Pagenaud 6th and Vautier 11th in Race 2 at the GP of Houston

"We had bad luck with our first pit stop because the yellow flag came out right after we pitted, losing us a ton of track position"

Pagenaud 6th and Vautier 11th in Race 2 at the GP of Houston

HOUSTON (Oct. 6, 2013) - Simon Pagenaud entered Race 2 at the Grand Prix of Houston hoping to catapult himself even deeper into the hunt for the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series Championship, but he was relegated to a sixth place finish after starting third.

Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports Honda
Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt/Hamilton Motorsports Honda

Photo by: John Cote

Drivers lined up on the Grand Prix of Houston starting grid by entrant points after a morning qualifying session was canceled due to heavy rain at the 1.683-mile temporary street circuit.

Pagenaud, driving the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports Dallara/Honda/Firestone car, held third position through most of his first stint until an ill-timed caution flag after his first pit stop resulted in him losing valuable track position.

He battled back up to sixth, but fellow championship contender Scott Dixon finished second, leaving Pagenaud 55 points behind Dixon's total of 546 points.

"It's unfortunate because we struggled with time management here all weekend in Houston," Pagenaud said. "We didn't struggle on restarts nearly as much today as we did in Race 1, but we had a difficult time managing the (Firestone) red tires in the rear of the car. That's something that we still need to strive to understand as we move forward."

Pagenaud did gain ground on Helio Castroneves in the championship hunt, however. Castroneves leaves the Grand Prix of Houston with 521 points in second, just 30 points ahead of the No. 77 car.

"I have no regrets after today's race," Pagenaud said. "I tried as hard as I could just as the team did. We missed the championship this year but we can be very proud to be sitting third. We still have the opportunity to grab second from Helio (Castroneves) and it's been a great season overall. We're disappointed today but we gave it our all and we'll be back ready to fight in Fontana for the season finale."

Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet
Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology Chevrolet

Photo by: James Holland

Tristan Vautier drove the No. 55 Angie's List Schmidt Peterson Dallara/Honda/Firestone car from 18th to 11th in Race 2 at the Grand Prix of Houston. Vautier suffered the same fate from the first caution period of the race as his teammate.

"We had bad luck with our first pit stop because the yellow flag came out right after we pitted, losing us a ton of track position," he said.

There were nine caution flags peppered throughout the 90-lap race, and the rookie had difficulty keeping debris off of his Firestone tires during the caution periods.

"Under the long yellow flag during my second stint I got pickup on my tires from weaving back and forth too much trying to keep them warm," Vautier said. "I fell backward for three or four laps after that."

Vautier avoided a three-car incident on the final lap of the race and brought home an 11th-place finish.

"After struggling in the second stint, the rest of the race was about trying to charge back," he said. "I had a few good moves in the last stint and our pace was great. It's a disappointing weekend because I feel that we had more to show in the Angie's List car, but the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team was so great to repair my car after a few incidents during the weekend. It's a positive end to the race to come in 11th though and now we're focusing on the last oval race in Fontana."

Will Power of Team Penske won Race 2 at the Grand Prix of Houston. Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe followed him to the checkered flag in second and third position.

SPM News

shares
comments
Second place finish for Scott Dixon and Honda in Houston Sunday

Previous article

Second place finish for Scott Dixon and Honda in Houston Sunday

Next article

Ups and downs for Barracuda Racing on day 2 at Houston

Ups and downs for Barracuda Racing on day 2 at Houston
Load comments
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021
IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet Prime

IndyCar young guns are great, but the elders aren’t done yet

The ace 20-somethings in IndyCar have risen to become title contenders, but the best of the series veterans are digging deep and responding – and will continue to do so over the next couple of years, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Aug 20, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021