IndyCar: Pagenaud Pervails in IndyCar Grand Prix

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Simon Pagenaud's victory moves the Frenchman up to fourth in the IndyCar Drivers' Standings. © Chris Jones.

Saturday’s IndyCar Grand Prix went down to the wire, with Simon Pagenaud passing Scott Dixon late on to win at Indianapolis.

This marks Pagenaud third IndyCar win around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course; the second driver to do so, alongside Penske team-mate Will Power.

“It was amazing, the whole race. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’, Pagenaud exclaimed after the race.

“I thought everybody was saving fuel. We were just so fast.”

“I want to thank Team Penske, everybody that supports me. This is the sweetest win I’ve ever had, I guess.”

Simon Pagenaud celebrates his win in the 2019 IndyCar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. © Chris Jones

Despite a strong effort, Dixon could not improve on his second place start for Chip Ganassi Racing. This marks the New Zealander’s third consecutive runner-up finish in the IndyCar GP:

“It was tough. I knew kind of from the get-go that I was going to be struggling with the front end, but it just felt like I needed about six turns of front wing,” said Dixon.

British driver Jack Harvey stayed strong all day to round out the podium in third, the highest finish in Harvey’s young career:

“I will remember this day for a long time,” Harvey said.

“It was just so awesome that we finally got this podium. I feel like we’ve been right on the edge of having something like this for a while.”

The race, which was contested in varying weather conditions, saw its fair share of caution periods.

The first caution of the day came on lap 10 when Marcus Ericsson spun at Turn 14 into the SAFER Barrier.

“We were struggling a bit to get close on the straights, so we were trying to get as close as possible through (Turn) 14,” Ericsson explained.

“I just got a bit too close and lost a bit of front downforce, understeer then snapped into oversteer and I just couldn’t catch it.”

The restart on Lap 14 saw Colton Herta spin in turn 1 after contact from Jack Harvey.

In the same incident, James Hinchcliffe was awarded a drive through penalty for avoidable contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Despite a disappointing 15th-place finish, Penske’s Josef Newgarden retains his lead in the Drivers’ standings.

The American’s advantage has now been slashed, with Scott Dixon only six points behind.

The NTT IndyCar Series will now shift its focus to the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500, with practice getting underway on Tuesday.

 

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