This weekend, the fifth round of the Indycar season took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, a weekend in which the race would take place on Saturday.
Friday’s qualifiers were unpredictable, ambitious debutant Felix Rosenqvist being on pole position, followed by Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey and Colton Herta (Debutant). Also, the third and final debutant to leave from the top 10 was former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson.
Also, before flying the green flag, the race director announced that it could rain immediately after the start of the race.
The start of the race was quiet, the only one with trouble being Sebastien Bourdais, who left the racetrack after an exit in turn one. Poleman Rosenqvist remained in first position, while Jack Harvey surpasses Scott Dixon and climbs to second place.
In the next lap, Alexander Rossi was hit by debutant Patricio O Ward, who received a Drive Through Penalty for causing the incident (avoidable contact).
The first Caution came on lap 11, when Marcus Ericsson hit the wall on the start-finish line, immediately after leaving the last turn.
The restart came 4 laps later. Scott Dixon surpasses Felix Rosenqvist and becomes the leader of the race. In the same lap, the pace car is being brought out again on the circuit a second time after Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe and debutant Herta collided after running three-wide.
The second restart came on lap 19, when Jack Harvey and Ed Jones surpassed Felix Rosenqvist. Hinchcliffe receives a Drive-Through for the lap 4 incident. Takuma Sato loses control of the steering wheel and runs of the circuit, losing important positions.
The first round of pitstops came in the 27th lap. Graham Rahal and Josef Newgarden became leaders after the ones in front of them came in to change their tires and get gasoline.
In lap 38, it rained, but it did not rain so hard that the teams would switch to rain tires.
The next major incident happened in the 60th lap, when Felix Rosenqvist’s car caught fire at the Pit Road exit, but the mechanics quickly extinguished the fire and the Felix continued the race. But it was not the first time that his car was on fire that same day. Just 15 laps ago, there was a fire at the right-rear of the car, a fire that was easily extinguished by wind and speed. This incident caused a third Full-Course Yellow, and Simon Pagenaud became the leader of the race.
Still, around laps 60-61-62, the drivers began to go in to change the Firestone slicks to rain tires.
Josef Newgarden also had to restart from the last position due to the fact that one of his old wheels rolled dangerously along the pitlane.
After this round of pitstops, however, at the restart, the top 3 was formed by Scott Dixon, Jack Harvey and Spencer Pigot, but for Pagenaud the race was not over yet. In lap 75, he moved on Mattheus Leist and climbed to third place after a sensational comeback. On lap 78, he arrived on the tail of Jack Harvey arrives, and just 2 laps later, he passed him in the first turn after contact between the two.
On lap 80, the difference between leader Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud was just 6 seconds, but the Frenchman managed to reduce the distance to one second in four laps, overtaking the kiwi in that same lap and crossing the finish line in first place just one lap later, Pagenaud equals Will Power to the number of victories on this circuit (three each). Dixon came in on second place, Jack Harvey on third (his first podium in Indycar), and Mattheus Leist came in on fourth after he gained 17 positions in the race.
You can see the full results below. The next stage is the Great Event, the 103rd edition of the Indianapolis 500, on May 26th. Testing was promising!
- Source: GP24 Author: Fabian Zarva
- Photocredit: The Indy Channel, Motorsport
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