Marcus Ericsson claims first career IndyCar victory in Detroit after Will Power restart misfortune

Marcus Ericsson claimed his first career IndyCar victory amidst an incident plagued race in Detroit. His last win came during GP2, almost a decade ago. However, his victory came to the detriment of Will Power, who had led approximately half the race with six laps to go.

Power, who happened to be on the right strategy during the earlier red flag incident involving Felix Rosenqvist, effectively led the majority of the race immediately after. With 20 laps to go, Ericsson was unable to make the pass around him. That was until Romain Grosjean hit the wall with six laps to bringing out the final red flag of the race.

Cars were stranded in the pits for ten minutes, but when the field prepared to head back out, Power’s car would not start. Within a few moments, the Australian had gone from assured victory to abject despair. The race was effectively over.

Ericsson inherited the lead and was able to hold off a late-charging Rinus VeeKay and Patricio O’Ward to take his first win since the 2013 GP2 Series. The win came in his 37th career start and it marks just his second career podium in the series. His previous best, second, came at this track in his rookie season.

Rinus VeeKay and Patricio O’Ward rounded out the podium, two results that went from good to great when the vast majority of other championship contenders failed to finish in the top ten. Graham Rahal and Scott Dixon finished a respectable fifth and eighth, respectively, but every other driver in the top nine in standings finished tenth or worse.

Detroit GP. O’Ward leads the field to green. Courtesy of Joe Skibinski

Both O’Ward and Rossi had led off the start followed closely by Romain Grosjean but were hampered due to starting on the high degradation red tyres. An interesting strategy battle would ensue between Scott Dixon, who started on sticker blacks, and the rest.

That was, until Lap 27. A terrifying crash involving Felix Rosenqvist sent his Arrow McLaren SP into the barriers at Turn 6. The collision was strong enough to dislodge the concrete barrier and brought out the red flag.

There has been no exact diagnosis for Rosenqvist, but an IndyCar medical group representative indicated that his team saw no signs of significant injury while evaluating him. With the most serious concerns seemingly alleviated, he was taken to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

O’Ward had to do carry out some brave overtaking as late pitstop onto sticker blacks sent him tumbling down the order. Meanwhile, VeeKay had started in 12th, and benefitted by pitting early onto sticker blacks, jumping the likes of Romain Grosjean who had started third.

Takuma Sato finished in fourth, an almost perfect display but dampened by losing positions off the final restart and after being penalised in the pits after a dangerous maneuver on Rinus VeeKay.

Santino Ferrucci and Alexander Rossi finished in sixth and seventh while Ed Jones and Josef Newgarden rounded out the Top Ten. Jones had to settle for ninth after losing places on the final restart while Newgarden did so after losing his rear-left wheel following his first pitstop. He then put in a valiant drive to recover from the back.

In what is already an incredible IndyCar season, we have had seven different race winners in seven races. All of those are also from different nationalities. This is certainly one of the most entertaining and competitive field of drivers we have had in years.

Alex Palou still leads the championship with a 15 point lead over Patricio O’Ward. VeeKay now edges closer to Scott Dixon in third, only 11 points behind.

We now wait in anticipation for Race 2 at Detroit on Sunday which we hope delivers a similar level of entertainment as today.

IndyCar Descends on Motor City: The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Preview

It’s been less than two weeks since Helio Castroneves joined the exclusive club only a few drivers share, that being a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner. But the 2021 IndyCar season continues on as the series graces the famous Belle Isle street circuit for the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix.

This *double-header* weekend will be the seventh and eighth race of the year, and with six different winners from as many races, we may see another driver step up to the mark alongside those who have already triumphed this season.  Can Will Power rescue what has been a torrid season? Will Josef Newgarden take his first win of the season to stamp his authority on the championship? Anything seems possible after some incredibly tumultuous and unpredictable races.

After the double points on offer at the 500′, IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou comes into this weekend as championship leader, thanks to a well-fought second-place.  He has a comfortable 36 point lead over teammate Scott Dixon, who is separated by one point over third-place McLaren SP driver Patricio O’Ward.

Unfortunately for Palou, he will receive a six-place grid penalty for the first of the two races over the double-header due to an unregulated engine change that occurred prior to the Indianapolis 500. The highest Palou can start on Saturday is seventh.

Last time-out winner, Helio Castroneves, will not be taking part in this weekend’s action as the Meyer Shank Racing outfit returns to just the single entry with Britain’s Jack Harvey who will be hoping for an end to his recent run of bad luck.

The races at Belle Isle Park are generally considered unpredictable. Several winners have found their way to Victory Lane, even during the years Formula 1 raced at the circuit. Michele Alboreto managed to snatch victory in his largely uncompetitive Tyrrell Ford in 1983.

Detroit Grand Prix 1987 Poster. Courtesy of Indycar

The first Formula 1 race was held in 1982 but eventually moved on before 1989. The consequential gap was filled by what was known then as CART (later known as Champ Car/IndyCar). Despite a gap between ’02-’06, 09-’11, and ’20, the streets of Detroit have seen 30 races take place.

Both Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves hold the record for most wins at the Detroit Circuit (3) with Graham Rahal, Will Power, and Sebastien Bourdais tied in second (2).

Charlie Kimball and Juan Pablo Montoya, who both raced at the Indianapolis 500 will not be in action at all this weekend, and probably for the rest of the year. Santino Ferrucci gets a return to the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team after an impressive sixth place last time out.

Moreover, Tony Kanaan takes a step back from Chip Ganassi relinquishing his drive back to Jimmie Johnson. Romain Grosjean also returns in the Dayle Coyne with Rick Ware Racing entry, replacing Pietro Fittipaldi.

Conor Daly will, of course, take over from Ed Carpenter in the Ed Carpenter Racing outfit while Sage Karam and his Indianapolis 500 *only* entry, Dreyer and Reinbold Racing team, also miss out. It is quite strange that many of the drivers who did well at the famous 500-mile race will not be present at the following event.

All the usual suspects are hotly tipped to give a strong account of themselves this weekend. The young superstars: Palou, VeeKay, Herta, and O’Ward all seem to be delivering week-in, week-out. The Dutchman, in particular, will be disappointed to miss out on a stronger result at the 500′ and will be one to watch out for.

Can Grosjean replicate his stunning performance earlier this year at the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis? The Swiss-Frenchman seems to have taken extremely well to the street courses qualifying consistently well across the season.  In fact, the Formula 1 veteran has expressed interest in competing at ovals in the not-too-distant future, an indicator that we may well see him competing in IndyCar for a number of years.

Simon Pagenaud sits in fourth in the driver standings and the highest-ranked Penske. He has flown largely under-the-radar with his numerous and consistent top-ten finishes. He has experience at the top step of the podium in Detroit and could continue his impressive form. 

However, Scott Dixon will be a man-on-a-mission after a disappointing showing at Indy. The man has three Detroit wins and usually bounces back strongly after such a setback. Interestingly, Chevrolet got the better of Honda at the last street circuit, but narrowly trail Honda in the manufacturer’s championship.

It’s anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top this weekend!

You can watch IndyCar live this weekend on Sky Sports F1 – with ad-breaks filled with UK commentary from Tom Gaynor.  The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday 12th June, Race 1, Qualifying: 4:00pm (BST), Race: 7:00pm (BST)
  • Sunday 13th June, Race 2. Qualifying: 2:00pm (BST), Race: 5:00pm (BST)

Helio Castroneves takes record-equalling fourth Indianapolis 500 victory

Helio Castroneves stormed to an incredible, record-equalling. fourth victory at the Indianapolis 500 with Meyer Shank Racing. By doing so, he cements his legacy as one of the most illustrious drivers in top-tier American motorsport, joining Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt, and Al Unser as the most successful drivers at the 500′ mile race.

Castroneves, 46, returned as a guest driver in what was his first appearance since the 2020 Harvest Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But after showing glimpses of speed in practice, he managed to break into the ‘Fast Nine’, lining up on the grid in eighth place.

What followed was a dramatic three-way battle between Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou and Arrow McLaren SP Racing’s Patricio O’Ward after a cautionary period brought on by Graham Rahal.

Rahal brought out the yellow flags after colliding with the wall, a result of his rear left tyre coming loose during their pitstop. The American’s tyre was sent flying across the track, bouncing off the front of Conor Daly. He was the last of those to stop and was due to emerge into the lead, a gut-wrenching result.

With O’Ward chasing the leading pair following the final two pitstops, Castroneves and Palou traded places throughout the final 20 laps. But the Brazilian, who previously won at The Brickyard in 2001-02 and ’09, took the lead from Palou for the final time with two laps remaining in his No. 06 Dallara-Honda.

For Meyer Shank Racing, this marks not only their first Indianapolis 500 victory but also their first *IndyCar* victory in their 5 seasons of racing. A deserving win after some incredible near-misses this season with fellow Meyer Shank driver Jack Harvey.

Alex Palou took second place, his third podium of the season, and with it the lead of the driver’s championship. The difference between Palou’s two Indy 500s could not have been greater. Last year he qualified seventh but crashed and failed to finish on Lap 121.

Simon Pagenaud Indy 500. Photo Courtesy of Doug Matthews.

O’Ward lost out on the final podium position to Penske’s Simon Pagenaud on the final lap of the race. The Frenchman drove imperiously all day, fighting through the field in what can only be described as a miracle drive after starting down in 26th.

Scott Dixon led from pole position but was quickly hunted down by both Ed Carpenter’s Rinus VeeKay and Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta. They spent the majority of the first half of the race saving fuel, extending their first stints as far as possible.

This portion of the race was dropped on its head following a pitlane crash involving Justin Wilson, who locked up under braking and veered into the pit wall. The following caution kept the pitlane closed and extended many drivers’ stints when they were crucially low on fuel. Both Scott Dixon and Alexander Rossi suffered, running out of fuel coming into the pits.

Both drivers lost significant time, as their teams tried to refire their cars and then make an extra stop to fully refuel. In all, the disaster put both cars one lap down. Without another caution called in the rest of the first half of the race, it destroyed any realistic hope either had of aiming for an epic comeback.

After the pitstops, Ed Carpenter teammates Rinus VeeKay and  Indianapolis local Conor Daly emerged as the leaders, with Daly pulling off an incredibly popular overtake on the restart.

As for the rest of the top ten, Ed Carpenter finished fifth – a great recovery after stalling during the first pit stops. He finishes the race as the lead Ed Carpenter Racing driver.

Santino Ferrucci had arguably one of the most impressive results in the Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry. After starting in 23rd he carved his way through the field and conducting a short final pitstop on the 180th lap. This cycled him ahead of others who had pitted earlier, finishing in sixth place and taking the fastest lap to top it off.

Sage Karam went from the last row of the grid to seventh place, his career-best finish in the Indy 500. This marks the best result for the Dreyer and Reinbold Racing Team since Oriol Servia’s fourth place in 2011.

VeeKay alongside Herta and Dixon. Indy 500. Photo Courtesy of Doug Matthews.

After leading much of the first stint, Veekay just couldn’t save enough fuel to stay competitive, but he was able to come home with an eighth-place finish. Behind him in ninth was two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya in the Arrow McLaren SP.

Rounding out the top ten was Tony Kanaan in the final Chip Ganassi entry. He had been amongst the frontrunners but was forced to concede some positions after a pitlane infraction

Eleventh place Marcus Ericsson beat the Penske of Josef Newgarden, who fought incredibly well from 21st.

Defending Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato, could not repeat the feat this year. The Japanese driver had to perform a splash-and-dash at the end and finished 14th, ahead of 2011 runner-up JR Hildebrand – the highest-placed AJ Foyt driver.

Is the Indianapolis 500 *ACTUALLY* the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ ?

The Indianapolis 500 has become one of the most famous racing events over the past century, combining scintillating speed and unmitigated bravery that is quite unparalleled in motorsport.

With speeds topping over 220mph, drivers are at full throttle for approximately 3 hours, experiencing forces of (4G) across an incredible 200-lap distance.

But with speed comes danger, and hero can turn to zero in a heartbeat. The sport is recognised as one of the most dangerous with over 40 deaths occurring at The Brickyard.

Fox and Cheever 1995 Indy 500. Photo Courtesy of IndyCar.

While there has not been a death at the Indy 500 in almost a decade, serious injuries are still a reality for many. During practice for the Indy 500 in 2015, James Hinchcliffe famously flipped his No.5 Honda after touching the barriers, resulting in a burning inferno and a piece of the car’s suspension piercing his left thigh as he hit the wall. The Canadian driver would survive this incident but missed the rest of the IndyCar season as a result.

The Indianapolis 500 is a race like no other, with incredible technology and deep traditions which make it an event like no other.

But is it *REALLY* the ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’?


The Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the Le Mans 24 Hours can be considered its closest competitors. To win all three is what is known as the ‘Triple Crown’ – suggesting they all share qualities as the toughest races in the world. All of these races present unique challenges, and with that, different audiences.

Monaco is widely seen as the jewel in the crown of motorsport. Since its inception in 1929, the most richest and famous grace the presence of ‘The Principality’ for a week of festivities, boat parties, and galas. If there’s anything that epitomises the socioeconomic legacy of Formula 1 – its Monaco.

No other race can compare to Monaco in terms of the beauty of its surroundings. Wedged between the natural beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the Maritime Alps, the Circuit de Monaco winds through the tight streets of the principality.

The race presents its own challenges. Like the Indy 500, one mistake can mean the end of your race.  The tight, windy streets produce one of the most exciting qualifying sessions in motorsport. It tests every inch of a driver’s concentration and skill to perfect, which is why only the very best see repeated success.

However, they also make it very difficult to overtake which detracts from the overall entertainment of the event. Many people comment on the “dullness” of Monaco and the lack of racing that occurs.

Likewise, you could make a case for the Le Mans 24 Hours, staged at the semi-permanent race course: The Circuit de la Sarthe since the very first race in 1923.

The 38-turn, 8.5-mile track takes around 3min 25sec to complete for LMP1 cars. It’s unbelievably quick and challenging, with tricky corners like the Porsche Curves and plenty of long straights.

Each team is pushed to its technological and physical limits to race through the day and into the night. Machine and humans alike withstand incredible attrition and exhaustion if they want to win this star-studded race.

Moreover, the vast number of cars on track make it an incredible spectacle to watch with: Hypercars, LMP2 Prototypes, and GT cars racing side by side. The sheer variety of teams, drivers, nationalities, and races on show is unmatched.

Now, throw in the likes of the Isle of Man TT and The Dakar Rally – Indy has some stiff competition.


While it is a misnomer that IndyCar is a ‘spec-series’, it certainly would fool you to think it was.

It is common for drivers to fight through the field from lowly positions, sometimes even fighting for the win.

Not only did Louis Meyer charge through the pack in the 1936 Indy 500, moving from a starting position of 28th to a final position of first, but he also led 96 laps while capturing his third Indy 500 win.

Moreover, three out of the last six races have seen some of the closest finishes in racing, 15′, 17′, and 19′ all with winning margins of less than 0.25s.

Anything can happen at the 500′ as can be seen this year with Penske’s Will Power nearly failing to qualify, a fate that was all-too-real for two-time Formula 1 Champion Fernando Alonso in 2019.

This unpredictability adds to the entertainment of the event and speaks volumes of the challenges facing teams who are all competing at a very similar level.


The first Indianapolis 500 race took place in 1911 (Older than *both* the Monaco GP and 24 Hours Le Mans). Since then, numerous traditions have been created.  For many fans, these traditions are an important part of the race experience that they look forward to every year.

Harroun wins the first ever 1911 Indy 500. Photo Courtesy of IndyCar.

But perhaps one of the strangest traditions of the race is the winner chugging a bottle of chilled milk in victory lane.

It’s a unique tradition that has appeared in every race since 1956 and has become a snapshot moment defining the elation of victory after winning one of the world’s most iconic races.

Likewise, the presenting of the Indy 500 rings is a special moment for all drivers who compete, a momento that only a few can say they have received

There are many traditions that may seem odd to those unfamiliar with the event, but they only add an endearing quality to it. You can tell how much this race means to drivers, teams, and fans alike by the way they celebrate and look forward to these moments. It adds richness, built upon years of hard work, achievement, failure, and redemption. This history is personified in these moments which make it hard to resist.


While comparisons are difficult to make, there is certainly a gulf in global viewership between its nearest competitors.

While a 2018 report by NBC shows figures of around 5 to 6 million average viewers for its domestic audience, this puts it well short of other US events such as the Super Bowl. In other words, that is around 1.6% – 1.8% of the US population.

How does that stack up against other domestic sports events? Well, if you compare this to 3.5 million UK viewers who tuned in for the British Grand Prix – that is approximately 5% of the UK population!

Moreover, according to a report by Nielson Sports in 2017, the Monaco Grand Prix reported saw a 10% rise to 110 million viewers.

While they are no solid sources estimating the worldwide ratings for the Indianapolis 500, they all fall short of the Monaco Grand Prix’s global reach.

It is without question that the reach of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ dwarfs that of Formula 1. There really is no competition.


But what do *YOU* think?

We want to know whether you think the Indianapolis 500 is ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’. And if so, why?

Let us know in the comments section below or interact with us on Twitter!




Scott Dixon Snatches Indianapolis 500 Pole from Colton Herta. Will Power and de Silvestro Narrowly Qualify.

Scott Dixon keeps his remarkable momentum going with a fourth pole position at the Indianapolis 500. His four-lap average of 231.685 mph topped the Fast Nine Shootout and will start on the front-row alongside Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay.

Colton Herta initially set a blistering four-lap average of 231.655 mph to take provisional pole, but Dixon had other ideas. Dixon was the last to run, and when he landed a 232.757 on his opening lap it was clear that Ganassi’s six-time IndyCar champion had the potential to earn his fourth pole. His drop-off was around 1.1mph across the four laps, so his final margin over Herta was only 0.03mph – after 10 miles of flat-out driving around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – but the job was done.

The next closest threat came from Rinus VeeKay, one of two drivers for Ed Carpenter Racing in the Fast Nine Shootout in what was a remarkable day for the team. Despite a small wiggle coming out of Turn 1 on his fourth lap, the Dutchman’s 231.511 was enough to start ahead of teammate Ed Carpenter (231.504 mph). They made up the only Chevrolet cars in an afternoon that was dominated by Honda.

Tony Kanaan (231.032 mph) starts ahead of his Spanish teammate Alex Palou (231.032 mph) to round out the second-row. For the Brazilian to out-qualify two of his full-time counterparts is nothing short of sensational.

The third-row will be shared between Ryan Hunter-Reay (230.499 mph), Helio Castroneves (230.355 mph), and Marcus Ericsson (230.318 mph). Meyer Shank Racing will be incredibly happy with Castroneves’s performance to pip the final Chip Ganassi driver in the session.

This afternoon also saw the final-row shootout for those who failed to make the Top 30 in yesterday’s qualifying. Will Power, Simona de Silvestro, Sage Karam, Charlie Kimball, and RC Enerson were all at risk of not qualifying for this year’s Indianapolis 500.

de Silvestro qualifies for the Indy 500. Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens.

It was Karam, Power, and de Silvestro who eventually qualified for the final-row in what was a significant milestone in the history of The Brickyard. de Silvestro and Paretta Autosport become the first female driver and all female-led team to qualify for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Motorsport’.

Team Owner Beth Paretta was full of elation and had this to say on their achievement: “This is just the beginning!”

Consequentially, that means both Kimball and Enerson fail to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

Some other shock performances in Saturday qualifying came from Penske’s Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud. Newgarden made multiple qualifying attempts but was forced to settle with a 230.071 mph four-lap average, good enough only for 21st. Likewise, Simon Pagenaud closed the day in 26th after setting an average of 229.778 mph in what was a difficult day for Chevrolet-powered teams.

Defending Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato will start from 15th. The last to win the 500′ after starting outside the Top 10 was Alexander Rossi in 2016. Incidentally, Rossi just missed out on the Fast Nine Shootout and starts 10th.

With the grid now set, teams have two more practice sessions before the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, which will take place next Sunday 30 May at  17:00 (BST.)


  1. Dixon
  2. Herta
  3. VeeKay
  4. Carpenter
  5. Kanaan
  6. Palou
  7. Hunter-reay
  8. Castroneves
  9. Ericsson
  10. Rossi
  11. Jones
  12. O’Ward
  13. Fittipaldi
  14. Rosenqvist
  15. Sato
  16. Hinchcliffe
  17. McLaughlin
  18. Rahal
  19. Daly
  20. Harvey
  21. Newgarden
  22. Hildebrand
  23. Ferrucci
  24. Montoya
  25. Andretti
  26. Pagenayd
  27. Bourdais
  28.  Wilson
  29. Chilton
  30. Kellet
  31. Karam
  32. Power
  33. de Silvestro

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing: The Indianapolis 500 Preview

It’s here. The ‘Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ is just around the corner as the eyes of the world descend on Indianapolis. A race that is etched into motorsport folklore with unbridled, full-throttle, commitment, and speed. We are, of course, talking about the Indy 500!

May is an incredible month of racing with the Monaco GP on May 23 before Indy 500 on May 30, although the latter is more like a two-week event as practice and qualifying start the week before the intense 500-mile, 200-lap race.

In fact, qualifying is set to take place across both Saturday and Sunday, beginning with the general shootout with the ‘Fast Six’ on the final day.

We also return to some form of normality, with the Indy 500 returning to its rightful place at the end of May – following last year’s postponed event that took place in the middle of August. Unlike last year, we will also have spectators with 135,000 in attendance, a whopping 40% capacity!


This season truly has been one to remember. The 2021 campaign has had five race winners in five races with three of those being first-time winners in Alex Palou, Patricio O’Ward, and Rinus VeeKay.

Current championship leader Scott Dixon and Colton Herta won the other two races and the six-time champion will indeed be pushing for his second Indy 500 win having last achieved it in 2008.

The last seven winners are all present this year including Tony Kanaan, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Alexander Rossi, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Juan Pablo Montoya, and defending 500′ winner Takuma Sato. Both Sato and Montoya head into this race seeking an incredible third win which would put them tied fourth on the all-time winners list alongside the likes of Bobby Unser and Dario Franchetti.

Three-time winner Helio Castroneves also returns to the Brickyard. A win would put him tied first on the all-time list alongside A.J.Foyt, Al Unser Jr, and Rick Mears.

While the veterans of the sport all bring swathes of experience to the event, it’s the younger drivers who will certainly share the spotlight.

Rinus VeeKay won last time out at the IMS in a spectacular display of racecraft, cutting his way through the field to beat pole-sitter, Romain Grosjean, to the chequered flag. Last year, the Dutchman qualified inside the ‘Fast Six’ on his first attempt at the Brickyard, setting one of the fastest speeds ever seen at the 500′ in the process.

Scott Dixon followed by Alex Palou. 500 Practice. Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens.

Alongside him in last year’s Fast Six’ was Alex Palou, who likely caught the attention of his current outfit Chip Ganassi with his performance that weekend. Heading into this weekend second in the championship, Palou has an incredible opportunity to capitalise on the double points on offer.

Graham Rahal was one of the fastest in the pre-season test at the Brickyard and showed a similar pace in this week’s practice. The American driver has shown some incredible pace this year putting in two top-five finishes at the double-header in Texas.

There really are contenders everywhere you look. With Patricio O’Ward. Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden, Jack Harvey, Conor Daly, and Scott McLaughlin also looking incredibly sharp coming into qualifying.


As ever, we welcome a host of fresh faces to the 500′. Among these are rookies Pietro Fittipaldi and RC Enerson and veterans Pablo Montoya, Tony Kanaan, Santino Ferucci, Stefan Wilson, Ed Carpenter, and JR Hildebrand.

Marco Andretti returns with Andretti. He was last year’s pole-sitter and will be looking to repeat that feat this weekend.

Simona De Silvestro. Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens.

Simona De Silvestro also makes her Indy 500 comeback with the all-female Paretta Autosport outfit. This marks De Silvestro’s first run since the 2015 edition of the race.  The Swiss driver has made hints that she could make further IndyCar outings with Paretta in the future.

Both Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson will not be taking part this weekend with both set to return at the Detriot GP.


So far in practice, there doesn’t seem to be an overall advantage in what is set to be an incredibly competitive battle. Will Power with Penske Chevrolet topped Tuesday practice while Scott Dixon’s Chip Ganassi Honda topped Wednesday.

Honda, and Chevy have three wins apiece in six attempts. While the only oval comparison we can make this year at Texas was slightly skewed due to qualifying being canceled with the championship standings used to set the grid for the race. Both races were one by an Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet and Chip Ganassi Honda.

This race truly could be anyones for the taking.


Thursday, May 20
5-11pm (BST): Indy 500 Practice

Friday, May 21
5-11:00pm (BST): Indy 500 Practice

Saturday, May 22
6-7:00pm (BST): Indy 500 Qualifying

Sunday, May 23
6-7.30pm (BST): Last Chance Qualifying
7.30-9.30pm (BST): Fast Nine Qualifying

Friday, May 28                                                                                                                                       3-5:00pm (BST): Final indy 500 Practice

Sunday, May 30                                                                                                                      4:30/4:45 (BST): Indy 500 Race Start







Rinus VeeKay becomes IndyCar’s third first-time winner in 2021. Romain Grosjean takes maiden podium at GMR Grand Prix.

A miraculous display of race-craft saw Rinus VeeKay take his first IndyCar career victory at the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He crossed the line five seconds ahead of pole-sitter Romain Grosjean who also was in contention for his first win in the series.

The 20-year-old Dutchman became the fifth winner in five IndyCar races, three of those all being first-time winners in 2021. The win also saw Ed Carpenter Racing in victory lane for the first time since Iowa 2016, won by two-time champion Josef Newgarden

VeeKay becomes the fourth winner 24 or younger to win in 2021 alongside Colton Herta, Patricio O’Ward, and Alex Palou in what seems like a significant changing of the guard.

Romain Grosjean takes 2nd at the GMR Grand Prix. Photo Courtesy of Joe Skibinski.

Romain Grosjean led off the start, building a four-second gap on closest rival Jack Harvey in second.  The Frenchman spent 44 laps in the lead but came undone after the second pit stop window. VeeKay, who had managed to undercut Grosjean by seven laps sliced his way through the field pulling off a marvelous three-wide overtake on Jimmie Johnson and Alex Palou in the process.

Meanwhile, Grosjean lost time against the backmarker of Takuma Sato who tried his best to keep himself on the lead-lap. After Grosjean emerged from the pits VeeKay was under a second behind and eventually pulled off the overtake on Lap 49. Stringing together three incredible stints on the red soft compound tyres, VeeKay never looked back, claiming his first career victory, the first Dutchman to do so since Robert Doornbos in Canada 2007.

This also marks Romain Grosjean’s first podium since the 2015 Belgium Grand Prix in what is a miraculous comeback after his near-fatal crash at Bahrain.

Alex Palou at the GMR Grand Prix. Photo Courtesy of Matt Fraver.

Alex Palou continues his strong form bringing home his second podium of the season. After O’Ward’s 15th place finish, the young Spaniard retakes second place in the points standings.

Newgarden did well to recover after losing his place off the start to Britain’s Jack Harvey. The American diced with Palou for the majority of the race, but it well could have been a slow pit-stop which resulted in him taking home fourth, in what is now four out of four races finishing in the top-six. Since retiring in the first race of the season at Barber, he has recovered to third in the points standings.

It was a superb display of strategy which saw Graham Rahal take home fifth place. After getting caught up in a first-lap melee involving Conor Daly, the Rahal Letterman driver made a stop under caution, opting for a two-stop strategy.

Simon Pagenaud led a largely anonymous race, but the speed of his Penske helped move him up the order from tenth to sixth at the end of the race.

Alexander Rossi had to get his elbows out and deal with potential engine issues to move from 14th on the grid to cross the line in seventh ahead of rookie Scott McLaughlin who picked up another top ten finish.

Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson climbed up from their disappointing qualifying positions to round out the top ten.

O’Ward tried to follow Scott Dixon with an early pit stop on Lap Four under caution. But the Arrow McLaren SP driver returned to the pits after struggling on that compound, ruining his race and finishing in 15th.

Britain’s Jack Harvey fell out of contention for the win after stalling during a slow pit stop. After coming out of the pits he suffered what seemed to be a puncture and had to return to the pits immediately, dropping him to twenty third.

However, it is still Scott Dixon who leaves as championship leader going into the Indianapolis 500 at the end of May.


Romain Grosjean defies the odds to take first career IndyCar pole at IMS

Romain Grosjean defied all odds to take his first career IndyCar pole position at the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The rookie edged out two-time champion Josef Newgarden in only his third weekend with Dayle Coyne Racing. This marks the Frenchman’s first single-seater pole since his GP2 days in 2011.

It is also the first pole position for Dayle Coyne Racing since 2018, when compatriot Sebastian Bourdais topped qualifying in Pheonix.

Penske’s Newgarden lost out by only 0.128s but starts in a promising position for the race tomorrow.  Seven out of the last eight here have been won by Penske, will they add to that tally?

GMR Grand Prix, Scott McLaughlin. Photo Courtesy of Joe Skibinski.

Scott McLaughlin was arguably just as impressive, sneaking into the Fast Six for the first time in his career and starting in fifth position after his incredible weekend at Texas Motor Speedway behind Meyer Shank’s Jack Harvey in third and Chip Ganassi’s Alex Palou in fourth. Ed Carpenter’s Conor Daly rounded out the Fast Six.

Grosjean only just barely made it through Round two, following a surprise exit from Indianapolis Road Course expert Will Power. The Australian spun on the penultimate corner and was prevented from restarting with a clutch issue. He had previously made it into the Fast Six on eight of the last nine attempts at this circuit. The four-time IMS winner will have some work to do starting tomorrow’s race in twelfth.

Colton Herta, who today signed a new multi-year contract extension with Andretti Autosport, missed out on the Fast Six in seventh, while Rinus VeeKay starts just behind in eighth.

Ed Jones made it two Dayle Coyne Racing cars in the Top Ten, outpacing Penske’s Simon Pagenaud in tenth, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal eleventh.

GMR Grand Prix. O’Ward. Photo Courtesy of Joe Skibinski,

Free Practice pace-setter Alexander Rossi will start fourteenth after just missing out on Round Two, ahead of reigning champion Scott Dixon, who starts two places further back in a disappointing sixteenth. Second-place driver in the championship, Pato O’Ward starts a further two places back 18th.

Jimmie Johnson was slowest in his qualifying group but will start twenty-third ahead of Dalton Kellett and IndyCar returnee Arrow McLaren SP’s Juan Pablo Montoya, who had his two quickest laps deleted for holding up  Alex Palou.


  1. Grosjean
  2. Newgarden
  3. Harvey
  4. Palou
  5. McLaughlin
  6. Daly
  7. Herta
  8. VeeKay
  9. Jones
  10. Pagenaud
  11. Rahal
  12. Power
  13. Rosenqvist
  14. Rossi
  15. Ericsson
  16. Dixon
  17. Sato
  18. O’Ward
  19. Hunter-Reau
  20. Bourdais
  21. Kimball
  22. Hinchcliffe
  23. Johnson
  24. Kellett
  25. Montoya

A Changing of the Guard? The GMR IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis Preview

IndyCar will take to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course this weekend for the GMR Grand Prix.

This year, we roll into Indianapolis with four different race winners in as many races with others hot-on-the heels, ready to take snatch victories if the opportunity presents itself.

Scott Dixon comes into this race as points leader with a 22 point margin over nearest rival Patricio O’Ward. He is also last year’s Indianapolis GP winner and will be coming into this weekend with plenty of confidence – confidence that has seen him finish inside the top five in every outing this season.

But for once – it isn’t the highly-rated New Zealander that has got everyone talking.

Changing of the Guard?

Patricio O’Ward won last time out at Texas, taking his long-overdue maiden IndyCar win by beating six-time world champion Scott Dixon. The win, which had been ‘on-the-cards’ for over a year was one of many other success stories across the paddock. Among those are a range of drivers under the age of 25 including Alex Palou who won at Barber while Colton Herta took victory at St. Petersburg. Also, who could forget Rinus VeeKay who is consistently putting in strong performances with the Ed Carpenter Racing outfit?

This isn’t to say that the proverbial ‘old-guard’ are not up to the job. The likes of Scott Dixon, Will Power, and Simon Pagenaud are still serious competition while Josef Newgarden may be mistaken as a younger driver, even he is into his 30’s.

O’Ward currently sits second in the drivers’ championship. Photo Courtesy of James Black.

But while the young guns have shown glimpses of brilliance over the past few seasons, now they are consistently challenging at the front of the field. Pato’s win was something of a ‘monkey on his shoulders’ and will certainly give him the confidence that he belongs at the sharp end. If Arrow McLaren SP can deliver a title-challenging car, you better believe Pato will be a factor in most races.

Alex Palou holds one of the coveted spots at Chip Ganassi Racing and is certainly viewed as the team’s future. This at least ensures the Spaniard has the backing and resources to be a major contender for years. But the fact that he is putting in results in his first season with the team was perhaps beyond most peoples’ expectations.

Rinus VeeKay has made it no secret that top-teams have already been in contact but felt another year with Ed Carpenter would be best for his development in the series. The most likely of destinations for the Dutchman would be either Andretti Autosport or Chip Ganassi to replace Jimmie Johnsons’ part-time no. 48 entry. Wherever his destiny lies his future looks bright and will be a title contender in the next few years.

Interestingly, a third of the available spots on all podiums this year have been filled by these drivers, a significant change on past seasons. Considering  Herta and VeeKay’s past success at Indianapolis – I expect them to be a factor once again this weekend at the GMR Grand Prix.

Can Penske Strike Back?

We return to a track where not only Roger Penske himself owns, but where his team has dominated in recent years. Will Power and Simon Pagenaud have stolen the spoils every year between 2015 and 2019. In addition, all excluding 2019 have been won from pole position by the winning Penske driver.

Josef Newgarden wins at the Harvest GP ’20. Photo Courtesy of Doug Matthews.

IndyCar’s last visit to the Road Course was for October’s Harvest GP doubleheader which Penske won on both times of asking – Josef Newgarden followed by Will Power from pole the next day. With five of the last nine IMS road races won from the front row, Friday’s qualifying will prove that much more important.

Newgarden is the highest placed Penske in the drivers’ championship in fourth. By their standards, they will be hoping to change that by the end of this weekend. His unfortunate start to the season at Barber has been something of a blip, finishing consistently in the top-six on every occasion since.

His teammate Will Power by contrast had his turn of misfortunate at the Texas Motor Speedway, slipping down the order and out of contention in both races. Ninth place in the championship is not good enough for the former IndyCar champion and will be looking to capitalise on his winning experience around this circuit.

The GMR Grand Prix will take place on Saturday afternoon in a condensed two-day weekend.

Friday 14th May will play host to qualifying at 21:30 (BST) while the race will get underway on Saturday 15th May at approximately 19:00 (BST).

O’Ward Seizes Long-Overdue First IndyCar Win at the Texas XPEL 375

Sunday saw Arrow McLaren SP’s Patricio O’Ward clinch victory at the Texas Motor Speedway, his first IndyCar win – and with it, a chance to drive at the F1 Young Drivers Test in Abu Dhabi.

O’Ward had been in incredible form all weekend, coming off the back of a podium at the Genesys300. With 50 laps to go, O’Ward looked set to take the lead of the race when teammate Felix Rosenqvist brought out the final caution following a pitstop in which his right rear tyre failed to attach.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens. Josef Newgarden. Texas.

However, Josef Newgarden could not have timed the undercut better. He was in pit-road as the caution was brought out and emerged ahead of  Scott Dixon, Graham Rahal, and O’Ward who had been battling all evening.

On the restart, Newgarden made it past Takuma Sato who was still yet to pit, however so too did his nearest rivals. Behind them, O’Ward made quick work of Graham Rahal to move up to second.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens. O’Ward. Texas.

Newgarden failed to pull away from the attacking group and came under relentless pressure but it was with 20 Laps to go where the race was won. O’Ward, with steely determination, kept the accelerator planted into Turn 3 and seized the lead of the race.

O’Ward, who prior to this had come second on three occasions, finally broke the duck as he charged on to take the chequered flag, 1.5s ahead of Josef Newgarden.

Pato becomes the first Mexican to win in the American series since Adrian Fernandez at the Auto Club Speedway, 2004. Additionally, this marks McLaren’s first win since their return to IndyCar and the first since Johnny Rutherford at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1979.

As an extra reward, McLaren CEO Zak Brown will give O’Ward an opportunity to drive for the McLaren F1 Team at the post-season, Abu Dhabi Young Drivers Test.

Graham Rahal had been in the mix all race pulling off some audacious moves and benefitting massively during the earlier caution brought on by Meyer Shank driver Jack Harvey. Havey had been running in the top five, even overtaking IndyCar champion Will Power in the process until a wheel-bearing failure forced the car into the pits – leaving oil all over the road.

Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens. Dixon leads Power, Rahal. Texas,

Rahal and Power, who had pitted earlier were able to jump a number of cars – including Newgarden – as the field collectively pitted under yellow.  The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver found himself in fifth. Despite both drivers being taken by O’Ward on the restart, Rahal fought bravely against Scott Dixon who had led from pole.

During the final pit stop and caution which was brought out by Felix Rosenqvist, Dixon held on to his advantage over Rahal. But back on track Rahal eventually cleared the Genesys300 winner to take his first podium of the season.

Colton Herta had a brilliant race – starting way down the field after an unfortunate brake issue forced him to retire from the Genesys300. Herta made great use of the undercut pulling off a great move on Simon Pagenaud to take fifth.

Alex Palou, who had started on the front row lost a lot of position after Jack Harvey’s caution. Like yesterday, the Spaniard never looked like he was going to trouble his six-time champion teammate. Despite finishing in seventh, it rounds off a decent weekend for the Barber Motorsport Park winner who finished inside the top ten in both races.

Scott McLaughlin followed up his maiden podium with an eighth-place, well ahead of Rinus VeeKay and Ryan Hunter-Reay, who rounded out the top-10.

Power had been in the battle at the front, but having dropped back slightly by the time of the final restart, but came off worst in the three-wide battle as Herta passed Pagenaud.

The Australian was pushed wide onto the high side and crucially – into the slippery ‘PJ1’ section. The Penske driver veered uncontrollably wide, hitting the barrier and finished down in 13th behind Ed Carpenter and Marcus Ericsson.

Takuma Sato, who decided to try the overcut came up short. After briefly leading after the final pit stops he eventually would eventually fall down to 14th

Photo Courtesy of Chris Owens. First Lap Crash. Texas.

However, the most dramatic moment of the race came during Lap 1 in the form of a horrendous seven-car pile-up. As the field concertinaed, Pietro Fittipaldi was caught out by the late braking of AJ Foyt’s Sebastien Bourdais. His Dayle Coyne entry sent both drivers into a spin collecting: Ed Jones, Alexander Rossi,  Dalton Kellett, Tony Kanaan, and Conor Daly in the process. Daly found himself upside down in a scary moment for the Carlin driver but was left relatively unscathed.

Scott Dixon leaves Texas with the lead of the championship while Patricio O’Ward sits 22 points behind. Alex Palou has slipped to third while Newgarden continues his relentless charge up to fourth.

IndyCar gets back underway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the 15th May for the GMR Grand Prix.






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