Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2012
Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2012 Photos and Stories.
August 24 - August 26, 2012
Sonoma County, California
Photos and story provided by Georges Pelpel Contact Photographer for Information.
GALLERY 1--Race Day
Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2012
Sonoma Raceway set up to give the INDYCAR fans an even more exciting day at the track by modifying the track layout to provide the drivers more chances to muscle their cars past the one in front. Turn 7, 9 and 11 were modified. Turn 11 did not ad to the drama that can play out in a race but turn 7 and 9 did. Castroneves spun out Dixon. Dixon later broke his front wing in Turn 9
The top ranks of open wheel race cars are INDYCAR and Formula 1. The main difference between the two race series is that the INDYCAR drivers need to be skilled in two very different driving styles. Formula 1 races on road course style tracks. INDYCAR races on both road courses and oval tracks. Sonoma is a road course track which is the demanding left, right, accelerate, brake, fast corner, slow corner style of racing.
Yes, watching ones favorite driver passing a car at 210 MPH in a 209 MPH corner then moving down the straightaway at 220 MPH is very exciting on an oval track. But, watching these drivers pressing into the slower corners and bouncing off each other is a great show of drivers skill and endurance.
GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma 2012 Official Results: Pos.; Driver; Laps; Running / Reason Out
1 Ryan Briscoe 85 Running; 2 Will Power 85 Running; 3 Dario Franchitti 85 Running; 4 Rubens Barrichello 85 Running; 5 Graham Rahal 85 Running; 6 Helio Castroneves 85 Running; 7 Simon Pagenaud 85 Running; 8 JR Hildebrand 85 Running; 9 Alex Tagliani 85 Running; 10 Tony Kanaan 84 Running; 11 Justin Wilson 84 Running; 12 James Jakes 84 Running; 13 Scott Dixon 84 Running; 14 Mike Conway 84 Running; 15 Sebastian Saavedra 84 Running; 16 EJ Viso 84 Running; 17 Simona de Silvestro 84 Running; 18 Ryan Hunter-Reay 84 Running; 19 Oriol Servia 84 Running; 20 Ed Carpenter 84 Running; 21 Charlie Kimball 82 Running; 22 Sebastien Bourdais 63 Contact; 23 Josef Newgarden 62 Contact; 24 Katherine Legge 48 Mechanical; 25 Marco Andretti 45 Mechanical; 26 James Hinchcliffe 34 Mechanical; 27 Takuma Sato 2 Mechanical;
AllCarCentral asked our photographer, Georges Pelpel, about his day. The following are his comments.
"Yes, I tried to cover all sections, the only place I skipped was the 3s. I should have tried outside of 3 as I imagine it is the place where some nice shots I saw online have been made from. They have a clean blue sky background, I don't think of any other area where shots can be made without either a k-wall or a hill behind the track.
I like the new track configuration and turn 9 was definitely the most exciting to shoot. Inside turn 7 and between the straight away to 7 and the 8s were not as exciting photographically but exhilarating as the speed was quite high and going on all sides. The outside of the 8s was also pretty good but I didn't stay too long there, 1) because I was shooting against the sun, and 2) because I didn't feel completely safe there. Turned out that's where the big crash of the day happened. I may have missed a nice shot of the crash by a mere 4-5 minutes but seeing the photographers running uphill on the big screen sent some chills in the spine.
The only missing item was a more competitive race, the two Penske cars were just too much ahead of the lot all weekend long. They took a definite advantage right off the gun. The excitement was for third place where Bourdais contained a very close Franchitti all the way to the crash, the two spent 60+ laps neck to neck. I think Franchitti's car was a bit faster but not enough to pass Bourdais".
Ryan Briscoe/Team Penske wins Sonoma GoPro Indy Grand Prx
1. Briscoe; 2. Power; 3. Franchitti
Penske, Chevrolet, Briscoe and Power are all winners at Sonoma.
Penske got 3 of the top 6 spots. Chevrolet had six cars in the top 10 clinching the manufacturers' championship in the first season back in IndyCar
Power gained the points to tie up the overall title.
Briscoe and Power taking the Checker flag
Dario Franchitti following across in 3rd.
Taking Turn 1
Helio Castroneves in the Penske car
Helio Castroneves was penalized after making contact with Scott Dixon on the opening lap. Helio finished sixth.
James Jakes seeing if it is faster through the dirt at Turn 9
Following the pace car down through 7. It was clean-no-yellow-racing, untill Sonoma.
The first caution flags since early July were thrown as Sebastien Bourdais took Josef Newgarden out at turn 9. A hard hit was recieved by Josef Newgarden when Sebastien Bourdais lost control on cold tires and slammed Newgarden into the track side barrier. Newgarden luckly only injuring his left index finger. The crash sent trackside photographers running.
Josef Newgarden gassing up not knowing what awaits him at Turn 9
Hunter-Reay at the end of the line. Hunter-Reay was spun out by Alex Tagliani with 10 laps to go, finishing 18th.
Ryan Briscoe's Penske crew is responsible for making and keeping the car competitive.
Scott Dixon. Dixon made contact with Hunter-Reay and finished 13th.
Droping down into Turn 6 chute
Out of the Turn 6 slot and onto the Straightaway hard on it.
Through the 8's
'The Indy Hill Climb' into 3a
Mike Conway and Justin Wilson side by side, for now.
Open wheel cars, by the very nature of their design, are more fragile than cars with fenders, and at speeds of 200 MPH drivers tend to avoid car to car contact. But at the slower corners of the road course, wheel to wheel bumping does come into play providing spectacular passing.
out of turn 7
Helio Castroneves in the sun
Dario Franchitti team and car
James Hinchcliffe signing for the fans. James droped out with Mechanical problems
The US Military has a strong presents at the national car races. JR Hildebrand of Panther Racing drives the National Guard car
Mario Andretti. Where there are INDYCARS there is Mario
Sebastien Bourdais with his 'Race Face'
Simon Pagenaud finished 7th
After leading the race for 65 laps from the pole start position Will Power's right rear tire change did not go smoothly and he slipped back to second.
Will Power starts from the Pole finishes second but is solid for the chanpionship. But the winner gets the girl!
Will Power second at Sonoma
Briscoe got the win and the wine at Sonoma by beating Power out of the pits.
Takuma Sato is left to walking after only 2 laps
Olympic 2012 swimmer and Gold Medal winner, Tyler Clary got his first ride in an Indy Car and declared that next career would be a "race car driver", and Clary said he likes Indy Cars the best.
Pirelli World Challenge Championships ran at Sonoma as a support race for INDYCAR.
The Pirelli World Challenge Championships crowned its Champions at Sonoma, California.
Pirelli World Challenge Championships
Johnny O'Connell First in GT; Peter Cunningham First in GTS; Michael Cooper First in Touring Car; Jonathan Start First in Touring Car B-Spec.