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IndyCar triumph at last for Pagenaud in Detroit

Schmidt-Hamilton's Simon Pagenaud finally made it to victory lane in the IZOD IndyCar Series with a hard-fought and impressive run in the second Detroit double-header.
Ever since he made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at short notice subbing for an injured Ana Beatriz in Alabama at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, it was clear that sportscar star Simon Pagenaud was simply too good at this not to make it into victory lane sooner or later - the only question was when. Now we have the answer: after three podium finishes in 2012, the Frenchman went one better and claimed the top step for himself in Detroit in the second race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans.

Polesitter and race 1 winner Mike Conway had led the field to the green flag four round 2 at Detroit, but this time he was the victim rather than the beneficiary of an immediate pass for the lead as Will Power immediately took point. And then, just like the first race 24 hours earlier, the yellows were out - and the cause was once again for AJ Allmendinger crashing out, the 2.34-mile, 13-turn Belle Isle street circuit not being at all kind to the NASCAR transferee this weekend.

"It was just a huge mistake by me again," said a clearly disappointed Allmendinger. "Start of the race, trying to be aggressive, not kind of get sucked into everything and just made a mistake again. I don't know what to say, I apologize to Roger.

"It's embarrassing, honestly. It's embarrassing for me. Roger deserves better than that," he went on. "I don't know where I go from here. I'm heartbroken, I don't even know what to say anymore."

Conway immediately reclaimed the lead from Power at the restart on lap 5, with Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Hunter-Reay in pursuit and James Jakes in fifth recovering from a problematic initial start on the front row alongside Conway. There was only time for four green flag laps before Simona de Silvestro ended up sliding into the unprotected concrete wall at turn 8 with a suspected brake issue on the #78 KV Racing car resulting in heavy damage to the front right of the car, but fortunately not to the driver.

"I'm alright," she said. "It was definitely hard because there were no tyres there, not really sure what happened. I went to turn a corner and it just wouldn't turn, and we hit into the wall straight ahead. The tyre just locked up into the turn and it wouldn't turn, and we just kind of went into the wall.

"It was frustrating because I think we were moving forward, we had an okay car," she said. "It's really frustrating because we're not quite sure what happened. It was the beginning of the race, so it's really annoying when you're out so early."

A number of cars ditched their planned race strategy to pit, among them Dario Franchitti, Tony Kanaan, Tristan Vautier, Takuma Sato, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal, Josef Newgarden and Sebastien Bourdais who duly restarted at the back of the pack when the track went green again on lap 13 and which saw Alex Tagliani end up in the tricky run-off at turn 3 in another replay of the previous day's events, causing a rapid return to yellow. This time, however, he got a helping punt from Ed Carpenter in the process who needed a new nosecone.

It was a short caution with the green out again on lap 15: EJ Viso suffered front wing damage in the restart melee, but it was a more serious matter for his Andretti Autosport team mate Ryan Hunter-Reay who clipped the wall at turn 8 at the same spot that had done for de Silvestro, and he had to limp the damaged #1 home to pit lane - fortunately without requiring a full course caution in the process.




Related Pictures

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Marco Andretti, driver of the #25 RC Cola Andretti Autosport Chevrolet IndyCar, leads Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar Sunday, June 2, 2013 during the second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race in Detroit, Michigan. Andretti finished sixth and is second in driver points. Castroneves finished eighth, and keeps the lead in driver points. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar leads Ryan Briscoe, driver of the #4 National Guard Panther Racing Chevrolet Sunday, June 2, 2013 during the second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit race in Detroit, Michigan. Castroneves finished eighth, and keeps the lead in driver points. Briscoe finished thirteenth. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
The start of the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson waves the green flag to start the second Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit race Sunday, June 2, 2013 on Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet)
The finish of the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
Fans watch the action during second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media.)
Simon Pagenaud celebrates on the podium with James Jakes and Mike Conway after the second race of the Detroit Belle Isle double-header - Sunday June 2 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media.)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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Terminator - Unregistered

June 03, 2013 4:07 PM

Wow, 6 different winners in 7 races. Shows how close this field is. The most incredible thing is that the two men tied for the championship lead (Castroneves, Andretti) and the guy in 4th (Dixon) all don't have a win!



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