Nay-Nay Indycar

Today came news from Curt Cavin in his pit pass column that the IRL was going to require Simona de Silvestro to run both and Indycar test on an oval, as well as a few FIL races on an oval before she is allowed to run in the Izod Indycar Series on ovals.

Seriously Indycar? Your going to keep a world class talent off your race course in 2010 simply because she doesn't have the experience on ovals?

Perhaps you can recall a certain Mario Moraes who entered the Izod Indycar Series straight out of British Formula 3, a series that as far back as I can remember, has not run ovals.

How about E.J. Viso? Have you heard of him? A quick look at his statistics prove his first oval race was at Homestead in 2008.

Enrique Bernoldi of Conquest in 2008 had never run on an oval before Homestead in 2008.

Graham Rahal had a high finish of 10th on an oval in his first season in Izod Indycars, which also happened to be his first season racing on ovals. How'd that kid turn out?

She can't be worse then Stanton Barrett.

She can't be worse then Marty Roth.

And Milka Duno.......... I love the lady, but I understand she doesn't deserve to be on an IRL racetrack, and hey, she came in without an oval experience.

Now, I understand the majority of these drivers (if not all) joined the series in 2008 during the merger season, and the IRL had no real choice but to allow the new drivers sans oval experience to join with the CCWS teams. However, a precedent has been set.

So what is this all about then? Is the IRL afraid the Swiss Miss will be too much for their princess to handle? Maybe they are protecting Danica Patrick. Probably not, Danica can stand on her own two feet, and I think they know that now. In fact, having two women battling for position on track, a meaningful position on track that is, would be a great story line, and one I think the IRL would be stupid to pass up.

Do they feel de Silvestro is not adequately prepared to run ovals? Perhaps, and this is the most likely scenario. My only beef is that the IRL brass have previously allowed drivers with arguably less experience then Simona de Silvestro to run ovals (namely Mario Moraes and Milka Duno) who had only oval testing on their resume prior to running Homestead in 2008. Even then, Mario Moraes has turned into a hell of a shoe piloting his Dallara around both road courses and ovals.

But maybe, just maybe, the IRL brass is punishing de Silvestro and Team Stargate Worlds/US Racetronics for competing in a series outside of the IRL's new ladder system. Could they be sending a message to all Indycar aspiring drivers, telling them they need to run Firestone Indy Lights if they ever plan on running the Indianapolis 500?

The reasons could be one of the above, or maybe even a little bit of all three. Simona brings the best minor open wheel resume to the IRL when thinking about the women of Indycar. She is not the type of person, along with Shane Seneviratne and Team Stargate Worlds, that the IRL should be refusing.

Oh, and by the way, is the IRL really in the position right now to turn down cars to the grid? Yea, I didn't think so either.


Dylan said...

I've heard this too, and it makes no sense. After all, she's actually won races, something a lot of others haven't. She would easily be better than Duno or Roth. Also, Ovals aren't the hardest races to run, either.

nickh360 said...

I'm excited to see Simona run IndyCar. But I don't have a problem with them telling her she needs to run some ovals before being open to race. Yes, she has tremendously more talent than many back-markers, but she STILL has never been on an oval. Perhaps just making her run multiple tests would be more appropriate, rather than making her run FIL races.

Anonymous said...

You'd think the series would welcome her. I'm sure teams are not happy with Simona being in the series, its a shame because she is a very classy girl and a truly nice person. Whatever...it's their loss.

Sarah Fan said...

Just an idle question - how many ovals had Danica Patrick competed in before running the IRL? I do believe she came straight from Atlantics, also. Oh, double standards. Love them.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Danica came from Atlantics winless, while Simona had four wins in that series last year. Simona's resume is about as good as anyone's - male or female - from the 2009 Atlantics and FIL series. This ruling seems so arbitrary at a time when the IICS can't afford to lose new talent to NASCAR or F1. In a word, STUPID!

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