Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have taken a well earned one-two at Houston’s Reliant Park at the IndyCar double header in the heart of the Lone Star state.
Simon Pagenaud was the man to take the win, his lights to flag victory belying the difficulty in which he and team mate Mikhail Aleshin faced when negotiating the temporary circuit.
“Awesome race. The car was just beautiful,” said Pagenaud, who earned his second victory of the season. “That’s why I was so disappointed in race one. We had such a fast car this weekend. We regrouped after Detroit (22nd and 6th-place finishes) and then came up with this package.”
The first obstacle for the flying Frenchman was Helio Castroneves, thankfully he was quickly dispatched after one of many restarts during the race. On a related note, the Brazilian found out the hard way that the frenetic action can easily catch out even the most experienced man which unfortunately meant his Team Penske Dallara went crashing out.
It was also not exactly plain sailing for second place man Aleshin, an early race clash with Graham Rahal saw the Russian needing to pit and replace his front wing before rejoining from near enough the back of the grid.
In third place it was a good result for Yorkshireman Jack Hawksworth who bounced back from a less than stellar meeting at the Texas Motor Speedway to take a well earned podium, stating: “We’ve been starting up front so many times this year and it’s not happened on Race Day. Today, we had a terrible qualifying and we end up on the podium. The guys did a great job on pit wall. We were quick at the right time. We were able to pass cars at the right time and I’m so delighted and so proud of Bryan Herta Autosport. They really deserve this. It’s been rough this year. We’ve been so fast on occasions and it’s just not quite happened. We haven’t been able to put it together and today we were able to do it.”
Elesewhere in the top five, Charlie Kimball had a solid result to put some good points on the board in fourth and Sebastien Bourdais finally put the bad luck of a number of races behind him as he scored fifth after utilising a alternative strategy to much of the field.
The next race for the IndyCar field is this Sunday at the Tricky Triangle – Pocono.