Round 11 takes us to Edmonton City Centre, the second and final stop on the Canadian swing of the schedule. Though it's the 8th running of this event, which has been plagued by whispers of financial troubles behind the scenes, it's only the second running of this particular layout, which was changed up last year, much to the chagrin of the drivers, many of whom preferred the original circuit.
Though temperatures are expected to be much kinder than the recent stops on the schedule, the forecast is calling for rain throughout the weekend. something the teams, drivers and fans have grown accustomed to with rain falling at some point during every race weekend since the Indy 500.
Here's what a few of the drivers had to say about coming back to Edmonton:
So who's the favorite?
At this point in the season and the championship, it's easier to narrow down who isn't the favourite, as the field is coming into their own and the championship race tightening up as the season winds down. One would have to have Hunter-Reay on their list, with 3 wins in three races. Will the streak continue or will someone else hoist the trophy this weekend? Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and Will Power are all 2 time winners here, with Justin Wilson being the other winner on this course. All 4 are running strong and capable of pulling out the win again this weekend.
Who could surprise?
Not really a surprise, but it's not a stretch to feel like Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato (2010 pole sitter) or Charlie Kimbell could find themselves on at least one step of the podium, if not the top if they can keep it together this weekend.
Dark Horse Favorite?
Either of the Canadians pulling off a win here on "home" turf would be fantastic. We'll also give a nod to EJ Viso.
Here is a virtual lap around the circuit:
NBC Sport Network will be providing the coverage this weekend. Which means LIVE qualifying coverage on Saturday book-ended by re-airs of IndyCar36 featuring Helio Castroneves and Charlie Kimbell, and 5 hours of coverage on Sunday, starting with a new IndyCar 36, featuring James Hinchcliffe, followed by the Indy Lights race, followed by the main IndyCar race. Broadcast begins at 12:00pm EDT.
For those following along on Twitter this weekend, You can follow along with @edmontonindy, @indycar, @indycarPR , and of course@openwheelworld ;-)
The official #hashtag for the event is: #Edmontonindy
Other hastags to follow: #indycar #indycar2012
Here is the weekend schedule:
(local Edmonton time MT) (-2 EST)
Fri, July 20th
9:00 - 9:30 Star Mazda Practice
9:45 - 10:30 Firestone Indy Lights Practice
10:50 - 11:20 IZOD IndyCar Series Practice - Group A (Drivers outside top 10 and rookies)
11:20 - 11:50 IZOD IndyCar Series Practice - All Cars
12:45 - 1:30 Firestone Indy Lights Practice
2:30 - 3:30 IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
Sat, July 21st
8:00 - 8:45 Firestone Indy Lights Qualifying
9:00 - 10:00 IZOD IndyCar Series Practice
11:00 - 11:30 Star Mazda Qualifying
11:45 - 12:00 Firestone Indy Lights Warm-up
1:00 - 2:15 IZOD IndyCar Series Qualifying
2:30 - 3:10 Star Mazda Race #1
3:30 - Firestone Indy Lights Race
Sun, July 22nd
8:00 - 8:30 IZOD IndyCar Series Warm-up
9:30 - 10:15 Star Mazda Race #2
12:30 - EDMONTON INDY