Barber odds: Power favorite, de Silvestro longest shot


Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have picked an obvious favorite for this week’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park (Sunday, 3 p.m. EST, NBC Sports Network). But they’ve made an odd choice for the field’s long shot.

Will Power, who seeks his third straight Barber win, is going off at 7/4 odds. That’s no surprise.

But at the other end of the spectrum, Simona de Silvestro (right) is the last rated driver in the field with 60/1 odds of winning. I’m not sure the oddsmakers took notice of her performance in St. Petersburg when she qualified third and finished sixth in her first race with KV Racing Technology and a Chevrolet engine.

Four drivers (Sebastien Bourdais, Alex Tagliani, EJ Viso and Charlie Kimball) are at 50/1.

The Lotus engine that saddled de Silvestro, Bourdais and Tagliani is, like last year’s race, consigned to history. And lest we forget Bourdais put in Lotus’ best race of the year at Barber a year ago, qualifying 17th and finishing an incredible ninth with a car down an estimated 50 horsepower to Chevrolet and Honda.

The field is 12/1 (JR Hildebrand, Sebastian Saavedra, James Jakes, Ana Beatriz, Ed Carpenter, Tristan Vautier and Josef Newgarden) as those seven drivers were not given individual odds. AJ Allmendinger, making his open-wheel return, also goes off at 12-1.

Another good bet – as hinted Wednesday here on MotorSports Talk – is Marco Andretti, who’s had some success at Barber in the past and rolls off at 40/1.

Ferrari teammates Vettel and Raikkonen fastest in rainy final practice at Australian GP

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen went one-two in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at the water-logged Australian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Vettel set a best-lap time of 1 minute, 26.067 seconds, more than 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate in second.

Both Ferrari drivers switched from their intermediate tires to the super-fast, ultra-soft tires for the final few laps of the session, testing conditions on the track after a day-long downpour left it slick and filled with small puddles.

Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did not opt to try out their soft tires, sticking to the intermediates for the entire session. They had the seventh- and eighth-fastest times, after topping the leaderboard in practice in dry conditions on Friday.

The heavy rains subsided by early afternoon, allowing the track to rapidly dry during the third practice session and making conditions safe for drivers to test their soft tires.

Still, only a few drivers completed a timed lap with the softer compounds, with Mercedes, Red Bull and most of the others staying with their intermediates.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had the third-fastest time of the session on ultrasoft tires, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on intermediates.

Hamilton remains the favorite to capture his fifth straight pole position at the Australian Grand Prix in qualifying later Saturday. He had the fastest laps on ultrasoft tires in the two practice sessions on Friday, though Verstappen was right behind him.

Verstappen and Vettel both slid on the slick track early in the third practice session, but maintained control and completed their runs without incident.

Verstappen’s teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, had the sixth-fastest time of the session. The Australian’s chances of winning his fifth career Grand Prix on his home track in Melbourne took a hit late Friday when he was assessed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

The Australian driver was penalized for driving too fast under red-flag conditions during Friday’s second practice session because of debris on the track.