Last Monday, we brought you the news about the new Armin Strom Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel right here. For the unveiling of the watch, we spent an unforgettable day with our friends from Biel at the Texas Motor Speedway in order to watch the IndyCar Firestone 600 race in Fort Worth, Texas. With a rainy forecast ahead of us, we geared up with our Armin Strom Edge Double Barrel and decided to spend most of the time inside the Chip Ganassi Racing Team hospitality tent and the garages. While in the garages, we were able to meet Max Chilton —Armin Strom's ambassador and Chip Ganassi Racing Driver— and peruse his new Armin Strom timepiece for the very fist time.
Once the torrential rain pour stopped, we were then able to enjoy a good walk around the garages and the pits. While most of the track started to dry out during a very hot and humid afternoon, some highly sophisticated turbine equipped trucks were needed to continue the drying process. Unfortunately, some spots around the track never fully dried, making it impossible for the race to start. Therefore, the race had to be postponed until August 27th, 2016. Regardless, as the big racing fans we are, we got the best out of this unforgettable experience at the Texas Motor Speedway with our friends from Armin Strom and the Ganassi Racing Team.
IndyCar is an open-wheel racing format that features a 16 tracks that include: super speedways, short ovals, road courses and temporary street circuits. With an international lineup of drivers, is perhaps one of the most diverse challenges in motorsports. Founded in 1994, IndyCar serves as the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series. Its first race was the Indy 200 on Jan. 27, 1996, at Walt Disney World Speedway in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
What we like about the IndyCar racing experience, is that just like in Formula One racing, the cars are open-wheel, open-cockpit and single-seat. The cars feature a 2.2-liter, twin turbocharged, direct injection V-6 engine, optimized to run at 12,000 RPM with an estimated 500-700 hp depending on the turbocharger boost setting. The engines, that are supplied by Chevrolet and Honda, utilize E85 fuel.
As we walked around the garages, it was pure eye candy with the mechanics working on the assembly of the cars and the engines undergoing their final testing. But, one of the most interesting and exciting parts of this walk around the garages and something we've never seen before, was when we ran into one of the mechanics for team A.J. Foyt Enterprises using a watchmaker's loupe to closely inspect the gears in the gearbox of their team car. Priceless, when horology meets car racing in this manner.
The Verizon IndyCar Series includes 16 races throughout the U.S. with 34 different drivers including former Formula One drivers Max Chilton and Juan Pablo Montoya, former Formula 3000 driver Luca Filippi and UK female driver Pippa Mann. Sadly, Max Chilton is currently ranked as #19 towards the bottom of the list during this his first season at IndyCar, but hopefully, he'll recover as only half of the season has taken place with eight races remaining.
After enjoying the garages, we then headed to the pits and the grandstand. The pits, unlike in Formula One racing, are not adjacent to the garages but adjacent to the track as the Texas Motor Speedway track is an oval. As you know, the pit stops and the pit crews are crucial in winning a race. In the pits, a pit stop, a fraction of a second longer or shorter, can mean the difference between winning or losing the race —especially when you are the leader.
After walking around the pits for a little while, we then finally headed to our seats on the grandstand for the pre-race show featuring the iconic Robosaurus —the world's largest transformer. This 30-ton, fire-breathing, transforming T-Rex that eats cars and planes for an afternoon snack, travels the country in the guise of a semi-truck, but when he gets ready for action, he transforms into a 40-foot tall metal dinosaur with power that dwarfs even his prehistoric ancestors. With a staggering 28,000 pounds of pressure per square inch on his jaw, this was for sure a highlight of the evening.
As we patiently waited on the grandstand for the race to begin and as the drying trucks kept circling the track at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, we knew that the race wouldn't be taking place any time soon or even at all. Later that evening, it was confirmed that the cars were not coming out and the race had been postponed for the next day. Unfortunately due to inclement weather once again, the race was suspended on Sunday and postponed until August 27th.
Luckily for us, the best parts of this experience had already taken place. Visiting the garages and pits, meeting and talking to Max Chilton and perusing the new Armin Strom Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel, were just some of the highlights of our day. At this point, frankly, little did we care about the race anymore. After such an exhilarating day at the track, we headed back to our hotel for a few drinks and a nice watch talk. Thank you Armin Strom for having us over.