The temperature was hot for the Sunday morning IZOD IndyCar Warm-Up prior to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. It felt warmer than the 70-71 degrees F/21-22C monitored by Firestone Tires. The temperature actually dropped a degree during the half-hour session. The track got hotter, from 91-96 F/33-36C in fifteen minutes. The flag used by folks for wind indication flew several ways and then not at all – Back and forth, forth and back. North to South, from the South, from the West, etc. And with no enthusiasm.
SCOTT DIXON/No.9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda was fastest at 1:18.9674. It was on Lap 11 of the 17 he ran. All on-track drivers ran double-digit laps.
Second through fifth were Andretti Autosport teammates, RYAN HUNTER-REAY/No.1 Chevrolet and MARCO ANDRETTI/No.25 Chevrolet, TONY KANAAN/No.11 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet; and DARIO FRANCHITTI/Target Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.
Rookie JAMES DAVISON/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda didn’t go out at all. I had a chat with dad, JAMES DAVISON, who said is son was finding the track more technical than expected. Friday, the young driver discussed it with his good mate, WILL POWER, who was telling him that he can’t believe how competitive is the field – how close together are the times. Power had the pole position the past three years at Sonoma and was sixth in the Warm-Up.
Team Owner, ROGER PENSKE, flew all night from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, to be at Sonoma Raceway early Sun. He was on the stand for HELIO CASTRONEVES/No.3 Team Penske Chevrolet – he ‘calls’ the race for Castroneves.
LUCA FILIPPI of Italy is one of two drivers who will alternate driving the No.98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda with JR HILDEBRAND of Sausalito CA. JR is racing this weekend at Sonoma and will run the finale race at Auto Club Speedway. Filippi will run the next two (street) races in Baltimore and Houston. He is on site Sunday, doing meet and greet with team sponsors and guests.
I had heard that ALEX TAGLIANI and ORIOL SERVIA would be at the track, but I haven’t seen them as of yet.
Left to Right and Left to Right
Roger Penske, Helio Castroneves, Luca Filippi and Kevin Kalkhoven & Jimmy Vasser & Simona de Silvestro, Tristan Vautier, Derrick Walker.