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The IndyCar Grand Prix is an IndyCar Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. The race takes place in early May on the combined road course at the Speedway. The inaugural running occurred in 2014.

IndyCar Grand Prix
Indianapolis IndycarGP.svg
Venue Indianapolis Motor Speedway
First race 2014
Distance 207.315
Laps 85
Previous names Grand Prix of Indianapolis (2014)
Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (2015–2016)
Most wins (driver) Will Power (3)
Most wins (team) Team Penske (4)
Most wins (manufacturer) Dallara (5)

The race is run on a newer, modified layout of the circuit previously used for the Formula One United States Grand Prix, and later the Moto GP motorcycle event.

The Grand Prix serves as a lead-in to the Indianapolis 500. Support races are held, including Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and U.S. F2000. From 2014 to 2016, the race was known as the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and from 2015-2016 was sponsored by Angie's List. For 2017, the Angie's List title sponsorship was dropped, and the race name was changed to the IndyCar Grand Prix. This was done to in order to reduce confusion with the previous Formula One grand prix race that used to be held there, and to emphasize to fans that the race was part of the American-based IndyCar Series.[1]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

 
Flyover at the 2016 Grand Prix

In 2012, Hulman & Co., the parent company of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, hired Boston Consulting Group to evaluate its business operations.[2] In their report, one of their suggestions was to explore the possibility of hosting an IndyCar Series race on the road course at Indy.[3] The road course layout had opened in 2000, and was utilized initially for the United States Grand Prix from 2000–2007. Later, it was used for Moto GP, and Grand Am. Indy cars had never raced on the road course layout, sticking only to the oval circuit for the Indianapolis 500, but their support series, the Indy Lights, had raced there four times. Occasionally Indy cars used the Indianapolis road course as a test facility, since many teams are headquartered in the Indianapolis area. Dan Wheldon notably tested the DW12 chassis at the course in September 2011.

In September 2013, an IndyCar feasibility test was conducted on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.[4][5] The test yielded positive results. Speculation immediately began to grow about a possible race for 2014, either as a May "doubleheader" event with the Indy 500, or a stand-alone race in the fall. The inaugural race was announced on October 1, 2013, and was scheduled for early May.[6] The decision was made to utilize the course in a clockwise layout, and to re-work certain parts of the track.

Course changesEdit

In October 2013, a construction project began to reconfigure the road course layout in order to the make the circuit more competitive, better for fans, and more suited for Indy cars. The entire road course portion was repaved, while several segments were modified. The road course turn one was changed to a 90-degree turn with a raised curb on the inside. The road course portion inside oval turn four was revised to bypass two slow turns, and effectively lengthened the Hulman Boulevard backstretch. At the end of the Hulman Blvd. backstretch, a new 90-degree left turn leads to a new series of faster turns behind the Museum. Rather than follow original turn 13 (oval turn 1) like the U.S. Grand Prix did, the IndyCar circuit mimics the motorcycle course, and utilized the "snake pit" infield complex. Two of the, tighter, sharper, corners (utilized by the motorcycles) were bypassed and replaced with a single 90-degree right turn. The new course distance measures 2.439 miles (3.925 km).

ScheduleEdit

Since its inception, the IndyCar Grand Prix has been scheduled for the Saturday two weeks before the Indianapolis 500. The race effectively serves as an "opening weekend" for the month of May activities at the Speedway. The race is on the Saturday that was once used for Indy 500 pole day (1952–1997 & 2001–2009), and in other years the opening day of practice (1998–2000 & 2010–2013).

Saturday was selected for the race due to the fact that the Sunday two weeks before the Indy 500 is usually Mother's Day (a day usually avoided by motorsports). In addition, the track is closed on Sunday to allow crews to convert the track back to the oval layout, and to allow teams to convert their cars from road course to oval configuration. Practice for the Indy 500 on the oval begins the following day on Monday.

Race summariesEdit

2014Edit

 
Simon Pagenaud is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

The month of May at Indianapolis opened with the Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the Speedway's road course. With the field lined up for a standing start, polesitter Sebastián Saavedra's car stalled. A huge crash resulted, involving Saavedra, Carlos Muñoz, and Mikhail Aleshin, showering debris along the frontstretch and into the pit area.

Late in the race, Simon Pagenaud led Ryan Hunter-Reay. Both drivers were low on fuel, and trying to nurse their cars to the finish. Hélio Castroneves, who had pitted for fuel, was charging through the field, and looking to run down the leaders. Pagenaud held off the challenge, and crossed the finish line just ahead of Hunter-Reay and Castroneves. Pagenaud's car ran out of fuel on the cool down lap. Series rookie Jack Hawksworth, who earned his first front-row start, led a field-high 31 laps and finished seventh.

2015Edit

Will Power won the pole position for the second annual Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, continuing a dominating trend in 2015 for Penske Racing during qualifying. Penske cars qualified 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th, with Ganassi's Scott Dixon (2nd) situated on the outside of the front row.

At the start, a multi-car tangle in turn one saw Scott Dixon spin out in front of the entire field. Hélio Castroneves (in his milestone 300th Indy car start) was involved in contact, as was Josef Newgarden, and others. Will Power took the lead and dominated the race, leading 65 of 82 laps. Power became the fifth different winner in as many races for 2015.

For the second race in a row, Graham Rahal had a spirited run to finish second. After the final round of pit stops, Rahal was able to close within two seconds of the lead, but was unable to catch Power in the final few laps. The races was slowed for only one yellow to clean up the incident on lap 1.

2016Edit

Simon Pagenaud became the first two-time winner of the Angie's List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Pagenaud started from the pole position and led 57 of the 82 laps. After a caution came out on lap 38, Conor Daly came to the lead for a total of 14 laps while the field was cycling through different pit stop strategies. On the final series of pit stops, Pagenaud executed a very fast in-lap and out-lap, including a lightning fast 6.7-second pit stop. He emerged as the leader, and led the final 14 laps to victory. Cold temperatures and cloudy, windy conditions made for one of the coldest Indy car races in Speedway history.

It was Team Penske's second consecutive win in the Grand Prix, and 18th overall win at Indy.

2017Edit

Will Power started from the pole position and led 61 of 85 laps en route to victory. The race went the entire distance caution free. Hélio Castroneves led 24 laps, but slipped to 5th at the finish after their tire strategy did not work out favorably. After his final pit stop, Castroneves slipped from second to 5th in the waning laps on the primary black tires, while all the other leaders were on the option red tires.

Past winnersEdit

IndyCar SeriesEdit

Season Date Driver Team Chassis Engine Race Distance Race Time Average Speed
(mph)
Report
Laps Miles (km)
2014 May 10   Simon Pagenaud Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara Honda 82 199.998 (321.85) 2:04:24 96.463 Report
2015 May 9   Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 82 199.998 (321.85) 1:42:42 116.842 Report
2016 May 14   Simon Pagenaud Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 82 199.998 (321.85) 1:50:19 108.784 Report
2017 May 13   Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 85 207.315 (333.641) 1:42:58 120.813 Report
2018 May 12   Will Power Team Penske Dallara Chevrolet 85 207.315 (333.641) 1:49:46 113.318 Report

Indy Lights winnersEdit

 
In 2005 Marco Andretti won the first Indy Lights race on the Indianapolis road course (then known as the Liberty Challenge)
Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team
2005 June 18   Marco Andretti Andretti Green Racing
2006 July 1   Alex Lloyd Gary Peterson
2007 June 16   Hideki Mutoh Super Aguri Panther Racing
June 17   Bobby Wilson Brian Stewart Racing
2008

2013
Not held
2014 May 9   Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport
May 10   Luiz Razia Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2015 May 8   Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
May 9   Sean Rayhall 8 Star Motorsports
2016 May 13   Ed Jones Carlin
May 14   Dean Stoneman Andretti Autosport
2017 May 12   Nico Jamin Andretti Autosport
May 13   Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing
2018 May 11   Colton Herta Andretti Steinbrenner Racing
May 12   Colton Herta Andretti Steinbrenner Racing

Pro Mazda winnersEdit

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team
2014 May 9   Scott Hargrove Cape Motorsports
May 10   Scott Hargrove Cape Motorsports
2015* May 7   Weiron Tan Andretti Autosport
May 8   Timothé Buret Juncos Racing
May 9   Santiago Urrutia Team Pelfrey
2016 May 13   Patricio O'Ward Team Pelfrey
May 14   Patricio O'Ward Team Pelfrey
2017 May 12   Victor Franzoni Juncos Racing
May 13   Victor Franzoni Juncos Racing
2018 May 11   Harrison Scott RP Motorsport
May 12   Parker Thompson Exclusive Autosport
  • Three races in 2015. Because of severe weather at the Avondale, Louisiana round, INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions moved the race (grid already set) to Indianapolis.

USF2000 winnersEdit

Season Date Winning Driver Winning Team
2014 May 9   Will Owen Pabst Racing Services
May 10   Adrian Starrantino JAY Motorsports
2015 May 8   Nico Jamin Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
May 9   Nico Jamin Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
2016 May 13   Anthony Martin Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
May 14   Parker Thompson Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing
2017 May 12   Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports
May 13   Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports
2018 May 11   Alexandre Baron Swan-RJB Motorsports
May 12   Kyle Kirkwood Cape Motorsports

HistoryEdit

The addition of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis established two Indy car races in the Indianapolis area. It was the first time since 1970 that multiple Championship/Indy car races are being held in the greater Indianapolis area. Through 1970, the Indy 500 was accompanied by the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, which at the time was a National Championship event. The Hoosier Grand Prix at Indianapolis Raceway Park was held as a USAC Champ Car race from 1965–1970.

When the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was under construction in 1909, the original plans included a combined road course layout.[7][8] This would have allowed for both oval track and road course events. It is believed that some initial grading was completed for what would have been a 5-mile layout, but plans for the road course were scrapped during construction. It was not until 1998 that plans for a road course layout at the facility were revived, when the United States Grand Prix was announced.

In 1990, a street circuit in downtown Indianapolis was proposed,[9][10] with a goal of attracting a Formula One or CART Indy car race. The layout encompassed roads near the Hoosier Dome and Indianapolis Zoo. The plan never materialized.

Grand Prix logosEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Angie's List Out as Grand Prix Sponsor
  2. ^ Mickle, Tripp (2012-10-26). "Hulman & Co. Hires Boston Consulting Group To Evaluate Businesses, Including IndyCar". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  3. ^ Fryer, Jenna (2013-03-02). "AP Exclusive: Family told to keep IndyCar, IMS". AP. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  4. ^ Oreovicz, John (2013-09-04). "Bet on an IndyCar road race at Indy soon". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  5. ^ "Board approves Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course event for May 2014". IndyCar Series. September 26, 2013. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Cavin, Curt (October 1, 2013). "IndyCar officials provide details for revised 2.434-mile IMS road course". Indianapolis Star. Gannett Company. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley. May 12, 2005. Network Indiana. 
  8. ^ The Talk of Gasoline Alley. July 25, 2014. WFNI. 
  9. ^ Indianapolis Street Circuit at RacingCircuits.net
  10. ^ Indianapolis Street Track

External linksEdit


Preceded by
Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
IndyCar Series
Grand Prix of Indianapolis
Succeeded by
Indianapolis 500