2010 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

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United States   2010 Alabama
Race details
3rd round of the 2010 IndyCar Series season
Barber Motorsports Park.svg
Date April 11, 2010
Official name Indy Grand Prix of Alabama
Location Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
Course Road course
2.300 mi / 3.700 km
Distance 90 laps, 207.000 mi / 333.000 km
Weather 77 °F (25 °C), clear skies
Pole position
Driver Australia Will Power Team Penske
Time 1:10.1356
Fastest lap
Driver United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Time 1:12.7853 (on lap 53 of 90)
Podium
First Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske
Second New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing
Third United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing

The 2010 Indy Grand Prix of Alabama was the third race of the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series season. The race took place on April 11, on the 2.300-mile (3.701 km) road course in Birmingham, Alabama, and was telecast by Versus in the United States.

Report[edit]

Background[edit]

Practice and qualifying[edit]

Race[edit]

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley waved the green flag over the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Points leader Will Power, looking for his third win in a row led from pole followed by Mike Conway. Scott Dixon was ordered to relinquish third and fourth places to Hélio Castroneves and Marco Andretti respectively after being judged to have jumped the start. Replays showed that he reached the start line before Castroneves, after having started behind him. The first yellow flag was displayed on lap 12 for Japanese ex-Formula One driver Takuma Sato, who stopped on-course in Turn 13 after a throttle failure.

During the yellow, many drivers decided to pit, including Power and Conway from first and second, but others decided to stay out, led by Castroneves and Andretti. Conway beat Power out of pit road but was ordered to give the position back after replays showed that Power had reached the pit lane blend line before Conway. On the restart, Andretti took the lead into Turn 5, and the leading quartet of Andretti, Castroneves, Dixon and Dario Franchitti rapidly distanced themselves from the rest of the field. Simona de Silvestro ran an impressive fifth, unable to keep pace with the top four but well ahead of sixth-placed Alex Lloyd. The drivers who had pitted under the caution, including Power, Conway, Ryan Briscoe and Justin Wilson were all stuck in the mid-pack.

Andretti was the first of the leaders to make his first pit stop and he did so on lap 29. Castroneves and Dixon went two and one laps longer, respectively, but rejoined behind Andretti after their stops. The pace of the top three was such that Andretti, Castroneves and Dixon were still first, second and third after their stops, still ahead of Tony Kanaan, Will Power and the others who had stopped before or during the yellow. Franchitti moved back to fourth after Kanaan and Power pitted, but was now 7 seconds behind the leaders. Power rejoined sixth, and set about chasing down fifth-placed Simona de Silvestro. He passed her on lap 48 to take fifth, but he was 21 seconds behind fourth-placed Franchitti and 28 behind the lead trio.

The leaders continued on in the same order as before, with Andretti making his second stop on lap 57 whereas Castroneves made his on lap 61, and Dixon on lap 60. This cycled Andretti back to the lead but, unlike Castroneves and Dixon, he did not have enough fuel on board to take him to the end. Andretti had now begun to hit traffic as the leaders began to lap the drivers at the tail of the field. This allowed both Castroneves and Dixon to close right up to Andretti, but Andretti was able to resist the pressure and keep them behind him. However, he was forced to make a quick fuel stop on Lap 82 and thus hand over the lead to Castroneves after having led for 58 laps. He rejoined fifth behind Franchitti and Power.

On lap 85, with five laps left, Simona de Silvestro spun her HVM Racing car in Turn 5, apparently stalling the engine. This brought out a full-course caution and bunched the field up. Dixon was right behind Castroneves, but third-placed Franchitti had many lapped cars in between him and the lead duo. When the green flew, it left a two-lap shootout to the finish. Castroneves finished half a second ahead of Dixon and took his 17th Indy Racing League win, and was the 23rd of his career. He broke a tie with Emerson Fittipaldi to become the winningest Brazilian driver in IndyCar history. It was also his first win as a father, as he held his daughter Mikaella in victory lane. Franchitti held Power off to take third, and Andretti had to make do with fifth. Ryan Briscoe finished sixth in the third Penske car, with Justin Wilson, Tony Kanaan, Mike Conway and Alex Tagliani rounding off the top 10. Remarkably, all 25 starters were running at the finish; 25th place runner Sato finished 22 laps behind the leaders after the KV mechanics repaired his car.

Classification[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

  • All cars were split into two groups of twelve, with the fastest six from each group going through to the "top 12" session. In this session, the fastest six cars progressed to the "Firestone Fast Six". The fastest driver in the final session claimed pole, with the rest of the cars lining up in session order, regardless of qualifying times. (fast six from 1–6, top 12 from 7–12 and round 1 from 13–25, with group 1 drivers occupying the odd–numbered grid positions, and group 2 drivers occupying the even–numbered grid positions.
Pos No. Driver Team Group 1[1] Group 2[2] Top 12[3] Fast 6[4]
1 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 1:10.2595 1:10.1060 1:10.1356
2 24 United Kingdom Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:10.7447 1:10.5581 1:10.6501
3 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 1:10.6187 1:10.4723 1:10.6569
4 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 1:10.8752 1:10.4171 1:11.0701
5 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.5937 1:10.6278 1:11.3557
6 5 Japan Takuma Sato (R) KV Racing Technology 1:10.3985 1:10.5646 1:11.4387
7 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 1:10.5337 1:10.6307
8 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosport 1:10.9417 1:10.6903
9 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 1:10.7205 1:10.7602
10 8 Venezuela E. J. Viso KV Racing Technology 1:10.6449 1:10.7757
11 22 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 1:10.7389 1:10.7760
12 32 Brazil Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology 1:11.0035 1:11.5219
13 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro (R) HVM Racing 1:11.0262
14 37 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 1:10.7449
15 67 United States Graham Rahal Sarah Fisher Racing 1:11.1495
16 19 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd (R) Dale Coyne Racing 1:10.9524
17 06 Japan Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 1:11.2855
18 2 Brazil Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon Racing de Ferran Motorsports 1:11.0507
19 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 1:11.5340
20 14 Brazil Vitor Meira A. J. Foyt Enterprises 1:11.1348
21 77 Canada Alex Tagliani FAZZT Race Team 1:11.5669
22 34 Brazil Mario Romancini (R) Conquest Racing 1:11.6020
23 4 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Panther Racing 1:11.6095
24 18 Venezuela Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing 1:15.1422
25 36 Belgium Bertrand Baguette (R) Conquest Racing 1:11.9800

Race[edit]

Pos No. Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Laps Led Points
1 3 Brazil Hélio Castroneves Team Penske 90 1:56:41.3928 3 20 50
2 9 New Zealand Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 90 + 0.5703 5 0 40
3 10 United Kingdom Dario Franchitti Chip Ganassi Racing 90 + 8.1590 7 0 35
4 12 Australia Will Power Team Penske 90 + 8.6639 1 12 33
5 26 United States Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport 90 + 9.7410 4 58 32
6 6 Australia Ryan Briscoe Team Penske 90 + 10.9611 9 0 28
7 22 United Kingdom Justin Wilson Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 90 + 11.5478 11 0 26
8 11 Brazil Tony Kanaan Andretti Autosport 90 + 12.8533 8 0 24
9 24 United Kingdom Mike Conway Dreyer & Reinbold Racing 90 + 13.3162 2 0 22
10 77 Canada Alex Tagliani FAZZT Race Team 90 + 14.8450 21 0 20
11 4 United Kingdom Dan Wheldon Panther Racing 90 + 15.2007 23 0 19
12 37 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport 90 + 15.6727 14 0 18
13 32 Brazil Mario Moraes KV Racing Technology 90 + 16.7242 12 0 17
14 2 Brazil Raphael Matos Luczo Dragon Racing de Ferran Motorsports 89 + 1 Lap 18 0 16
15 06 Japan Hideki Mutoh Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 89 + 1 Lap 17 0 15
16 8 Venezuela E. J. Viso KV Racing Technology 89 + 1 Lap 10 0 14
17 67 United States Graham Rahal Sarah Fisher Racing 89 + 1 Lap 15 0 13
18 14 Brazil Vitor Meira A. J. Foyt Enterprises 89 + 1 Lap 20 0 12
19 7 United States Danica Patrick Andretti Autosport 89 + 1 Lap 19 0 12
20 36 Belgium Bertrand Baguette (R) Conquest Racing 89 + 1 Lap 25 0 12
21 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro (R) HVM Racing 89 + 1 Lap 13 0 12
22 34 Brazil Mario Romancini (R) Conquest Racing 89 + 1 Lap 22 0 12
23 19 United Kingdom Alex Lloyd (R) Dale Coyne Racing 89 + 1 Lap 16 0 12
24 18 Venezuela Milka Duno Dale Coyne Racing 86 + 4 Laps 24 0 12
25 5 Japan Takuma Sato (R) KV Racing Technology 68 + 22 Laps 6 0 10
OFFICIAL RACE REPORT

Championship standings after the race[edit]