Good races on street courses are hit or miss in any racing series. A number of them are extremely tight with little room to pass which results in a race seeming like a parade.
As with any rule, there are exceptions and this year's edition of the Sao Paulo Indy 300 was a BIG exception.
What we saw on Sunday was one of the best road course races Indy Cars have ever put on. The race produced passing throughout the entire field, different strategies that put some new faces up front and the thrilling battle that came down to the last corner of the last lap.
Will Power's quest for 4 in a row at Sao Paulo started from the 22nd position and picked of 11 cars in 17 laps before his engine caught fire ending an inspiring run. He set his fastest lap of the race the lap before he broke.
You could feel the energy of the crowd when countryman Tony Kanaan, nursing an injured thumb, took the lead on lap 10 and it looked as if a Brazilian would win in his homeland for the first time since 1996 when Andre Ribeiro won at Jacarepagua. Kanaan would run in the top three until lap 50 when he ran out of fuel. Kanaan sitting in his car with his hands on his helmet--you could feel the emotion.
Amongst all of that, the finish was absolutely incredible. Josef Newgarden flexed his muscle running down Takuma Sato. Sato made his car 5 lanes wide, determined to score his second win in a row. Then comes James Hinchcliffe who was running in the shadows all day turned up the wick in the last 9 laps and ran down Sato. All the while, Sato was running wide with Hinchcliffe which allowed Newgarden to catch up for a brief moment, making it a 3 way fight for the lead.
In the end, Hinchcliffe apexed the corner and nabbed the lead heading to the line.
And how can you leave out Oriol Servia's run with Panther DRR amidst financial woes. In what could be the last road course race for the team, Servia charged from the 13th starting spot and finished the day in 4th place.