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CRC Offline Canon | 2021 Indycar World Championship Season
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[QUOTE="Clayton Hardy, post: 13411294, member: 267319"] [SPOILER=Belle Isle FP1 Results] [ATTACH=full]1010995[/ATTACH][/SPOILER] [SPOILER=Belle Isle FP2 Results] [ATTACH=full]1010996[/ATTACH][/SPOILER] [SPOILER=Belle Isle Qualifying Results] [ATTACH=full]1010997[/ATTACH][/SPOILER] [SPOILER=Friday Practice Summary] What a difference a week makes. Amidst the news of Rockstar Phantom Motors being sold to Velocity Autosport, and several teams bringing their last wave of upgrades to the streets of Belle Isle Park, there was a lot to disect after Friday practice. So let's get into the ins and outs. [B]Phantom Motors In Transition[/B] The powerhouse Honda stable announced the day after the 108th Indianapolis 500 that it was being sold to Velocity Autosport. Phantom Motors pioneer, Jean-Claude Gabriel, stunned the paddock and the Champ Car fans in announcing his battle with cancer had worsened, requiring his full attention and the sell off of the team to Velocity Autosport's Vincent Rojas. Andrew Draco, the defending Indycar World Champion, announced this would be his last full time season in the pinnacle of North American open wheel racing, with the San Francisco-native agreeing to run the Triple Crown with Velocity Autosport in 2022. Velocity Autosport confirmed its drivers as Maria Chavez and Katrina Ochoa, the dynamic duo that propelled the debuting team into spotlight at the Brickyard, but it also has left David Wessel with an unknown future, with every party confirming he would not be racing with Velocity in 2022 when the takeover is finalized. With the weight of the world now peering down on the duo who were set to be the main challengers to Panasonic Team Impulse, both Draco and Wessel topped one of the two practice sessions, making this the first time since Texas that a Panasonic Team Impulse driver had not been on top of the leaderboards. Pressure may be building diamonds as the team now attempts to ride out its final season as the daring and unwavering underdogs-turned-goliaths. [B]Cat Devil Racing Putting Indy Behind Them[/B] Not too long ago, the Brickyard was one of the playgrounds Cat Devil Racing held in its back pocket. But recent years have seen the team falter on the grand stage. This year shows to be no different, with all three CDR cars working far more closely together in Detroit. The team flirted with or were the gatekeepers to the top 10 in both practice sessions, all three in a line as they look to rebound and prepare for a serious charge in the middle stage of the season. [B]Black Rose Racing Learning On The Go[/B] Friday morning was almost like Christmas morning for Evangeline Porter's team, the duo of Nicole Liechti and Alan Herrera reconnecting after several years apart. Both were last teammates in 2018, for the same team. For Liechti, the day turned around in the afternoon, with the Swiss Miss separating the Phantom Motors duo from Team Impulse's duo in P3. For Herrera, the Mexican driver spent the day relearning the workings of the current Champ Car in road course configuration. The last time Herrera raced in the World Championship, the Dallara HV18 was in use, with less downforce and no ground effects, on top of a 3 year newer tire spec from Firestone. Patience will be the magic word as the team build around the two time Champ Car race winner to make him more comfortable. [B]Apex Languishing At The Rear[/B] The 2021 campaign continues to get more and more difficult for the Apex Racing Team, with the Oceanic squad finishing dead last in both practice sessions, minus Isabel Espinoza's crash in FP1. Horizon Corporation has stressed that it will begin looking to reject idling or demotivated teams down to the National Championship when it reforms in 2022, and with Escuderia Aguila already quietly confirming its move to the new series, Apex Racing Team is on its last legs before the series promoters step in and make the decision for them. [B]Obsidian Racing Team Recovery Mission[/B] FP1 lasted only 11 minutes for Isabel Espinoza, the Argentinian finding the wall going through the double right hand complex to end only her fourth lap on track. The suspension on the left side of the car took significant damage, which saw the team lose nearly 80 minutes of track time. Espinoza, who has looked more confident with her new team on road courses than ovals, made up for it by going 12th fastest. Zoe Sharp, the team principal for Obsidian in Champ Car, confirmed the team was not spending the same amounts as the top teams, using 2021 as a learning season, with most of the team's engineers coming from Japan, where the team has dominated the open wheel ladder system across the Pacific since 2016. The team were impressed with the showings of both Espinoza and Asada Kito, who is doing both the V8GP series and the Triple Crown this year, and sources around the team have reported that there's no intentions to stray from the course yet.[/SPOILER] [SPOILER=Qualifying Summary] Saturday qualifying was a stunning two hours of action, with the favorites landing in trouble, and a new pole sitter rising to the occasion. The three stage qualifying format returned for the first time since the season opener in Phillip Island, and boy did it throw the field for a loop! [B]Lundqvist Steals The Spotlight[/B] Cherokee GP flew under the radar in both the Indy 500 and in Friday practice, but they emerged as serious threats on Saturday, with Sweden's Siri Lundqvist taking her first pole position since returning to the series last year. Keisha Fox also improved from Friday, ending Q3 in 9th place, making the team's prospects for the abrasive street circuit remarkably better than they were assuming they'd find when the weekend started. [B]PTI Out In Q2[/B] The monsters of the Speedways struggled mightily in qualifying, with both Hazel Lacasse and Sakura Ishibashi being eliminated shockingly in Q2. For points leader Lacasse, the 60 point buffer she has over Draco and Wessel is now a cushion of relief as the team tries to figure out how to convert their Saturday mishaps into top 10 results at a track that is extremely rough physically and notoriously difficult to battle on. For Ishibashi, who had 3 poles out of 6 races coming into Belle Isle, her Q2 exit shows a rare, but significant undoing of the team's untouchable aura just days after the team led all but one lap at Indianapolis. The Grand Prix that lies ahead will not be for the feint of heart for Team Impulse fans. [B]CDR Make Good On Intentions[/B] All three Cat Devil Racing cars made it into Q3 and firmly put themselves closer to the front for the race on Sunday, with Kuni Kino****a starting outside the front row, while Camyron Jackson made it to P5, and Diego Jaramillo placing right behind him on the inside column in P7. The team caught attention on Friday with how close the trio were performing, and the qualifying results now supports the practice results. The Kyoto-based team are ready to bring a fight to the top once more. [B]Rocket Razgriz Secure Best Start of 2021[/B] Astrid Krane watched as a potential top 5 result was stolen from her early at the Indianapolis 500, the French team putting so much effort into giving the Norwegian driver the best they possibly can. Their progress has not been for nothing, as Krane achieved her and the team's best qualifying result of the year on Saturday, qualifying 12th to start beside Striker Motorsports' Natalia Kirichenko. [B]Swift Knight Autosport Struggle At Home[/B] It's as close to home as it can get for Swift Knight Autosport, but it's as far from the front row as they've ever been this season. The team was lackluster in Friday practice, but that came as unremarkable since the team normally plays its cards close to the chest on the opening sessions. Qualifying, however, shows a gaping hole still exists in the team's road course program. The team were fortunate with the chaos that unfolded in Phillip Island, but luck cannot become a crutch if this team is to show any semblance of contention, especially with the grid shake up looking likely at season's end.[/SPOILER] [/QUOTE]
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CRC Offline Canon | 2021 Indycar World Championship Season