Friday, October 24, 2008
Powerful Day In The Land of Oz
Aussie native, Will Power, has set the fastest practice time in the IRL Indy Car Series, Thursday - clearly becoming the favorite (along with fellow natives Ryan Briscoe, & Scott Dixon) for the Nikon Indy 300, an exhibition race at Surfer's Paradise, Australia, and the final race of the 2008 season. Despite setting the lap time of 1:34.8, he's still knows its not the fastest practice time that matters:
"It's still early and qualifying isn't until tomorrow.........That and Sunday are all that matter to me. I am glad we are quick, but we still need to improve the car a bit. This is a very competitive field and we will have to be faster (during qualifications)."
Helio Castroneves, who received clearance to leave the U.S., after being indicted earlier this month for federal tax charges, set the second fastest lap with a 1:36.1 on the 2.796 mile street circuit. Fresh out of his NASCAR ride, and back in the series that gave him a series championship in 2007 - Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing has set the 3rd fastest practice time, only being .10 seconds behind Castroneves.
Despite this race being an exhibition only event, this race is very well known in size and stature throughout Australia, sometimes being likened to Indy, and for this reason, I have started calling it the Oz version of the Indianapolis 500. In fact, a majority of the field that raced the 500 this year, have raced in years past at Surfers Paradise in the CART/Champ Car days of competition
"That will not make one inch of difference when it comes to race time. This is one race every serious Indy Car driver wants to compete in and win." - Dario Franchitti
The Nikon Indy 300 starts this coming Saturday, at 10:30pm, Eastern Time
Photo Credit: Indy Racing League