Slow burner of a Saturday race at Indy

The IndyCar Grand Prix was run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but on the infield which is also known from Formula 1 and MotoGP.

The track layout has however been changed since the Formula 1 days, but the finish to the lap is still Speedway Turn 1, just like the cars are still going the “wrong” way down the front straight, into their Turn 1.

Will Power had secured Pole Position ahead of Robert Wickens, Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe. Championship leader Josef Newgarden was back in P6, right behind Jordan King, while Scott Dixon would start the race all the way back in 18th.

Bourdais got a great start, and made it all the way around the outside of Wickens in Turn 1.

There were troubles further back in the field, when Takuma Sato ran a bit wide in Turn 1. When he rejoined the track, he brushed Helio Castroneves, who was sent into Simon Pagenaud. Pagenaud was sent into a spin, and Jordan King, who had fallen a long way back in the field, had to do some avoiding action, ending up deep in the gravel. Pagenaud was able to continue without being stuck.

Later on that lap, Spencer Pigot got into troubles, when he hit a curb and got off line. He car flew a few meters in the air, and when he landed again, he hit the side of Takuma Sato, and ended up spinning himself. Fortunately both Pigot and Sato were able to continue.

Photo: / Jim Haines

The Safety Car was deployed onto the track, to get King out of the gravel, which made the whole field bunch up again.

It really was a bad start to the race for Ed Carpenter Racing with both King and Pigot in troubles on the first lap.

Once the race got restarted, Wickens made it past Bourdais instantly, while Newgarden tried to follow him, without any luck.

Then we got into a very stationary part of the race, where no position changes happened.

Robert Wickens had made it past Power during the pitstops, by choosing a different tire strategy than Power. But when Power got the fast reds on, Wickens was quickly distanced again.

Josef Newgarden also got reds on, and in trying to overtake Sebastien Bourdais, he ended up hitting a curb, and spun all by himself. That send out the second Safety Car of the day, since he needed help to get the car restarted.

The whole field pitted, and Power was the one exiting first, half the width of a front wing ahead of Wickens.

Will Power
Photo: / Mike Harding

Scott Dixon had slowly but surely worked his way through the field, so he appeared in P3, after using a clever pitstop strategy all day long.

The race was restarted with 24 laps to go. Dixon made it past Wickens thanks to a bit of Push-To-Pass, giving his car a few extra horse power.

Ryan Hunter-Reay fell backwards through the field like a stone, and couldn’t keep the pace of his Andretti car up.

A little bit of moisture started to fall, but the teams were all hoping that it wouldn’t get any worse.

Ed Jones and Charlie Kimball had a small brush on the track, but fortunately without any damage to either car.

After 85 laps around the 2.439 miles long track, Will Power was able to cross the line a winner ahead of Scott Dixon, Robert Wickens and Sebastien Bourdais.

Scott Dixon
Photo: / Joe Skibinski

The victory of Power was number 200 for Team Penske – just in Indycar racing! Then you can add all the wins in NASCAR, sports cars etc.

Helio Castroneves had a very anonymous race, but he got the car home in 6th – in his first IndyCar race of the year, after racing for Team Penske in the IMSA championship so far.

Even though Josef Newgarden only finished 11th, he still managed to defend the lead in the Championship ahead of Alexander Rossi, Sebastien Bourdais, Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe.

The next race is the big Indianapolis 500, where practice and qualifyings will start this coming week.

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