Simon Pagenaud navigates the IMS Road Course on his way to victory in the 2016 IndyCar Grand Prix — Photo by: Chris Owens
INDYCAR Grand Prix Fast Facts
Race weekend: Friday, May 12 – Saturday, May 13
Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course (clockwise)
Race distance: 85 laps / 207.315 miles
Push-to-pass parameters: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets primary, four sets alternate (Note: An eighth set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie driver or those outside the top 10 in entrant points.)
Twitter: @IMS @IndyCar, #INDYCARGP, #IndyCar
Event website: http://www.ims.com
INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com
2016 race winner: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet)
2016 Verizon P1 Award winner: Simon Pagenaud (No. 22 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet),1:08.7696, 127.832 mph Qualifying lap record: Will Power, 1:08.6746, 127.855 mph, May 13, 2016 (Set in Round 1 of knockout qualifying)
ABC race broadcast: Saturday, May 13 (3:30 p.m. ET, live)
Conor Daly navigates the road course for the 2016 IndyCar Grand Prix who went on to finish 6th after starting 22nd — Photo by: Bret Kelley
Allen Bestwick will be the play-by-play announcer for ABC’s broadcast of the INDYCAR Grand Prix alongside analysts Eddie Cheever and Scott Goodyear. Pit reporters are Rick DeBruhl, Dr. Jerry Punch and Jon Beekhuis.
Radio broadcasts: The Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network is led by chief announcer Mark Jaynes, with analyst Davey Hamilton. All Verizon IndyCar Series races are broadcast live on network affiliates, Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Qualifying broadcasts are available on Sirius 212, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app. Practice sessions are on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and the INDYCAR Mobile app.
Video Streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the INDYCAR Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/indycar).
INDYCAR Mobile app: Verizon’s INDYCAR Mobile app is available across all carriers. Exclusive features of the app for Verizon Wireless customers will stream live through the app and include enhanced real-time leaderboard and car telemetry; live in-car camera video streaming for select drivers during Verizon IndyCar Series races; live driver and pit crew radio transmissions during races and live Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network audio streaming during all track activities.
James Hinchcliffe heads down the front-stretch of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the 2016 IndyCar Grand Prix — Photo by: Joe Skibinski
At-track schedule (all times local):
Friday, May 12
9:15-10 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 1, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
12:25-1:10 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series practice 2, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
1:15-1:30 p.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice
4:20 p.m. – Qualifying for the Verizon P1 Award (three rounds of Verizon IndyCar Series knockout qualifications), streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
Saturday, May 13
11-11:30 a.m. – Verizon IndyCar Series warmup, streaming on RaceControl.IndyCar.com (Live)
3:30 p.m. – ABC on air
3:43 p.m. – “Drivers, start your engines”
3:50 p.m. – INDYCAR Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), ABC (Live)
Drivers barrel into Turn 1 for the 2016 IndyCar Grand Prix — Photo by: Doug Mathews
* Simon Pagenaud finds himself in a familiar position heading to the INDYCAR Grand Prix. The defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion claimed his first career oval win at the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix on April 29. Pagenaud, who has won two of the three previous races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, took the points lead with the win and leads four-time series champion Scott Dixon by 18 heading into this weekend’s race.
* The INDYCAR Grand Prix will be the fourth Indy car event conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the only drivers to have won on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Pagenaud won the inaugural race in 2014 and again in 2016, Power won the race in 2015.
* Simon Pagenaud, Will Power and Sebastian Saavedra are the only drivers to have won the pole position on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Saavedra claimed the pole in 2014, Power in 2015 and Pagenaud in 2016.
* Two drivers have won the race from the pole: Will Power in 2015 and Simon Pagenaud in 2016.
* Charlie Kimball has finished fifth in the three previous races held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He is the only driver to finish in the top five in every race held on the IMS road course.
* Sixteen drivers have competed in every Indy car race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Jack Hawksworth, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball, Juan Pablo Montoya, Carlos Munoz, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. All but Hawksworth are entered this year.
* Rookie Ed Jones will race Verizon IndyCar Series cars on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course for the first time this weekend. Jones, the 2016 Indy Lights champion, has competed and won at the circuit in the Mazda Road to Indy.
* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 270th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Teammate Scott Dixon has made 211 consecutive starts heading into the weekend and will break a tie with Jimmy Vasser for the second-longest streak in Indy car racing should he start the race.
* Helio Castroneves will attempt to make his 332nd career Indy car start, which ranks fourth on the all-time list. Tony Kanaan will attempt to make his 331st Indy car start, which is fifth all-time. Both are competing in their 20th season of Indy car racing in 2017.
* Since 2012, the Verizon IndyCar Series has averaged 8.75 different race winners per season, including a record-tying 11 winners in 2014. There were eight different winners in the 16 races of 2016 with an equally tight competition projected for the 2017 season. There have been four different winners in the four races thus far this season.
* Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 200 seconds during the race, with a maximum duration of 20 seconds for any one activation. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial race start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race. The feature increases the power of the engine by approximately 60 horsepower for 2017.
INDYCAR GRAND PRIX PRE-EVENT QUOTES:
SIMON PAGENAUD (No. 1 Menards Team Penske Chevrolet, 2016 INDYCAR Grand Prix winner, 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2017 championship leader): “I’m so excited to return to Indianapolis to kick off the month of May with the INDYCAR GP. We were just there last weekend for the Rev Indy event, which was spectacular. I was fortunate enough to win two of the last three (grand prix) events there. We are hoping to execute again and there’s nothing like the crowd at Indy and there’s so much excitement all over the city during the month. My team is very proud to wear this iconic Menards livery during the month of May. We have been working really closely with Chevy as well and are ready to put on a good show.”
JOSEF NEWGARDEN (No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Indianapolis is a second home to me, and I am just so excited to head back for the month of May. Last year, we didn’t have the best finish at the INDYCAR Grand Prix, but I felt like I learned a lot that I can apply this year. Our No. 2 hum by Verizon Chevy team has been really strong this year and we have proved that we can win on a road course. Qualifying is really important and we have been working on a few things we learned at Barber (Motorsports Park) that could apply to getting a good starting spot at Indy. I just know I can’t wait to get back on the track and race in front of the great Indy race fans.”
HELIO CASTRONEVES (No. 3 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “Indianapolis is a really special place to me. I’ve been lucky to win on the oval three times in the Indy 500 and finished on the podium for the GP last year. We had a pretty good race at Phoenix and have had top-10 finishes in all of the races this season so far. I know me and the No. 3 Verizon Chevy team are excited to race for the crowd at Indy and are bringing a car we know can win. With road courses, qualifying is so important and we’re ready for that. We feel so strong and ready to head into not only the INDYCAR Grand Prix but also just the month of May in general.”
CONOR DALY (No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “I love the GP of Indy. I think it’s an awesome way to kick off the festivities of the Month of May. It’s a home race, so it means a lot to me and we came very close to being on the podium last year, so I hope to be in contention again this year.”
JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “It’s May – what’s not to be happy about at this point? Obviously, I’m really excited to kick off the month. It was very good to us last year and we’re really hoping for more of the same this season. The INDYCAR Grand Prix was our first podium of 2016 and it would be great to repeat that. The GP has been such a fun addition to the month of May the last couple years, and like we said, the results were there last year. So with the momentum that we’ve got in the No. 5 Arrow car, and still holding on to a top-five position in points, we’re just hoping for another strong weekend.”
MIKHAIL ALESHIN (No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda): “I think it’s great that we’re coming back to the Indy GP track. I really enjoy every time I get to be in a race car on the IMS road course. The track is very smooth. It has a very European style and it has a lot of great corners. Plus it’s nice to be at my American home track. I’m really looking forward to getting the month of May started.”
MAX CHILTON (No. 8 Gallagher Honda): “I’m really excited to run in the INDYCAR Grand Prix again. The track is flat, and I really enjoyed racing on it last year for the first time in (the Verizon IndyCar Series) after running the Indy Lights race the year before that. The atmosphere is always good and builds and builds until the 500, which is really cool. I’m hoping we can have a great result in the Gallagher car and build momentum for the 500.”
SCOTT DIXON (No. 9 NTT Data Honda): “The INDYCAR Grand Prix is one of the newer events on the calendar and it’s a home race for the teams and a lot of the drivers. I like the idea of getting another race in to start the month of May before the Indianapolis 500. I think having a road course and then, of course, the oval race really gives race fans a good sampling of a few of the different disciplines we have to tackle as INDYCAR drivers.”
TONY KANAAN (No. 10 NTT Data Honda): “I can’t believe it’s May already. This is definitely my favorite part of the season. I couldn’t be happier to be back at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the month. We haven’t had the results we were hoping for so far this season, so we’re really hoping that we can make things happen at IMS, both at the road course and then later in the month on the oval. I love that we begin the month with a road course race at IMS. I think it really starts everything out the right way.”
WILL POWER (No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet): “It’s no secret we’ve had a bit of bad luck to start off our season until we had our podium finish at Phoenix. I know the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet team is ready to build off that momentum as we head into Indianapolis. The fans there are always so much fun to race in front of and with a long month of May ahead of us, I always feel energized after the INDYCAR Grand Prix heading into the Indy 500. The road course is fun and challenging. We’ve been working on our program since Phoenix and feel we have a really strong car to bring to Indy.”
CARLOS MUNOZ (No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet): “The Indy GP track is one that I think a lot of people like. You can overtake, but at the same time, it’s really tricky because you’re going with low downforce, so you need a lot of mechanical grip on the car.”
GRAHAM RAHAL (No. 15 Soldier Strong/TurnsForTroops.com Honda): “Last year was obviously disappointing because we got the qualifying penalty. It was our best road course qualifying in years. It would have been nice to start third, be right up front, be able to attack (Simon) Pagenaud, as even he said before the race his main concern going into race day was me. When we started at the back, we made his life a little bit easier. We feel like this is a place that we’ve had a lot of success. It’s a track that I really love and it’s an environment that I love and feed off of, so I feel like the grand prix is going to be our breakthrough of the season, so far. We’ve worked very hard for this, worked hard focusing on the month of May in particular. The guys deserve a good result. We have focused a lot of energy on making sure we have a good one. We feel like the Soldier Strong/TurnsForTroops.com car should be pretty competitive. Yeah, we have struggled at times this year, but I feel like, out of the box, we should be there, competitive-wise, at the grand prix and be able to attack pretty good. It’s just a great track, top notch from a facility standpoint, which is going to surprise nobody. But from a facility standpoint, it’s what an Indy car track should be. The curbing is built properly, the runoff is nice, the fans support it really well which, as a driver is one of the biggest keys, one of the things that get us excited to go to a place. It’s just a great event.”
SEBASTIEN BOURDAIS (No. 18 Sonny’s BBQ Honda): “It’s the beginning of May and the INDYCAR Grand Prix is always an important event. Many times, it’s been a bit of a turning point in my season. Sometimes we’d have a rough start to the year and then it would go relatively well at the grand prix. Except last year, when it ended a little prematurely with Tony (Kanaan), who didn’t see us coming from the outside at the start. Generally, I’ve always performed well at the INDYCAR Grand Prix. It’s a track that I enjoy and I hope things will go well for us. I think we’re starting to understand a lot of little things with our aero package and other things, so hopefully we can put everything together and put in a performance that will meet our expectations in both qualifying and the race.”
ED JONES (No. 19 Boy Scouts of America Honda): “Last year (in Indy Lights), I qualified on pole for both races and won the first race. So, it’s been a good track for me in the past. It’s quite a European-style circuit so I think that’s one of the reasons why I feel so comfortable there. I’m looking forward to getting out there in an Indy car. I think it’s probably one of our best chances to get a good result so far this year. I feel like I can do that. We’ll have to see. It seems like the weather in Indy is really changeable at the moment, so that can play a factor throughout the weekend but we’re ready for whatever. Hopefully we can make some more progress.”
SPENCER PIGOT (No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet): “I can’t wait to get back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We’ve been really strong in all the races so far this year, so hopefully that continues this weekend. I was able to race on the road course last year. It’s going to be great to get back out there. I think we’ve got a really good shot with the Fuzzy’s Vodka crew.”
JR HILDEBRAND (No. 21 Preferred Freezer Service Chevrolet): “I am really looking forward to getting back on track at the INDYCAR Grand Prix and kicking off our on-track activity for the month of May. It’s a great way to get things rolling out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
JUAN PABLO MONTOYA (No. 22 Fitzgerald Glider Kits Team Penske Chevrolet): “I’m so excited to get back on track with the Verizon IndyCar Series. I’ve run a few tests but will run my first race since last season at the INDYCAR Grand Prix. Indianapolis is one of those special places in motorsports. The buzz surrounding the whole city for the month can be felt. I guess I should feel a little behind, but I don’t. The guys on the Fitzgerald Glider Kits team have been in tune and mixed in with the other teams all season, so we have all the data and those tests went really well. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
TAKUMA SATO (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda): “It’s hard to believe already the time for the month of May. My season so far is positive, but a little frustrating as we had several issues and couldn’t achieve the result we wanted. Having said that, three quarters of the season is still very open and I am so motivated to moving forward. The Indy GP is one of the unique tracks on the calendar, where you could go pretty much similar lap time between high-downforce and low-downforce package. It also gives us a good overtaking opportunity as it has such a long straight with heavy braking follows. The race here is always an exciting one and I’m very much looking forward to be back in Indianapolis. This is the place we want to get our rhythm back and build a good momentum for the most important weekend coming up.”
MARCO ANDRETTI (No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda): “We need to maximize on everything at IMS for the grand prix this weekend and get some positive momentum going to carry with us through May. The road course at IMS is a fun track to drive and has good passing opportunities, so hoping the United Fiber & Data car will be able to run well and take advantage.”
RYAN HUNTER-REAY (No. 28 DHL Honda): “There is no better time of the year than May in Indy. Every year IMS becomes more and more special to me, and I spend the entire year thinking about returning. We’re lucky to have two races in the same month at the best racetrack in the world. Obviously, we’re all looking forward to putting a frustrating start to the season behind us and we’ll be working hard this weekend at the INDYCAR Grand Prix to get top results for the DHL team.”
CHARLIE KIMBALL (No. 83 Tresiba Honda): “It’s my favorite time of year, May in Indianapolis. I’m ready to move into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continue working toward our goals on track. It’s no secret we’ve had a rough start to the season, so this is our chance to turn things around. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team had a super-solid race car last year, starting from the front row, so we’ll be taking what we can learn from that and seeing where we can improve. Last year’s cooler temperature on race day really threw us for a loop. The weather is always something we can’t control, so it’s how we react and adjust that counts.”
ALEXANDER ROSSI (No. 98 NAPA Auto Parts/Curb Honda): “It’s finally the month of May and we get to drive around Indianapolis, albeit the road course this time. It’s a great track and it was one of my favorites last year, so I cannot wait to start off the month on the right foot. We’ve got a lot of untapped potential in the NAPA Honda and we need to show that this weekend.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar