Following a two-race visit north of the border into Canada, Round 12 of the IZOD Indycar Series sees a return to the US and takes place this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course in the mid-west.
|Date:||3-5 August 2012|
|Lap Length:||3.613km / 2.258mi|
|Event Schedule:||Free Practice Session 1||Fri 14:00-15:30|
|Free Practice Session 2||Sat 08:00-09:00|
|Qualifying Session||Sat 11:00-12:15|
|Sunday Warm-Up||Sun 08:05-08:35|
|Race (85 laps, 192 miles)||Sun 13:00-15:30|
|Past IndyCar Winners:||Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2011|
|Dario Franchitti (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2010|
|Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2009|
|Ryan Briscoe (Penske Racing Dallara Honda)||2008|
|Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara Honda)||2007|
Mid-Ohio is also a difficult track to set a car up for, notably for multiple, and significant changes in elevation over the course of a lap. Further changes in elevation occur off the circuit, making any unscheduled off-track excursions a potentially painful experience.
So why does the IndyCar series come to a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake at and has in the past provided quite processional racing?
Because it is always a well-attended event with plenty of excellent vantage points of the cars, and for all the processional races, there have been just as many nail-biting action packed dashes to the flag which keep the viewers on the edge of their collective seats. And, with a new car this year, it is yet another circuit to test the new machinery on as so far, it has delivered one cracking race after another.
The Form Guide
With Dario Franchitti safely out of contention for the Drivers’ Championship this year (barring any miracle run of wins), it is effectively down to Ryan Hunter-Reay, Hélio Castroneves and Will Power all chasing their first championships. Only Scott Dixon as a former champion could really spoil the party and take his third crown.
And although not exactly in contention for the title, drivers showing some form of late and for whom a victory is just around the corner, possibly coming this weekend, include Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud.
Justin Wilson knows first hand how painful driving at Mid-Ohio can be. A heavy off in practice last year resulted in a back injury which sidelined the lanky Englishman for the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately, a similar thing has happened in testing for Chip Ganassi driver Charlie Kimball, who will sit out the race this weekend after injuring his right hand after going off the circuit. Replacing Kimball in the Novo Nordisk entry this weekend is sometime-sub Giorgio Pantano, often called upon should a replacement driver be required, as he did three times last year at Sonoma, Baltimore and Motegi, recording a best finish of 16th in the latter of the three events.
All in all, it should be another strong event this weekend and one definitely worth catching. You will definitely regret it if you don’t.