Three in a row for Pagenaud after GP of Indy triumph

Simon Pagenaud made it three wins in a row after another strong performance from the Team Penske driver at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy on Saturday.

After wins at Long Beach and Barber Motorsport’s Park, Pagenaud started from pole position and led 57 of the 82 laps to extend his championship lead over the chasing pack still further; the Frenchman has yet to finish outside the top two in any of the five races of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Pagenaud led home Penske team-mate Helio Castroneves, who after having a difficult time at the circuit up until race day, recovered superbly to claim the podium position. The Brazilian was fortunate to benefit from a perfectly timed full course caution period just after he had pitted that brought him into contention.

Castroneves had to hold off the challenge of James Hinchcliffe over the final laps, but just did enough to pip the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver by just over six-tenths of a second.

Fourth having started at the back of the grid following failing post-qualification scrutineering was Graham Rahal, with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver finishing just ahead of Chip Ganassi Racing’s Charlie Kimball, who had started on the front row.

Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly claimed sixth having been the other driver to benefit from the mid-race caution, the young American restarting in second and then passing Castroneves for the lead, which he would hold for fourteen laps before dropping down to sixth during the last round of pit stops.

Scott Dixon was seventh for Chip Ganassi Racing ahead of Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya, with the top ten completed by Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay and Andretti Herta Autosport’s Alexander Rossi.

The mid-race safety car, that benefited Castroneves and Daly, was caused by Sebastien Bourdais, whose car leaked oil onto the track that needed to be cleaned up.

The KVSH Racing driver had already been in the wars on the opening lap, being squeezed into the wall by Dixon and Tony Kanaan that eliminated Kanaan from the race.

Credit: Walter Kuhn / IndyCar
Credit: Walter Kuhn / IndyCar

Grand Prix of Indy Race Result

122Simon PagenaudFRATeam Penske1hr50m18.5823s
23Helio CastronevesBRZTeam Penske+4.4748s
35James HinchcliffeCANSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+5.0807s
415Graham RahalUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+7.0715s
583Charlie KimballUSAChip Ganassi Racing+7.4234s
618Conor DalyUSADale Coyne Racing+12.1838s
79Scott DixonNZLChip Ganassi Racing+12.9226s
82Juan Pablo MontoyaCOLTeam Penske+13.6912s
928Ryan Hunter-ReayUSAAndretti Autosport+15.1933s
1098Alexander RossiUSAAndretti Herta Autosport+16.3134s
1116Spencer PigotUSARahal Letterman Lanigan Racing+20.5172s
1226Carlos MunozCOLAndretti Autosport+29.6369s
137Mikhail AleshinRUSSchmidt Peterson Motorsports+43.3094s
148Max ChiltonGBRChip Ganassi Racing+43.3785s
1527Marco AndrettiUSAAndretti Autosport+44.6339s
1661Matt BrabhamAUSKV Racing/Pirtek Team Murray+45.5107s
1719Gabby ChavesCOLDale Coyne Racing+47.0326s
1814Takuma SatoJAPAJ Foyt Enterprises+56.3389s
1912Will PowerAUSTeam Penske+57.4410s
2041Jack HawksworthGBRAJ Foyt Enterprises+1m03.7229s
2121Josef NewgardenUSAEd Carpenter Racing+1m08.6234s
226JR HildebrandUSAEd Carpenter Racing+1 Lap
2335Alex TaglianiCANAJ Foyt Enterprises+1 Lap
RET11Sebastien BourdaisFRAKVSH RacingRetired
RET10Tony KanaanBRZChip Ganassi RacingRetired