2021 IndyCar GMR Grand Prix Preview

The NTT IndyCar series is set to be back in action this weekend with the fifth round of the season.

The series will contest the GMR Grand Prix around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, the usual race held just prior to the season’s Indianapolis 500. The GMR Grand Prix did take place in 2020, although it was the second round of the season and held in July due to the pandemic.

Last year saw Will Power claim pole position ahead of Jack Harvey and Colton Herta. Scott Dixon would however go on to claim victory ahead of Graham Rahal and Simon Pagenaud.

Dixon became only the third different winner of the event with Pagenaud having won in 2014, 2016 and 2019 and Power winning in 2015, 2017 and 2018. This discounting the double header Harvest Grand Prix that was held last season around the Indianapolis road course.

IMG_1947” by Nick Mischo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Dixon leads the championship heading into the latest round of 2021, and has a 22 point advantage over nearest rival Pato O’Ward, with Alex Palou completing the top three in the championship who is four points behind O’Ward and 26 adrift of Dixon.

As for the other podium finishers in the 2020 edition of the race. Rahal starts the weekend fifth in the championship, five points ahead of Pagenaud who is sixth. Ahead of Rahal is Josef Newgarden with nine points separating the two. Pagenaud meanwhile has only a two point gap separating him from Colton Herta who is seventh.

A word on the rookies where Scott McLaughlin impressed in Texas going on to claim second behind Dixon in the first race before then going on to be classified eighth in the second race. McLaughlin is eighth in the championship, level on points with teammate Will Power, and one point behind Herta.

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With this weekend being a road course event it also means the return of 2021 rookies Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson. Grosjean goes into the fifth round of the season twenty second in the championship, one point behind Dalton Kellett. Meanwhile Johnson starts the weekend twenty sixth in the standings, three points ahead of Max Chilton and 18 behind Grosjean.

Every driver will be interesting to keep a watch of during the weekend, but in particular O’Ward who claimed his, and Arrow McLaren SP’s, first IndyCar victory. The Mexican had a good double header in Texas where he finished third before winning the second race. Apart from a disappointing performance in St. Petersburg O’Ward has otherwise finished in the top five in the other three races held this season.

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