Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

February 2, 2011

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Suggestion Box – Turn 1 in Mind

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:50 am

So far, my suggested list of track enhancements is short and sweet, and makes sense (at least in my mind). Ideas like reconfiguring stands to better accommodate record breaking speed and making seat sizes larger to adequately fit the size of people today all make sense. My pie in the sky is to build trackside condos to replace stupidly placed stands such as those in the backstretch end of turn 3 or in the middle of the chutes.

What about the racing? Some of the most legendary racing and passing (think Michael and Mears) occurred using parts of the old apron that existed prior to installation of warm-up lanes. As it stands now it is difficult to pass high due to the presence of virgin, dusty track and lots of marbles. Drivers are lucky if they get a groove and a half.

How practical would it be to re-expand the turns into the old apron area while still leaving a strip of turf between the warm-up lanes? How about moving the warm-up lanes further in to accommodate more racing surface? If INDYCAR is serious about things like two wide restarts because it could be exciting, why not ensure excitement? The most important turn is the first, and after they covered up the creek and put in the MotoGP course that particular turn lost its character. Improving passing opportunities would go a long way toward enhancing excitement.

 

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5 Comments »

  1. The racing WAS much better with the apron. We can only wonder what the Brickyard 400 races would’ve been had the apron been around for some of those races.

    Comment by TroyM — February 2, 2011 @ 2:51 am | Reply

  2. As partains to IMS and racing, this is the best suggestion yet!

    Comment by Bob F. — February 2, 2011 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  3. I only wonder if the re-introduction of the apron (or a similar widening of the bottom of the racetrack) would only manage to move the regular racing groove downward. Then, we’d wind up with the marbles starting around about where the right side tires currently run in nowadays’ racing groove. The net result could be that the line would still turn out to be about a carwidth and a half wide, but then we’d get dangerous wall approach angles in the case that a car spins while running with two or more wheels on the apron (this was a good part of the reason they introduced the warm up lanes; see the 1992 race for the illustrations here). It’s worth taking a look at, but not something I want to see instituted until Kevin Forbes and his guys can run the calculations.

    Comment by The Speedgeek — February 2, 2011 @ 3:30 pm | Reply

  4. The most spectacular move I ever saw on the first turn apron wasn’t the Michael Andretti/Rick Mears move in 1991 (although that was great!)but in 1955 when Bill Vukovich shot past Jack McGrath, throwing up a cloud of dirt in the process. Imagine the sight, with those big, bulky Offenhauser roadsters, with the drivers of that day just hanging on. It was fantastic.

    Comment by DOUG — February 2, 2011 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  5. First, I think removing the grass and putting back the apron is a fantastic idea. Mears vs. Michael, Mears vs. Johncock, Little Al vs. Emo…all involved the apron for passing (or denying a pass), and all, without a doubt, were spectacular racing moments. Second, what’s the deal with ‘marbles’ and why is it such a big thing now? When IndyCar first proposed bringing back two-wide restarts, several drivers were crying about ‘getting up in the marbles’. A few posts back, Speedgeek says you can’t bring back the apron because of marbles on the bottom of the track. Is the ‘marble problem’ a new thing? Because back in the day I sure don’t remember Rick or AJ or Mario or Cousin Bobby or ANYONE bringing up marbles. Is this a problem that has always existed or yet another example of the ongoing wussification of Open Wheel Racers? And what’s the solution? Can the series have Firestone (or whomever) build a tire that doesn’t marble as much, or is it as simple as telling the drivers ‘Look, Sally-boy, get in the seat, shut yer pie hole, and drive.’?

    Comment by Steven Kornya — February 2, 2011 @ 7:47 pm | Reply


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