The Editors are not bound to agree with readers’ opinions
Punish to fit the crime
I’m sitting here watching yet
another amateurish IndyCar street
course event at Edmonton, with
these so-called “professionals”
tapping the rear tire of their
competitor and spinning them in
order to make a pass.
On the one hand, I’m pleased to
see o;cials finally doling out
penalties to these drivers. However,
a drive-through is clearly not
enough. Example: Ryan Hunter-Reay punts second-place Sato in
Turn 5 coming from hopelessly far
back. Hunter-Reay gets a drive-through, comes out in 13th, and as
of lap 51 has worked his way back
into the top 10. Sato, on the other
hand, stalls as a result of the spin,
loses a lap, and is left 22nd.
If Indycar is serious about
stopping this behavior on road
and street courses, then the
punishment needs to fit the crime.
The o;ending driver should receive
a stop-and-go penalty long enough
that it becomes impossible for them
to remain on the lead lap. Losing a
lap on a road course is pretty much a
death sentence, and would make
most drivers think twice about
these idiotic moves.
To help even further, get rid of
the ridiculous “blocking” penalty
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and allow the leading driver to take
a defensive line into a corner,
rather than forcing them to leave a
very tempting open door for the
following driver. This is racing.
Passes shouldn’t be easy. These are
professionals. Let’s make them
earn their pay.
Eric Boucher San Jose, Calif.
Austin vs. the Glen
Austin, Texas, the next Glen? No.
Let’s look at Andrew Crask’s piece
(“Austin’s powers,” RACER, July).
MOST ENTERTAINING LETTER...
Green is gold
Thanks for helping to show that
“green” racing doesn’t have to
mean boring racing. (“Focus on
green,” RACER, August). The
various sustainable fuels and
hybrid configurations developed
for racing in the American Le Mans
Series is particularly impressive,
and I agree with Scott Atherton
that “green” is the best modern
application of go-fast technology.
Actually, I dislike the term
“green racing” since it immediately
puts thoughts in your head of slow,
boring electric cars buzzing silently
around. As your articles showed,
that’s certainly not the case now (if
it ever was) and some of the most
interesting new cars to be found in
motorsports today are those being
developed to demonstrate new
technologies and maximize
efficiency, like Porsche’s 911
hybrid. Hopefully, these
technologies will eventually help
“conventional” racing to get out of
the conundrum of having their
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Texas has done well but several
other states have done as well or
better. Governor Rick Perry takes
credit but the only way he balanced
his budget is from federal stimulus
money. Tax code is business friendly
and regressive. The good Guv says he
rejects federal interference but Texas
has a long history of taking Uncle
Sam’s money for fun and profit.
It is nice Red McCombs is
bringing $200 mil to the table but
are the taxpayers first in line to get
back the money they pledged? How
many schools, roads, medical
facilities, etc., could be built with
those tax dollars?
As for comparing Austin to past
“half-baked” USGP tracks, this one
will likely be fully baked. We froze at
the Glen, so that is not the same.
The piece did not mention if the
track will treat rattlesnake bites,
scorpion stings, sunstroke,
sunburn and spider bites. And
bring water – Texas is in a drought.
We had none of these at the Glen:
just lakes, forest and beautiful fall
colors. And cold rain, but luckily we
were too drunk to care.
David Fahey via e-mail
events hamstrung into fuel
economy runs by some arbitrary
time limit or fuel allotment.
In the meantime, I applaud F1
and IndyCar for thinking boldly and
moving toward smaller-displacement engines over today’s
dinosaur V8s. Nostalgia lovers will
always have NASCAR. On to the
future, open wheel!
Brian Davis via e-mail
officiating in the spotlight
From my observation, the
so-called double-file restarts at
Toronto were double file in
name only. The lead car
seemed to stand on it in the
last turn and leave the field
straggling along behind.
IndyCar, if you’re going to have
a rule such as this, enforce it.
The leading car having to stay
left before Turn 3 was the
cause of the ruinous day in
I couldn’t agree more with your
column. To state the obvious,
however, it is taught from Day 1
in road racing that it is the
following car’s responsibility to
pass safely and do so without
risk to either car or driver. It’s
really as simple as that. Not
Franchitti, nor Hunter-Reay, nor
Andretti, nor Briscoe had a
chance in hell of doing so in
each of their respective
incidents. Having driven there
for many years, you absolutely
know that the hairpin is pretty
much a one-lane corner. Sure,
there are exceptions, but not
on a regular basis.
And, in reference to the two
abreast restarts, they’re easy
to do when there is a straight
of some length preceding the
start line – not a medium-speed,
left-hand corner with marbles
on the outside – precisely
where the leader is supposed
to start from!