Baltimore Grand Prix Race Report

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Circuit: Oriole Park at Camden Yards (2.04-mile temporary street circuit) Baltimore, MD
2010 Winner:N/A (inaugural event)
Weather:Mostly sunny, warm, humid, 87 degrees F

Race Results:

Fn. St. Driver Team Engine/Chassis Laps Average Speed/Notes
1. 1. Will Power Team Penske Honda Dallara 75 Mostly sunny, warm, humid, 87 degrees F
2. 16. Oriol Servia Newman Haas Racing Honda Dallara 75 -10.2096 seconds
3. 11. Tony Kanaan KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 75 -10.8557 seconds
4. 4. Dario Franchitti Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 75 -11.0831 seconds; led 2 laps
5. 10. Scott Dixon Target Chip Ganassi Honda Dallara 75 -11.5032 seconds
6. 25. Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 75 -18.5661 seconds
7. 21. Alex Tagliani Sam Schmidt Motorsports Honda Dallara 75 -18.5671 seconds
8. 6. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 75 -18.9269 seconds; led 1 lap
9. 14. Vitor Meira A.J. Foyt Racing Honda Dallara 75 -22.3096 seconds
10. 2. Graham Rahal Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 75 -22.6977 seconds
11. 20. Martin Plowman-R Sam Schmidt Motorsports Honda Dallara 75 -23.7405 seconds
12. 12. Simona de Silvestro HVM Racing Honda Dallara 75 -24.7568 seconds; led 1 lap
13. 26. Sebastian Saavedra-R Conquest Racing Honda Dallara 75 -29.6042 seconds
14. 3. Ryan Briscoe Team Penske Honda Dallara 75 -30.9855 seconds; led 1 lap
15. 9. E.J. Viso KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 75 -50.6756 seconds
16. 22. Ana Beatriz-R Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 75 -60.5667 seconds
17. 7. Helio Castroneves Team Penske Honda Dallara 74 Running
18. 28. Takuma Sato KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara 73 Did not finish – crash
19. 19. JR Hildebrand-R Panther Racing Honda Dallara 73 Did not finish – crash
20. 27. Ed Carpenter Sarah Fisher Racing Honda Dallara 73 Running
21. 18. Charlie Kimball-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Dallara 73 Running
22. 24. Tomas Scheckter Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 71 Running
23. 8. Mike Conway Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 64 Did not finish – exhaust
24. 17. James Hinchcliffe-R Newman Haas Racing Honda Dallara 54 Did not finish – suspension
25. 23. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda Dallara 40 Did not finish – oil line
26. 15. Giorgio Pantano-R Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Honda Dallara 39 Did not finish – contact
27. 13. James Jakes-R Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 37 Did not finish – contact
28. 5. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing Honda Dallara 9 Did not finish – electrical

R - IndyCar Series Rookie

Power Perfect in Inaugural Baltimore Run

It was another maximum effort that garnered maximum results for Team Penske's Will Power, as the Australian dominated the inaugural Grand Prix of Baltimore, scoring a series-leading sixth IZOD IndyCar Series victory Sunday at the new temporary street circuit adjacent to Oriol Park at Camden Yards.

In tandem with the victory, qualifying on the pole and leading the most laps earned Power 53 championship points, the maximum available, as he closed to within five points of championship leader Dario Franchitti, who finished fourth for Target Chip Ganassi Racing.  Three races remain in the season.

Continuing a six-season tradition of equality and reliability, all 28 Honda-powered drivers completed 7,478 miles this weekend on the punishing streets of Baltimore without a single failure of the Honda Indy V-8 engine.  It now has been more than two years since a Honda in-race engine failure, the last one taking place at Infineon Raceway in 2009.

At the start, Power fought off a determined challenge from the second-starting Graham Rahal, who briefly took the lead in the first corner.  But after reclaiming the advantage in Turn 3, Power was in control for the rest of the 75-lap run, turning over the lead only during routine pit stops on the way to a 10-second victory over Oriol Servia.

Adjacent to the home of the Baltimore Orioles, the similarly-named Servia and his Newman Haas Racing team used an alternate pit strategy – stopping early to change to the faster "Red" alternate tires and then saving fuel to make the race distance – to gain track position early in the event.  Once in the lead pack, Servia demonstrated great race pace that kept him ahead of a tight pack that included Tony Kanaan, Franchitti, Scott Dixon and Takuma Sato.

Using a strategy similar to Servia, Kanaan recovered from his airborne crash during the morning warm-up that forced him to start from a backup Honda-powered Dallara at the rear of the 28-car starting field.  His third-place finish equals his best result of the season, scored at the St. Petersburg opener.

After back-to-back events on the opposite sides of the United States, the IZOD IndyCar Series now takes a week off before heading overseas for the second and final time of 2011 season, for the September 18  Japan Indy 300 at Honda's own Twin Ring Motegi Circuit, north of Tokyo.

IZOD IndyCar Series Championship (after 14 of 17 events):
1. Dario Franchitti 507 points (4 wins) 6. Ryan Briscoe 328
2. Will Power 502 (6 wins) 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay 305 (1 win)
3. Scott Dixon 430 (1 win) 8. Marco Andretti 292 (1 win)
4. Oriol Servia 367 9. Helio Castroneves 290
5. Tony Kanaan 340 10. Graham Rahal 284

Will Power (#12 Team Penske Honda) started 1st, finished 1st, series-leading 6th win of 2011 and 15th career victory:  "That feels like one of my best wins.  I've never driven so hard in my life.  I gave it absolutely every thing I had, from start to finish, and I'm exhausted.  It was a 'championship run', and I believe one of the best races I have ever driven.  And Baltimore is awesome.  It was an unbelievable crowd and an atmosphere unlike anything I've experienced outside of Surfers Paradise [Australia]."

Tony Kanaan (#82 KV Racing Technology Honda) started 27th, finished 3rd in a backup car after destroying his primary car in a morning warmup crash:  "What a fantastic effort from the entire team after our trouble this morning [when brake failure led to his crash].  We had a great race pace in our backup car, and to finish strong at [sponsor] Geico's 'home track' was very, very important. This is an awesome track and a great event.  We want to race where people come out to watch us and for a first event, this was a huge success."

Oriol Servia (#2 Newman Haas Racing Honda) started 11th, finished 2nd, his second 2nd-place finish in the last three races:  "[Will] Power was just too 'powerful' today; he had everyone covered.  But this is a great result for us today.  We're fourth in [championship] points and fighting for the podium at every race, and there's more to come.  I crashed in qualifying [Saturday], but we never gave up.  The car was very good and the strategy was even better.  The pit strategy was perfect today and I knew if I didn't make any mistakes, the podium was ours."

Erik Berkman (President, Honda Performance Development) on today's race: "Congratulations to Will and the Penske organization.  It was a great race, a dominating performance and very impressive to watch.  Our inaugural event in Baltimore seems to have been a winner.  It's a wonderful city, the fans are great and we look forward to coming back.  The championship has tightened further, and we're looking forward to a dramatic finish to the season."

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