Grosjean had a suspension failure, which is why his car **** straight into the outside wall and the team radio suggested there was nothing he could do. I thought he clipped the inside wall and ricocheted off but that wasn’t the case.
I finally got to see the whole race instead of snippets, and thusly, issue a minor correction:
I went into the race with a negative attitude. Brand new street races have a long history of being boobytrapped, and after qualifying it looked like that was going to repeat itself. In spite of it being too narrow and too short and way too bumpy, we ended up with a hell of a race and a ton of harmless hip checks.
But, so there's no confusion, I ashamedly admit I enjoyed it.
I also watched the video from Mcglaughlin's car over and over, and it looked like it would be a fun track to drive. The last section featured an uphill right/left flick that crested right between the two turns and then fell away, and that had to be a really hard turn to get right. The rest was typical 90 degree street racing turns, but it looked like it had a nice flow. The layout would be great if it were smooth and a bit wider.
But that's where it breaks down. It was so tight that the drivers really didn't have much room to actually race. Almost every time two cars went into a corner together there was contact. Even Felix and Rossi, the two guys with the least to gain by running into each other hit a time or two. Yeah, big fun to watch, but probably not that much fun to be doing.
My big objection is the plane looks like an utter dump compared to places like St. Petersburg. The roads were rough, cracked and bumpy and the whole place looked run down. This might not seem like a viable complaint, but wouldn't you rather see them race in glamorous places? Indycar comes up lame all the time trying to capture the "allure" of Monoco, and then they race in places like this. Toronto is a dump. Long Beach is sort of dumpy. Nashville definitely has no glamor. Look back on most all of the cart/Indycar street races and they were all in dumps.
Roger has said he plans to fix the place up, but what a hell of a job that would be. They would have to make it longer and shave the bumps, if not even a total repave, but I don't know what could be done to make it wider. Since they can't do that, we're just going to have to accept we will get some pretty sloppy racing with lots of wheel banging. Then again, most street races are like that anyway.
We got a lot better race than I thought most of us were expecting, but it felt more like slumming considering how run down the place looks.