Romain Grosjean finishes second for Honda on the IMS road course
Alex Palou continues strong run of results with third-place finish
Practice for Indianapolis 500 begins on Tuesday
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (May 15, 2021) – Starting from the pole, Honda’s Romain Grosjean led a race-high 44 laps in today’s GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis, but was unable to hold off a strong closing run from Rinus VeeKay and finished second at the GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The result was Grosjean’s best finish in three starts this season for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, and the Formula One veteran was joined on the podium by fellow Honda driver Alex Palou, who now has a third-place finish to go with his win at the season opening Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.
Behind, the lead trio, Graham Rahal recorded a strong result after contact on the opening lap damaged the right-side bodywork of his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda. After going “off-sequence” with an early pit stop during the resulting caution period, Rahal was able to combine speed with fuel economy to climb from 24th to finish fifth.
GMR Grand Prix of Indianapolis Honda Race Results
2nd Romain Grosjean-R Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda
3rd Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
5th Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
7th Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda
9th Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
10th Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
12th Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda
13th Colton Herta Andretti Autosport Honda
14th Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda
16th Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda
18th James Hinchcliffe Andretti Autosport Honda
23rd Jack Harvey Meyer Shank Racing Honda
24th Jimmie Johnson-R Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship (unofficial, after 5 rounds)
Honda 408 pts
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Drivers’ Championship (unofficial, after 5 rounds)
- Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 176 points [1 win]
- Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 163 [1 race win]
- Josef Newgarden, Team Penske Chevrolet 148
- Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren SP 146 [1 race win]
- Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 137
Romain Groshean (Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda) Started first, finished second: “The support I’ve received from the fans here [after moving from Formula One to INDYCAR in the off-season] has been incredible. Today, we had a great race. The team did a super job, we just got a bit unlucky with some slower cars and traffic. But P2 for just my third race in an Indy car is not too bad! This is why I came here.”
Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing Honda) Started fourth, finished third: “It was a good day, after a tough weekend, to be honest. We grabbed a podium, and learned a lot during the race. It was a bit exciting fighting with [Josef] Newgarden there, he was pushing us hard. But the team did an amazing job and we came away with a third-place finish.”
Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda) Started 11th, finished fifth: “To finish fifth, particularly after the contact at the start, was a big deal for us. Honda, the power was good, and also the mileage was there for us to make our [fuel] strategy. So definitely a solid day, and I think we’ve got a good shot going into the [Indianapolis] 500.”
Wayne Gross (Manager of Trackside Support & IndyCar Project Leader, Honda Performance Development) on today’s race: “We had a good shot at the victory today, but things didn’t quite fall our way. Still, it was great to see both Romain [Grosjean] and Alex [Palou] on the podium. Scott [Dixon] and Alex are still at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, while the manufacturers’ race is tightening up, as we thought it would. Thanks to everyone at HPD and our partner teams for their continued hard work, and now it’s time to focus all our efforts on claiming our 14th Indianapolis 500 victory.”
The “Month of May” begins this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GMR Grand Prix. Held on the IMS infield road course, Saturday’s 85-lap race will kick off three weeks of on-track activities leading up to the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
Honda continues to hold the early-season lead in the 2021 INDYCAR Manufacturers’ Championship, with three victories in the first four races this season. After four of 16 races, Honda holds a 14-point advantage (332-318) over rival Chevrolet. The company is seeking its fourth consecutive NTT INDYCAR SERIES Manufacturers’ Championship in 2021.
Activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway continue this week, but move to the historic 2.5-mile oval with four days of practice, starting Tuesday, followed by qualifying next weekend for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 30.
Honda Racing social media content and video links from Indianapolis can be found on Instagram (www.instagram.com/hondaracing_hpd), Twitter (twitter.com/HondaRacing_HPD) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HondaRacingHPD). Additional features and long-form videos can be found on the Honda Racing/HPD YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/HondaRacingHPDTV).