As is accustom to this daily diary posts, I begin the day before. Downtown San Francisco, lunchtime, the roads fell quiet, the sounds of police escort sirens and a roar of a pair of Chevy Indycars filled the air driving along the famous Embarcadero towards their end destination of Pier 39.
Yes, thanks for the shove and thumb entry at the wrong moment! And the following photo op, including a life sizes, well bread size replica of the Astor Cup made by the Boudin Bakery on Pier 39.
And so to today, Friday, practice sessions for the Indycar series to come, a championship battle to be settled between Simon Pagenaud and Will Power. Practice happened, practice passed, practice finished and a very strong performance from the Honda drivers occupying seven of the top ten spots for the fastest times. Still leading the way was Castroneves, followed by Andretti, Rahal, Hawksworth and Hunter-Reay. Championship contenders Pagenaud and Power were tenth and seventeenth respectively. A few shots from the paddock this morning including a new livery for Alexander Rossi.
We have been handed this hand sheet ahead of Sundays race, it won't be the last time we look at it!
A press conference with Simon Pagenaud and Will Power took place, they talked about the importance of winning a championship for Roger Penske in his 50th Despite being teammates, it will be hard with no shared data or helping each other out but both are embracing the challenge. With regards to double points, Will commented that drivers will drive just as hard as they usually do, but worried that someone might do something 'crazy' with more points on the line.
Practice two starts, and a trip up to one of the high points of the track at turn two, again the Hondas showed well, particularly the Andretti cars,but this time the contenders for the title were P2 and P3, Power just ahead of Pagenaud. The session did not end well for Conor Daly blew an engine in spectacular fashion, and Alexander Rossi stopped on the front straight.
And that's day one, tomorrow, a practice session in the morning followed by qualifying in the afternoon, a point up for grabs, you never know how crucial that might be!