NTT INDYCAR SERIES
PREVIEW: RD. 5 – INDYCAR GRAND PRIX (USA)
The NTT IndyCar Series is reaching fever pitch this month, with the 103rd running of the Indy 500 coming up on May 26 to mark the absolute highlight of the season. Felix Rosenqvist will not have to wait until then to do battle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, however, as the venue prepares to stage round five of the season as early as this weekend at its road course iteration.
Rosenqvist heads into the event, labelled the INDYCAR Grand Prix, buoyed by a positive Honda-arranged test at the IMS road course last week, in which the Chip Ganassi Racing rookie went a close third fastest.
“We managed to find a few interesting things at the test last week, notably in the area of tyre management,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “I view that as our main priority at the moment, getting the tyres to last over a racing distance and improving our long-run pace, and we seem to have taken a step towards that.”
Rosenqvist – who previously raced at the IMS road course in Indy Lights in 2016, setting the fastest lap in Race 2 of that weekend – believes the track will lend itself towards entertaining racing.
“The INDYCAR Grand Prix could be a race of attrition and the track has at least two proper overtaking zones, so I expect another exciting event,” the Swede continues. “It’s all about getting both qualifying and the race together on the same weekend and, if we can manage that, I’m sure we’ll be up there fighting in the NTT DATA car.”
Unlike previous races this season, the INDYCAR Grand Prix takes place not on Sunday but on Saturday, the 85-lap race set to go green at 3.40 pm local time. In a further change to the conventional time table, qualifying is slotted in on Friday.
INDYCAR Grand Prix
All times local (US Eastern)
Friday 10 May
Free Practice 1: 9.10-9.55 am
Free Practice 2: 12.30-1.15 pm
Qualifying: 4.35-5.50 pm
Saturday 11 May
Warm-up: 11.15-11.45 am
Race (85 laps): 3.40-5.45 pm
STANDINGS (TOP FIVE)
After 4/17 races
1: Josef Newgarden (USA), 166 p.
2: Alexander Rossi (USA), 138 p.
3: Scott Dixon (NZL), 133 p.
4: Takuma Sato (JPN), 116 p.
5: Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA), 96 p.
12: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 80 p.