Pagenaud stretches fuel to win on Indy road course
By Jenna Fryer ,AP
May 12, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
INDIANAPOLIS -- France's Simon Pagenaud won an incident-strewn Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Sunday which started with a crash and saw James Hinchliffe and the mayor of the city injured by flying debris.
In the first IndyCar Series race on the famous circuit's road course rather than just the oval, Pagenaud won by stretching his fuel the final 29 laps.
The Frenchman took the lead when Oriol Servia had to stop for fuel with four laps remaining. Pagenaud managed to make it to the finish for his third series victory despite having to keep an eye on both his mirrors and his fuel gauge.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was second and Helio Castroneves third on his 39th birthday.
“The fuel saving was amazing,” Pagenaud said. “It was nerve-wracking. I was worried about RHR coming back, and I didn't know what Helio was doing here. I don't like racing off throttle.”
Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball rounded out the top five.
Hinchcliffe was taken from the track on a stretcher and transported to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a concussion after he was hit in the head with debris. A replay appeared to show debris from a car in front of him flew into his cockpit following a restart.
IndyCar said he'll have to be re-evaluated before he's cleared again to drive. Preparations begin Sunday for the Indianapolis 500, with qualifying scheduled to begin next Saturday for the May 25 race.
IndyCar policy in the past has been to keep concussed drivers out for at least seven days.
Andretti Autosport said EJ Viso will be the standby driver for Hinchcliffe.
“I'm a little stiff and sore and I'd love to be back in the car tomorrow, but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision,” Hinchcliffe said in a statement.
Hunter-Reay said he drove by Hinchcliffe's car and couldn't figure out what happened.
“I was actually next to him on track and all of a sudden debris went everywhere and he slowed up,” Hunter-Reay said about his teammate. “It was something that happened in front of him and he was hit.”