Long Beach Race Review: Jones-ing Racing

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IndyCar rookie Ed Jones is stunning the racing world with an unprecedented career start.

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Sure, comedic Canadian James Hinchcliffe won his fifth career race and second for Sam Schmidt. And yes, Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais finished second and leads the points after two races. Josef Newgarden scored a podium in only his second race for Penske coming home in third, while our pick Dixie finished a disappointing fourth. It’s also true that Frenchman Simon Pagenaud raced from last to fifth after receiving a penalty in qualifications. But none of that’s really the point.

Rookie Ed Jones turned in the drive of the race, moving up seven positions to finish sixth and making the top ten for the second consecutive outing. It was only his second IndyCar race and after a tremendous beginning the youngster now sits seventh in points.
The 2016 Indy Lights champ not only drives for Dale Coyne Racing, making his accomplishments that much more special, but also is off to an astounding start to his IndyCar career.

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Born in Dubai, UAE Jones is Continue reading

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IndyCar’s F-ing F1 Invasion, Part 2

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In part two, IRR examines the current crop of f-ing F1 drivers invading IndyCar, their shocking inexperience and lackluster records as well as the disturbing dearth of overseas oval tracks.

The latest IndyCar invaders from F1 are different from those of the past. Billionaire Bernie‘s boys not only bring zero oval racing experience, but also little knowledge of the IndyCar series or the U.S., its history or its fans. Crucially, these recent raiders have enjoyed much less success and stardom than their forerunners, with no champions and few grand prix winners among them. For lack of a better term, they’re F1 feh.

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Troublingly, today IndyCar represents merely a fallback position for these F1 washouts. Twenty four year old American Alexander Rossi recently called IndyCar “foreign,” and Michael Andretti frankly referred to him as “clueless.” No argument here. Rossi didn’t win a grand prix or score a podium in his five starts last year and served primarily as a test driver in previous years. That’s exactly the sort of high end talent the IndyCar series needs, Michael – way to go. Ditto for CGR’s Englishman Max Chilton, who was winless and podium-less in thirty five F1 starts over two years. Gee, thanks a lot, Chip.

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This crossover is in one sense natural, as both open wheel series share much in common. However, it’s the differences that seem to matter most. Continue reading

IndyCar’s F-ing F1 Invasion, Part 1

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An invasion is taking place in the U.S. and for once it has nothing to do with the southern border. Rather, racers from far flung Formula 1 shores threaten to take over the American open wheel scene at an astonishing rate. The question is, what to make of this f-ing F1 invasion flooding the IndyCar series?

American Alexander Rossi (where’s Martini?) is only the latest in a long line of F1 invaders currently in the IndyCar series, including fellow rookie Max Chilton from England and veterans like Frenchman Sebastien “butterfingers” Bourdais, Takuma “take ’em out” Sato from Japan, and Colombian Juan “too stupid” Montoya. F-ing F1 intruders will make up a quarter of the field this year, with totals possibly rising even higher for the historic 100th Indy 500.

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That’s not counting former drivers like Italian Luca Filippi who tested for F1, started eighteen IndyCar races (finishing a high of second) and may yet return to the mix, or the late British veteran Justin Wilson. Plus, there’s a real possibility of the unfortunately named Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado upping the total to six former F1 faces in the series, or nearly a third of the field (that’s almost thirty three percent for NASCAR fans). Unsettlingly, rumors abound of still more interlopers venturing over in the years ahead as fabulously pricey F1 opportunities dry up.

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There are plenty of other F1 connections to IndyCar too, Continue reading