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.
Grand Prix of Indy Race Result
|1||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||1hr50m18.5823s|
|2||3||Helio Castroneves||BRZ||Team Penske||+4.4748s|
|3||5||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+5.0807s|
|4||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+7.0715s|
|5||83||Charlie Kimball||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||+7.4234s|
|6||18||Conor Daly||USA||Dale Coyne Racing||+12.1838s|
|7||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||+12.9226s|
|8||2||Juan Pablo Montoya||COL||Team Penske||+13.6912s|
|9||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||+15.1933s|
|10||98||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Herta Autosport||+16.3134s|
|11||16||Spencer Pigot||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||+20.5172s|
|12||26||Carlos Munoz||COL||Andretti Autosport||+29.6369s|
|13||7||Mikhail Aleshin||RUS||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||+43.3094s|
|14||8||Max Chilton||GBR||Chip Ganassi Racing||+43.3785s|
|15||27||Marco Andretti||USA||Andretti Autosport||+44.6339s|
|16||61||Matt Brabham||AUS||KV Racing/Pirtek Team Murray||+45.5107s|
|17||19||Gabby Chaves||COL||Dale Coyne Racing||+47.0326s|
|18||14||Takuma Sato||JAP||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+56.3389s|
|19||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||+57.4410s|
|20||41||Jack Hawksworth||GBR||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+1m03.7229s|
|21||21||Josef Newgarden||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+1m08.6234s|
|22||6||JR Hildebrand||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||+1 Lap|
|23||35||Alex Tagliani||CAN||AJ Foyt Enterprises||+1 Lap|
|RET||11||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||KVSH Racing||Retired|
|RET||10||Tony Kanaan||BRZ||Chip Ganassi Racing||Retired|