IndyCar drivers land at Le Mans after rain delays

by Joe Hudson
Credit: Forrest Mellott

A handful of Verizon IndyCar Series drivers who were caught up in numerous rain delays at the Texas Motor Speedway have finally made it to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and scrutineering before the track action gets underway.

As reported on yesterday Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Mikhail Aleshin, as well as racer turned broadcaster Townsend Bell, all faced joining their teams late because of the delays to the Firestone 600 because of torrential rain.

The Firestone 600 race was finally postponed again to the end of August because of continued bad weather but for Bourdais and Dixon – who are racing for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing at La Sarthe – they missed their appointment at the mandatory scrutineering session, a situation not helped by the air traffic delays at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

With planes having to hold before they landed, and then not being able to take-off again, it was fair to say the panic set in that the quartet wouldn’t be able to make it.

Bourdais told “They had to reroute all of these commercial planes because we were not a priority, so our jet couldn’t land and they kept them circulating. So we waited for about an hour, and once they landed, the airspace was shut down, and our pilots were at the maximum on their window for flying hours; they have a 16-hour day maximum, and had to get special dispensation to get us out.”

It is thought that an exception will be given for Dixon and Bourdais, and these delays won’t hamper their 24 Hours of Le Mans participation.

For Bell and Aleshin, the delays didn’t completely ruin their pre-race prep as their appointment with the technical officials was scheduled for today.

One non-IndyCar driver facing his own issues with travel was Tracy Krohn. Krohn, racing in the Krohn Racing Ligier JSP2, suffered flight delays of his own as his jet wasn’t allowed to depart Texas – officials have allowed him to go through scrutineering tomorrow.

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