle. Dario Franchitti was able to make up a couple of positions in the scramble, but Justin Wilson ended up pushed out wide in the same move and tapped the wall with his right rear wheel. That damaged his car's wishbone suspension, leaving the last IndyCar winner at Detroit in 2008 back in pit lane for lengthy repairs and firmly out of contention.

"Not a great day," admitted Wilson. "We brushed the wall on lap one, bent the wishbone, and I'm really disappointed with that. That ended our day pretty much. The guys worked hard trying to give us a good car and we got caught up. We fixed it, went back out, tried to learn a couple of things."

The top three were soon cruising away with it, while fourth-placed man EJ Viso was struggling on the same set of scuffed tyres that he'd used in qualifying and as a result getting very loose, almost losing it completely at one stage before gathering the car up again. Despite his problems, the dozen cars behind him - led by Ryan Hunter-Reay and Ryan Briscoe - started to get frustrated as they were bottled up behind him in a long train.

Briscoe tried to make the best of it by attempting a pass on Hunter-Reay only to find himself blocked by a long slow move out to the wall by the Andretti Autosport car; in the process, Briscoe's front wing touched the back of Hunter-Reay's car and sustained some damage which ultimately contributed to him losing several positions over the ensuing laps. Hunter-Reay himself was given a "don't do that again" warning from race control, but no actual penalty was handed down on this occasion as race director Beaux Barfield continued to gradually redefine the understanding of blocking moves in the series in 2012.

While Tagliani had rejoined and was quickly moving up the field again, and even Wilson finally came back out for some practice albeit 23 laps off the lead, a few other cars suffered mechanical problems and exited the race for good: first up was Rubens Barrichello, whose gambit of switching cars overnight came to nought when the engine itself started to misfire and forced him to park it in pit lane.

"I'll tell you, this weekend has been very bad. I'm so sorry for the guys, they have been trying so hard to change my car overnight," he said. "For some reason my chassis wasn't doing very well this morning it was better in the race. I could see my race picked up a lot but then the engine started to misfire. We still tried on the pit lane to do something but it was all over, unfortunate."

Sebastien Bourdais also lost power and had to retire - his abrupt slowing catching out Dario Franchitti immediately behind him, with the #10 Ganassi clipping the edge of its front wing on the rear wheel guards of the Dragon. And shortly afterwards, James Jakes took to the runoff area in turn 8 with brake problems.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Scott Dixon passes the Detroit skyline. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
James Hinchcliffe is towed after his crash with a huge piece of debris hanging from his car during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. 1-3 June, 2012, Detroit, Michigan (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Billy Kamphausen and his crew patch the track during the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. 1-3 June, 2012, Detroit, Michigan (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Simon Pagenaud celebrate on the podium after the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. 1-3 June, 2012, Detroit, Michigan  (c) 2012, Phillip G. Abbott LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates victory in the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power and Tony Kanaan on the podium after the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest on Sunday August 17 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power takes the twin chequered flags to win the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Will Power leads the field into Turn 1 during the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.