In an era where veracity is increasingly viewed by many as valueless, we at IRR strenuously strive for it above all else. Problem is, predictions don’t always work out so perfectly.
It’s no secret that our previous prognostications for Barber weren’t exactly spot on. More correctly, they reeked. But when we make mistakes we admit them, acknowledge the error and move on. Wouldn’t it be a much better world if everyone – including race control – did the same? That leads us to our special prediction for the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, which entails often controversial caution flags.
The recent history of the Grand Prix shows yellows playing a determining factor in both the racing and the outcome. Last year’s race was a prime example. When there are several cautions the racing’s superior. But when there aren’t any, the racing tends to suck. After that sleeping pill of a race at Barber, the series is due for both some concentrated canary flagging and an engaging contest, so expect some carnage and concomitant cautions come Sunday.
Pole prediction’s also a precisely crafted one. Alex Rossi won it last year, edging out Whinin’ Will Power, and with Andretti Autosport’s exemplary exactitude of late we see no reason why he won’t do it again. That, and Power’s palpable, pronounced regression this season. Helping out is the fact that the Hondas have been the superior motor thus far, allowing Alex to take his fifth career pole on Saturday.
First out of the affair will definitively be Colton Herta. On Sunday, “Joaquin” experienced a fuel pressure problem leaving him exactly thirty nine laps down and in last place at Barber. Then on the long haul out west with the equipment their truck driver reportedly walked off and left Harding-Steibrenner’s rig sitting in Mississippi. It did finally arrive at the Beach, although it was by then half a day late. Not the way the up and down new team wanted to start out the weekend. Despite new sponsors galore, don’t expect free tacos after what’ll be a second less than ideal result in a row following a break through win for the rookie phenom.
The biggest surprise of the weekend will be Team Penske’s continuing failure to right their season. After two consecutive disappointing showings – and plenty of bitching from Sour Grapes Power in the meantime – the Cap’n’s certain to be seeking some truth as the month of May approaches. Strictly speaking, one win out of three tries isn’t up to Pope Penske’s meticulously high standards.
Photo from motorsport.com
Race winner is admittedly difficult to predict with any real precision, particularly at Long Beach. The fact is, six different victors from different teams have topped the podium the last six years. That makes it tough to be on target, and is also why we’re going with a seventh different winner and team. Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, an absolute ace on street courses who won three straight Grands Prix from 2005-7, will carry Dale Coyne Racing to victory lane for his thirty eighth career win. Carefully considering everything, we believe it’s an accurate prediction.