The cars and stars of the NTT IndyCar Series return to action this weekend with the sixth running of the IndyCar Grand Prix set for Saturday.
The annual race around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course signals the start of IndyCar’s famous “Month of May.”
It will culminate in the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26.
We kick off the Month of May this Friday and Saturday at @IMS 😎
— NTT IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) May 6, 2019
In the series’ last race at Long Beach, America’s Alexander Rossi took the chequered flag after starting on pole.
The driver of the No. 27 Napa Auto Parts Honda will look to build his momentum this weekend:
“The (IndyCar) GP is an important race to start the month off right,” said Rossi.
“We will be looking to capitalise on a strong test we had here last week, and hopefully get our first podium at a track we’ve always been quick at.”
Championship leader Josef Newgarden has one win and three podiums so far this season.
He’ll be looking for another successful race this weekend.
Newgarden has yet to win in the previous five runnings of the IndyCar Grand Prix, with a best finish of 11th in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
“The IndyCar Grand Prix is a race I’d love to win to get it all started,” Newgarden said of the race and kicking off the Month of May.
“I think a lot of drivers are going to be strong, so it will be a challenge.”
Saturday’s race could see the fifth different winner in as many races.
Scott Dixon will be keen to get his first win and defend his fifth IndyCar title.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver comes to Indianapolis third in the standings, with three podiums in the first four races.
Making his return to the NTT IndyCar series this weekend is three-time Indianapolis 500 Champion, and fan favourite, Helio Castroneves.
The Brazilian will be piloting the No. 3 Pennzoil Team Penske Chevrolet in both the Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500 later this month.
“I have missed IndyCar so much since last year, and can’t wait to get back on track,” said Castroneves stated ahead of his return.
In five starts at the Indianapolis road course, the Penske driver has reached the podium twice and finished second in 2016.
Will Power and Simon Pagenaud are the only drivers to have won the IndyCar Grand Prix. Power will one of the favourites, having won the race in three out of the last four years.