Aug 20, 2014
GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma
TV: NBCSN telecasts the race live (4 p.m. ET Aug. 24) and qualifications (7:30 p.m. ET Aug. 23). Brian Till is the lead announcer, with Sam Hornish Jr. and Paul Tracy as analysts. READ ABOUT HORNISH JOINING BOOTH
Radio/web: All Verizon IndyCar Series on-track sessions are broadcast on www.IndyCar.com and the INDYCAR 14 app in conjunction with real-time Timing & Scoring. In addition, the race will be broadcast on IMS Radio Network affiliates, XM 209 and Sirius 213. Paul Page is the lead announcer. … In addition, real-time Timing & Scoring of Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 sessions and races is on IndyCar.com.
Live practice streaming: Live streaming of the Aug. 23 Verizon IndyCar Series practice sessions will be on www.IndyCar.com, incorporating Timing & Scoring and the IMS Radio Network broadcast.
Twitter: @RaceSonoma, @IndyCar, #GoProGrandPrix
Click it: Entry list || Get GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma tickets
Weekend schedule (all times Eastern):
Friday, Aug. 22 – 11:15-11:45 a.m. USF2000 practice
Noon-12:30 p.m. Pro Mazda practice
11 a.m.-noon Verizon IndyCar Series practice
12:45-1:30 p.m. Indy Lights practice
2:45 p.m. USF2000 qualifying for Race 1
3:30-4 p.m. Pro Mazda qualifying for Race 1
4:15 p.m. Indy Lights qualifying for Race 1
6:20 p.m. USF2000 Race 1 (40 laps)
7:20 Pro Mazda Race 1 (40 laps)
Saturday, Aug. 23 – 1-1:45 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series practice
2:05 p.m. USF2000 Race 2 (40 laps)
3:15 p.m. Indy Lights Race 1 (40 laps)
4:15-5 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series practice
6:40 p.m. Pro Mazda Race 2 (40 laps)
7:30 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series qualifications
Sunday, Aug. 24 – 1-1:30 p.m. Verizon IndyCar Series warm-up
2 p.m. Indy Lights Race 2 (60 laps)
4 p.m. NBCSN on air
4:40 p.m. green flag (85 laps)
Weather forecast: Clear skies with temperatures in the low 80s (F) each day.
Qualifications: Three 10-minute knockout sessions to set the starting grid. The final round, the Firestone Fast Six, will determine the Verizon P1 Award winner and first three rows. Dario Franchitti won the pole in 2013 with a lap of 1 minute, 17.5271 seconds (110.748 mph).
Race laps: 85 on 2.385-mile, 12-turn road course (202.73 miles)
Pit boxes: 40 feet
Tires: Firestone will supply the same tire compound and construction as used in the 2013 race.
Fuel: 67 U.S. gallons of E85 for practice and qualifications; 67 gallons for race. Three pits stops were the norm in the 2013 race, with the first for most entrants between Laps 18-24.
Engines: 2.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V6s supplied by Chevrolet and Honda ... 150 kPa turbo boost for ovals. Drivers have 10 pushes for 15 seconds each of extra turbo boost available during the race.
Driver’s approach: “It's challenging because of the elevation changes. It's just a difficult place to get the car right in all different phases. The car is so different from start to finish. You climb x-number of feet and go flying up over the hill over a lot of crests, back down the other side so it's generally just a difficult place to work properly there," said Graham Rahal, driver of the No. 15 National Guard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car.
2013: Will Power, who started third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, led the final 16 laps to win by 1.19 seconds over Justin Wilson of Dale Coyne Racing. There were seven races leaders led by Scott Dixon with 27 laps led.
For spectators: Children 12 and under will be admitted free all three days with the purchase of an adult ticket. ... A Verizon IndyCar Series autograph session is from 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (local) Aug. 23 at the interactive INDYCAR Fan Village in the paddock. Other activities include the Sonoma Raceway Kids Club booth featuring Burnin’ Bovine, a EuroBungy jump and Ferris wheel. Pre-race entertainment includes the Patriot Jet Team air show. ... Graham Rahal will be wearing a special helmet designed by Daniel Cooper, a fifth-grader in Pennsylvania, who entry was selected by online voting sponsored by the Graham Rahal Foundation. The helmet will be auctioned after the race with proceeds benefiting the Alex¹s Lemonade Stand Foundation. ... The new supercharged HPD CR-Z returns as the Verizon IndyCar Series Safety Car. Based upon the production Honda CR-Z hybrid sports coupe, the HPD CR-Z includes enhancements to improve acceleration, handling and braking, all developed by Honda Performance Development in Santa Clarita, Calif.
Of note: There have been 10 different winners and should an 11th emerge in the final two races it would tie the 2000 and 2001 CART seasons for most winners in a season. There also have been 20 different podium finishers. ... Will Power increased his championship points advantage over Team Penske teammate Helio Castroneves from four to 39 by winning at Milwaukee on Aug. 17 and Castroneves finishing 11th. Power also led the standings with two races to go in 2010 and 2012 (he finished as the championship runner-up). ... There are six drivers eligible for the series title heading into the penultimate race of the season. Any driver who exits Sonoma more than 88 points out of first will be eliminated. ... Power has three victories and a runner-up finish in the past four races at Sonoma Raceway. He's started each race no lower than third. ... Ryan Briscoe has five top-five finishes at Sonoma in the past six years, including a win in 2012. ... Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya, who is fifth int he standings, claimed his first NASCAR win at the track in 2007. ... Castroneves will attempt to make his 100th consecutive start. He is the active leader with 293 -- one ahead of Tony Kanaan, who has made a record 231 consecutive starts. Marco Andretti, who earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series win at Sonoma in 2006, will attempt to make his 150th consecutive start. Andretti also won the 2005 Indy Lights race at the track.
History: USAC sanctioned the first Indy car race at then-Sears Point Raceway in 1970, with Dan Gurney the winner. INDYCAR has sanctioned races at the road course (Infineon Raceway and currently Sonoma Raceway) since 2005. There have been seven different winners in the nine races; six former winners entered in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. ... All nine race winners have started fifth or better. ... Three pole sitters have go on to win the race. Kanaan won the first race in 2005. READ THE STORY-NINE YEARS LATER