The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis got off to a bang as pole sitter Sebastian Saavedra was struck after stalling his car at the inaugural race’s first ever Indy Car standing start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Both Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin struck Saavedra’s stalled car while moving through the pack of traffic that obstructed their view of Saavedra. All drivers were ok and the race was soon underway after the front straight was cleared of carbon fiber debris.
The race proved to be exciting with twelve lead changes over the 200 mile running. There were numerous battles in the backfield as well with plenty of opportunity for exciting passing through the esses complex that was at the heart of the grass mounds spectating area. The mounds proved to be quite popular with the fans. Turn one was also quite popular and the place to be for race starts and restarts after yellow flags.
James Hinchcliffe had a scare when a piece of debris struck him in the head during the race. He may have actually been unconscious for a moment, but luckily managed to pull off and seek medical attention for what would be diagnosed as a concussion.
Fuel strategy played heavily with the outcome of the race as Oriol Servia gave the lead to Simon Pagenaud who would go on to win the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Pagenaud himself nearly ran out of fuel in the last laps of the race, but he was able to hold off a very close charging Ryan Hunter-Reay by .8906 of a second with Helio Castroneves nipping right behind in third place.
For the drivers this was a new and exciting event beyond the on track action that saw drama and various strategies across the field. The Grand Prix was the opening event for Indianapolis’s traditional Month of May action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, and Jack Hawksworth chase Ryan Hunter-Reay out of turn fourteen and down the front straight during the restart following the opening wreck of the race.
Sebastian Bourdais chases hard in the final laps of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. He lifts a front tire out of turn thirteen as he pursues Helio Castroneves and Ryan Hunter-Reay. Bourdais would finish in fourth place, just shy of the podium.
Race winner Simon Pagenaud leads as he drives through turn thirteen in the final laps of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The Corvette pace car leads the pack through the backfield as heat waves raise from the pavement halfway through the race.
Sebastian Bourdais rounds the final turn in the circuit and fly’s towards the famous yard of bricks on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway front straight.
Saavedra’s badly damaged car is flat bedded off the track.
Pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra stalled at the start of the race and was struck by Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin who could not see the stalled Indy Car until it was too late.
Helio Castroneves goes through turn thirteen while race winner Simon Pagenaud and second place finisher Ryan Hunter-Reay navigate turn fourteen in the final laps of the innagural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Mike Conway and Josef Newgarden fly down the back straight into the Esses complex of turns 7, 8, 9, and 10.
The mounds section overlooking the esses complex of turns seven, eight, nine, and ten were an extremely popular spectating spot. Fans expressed an interest in more grass mound seating options for future Grand Prixs.
Justin Wilson down the front straight as pit crews look on.
Sebastian Bourdais and Helio Castroneves on the exit of turn forteen.
Ryan Hunter-Reay on the exit of turn fourteen.
Simon Pagenaud and Jack Hawksworth chase Ryan Hunter-Reay through turn fourteen.