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Tracy gives Edmonton  track passing grade
Paul Tracy
Paul Tracy stood at the end of what will be the straightaway for the new Edmonton Indy and tried to imagine it July 22-24.

“I can tell you one thing right now. This straightaway may be twice as long as at the Indianapolis 500,” he said.

Standing on the closed runway at the opposite corner of the City Centre Airport from where the event had been held in the past, Tracy said he could offer a couple other observations as well.

“Nobody is going to complain about there being no opportunity to pass here. If you can’t pass on this track … I don’t know where you’re going to find a better one.

“It’s completely different from the track we raced on here before. There will be much higher speeds. There are some tight corners. It’s really going to be a challenge to set up the cars. It’s going to be tricky to get the right downforce, the right gearings and ratios. There are going to be a lot of different setups out there. It’s going to be a different challenge.

“And the key thing is this track is going to still be able to provide something that no other track does — the ability to see the entire race. Except now the fans are going to be much closer to the track.”

This year IndyCar events feature side-by-side restarts, which to this point have produced total chaos and Tracy can’t see this track reducing that.

“It’s a disaster, isn’t it?” said Tracy, trying to picture what it will be like on Turn 1.

“The fans want to see more action, more drama, more passing … Well, 27 cars starting side by side at 30 mph when they drop the green flag, with the competitive nature and competitive fire, well, you’re not going to wait ‘til a lap later. Here you have a tight Turn 1 corner and the longest straightaway in the series. It’s a big temptation. You can move up three spots.” Slam.canoe.ca

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