Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud has mastered the art of racing in the rain.
The veteran French driver charged past Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon in the final laps, erasing a six-second lead to win the NTT IndyCar Series’ sixth annual Grand Prix of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Coming to the green flag, Rossi was hit from behind by Patricio O’Ward, and spent the remainder of the 85-lap event four laps down, 22nd in the 24-car field. As that drama was happening behind him, British racer Jack Harvey drove the Meyer Shank Racing machine into second place.
The first caution of the day came on lap 11 when the Arrow Schmidt Peterson No. 7 of Marcus Ericsson got loose in the sprinkling rain; he finished in last.
Light rain had started to fall by lap 20, as Rosenqvist endured a flaming right rear tire, Will Power plummeted backwards through the running order, at one point running 18th, and Dixon and Josef Newgarden traded the lead, hoping to time the switch to rain tires correctly. Numerous cars moved up and down the leaderboard throughout the event.
Rain started to fall heavily by lap 55, and Castroneves’ spin on lap 59 brought out the final caution of the day. Newgarden was penalized for an uncontrolled tire, ending his chances of victory.
The winning pass came with contact on lap 84, and Pagenaud claimed victory for the third time in this event.
Harvey, Leist and Pigot rounded out the top five, while Power rallied to finish seventh.
The next event for the NTT IndyCar Series will be the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 26 at noon ET.