AutoMatters & More: IndyCars at the 2017 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
On the second weekend of April, the 43rd Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach brought together the Verizon
The IndyCar race has long been the weekend’s signature event. Next to the
The current IndyCar chassis is the Dallara IR-12, powered by either a Chevrolet or a
Pit stops include refueling and mandatory tire changes. In this year’s race, some teams opted to make two pit stops and some chose three, to have fresher tires. The way things worked out, making only two stops turned out to be the better strategy.
Cars’ performance is important but so is reliability, as
On Saturday in the exciting qualification rounds, Helio Castroneves (driving the Chevrolet-powered, Auto Club of Southern California-sponsored car #3 for
Canadian James Hinchcliffe qualified fourth. Through skillful driving, a sound two-stop pit strategy and some good luck he worked his way up past Scott Dixon (NTT Data Honda #9 for
There were three caution periods. Favorite Will Power got together with Charlie Kimball just past the fountain, in turn four – a place where there was really no room to pass. That move took Kimball out of the race in the first lap. Power recovered and made it back to the pits for a new nose, but he was not competitive after that and finished in 13th.
On lap 63 Alexander Rossi, who had been running strong and was in contention for a possible win, suffered a heartbreaking engine failure on the Shoreline Drive main straightaway.
On lap 80 (of the 85 scheduled), Ryan Hunter-Reay’s Honda-powered car inexplicably came to a stop on course. It eventually restarted but his race was done.
Toyota and the Southern California Toyota dealers have served as title sponsor of this “party at the beach” for many years. Since 1989, in conjunction with the Grand Prix, Toyota has donated over $2.4 million to Racing for Kids, a national organization that benefits children’s hospitals throughout the U.S.
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Copyright © 2017 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #486
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