Alex Palou led, but left after an accident
Norris was a favorite for victory, but dropped out after colliding with Pagenaud
Ferrucci snatches the victory with an ugly touch to Oliver Askew in the heat of straight
Scott McLaughlin has won over 500 virtual Indianapolis Miles filled with drama and accidents to the last breath. Lando Norris was one of the candidates for victory, but an accident with Simon Pagenaud forced him to retire. For his part, Alex Palou had two incidents. The second cost him abandonment.
Pole was achieved by Scott McLaughlin yesterday, followed by a Lando Norris who has thoroughly prepared for this race. According to the British, “the simracing race for which I have practiced the most in my life”. Alex Palou ranked eighth, a very positive position for a survival and strategy test such as the Indianapolis 500 Miles.
Departure. On the opening lap Scott Speed and Lando Norris beat McLaughlin in the leading positions. Alex Palou climbed to seventh place and hit the group in the lead. Simon Pagenaud, winner of the two oval tests in the virtual world and winner of the 500 real Miles in 2019, suffered in the middle of the group.
Sage Karam closed Alex Palou a lot on the finish line on lap 6. The Barcelona player touched the wall and broke part of his front wing. Jack Harvey and Tony Kanaan were injured when they saw that the Catalan was rolling very slowly. Race Direction decreed the first period of Caution. Some pilots decided to enter very early to play with the strategy. The leading drivers decided to stay on track.
Action resumed on lap 8. The race stabilized. In the Top 3 Will Power, Lando Norris and James Davison rolled comfortably. For his part, Palou climbed positions little by little after having seen the green restart flag in 21st place.
He started the pit dance on lap 29 to 39 with very varied strategies. Davison entered this first and came out with heavy traffic, but with fewer than Power and Norris who extended the stop to 33.
Alex Palou, who entered the first Caution, symbolically led the race and finally, he entered lap 40. He rejoined 13th. The head positions did not change after the stops. With 28 laps to go: first place for Will Power, second for James Davison and third, Lando Norris.
Power re-entered the pits with 26 laps to go. Strategic play by the Penske driver who gave the lead to Davison and Norris. Scott Speed was still in third place although quite behind these two drivers. Davison copied the Australian’s play and entered a turn later. Norris stayed only in the lead.
Alex Palou was the pilot who had later stopped behind the three leading men. The Barcelona player needed some chaos for his strategy to bear fruit … and he had 18 laps to go! Lando Norris stopped a few seconds before an accident between James Davison and Wilson.
A multitude of pilots entered the pits to prepare a brutal attack at the end – one of them was Palou who opted for this more aggressive strategy. Graham Rahal, Felix Rosenqvist and Simon Pagenaud stayed on the track. These men took advantage of the yellow flag to save as much gasoline and tires as possible and thus stay ahead of the entire group.
Pagenaud took the lead with 13 laps to go when a new Caution appeared. A multiple accident involving several pilots, one of them unfortunately, Alex Palou who had to leave. The Barcelona player has not had the best of luck in this virtual IndyCar championship. Of course, this situation was very favorable for those who decided to stay on track.
The green flag was given with 10 laps to go. Norris, with cooler rubbers, stood in parallel with Pagenaud and Rahal. The Frenchman had an accident with Rahal and both were knocked out. Oliver Askew, Patricio O’Ward and Lando Norris remained in the lead: three McLaren.
The outcome was frantic. Added to the equation was a Marcus Ericsson who had won the practice race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this morning. A Lando Norris crash on the last lap with Simon Pagenaud knocked him out! Ericsson was looking for victory and O’Ward touched him! In the middle of the straight, another intentional touch from Santino Ferrucci to Oliver Askew changed everything with a very ugly maneuver! The victory finally went to McLaughlin followed by Conor Daly and Ferrucci.
The last half lap. And a race’s worth of action packed in to it. #INDYCAR // #INDYCARChallenge // @IMS pic.twitter.com/unKYCOiYL0
– NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) May 2, 2020
Ferrucci spoke after the race and acknowledged his guilt. However, downplayed the matter because it is a virtual test. Oliver Askew will not be happy with either the action or the words of the American.
“It was a really fun race. We had to save a lot of gas. I don’t know why but I hit him. I wanted to hit him and I wasn’t expecting that at all. It was my fault and I feel sorry for Oliver. It was his career. At the end of the day this is a video game and it’s not something you do in real life. But hey, they are even races. ”
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