We last left you at the Milwaukee Mile with four races left in our season. Those last four races tightened up our championship, yielded two first time winners, and displayed continued dominance by one of our new drivers.
Richmond was a hard fought battle by all of our drivers but overall showcased Yang Ou’s true dominance. Yang is a driver who was well known and successful in IndyCar leagues on rFactor (another Race-Sim) and has continued to show his winning ways since his move to iRacing. Yang won the race by 3 seconds and led every lap. Ryan Murray continued to show his ability on ovals is increasing with a strong second place finish. Tim Doyle, Kyle Krisiloff, and Bryan Heitkotter rounded out the Top 5.
You may have noticed we utilized Flickr this season. We used it as a way of reaching a new community and to bring a new perspective to our sport, through imagery. We featured all of the races from the 2010 season, a few Race to the Party’s, the 2012 announcement, the 2012 fan-designed chassis, and much, much more.
Image #1 on Flickr - Ana Beatriz
To date, we’ve uploaded 2,876 images – in one season – with over a million views from fans.
Flickr measures the popularity of images in four ways – Interesting, Views, Favorites and Comments. More on that later.
For this post, I wanted to look back on share some of my favorite images from Flickr in 2010 and reveal some of the amazing shots our photographers captured. In the next few weeks, I’ll be revealing the most popular images, according to Flickr. Sit tight.
What do you do in the off-season? Do you watch re-runs of all the 2010 races? Start planning for the 2011 season? Work on your Fantasy Racing team? We want to know.
The 2010 IZOD IndyCar Champions
It’s only been a few days since Dario Franchitti won the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship…but I’ve already noticed some interesting online withdrawal. @IndyCarNation follower @NDcarTwit tweeted: “Think everyone should take a month off, and then let’s go again! Can’t wait till next Spring for more IndyCar racing!”
On our Facebook page, Wendy Gilbert wrote, “I’m in withdrawal already. Can’t wait until March 27th!” And another Facebook IndyCar fan – Leoth Wade, said” I’m ready now for the 2011 Indy 500. I can’t wait for it. Thanks to IZOD for making 2010 a great season.”
The conversation flowed as freely as the Bloody Marys as late-Sunday morning regulars at the counter of Jerry’s Famous Deli dissected the previous day in South Florida sports and offered their unsolicited advice for the Dolphins’ Monday Night Football match-up with the New England Patriots.
Even the IZOD IndyCar Series race the previous evening was topic du jour as Jerry, the resident bartender/waiter, handed out condolences to Will Power along with the cheese knishes and bagels (cream cheese on the side please). Holding up the sports front page of the Miami Herald, he shook his head and said, “Tough way to lose a championship, but good for Franchitti.”
A few blocks north on Collins Avenue, the staff of the W Hotel was welcoming guests for the Championship Celebration. A cooling breeze 30 yards off South Beach also was welcome as IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights drivers began to congregate poolside mid-afternoon to soak up some sun, relax and chat at length with each other and extended family members and guests.
Soon it will be time to slip into something a bit more fashionable for the informal awards program and party under the stars.
Dario Franchitti also is poolside, but he’s in jeans and working. The now three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion is answering basically the same questions that have been asked for the past 18 hours on a satellite media tour (SMT).
Dario Franchitti ready for his first interview
Nearby, lounging on a rattan recliner with tropical drink in hand is Power and his fiancée, Elizabeth, and Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe and his wife, Nicole. At least for the moment, he’s enjoying his runner-up finish.
During a break in the SMT, I ask Franchitti if during one of the post-race parties (that went on till 4 a.m.) team owner Chip Ganassi wrangled his signature on a cocktail napkin (like what happened in September 2008 to return to the series) for a new contract.
“Winning or losing last night I don’t think changed anything,” he says. “Both of us are keen that we continue and I don’t see it not happening. I want to stay with the team and the team wants me to stay, so it’s just a matter of getting it done.”
It’s the quiet before the party. Poolside at the W is transforming in preparation for tonight’s activities. Check back later as we bring you more updates, more images and new video.
The W Hotel is ready
Firestone Indy Lights driver James Hinchcliffe has arrived to interview guests of the Championship Celebration.
8:15 p.m. on…
James Hinchcliffe interviews fellow competitor and friend Stefan Wilson.
Next up, Hinch caught up with Roger Bailey, Executive Director of the Firestone Indy Lights during the party and talks about the 25 years he has spent associated with racing in the US.
We’re on standby for the time being. Waiting on some images to upload and for some more video. To highlight some of the event (you may know this if you’ve been following on Twitter) – it’s been a blast, the weather is great, food delicious, and everyone is in good spirits. Oh, and by the way – Dario got thrown into the pool by Tony Kanaan.
Tony Kanaan gives Dario Franchitti a gentle nudge
Video time – our gracious host, James Hinchcliffe (not camera shy) grabs a minute with Team Penske’s Will Power, to talk North Carolina, surfing and more.
You can view a bunch of images from tonight on our Flickr account – or you can view them in the slideshow, right below. It’s been a good night so far.
Terry Angstadt – President of the Indy Racing League Commercial Division talks with James Hinchcliffe about the 2010 season, working with IZOD and more.
There’s an after-party at Wall inside the W Hotel, compliments of series sponsor Global Corporate Alliance. This is where we end coverage. In the meantime, enjoy a goodbye from our amazing host Hinchtown.
And – by the way – we will have more videos from tonight, later in the week. Think of it as a treat.
Graham Rahal was involved in two separate sets of long drives on race day in South Florida.
First, he joined LPGA Tour rookie Beatriz Recari at Keys Gate Golf Club – a strong 3-wood from Homestead-Miami Speedway – for a session on the driving range. A few hours later, Recari was Rahal’s guest at the speedway, where he introduced her to Indianapolis 500 winner Mario Andretti for a ride in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater.
Rahal, who enjoys a round of golf when his schedule allows, was impressed with Recari’s accuracy off the tee. The native of Spain has three top-10 finishes in her initial tour season.
“Where a lot of other kids were going to ballgames with their dads, I was going to Indy car races,” he says. “I went to Indy a number of times, went to the Detroit Grand Prix a number of times and have been all over the place following the IndyCar Series. It was really my first love.
“When I was 8 or 9, that’s what I dreamed of doing when I grew up. It just so happened that I was able to get involved in the company that promotes IndyCar races.”
A vinyl-wrapped surf board displaying the colors of the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car leaned against a railing behind Will Power as the IZOD IndyCar Series championship contender participated in a satellite media tour Sept. 28 at the swank W Hotel on South Beach in Miami.
“The first thing I thought of when I saw that was to take it out for a spin,” the Australia native said, “and with the weather the way it is they even have some surf on South Beach.”
Prior to this trip everyone kept mentioning how friendly the fans were in Japan. I believed them – I’ve already seen that at the previous IndyCar races this season. Our fans are passionate, committed and of course, very nice. Motegi is a different experience. For one, it’s a different culture, language, continent and time zone. It’s also the adopted home track for Hideki Mutoh and Takuma Sato – not to mention Roger Yasukawa – and these fans really love these drivers.
I’m heading to Japan on Wednesday with most of the IZOD IndyCar Series staff and the drivers and teams. Getting there is pretty painless for us – it’s not unlike any other flight to a race, only longer. So what does it take to move the IZOD IndyCar Series across the Pacific?
It turns out it’s not that different a process from getting the people there. It takes a lot of cooperation and patience needed between series officials, the teams, the ground crew and Nippon Cargo Air – which transported some very precious freight.
For most teams, the journey to Japan started as soon as the checkered flag fell in Kentucky.