Mexico City ePrix: Jake Dennis Takes a Dominant Victory
Avalanche Andretti’s Jake Dennis took the maiden win of the Gen3 era and Season 9 in Mexico City after a dominant performance.
At the start of the race, it was a clean getaway for all drivers. However, Robin Frijns hit the back of Norman Nato on lap 1 and had to stop the car on track. This brought out the first of three safety cars.
On lap 6, the safety car came in but Sam Bird suffered a mechanical failure and had to retire at turn 2. This brought out the safety car for a second time. From lap 9, the safety car and all remaining cars went through the pits due to where Bird’s car was stopped.
The second safety car entered the pits for racing to resume on lap 10 and Di Grassi held the lead from Dennis and Hughes. Lap 12 had a big surprise where Jake Dennis took the lead from Di Grassi and he built a healthy lead early on. He would build this lead over the course of the race and keep this lead for the rest of the race.
Lap 13 saw Dan Ticktum received a drive through penalty for overpower. That brought him down to last place. From lap 17, there was a fight for P2 between Di Grassi, Hughes, Wehrlein and Lotterer. Lap 18 saw Mortara crash into the turn 1 barrier and bring out the safety car for a third time.
We went green flag racing on lap 21 after the third safety car. Hughes held onto P3 while trying to catch up to Di Grassi in P2. Lap 25 saw Andre Lotterer make a mistake and go deep into corners 5 and 6. Lap 26 then saw both Di Grassi and Hughes take their second attack mode which saw Wehlein take P3 from Hughes. Wehrlein also took P2 from Di Grassi on lap 29.
Towards the end of the race, Lotterer was able to pressure Hughes for P5. A yellow flag appeared in the latter stages of the race due to debris and Vergne continued the race with no front wing. Rene Rast had to retire from the race in the latter stages of the race. On the last lap of the race, Lotterer attacked Hughes for P5 into turn 3 but Hughes just managed to keep it. Lotterer eventually made the pass for P4 and kept it as they went across the line.
Formula E returns with a double header in Saudi Arabia in 2 weeks time for the Diriyah E Prix.
A tense qualifying session for the first race of the 9th season of Formula E saw Di Grassi take pole in Mexico City! Here is how it all played out.
The first Qualifying Session in Formula E got underway with Group A going out first. At the half way point of Group A, Lotterer, Di Grassi, Buemi and Guenther were all in the top 4. Rast, Sette Camara, Da Costa, Vergne Frijns, Fenestraz and Bird all needed to improve.
Lotterer, Di Grassi, Buemi and Fenestraz all went through to the duels.
Knocked Out in Group A:
Da Costa, Vergne, Sette Camara, Rast, Guenther, Frijns and Bird.
In Group B, the remaining 12 drivers headed out to the track to try and get in to the finals. At the half way point, Ticktum, Hughes, Mortara and Wehrlein were all through with Evans, Cassidy, Vandoorne, Rowland, Dennis, Muller and Nato all needing to improve in order to get through.
Dennis, Ticktum, Wehrlein, Hughes are all make it through to the duels.
In the first Quarter Finals it was Lucas Di Grassi bs Sebastian Buemi. Di Grassi headed out first. Buemi had an early lead by 0.085 and increased it by 0.163 at the midway point. Di Grassi started to catch Buemi towards the end but Buemi lost time in the final sector and Di Grassi got through by 0.019!
In the second Quarter Final it was Sacha Fenestraz and Andre Lotterer. Fenestraz went out first and Fenestraz had a very healthy lead by 0.25 but Lotterer was catching him. Lotterer got ahead of him and beat Fenestraz by 0.04 of a second!
In the third Quarter Final it was Jake Hughes and Dan Ticktum. Hughes went out first and had an early lead over Ticktum. Ticktum started to catch him but Hughes beat Ticktum by 0.134!
In the fourth Quarter Final it was Pascal Wehrlein and Jake Dennis. Wehrlein went out first but Dennis got an early lead. He then built it to over 4 tenths but he got through by only 0.02!
Knocked Out in Quarter Finals:
Buemi, Fenestraz, Ticktum, and Wehrlein.
In the first semi finals it was Andre Lotterer and Lucas Di Grassi. Lotterer went wide on the middle of the lap and that put Di Grassi over 1.5 seconds ahead of him. Di Grassi went though to the final after that error from Lotterer.
In the second semi final it was Jake Dennis and Jake Hughes. Jake Dennis went our first but Hughes got the jump on Dennis. Dennis quickly got some more time and started to catch. Jake Hughes had some slides in the final moments of the lap so Dennis got through to the final.
Knocked Out in Semi Finals:
Hughes and Lotterer
In the final it was Lucas Di Grassi and Jake Dennis. Di Grassi went out first Di Grassi got an early lead and Dennis had 2 errors early on the lap. This lead Di Grassi to win the final!
Did you expect Lucas Di Grassi to take pole position in his first race with Mahindra? Do you think he can maintain pole to take the first win of the season?
Will Power ran an intelligent race allowing title rival and teammate Josef Newgarden past on lap 46, settling for third place in the race to ensure locking up the championship by 16 points while Álex Palou stormed out to a 30 second lead over Newgarden by the end to win the Firestone Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Will Power led the opening 14 laps before a roulette of strategies began playing out on pit road. Palou took the lead away from Power on lap 27 while Newgarden squeezed past Power for second heading into the corkscrew on lap 46.
In the closing stages a train of cars threatened to undo Power’s championship hopes with Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist leading it but Power held on and created enough distance to ward off any threat and take the last spot on the podium and earn his second IndyCar championship.
Power post-race said: “I just knew I had to absolutely get the most out of those stints and not lose any more positions.”
The 41-year-old Australian won just one race this season, that being the final Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle compared with championship runner up Josef Newgarden’s five wins but his 12 top-five finishes, being three more than any other driver, bolstered him to his second NTT IndyCar Series championship, giving Team Penske their 17th IndyCar championship.
Power speaking to NBC said: “I had to drive the thing today. It was on the edge, very loose. Man, what a relief. What a relief to get that done.”
Will Power won his first championship in 2014 also with Team Penske.
Newgarden did nearly all he could to steal the championship away from Power on the final weekend but a crash in qualifying saw him start 25th compared to Power taking his 68th pole position, gaining a bonus championship point, and surpassing Mario Andretti’s record for all-time poles.
Newgarden started off aggressive gaining five positions on the opening lap before going long and switching to the softer red tyre that saw him move all the way up to seventh by lap 34. On pit strategy, Newgarden briefly took the lead for a few laps on lap 69 when Palou pitted but could not match Palou’s overall pace.
Post-race Newgarden said: “Even yesterday, with the heartache there, we came back, we fought, and we nearly got there. I’m proud of the effort. We’re going to come back stronger next year.”
Palou had blistering pace all race long but narrowly escaped trouble when leaving his pit box on his second stop as he scraped the rear of Rosenqvist’s car as he left his pit box.
IndyCar, despite it appearing to be an unsafe release, declared no action would be taken. This otherwise would have led to a penalty that could have unraveled Palou’s race. He had already overcome a six-place grid penalty for an unapproved engine change that saw him start the race 11th.
Apart from making contact with Rosenqvist on pit road, Palou seem unfazed that he was still being sued by his own team owner, unsure where he will be racing next year.
Palou had a 20 second lead over Newgarden with 20 laps to go and led 67 of the 95 laps in total to earn his fourth career win and first win of the season for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Palou said: “Today was awesome. Strategy was on point. It’s good to finish a season with a win. We had some power there and good fuel mileage.”
Palou’s and Power’s teammates and remaining championship contenders did not appear to have anything for them and Newgarden.
Dixon and Ericsson struggled to keep from dropping out of the top 15 and attempted to work their way up the order by going off strategy but Dixon found himself down in 23rd after pitting while Ericsson came out 15th just past the 30 lap mark.
The same can be said for Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin as he found himself in 20th after pitting on lap 53 while Dixon was 24th.
Their strategy and pace did come to some fruition as McLaughlin, Ericsson, and Dixon found themselves nose to tail by lap 63 with McLaughlin playing defence for his Penske teammates up front.
By the end, McLaughlin impressively worked all his way up to finish sixth but not before having multiple scraps with Ericsson that saw the Swede take to the sand on multiple occasions. Ericsson also made an incredible save in the corkscrew after contact with Colton Herta. Ericsson finished ninth while Dixon finished 13th.
Dixon, McLaughlin, and Ericsson would finish third, fourth, and sixth respectively in the championship.
Dixon will have to wait to another year to attempt to become a seven-time IndyCar champion tying A.J. Foyt for the most championships, while McLaughlin has excelled in just his second season with three wins this year while Marcus Ericsson won this year’s Indianapolis 500, an outstanding achievement that has changed his life forever.
Away from the championship battle, it was a bittersweet day for British rookie Callum Ilott who had qualified second for the race and for the opening laps held his position. He was still running inside the top 10 after the first stint but as he was leaving the pit exit he a mechanical failure and stopped just past the Andretti hairpin, ending his day and brought out the only full course yellow of the race on lap 39.
It would be Denmark’s Christian Lundgaard who would be the highest finishing rookie in fifth. Lundgaard also wins the Rookie Of The Year competition finishing on 323 points, beating David Malukas by 18 points who finished 13th in the race.
Jimmie Johnson had a breakout day for his IndyCar road course programme being competitive all race-long, including making aggressive passes in the corkscrew and would finish 16th.
Full race results: 1st Álex Palou, 2nd Josef Newgarden, 3rd Will Power, 4th Felix Rosenqvist, 5th Christian Lundgaard, 6th Scott McLaughlin, 7th Romain Grosjean, 8th Pato O’Ward, 9th Marcus Ericsson, 10th Alexander Rossi, 11th Colton Herta, 12th Scott Dixon, 13th David Malukas, 14th Rinus VeeKay, 15th Devlin DeFrancesco, 16th Jimmie Johnson, 17th Simon Pagenaud, 18th Graham Rahal, 19th Helio Castroneves, 20th Jack Harvey, 21st Kyle Kirkwood, 22nd Simona de Silvestro, 23rd Takuma Sato, 24th Conor Daly, 25th Dalton Kellett, 26th Callum Ilott.
Top 10 in championship standings: 1st Will Power (560), 2nd Josef Newgarden (544), 3rd Scott Dixon (521), 4th Scott McLaughlin (510), 5th Álex Palou (510), 6th Marcus Ericsson (506), 7th Pato O’Ward (480), 8th Felix Rosenqvist (393), 9th Alexander Rossi (381), 10th Colton Herta (381).
Featured Image: Will Power and his No. 12 Team Penske celebrating the championship title with the Astor Cup trophy (Photo by Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment
Will Power put his Team Penske Verizon Chevrolet on pole in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, tying Mario Andretti for most all-time IndyCar poles with 67.
With a two-lap average of 182.727 he cleared his championship rivals and Team Penske teammates for the top spot for Saturday’s Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at World Wide Technology Raceway and secured his fourth pole of the season.
Power received the complementary bonus point for securing pole, giving him a now seven point championship lead over Scott Dixon with just three race remaining.
Speaking to NBC Power said: “This is a big victory for me, to reach the 67 number and equal such a legend of the sport in Mario Andretti. I just can’t believe that I’m right there with Mario because there’s been no one like him.”
It could very well have been Power’s teammate Josef Newgarden who would have taken his second pole of the season but a mistake in turns three and four on lap one causing him to downshift, meant he had to settle for only third with a two-lap average of 181.629.
On the radio Newgarden said, “I goofed the first one” and later said to NBC “I wish I could have a redo.”
Joining Power on the front row is 2022 Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson who also broke the 182mph mark with a 182.070 two-lap average after using all of the race track to do it.
Power’s other teammate Scott McLaughlin qualified fourth. Ericsson’s teammates Palou and Dixon qualified fifth and sixth respectively.
It proved to be a frustrating qualifying for Arrow McLaren SP with Felix Rosenqvist spinning out on his qualifying attempt while Pato O’Ward felt he was too conservate on his.
Rosenqvist spun coming out of turn two on lap one in an effort to keep his car off the wall, and ended up tagging the inside tyre barrier before coming to a stop.
O’Ward qualified seventh with is first lap holding him back to a two-lap average of 180.303.
Takuma Sato impressively qualified eighth after the 2019 winner of the race, used up all of the race track saying he “had to pedal it” due to experiencing oversteer.
Romain Grosjean was the best of the Andretti Autosport cars qualifying ninth, continuing his good record at the track after a strong IndyCar oval debut at WWT Raceway last year.
Grosjean however has to take a nine-place grid penalty for Saturday’s race due to an unapproved engine change and will consequently start 18th.
Andretti teammate Devlin DeFrancesco left off from where he did in practice and qualified 10th. Alexander Rossi qualified 11th. The last of the Andretti crew Colton Herta, had to contend with a wiggle in turns three and four on his qualifying run, resulting in a 12th starting spot.
The Ed Carpenter Racing cars were uncharacteristically slow, with Conor Daly, Rinus VeeKay and Ed Carpenter qualifying 16th, 23rd and 25th respectively with Carpenter saying he was not happy with the setup of the car.
Jimmie Johnson only managed 21st after putting it down to needing more track time since he had not raced at the track since 2002 in the NASCAR Xfinity series, whereas at Texas and Iowa he had more experience and time to adjust to the track.
Full qualifying results: 1st Will Power, 2nd Marcus Ericsson, 3rd Josef Newgarden, 4th Scott McLaughlin, 5th Álex Palou, 6th Scott Dixon, 7th Pato O’Ward, 8th Takuma Sato, 9th Romain Grosjean, 10th Devlin DeFrancesco, 11th Alexander Rossi, 12th Colton Herta, 13th David Malukas, 14th Simon Pagenaud, 15th Jack Harvey, 16th Conor Daly, 17th Graham Rahal, 18th Hélio Castroneves, 19th Christian Lundgaard, 20th Kyle Kirkwood, 21st Jimmie Johnson, 22nd Callum Ilott, 23rd Rinus VeeKay, 24th Dalton Kellett, 25th Ed Carpenter, 26th Felix Rosenqvist.
Will Power and Marcus Ericsson will lead the field to green for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at WWT Raceway flies Saturday at 6pm ET.
Featured Image: Will Power celebrates earning the P1 Pole Award with his crew (Photo by Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment)
Stoffel Vandoorne claimed his first Formula E title at the finale staged in South Korea’s capital Seoul this weekend. The Belgian scooped another podium to cement victory, with Mercedes also claiming the spoils in the constructor’s championship, a perfect swan song for the departing manufacturer. The Mercedes man held off a late charge from title rival Mitch Evans who won the race yesterday to take the championship as the curtain fell on the Gen 2 era. Vandoorne started the race from P4, with Evans in an insurmountable P15, but it was Edo Mortara who claimed victory in the final race of the Gen 2 era, a stark difference to the day before where his Venturi stopped on track. Jake Dennis continued his incredible form and shrugged off a five second time penalty to round out the podium.
Da Costa took a dominant pole position, the departing Techeetah man looking impressive through qualifying. He made light work of Robin Frijns in the opening duel but Dennis was a more difficult challenge, the Portuguese man scoring a place in the final by a mere two tenths. Mortara, another dominant force throughout the new qualifying format had to settle for lining up in second position as Da Costa delivered an all but perfect pole lap, a fitting end to this generation as the Portuguese driver was the first to secure a pole position in the Gen 2 era. London ePrix winner Dennis also looked impressive in qualifying, but he just fell short having to settle for P3. Behind Vandoorne, Frijns and Lucas di Grassi rounded out the top six. Evans struggled as the clock ticked down and a brief impact with the wall left the Kiwi out of the duels as Dan Ticktum surged up the rankings at the last moment in a surprise inclusion, Nio’s first appearance in the duels. The Brit started the race in a respectable seventh position.
Da Costa held the lead at the start of the race, however, he soon came under pressure from Mortara. The Venturi man, hungry to shrug off the disappointment of his race ending from mechanical failure the previous day, surged past Da Costa on the third lap and after that, he never looked back. Mortara continued to manage his energy to seal victory in Formula E’s 100th race – fittingly, Mortara also won the 50th race of the electric series. On the other side of the garage, it was a race to forget for London podium winner Di Grassi as he was forced out of a points-paying position due to a puncture which all but handed victory in the team’s championship to Mercedes for the second year running. Former world champion Nyck de Vries was also forced out early on after a tangle with Pascal Wehrlein put both of them out of the race.
As the time ticked down, the leaders settled into a rhythm until the dying stages when Max Gunther’s Nissan stopped on track, forcing a late safety car. However, despite the squeeze, Mortara held firm against the pressure whilst Dennis and Da Costa tangled together, which sent the Portuguese driver to the back of the pack after he was forced wide. The incident handed Dennis a five second time penalty, with the Brit looking like he would lose his hard fought podium, but the Brit managed to hold off Robin Frijns, who rounded out the season in P4. Oliver Askew had a relatively quiet race, finishing in P5 ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne. Title hopeful Evans could only manage P7, with Nick Cassidy getting a few points to add to his tally in P8. Sebastien Buemi monopolised on other’s failure taking P9 and Da Costa rounded out the top ten, taking the final point.
Alexander Rossi led the second half of the Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, after race leader and teammate Colton Herta had to retire the car on lap 42 after losing power, to go on to end his 49 race winless streak and win the Gallagher Grand Prix.
Rossi started the race on the front row alongside polesitter Felix Rosenqvist but just eight laps into the grand prix saw Herta move up from ninth place to take the lead away from Rosenqvist. Rossi would keep Herta honest for the first half of the race keeping the gap hovering around the two second mark.
Once Rossi inherited the lead he never looked back, maintaining a healthy four second gap to second place rookie Christian Lundgaard for most of the remainder of the race.
Rossi, who is joining Arrow McLaren SP in 2023 after seven seasons with Andretti Autosport, said in victory lane to NBC’s Dillon Welch, “It’s a relief man, I do feel for Colton, but I’m happy. There’s been so much belief for so long, it’s nice to finally accomplish it. It was the 27’s turn.”
Rossi led 44 of the 85 laps to claim his eighth win, last winning at Road America in June 2019. Rossi’s first win also came at the IMS when he won the 2016 Indy 500 in his rookie and first season with Andretti Autosport.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing rookie Christian Lundgaard had a career breakout race coming home second after qualifying sixth. After the first stint thirty laps in, Lundgaard had worked his way up to third behind Rossi where he would remain after Herta’s retirement, securing him the runner-up spot and his first ever podium finish.
Lundgaard’s best finish in IndyCar was eighth place in the Toronto GP last month and better’s his debut race which came at the IMS Road Course last year where he finished ninth after qualifying fourth. Lundgaard leads the rookie points battle and is also the highest finishing rookie this season.
After a wild and bumpy start, Will Power came home third and has taken over the championship lead from Marcus Ericsson by nine points. In turn two on the opening lap, Power got pushed into Pato O’Ward by Herta, sending O’Ward spinning in front of Power, forcing him to lose a bunch of places before a few laps later Castroneves would send it ambitiously down the middle of a sandwich in turn eight with Power on the outside and made contact with Power.
After plummeting down the order, Power would pit on lap five after a yellow had come out a for a stalled Dalton Kellett in turn seven where Power would get a fresh set of alternate red tyres and then would go long on them giving him the lead while others pitted until Power just pitted prior to another caution coming out on lap 35 for a stopped Pagenaud who ran out of fuel that saw him cycle through to fourth place.
Power would remain in third for the rest of the race following Herta’s retirement. Speaking to NBC, Power said: “You can never expect a normal day in IndyCar.”
Marcus Ericsson had been the championship leader going into the weekend but due to an engine issue in qualifying, Ericsson would start in 25th place. Ericsson’s race pace was strong enough to see him work his way through the field to come home to finish in a respectable ninth place.
The race itself saw the red alternate tyre be both the quicker and more durable tyre with all drivers ending up opting for the three stop strategy, and all using the primary black tyre for the shortest stint.
The rest of Team Penske would also have a strong day at the boss’s own race facility, with Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden coming home fourth and fifth after putting pressure on Power in the closing laps.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly had a strong start to the race running inside the top 10, but a stall and lengthy delay on pit road after the first stint saw Daly go to the back where he would only recover to a 17th place. His teammate Rinus VeeKay had good race pace and would finish 6th.
Castroneves would have more contact during the race and got sent to the back of the field for avoidable contact on lap 49 after spinning Kyle Kirkwood out when he got into his rear.
Race 14 of the NTT IndyCar Series is the Big Machine Music Grand Prix on the Nashville Street Course on 7th August. The green flag flies at 3pm ET.
UPDATE: Alexander Rossi was docked 20 points after it was found that the team had used the weight of a water bottle to make the car meet minimum weight in post-race inspection. Rossi would still hold onto the win.
Full race results: 1st Alexander Rossi, 2nd Christian Lundgaard, 3rd Will Power, 4th Scott McLaughlin, 5th Josef Newgarden, 6th Rinus VeeKay, 7th Graham Rahal, 8th Scott Dixon, 9th Felix Rosenqvist, 10th Álex Palou, 11th Marcus Ericsson, 12th Pato O’Ward, 13th David Malukas, 14th Callum Ilott, 15th Takuma Sato, 16th Romain Grosjean, 17th Conor Daly, 18th Devlin DeFrancesco, 19th Hélio Castroneves, 20th Jack Harvey, 21st Dalton Kellett, 22nd Jimmie Johnson, 23rd Kyle Kirkwood, 24th Colton Herta, 25th Simon Pagenaud.
Top 10 in points standings: 1st Will Power (431), 2nd Marcus Ericsson (422), 3rd Josef Newgarden (399), 4th Scott Dixon (393), 5th Pato O’Ward (385), 6th Álex Palou (379), 7th Scott McLaughlin (350), 8th Felix Rosenqvist (299), 9th Alexander Rossi (298), 10th Colton Herta (285).
Featured Image: Alexander Rossi celebrating Gallagher GP win in victory lane (Photo by Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment)
Jake Dennis delighted the crowds of his home race in Formula E, by winning the London ePrix for the second year running. The penultimate round was held in the streets of London on an outdoor and indoor track, the first of its kind in international motorsport competition. The Andretti man held his nerve against championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne, who extended his lead in the championship, capitalising on his rivals’ failure to reach the duels. Nyck de Vries held off a late charge from New York race winner Nick Cassidy to round out the top three. However, the Dutchman was slapped with a last-minute penalty for using more than one manouvre against Cassidy who demoted him to sixth position.
The hometown hero took his first pole position of the year, ahead of his closest rival Vandoorne by over a tenth. Vandoorne continued his impressive form to start in P2, a prime slot to extend his championship as rivals Mitch Evans and Edo Mortara’s campaigns faltered. Mercedes’ stronghold continued as Nyck de Vries held P3 ahead of Sergio Sette Camara. The Brazilian once again looked impressive during qualifying, progressing to the quarter-finals which earned him P4 on the starting grid. Lucas di Grassi was initially through to the duels, however, the Venturi driver had all his laps cancelled for impeding Evans during the session which promoted Max Gunther for his first outing in the new format. Gunther managed P6, with Oliver Askew slotting his Andretti into P5. Dennis led from the front, and the Andretti man looked unbothered by the pressure from the dual Mercedes attack behind him. He held the lead from the start and never really looked like relinquishing it. Vandoorne also had a relatively quiet race, the Belgian holding P2 comfortably for the duration of the race. Whilst the race leaders slipped away comfortably at the start, others were not so lucky. Sam Bird ended up in a tangle with Mortara on the opening lap, ending his race prematurely – whilst Mortara limped back to the pits with his championship hopes in tatters and his car damaged. Sette Camara looked impressive early on, managing to snatch away P3 in the opening stages as the battle for power within the Techeetah continued with tempers flaring between Antonio Felix da Costa and Jean-Eric Vergne. Da Costa was victorious in the battle as Vergne struggled, slipping down the order after contact with Sebastien Buemi, for which the Swiss driver was given a time penalty.
However, ultimately, London was a battle of strategy – Cassidy took his attack mode later in the race and pulled off an incredible late charge, which brought him into podium contention. There was late drama in the dying stages, as Cassidy began to close in on the Mercedes of de Vries, but the current world champion held firm before his demotion. Evans employed the same strategy, producing an incredible recovery drive to surge up the order to P5 after starting in P14. Energy management strategy didn’t work for everyone, however. Sette Camara, after an incredible performance in the opening stages, slipped down the order and out of his first points on the final lap. Da Costa claimed P7 whilst Gunther held on to finish P8. Di Grassi and Wehrlein rounded out the top ten.
The crowd will have plenty of things to cheer about as this is the home race for six drivers and Jamie Chadwick, Abbi Pulling, and Alice Powell are currently the top three in the championship. Chadwick will be hoping to have a record-breaking sixth consecutive win in W Series.
The previous race in Spain saw a great battle between the top 3, with all of them ending on the podium. With a crowd of over 400,000 people expected for the British GP, this type of action would be very popular around the high-speed circuit.
Last year, however, it was Alice Powell who dominated the weekend with pole position, fastest lap, and then taking the win. Abbi Pulling also had a great weekend in Silverstone last year, making her W Series debut in front of her home crowd and finishing a strong eighth position.
Fellow brits Sarah Moore, Abbie Eaton, and Jessica Hawkins will be looking to put on a good show at Silverstone. Moore will want to improve on her constancy, finishing the first three races inside the top 10, with the best position of 8th. Jessica Hawkins will want to duplicate her podium finish in Miami with another strong drive after failing to finish in the points in Spain.
Abbie Eaton is yet to score a point this season, so will want the power of the home crowd behind her to put in a solid drive and finish in the top 10 on Saturday’s race.
Qualifying on Friday starts at 6:25pm BST and the race on Saturday starts 1:25pm BST.
Josef Newgarden got ahead of polesitter Alexander Rossi in the first pit exchange on lap 16, partly due to Rossi getting held up by Newgarden’s teammate Scott McLaughlin as he came into his pit box as Rossi was attempting to leave. Newgarden then led the rest of the 55 lap race to win the Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America for the second time but and win the one million dollar PeopleReady Force for Good Challenge bonus, half of which would be going to Newgarden’s charities of choice.
It was not an assured victory though, as Rossi kept Newgarden honest throughout the stints until a five second gap had been made before pitting in what was a three-stop race for both drivers. In the final stint however Rossi had closed the gap to 2.8 seconds with eight to go.
Newgarden then had to manage two late race restarts after O’Ward’s engine failure and Castroneves’ 360 spin-and-stall brought out full course yellows. Newgarden’s last restart saw him get a big launch over Rossi and comfortably took the chequered flag for his third victory of the season.
Speaking to NBC’s Marty Snider in victory lane Newgarden said: “For me it’s just the best series in the world. I just love IndyCar.”
When Newgarden was asked about whether he feared he would lose the race on a late race restart like he did in 2017 and 2021 when Scott Dixon and Álex Palou won, Newgarden said he was focused on the road ahead and getting a good launch.
In just the first eight races in the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series championship, Newgarden has completed the PeopleReady Force for Good challenge by winning on each type of race track. To win the one million dollars, a driver had to win on a street course, an oval and a road course within the season.
Half of the money is being split between Newgarden’s two nominated charities, the SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags and Walks Nashville.
Alexander Rossi would end up finishing third as on the final restart, Rossi would not get as good a launch as he had previously and Marcus Ericsson, the 2022 Indy 500 winner, would charge by him on the front straightaway and clear him going into turn one with three laps to go. Ericsson was unable to chase Newgarden down for the win.
Ericsson had got ahead of Rossi briefly on lap 17 after jumping him in the pit cycle before Rossi got back of ahead of him for second after he dipped wheels on the grass in the turn seven to eight straight.
Ericsson retakes over the championship lead from Will Power after finishing second with a total of 293 points. The runner up position did not come without drama though for Ericsson, as on a lap four restart, Ericsson made contact with Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Palou in turn three. As he went to the inside and turned in, he made contact with Palou’s left front tyre, braking the toe link, forcing the defending race winner out of the race.
Speaking with NBC’s Kevin Lee, Ericsson said he was really sorry to Palou but it was a “nice racing move” and that “it was a really good race, p2, great day for the championship.”
Colton Herta would finish fifth, after running inside the top ten for nearly all of the race and coming through the field from 11th to 6th in the opening stint. With just over a lap to go, Herta had been all over the back of Rossi for third but slipped up in the final corners, allowing Romain Grosjean to get the run on him to take over fourth instead.
Will Power had a truly challenging race that began with Devlin DeFrancesco slamming into the back of him on lap eight as they headed towards turn three, spinning Power out and ended up losing his front wing as he hit the wall. Power was able to continue, and DeFrancesco received a stop-and-go penalty for the incident.
Power found himself at the back of the pack, and was only able to work his way up to a best of 18th before VeeKay shoved Power off in turn four with two laps to go, relegating him to 20th. Power came home 19th but only dropped one place in the championship, now 27 points behind Ericsson. Power maintained his more composed and mild-mannered approach to the 2022 season when NBC’s Marty Snider asked Power about DeFrancesco with Power saying: “he’s a young man.”
Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist would finish an impressive sixth after completing an alternative fuel-saving two stop strategy. Rosenqvist chose to pit early under the second caution of the day that came out on lap nine for Power’s crash, and then stretched his stint until pitting on lap 26 with Graham Rahal also doing the same. With caution laps at the ending stage of the race, and 91 seconds of push to pass, Rosenqvist was able to hold sixth to the checkered flag. Rahal would finish eighth.
Christian Lundgaard was the highest finishing rookie of the race in what proved to be a strong day for the Rahal Letterman Lanigan organization, with Rahal and Jack Harvey finishing 13th. The first half of the race saw Lundgaard gain several positions with good pace after starting 13th.
The start of the race like the end of the race saw multiple cautions, with Jimmie Johnson bringing out the first on the opening lap after Tatiana Calderón squeezed out Johnson on the run down to turn two as she came up behind her A.J. Foyt Racing teammate Dalton Kellett with Johnson spinning off into the grass. He was able to continue and finished 24th.
The Sonsio Grand Prix was the first IndyCar race since 2015 to have two female drivers in the field. Alongside Tatiana Calderón , was veteran IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro, who was doing her first of three races for this season. De Silvestro finished 21st and Calderón finished 25th.
The IndyCar series now takes leave for its summer break before returning on July 3rd for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio.
Full race results: 1st Josef Newgarden, 2nd Marcus Ericsson, 3rd Alexander Rossi, 4th Romain Grosjean, 5th Colton Herta, 6th Felix Rosenqvist, 7th Scott McLaughlin, 8th Graham Rahal, 9th Scott Dixon, 10th Christian Lundgaard, 11th Callum Ilott, 12th Simon Pagenaud, 13th Jack Harvey, 14th Conor Daly, 15th Takuma Sato, 16th David Malukas, 17th Rinus VeeKay, 18th Devlin DeFrancesco, 19th Will Power, 20th Kyle Kirkwood, 21st Simona De Silvestro, 22nd Hélio Castroneves, 23rd Dalton Kellett, 24th Jimmie Johnson, 25th Tatiana Calderón, 26th Pato O’Ward, 27th Álex Palou.
Top 10 in points standings: 1st Marcus Ericsson (293), 2nd Will Power (266), 3rd Josef Newgarden (261), 4th Pato O’Ward (248), 5th Álex Palou (246), 6th Scott Dixon (224), 7th Alexander Rossi (218), 8th Felix Rosenqvist (203), 9th Scott McLaughlin (199), 10th Simon Pagenaud (197).
Featured Image: Josef Newgarden celebrates his 2nd Road America win and for winning the one million dollar People Ready Force for Good Challenge (Photo by James Black/Penske Entertainment)
Hondas outnumbered Chevrolets in the Firestone fast six four to two, but Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden with the clock having run out, beat Takuma Sato’s time by one tenth of a second to take his 16th IndyCar Series career pole and earn back to back poles at Belle Isle Park in Detroit with a lap time of 1.15.2153.
Speaking to NBC’s Marty Snider, Newgarden said: “I was about hitting the wall every lap, or every corner I should say. That was a good pole.”
Newgarden was the sole Penske driver to make the Firestone fast six and becomes the seventh different pole winner in seven races so far in this year’s championship. Newgarden said the bigger challenge for them is to convert the pole into a win on Sunday, something they have yet to do at Belle Isle although he did win the first of two 2019 races after starting second.
The fast six was all about the smaller teams as all four of the Daly Coyne Racing and Meyer Shank Racing cars made the fast six. Rookie David Malukas continued his strong performance for Dale Coyne Racing from practice to top the opening session of qualifying in group two and topped the charts again halfway through the fast 12 session with a time that put in him in the fast six for the very first time.
In the fast six, Malukas on a flying lap lost the back end in turn five and had to back out but still set a fast lap later to qualify sixth being only three tenth off fifth place Pato O’Ward. Speaking to NBC, Malukas said: “What an amazing car.”
His Dale Coyne Racing teammate Takuma Sato qualified second after an impressive run when he went to the top with a 1.15.3 with just over a minute to go in the fast six before Newgarden went faster in the final moments.
The two Meyer Shank racing cars will make up the second row with Simon Pagenaud qualifying third and Hélio Castroneves qualifying fourth.
Round one of qualifying did not go so well for Newgarden’s teammate Will Power who missed out on the fast 12 by three tenths, qualifying 16th . On one of his flying laps, he was unintentionally disrupted by the wake of Álex Palou’s car. Palou also failed to make it out of the opening session, only qualifying 18th. Power, known as the pole master, said to NBC he has still yet to figure out a way to get it done in qualifying at Belle Isle but is optimistic about his chances of getting to the front in the race once again like last year.
The disappointment continues for McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist at Belle Isle as he blocked Jimmie Johnson coming out of the pits when Johnson was on a flying lap and was consequently penalized by being parked and had his time disallowed. He will now start 26th.
The fast 12 saw drivers experimenting between the primary and alternate tires as rubber was getting laid down fast and with grip lasting only for three laps on the alternate red tyres, it was uncertain which tyre compound was better to qualify with. Pagenaud topped the chart midway through the session on the primary black tyre with a 1.15.4 before Newgarden went second on sticker reds, only one tenth of Pagenaud’s time.
Qualifying had been going well for Andretti Autosport with three of their four cars making the fast 12, with Devlin DeFrancesco just missing out, but things suddenly went downhill for them. With less than five minutes to go, Alexander Rossi, who topped second practice, was 12th in the session while Colton Herta was seventh.
The bottom six including Chip Ganassi Racing drivers Marcus Ericsson and Scott Dixon were all on faster flying laps than the leaders as the track became increasingly rubbered in but then Romain Grosjean slapped the wall coming out of turn 12, and broke a toe link that caused his car to veer to the right before violently spinning around into the concrete wall in the final turn bringing out the red flag and ending the session, and consequently stopping his Andretti teammates from being able to progress into the fast six. A frustrated Grosjean said afterwards: “We sucked.”