Late pass decides thrilling Indianapolis 500

Weekend Racing Wrap

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A thrilling Indianapolis 500, crash-strewn Monaco Grand Prix support race and controversy in Formula E feature in this week’s racing wrap.


Round 6: Indianapolis 500

Juan Pablo Montoya won an exhilarating Indianapolis 500 despite having dropped to 30th position after being hit by Simona de Silvestro during the first caution period. Montoya patiently worked his way through the field and the race came down to a three-way scrap between him, Penske team mate Will Power and Ganassi’s pole sitter Scott Dixon.

There was no repeat of the airborne crashes seen during the build-up to the race, although the race was punctuated by several incidents, the most dramatic of which involved Jack Hawksworth, Sebastian Saavedra and Stefano Coletti. Two pit crew members were also injured, one hospitalised, after the Coyne cars tangled during a refuelling stop.

Next race: Detroit

Super Formula

Round 2: Okayama, Japan

For the first time in seven years the Super Formula series returned to Okayama – the track which was known as TI Aida when it hosted the Pacific Grand Prix in 1994 and 1995. Hiroaki Ishiura that took his first victory in the series ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, who was little more than a second away from victory in only his second start in the series.

Joao Paulo de Oliveira made an exceptional start, rocketing from fifth to second by turn one, but had slipped back to his starting position by the flag. Round one winner Andre Lotterer could only manage eighth, and fell to second in the championship behind Ishiura.

Next race: Fuji Speedway

World Rally Championship

Round 5: Rally Portugal

Jari-Matti Latvala took his first win of the season after holding off pressure from team mate Sebastien Ogier on the last day. Latvala took the lead at the end of Friday morning, and ended the day with an 11.1 second advantage.

He came under pressure from Kris Meeke on Saturday, with Ogier getting involved in the afternoon. The Frenchman had the disadvantage of running first on the road, but as several Rally 2 competitors had to run before him, he stayed in with a shout of victory.

Ogier won three consecutive stages on the final day but Latvala responded with a win on the penultimate stage, and took 10.4 seconds of an advantage into the power stage. Ogier took the three points on offer, but only beat Latvala by 2.2 seconds, which handed the Finn victory.

Andreas Mikkelsen stole third due to Meeke suffering a broken anti-roll bar which dropped him to fourth. Ott Tanak debuted the new-spec Fiesta, and he looked good with a fifth place finish. Ogier now leads the title by 42 points from Mikkelsen, with Mads Ostberg third, five points further back.

Next race: Rally Italia Sardegna

Formula Renault 3.5

Round 2: Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo

A destructive Formula Renault 3.5 race on the morning of the Monaco Grand Prix was red-flagged after a huge crash involving Meindert van Buuren and Bruno Bonifacio, which had shades of the similar shunt which put Max Verstappen out of the main event.

That interrupted Jazeman Jaafar’s cruise to victory from pole position, but didn’t put him off his stride. He’d shared the front row with with Fortec team mate Oliver Rowland who’d been quickest in his qualifying group but had the misfortune to run when the track was slower. It got worse for Rowland at the start as he collected a puncture, and though he recovered sixth place with some excellent passes he lost the championship lead to Jaafar.

Next race: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Formula E

Round 8: Berlin Tempelhof Airport, Germany

The eighth round of the Formula E series ended in a controversial manner, with winner on the road Lucas di Grassi stripped of the win after his Abt team were found to have made unauthorised front wing modifications. Jerome D’Ambrosio therefore became the series’ seventh winner in eight races.

Di Grassi had dominated the race after taking the lead from pole sitter Jarno Trulli at the start, and took the chequered flag by 7.5 seconds, before coming to a halt metres after the line having run out of power. Eventual winner D’Ambrosio had a good race, moving up from sixth on the grid in the incident packed race. Sebastien Buemi took second place, and with it second in the championship, while Loic Duval made it a double podium for Dragon Racing.

Di Grassi’s exclusion means Nelson Piquet Jnr leads the title from Buemi by two points, with the Di Grassi a further eight points back.

Next race: Moscow, Russia

World Rallycross Championship

Round 4: Lydden Hill, Great Britain

Petter Solberg won the fourth round at Lydden Hill to extend his lead in the Championship over Johan Kristofferson to 29 points. Despite picking up a puncture on the final lap Solberg won ahead of Mattias Ekstrom with Kristofferson himself coming home in third. Andrew Jordan, the 2013 British Touring Car Champion, was also in action, but after winning heat three he missed out on the final after finishing fifth in his semi-final.

Next race: Estering, Germany


Round 12: Charlotte

Carl Edwards stretched his fuel economy to take a surprise win in the NASCAR Cup race at Charlotte. Martin Truex Jnr, Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin had been the main frontrunner in the race until the decisive closing laps.

Next race: Dover

Also last weekend

In the first GP2 race in Monaco, Stoffel Vandoorne took the honours after making a bold tyre strategy work, while race two saw Richie Stanaway take his maiden GP2 victory for Status Grand Prix in only their sixth race in the series.

The Auto GP championship was in action on the Silverstone circuit, and it was Antonio Pizzonia that took the honours in race one with a lights to flag victory. Race Two saw Luis Sa Silva beat Facu Regalia for his maiden series win. Video highlights of these races, and Nico Rosberg’s Monaco Grand Prix win, are not available yet.

Over to you

Did you watch any of these races? Were there any other events that you saw, either on the television or even in person? Have your say in the comments below.

It’s another busy one next weekend, with DTM, IndyCar, Formula 3, Formula Renault 3.5 and NASCAR all in action.

Weekend Racing Wrap

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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42 comments on “Late pass decides thrilling Indianapolis 500”

  1. Blancpain Enduracen series – Silverstone.

    Another podium for WRT boys and Vanthoor, making his intention clear of becoming a double champ.

    1. This is Robin Frijns too no?

    2. And Von Ryan’s McLaren take the 1st place.

    3. I really enjoy the Blancpain Endurance series. That WRT team is one of the best in all of motorsport, in my opinion.

  2. I feel like I would be into the new Indy series if the time difference between North America and Australia wasn’t so bad. I probably have to rely on highlights…I was a once a year viewer every time CART used to make its way to the Gold Coast.

    Congrats to Montoya, he’s probably the closest to the “Triple Crown of Motorsport” out of any active racing driver.

    1. The races are easily found on youtube with hours of the end of the broadcast. And luckily, unlike FOM content/most other motorsports, they don’t get taken down.

    2. I dunno. If feels to… ugh, plastic. I mean, look at the last pit stop, when almost, if not all of the cars where in the pits. Tell me that’s normal, because it doesn’t look it.

      1. Know how I know you’ve never seen American open wheel racing?

      2. It is, why pit under green at Indy (losing a full lap) when there’s a yellow for a crash 25 laps from the end? The pit window is 20-30 laps depending on your strategy.

    3. ever since CART/Champ Car folded, it hasnt been worth the time to watch American Open Wheel Racing. the current Indy Car, is really the IRL (despite the insisting that theyre not) trying to cover up for the mess they made of AOWR by inserting Road and Street courses in to their calendar in an attempt to appease the CART/CCWS fans, which lets be honest made up the most of the AOWR fan base. But as a result it just feels hollow and uninspiring.

  3. The Indy 500 has once again demonstrated it is the best open wheel motor race in the world. Nothing in F1 over the past couple of years (at least) has had the tension, the excitement and flat-out racing as those last 15 laps. It never disappoints, but it was great to see a hard but clean battle with no cautions ruining it towards the end. The bravery of these drivers battling toe to toe at 220+ mph is like nothing seen elsewhere in racing, it’s incredible.

    1. +10000000000000
      I was on the edge of my seat of those last 15 laps. That was some racing.
      The race was also a huge slap on the face of all the naysayers. Practice crashes are part of the racing. People are trying different thing and things go wrong some times.
      Planning to go for the next Indy500 now. The 100th Indy500!

    2. @f1alex It was great but in my view you are getting ahead of yourself. Nick Wirth has left Honda really uncompetitive meaning that there was pretty much no Honda’s at the front unlike previous years therefore less leaders. The tension was good but a great Monaco (2011) can achieve the same hype. I actually think this years race in spite of being better the hype was less because the new kit actually made the cars more stable in cornering and on each others toe, the only guy almost losing it all the time was Andretti on an Honda and Montoya by the last 4 laps when he dropped the gauntlet and just went for it, he even dipped on the grass.

      @sushant008 There were some notable practice crashes but overall there were much less accidents in this edition, only 2 cars lost it by themselves, 1 was trying to get away from the leaders and the other Kanaan was just out of the pits after a blunder on aero levels.

      This year it seem that the DW12’s were much better in dirty air, more in control less thrilling on that regard, the DW12 are now much more attractive on the other side the kit has made drafting less critical, which combined with no Honda opposition resulted in less predictability which is fine by me.

      1. @peartree Is there anything where Wirth has been involved that has gone well!

        1. @fastiesty I agree, He keeps cashing-in though, I wouldn’t mind! I feel sorry for Andretti autosport, I keep seeing him lurking around their Formula e team.

          @f1alex I really enjoyed the 500 I broadly agree with you. The 500 is not exactly as it used to be but that’s okay, they’ve managed to keep it relevant and fresh and in the past couple years the organizers managed not to spoil real racing with the american version of “yellow flags”.

          @dmw The 500 was not always a spec series race, the way the championship is currently run is due to past financial woes, if F1 collapses the reborn version may look alot like Indycar, I hope not, for the reasons you have mentioned.

          1. @peartree Formula E sounds like the next logical place to go. There, the battery is the main decider and the design incremental.

            @f1alex True, I think a bit like F1 and Canada 2010, they saw the 2006 finish and tried to replicate that. The last 5 years? have all been close at the finish.

            @dmw Yes, there’s a lesson here – Indycar is basically what will happen if F1 goes bust (CART), Bernie would simply replace it with GP2 and maybe the surviving top teams (Ferrari, McLaren, Williams) would join it.

      2. @peartree

        I see what you’re saying, but i guess personally I see it as almost the perfect motor race. It has big names every year, incredible tension, incredible speed, and the cars can overtake without silly gimmicks like DRS. Indycar is not perfect, but I think as a single event, the 500 encapsulates a lot of what f1 should be; the fastest, closest, most flat out race on the planet. There are a lot of ways F1 is better than indycar, but the entire spectacle and racing of Indy just trumps modern F1 for me. It’s genuine racing, which is something F1 sadly has been gradually ebbing away from in the past few years.

    3. As far as the F1 comparison, you can’t compare a series where teams build and race their own cars to a formula to a spec chassis series. Watch Indy for close racing among more or less equal cars, watch F1 for the multifaceted total competition among elite professional race teams. Have your cake; eat your cake.

      1. If it’s “spec” then why are Honda 0.75s a lap slower?

  4. I would love for Montoya to compete in the Le Mans 24hour at one point, i think he could win that too. sad loss to f1, but he has been happy in America, and no going back to his routes in open wheelers he is enjoying the success he deserves. i remember watching him in champcars in 99,2000- what a talent.

    1. Yeap..thats right. I hope he does Le Mans and completes the triple crown. He is certainly worthy.

      I am so pleased for him just now, he is driving better than ever. Just wish I had more time to watch IndyCar!

  5. Apex Assassin
    25th May 2015, 14:39

    Apparently I’m on the wrong website… this isn’t about F1! :(

    1. Late pass decides thrilling Indianapolis 500

      Hacing finally caught the start fo the race….I had fallen long asleep by the time the race finished :(

    2. F1 Fanatic has always featured articles about racing series other than Formula One – but you already knew that.

    3. Oooo…burn by KC. He sees all ;)

      The rest of us appreciate it Keith

  6. JPM ! Kinda ‘cute’ he was clearly more concerned about the whereabouts of his wife than drinking milk. Nice one :)

    1. LOL… i felt he does not like milk. I thought he did not drink it at all. He just passed it on. I felt he just acted as if he took a sip. Other times we could visibly see milk spilled little bit on the face and the suit.

      Moreover he seems to be a family man. His tweets points to that !!!!

      1. He was just sharing the milk around, nothing wrong with that.

  7. First Thanks to @keithcollantine for the nice little round up of the racing weekend. Good OVerall coverage. One quick correction is required. The Video for NASCAR Charlotte still points Indy 500 highlights.

    It was a great weekend for speed. I watched the last 4 Laps of Monaco ( Which means I probably watched the most important section of the race Race ;) , Watched most of Indy and Charlotte. ( Everything On TV.

    I had always thought F1 is the Pinnacle of racing and probably it still is. The clean wheel to wheel racing at Indy really impressed me. It could have beeen anybody’s race till the last lap. One would never know what would have happened if the backmarker car did not exit the pits in the last lap slicing in between Montoya and Power. But good open wheel racing. I understand F1 cannot literally get there (especially in tracks like Monaco) but a lot is possible . It makes me sad when the current regulations in F1 is making it a procession. Hope some day slowly but steadily this will all get fixed. I believe we are hitting close to the rock bottom in F1 now.

    In general I felt F1 has become more of theatricals and less of Racing.

    Looks like Bernie loves to run this thing as a Drama Troupe with lead actors like Lewis who is good for Business mostly because of their involvement in extra curricular activities. Agreed these extra curricular activities by good racers can create credible fan base and interests in the sport but interests has to be predominantly through the racing skills and on track events supplemented by the other activities.

    1. @tmax Thanks, the right video is in there now.

  8. flatdarkmars
    25th May 2015, 16:46

    I know you Brits probably have trouble telling one oval track from another, but you’ve got an Indy 500 video embedded under the NASCAR heading. ;)

  9. Impressive strength, those concrete walls at Indy…

    1. The corners have SAFER barriers on the inside and outside. Essentially they’re an energy absorbing barrier that uses layered blocks of material.

  10. nice fights in formula E!

    1. Yep! If di Grassi could avoid being a total douche by comprehensively spraying his champagne on the podium girls, that’d be even greater …

  11. I saw the espn stream of the indy 500. Last laps were amazing but the quantity of adverts was painful. Itv era of f1 seems lovely now

    1. It was one almost continuous advert marathon with bits of racing in the middle. I just gave up watching it. It may well be the best race in the world, but on tv it’s the polar opposite.

  12. oh, deer!

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      28th May 2015, 13:12

      i get ya :)

  13. The last few minutes were great, but the Indy coverage is terrible. It’s like watching a commercials channel, with some snippets of racing. I could not watch that at all, not now, not before, not ever.

    But F1 coverage can be improved by lessons from Formula E, WEC, MotoGP and other series.

    These other series talk about the good stuff, the stuff that’s exciting, the stuff that is interesting and good about what is happening. Their commentary improves the perception of the respective series.

    Where as in F1 the constant talking points are how F1 is broken, how it is getting worse, getting slower etc. Amazing considering it is the biggest, fastest, racing series out there, with some of the best talents behind the wheel and in the garages, with great racing and amazing championship battles every other season, with unparalleled history and so on.

    I had to have a serious lough out loud this Saturday when F-E commentators tried to big-up how great and amazing the track was. Sure, the location is a small historic curiosity, and he might have had a point, so I take no issue with what he said, but the contrast with F1 was amazing. Here is this commentator, talking with great enthusiasm about what essentially is a car park on abandoned industrial site with some lines painted on. And good on him, racing IS fun even on grass-mowers in a car park, take note F1 journos and commentators, tv rights holders etc. Maybe, if someone does not have the enthusiasm for racing, than he should not be in the business. It’s bad for F1’s business and annoying for me.

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