A Slow Return to Normalcy

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It wouldn’t be May without a video or two, interspersed with all of the written content of the month. Hey, when you’ve committed to posting every weekday of the month – you’ve got to have a variety.

Today is probably the first of two such videos with my good friend Paul Dalbey of Fieldof33.com for the Month of May. In this episode of Two Sites Unite, we discuss the upcoming GMR Grand Prix and how this May feels different, but is far closer to normal than last May, along with a disjointed IMS schedule that stretched the entire summer. We debate whether or not Team Penske may be in a slight slump, while we also bring up the cheesiness level of having fake digital backgrounds on virtual calls.

While we have been known to ramble on for an hour and thirty minutes (or more), this one clocks in at just under thirty-nine minutes. So pour a cup of coffee and give us a listen while you drive or try to look like you are doing work.

George Phillips

6 Responses to “A Slow Return to Normalcy”

  1. Yannick Says:

    Over the years, I’ve gotten the impression that the 2nd Schmidt car is not a very good ride, and to be honest, I was quite surprised last year when Rosenqvist took it, now that it had been re-branded as McLaren. I think it’s got something to do with the priorities the team has got for that car. Still, it is likely Felix will improve his average result as the season continues.

    My guess is that Marcus Ericsson is at Ganassi because it is good for the team’s budget, and I wouldn’t be as sure as Paul about that car being on the grid if the sponsors didn’t pay as much for it.

    I agree with Paul that the other teams have caught up to the “red cars” now to some extent. It happened at this stage in the life cycle of the previous Dallara chassis, too. That’s why I feel the Indianapolis 500 this year might have a “surprise” winner on merit from one of the teams that is not a regular race winning team.

    Regarding bump day, I still feel it should not be the 1st day of qualifications. That should be pole day. I liked that format for the Indianapolis 500 because it was different to all other motorr racing events out there. Also, coming off the trailer with a good car should be rewarded, and most of all, the current requirement of having to take the necessary risk to qualify for the pole twice instead of what used to be just once, is kind of ridiculous.

    Depending on how many cars actually show up, it might even be more than just one regular driver who gets bumped. The only time I’ve seen the car from Top Gun Racing so far was in a video game. The fact that we still talk about them this year when they didn’t show up last year is a sign that they have somewhat more longeivity than is expected of start-up teams. Yet, they still need a good result to build the team. Who knows if they actually will show up now that the risk of being bumped is higher than it was last year?
    I have been a bit surprised by the driver choices of Dale Coyne’s team this year: I understand they have chosen Ed Jones because they want to repeat or improve on ther P3 performance they had together at the Indianapolis 500. So they have really put all of their eggs into one basket, all the while filling out all other seats and options with what’s best for the team’s budget. I have no idea how much Grosjean brings but I guess he must bring some. So maybe even the 3rd Coyne entry will not go to Cody Ware but to the highest bidder? It is understandable that Coyne works this way but, given this lineup, a really good performance by any of their cars at a venue other than Indianapolis Motor Speedway would surprise me.
    On the other hand, Carlin Racing has not been showing much lately when it wasn’t Conor Daly in the car. They have been struggling since that year when Fernando Alonso was in their 3rd car, and they really need some good results now.

    I’m surprised that there isn’t any team from the Road To Indy support series on the entry list this year doing a one-off, but that probably has got all to do with there not having been any Indy Lights racing at all last year.

    Regarding motor racing on TV, over here in Germany, this year is the first since the early 90s that not all Formula 1 races are being broadcast on free TV anymore as the series longtime broadcast partner hasn’t renewed their contract anymore. The glory days of EuroSport carrying IndyCar/CART races live in the late 90s with commentary either in English by John Watson or in German by Jacques Schulz are long gone. With that lack of presence, it is no surprise at all that the oval at Lausitzring has been dormant and slowly falling into the kind of disrepair that Motegi has, whilst the roval in the infield has continued to host the track’s main event, an annual DTM race, since the early 00s. Even NASCAR’s European division hasn’t touched Lausitz yet: there never was a SAFER barrier.
    From this outside perspective, I think you guys are lucky chatting about who the next TV partner of the series is going to be. Over here, it’s rather IF there will be one.

    Thank you for your coverage. It already looks like a pretty interesting season, with only 4 races having been run. And if you feel the need to blame anything or anyone, blame it on the PJ1 😉

    • S0CSeven Says:

      In Canada, CBS Sports Network is available for $5/month. I subscribed to see BTCC and Aussie Supercars – both of which are no longer carried….. but … whatever NBC and their international contracts are doing, we have yet to see the first Texas oval up here. Maybe CBS would be better just because we could see it.

      Second, you can change the drivers, cars, wings, setup blah, blah, blah … but until you eliminate the huge amounts of marbles that litter the track you’ll ALWAYS have a single file processional race. How about attacking the problem rather than the symptom.

    • Oliver W Says:

      Carlin need to show something or I fear they may pull back to lights only for a season and regroup.

  2. billytheskink Says:

    Always a fun time with you two.

  3. James T Suel Says:

    I enjoyed your video, thought Paul’s comment, that anytime the leader was unable to pass the rear of the field, we have a problem. He is spot on. We have had a problem mostly because the majority of the people in this sport are from road race backgrounds, both drivers and mechanics engineers ect. And the people running the sport have the same background. No wonder we can’t run a oval race. Yes many have adapted to ovals , but dont really understand them. I would include promoters. Yes iam a old Fogel, iam70 and first started watching Indycars, sprints and champ cars at age of 4. The AAA, THEN USAC ,cart Irl. Still love it but the powers that be need some help.

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