July 22, 2011
Ghosts of tracks past
By DAVE 'CRASH' CAMERON, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - The layout of the new Edmonton Indy racetrack has a couple of spiritual ancestors. Cleveland was always obvious since it was a city centre airport where fans could see the entire race from the grandstands. Now, with a long straightaway heading into a sharp corner, it closer resembles the formation and is kindred, too, to Portland, Ore.
Portland’s straight went into a tight chicane, but both were called “Calamity Corner.”
Or called worse by teams and pilots.
Even Cleveland’s run-off area saw a driver’s day end before it started.
Here’s what some drivers said after Thursday’s track walk:
“I’m thinking wishbones and wings!
“I think there is going to be a lot of attrition, just because the way the setup is, with long straights and slow corners. It makes it for drivers to be a little more optimistic than they should. And I include myself in that.”
– Newman/Haas driver Oriol Servia who once saw car parts flying around him in Cleveland.
“They took a lot of the high-speed corners, like they had in Portland. But certainly Cleveland is pretty much there. I’m looking forward to racing on this track. It’s going to be fun.”
– Penske’s Helio Castroneves, also a Cleveland victim.
“There isn’t much space there!”
– Dreyer & Reinbold’s Ana Beatriz, standing on the long, wide straight and pointing at the first corner.