Indy Grand Prix - Day One at Indy, The Indy Grand Prix!

Will Power sets the pace in 1st practice for the Indy GP. © RIS/Larry Clarino

Indianapolis - RIS - May 11, 2018 - It is May, and this is Indianapolis. Do we need to say anything more? The fifth running of the Indy Grand Prix, the kickoff event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 2018, will be run on the infield road course at the historic Brickyard.

 24 cars are entered in tomorrow’s event. Certainly at least on paper, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power have to be considered favorites with two wins each. The pair have alternated for the top spot in the previous four runnings.

 We will also see the 2018 Indy Car debut of Helio Castroneves. Team Penske moved the Brazilian over to the sports car side of the operation, with the plan being to have the fan favorite just run in the GP this weekend and the 500, in two weeks.

 Another Team Penske driver, Kentucky native, Josef Newgarden, has shown so far this season he is very serious about defending his 2017 championship. He already has two wins and four top ten finishes in the four races the series has run this year. He leads Alexander Rossi by 13 points in the championship standings.

 The new Dallara “standard” body and aero package, has proven at least an artistic hit, the cars certainly look a little better than the last few years even though they all look exactly the same. They have proved to be a pretty good race car, as there officially have been record 999 on-track passes this so far this year. The down side, it takes even more areas for innovation away from Indy Cars. A fact we find very sad and a point of contention that may well be one of the major reasons for the continued decline in attention the series has been getting.

 In testing here on the Indy oval, has left some questions as to how well they will perform, but that is a question for next week. This weekend we are going road racing.

 The first practice run under cool and breezy conditions ended up with Penske’s Will Power at the top of the speed sheets with a time of 1:10.0866, in a last second charge, followed by Alexander Rossi at 1:10.1193, with Ed Carpenter Racing’s rookie, Jordan King at 1:10.1551 in third, followed by Sebastien Bourdais, 1:10.1791, Takuma Sato, 1:10.1824, Josef Newgarden, 1:10.2802, rounding out the top six.

 Be sure to follow RIS for the month of May for all the news from the World’s Greatest Race Course.

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Volume 2018, Issue 5, Posted 10:40 AM, 05.11.2018