Round 2 of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition is complete as the historic racing weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is in full swing with NASCAR taking the track Sunday.
The condensed GMR Grand Prix weekend saw just one practice session before qualifying Friday, followed by a brief warmup and 80-lap main event in Saturday's Indiana heat. The race was run without fans in attendance due to percussions surrounding the ongoing global health crisis.
Qualifying 11th, Alexander Rossi made his way to inside the top five before a fuel pressure issue (same that cost the 27 practice time the day before) arose during the race's sole caution window. The issue retired the AutoNation / NAPA Honda to the garages with only 41 laps complete.
“We just lost power on that restart – we think it was the same fuel pressure issue that we had yesterday," said Rossi. "We thought we had it resolved, but clearly, we didn’t. It was strange because it was fine until we went under yellow. I think the AutoNation / NAPA Honda was good today – I think it was a top-five car. It’s just unfortunate that we’ve had this kind of weekend two races in a row. But we have four races in the next two weekends which will give us a chance to come back. We’re focusing on race wins and looking forward to welcoming fans back to the race next week at Road America.”
Prior to the race in Indy, Rossi suffered a mechanical issue in the season-opener in Texas. At the start of the race, an issue with the ECU kept the car from starting. With social distancing protocols preventing Honda engineers from assisting teams during the engine starting procedure, it resulted in drive-through penalties for "unapproved changes" and led to Rossi, along with Honda teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Graham Rahal, all going at least one lap down to the leaders. Electrical issues then caused an error with the with the pit-lane speed limiter, and the 27 machine fell a second lap down after another penalty. From there, the track-position race took on a new focus of survival and Rossi finished 15th.
The Series now heads into back-to-back doubleheader race weekends at Road America and Iowa Speedway, respectively. Fans will return to INDYCAR with those events, though with limited access areas.
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