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IndyCar’s GP of Indianapolis preview – facts, figures, schedule

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IndyCar’s GP of Indianapolis preview – facts, figures, schedule
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Co-author: IndyCar Series

All you need to know ahead of the second round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series – the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

Photo by: IndyCar

Event date: Friday, July 3 – Saturday, July 4

Track: Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile 13-turn road course

Race distance: 80 laps / 195.12 miles

Firestone tire allotment: Seven sets of primary tires to be used during practice, qualifying and the race, with rookies getting one extra set. These are the same construction as used in the 2019 race at Barber Motorsports Park but the same compound as at last year’s GP Indy.
Each car has four sets of alternates – the red-sidewalled softer compound – but they are tougher than last year’s reds at GP Indy, and instead comprise the compound used at last year’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Each car has five sets of rain tires available.

At-track schedule (local/Eastern Time) and broadcast details

Friday, July 3

11.30am - 1:00pm Practice NBC Sports Gold (live)
4.30 - 6.00pm Qualifying NBCSN (live)

Saturday, July 4

9.00 – 9.30pm Warm-up NBC Sports Gold (live)
12.00 GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis on NBC (live)

Leigh Diffey is the NBC/NBCSN announcer alongside analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network broadcasts: Mark Jaynes is chief announcer alongside analyst Davey Hamilton. Jake Query is the turn announcer with Nick Yeoman reporting from the pits. The GP of Indianapolis airs live on network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, indycar.comindycarradio.com and the IndyCar Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All NTT IndyCar Series practices and qualifying are available on indycar.com, indycarradio.com and the IndyCar Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 211 and XM 205.

Race Notes

2019 race winner: Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske-Chevrolet) 

2019 NTT pole winner: Felix Rosenqvist (Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda), 68.2785 seconds, 128.597mph

Qualifying record: Will Power (Team Penske-Chevrolet), 67.7044 seconds, 129.687mph (2017)

This will mark the seventh time that the IMS road course has hosted an IndyCar race, and the event’s only winners are Simon Pagenaud and Will Power, with three victories each. Pagenaud won the inaugural event for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – now known as Arrow McLaren SP – while he and Power have won the last five for Team Penske.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon has finished second in the last three GPs of Indy.

Power (2018) and Pagenaud (2019) completed the IMS double by winning GP Indy and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic-enforced revisions to the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series calendar, this year will offer drivers a rare chance to go for an IMS triple, since the road course is currently set to also host the penultimate round of the season, the Harvest Grand Prix on Sunday, October 3.

Power has started the GP Indy from pole on three occasions, while Sebastian Saavedra, Pagenaud and Felix Rosenqvist each earned P1 on a single occasion.

Tony Kanaan’s record streak of 318 consecutive race starts, which began in June 2001 at Portland, will end this weekend as the #14 AJ Foyt Racing car is taken over by rookie Dalton Kellett. Of the active drivers, Scott Dixon is closest to Kanaan’s tally having made 259 consecutive starts heading into the weekend, while Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti has made 235 consecutive starts.

There are four rookies in the field – the aforementioned Kellett who is making his IndyCar debut, Oliver Askew (Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet), Alex Palou (Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh-Honda) and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet). Both Askew and VeeKay have won races here, however – the former in USF2000, the latter in Indy Lights.

The 2013 Indy Lights champion, Sage Karam, will be making his first start on this track as Dreyer & Reinbold Racing-Chevrolet returns to road course racing for the first time since 2013.

 

Photo by: IndyCar

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