IZOD IndyCar Series weekend on Infineon Raceway’s horizon
The annual Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County makes its 2011 run at Infineon Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 28.
The last weekend of August will be both extremely busy and exciting at Infineon Raceway, when its 2011 Big O Tires schedule features the IZOD IndyCar Series and its seventh annual Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County main event.
On Friday, Aug. 26, Saturday, Aug. 27, and Sunday, Aug. 28, Infineon’s 12-turn, 2.303-mile road course will be alive with seven races across five different racing series.
Before the 75-lap Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County on Sunday – the 13th race on the IZOD IndyCar Series’ 17-race schedule – the weekend will boast double-header main events for the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge and Formula Challenge, as well as feature races for the Star Mazda Championship and Historic Grand Prix.
The Formula Car Challenge Series (FormulaCarChallenge.com) – a regionalized open wheel racing series with an annual national championship – is presented by Goodyear and pairs with the IZOD IndyCar Series for the second straight year in Sonoma and will host a double-header race weekend.
A crowd favorite over the years,the Historic Grand Prix (historicgrandprix.com) is a step back in time for open-wheel race fans and will feature more than 20 vintage Formula One racecars (1966-1983), with the main event slated for Sunday morning.
It will also be a double-header weekend for the World Challenge (world-challenge.com), which makes its first visit to Infineon and will feature 50-minute timed races in such makes as Toyota, Corvette, Cadillac and Porsche on Saturday and Sunday in all three classes: Grand Touring (GT), Grand Touring Sport (GTS) and Touring Car (TC).
The Star Mazda Championship (starmazda.com), presented by Goodyear, is making its first appearance at Infineon Raceway since 2005 and can count among its graduates INDYCAR drivers Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos, as well as former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star and Manteca native Scott Speed. The Star Mazda Championship will run its feature race on Saturday.
Defending his Infineon Indy Grand Prix 2010 title is Will Power (Team Penske), who is the sixth different winner in six years at Sonoma, preceded by Tony Kanaan (2005), Marco Andretti (’06), Dixon (’07), Helio Castroneves (’08), and Dario Franchitti (’09).
So far, Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Franchittihas four victories and leads the IZOD IndyCar Series standings by 62 points over Team Penske’s Power, who also has four victories this season.Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing), Kanaan (KV Racing Technology) and Oriol Servia (Newman/Haas Racing) round out the top five. Andrettiended a 78-race winless streak with a victory at Iowa Speedway earlier this year, with his last win at Infineon coming in 2006.
Indy teams and drivers tested yesterday at Infineon Raceway, including Power (Team Penske); Dixon and Franchitti – Target Chip Ganassi Racing; Servia – Newman/Haas Racing; Andretti and Mike Conway – Andretti Autosport; JR Hildebrand (from Sausilito) – Panther Racing; EJ Viso – A.J. Foyt Enterprises; Sebastian Saavedra – Conquest Racing; Ana Beatriz and Tomas Scheckter – Dreyer & Reinbold Racing; Simona de Silvestro – HVM Racing; Takuma Sato – KV Racing Technology; Martin Plowman – Sam Schmidt Motorsports; and Graham Rahal – Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing.
Infineon’s general admission tickets for the IndyCar Series event costs $10 to $65 for single days, and $65 to $85 for the weekend, and kids ages 12-and-under, as well as parking, are free. Garage passes are available for purchase.
Following the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County will be Infineon’s final major event, the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge, which is slated for Oct. 1 and 2.
To purchase tickets and ticket packages for the IndyCar weekend, the Charity Challenge, or for more details on Wednesday Night Drags, Top the Cops, Drifting, or for general information, visit www.infineonraceway.com, www.infineonraceway.com/indycar, www.ticketmaster.com, or call 800-870-RACE (7223).
Friday, Aug. 26: Historic Grand Prix practice, 11:30 a.m. to noon; Star Mazda practice, 12:15 to 1 p.m.; World Challenge practice, 1:15 to 1:45 p.m.; Historic Grand Prix practice, 2 to 2:30 p.m.; IZOD IndyCar Series practice, 2:50 to 4:05 p.m.; Star Mazda practice, 4:20 to 5:05 p.m.; Formula Car Challenge practice, 5:15 to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27 – Fluid Film Pole Day: Formula Car Challenge qualifying, 8:10 to 8:40 a.m.; World Challenge qualifying, 8:55 to 9:40 a.m.; Star Mazda qualifying, 9:50 to 10:35 a.m.; IZOD IndyCar Series practice, 10:50 to 11:50 a.m.; Formula Car Challenge Race 1, 12:05 to 12:35 p.m.; World Challenge Race 1, 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.; IZOD IndyCar Series Fluid Film Pole Day qualifying, 2:35 to 3:55 p.m.; Historic Grand Prix practice, 4:10 to 4:40 p.m.; Star Mazda race, 5 to 6 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28: Historic Grand Prix warm-up, 8:15 to 8:45 a.m.; IZOD IndyCar Series warm-up 9 to 9:30 a.m.; Formula Car Challenge race 2, 11 to 11:30 a.m.; Historic Grand Prix race, 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.; Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma race, 1:45 p.m., followed by World Challenge race.
Qualifying:Saturday, Aug. 27, 3 p.m., VERSUS
Race: Sunday, Aug. 28, 1 p.m., VERSUS