After a turn up for the books at last weekend’s round at Mid-Ohio – with New Zealander Scott Dixon claiming his first win of the championship season – the IndyCar circus moves back to the oval environment, where it makes a long-awaited return to the one-mile New Hampshire Speedway. Our IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon takes a look at the form guide heading into this weekend’s round…
No top-flight open wheel race has been held at the “Magic Mile”, the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New England since Tony Stewart won the last event in 1998. Prior to that, Bobby Rahal, Nigel Mansell, Al Unser Jr and Andre Ribeiro have all stood atop the podium during the CART heyday in the early to mid-1990’s.
Here in 2011, the race has been revived for the modern-day IZOD Indycar Series, and will play host to a championship battle that is leaning towards Dario Franchitti more with every passing race. No driver taking part this weekend has raced here before, which should provide for some unpredictability and wheel-to-wheel excitement.
Pippa Mann returns for her first race since the Indy 500, this time taking a seat at Rahal Letterman Lanigan. Elsewhere, as the circuit type changes, Dale Coyne Racing changes its driver line-up as Alex Lloyd resumes residency in the No 19 Boy Scouts of America entry. Also, Tomas Scheckter replaces the injured Justin Wilson, who it was recently revealed is likely to miss the remainder of the season following a fractured vertebrae sustained in practice last weekend in Mid-Ohio.
Will Power knows he is running out of time to claw back the deficit to Dario Franchitti. Dario Franchitti knows though that he must maintain a consistent run of results to best hold off Power, and that one DNF linked with a good result for the Aussie driver, and the championship will be back within grasp.
Who will take the chequered flag? Check your local guides for race broadcast times and find out!
[Image via IndyCars Media]