The IRL IndyCar Series moves this weekend to Toronto for their first visit. But while many in the series have not raced the street course before, the CCWS teams such as KV, Coyne & Newman Haas Lanigan have experience that will help them out.
The entry list for the race includes the usual suspects plus a few extra faces. Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy will be making appearances in an attempt to attract the interest of the Canadian audience. They will be driving for Conquest and KV Racing respectively. Both have competed on this circuit before, but PT has posted 2 wins.
Also making an appearance this weekend will be Tomas Scheckter for Dreyer & Reinbold. Tomas will be competing in almost all of the remaining races of the season for D&R.
Will Power is also showing up this weekend with Penske. He will be driving a Penske Truck Rental liveried car that looks just fantastic. But apart from the paint job, Will has had the most recent success at this venue, posting a win in 2007.
Other current drivers who have won here include Justin Wilson in 2005 with RuSport and Dario Franchitti in 1999.
In the future, I hope the IndyCar series rearranges the schedule a bit so that we don’t have a six race oval stretch from April through June. One of the greatest hallmarks of the current series is its diversity and mixing up the schedule a bit would be a big help. But that said, with the apparent lack of passing on the oval package this year, the race at Watkins Glen last weekend was blessed relief from the blah oval campaign.
As was stated in last week’s press conferences, they are looking at allowing the teams flexibility in setup with rear wheel ramps, sidepod extensions and wheel infills starting at Kentucky on August 1st. This may bring back a more competitive oval package, but we will have to wait and see. One thing is for certain, the down economy is not helping the IRL right now and it is further damaging that drivers such as Dario Frachitti and Tony Kanaan are openly chastising the series and apologizing to the fans for such a poor show. When compared with the last decade of IRL oval racing, this year’s oval package is an anomaly.
But we don’t need to worry about that too much this weekend because we get to watch a street race in Toronto. We will worry about the ovals later.