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Live Event Coverage

2010 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma // California plays host to the next round of the IndyCar series

Published by Pat W

This weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race is at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point, Sonoma, California. This is the final road course event of the 2010 season which will conclude with a run of four oval races.

LocationInfineon Raceway, California
Race Start10.45pm UK time (GMT+1); 2.45pm Pacific time (local);
Race Distance75 laps
Official Feedwww.indycar.com
Spotters GuidePDF

Circuit

Map of Infineon Raceway, see notes
Map of Infineon Raceway, see notes

I wasn't able to find a free-to-use map of the correct layout for this event, so when reading the map please bear in mind that the cars will use Turn 7A as they leave the drag strip - I must admit to being disappointed because the tighter and slower original Turn 7 would surely create more overtaking opportunities. The Turn 9A chicane will be used to slow the cars down before they enter the fast final section, and Turn 11A will be the final corner because the original Turn 11 has no run-off, a pitlane wall being in the way.

It is worth noting this circuit has a very long pitlane.

By way of comparison, the NASCAR race at this circuit uses 'The Chute' to bypass the undulating infield but does make use of the original turns 9 and 11.

Background

Sonoma is not known for being one of the most exciting events on the calendar, it is a hot and dusty circuit which is narrow and winding, there are not many passing opportunities so this means it should turn into a battle of fuel and tyre strategy. We're F1 fans so that's fine for us, unfortunately many IndyCar fans are turned off by that.

'Indycars' first visited this circuit in 1970 so it does have a long history. If you're into video of old events, Matt Archuletta of Planet-IRL.com tweeted (@Indy44) this 8-minute highlight video of that very race, and my has the place changed!

Championship

Will Power holds a commanding 41-point lead in the standings over Dario Franchitti, which is almost as much as a race win (50 points). It is between these two now, Scott Dixon is the only other driver reasonably in touch and he's twice as far behind. Power's form is such that it is hard to bet against him today, even though Franchitti did win at Mid-Ohio and won this race last year.

There's a twist though - the battle isn't over yet. Power has been dominant on road and street courses this season but Franchitti and his Ganassi team are superior on oval circuits. With four of those ovals remaining and Power not even being considered the strongest oval racer in his Penske team, he needs to keep his points advantage as high as possible before Dario inevitably claws him back in the run to Miami in October.

Qualifying

Advantage Team Penske on Saturday. Will Power took the pole (and bonus points) by a scant 0.037 seconds from team-mate Helio Castroneves. Dario Franchitti lines up 3rd with the impressive Alex Tagliani 4th, continuing the strong pace his own FAZZT team has demonstrated all year. Ryan Briscoe starts 5th for Penske and Scott Dixon is alongside him for Penske.

Justin Wilson starts 7th, Hunter-Reay 8th, Kanaan 9th, and Matos 10th.

Other notables include: De Silvestro (11th), Rahal (16th), Sato (17th), Andretti (18th) and Patrick (23rd). The full starting order is on Autosport.

Race coverage should being at 10pm UK with the race getting under way at roughly 10.45pm. Enjoy the race!




This weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race is at Infineon Raceway, Sears Point, Sonoma, California. This is the final road course event of the 2010 season which will conclude with a run of four oval races.

Event start

22:45GMT +01:00

22 August 2010