The Verizon IndyCar Series Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Chevrolet Duals in Detroit June 2 & 3

Ryan Hunter-Reay hammers the apex of Turn 5 during practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Joe Skibinski

Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear Fast Facts

Race weekend: Friday, June 1 – Sunday, June 3

Track: Raceway at Belle Isle Park, a 2.35-mile, 14-turn temporary street course (clockwise)

Race distance: 70 laps / 164.5 miles (both races)

Push-to-pass parameters: 150 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 15 seconds per activation. (for each race)

Firestone tire allotment: Nine sets primary, four sets alternate (weekend). Teams must use one new set of primary and alternate tires in each race.

Twitter: @DetroitGP @IndyCar, #DetroitGP, #IndyCar

Event website: http://www.DetroitGP.com

INDYCAR website: http://www.IndyCar.com

2017 race winner: Race 1: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda); Race 2: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda)

2017 Verizon P1 Award winners: Race 1: Graham Rahal (No. 15 SoldierStrong / TurnsForTroops.com Honda) 1:13.9681, 114.374 mph; Race 2: Takuma Sato, (No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda) 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph.

James Hinchcliffe hammers into Turn 5 during practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: James Black

Qualifying lap record: Takuma Sato, 1:13.6732, 114.831 mph, June 4, 2017

ABC race broadcasts: Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 (3:30 p.m. ET)

Allen Bestwick is the lead announcer for ABC broadcasts alongside analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever Jr. Rick DeBruhl and Jon Beekhuis are the pit reporters.

Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is the chief announcer alongside analyst Anders Krohn with Jake Query and Nick Yeoman in the turns. All Verizon IndyCar Series races
are broadcast live on the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 214, XM 209, IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app. All Verizon IndyCar Series practice and
qualifying sessions are available on IndyCar.com, indycarradio.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app.

Video streaming: All practice sessions and qualifying for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will stream live on RaceControl.IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/indycar)

At-track schedule (all times local):

Saturday, June 2

10:55-11:25 a.m. – Race 1 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)

3:03 p.m. – Driver introductions

3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #1 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Sunday, June 3

10:45-11:15 a.m. – Race 2 qualifying for Verizon P1 Award (two groups/12 minutes each), IndyCar.com (live)

2:59 p.m. – Driver introductions

3:43 p.m. – Command to start engines

3:50 p.m. – Chevrolet Dual in Detroit #2 (70 laps/164.5 miles), ABC (live)

Robert Wickens dives into Turn 5 during practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Joe Skibinski

Race notes:

* The Chevrolet Dual in Detroit will be the 24th and 25th Indy car races conducted at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park and the 27th and 28th Indy car races held in Detroit. A 2.5-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit hosted CART events from 1989-1991.

* Sebastien Bourdais, Will Power and Graham Rahal have each won twice at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park, the most by an active Indy car driver at the track. Helio Castroneves won three times at Belle Isle, the most of any driver. In addition to Bourdais, Power and Rahal, other previous Belle Isle winners entered include Tony Kanaan (2007), Scott Dixon (2012) and Simon Pagenaud (2013, Race
#2).

* There have been 16 different pole winners in the previous 23 races. Pole winners entered in this year’s race are: Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1), Takuma Sato (2014, Race 2; 2017, Race 2), Simon Pagenaud (2016 – both races), Will Power (2015, Race 1) and Scott Dixon (2008 and 2012).

* Four drivers have won the race from the pole: Graham Rahal (2017, Race 1), Scott Dixon (2012), Helio Castroneves (2001) and Robby Gordon (1995).

* The driver who has gone on to win the championship has won at Detroit four times. Will Power won Race 2 in 2014, Alex Zanardi won on Belle Isle in 1998, Bobby Rahal won at Belle Isle in 1992 and Emerson Fittipaldi won in downtown Detroit in 1989.

* Since 1995, seven drivers have won the seventh race of the season and won the championship. They are: Dario Franchitti (2009, Iowa), Scott Dixon (2008, Texas, and 2003, Richmond), Sebastien Bourdais (2005, Edmonton), Sam Hornish Jr. (2006, Richmond), Cristiano da Matta (2002, Chicago), Greg Ray (1999, Dover), Kenny Brack (1998, Charlotte) and Tony Stewart (1997, Charlotte). Ten drivers have won the eighth race of the season and won the championship. They are: Franchitti (2011, Milwaukee; 2007, Iowa), Bourdais (2007, Edmonton; 2005, San Jose), Hornish (2006, Kansas; 2002, Richmond), Tony Kanaan (2004, Nashville), da Matta (2002, Toronto), Buddy Lazier (2000, Kentucky), Gil de Ferran (2000, Portland), Ray (1999, Pikes Peak), Alex Zanardi (1998, Detroit) and Brack (1998, Pikes Peak).

* Tony Kanaan has competed in 15 previous races at Belle Isle, most of any driver. Thirteen drivers entered have led laps at the track (Graham Rahal 107, Simon Pagenaud 93, Scott Dixon 83, Will Power 47, Takuma Sato 44, Sebastien Bourdais 38, Kanaan 30, Marco Andretti 24, Ryan Hunter-Reay 20, James Hinchcliffe 11, Josef Newgarden 7, Charlie Kimball 3 and Alexander Rossi 1.)

* There have been four different winners in six Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2018. Sebastien Bourdais (Streets of St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (ISM Raceway and Barber Motorsports Park) and Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and Indianapolis Motor Speedway) have won races in 2018.

* There have been six different Verizon P1 Award winners in 2018. Robert Wickens (Streets of St. Petersburg), Sebastien Bourdais (ISM Raceway), Alexander Rossi (Streets of Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber Motorsports Park), Will Power (Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course) and Ed Carpenter (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) have won poles in 2018. The record for most pole winners in a season is 12 set in the 1999 CART season.

* The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will be the fifth and sixth races on a road/street course in 2018. The first four races were won by Sebastien Bourdais (St. Petersburg), Alexander Rossi (Long Beach), Josef Newgarden (Barber) and Will Power (INDYCAR Grand Prix).

* Six drivers will race Verizon IndyCar Series cars at the Raceway at Belle Isle for the first time: Rene Binder, Santino Ferrucci, Jordan King, Matheus Leist, Zach Veach and Robert Wickens. Ferrucci will be making his series debut.

* Tony Kanaan seeks to start his 290th consecutive race this weekend, which would extend his Indy car record streak that began in June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon has made 230 consecutive starts heading into the weekend which is the second-longest streak in Indy car racing.

* Drivers may engage their “push-to-pass” for a total of 150 seconds during each race, with a maximum duration of 15 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.

Hunter-Reay leads Andretti charge in practice at Detroit’s Belle Isle
DETROIT (Friday, June 1, 2018) – There’s a new car for Verizon IndyCar Series competition in 2018, but it’s still the same old challenging track at Belle Isle Park. And the drivers love it.

Ryan Hunter-Reay led practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear on the 14-turn, 2.35-mile temporary street course noted for its concrete surface and constant bumps. Friday’s practices are the only scheduled for the doubleheader race weekend, with qualifying and races scheduled each of the next two days.

Ryan Hunter-Reay rolls into Turn 2 during practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Chris Owens

CHEVROLET DETROIT GRAND PRIX: Practice 1 results; Practice 2 results; Combined practice results

With all 23 entries driving cars equipped with the universal aero kit that debuted at the start of the season for the first time in Detroit, Hunter-Reay posted the top practice lap in the last of two 45-minute sessions, at 1 minute, 16.3598 seconds (110.791 mph).

“Oh, it’s certainly busy out there, I can tell you that,” said Hunter-Reay, the 2012 series champion driving the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport. “I don’t think anybody would be 100 percent satisfied with the balance that they have, but that’s the choice. It’s a lot of fun around here. You really have to wheel the car to get it done.”

All four Andretti Autosport cars finished in the top 10 in the practice sessions. Following Hunter-Reay on the combined timesheet were teammates Marco Andretti in fifth, Alexander Rossi in eighth and Zach Veach in 10th.

“Hats off to the Andretti Autosport team,” said Hunter-Reay, whose best finish in 13 Belle Isle starts was second place in 2013 (Race 1). “We came here with a much better car this year. I was really happy with the balance, even to start out with. The car was basically doing the fundamentals that I needed it to do, the front was working well, and from there we just kept chipping away at it.”

Scott Dixon was second on the day with a lap of 1:16.3667 (110.781 mph) in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The 2012 Belle Isle winner said he also enjoys racing on the rough track surface, even with the new car that generates significantly less downforce and makes it even more difficult to negotiate the bumps.

“I find this place always tricky, no matter what,” said Dixon, the four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion who is fourth in the current standings after six races. “Any generation of car that I’ve been in, and even if you go back to the previous Dallara, it’s always difficult around here. It’s very bumpy, it’s very physical, it’s very hard to get right, but I think that’s what makes it so much fun, too.”

James Hinchcliffe, who missed last week’s Indianapolis 500 when he was bumped from the field in qualifying, was third overall in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics SPM Honda. Brake issues limited the
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports drivers to 11 laps in the first practice, but he was much happier in the afternoon.

“Even on the blacks (Firestone primary tires) before I went to the reds (Firestone alternate tires), the car got miles better, really just sorted it out and the track came alive,” Hinchcliffe said. “Then we put the reds on and managed to get a solid time out of it.”

Will Power, who won the 102nd Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil five days earlier and is the points leader, was 12th on the speed chart (1:16.8647). Graham Rahal, who won both races of the Detroit weekend a year ago, was sixth (1:16.7098).

Qualifying for the first race of the weekend – with the field split into two groups that receive 12 minutes of track time each – starts at 10:55 a.m. ET Saturday (live stream on RaceControl.IndyCar.com). The 70-lap race airs live at 3:30 p.m. on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Qualifying for Race 2 is set for 10:45 a.m. Sunday (live stream on RaceControl.IndyCar.com), with race coverage starting at 3:30 p.m. that day on ABC and the Advance Auto Parts INDYCAR Radio Network.

Will Power rolls into Turn 2 during practice for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle Park — Photo by: Chris Owens

Firestone introduces new rain tire for Verizon IndyCar Series competition

With rain that seemingly makes an annual appearance at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear – and there are chances of it affecting the race weekend again – Firestone Racing couldn’t have selected a better time to debut its latest wet-weather tire for Verizon IndyCar Series competition.

The first new rain tire design in three years for INDYCAR’s exclusive supplier since 2000 has an updated tread pattern to better evacuate water from underneath the tires. Less water between the tires and track surface equals greater traction and grip.

Cara Adams, chief engineer of Bridgestone Americas Motorsports that develops and produces the Firestone Racing brand, said the new rain tires feature an asymmetric and directional tread pattern “to achieve ultimate water evacuation, braking, acceleration and cornering performance” for the competitors in wet conditions.

“There isn’t a specific thing that caused (development) for this new tire,” Adams said Friday when the tire was introduced at the Raceway at Belle Isle. “We are ever evolving our technology at Bridgestone Motorsports and we need to be. With our ability to be at the track, we are always communicating with the drivers and engineers and getting their feedback. We take what they tell us and take it back so we can improve our tires.”

Newgarden beats high school friend, NFL player Tate in table tennis showdown

Team Penske driver Josef Newgarden caught up with a high school chum for a game of table tennis. The friend happened to be NFL wide receiver Golden Tate of the Detroit Lions.

Newgarden and Tate attended Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, Tennessee, before Newgarden went on to a successful racing career and Tate matriculated to play football at the University of Notre Dame and then the NFL.

The duo reunited at the Drive Table Tennis Social Club in Detroit on Wednesday to challenge each other in a friendly game with a charitable donation on the line. Newgarden won the best-of-three match, earning a $2,500 donation to the Serious Fun Children’s Network from Tate.

“It was great to catch up with Golden here in Detroit,” said Newgarden, the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion who encountered weather delays on his way to Detroit that made him late to the event.

“I don’t think we’ve seen each other since high school. When we were growing up, he was always the best athlete in school and it’s been incredible to watch his career and see him achieve so much success.

“He put up a great fight in the match. I think I froze him a bit with my travel being delayed. All in all, it was a ton of fun to go head-to-head, especially for a couple of great causes.”

IndyCar
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Graphics & Photos Courtesy of Indycar

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