Chevrolet bid to claim Honda’s Indy 500 crown

2013 Indianapolis 500 preview

Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Indianapolis, 2012For fans of open-wheel racing this Sunday has to be one of the best days of the year. The blue riband races of the Formula One world championship and the IndyCar series fall on the same day.

Once the 22 F1 drivers have done their thing in Monaco it’ll be time for 33 IndyCar racers to take the start of the 97th Indianapolis 500.

The last two runnings of this great race have taken almost three hours to complete – and on both occasions they ended in drama.

Last year Dario Franchitti and Takuma Sato began the final lap side-by-side. But as they hurtled into the first corner Sato lost control and crashed out, leaving Franchitti to win.

That wasn’t a patch on the stunning twist at the end of the previous year’s race. Rookie JR Hildebrand was comfortably in the lead as he began his final tour, only to hit the wall at the last corner. While his three-wheeled car coasted to the line Dan Wheldon, making his first start of the year, nipped past to score a shock second Indy 500 victory.

Will the 2013 race serve up another classic? We’ll find out on Sunday as this classic race begins just a few hours after the end of another historic event – the Monaco Grand Prix.

Chevrolet versus Honda

Ryan Hunter-Reay, Indianapolis, 2013Not since Gil de Ferran’s victory for Toyota ten years ago has a car powered by anything other than a Honda won the Indianapolis 500. And you have to go back another year to find the last American manufacturer to power the winner of America’s great race.

Honda have had it all their own way in the intervening years. For a while they powered every car in the race but that changed last year with Chevrolet’s return. Although Chevrolet’s Ryan Hunter-Reay claimed the IndyCar championship last year, victory at the Indianapolis 500 is considered by many to be an even greater prize.

Chevrolet began this year strongly with James Hinchcliffe winning twice for them and Hunter-Reay scoring another. But former F1 star Sato gave Honda a win in the Long Beach Grand Prix and lead the points standings ahead of the biggest race weekend of the year.

2013 Indianapolis 500 qualifying

There were plenty of surprises in qualifying for this year’s race – and a dream result for Chevrolet in their battle with Honda. Every car in the top ten places is powered by the American carmaker.

Will Power, Indianapolis, 2013Pole position went to the only driver in the field who runs his own team. Ed Carpenter claimed first place with a lap almost 4kph faster than last year’s pole position.

He may not drive for one of the top teams but he is a serious candidate for victory. Carpenter and won the last oval race at the end of 2012, another gruelling 500-miler at Fontana.

The identity of the next driver on the grid is an even bigger surprise. Colombian Carlos Munoz is making his first ever start in an IndyCar race for Andretti. He’s also racing in today’s Indy Lights support race where he also starts second. Team mate Marco Andretti joins him on the three-car front row.

Series returnee AJ Allmendinger put his car fifth on the grid ahead of Penske team mate Will Power. Hunter-Reay, who beat Power to the title last year in that thrilling Fontana finale, is seventh on row three.

Alex Tagliani is the first Honda-powered driver on the grid. Sato and Franchitti will resume their battle from last year on row six. The other two former F1 drivers in the field are on the row in front of Sato: Justin Wilson 14th and Sebastien Bourdais 15th.

2013 Indianapolis 500 grid

Row 1 1. Ed Carpenter 228.762
Ed Carpenter Dallara-Chevrolet
2. Carlos Munoz 228.342
Andretti Dallara-Chevrolet
3. Marco Andretti 228.261
Andretti Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 2 4. EJ Viso 228.15
Andretti Dallara-Chevrolet
5. AJ Allmendinger 228.099
Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
6. Will Power 228.087
Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 3 7. Ryan Hunter-Reay 227.904
Andretti Dallara-Chevrolet
8. Helio Castroneves 227.762
Penske Dallara-Chevrolet
9. James Hinchcliffe 227.07
Andretti Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 4 10. JR Hildebrand 227.441
Panther Dallara-Chevrolet
11. Alex Tagliani 227.386
Bryan Herta Dallara-Honda
12. Tony Kanaan 226.949
KV Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 5 13. Oriol Servia 226.814
Panther DRR Dallara-Chevrolet
14. Justin Wilson 226.37
Dale Coyne Dallara-Honda
15. Sebastien Bourdais 226.196
Dragon Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 6 16. Scott Dixon 226.158
Ganassi Dallara-Honda
17. Dario Franchitti 226.069
Ganassi Dallara-Honda
18. Takuma Sato 225.892
AJ Foyt Dallara-Honda
Row 7 19. Charlie Kimball 225.88
Ganassi Dallara-Honda
20. James Jakes 225.809
RLL Dallara-Honda
21. Simon Pagenaud 225.674
Schmidt Hamilton Dallara-Honda
Row 8 22. Townsend Bell 225.643
Panther Dallara-Chevrolet
23. Ryan Briscoe 225.265
Ganassi Dallara-Honda
24. Simona de Silvestro 225.226
KV Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 9 25. Josef Newgarden 225.731
Fisher Dallara-Honda
26. Graham Rahal 225.007
RLL Dallara-Honda
27. Sebastian Saavedra 224.929
Dragon Dallara-Chevrolet
Row 10 28. Tristan Vautier 224.873
Schmidt Peterson Dallara-Honda
29. Ana Beatriz 224.184
Dale Coyne Dallara-Honda
30. Pippa Mann 224.005
Dale Coyne Dallara-Honda
Row 11 31. Conor Daly 223.582
AJ Foyt Dallara-Honda
32. Buddy Lazier 223.442
Lazier Dallara-Chevrolet
33. Katherine Legge 223.176
Schmidt Peterson Dallara-Honda

Did not qualify: Michel Jourdain Jnr, RLL Dallara-Honda

2012 Indianapolis 500 highlights

2013 Indianapolis 500 on F1 Fanatic Live

F1 Fanatic Live will be running throughout the Indianapolis 500. Join us after the Monaco Grand Prix for every lap of the race which is due to start at 5pm UK time and is broadcast live on ESPN UK.

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36 comments on Chevrolet bid to claim Honda’s Indy 500 crown

  1. Sasquatsch (@sasquatsch) said on 24th May 2013, 19:52

    Last year the Chevrolet car out qualified the Honda cars, but in the end the Honda cars fought for the win because of better fuel consumption. I wouldn’t be surprised if this would also be the case this year.

  2. muz (@murray1964) said on 25th May 2013, 6:13

    I must have some strange disease, I love plenty of different types of motor sports. If it has an engine and wheels I will probably watch it. Although F1 is my first love Im equally happy to watch Indy, NASCA, Aussie V8s, MOTO GP, WRC. Well you get the picture whatever I have, I have it bad.
    Big weekend this weekend so Im sure I will get my fix and not much sleep.
    I suppose its a bit too much to ask for a Webber, Power and Ambrose show.
    I hope you all have a great weekend.

  3. Mike Kelso said on 26th May 2013, 20:33

    “The blue riband races …”? I think you meant “blue ribbon”.

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