Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Pagenaud rolls the dice in Indianapolis

Simon Pagenaud won the first ever IndyCar race on the Indianapolis road course last weekend after a well timed strategy call left him with enough fuel to outlast his rivals and take the chequered flag.

Jack Hawksworth led early on after a start line crash wiped out pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra, as well as Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin but the Brit, as well as Oriol Servia and Justin Wilson would miss out on the chance to take the win as cautions ruined their respective strategies.

Carlos Munoz wasn't the only Andretti Autosport driver to retire from the race with incidents also taking out James Hichcliffe and Franck Montagny, who was making a one-off start driving the car that Kurt Busch will race in the Indianapolis 500 in two weeks time.

Hinchliffe exited the race in unusual circumstances after debris struck his helmet. The Canadian was later diagnosed with a concussion and will be replaced by former team mate EJ Viso until he is declared fit to return.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, winner of the previous round in Alabama, wound up second. Like Pagenaud, he too was forced to save fuel in the closing stages of the race, unlike third placed finisher Helio Castroneves who despite charging forward, could not capitalise on his advantage.

Attention now turns to the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 which will take place on May 25. Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay has so far been quickest with a speed of 225 mph on the second day of practice.

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