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101st Indianapolis 500 Preview

Just one more day to go until the 101st Indianapolis 500. Yes the biggest day in racing is coming. The Monaco Grand Prix, the Coca Cola 600 for nascar and the biggest race of the whole year, the Indianapolis 500. Of course I’m more interested in Indy over the other two. Monaco doesn’t have much racing and I don’t really need to say about nascar races lately (especially the timing is not good for me) and Indy for the last five years have always had great races.

 

Here’s how everyone is starting and a bit of fun stats if anyone is interested.

 

101st Indianapolis 500 Starting Grid

 

P1 – Scott Dixon – Chip Ganassi Racing – New Zealand

indycar-indy-500-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 14 (2003-2016)
Wins: 1 (’08)
Podiums: 3 (’07, ’08, ’12)
Top 5 Finishes: 6
Top 10 Finishes: 10
Poles: 3 (’08, ’15, ’17)
Fastest Laps: 1 (’06)
Laps Led: 434
Finishing Rate: 78.57%

Best Result: 1st – 2008

  • Four-time IndyCar Champion (2003, 2008, 2013, 2015)
  • 92nd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 39 wins in IndyCar
  • 2006 and 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 2000 IndyLights Champion

 

P2 – Ed Carpenter – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-carpenter-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 13 (2004-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 2 (’13, ’14)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 69
Finishing Rate: 61.54%

Best Result: 5th – 2008

  • 3 wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Freedom 100 Winner

 

P3 – Alexander Rossi – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 1 (’16)
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’16)
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 1st – 2016

  • 100th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2008 Formula BMW World Final Champion
  • 5 races in Formula One with Manor in 2015

 

P4 – Takuma Sato – Andretti Autosport – Japan

indycar-indy-500-2017-takuma-sato-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 7 (2010-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 31
Finishing Rate: 57.14%

Best Result: 13th – 2013 and 2015

  • Podium finisher in the 2004 United States GP at Indianapolis
  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2001 Macau GP Winner
  • 2001 British F3 Champion

 

P5 – Fernando Alonso – Andretti Autosport – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-fernando-alonso-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2005 and 2006 Formula One World Champion
  • 2006 and 2007 Monaco GP winner
  • 32 wins in F1
  • 2017 Indianapolis 500 Fastest Rookie Qualifier
  • 1999 Euro Open by Nissan Champion

 

P6 – JR Hildebrand – Ed Carpenter Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 11
Finishing Rate: 83.33%

Best Result: 2nd – 2011

  • 2011 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2009 IndyLights Champion

 

P7 – Tony Kanaan – Chip Ganassi Racing – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-tony-kanaan-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Starts: 15 (2002-2016)
Wins: 1 (’13)
Podiums: 4 (’03, ’04, ’12, ’13)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 8
Poles: 1 (’05)
Fastest Laps: 3 (’03, ’05, ’07)
Laps Led: 305
Finishing Rate: 73.33%

Best Result: 1st – 2013

  • 2004 IndyCar Champion
  • 97th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2015 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 16 wins in IndyCar
  • 1997 IndyLights Champion

 

P8 – Marco Andretti – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-marco-andretti-andretti-autosport-honda.jpg

Starts: 11 (2006-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 4 (’06, ’08, ’10, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 7
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 2 (’08, ’12)
Laps Led: 141
Finishing Rate: 72.72%

Best Result: 2nd – 2006

  • 2006 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2 wins in IndyCar

 

P9 – Will Power – Team Penske – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-will-power-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 5
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’10)
Laps Led: 74
Finishing Rate: 88.89%

Best Result: 2nd – 2015

  • 2014 IndyCar Champion
  • 28 wins in IndyCar

 

P10 – Ryan Hunter-Reay – Andretti Autosport – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-ryan-hunter-reay-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 1 (’14)
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 134
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 1st – 2014

  • 98th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2012 IndyCar Champion
  • 2008 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 14 race wins in IndyCar

 

P11 – Ed Jones – Dale Coyne Racing – United Arab Emirates

indycar-indy-500-2017-ed-jones-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2016 IndyLights Champion
  • 2013 European F3 Open Champion

 

P12 – Oriol Servia – Rahal Letterman Racing – Spain

indycar-indy-500-2017-oriol-servia-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Starts: 8 (2008-2009, 2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 4th – 2012

  • 1 win in ChampCar
  • 1999 IndyLights Champion

 

P13 – Mikhail Aleshin – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Russia

indycar-indy-500-2017-mikhail-aleshin-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 1
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 21st – 2014

  • 2010 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion
  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P14 – Graham Rahal – Rahal Letterman Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 9 (2008-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’11)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 6
Finishing Rate: 55.56%

Best Result: 3rd – 2011

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 24 Hours of Daytona Winner

 

P15 – Max Chilton – Chip Ganassi Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-max-chilton-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 15th – 2016

  • 35 starts in Formula One

 

P16 – Charlie Kimball – Chip Ganassi Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-charlie-kimball-chip-ganassi-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 6 (2011-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’15)
Top 5 Finishes: 2
Top 10 Finishes: 4
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’15)
Laps Led: 13
Finishing Rate: 83.33% (How ironic for car #83)

Best Result: 3rd – 2015

  • 1 win in IndyCar
  • 2013 24 Hour of Daytona Winner

 

P17 – James Hinchcliffe – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Canada

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Starts: 5 (2011-2014, 2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 1 (’16)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 53
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 6th – 2012

  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter

 

P18 – Juan Pablo Montoya – Team Penske – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-juan-pablo-montoya-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2000, 2014-2016)
Wins: 2 (’00, ’15)
Podiums: 2
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’14)
Laps Led: 192
Finishing Rate: 75%

Best Result: 1st – 2000 and 2015

  • 84th and 99th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2007, 2008 and 2013 24 Hours of Daytona Winner
  • 5 race wins in IndyCar
  • 2003 Monaco Grand Prix Winner
  • 7 race wins in Formula One
  • 2 race wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup
  • 1999 ChampCar Champion
  • 1998 International F3000 Champion
  • 2017 Race of Champions Winner

 

P19 – Helio Castroneves – Team Penske – Brazil

indycar-indy-500-2017-helio-castroneves-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 16 (2001-16)
Wins: 3 (’01, ’02, ’09)
Podiums: 6 (’01, ’02, ’03, ’07, ’09, ’14)
Top 5 Finishes: 7
Top 10 Finishes: 13
Poles: 4 (’03, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 296
Finishing Rate: 93.75%

Best Result: 1st – 2001, 2002 and 2009

  • 85th, 86th and 93rd Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2001 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 23 wins in IndyCar

 

P20 – Jay Howard – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jay-howard-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda.jpg

Starts: 1 (2011)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0%

Best Result: 30th in 2011

  • 2006 IndyLights Champion

 

P21 – Sage Karam – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-sage-karam-dreyer-reinbold-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2014-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 1
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 2
Finishing Rate: 33.33%

Best Result: 9th – 2014

  • 2013 IndyLights Champion
  • 2010 US F2000 National Champion

 

P22 – Josef Newgarden – Team Penske – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-josef-newgarden-team-penske-chevrolet

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1 (’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 1
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 14
Finishing Rate: 60%

Best Result: 3rd – 2016

  • 4 wins in IndyCar
  • 2011 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2011 IndyLights Champion

 

P23 – Simon Pagenaud – Team Penske – France

indycar-indy-500-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2012-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 2
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 35
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 8th – 2013

  • 2016 IndyCar Champion
  • 10 wins in IndyCar
  • 2010 American Le Mans LMP1 Champion
  • 2006 ChampCar Atlantic Champion

 

P24 – Carlos Munoz – AJ Foyt Enterprises – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 4 (2013-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 2 (’13, ’16)
Top 5 Finishes: 3
Top 10 Finishes: 3
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 25
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 2nd – 2013 and 2016

  • 2013 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 1 race win in IndyCar

 

P25 – Gabby Chaves – Harding Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-gabby-chaves-harding-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 2 (2015-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 16th – 2015

  • 2015 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
  • 2014 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2014 IndyLights Champion
  • 2009 Formula BMW Americas Champion

 

P26 – Conor Daly – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-conor-daly-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 3 (2013, 2015-16)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 66.67%

Best Result: 22nd – 2013

  • 2012-13 MRF Challenge Formula 2000 Champion
  • 2010 Star Mazda Champion

 

P27 – Jack Harvey – Michael Shank Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-jack-harvey-andretti-autosport-honda

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 0

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 2015 Freedom 100 Winner
  • 2012 British F3 Champion

 

P28 – Pippa Mann – Dale Coyne Racing – United Kingdom

indycar-indy-500-2017-pippa-mann-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 5 (2011, 2013-2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 80%

Best Result: 18th – 2016

  • 1 race win in IndyLights

 

P29 – Spencer Pigot – Juncos Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-spencer-pigot-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 1 (2016)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%

Best Result: 25th – 2016

  • 2015 IndyLights Champion
  • 2014 Pro Mazda Champion

 

P30 – Buddy Lazier – Lazier Partners Racing – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-buddy-lazier

Starts: 19 (1991-92, 1995-2008, 2013-14, 2016)
Wins: 1 (1996)
Podiums: 3 (’96, ’98, ’00)
Top 5 Finishes: 5
Top 10 Finishes: 6
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 1 (’00)
Laps Led: 70
Finishing Rate: 52.63%

Best Result: 1st – 1996

  • 80th Indianapolis 500 Winner
  • 2000 IndyCar Champion

 

P31 – Sebastian Saavedra – Juncos Racing – Colombia

indycar-indy-500-2017-sebastian-saavedra-juncos-racing-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 5 (2010, 2012-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 20%

Best Result: 15th – 2014

  • 1 pole position in IndyCar

 

P32 – Zach Veach – AJ Foyt Enterprises – United States of America

indycar-indy-500-2017-zach-veach-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet.jpg

Starts: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led: 0
Finishing Rate: –

Best Result: – (2017 Rookie)

  • 6 wins in IndyLights

 

P33 – James Davison – Dale Coyne Racing – Australia

indycar-indy-500-2017-james-davison-dale-coyne-racing-honda.jpg

Starts: 2 (2014-15)
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Top 5 Finishes: 0
Top 10 Finishes: 0
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Laps Led:
Finishing Rate: 50%

Best Result: 16th – 2014

  • 2 wins in IndyLights

 

I have to say Scott Dixon is the heavy favourite going into this race. It’s bad enough for everyone he’s always gone well around here (400+ laps led here in all of his starts), he will start on pole position and expect him to add to his laps led count and stay near the front the whole way. I do expect Rossi to give him a challenge, he’s been impressive yet again and he has a real possibility of making it two Indy 500 wins in two starts.

 

Alonso does have a chance to score a big result. The last guy to jump from another series into the Indy 500 was Kurt Busch and he did well with Andretti too, finishing 6th so if I was Alonso, my aim apart from winning would be to get at least a top 5 finish. Do look out for his Andretti team-mates Hunter-Reay, Andretti and Sato, they should be fast…if their reliability holds on.

 

It’s a huge surprise to see only one Team Penske car in the top 10, usually there’s three or all of them up there. They won’t be at the back for long, I am very sure of it. Especially with the caliber of talent they have in all five cars, don’t be surprised to see one of them up there challenging for the win. It should be a good race as it has been for the last 5 years. I can’t wait for the biggest race in all of motorsports. Bring on the 101st Indianapolis 500! Start your engines!

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Alonso to race at Indy 500! It’s really happening!

So big news coming out of Indianapolis…or Texas…or Bahrain, wherever it may have been from but two-time F1 world champion Fernando Alonso is skipping the Monaco Grand Prix to race the 101st Indianapolis 500! Oh wow talk about huge news, this is massive news for IndyCar, the Indy 500, us Indy fans and well motorsports fans in general I suppose.

 

And the first thing to pop out of my mind when I heard about this….”Did Fernando remember my question to him all these years?”. Yeah so I did ask him about racing at the Indy 500 a few years ago and he actually replied back on Twitter which then became a big story on IndyCar, ESPN and whatever it may be. Check it out here -> https://kashwinner.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/the-time-i-asked-alonso-about-the-indy-500-on-twitter/

 

Alo 2

 

It’s really happening! I mean I don’t blame him, clearly McLaren’s latest F1 challenger is a step down and he’s starting to lose patience so why not try something new? After all, he’s only skipping the Monaco Grand Prix, possibly the worst race of the lot because there is ZERO racing on it (never been a fan of Monaco in all honesty). And he’s going into the BIGGEST race of the entire year where overtakes are aplenty and well anyone can win it. So a good deal there from Mr Alonso. I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

 

I’m really excited about the prospect of seeing Fernando Alonso in an IndyCar for the first time, in a super-speedway for the first time and on the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway….not for the first time but for him the first time driving in the opposite direction to when F1 last visited Indianapolis.

 

And he’s got a decent chance of taking his second step to complete the Triple Crown (Monaco GP, Indy 500 and 24 hours of Le Mans). He is racing for Andretti Autosport who have gone well in Indy for the past few years. Let’s not forget, they won the big race last year with a rookie driver coming in from F1 (Alexander Rossi) and Kurt Busch did alright in his attempt with them so clearly Alonso, if all goes well, has a chance to do well there.

 Alonso should do alright. He’s in the right team with maybe the best guys to learn from (Hunter-Reay, Andretti, Sato and Rossi), two guys who have jumped from F1 to IndyCar and all four guys have at one point or another found themselves in a position to win it. 🙂

I thought last year’s 100th Indy 500 was the biggest one ever and now with this news, this might be even bigger! I can’t wait for this month of May to see how Alonso does in an IndyCar. It really is happening! 😀

IndyCar 2017 Season: Starts Today!

The 2017 IndyCar season is starting today over in St Petersburg, Florida! Those of you who don’t know, IndyCar is probably my favourite racing series anywhere in the world, followed closely by F1 and the Australian Supercars. Can’t wait to see how the 2017 season goes, but like any IndyCar racing season lately, it’ll sure to be a great one! 🙂

 

So those of you who aren’t familiar to the series or are new to it, here’s a little guide on who’s driving for which team. Well, the full-time drivers that is.

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-carlos-munoz-a-j-foyt-enterprises-chevrolet

AJ Foyt Enterprises – Chevy

#4 Conor Daly (Indiana, USA)

Age: 25

Races: 22

Wins: 0

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 72.73%

 

#14 Carlos Munoz (Bogota, Columbia)

Age: 25

Races: 53

Wins: 1

Podiums: 7

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 83.02%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-alexander-rossi-herta-andretti-autosport-honda

Andretti Autosport – Honda

#26 Takuma Sato (Tokyo, Japan)

Age: 40

Races: 118

Wins: 1

Podiums: 5

Poles: 5

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 63.03%

 

#27 Marco Andretti (Pennsylvania, USA)

Age: 30

Races: 183

Wins: 2

Podiums: 20

Poles: 4

Fastest Laps: 6

Finishing Rate: 79.23%

 

#28 Ryan Hunter-Reay (Florida, USA)

Age: 36

Races: 159

Wins: 14

Podiums: 32

Poles: 5

Fastest Laps: 7

Finishing Rate: 80.50%

 

#98 Alexander Rossi (California, USA)

Age: 25

Races: 16

Wins: 1

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 93.75%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-scott-dixon-chip-ganassi-racing-honda

Chip Ganassi Racing – Honda

#8 Max Chilton (Surrey, UK)

Age: 25

Races: 16

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 81.25%

 

#9 Scott Dixon (Auckland, New Zealeand)

Age: 36

Races: 232

Wins: 39

Podiums: 87

Poles: 27

Fastest Laps: 28

Finishing Rate: 85.78%

 

#10 Tony Kanaan (Salvador, Brazil)

Age: 42

Races: 234

Wins: 16

Podiums: 70

Poles: 11

Fastest Laps: 21

Finishing Rate: 84.19%

 

#83 Charlie Kimball (California, USA)

Age: 32

Races: 101

Wins: 1

Podiums: 6

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 83.17%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-sebastien-bourdais-dale-coyne-racing-honda

Dale Coyne Racing – Honda

#18 Sebastien Bourdais (Le Mans, France)

Age: 38

Races: 90

Wins: 4

Podiums: 8

Poles: 2

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 77.78%

 

#19 Ed Jones (Dubai, UAE)

Age: 22

Races: 0

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 0%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-j-r-hildebrand-ed-carpenter-racing-chevrolet

Ed Carpenter Racing – Chevy

#20 Spencer Pigot (California, USA)

Age: 23

Races: 10

Wins: 0

Podiums: 0

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 90%

 

#21 JR Hildebrand (California, USA)

Age: 29

Races: 46

Wins: 0

Podiums: 1

Poles: 0

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 78.26%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-graham-rahal-rahal-letterman-lanigan-racing-honda

Rahal-Letterman-Laningan Racing – Honda

#15 Graham Rahal (Ohio, USA)

Age: 28

Races: 147

Wins: 4

Podiums: 19

Poles: 2

Fastest Laps: 1

Finishing Rate: 82.31%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-james-hinchcliffe-schmidt-peterson-motorsports-honda

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Honda

#5 James Hinchcliffe (Ontario, Canada)

Age: 30

Races: 89

Wins: 4

Podiums: 11

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 2

Finishing Rate: 83.15%

 

#7 Mikhail Aleshin (Moscow, Russia)

Age: 29

Races: 34

Wins: 0

Podiums: 2

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 0

Finishing Rate: 76.47%

 

indycar-st-pete-2017-simon-pagenaud-team-penske-chevrolet

Team Penske – Chevy

#1 Simon Pagenaud (Poitiers, France)

Age: 32

Races: 87

Wins: 9

Podiums: 20

Poles: 9

Fastest Laps: 4

Finishing Rate: 91.95%

 

#2 Josef Newgarden (Tennessee, USA)

Age: 26

Races: 83

Wins: 3

Podiums: 10

Poles: 1

Fastest Laps: 8

Finishing Rate: 74.7%

 

#3 Helio Castroneves (Ribeirão Preto, Brazil)

Age: 41

Races: 248

Wins: 23

Podiums: 80

Poles: 44

Fastest Laps: 18

Finishing Rate: 89.11%

 

#12 Will Power (Queensland, Australia)

Age: 36

Races: 141

Wins: 27

Podiums: 49

Poles: 38

Fastest Laps: 18

Finishing Rate: 86.52%

 

I guess the big story of the season will be Josef Newgarden now being in a top team. Can he do as well as he did with a smaller team for the last few years for a bigger team now (or more like the biggest team). I’ll point out to his team-mate Pagenaud. He too shone for a smaller team in Schmidt Motorsports before moving to Penske. What happened? He struggled in the first year but became champion in the second year. So maybe we might see the same thing for Newgarden. He’s still a young guy so he’s got time on his side.

 

Ganassi moving back to Honda is the other big news and maybe this might help not just Ganassi themselves to stop the Penske steam-roller but also help Honda take the fight to Chevrolet. And so far in the first weekend, it does look like they may have an answer to them. Should be a good season to see how they fare against each other.

 

Kinda interested to see how Sato does for a big team in IndyCar for once, now with Andretti. I do like the new look AJ Foyt Enterprises, with Chevy engines and two quick youngsters to help them hopefully move up the field. I hope Hildebrand does well in his return to a full-time ride in IndyCar, I still think he’s got what it takes.

 

Bourdais could be one to watch out for this season. He’s brought along his old champ-car winning crew together at his return to DCR. I really hope for a big season for 2016 Indy 500 winner Rossi, the guy has the talent to get the job done. So go Alex and of course of Hinch because he’s awesome!

Go-karting adventure on my 27th birthday

So 27 eh? That age number is getting bigger and bigger by the year but I do like the number 27. It’s the combination of my two favourite numbers 2 and 7. So while others usually plan for a big birthday party for their 16th or 21st or 30th, that’s not for me. I don’t really like parties. But I did want to do something big for my 27th birthday.

 

So why not go-karting? Racing is one of my favourite things ever. Obviously I’ll never get to do racing professionally, I don’t have the money for it and I’m sure my parents won’t let me go for it too. So why not go for the next best thing, fun karts? So plan for go-karting was set but then I hear the go-kart track at Bukit Timah, the Karting Arena, was closed for renovations, I had to make a change of plans.

 

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So at the last minute, I thought to myself, I’ve not been to the Kranji go-kart track yet, why the hell not? Then came the next problem. Since New Year’s was on a Sunday, Jan 2nd was a holiday for being the monday after a pulbic holiday (or maybe it was a holiday for being my birthday haha). The track would open either 9am (PH) or 3pm (Monday). Of course I had my answer as I was heading to the track at around 11am so I did my usual thing, more late change of plans, head down to Orchard for a while.

 

I did make my way back to KF1 circuit around 3.30pm, this time with my uncle joining me because even though it’d be fun by myself, I had to share this fun with someone else. And just my luck, it started to rain when we got there. It wouldn’t be my first time racing in the wet though. This would be my 5th visit to a karting track, having tried go karts in Sunway Lagoon and Genting Highlands both in Kuala Lumpur, Kartright Speedway at the other end of Singapore aka Jurong and an indoor circuit somewhere away from downtown Melbourne.

 

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Time to get those tickets. Of course I had to go for Novice (30kph karts) and not Advanced (50kph karts) since I don’t have my driver’s license. At least now I have motivation to get it, so I can drive the faster karts. Those 30kph karts didn’t feel that quick but it still was quick around the circuit. $38 for just 10 minutes doesn’t sound like much but I’ll take it. And since the track was wet due to the rain, that made hings more interesting for everyone. More chances for mistakes eh?

 

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We had to wait a while until it was our turn. Woohoo I’m finally going racing again! But I noticed right away something wasn’t quite right with my kart. I was easily getting overtaken by the rest. But what really pissed me off was this little kid who kept blocking me. He knew I was behind him and let’s just say he was driving a little recklessly. I almost hit the back of his kart a few times but thanks to my supreme racing skills  missed him all four or five times.

 

I finally got past that little bugger thanks to another slower kart holding him up. I was just getting comfortable with the kart and guess what? Time is up! Our 10 minute session was over, I only had 5 laps in and I wasn’t really satisfied. I was only 7th quick out of 12 karters. My uncle was almost the quickest but someone just beat him to the top spot. I had fun but something in me wasn’t quite satisfied with that. So we went for another round.

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But of course we had to wait a while again for the Advanced karts and the one guy with the one race kart who got 15 minutes on track action all to himself. The weather wasn’t helping either. The rain got heavier then it got ligther and on and on and on. Not that I wouldn’t have a go on those fun karts in the wet again. Why not?

 

This time I had a much better kart while poor ol’ uncle got a crap one. I overtook him right away and that was the last I saw of anyone for the next 10 minutes, I had a clear track for my 6 laps this time. And I made full use of it. I noticed my times was getting better and better and on lap 5 I got my best lap to go P1. And that’s how it ended! I’m the fastest! Ok out of only 6 karters this time but still, my name is on top of a timesheet! Now that’s a first for me.

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One thing that did suck was that me and my uncle never really got to compete properly. I had the crap kart first then he had it later on. My best lap in my second session was about 0.3 seconds off his best time but the rain was a bit heavier in the second session so who knows! Yes I’m making excuses, that’s what racers do.
So that was a fun little trip up to Kranji. That was easily the most fun birthday I’ve had in a long while. I didn’t really do much before and after that. Watched some wrestling, played some Pokemon Moon and opening up some Pokemon cards too. I’ve still got a good $140 left to spend on my birthday gifts, $40 of which I thought I would use for this but someone paid it for me (thank you uncle). No big fancy meals for me, I don’t need that. I just need a good time and do the things I like and I’ll be happy. That’s the way it should be right?

 

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It sure was worth it. I was tired (didn’t get much sleep), I was wet (rained heavily on track), I had dirt all over me (track again), I was hurting a bit thanks to that first go kart but that was all worth it to have two runs on a go-kart. 🙂

 

To those of you who did, thank you for the well wishes! I did enjoy my 27th birthday. Now back to reality, school and exams in 4 months time. Wish me luck for that, I’ll need it badly! And of course today being my 27th birthday, I had to get myself a new Manchester United jersey with my name on it and also the #27:

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I got myself something really expensive too and if you’re a wrestling fan who plays the PS4/X-boxWhateveritscallednow, you should get the special NXT edition of WWE wK17 game. Some nice stuff in there along with the game.

I also got myself a pokemon TCG EX box because well, I’ve not bought one of those before yet. Wanted to see if there was anything good in it. Of course I got the Gengar EX box because Gengar is one of my favourites and because the Charizard one wasn’t there. Turned out to be a good choice, I got a full art Mega Steelix and a secret rare Mega Gengar! Yes my first ever secret rare card and how ironic it came from a Gengar box.

I’ve still got $30 to spend on. What else can I get…