As the title suggests I'm here to look at how this season is shaping up. Those of you on the UK indycar facebook page will already have an idea about who I will talk about.
I am going to start with my absolute favourite moment of the season. I'm sure many others worldwide will agree with me on this but Tony Kanaan finally winning the big one, the Indy 500. He tried for so long to win this legendary race, coming so close on many occasions. So to finally win it must have been a relief, but don't take my word for it, hear it from the man himself - Possibly the best 16 minutes of video. TK truly a guy who knows how to enjoy himself. I would also like to give a special mention to a rookie who had an outstanding 500, Carlos Munioz. Known for being quick in the Lights series he stepped into the big car for the first time and was quick all weekend. This guy proved he can drive and also proved that weekend to those who were 'concerned' about how he drove around the Brickyard that maybe he knows a quicker way around. If TK had not won then I was rooting for this rookie, look for him to be a major player in the years to come for sure.
Now for some of the negative. Starting with someone I expected to be alot faster this year, Graham Rahal. In all honesty he has had a nightmare start to the year. Qualifying towards the back almost every race he then gets himself in trouble when accidents happen. And even when he escapes trouble he just has no pace at all. Sadly I don't expect him to improve too much before the season ends. I'm sure he will already be looking ahead to 2014.
Another driver looking ahead to 2014 is Will Power who, after being runner up the last few years, looks like he has little chance of overcoming the massive points difference. Now he hasn't lacked pace but has been unlucky thus far. Can he fight back? I don't think so sadly. He will be a serious contender for wins this year and will be fighting for a title next year.
As will Dario Franchitti and Chip Ganasi who have been made, by Andretti Motorsport in particular, to look very average for one of the best teams in the sport. I look forward to seeing if they can overcome their issues and move forward, as we know Ganasi do very well.
There have been a number of drivers who have made a step up this season. It is great to see a number of drivers finally showing some of their potential and making the series even more unpredictable and exciting. The one I want to start with is James Jakes. This young Brit has really looked fast this year. He has been in the series a few years now and what I like is he has steadily been moving forward with every race. He hasn't made big waves, but just gotten on with his job quietly and effectively. Let us see if he can step up even further, surely only a matter of time before he wins a race.
Another driver I want to mention quickly is EJ Viso who has shown some promise this year. He has often been criticised for being out of control and crash happy but to me it seems that he has more control over his driving this year and seems to be more patient when it comes to his overtaking on the track. Now I don't know if he has done this by himself or if someone has sat him down and told him to sort himself out but I like the current look Viso that I've seen this year. I sincerely hope he can keep out of the wall, as well as the sides of his rivals and can make a move towards the top of the charts.
This moves me nicely onto my final subject, the title. This season has been incredibly open, with several different names winning races, including Hinchcliffe (with two wins), Takuma Sato and Simon Pagenaud who have both recorded their first wins in the series. Now as important as wins are nothing can match the importance of consistency. If you can match these two together then you will have a great shot at being at the right end of the series at Fontana. For this reason I see the title race coming down to 3 drivers, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. These 3 week in, week out are top of qualifying and challenging for wins. Marco has been very unlucky so far but very fast nevertheless. If he picks up a win or two then he will be tough to beat.
From a personal perspective I am hoping it goes down to the last race and is between Marco and Helio. I would find it tough to pick between the two as I would love them both to have a championship before too long. That being said I think it would be pretty cool if Helio was to win the title, I mean just imagine how he would celebrate if he did.
Standings after Milwaukee Indy Fest -
1st - Helio Castroneves. 299 points, 1 win
2nd - Ryan Hunter-Reay. 283 points, 2 wins, 16 behind
3rd - Marco Andretti. 249 points, 0 wins, 50 behind
4th - Takuma Sato. 223 points, 1 win, 76 behind
5th -Scott Dixon. 221 points, 0 wins, 78 behind
6th - Tony Kanaan. 215 points, 1 win, 84 behind
9th - James Hinchcliffe. 206 points, 2 wins, 93 behind
10th - Dario Franchitti. 192 points, 0 wins, 107 behind
11th - Will Power. 188 points, 0 wins, 111 behind
17th - Graham Rahal. 149 points, 0 wins, 150 behind
Ok I will leave it here for now. Let me know your thoughts on the season so far. I'm thinking for my next attempt at a blog of seeing which drivers around the world who I would love to see in Indycar. Thanks for reading.