Rossi’s mistake hands victory to Hunter-Reay


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Ryan Hunter-Reay scored his first IndyCar victory for three years after team mate Alexander Rossi skidded off under pressure with six laps to go in the weekend’s second race at Detroit.

Championship leader Rossi locked both front wheels and slid into an escape road at turn three while Hunter-Reay was breathing down his neck in the final laps.

Rossi led the race from pole position on a two-stop strategy, but his three-stopping team mate closed on him rapidly over the final laps. Hunter-Reay had been well over one-and-a-half seconds per lap faster as he chased down the leader.

Will Power inherited second place as a Rossi limped into the pits with a puncture. The Indianapolis 500 winner was the highest-placed Chevrolet finisher for the second day in a row at a track where Honda held the upper hand.

He was followed home by four Honda-powered drivers. Ed Jones recovered from losing several positions on the first lap to claim third ahead of team mate and race one winner Scott Dixon. Graham Rahal made amends for yesterday’s crash by taking fifth ahead of Robert Wickens, who had started on the front row but lost time after pitting early.

Charlie Kimball gave Carlin their best result to date with eighth behind Tony Kanaan. Marco Andretti came in ninth ahead of Simon Pagenaud and the second Carlin of Max Chilton and a disgruntled Rossi.

the start of the race was delayed by over half an hour due to a bizarre incident when the pace car driver crashed at the exit of turn two. No one was hurt but a spare pace car was needed to get the race started.

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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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22 comments on “Rossi’s mistake hands victory to Hunter-Reay”

  1. That pacecar crash was hilarious. Maybe Maldonado at the wheel? :P

    1. Hilariously, he’s crashed in the Le Mans test day..

    2. @lancesuk An oversteer crash like that usually involves a Mustang…

  2. YellowSubmarine
    4th June 2018, 0:02

    Rossi was under immense pressure leading into that lock-up and the little trip off the track. Deserved win for Hunter-Reay.

    1. Glad to see Hunter-Reay’s win drought end.
      Glad to see Andretti Autosport letting their drivers fight for the race win rather than just protecting the championship points leader like Mercedes or Ferrari would do.

    2. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to once more hear a comment like that in F1, it used to be a fairly regular storyline way back when.

  3. Mark in Florida
    4th June 2018, 4:02

    The pace car crash is what happens when you use a guest driver of dubious quality. They brought out Oriel Servia the regular pace car driver afterward. It was funny to see someone destroy a 100k plus Corvette doing something so stupid. Just glad no one was hurt in that incident. Hunter Reays team really had his car hooked up and he drove a superb race clicking out fast lap after lap. Rossi had older tires and couldn’t go any faster and the pressure from Hunter Reay was just too much. Rossi should have listened to his team and took the point’s as they fell instead of flat spotting his tires till one went flat. Good race to watch and it’s showing that the Honda is a race circuit engine while the Chevy is an oval track motor.

    1. the Honda is a race circuit engine while the Chevy is an oval track motor

      I don’t follow IndyCar, so could you please shed some light on what are the different demands placed by these two types of tracks on the engines that allows these different engines to best exploit their characteristics?

      1. @phylyp
        Best I can explain is that the Honda has better drive out of low speed corners, so negligable for ovals, but Chevy has better top end grunt which is 90% of a lap on an oval.

        Although last year it felt like the two engines were the other way, but aero kits may have played a part in that.

        1. Many thanks @eurobrun , so that sounds like the Honda is more torquey at lower rpm.

      2. Mark in Florida
        4th June 2018, 17:25

        The comments from the pits are that the Honda has more driveability and delivers more torque and bottom end horsepower. That helps the car on road courses due to the turns. On an oval track once a car gets up to speed you need power in the upper rev range because that’s where it’s going to stay for most of the race. This season is going to be about give and take between the two types of tracks and who can nail the setup on the car.

    2. That’s twice now this season that Rossi has blown a chance at a win at the end of a race by locking up and going straight on. He’s like Verstappen—he’s the star of every race, but is throwing away points.

      Lovely to watch the two- and three-stop strategies play out, and credit to Firestone for providing the option. I know it’s hard to compare the tyre demands of IndyCar and F1, given F1’s much higher downforce. Yet, it’s remarkable how consistently Firestone show up to IndyCar races with two compounds that offer teams a genuine, viable choice between two and three stops, while Pirelli bring three compounds and seem to be engaged in a constant struggle every weekend to provide any strategic variety at all.

      1. YellowSubmarine
        4th June 2018, 9:40

        More and more, I find that I enjoy Indy racing far better than I do F1. There’s real, genuine racing over the Indy weekend, while F1 these days sometimes appears to be a bit choreographed…watching Indy is a bit like watching boxing, while F1 is starting to feel a lot like WWF wrestling.

        1. Isn’t that what comes with spec cars?

        2. That’s why we’ll see Fernando making the move to IndyCar full time next year.

          1. Can’t see that…yet…but it sure would be a blast to watch. Personally I think he is not done with F1 yet and if I were him I’d consider that he’s only got a few more years in the pinnacle anyway, and Indycar can wait.

  4. John Toad (@)
    4th June 2018, 5:46

    I was quite surprised when the pace car crashed and the two occupants stepped out in street clothes, no racing overalls, gloves or helmets, then when the spare was wheeled out the occupants were similarly attired.
    The pictures I’ve seen of pace cars in F1 have the driver and passenger kitted out in full protective gear with helmets.
    Given all the recent fuss about driver safety, isn’t letting the pace car crew drive in street clothes a little hypocritical?

  5. I’ve really enjoyed both Indy races this weekend. More so than the Monaco GP. The on board shots seem more well thought out too.

    Feel for Rossi, but he needs to appreciate bagging points over always pushing for the unlikely win.

  6. Article should probably mention which race/track this was…

    1. Detroit GP, street circuit.

  7. Monaco could have the Pace car wrecking next year to make the event more exciting. Or cars following closely, a couple of overtakes and a 3 stop strategy competing against a 2 stop strategy for the race win.

  8. Quite the odd beginning with the Pace Car mishap, followed by a very exciting finish! Gutted for Rossi but he let the pressure get to him.

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