Sunday, 23 June 2013

Hinchcliffe dominates at Iowa - Iowa Corn Indy 250 Review

James Hinchcliffe gave a master class at Iowa as he took the first oval win of his career. The Canadian took the lead on lap one and never looked back.
Despite inheriting pole, Will Power couldn't build a lead at the start as James Hinchcliffe passed him at the end of lap one and began to pull away.

An early caution wiped out Hinchcliffe's six second lead but the Canadian held on to the lead after the yellow flag pitstops.

The race resumed on lap 53 with Hinchcliffe continuing to lead with the rest of the field running as many as four wide behind. Hinchcliffe soon built his lead back up and by lap 80 it was over six seconds once more, with team mate Marco Andretti running in second as the leaders began to lap the tail enders.

A charging Garham Rahal closed up to Andretti on lap 102 but was unable to take second place. Rahal managed to get by not long after, squeezing through the narrowest of gaps to take the place.

James Hinchcliffe lost the lead for the first time on lap 119 as Justin Wilson inherited the lead as Hinchcliffe pitted under the green flag.

At the halfway point, Hinchcliffe had the lead once more, holding a one second advantage over Rahal. He was having trouble passing the lapped car of Tristan Vautier though, allowing Rahal to close in. The Frenchman came close to hitting the wall on lap 135 but the rookie managed to hold onto the car.

Alex Tagliani wasn't as lucky on lap 137 though. The Canadian lost control at turn two, moving up the track and brushing the wall before spinning around. The second caution flag of the day came out. Tagliani was able to get the car going and he pitted under caution.

As the caution flag fell, only 12 cars remained on the lead lap with Will Power in 13th being the latest car to go a lap down, continuing his dismal season.

The race resumed on lap 149, Hinchcliffe still leading, Andretti back in second with Rahal third.

The next caution came out with 97 laps to go because of debris on the track. After a short battle on the restart which saw Graham Rahal lead a lap, Hinchliffe assumed the lead once more.

Ed Carpenter became the fourth leader of the race as the leaders pitted. The Illinois native pitted with 37 laps to go, handing the lead back to Justin Wilson. A problem on the right rear allowed Hinchcliffe to get past Carpenter whilst the latter was in the pits, eliminating any advantage Carpenter had. Four laps later Justin Wilson pitted and Hinchcliffe, once more moved up to first.

James Hinchcliffe remained in the lead with teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay in second and quietly gaining. Graham Rahal and Tony Kanaan meanwhile fought for third as the race hit lap 240.

Despite having to contend with lapped traffic, Hinchcliffe made it though and continued to lead as the race came to a close. Hunter-Reay was not so lucky though as he was caught up in the same traffic, ruining his chances of snatching the win.

Tony Kanaan passed Rahal for third with only six laps to and Rahal was to loose another place on the last lap with former race leader Ed Carpenter stealing fourth.

James Hinchliffe took the checkered flag with a 1.5 second lead, his third win of the year and in fact his career. The win was his first oval win Andretti Autosport's fifth win at Iowa in just seven races. Ryan Hunter-Reay powered through from early damage and 21st place to finish second, Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished third. Ed Carpenter and Graham Rahal completed the top ten.

Will power for Penske finished three laps down in 17th whilst Ganassi's Dario Franchitti came home 20th, four laps down continuing the shocking season for IndyCar's big names.

Helio Castroneves continues to lead the series standings after an eighth placed finish today, Ryan Hunter-Reay sits second just nine points off the lead. Marco Andretti is third, 55 points off Castroneves whilst Hinchcliffe's win moves him up to fourth in the standings. Tony Kanaan moves back into the top five in the standings whilst Simon Pagenaud is the highest placed Honda runner in sixth.

The IZOD IndyCar Series now takes it's first break since after Sao Paulo. The next race is on July 7th as the series makes it's long awaited return to the unique Pocono Raceway.

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