NTT IndyCar Series Race Preview: GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis

     





    After a weekend off, the drivers of the NTT IndyCar Series head into the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis as the official start to the month of May at the Brickyard as teams countdown to the 105th Running of The Indianapolis 500. 

Track Facts: The current layout of the Grand Prix is a fourteen turn, 2.439 mile road course, inside the confines of the oval layout with nine right and five left-hand turns. The course runs counterclockwise as the 24 car field heads down into turn one, which is the direction of oval turn four. Turn one is a sharp 90 degree right-hand turn that quickly shoots back into the quick left-hander for turn two and enters a sweeping right-hand turn three which leads to another right of turn four. Before heading onto the backstretch known as Hulman Blvd, there is a quick chicane of turns five and six. After going down the back, drivers approach a sharp left-hand turn that will be used as another passing opportunity. Going into quick left and right turns of turns eight, nine, and ten. Coming off of ten, drivers head through turn eleven which leads back onto the oval for another passing opportunity of turn twelve. This section of track has been repurposed for IndyCar/NASCAR use, as it was originally used for Moto GP.  Another left-hand turn leads into the final turn, which leads back onto the front stretch.

Race History: The GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis has been run ever since 2014, where Simon Pagenaud won the inaugural event for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Ever since that race, Team Penske has dominated every race since, with Pagenaud winning again in 2016 and 2019. Adding to that, Will Power has also won the event three times. Which means Team Penkse has won five of the six GMR Grand Prix events. 

2020 Event: The 2020 GMR Grand Prix was moved to the second race of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race was the first race ever at IMS to be seen without fans in attendance. Scott Dixon won this race last year in dominating fashion by 19.9496 seconds over Graham Rahal. It was Dixon's first win at the road course, and his first win at Indianapolis since the 2008 Indianapolis 500.

Race Predictions: Jimmie Johnson, Roman Grosjean, Max Chilton, and Connor Daly return to pilot their cars for the road course event. Veteran driver Charlie Kimball makes his return to the GMR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500, driving the No.11. Cheverloet for A.J. Foyt. Making another return for the month of May is Juan Pablo Montoya, who will be running with Arrow Mclaren SP. As for the race, this event has been dominated by Team Penske. It might not be a surprise that I expect all Penske cars to be running towards the front all day. Challengers have emerged this season in Pato O'Ward and Colton Herta to win on any given weekend, but I think this will be Joesf Newgarden's coming out party for the 2021 season, as he gets his first win of the year and enters the championship hunt.

Weekend Schedule: All times are EST.

  • Friday - 9:30 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Practice #1
  • Friday - 1:00 P.M. - 1:45 P.M. Practice #2
  • Friday - 4:30 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. IndyCar Group Qualifying 
  • Saturday - 10:45 A.M. - 11:15 A.M. IndyCar Warmup
  • Saturday - 2:00 P.M. GMR Grand Prix. (85 Laps, 207.32 Miles)
Catch all the action on Peacock and your local NBC affiliate.