Hinchcliffe takes victory in Long Beach

Speedcafe.com

Monday 10th April, 2017 - 12:40pm

Share:

James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe has survived a late-race Safety Car to take victory in the Grand Prix of Long Beach, while Will Power finished 13th after incurring damage on the opening lap.

Pole-sitter Helio Castroneves was swamped at the start and the #3 Team Penske Chevrolet dropped back to sixth as Scott Dixon took the lead.

Behind, Power tagged Charlie Kimball through Turn 5 and both ended up in the wall.

The Chip Ganassi Honda driver’s day was done, while the Penske crew fitted a new front wing to Power’s #12 entry.

Sebastien Bourdais took the opportunity to pit under the caution which the incident caused, while Hinchcliffe would pressure Dixon at the restart.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, however, would displace Hinchliffe from second position on Lap 6 and he inherited the lead when Dixon took his first stop on Lap 16.

Hinchcliffe took the #5 Schmidt Peterson Honda into pit road for the first time on Lap 28 and Hunter-Reay on Lap 29, as those two looked for a two-stop strategy in contrast to the more popular three-stopper.

After those stops it was Dixon leading Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, and Simon Pagenaud, who had climbed through the field from rear of grid after a qualifying penalty, with Bourdais a spot further back in fifth.

Bourdais and Pagenaud then took their second stops on Laps 30 and 31 respectively, while Dixon waited until Lap 41.

From there, the New Zealander went on a tear in the #9 Ganassi Honda on red tyres, closing the gap to leader Hunter-Reay to 15s, with Hinchcliffe running second and Alexander Rossi third.

Hunter-Reay and Rossi pitted on Lap 55, while Hinchcliffe played the over cut as he stopped a lap later and jumped the Andretti pair, with Rossi on red tyres soon passing Hunter-Reay on blacks.

Bourdais also pitted for the final time on Lap 57, while out in front the leader was Dixon with Josef Newgarden close behind.

That pair pitted on Laps 62 and 60 respectively, leaving Hinchcliffe in the lead and Hunter-Reay chasing after Rossi’s #98 Honda suffered an engine failure.

A caution was called with 22 laps to run, the top five being Hinchcliffe, Hunter-Reay, Bourdais, Newgarden, and Dixon.

Hinchcliffe gapped the field when the green flags flew again, before Hunter-Reay closed in with less than ten laps remaining.

However, Hunter-Reay then succumbed to technical problems and there was yet another Safety Car.

Hinchcliffe needed to survive the final four laps and he did, gapping Bourdais to take his fifth career win in IndyCar, ahead of the Frenchman, Newgarden, Dixon, and Pagenaud.

Round 3 is at Barber Motorsports Park on April 21-23.

Race results: Grand Prix of Long Beach

Pos Driver Grid Laps Race time Laps led Status Pit stops
1 James Hinchcliffe 4 85 01:50:28.9818 25 Running 2
2 Sebastien Bourdais 12 85 01:50:30.4758 Running 3
3 Josef Newgarden 8 85 01:50:31.2978 Running 3
4 Scott Dixon 2 85 01:50:31.7650 32 Running 3
5 Simon Pagenaud 21 85 01:50:32.3752 Running 3
6 Ed Jones 13 85 01:50:34.7769 Running 3
7 Carlos Muñoz 14 85 01:50:35.9211 Running 3
8 Spencer Pigot 19 85 01:50:38.0388 Running 3
9 Helio Castroneves 1 85 01:50:38.3221 Running 4
10 Graham Rahal 6 85 01:50:46.8450 Running 3
11 JR Hildebrand 15 84 01:49:33.0979 Contact 3
12 Mikhail Aleshin 16 84 01:49:35.0000 Running 3
13 Will Power 9 84 01:50:48.0027 Running 5
14 Max Chilton 20 84 01:50:48.4542 Running 4
15 Tony Kanaan 11 84 01:50:49.0126 Running 6
16 Conor Daly 17 84 01:50:49.7714 Running 5
17 Ryan Hunter-Reay 3 79 01:41:38.5661 28 Off Course 2
18 Takuma Sato 18 78 01:40:46.3691 Off Course 4
19 Alexander Rossi 5 62 01:15:43.3798 Mechanical 2
20 Marco Andretti 10 14 00:20:31.8548 Off-Course 1
21 Charlie Kimball 7 1 00:02:25.6236 Contact 0

Championship points: After Round 2

Pos Driver Pts
1 Sebastien Bourdais 93
2 James Hinchcliffe 74
3 Simon Pagenaud 71
4 Scott Dixon 70
5 Josef Newgarden 59
6 Helio Castroneves 51
7 Ed Jones 48
8 Ryan Hunter-Reay 46
9 Takuma Sato 43
10 Marco Andretti 36
11 JR Hildebrand 36
12 Carlos Muñoz 35
13 Spencer Pigot 34
14 Mikhail Aleshin 34
15 Graham Rahal 33
16 Tony Kanaan 33
17 Alexander Rossi 30
18 Will Power 30
19 Max Chilton 30
20 Conor Daly 29
21 Charlie Kimball 21