The Month of May kicks off this weekend as the NTT IndyCar Series tackles the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will be the ninth running of the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, and a 27-car field is entered.
Colton Herta returns as the defending winner, after he conquered wet conditions and a loose car in the run to the finish last year. The field will include six other drivers who have won an IndyCar race on this circuit. This will also be the last race before practice and qualifying begin next week for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
The 14-turn, 2.439 miles permanent road course is FIA certified and previously hosted Formula 1, sports cars and Moto GP motorcycles before welcomingIndyCar in 2014. Built within the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the layout utilizes parts of the oval’s front stretch and south short chute, as well as Hulman Boulevard, a utility road in the center of the facility. The most unique aspect of the race? The clockwise direction the cars run; reverse what fans will see when the oval opens on May 16.
King of IMS’ Road Course
Any discussion of who to watch in this race starts with 5-time IMS road course winner Will Power. The Team Penske driver has taken his No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet to more wins here than any other driver in the field. Even better, he’s fast, with six poles and if he gets his seventh, that’s not good for his competition. All but one of his wins was from the top starting spot.
Last Year’s Winner
Do yourself a favor – go watch last year’s GMR Grand Prix. Just do it. Why? Because the race was full of top-notch car control on a drying track with slick Firestone tires. One of the better drives came early from the eventual 2022 winner, Herta, who remarkably took the lead from Pato O’Ward two turns after catching the rear end of his No. 26 Gainbridge Andretti Autosport car from a spin. Pit strategy to go to slick tires first got him out front and he held on. He could be a challenger Saturday, but he won’t be the favorite from the Andretti stable.
Is This Grosjean’s Race?
Romain Grosjean is no longer knocking on the door to victory lane in IndyCar, he’s hammering at it. The French driver has two runner-up finishes in a row and led 90 laps this year. And he is heading to a track that featured his break-out IndyCar performance in 2021 when he started from pole and led 44 laps before finishing second (his first of five runner-up…