It's raining in Sao Paulo - race halted until MondayUPDATE #3
Oriol Servia in the heavy rain
Persistent rain and standing water forced IZOD IndyCar Series officials to postpone the Itaipava Sao Paulo 300 until Monday at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
Fourteen laps in Sunday's scheduled 75-lap race were completed, with most of them run under caution, before officials made the decision to postpone it until the following day.
The first eight laps were marred by a series of crashes due to the inclement weather, including a multi-car incident in the first corner of the opening lap. Dario Franchitti got loose and made contact with Helio Castroneves, which triggered the pileup.
"I'm very upset, because I gave plenty enough room and just wanted to drive and go around the corner, but Dario went up deep," Castroneves said.
It was the second consecutive year that rain brought out the red flag. Pole sitter Will Power held the lead on the restart, with Team Penske teammate Ryan Briscoe in second, Mike Conway in third and Takuma Sato in fourth.
The race will be official after the halfway point on time (one hour of green flag) or laps (75) -- whichever comes first. Teams were allowed to work -- and for some repair -- their cars in the garage during the first red flag.
One benefit of the long pause to the 300-km race is that all of the damaged cars were repaired to take the restart.
Showers moved into the Anhembi section of the city about noon (local), creating a wet start. Barnhart instructed teams to start the race on the Firestone Firehawk rain tires, and the two-lap alternate tire race rule was suspended.
05/01/11 After more carnage when IndyCar tried another of their new double file restarts, and with heavier rain falling, IndyCar has red-flagged the race. Cars were spinning out all over the place.
05/01/11 Huge crowd in Sao Paulo. Too bad they have to endure the boredom on one of IndyCar's long caution flags after another first corner accident. IndyCar needs cranes in the first corner to lift the damaged cars out of the way quickly. You can hear the TV channel changers clicking the power button "off."
05/01/11 Rain has hit the city of Sao Paulo where the IndyCars are racing in 30 min. Right now it has subsided and the stands are filling up, but the track is still soaked as we write this.
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