If ever there was a circuit able to be mentioned in the same sentence as Indianapolis – at least in terms of history – it is the Milwaukee Mile, and the scene of the next round of the IZOD IndyCar Series this weekend.
|Date:||14-15 June 2013|
|Lap Length:||1.000 mile / 1.61km|
|IndyCar Lap Record:||1:12.2861, Scott Dixon (Dallara Honda) – 2008|
|Event Schedule:||Free Practice Session 1||Fri 10:00-11:00|
|Free Practice Session 2||Fri 13:00-14:00|
|Race (250 laps, 250 miles)||Sat 15:40-17:45|
|Past IndyCar Winners:||Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport DW12 Chevrolet)||2012|
|Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2011|
|Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2009|
|Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske Dallara Honda)||2008|
|Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda)||2007|
|Tony Kanaan (Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda)||2006|
|Sam Hornish Jr (Team Penske Dallara Toyota)||2005|
|Dario Franchitti (Andretti Green Racing Dallara Honda)||2004|
For its incredible longevity, Milwaukee is in several ways finding its feet again after dwindling crowd numbers and an amateur promoter pushing ticket prices beyond the realm of sane affordability forced the series to skip the event for one year in 2010.
IndyCar’s absence that year marked the first time since World War 2 that an American open-wheel series hadn’t raced at the venue at least once in a calendar year. Sane scheduling – which saw the race moved outside of the Fathers’ Day weekend – along with a new and far more experienced promoter in Green Savoree Racing Promotions who understood ticket prices, saw the race reinstated for 2011. This was helped along by the collective demands of a global fanbase calling for the circuit to be reinstated, as multiple generations of fans had grown up watching IndyCars at ‘The Mile’.
Milwaukee is one circuit where Team Penske has not had a great deal of success, with only three wins at the track since 1989 – not that much by Penske’s lofty standards. The team arrives this time on the back of victory last weekend at Texas, so I’m sure ‘The Captain’, Roger Penske, will be keen to add to his Milwaukee trophy collection this weekend.
Helio Castroneves took the win at Texas, giving him a 22-point lead in the Drivers Championship over Marco Andretti. This year is becoming one of Marco’s most consistent, heralding the maturity of the youngest Andretti, and a win can’t be far off now.
Andretti Autosports is the defending champion of this race following Ryan Hunter-Reay’s victory last year – a result that kicked off his successful championship tilt – so the team knows how to win here.
On the driver line-up front, there are two changes to the line-up which contested the Firestone 550 last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Ana Beatriz returns to the Dale Coyne Racing fold after Pippa Mann deputised in the seat, while Ryan Briscoe is back behind the wheel of Panther Racing’s #4 entry, taking over from Oriol Servia.
The one-mile oval at Milwaukee is always an interesting race, so sit back and enjoy 250 fast-paced laps as another chapter in the history of the West Allis State Fair Park, a former horse racing track and now one of the most beloved circuits in the United States, is written.