Q: “When the rulebook collides with sanity“? Really? Name me an IndyCar race where the rulebook doesn’t collide with sanity! I’ve been telling people for years, “Be careful what rules you make, because you may need to break them at some point.” This was a perfect example. The rule is a reasonable rule meant to protect drivers coming out of the pits and those on the course. The rule is there for a good reason. Just like we have rules to prevent blatant blocking. Helio getting penalized at Edmonton a few years back [2010, above] was brought about by the blocking rule being followed to the letter. The fact that the rule was poorly-written and interpreted by someone with no common sense ruined the race. The same thing almost happened this time with Bourdais. I say “almost” because he got the position back with another great pass. Hey! The rule created a second great pass that we wouldn’t have seen if he hadn’t been penalized. I bet no one thought of that. Bourdais wasn’t going to get by Rossi anyway, so it’s all moot.
Doug Mayer, Revelstoke, BC, Canada
RM: His second pass was pretty damn good, but not as awesome as the first one. A line drawn to govern pit exits shouldn’t affect the race, but it did. As for Helio, all he did was protect his line, and he had every right to go berserk.
Q: Today was a prime example of how out of touch race control is with reality. There is no consistency, and what they allow versus what they penalize borders on stupidity. Let me see if I can follow the logic. Rossi, while attempting a pass for the lead, takes out the race leader – putting him into the wall while he continues on to a podium finish. No penalty. (I am fine with this no-call). Bourdais, while making a pass for second place, touches some magic line painted in fairy dust that is really intended to keep cars exiting the pits off the racing line, makes no contact with anyone else while executing a pass that is at Alex Zanardi passing Herta in the Corkscrew level in the “big balls” category, and he is penalized.
The officials are having too much of an impact on the racing. I can’t take it anymore. I played nice at the merger. I shut down my website to try and encourage people to get along and give the merged series a chance. Ten years later, and the cars finally look like proper race cars. The racing is awesome. Little teams are able to take it to the likes of Penske, and the one thing that still screams Earl (IRL) is the damn officiating. Fire everyone in race control. Get a chief steward, who has the final and only say in regards to penalties and a small crew the way Wally Dallenbach ran CART. I am not going to take it anymore. I’m done being nice. I am done giving them the benefit of the doubt. This series is missing hate. It’s time to bring the hate!
Paul in Bradenton
RM: I truly don’t think Arie or Max play favorites, but I do think they’ve been inconsistent with “unavoidable contact.” Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal did the same thing at St. Pete, one got a penalty and one didn’t. Rossi went for it and punted the leader into the wall. He didn’t get penalized, but he was responsible for either making the pass or clouting Wickens. We all loved that he went for it, but the bottom line is that he made a mistake and got away scot-free. Ed Jones knocked Charlie Kimball into the guardrail at Barber and got no penalty. Why? Because the stewards knew he didn’t mean to? I know it’s a tough job, and thankless as well, but consistency is a stewards’ best friend.
Q: I’ve taken a day to cool off after watching race control rip a chance to win away from SeaBass, Granted I’m little biased as I had $20 on Bourdais at 20/1 odds, but Rossi is also one of my favorite drivers and deserved to win, obviously. But what was the deal with the call of passing on the pit lane? Dixon drove him over there. Would they rather have a wreck? And to wait six laps before calling the penalty? I thought SeaBass must have made a mistake when Dixon got ahead of him again. So, if no penalty is given, he’s into the pits before the yellow flag, and back out ahead of Rossi for the restart, and now we have a great race to the finish. Just woulda been nice to see that play out.
Rick Krahenbuhl, San Diego, CA
RM: What would you say if I told you an IndyCar official called Bourdais a few days after Long Beach and admitted they should have penalized Dixon for blocking? I don’t think he blocked, I think he simply moved and that forced Seb to move, and that’s the kind of no harm, no foul call I would expect the ex-drivers to make. But when I interviewed Bourdais afterwards he made it clear he wasn’t going to catch Rossi, he just thought he deserved second, and I agree. But by letting Dixon get back by him, he lost just enough time to screw him on the caution flag that caught him out.