IndyCar, Texas Motor Speedway, 2016

Closest-ever finished in delayed IndyCar Texas race

Weekend Racing Wrap

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The Indycar race at Texas Motorsport that started on 12th June but was delayed until 27th August due to rain after just 71 laps, produced the closest ever finish in the circuit’s history.

Elsewhere the British Touring Car Championship title battle closed up yet further with just six races to go, NASCAR produced a maiden winner and a milestone was reached in the V8 Supercars.

IndyCar

Round 14 of 16: Texas Motor Speedway

The race that originally started on 12th June but was delayed due to rain was finally completed over the weekend, with Graham Rahal winning in what was the closest finish ever seen in the IndyCar series at Texas Motor Speedway.

James Hinchcliffe led from the restart on lap 74 and it went green for nearly 140 laps, the first caution of the day caused by Ed Carpenter and Scott Dixon colliding, sending the reigning champion into the barriers. Carpenter continued on in second but crashed himself a handful of laps later, while just nine laps from the flag Mikhail Aleshin collected Jack Hawksworth and produced the final yellow.

Hinchcliffe led the final restart from Tony Kanaan, Rahal and championship leader Simon Pagenaud, with the lead two wheel-to-wheel for most of the final five laps. Come the last tour however the pair separated, and Rahal snuck around the outside of Kanaan at turn two, and the inside of Hinchcliffe at turn three to win by a eight-thousandths of a second.

Indycar

Round 13 of 16: Pocono

On Monday IndyCar ran the Pocono 500 which was also delayed by 24 hours due to rain. The race proved a heart-breaker for last year’s winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.

Having started last following a crash in practice the Andretti Autosport driver raced his way to first within 50 laps of the 200-lap race. He remained in the thick of the fight for victory until the closing laps, when a brief loss of power forced him into the pits, only for his engine to re-fire. Having fallen near the tail of the field once again he impressively recovered to take third place.

Victory for Will Power after a close scrap with pole sitter Mikhail Aleshin meant he closed on team mate and championship leader Simon Pagenaud, who crashed out.

British Touring Car Championship

Round 8 (Races 22-24 of 30): Rockingham Motor Speedway

A wet qualifying session spelled disaster for championship leader Sam Tordoff and his West Surrey Racing BMW team as they could only manage 25th, 26th and 27th on the grid of thirty-one cars due to technical faults caused by the wet weather. However Tordoff produced a pair of stunning drives to maintain a championship lead of five points over Matt Neal with two rounds to go.

Gordon Shedden led from pole in the opener with Mat Jackson and Jason Plato following him behind in second, while Tordoff stormed from 27th to tenth. Chaos at the start of race two then opened the door for Tordoff to sweep through. Jackson, the Subaru pair of Plato and Colin Turkington, Jack Goff and the fast starting MG of Josh Cook tangled at the turn two hairpin, resulting in damage for all cars but with only Plato forced to retire. Shedden maintained the lead from Jackson, Andrew Jordan and Tordoff, but the BMW driver was clearly quicker and picked them off one-by-one to claim an unlikely victory.

In the final contest of the day Aron Smith was drawn on reverse grid pole position ahead of Matt Neal, but the championship contender slipped back – as had become expected over the day – because he was running the hard tyres for race three. Smith held on to become the twelfth different winner of the season – a new BTCC record – ahead of Shedden who fought through from tenth, and Turkington who started fifteenth, while Neal was relived to finish fourth as championship leader Tordoff slipped out of the points, also running the hard tyre.

Race video highlights not available yet. Users in some regions may be able to watch highlights here.

NASCAR

Round 24 of 36: Michigan International Speedway

Kyle Larson swept to his maiden Sprint Cup Series victory in the Pure Michigan 400 after nailing the final caution period, and in doing so becomes the first driver from both the NASCAR driver diversity and NASCAR next programmes to win a race.

Larson took the lead after a relatively quiet race by NASCAR standards on lap 126 after getting the jump on Chase Elliot at a restart. He then endured a slow stop however and slipped back behind his rival, and re-joined in fourth. Larson fought back to second when a final caution appeared with thirteen laps to go, putting him right on Elliot’s tail. As the race restarted with nine to go, Larson got the jump on Elliot and led through to the flag for his first victory.

V8 Supercars

Round 9 (Races 18-19 of 29): Sydney Motorsport Park



A 100th career victory for Jamie Whincup in the second race at the Eastern Creek circuit allowed him to maintain his championship lead over race one winner SHane van Gisbergen.

Also last weekend

Nico Rosberg won the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo while Lewis Hamilton benefited from a safety car and red flag to finish on the podium from the back row of the grid.

Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly extended his championship lead over team mate Antonio Giovinazzi by winning the Spa feature race. Giovinazzi completed a clean sweep for Prema by taking victory in the sprint event.

A win and a sixth for Charles Leclerc boosted his advantage in the GP3 standings to 22 points. Jack Aitken claimed his first win in the second race.

Over to you

Which of the weekends racing did you catch, and did you enjoy it? Or did you see anything that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.

We’ve got a packed weekend of racing action coming up. While Formula One heads to Monza, supported by GP2 and GP3, the World Endurance Championship makes its return to Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The IndyCar season is building to a climax with its return to the former F1 venue Watkins Glen in New York State for the penultimate round. Also in the States NASCAR continues at Darlington.

And if that’s not enough the World Rallycross championship will compete in France and the World Touring Cars are off to Japan’s Motegi circuit.

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  • 13 comments on “Closest-ever finished in delayed IndyCar Texas race”

    1. FlyingLobster27
      29th August 2016, 11:24

      Lexus Team Cerumo won the Super GT’s longest race of the year, the Suzuka 1000 km, after a dubious pass by Yuji Tachikawa on Lexus Team TOM’S driver Nick Cassidy. The pass at Spoon, where a Honda was beached after spinning off in the wet and a course vehicle was operating, was allowed to stand for some reason – did the stewards judge that Tachikawa believed that Cassidy was about to run wide? or, more shockingly, could it be that a yellow flag wasn’t even being displayed? (the MOLA Nissan was penalised for passing under yellows earlier in the race) It was curious to say the least.

      I said after the previous race that I was hoping to go to Motegi for the season finale. Well, my personal situation has been clarified, and I have the opportunity. The flights and rooms are booked: I am going to Japan to see not one but two Super GT races, and I’m thoroughly looking forward to it!

    2. A question:

      Does that Indycar race makes it the longest running race in history?

      1. If the two and a half months of delay are included, yes! If not, I think the 1907 Peking to Paris race is the longest race ever: it took two full months. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peking_to_Paris

    3. I really hope the sort of pack racing that we saw at Texas is something that we don’t see more of.

      Yeah fine the finish was close, But running in the big packs 2-3-4 wide with drivers been put in situations where they have to take big risks to move forward is the sort of racing that is unnecessarily dangerous & which as Indycar showed in the past (And which Nascar continues to show at the plate tracks) nearly always ends up with enormous multi-car wrecks which tend to end up with cars in the catch fence.

      1. That was just the by product of cautions though and new tires. Another 10 laps or so and the pack would have broken up due to handling.

        1. It was more down to the cars running more downforce this year.

          They were pack racing even in practice & a few of the drivers raised concerns about it & asked for downforce to be taken off but those concerns as always fell on deaf ear’s. I expect to start seeing pack racing phased back in as a lot of the ‘new’ people running the series now are actually old IRL guys who formulated the IRL formula that generated the pack racing through the 2000’s at tracks like Texas.

          Yes it broke up after the tyre-deg kicked in (Which was a bit too high given how the field strung out to the point only 4 cars were on the lead lap with most 2-3 laps down), But even on starts/restarts there should be no pack racing like we saw last weekend.

          They need to take downforce off these cars on these circuits & go back to what they had around 2012/2013 where we never saw any pack racing at all & where the racing was still good & still exciting. Creeping back to a high downforce setting will just take us back to where we were a few years ago & everyone knows how that story ends & how many near misses we had along the way.

    4. Absolutely loving Indycar at the moment. What an incredible finish. The formula just seems so spot on for great, unpredictable racing right now, shame more people don’t watch it.

    5. Why was the IndyCar race in Texas delayed too far – on August 27th? Why couldn’t they have rescheduled a week later back on June 19th this year?

      Thank you

      1. Rain delays for two days..

      2. @boroboy18 Some of the drivers were competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours so Indycar didn’t want to clash with that race. Unlike F1…

    6. I think logistics and other events were coming into play. Race was originally scheduled for Saturday, June 11th and rescheduled for Sunday, June 12th which saw 71 laps complete before more rain came. Monday had even more rain forecasted. I believe at that point some teams had scheduled tests coming up and some of the drivers were participating in Le Mans the weekend of the 19th.

      August 27th may have just been the first date that the Indycar, the teams and the track could agree on.

    7. Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup visited Hungaroring last weekend. Buhk/Baumann won the race with quite a big margin over anyone else, but the racing behind the lead was very tight and interesting to follow. Blancpain hugely impressed me in 24 Hours of Spa and again yesterday’s sprint race was just as good. Definitely more interesting than WEC, since there are no prototype cars ruining it with monstrous gap in performance so racing there is more evenly matched throughout the field.

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