Brits at their best in IRL

Indycar Racing News

Dario Franchitti was the man to beat in Sunday’s IRL IndyCar Series race at north California’s Infineon Raceway.

2009 IRL Sears Point priority

The Scot qualified on pole at the road course and led all the way, beating title rival Ryan Briscoe by a few car lengths after a race-long battle. This was Franchitti’s fourth win of the year and the eighth for Chip Ganassi’s team, but Briscoe’s excellent record of consistency means he still leads the championship, just four points ahead of Dario.

Three IRL races remain on this year’s calendar – all on ovals – and the championship is beginning to focus on Franchitti and Briscoe. Last year’s champion Scott Dixon was caught out on Sunday in a first-lap multi-car accident, which left him down in 13th.

2009 IRL Sears Point Priority

Dixon has therefore fallen 20 points behind Briscoe and must win one or two of the remaining races if he’s to retain his title.

Former British F3 champion Mike Conway drove an excellent race to score his first IRL podium finish. Conway got involved in the opening-lap accident and punctured a rear tyre, which sent him to the pits. So Mike did a good job to work his way through the field. His previous best result this year was sixth place at Watkins Glen last month.

2009 IRL Sears Point

“The car was working well,” said Conway, “it’s just a shame we didn’t get it right for qualifying. We changed a few things overnight and got it right in the warm-up, and it worked well through the race.

“The result finally came this weekend. I think some results should have come before that, but we just had some bad luck and I made mistakes as well. I look forward to the ovals – I do like the challenge of them. I feel comfortable on the ovals but sometimes it’s harder to get the speed on them.

2009 IRL Sears Point Priority

“It’s great to finally get the result and to get my first podium. I’m just happy that we got it and it’s a great way to finish the last road course of the year.”

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