Team Chevy looking to score third victory of the season at the inaugural Grand Prix of Indy
Chevrolet is back at the Brickyard for the month of May – a time-honored tradition for IndyCar drivers and teams. But ahead of the Indianapolis 500 later this month, the defending Verizon IndyCar Series engine manufacturer champion has more immediate business to tend to – the first IndyCar race on a redesigned road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis will precede the traditional festivities surrounding the Indy 500 – a race won by Chevrolet in 2013 - and features a 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course within the confines of one of the world’s great racing venues. Chevrolet driver’s and teams had the opportunity to test on the road course last week with Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe setting the two quickest times in their Chevy V6 IndyCars.
“There was general enthusiasm from the Team Chevy camp after the Open Test conducted last week on the newly configured road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” said Chris Berube, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager, Verizon IndyCar Series. “The track updates have produced a fast, flowing circuit that is fun to drive according to many of the drivers. The Chevy-powered teams were prepared and posted quick times as they dialed in setups and racing lines. The high speeds at the ends of the front and back straights will certainly provide a show of engine power, a workout for the tires and brake systems and coupled with the generally wide and smooth racing surface provide for many passing opportunities. It is not often that a new race track is christened, so Team Chevy is proud to compete in the Inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.”
Throughout the race weekend and the entire month of May, the Team Chevy IndyCar display will be on site for fans to visit. For the Grand Prix of Indy, fans can look for the Bowtie in the infield at the corner of 6th Street and New Myers Drive. The display hours of operation are 9 a.m - 6:30 p.m., Friday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
A number of vehicles from the Chevrolet line-up will be on-site including Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Sonic Hatchback RS, Traverse and Volt. Fans will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the No. 3 AAA Chevrolet V6 IndyCar of Helio Castroneves as well as check out a variety of other specialty vehicles on display. There will be interactive activities for children and adults.
The highlight of the weekend will be the driver visits to the Chevrolet stage in the display where fans can participate in question-and-answer sessions with Chevrolet’s top IndyCar stars.
On Friday, fans can see - Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at noon Helio Castroneves, Will Power (shown above in his Penske Chevrolet) and Juan Pablo Montoya will make appearances followed by Ed Carpenter and Mike Conway at 1 p.m., and Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan at 2 p.m.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 10 with live television coverage on ABC. The live IMS Radio broadcast will be available on Sirius and XM channels 209 and www.indycar.com. Race timing and scoring can also be found on www.indycar.com.
Chevrolet drivers seem to like the updated infield road course. “Like everyone else, I’m really impressed and really happy with what they’ve done to the road course at Indy," said Will Power, series points leader " It’s going to be a challenging race. It’s obviously very flat, so there are places that don’t have much grip. But there are also places that have more grip than you would imagine. So it really is going to take a well-balanced car to win on Saturday. Obviously, with this being the first race, there are a lot of unknowns. A win here would be a great way to start off the month of May.”
“I really like the new circuit at IMS," said Mike Conway." There are several good passing zones. I think the fans will enjoy the racing at the Grand Prix. It’s funny coming back to IMS. My last two races there, in 2010 and 2012, didn’t end well (with bad crashes) in the Indy 500. So it feels good to return on the new road course. We learned some good things in the test last week. I’m anxious to get out there on Thursday and see how the circuit feels. It would be spectacular to win the first IndyCar Series road race at IMS. That’s our goal.”
“I’m looking forward to starting the month of May off with the first Grand Prix of Indianapolis," said Helio Castroneves. "This month and this racetrack mean a lot to Team Penske. It would mean a lot to me and everyone on this team to win the inaugural road course race. It was good to get out there last week and get a feel for the track. It's spectacular and I think we'll have a good show next weekend. The times are so close that it's crazy. We know of a few areas that we need to work on with the No. 3 Verizon Chevy, but overall we were happy and we’re ready to go to Indianapolis.”