Q: There was as big a crowd as I’ve ever seen at Mosport since Hulme, Gurney, Hall, McLaren and Revson raced there in the Can-Am Series, and the hot rumor going around the garage was that this is the last year for the Honda Toronto Indy and it will be moving to Mosport next year. Asked Helio and JPM what they thought of the circuit – it blew their minds! Why not back-to-back Watkins Glen and Mosport weekends just like back in the ’60’s & ’70s Formula 1 days? Get Mario involved, he loved that doubleheader!
RM: Bad rumor. IndyCar isn’t leaving Toronto or going to Mosport, as much as most of us would like to see both races happen. IndyCar has always maintained Mosport needed lots of work to be ready for IndyCars, and some drivers said there is no chance of any passing because it’s such a fast, flowing road course. But we need at least two races in Canada, so maybe Montreal can come back some day.
Q: We need a new name for the wall that ruined three races on Sunday. Also, Newgarden’s restart is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a leader muck up a restart like that before. Anyhow, on to my question. What do the drivers think the racing will be like at Laguna Seca? On paper it should be worse than Sonoma, so I don’t fully understand all the fan excitement around the return to the track. The track is special, but I just don’t see the appeal.
RM: I did a video with RHR, T.K. and Seb at Toronto about which track they preferred, and all of them love driving at both. Sonoma and Laguna are fun tracks for these guys, but neither produce much in the way of good racing. Dixie said with the right tire he thought Sonoma could be a decent race like it was a few years ago (but I don’t recall it). The bottom line is that all our favorite road courses were built 60 years ago for smaller cars, and only Road America and Watkins Glen offers inviting passing zones.
Q: I wish you could enlighten me on who benefits from the current format for qualifying – it’s certainly not the fans. It escapes me why the clock keeps running when cars cannot make a valid attempt at a qualifying lap due to a red or yellow flag. It seems that the fans are cheated out of seeing the cars on track. I believe every attempt should be made to give fans, which IndyCar needs more of, as much opportunity as possible to see cars running. With qualifying time being pretty short, it makes no sense to me to shorten it even more with yellow/red flags.
Richard Gilbert, SC
RM: I believe it was reduced when several teams refused to go out for the first 20 minutes of a 30-minute qualifying session, so it was decided to ramp up the pace and make sure everyone was gung-ho for 10 minutes. But I don’t necessarily agree with keeping the clock running either for a yellow or red flag.
Q: The article “A weekend of extremes,” was right-on. Iowa was terrific. I had to watch by myself without the usual IndyCar fan gang here, but they all were blowing up my phone while we all watched from different locations. We all kept saying what an amazing display of talent to go that fast, that close, with that much passing, and really, no incidents. Crazy. I am not all thrilled about IndyCar races ending under yellow, but I hate green/white/checkers for any series. My wish is that they just didn’t count caution laps. If you don’t have the ability to improve your position, it isn’t racing. Just count race laps towards the race. Lastly, can you explain what you meant by Fernando Alonso having “that F1 mentality” and how/why it doesn’t exist in IndyCar? I’m not real dialed into F1. I like some of the tracks they go to, I just always end up thinking that I would rather see IndyCar series running there.
Aaron and Mossie
RM: I hate it when they count laps under yellow at the start of a rain race, and it would be cool not to count caution laps but then you get into a fuel shortage situation. Fair or not, F1 champs usually have the air of entitlement (not Clark, Stewart or Emmo), but Alonso couldn’t have been more at home than he was in Gasoline Alley – talking to fans, signing autographs but more importantly, adopting to Indy’s culture and picking up oval-track racing overnight. He was one of the most refreshing things to ever happen in the 50 years I’ve covered Indy, and I think the fans and media enjoyed his presence as much as he did competing again up front. He was total class all month and made thousands of new fans. Let’s hope we get to see him again.
Q: My 15-year old son and I are big road course fans, but were in the area so thought we’d give Iowa a try. Between the great seating, racing, relaxed atmosphere, being able to get a picture with Rossi, soaking up the vibe in Victory Lane and chat you up (I made the comment about Hinch having a hard time racing with so many sponsors’ hats rolling around inside his car) my son and I left with a great feeling from Iowa. And some sponsor hats :-) Next year, we’re hoping to make it to Road America during our midwest summer trip. Keep up the great work and don’t retire.
Marty U., Belmont, CA
RM: IndyCar needs young fans and oval-track fans, so glad to hear it was a success. And you picked a great race to attend. Can’t retire, my jobs are too easy.