Scott Dixon dominated the Detroit Grand Prix. But the event may be remembered more for the two-hour hiatus before a final 15-lap sprint in a shortened race.
Sections of the track began breaking up, eventually causing James Hinchcliffe to crash out. The race was red-flagged while marshals repaired the surface and the race length cut from 90 laps to 60.
Dixon held his nerves through three restarts when the race finally resumed. Helio Castroneves spun out having resumed from fifth, meanwhile Dario Franchitti – who originally started 14th – worked his way up to finish second.
Simon Pagenaud claimed third as Will Power slipped from second to fourth in the final laps
The final caution period was caused by Marco Andretti knocking EJ Viso into a spin. Viso had run fourth in the opening stages, holding up Ryan Hunter-Reay and a host of others, brushing the wall and catching a dramatic slide at one point.
Rubens Barrichello had a race to forget, starting 24th and retiring early on with car trouble.
The race leaves the top five in the championship looking like this:
Will Power 232
Scott Dixon 206
Helio Castroneves 177
Dario Franchitti 176
James Hinchcliffe 176
Couldn’t be around to watch most of the race, went to bed before restart. Still saw some great racing in between.
And I was reminded again of how different, more open, the pitlane in Indycar is compared to F1. No one complaining (on tv) just saying they’ll have to see, trust the organisers and it is a shame for the crowds etc. And casually naming team/sponsor into conversation smoothly, it all comes over as a friendly track day we could all be at which is very pleasant to watch. It might be partly a facade (is it?), but it is well done nonetheless.
Have to say I was disappointed by the track breakup. I was at the race in ’99 and it’s really an awesome track. True, they had quite a train going behind Viso, but it made for some great moments of people trying to get past. I had recorded the race to watch, so I didn’t get to see any of the restart. How did the track hold up? From what I saw, it seemed like they were straight up patching it with new concrete, which didn’t seem wise as a short-notice solution. I wouldn’t think it’d properly dry by the restart.