NEWS & RACES
2020.07.05Promising First IndyCar Road Course Race for Palou
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou completed his first full NTT IndyCar Series race on Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. However, while it was a promising road course debut, it wasn’t an easy one for the driver who ended up placing 19th in the GMR Grand Prix.
Palou, who was starting 21st, managed to move up to 16th place before heading to pit lane for his first stop on Lap 11. Having elected for a three-stop strategy, the rookie returned to the track in 23rd place.
Despite moving back up to 11th prior to his second stop, the Spaniard would end up losing a lap having pitted only a couple of laps before a full course caution.
Palou ended up getting his lap back and gained a couple of positions following his final stop on lap 58 to take the checkered flag in 19th place.
“It was really tough today at the GMR Grand Prix. Our strategy didn’t work out how we would have hoped. We pit early when we were running on the Firestone Red tires and that ended up not playing in our favor. Then we didn’t have any luck with the caution because we lost a lap there, so it was kind of over at that point for us,” explained Palou. “However, the pace of our Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda wasn’t bad, we improved from yesterday, which is good. We’ll need to analyze everything but I’m happy that we got all the laps in today. It will help us for Road America next weekend. I think we’ll be much better there.”
The Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh squad will be back in action next weekend, July 11 and 12, at Road America for the REV Group Grand Prix doubleheader event.
2020.07.04Palou to start from 11th row at GMR Grand Prix
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh driver Alex Palou was hoping for a better result for his maiden NTT IndyCar Series road course qualifying session on Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but the rookie had to settle for 21st on the starting grid for Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix.
Despite the end result, Palou impressed on his initial three-lap qualifying outing by placing third quickest with a lap time of 1:11.57 set on the primary Firestone ‘black’ tire. However, he was unable to get his alternate Firestone tires up to temperature for his final run in the 10-minute session. His fastest lap time of 1:11.1815 placed him 11th in his qualifying group.
“I’m disappointed with my qualifying result today,” expressed Palou. “When we first went out on the primary Firestone tire we were really good and were sitting P3 before going back out on the reds for our final lap. I had traffic on the out lap, like everybody, but I was not able to get the tires up to where they needed to be, so I didn’t have enough grip on my final lap and that’s why our result wasn’t so good. It’s all part of the learning experience, I guess. However, I’m happy with the first run we did, and I’m also encouraged for tomorrow because I believe we have a strong car for the race and that’s when it counts the most.”
Palou and his fellow NTT IndyCar Series drivers will get a final 30-minute warm up session tomorrow morning at 9:00am. The GMR Grand Prix will be broadcast live on NBC starting at Noon ET on Saturday, July 4.
2020.07.03Palou Eager for IndyCar Road Course Debut
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou sees this weekend’s GMR Grand Prix, the second round on the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, as the true start to his rookie season.
Palou made his official series debut at Texas Motor Speedway last month, where he gained valuable experience around the high-speed oval, despite a short lived race, through no fault of his own.
However, with this weekend’s event being held on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Spaniard will find himself in a familiar environment having competed his entire career on that style of race track.
“I’m really excited to get back to racing this weekend at the GMR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Texas was my first official NTT IndyCar Series race, but it was on an oval, after three months off and I had never raced on an oval before, so this weekend feels more like an ‘unofficial’ first race for me,” shared Palou.
“I’m very happy to be heading to a road course, which is the type of track that I’m used to racing on in Europe and Japan. It’s an environment that I’m much more comfortable with so I’m looking forward to a good weekend in my Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh Honda. The team had good cars there last season and I’m confident we can be quick there this year. Hopefully we can come out of the weekend with a good result.”
Drivers will get 90 minutes of practice starting at 11:30am ET on Friday, July 3 ahead of that afternoon’s qualifying session. Practice from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be streamed live on the NBC Gold App with qualifying being broadcast live on NBCSN from 4:30pm ET.
The GMR Grand Prix will go green at 12:08pm ET on Saturday, July 4 and will be broadcast live on NBC starting at Noon ET.
2020.06.07Palou’s NTT IndyCar Series Debut Ends Early in Texas
Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou’s NTT IndyCar Series debut was short lived when he got caught up in an on-track incident on Lap 37 of the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.
Earlier in the day, Palou had done a good job by qualifying 16th in his first ever oval qualifying session after only two hours of practice on the 1.5-mile track.
Palou was looking forward to gaining as much experience as possible in what was his first oval race and was running 15th when he entered pit lane on Lap 35 for his first pit stop.
Unfortunately, the Spaniard only got one more lap under his belt before he was collected by fellow rookie Rinus Veekay, who made contact with the wall and shot back down the track, clipping the left rear tire on the #55 Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh entry.
“I don’t think there was much I could have done. In hindsight, I should have gone high instead of going low, but that’s easy to say now. I have to watch the replay. Maybe I could have done something different, but not with the oval experience I have right now,” shared Palou.
“It’s a shame because the car was really good. I was getting comfortable and getting up to speed. Every lap I was getting better and better and keeping up with the cars in front. I was trying to get the car balanced right for the last stints. Unfortunately, we were not able to do that.”
Next up for Palou and the Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh team will be the GMR Grand Prix on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 4, 2020.
2020.06.05A Day of Firsts Awaits Alex Palou in Texas
The NTT IndyCar Series is getting back on track this weekend and Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh rookie Alex Palou will be facing a day of firsts on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway as he, finally, makes his official series debut.
Palou will not only be taking part in his first NTT IndyCar Series event, but it will also mark his first oval race and night race, all in a condensed one-day schedule on the high-speed oval that is the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth, Texas. While Palou will be the only driver on the grid having never raced on an oval, in any category, he won’t be going in completely blind having at least tested at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.
“These last few weeks I was really worried about just getting back to the United States and now that I’m here, I’m even happier and more excited to go racing at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Not only did I make it, but I made it with enough time to prepare properly with the team and the engineers and to prepare myself. To be able to focus on racing and not always thinking about if I’m going to make it or not is a huge relief,” expressed Palou.
“This weekend will be my NTT IndyCar Series debut, which has been a dream of mine. It will also be my first oval, first night race and it’s in Texas. Everything to make it a difficult and challenging debut, but I’m looking forward to it. The team has had good cars there in the past so it’s going to be up to me to get up to speed and get comfortable with the car again after three months away. We have limited track time, so it won’t be easy for me and the other rookies, but we’ll try to make the best of it. I’ll be the only driver in the field that has never raced on an oval, in any type of car, but I’m ready for the challenge. It would be awesome for Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh if we could come out with a good result as we finally get the season started.”
Palou and his fellow rookies will get an additional 30 minutes of practice prior to the full field taking to the track for the official practice session.
The season opening Genesys 300 will go green at 7:10pm local time and will be broadcast live on GAORA in Japan from 8:30pm JP time.
2020.05.25INDYCAR Announces Updated 2020 Series Schedule
An updated 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES schedule was released today, displaying calendar adjustments implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway remains the season opener with a night race on the 1.5-mile oval Saturday, June 6. The next race on the INDYCAR calendar will be the GMR Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course Saturday, July 4.
“Our teams and athletes are ready to get back on track and will deliver world-class action at Texas Motor Speedway and the Racing Capital of the World,” Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles said. “We appreciate the opportunity to begin our season during these unprecedented times, and I’m confident we’ll put on a great show.”
The REV Group Grand Prix at Road America has been rescheduled from June 21 to July 11-12, becoming a double-header with championship points races Saturday and Sunday on the iconic, 4-mile road course.
Two events have been canceled for 2020 due to local restrictions surrounding the pandemic: the Indy Richmond 300 on Saturday, June 27 at Richmond Raceway and the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday, July 12 on the streets of Toronto.
The season finale will be the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, Oct. 25, a new date recently announced after the originally scheduled season opener March 15 in St. Pete was postponed due to the global health crisis.
2020.05.08INDYCAR SERIES 2020 Season Kicks Off June 6 at TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
The 2020 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will begin Saturday, June 6 with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. INDYCAR’s stars will take the green flag at 8:45 p.m. (ET).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, INDYCAR will run a condensed schedule with practice, qualifying and the race taking place on the same day. The event also will be conducted without fans in attendance. This will be the 24th consecutive year in which INDYCAR has raced at the 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth, Texas.
To accommodate the one-day schedule, the length for the race at Texas Motor Speedway has been adjusted to 200 laps rather than the previously announced 248 laps.
The remainder of the updated, 15-race INDYCAR calendar for 2020, announced April 6, remains on schedule for competition.
2020.05.03P26 at the First Responder 175 presented by MGR
In the “real” racing world the month of May is famous for staging the Indianapolis 500 event and so at 2.30pm on Saturday, 2nd May, to mark the culmination of the the IndyCar iRacing Challenge the final round was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As in the previous five rounds of the Challenge, the cars lined up two abreast for the rolling start, unlike the legendary Indy 500 event we are all familiar with which has a traditional start grid comprising three cars abreast. It was a wild experience in the virtual world of iRacing which fully lived up to its category.
With eight of the participating drivers having won the real Indy 500, only three of the 33 drivers who took the start for the sixth and final round of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge had no previous experience on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, and Alex Palou, from Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh, was one of the three. Based on his five previous iRacing performances – where he finished fourth on 4th April at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park; where he led four laps and finished tenth on 11th April at Michigan; and where he led a lap and finished ninth the previous Saturday, 25th April, at the Circuit Of The Americas – Alex was considered to be a “dark horse” for a surprise victory, especially having won an iRacing practice session at the Indy Speedway oval two days prior to the race.
Palou started the race at Indianapolis on the fourth row of the grid in P8, but after five laps of battling for position, his car was squeezed against the wall. He recovered, and even led the race for three laps, but by lap 55 when in sixth position it was necessary to pit for fuel. He rejoined the race, but just three laps after his pit stop there was an incident in front of him on lap 58 which forced him into a spin and ultimately a crash causing a lot of damage to his car. He managed to overtake a few of the seriously damaged cars on track, but was finally classified P26 having only completed 59 laps of the 70 lap race.
The six rounds of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge having come to an end, we now await the start of the real 2020 IndyCar season.
2020.04.26P9 Finish at COTA, AUTONATION INDYCAR CHALLENGE
The fifth round of INDYCAR iRacing Challenge, AUTONATION INDYCAR CHALLENGE, was held at Cirtuit of the Americas on Saturday, April 25.
Alex Palou, car numer 55, took the checkered flag in ninth place for his third top-10 finish in the series.
The next race, the last one of the series, will be held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 2.
2020.04.19“Not our day today.” The 4th round of INDYCAR iRacing Challenge at Twin Ring Motegi.
The fourth round of the INDYCAR iRacing Challenge was held at the Twin Ring Motegi oval course, which has been closed since the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, at 3:30 a.m. on April 19 (Japan time).
There was a full course caution due to a vertual-like multi-crash on Lap 2, and a restart on Lap 9.
Alex Palou from Dale Coyne Racing with Team Goh, returning to the Japanese circuit after an year’s absence, albeit virtually, and he finished in 22nd place for the 113-lap race.
Alex said “Not our day today at Motegi. Kissed the wall in lap 15 and had to try a different strategy that didn’t work.” “It’s all good people! We will have COTA next week.” “Hope you are all safe at home with the family.”
The fifth round will be held at Circuit of the Americas on Saturday, April 25.