who will win the classic oval?

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At least since guest star Fernando Alonso debuted, many European racing fans are looking forward to Indianapolis in May. The national IndyCar Series oval race is one of the biggest events in motorsport and forms, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the so-called “Triple Crown” – Grand Slam of Racing (so far the only winner: Graham Hill). The race, first held in 1911, can glimpse a long and sometimes exciting history, and was sometimes even part of the Formula 1 calendar in the 1950s.

In recent years, the race, affectionately shortened to “Indy 500”, has seen a big boom thanks to Alonso and has been able to attract a famous team with McLaren. Regarding the starting square this year, even the traditionalists are interested and speak of a golden age. So, there is no better time to become a fan of the Oval Legend. To get started quickly, we’ll briefly answer the most important questions about the biggest one-day event in the world of sports.

What makes the Indy 500 so special?

To this day, the stereotype of supposedly simple circular driving persists in Europe. But the Indy 500 is much more than 200 laps without a decent lap. With speeds of over 360 km / h, heavy slide duels, and hard-to-drive cars without power steering, racing is one of the biggest challenges Formula Racing has to offer. Many pilots also fear the dangers of the 2.5-mile oval, where small mistakes have serious consequences.

Besides sports, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the host of the IndyCar racing series maintain a plethora of traditions. Plus the 11 starting classes with three pilots each, the hour-long introductory program, and the Indy-based command “Hey gentlemen, start your engines!” The bottle of milk awarded to the winner is also one of the greatest constants in 110-year history. The paradigmatic American drama and the idea of ​​entertainment are clearly at the center of the concerns.

What cars are used in the IndyCar series?

Unlike Formula 1, the IndyCar series uses a standard chassis from the Italian manufacturer Dallara. This also provides formula 2 and 3 as well as the premium Japanese formula. In addition to leveling the playing field for teams, IndyCar wants to create a unified level of safety. The air shield, mandatory since last year and based on a concept introduced by Red Bull in Sochi in 2016, also fits into this framework. The solution for IndyCar, which was developed in collaboration with Red Bull Advanced Technologies (RBAT), combines a halo arc with a windshield that anchors it.

Indy carr

The IndyCar windshield is a combination of halo and windshield. Since the drivers are no longer exposed to the wind, new ventilation mechanisms such as tubes leading to the helmet have been added.

The biggest difference between cars is the engines. Along with Chevrolet and Honda, IndyCar has two engine partners who have each developed a twin-turbo 2.2-liter V6 and are delivering them almost equally to customer teams. On Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the variators deliver just over 550 hp due to the already high speeds (no official information from the teams). To qualify, for the sake of the scene, there is no more boost pressure and therefore, according to the estimate, more than 100 hp.

How is the start menu formed?

As in other series, IndyCar features a mix of top teams, midfield and full back teams. The biggest teams are Andretti Autosport (Honda), Chip Ganassi Racing (Honda) and Team Penske (Chevrolet). The Indy 500 champions and winners come regularly from their circuit.

Along with Dale Coyne Racing (Honda), Ed Carpenter Racing (Chevrolet), Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (Honda) and McLaren SP (Chevrolet), there are also plenty of midfield teams who regularly challenge the best players. Usually for the IndyCar, the little ones can also reach the top 5 with a little luck – unthinkable in Formula 1.

Pilots currently have an exciting mix of old stars and young aspirants. The perfect example is the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race: six-time IndyCar champion and forerunner Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) shares it with Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport), 21, and Rinus Vicay, 20. years. (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Who do you know from a European point of view? Is Roman Grogan at the start?

Fans of Formula 1 and the youth series should recognize a number of names when looking at the pitch. For example, Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) found a second home in IndyCar and won the Indy 500 for the second time in 2020. Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren SP) was also very successful in the United States, who won third place can Time wins on Sunday.

Other well-known names in Formula 1 are Alexander Rossi (Andretti Autosport, 2016 Indy 500 winner), Marcus Ericsson (Chip Ganassi Racing), Sébastien Bourdais (AJ Foyt Enterprises) and Haas Pietro Fittipaldi (Dale Coyne Racing) test pilot. Simona de Silvestro, who plays with the Penske Paretta Autosport satellite team, is also the only qualified driver.

Indy carr

The Swiss Simona de Silvestro takes the start for the sixth time in the Indy 500.

On the other hand, Frenchman Roman Grosjean (Del Quinn Racing) will be absent as planned, as he will be deprived of the dangerous oval races at least in his first year in the new series. The same goes for NASCAR legend Jimmy Johnson (Chip Janassi Racing), who is represented by Tony Canaan.

What strategic characteristics do you need to know?

In terms of strategy, the Indy 500 is very classic: there is only one tire compound and when it comes to stopping, it is important to take as much ethanol as possible with you. In 2020, the top ten drivers completed 200 laps with five saves, and in 2019 the winning strategy was six pit lane visits, and in 2018, like the previous year, five runs were enough.

As usual in America, the race takes place around the safety car breaks. Poker invites you especially at the end of the day to play strategic tricks to save fuel when there is no neutralization or delayed delay. By then you must have made your way to the front third of the peloton to have a chance in the final race.

Are viewers allowed?

After the race had to go without spectators last year due to the pandemic, 40% of the capacity, or around 135,000 fans, has been approved for this year.

What will the weather be?

Since elliptical runs cannot occur in the rain for safety reasons, weather is always a critical issue as the Indy 500 approaches. However, current forecasts call for plenty of sunshine and up. at 23 degrees.

Who is broadcasting the race on television?

Sport 1 secures its rights in Germany. The entire Indy 500 will be broadcast live on Sunday from 5:50 p.m. The main free-to-air television channel Sport 1 will broadcast an hour-long summary from 11:00 p.m.

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