October 2020 News
News Index
Harvest Grand Prix - Race 1

Oct 2 - The Dutch rookie, Rinus VeeKay, captured his
first IndyCar pole yesterday, with an average speed of 126
mph around the Brickyard's road course.  VeeKay drives
the #21 Sonax Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.

The IndyCar Harvest GP was an action-packed show for
the socially distanced crowd in the first race with
spectators in 2020 at IMS.

The race began with an epic battle between
Colton Herta
and VeeKay, the two youngest drivers in the field at age 20.

Herta started third, but he made a daring pass into Turn 1
on Lap 1 and passed VeeKay for the lead and led the first
lap of the race.

VeeKay went toe-to-toe with Herta on Lap 2 and
attempted a pair of daring passes before charging to the
lead in Turn 7. VeeKay led the next 15 laps for his first
ever laps led in the IndyCar series.

Following the green flag pit stop cycle, Herta returned the
favor to VeeKay with more intense racing. After another
pair of exciting pass attempts, Herta overtook VeeKay in
Turn 7 on Lap 21.

Josef Newgarden started the race in second and ran in the
top three for the entire race.  While the fight for the lead
during the first part of the race was between Herta and
VeeKay, the battle for the lead through the rest of the race
was between Newgarden and Herta.  

Newgarden made a decisive move on Lap 60 of the race
as he pressured Herta for the lead on old tires. Entering
Turn 1, Herta locked up the tires and overshot the corner,
handing the lead to Newgarden and putting him in control
of the race with just 25 laps to go.

As the laps wound down and Newgarden cruised to his
third victory of 2020, the remaining drivers in the top five
duked it out as
Alex Rossi and VeeKay charged to the
front and Herta and
Felix Rosenqvist lost track position
on older tires. The second- through fifth-place drivers
finished within 4.164 seconds of each other

While the race ran caution free, there were skirmashes,
such as between
Santino Ferrucci and Ryan Hunter-
.  While able to continue, they both finished a lap
Scott Dixon continues as the series point leader, though
finishing back in 9th today.  Newgarden, in 2nd, has pulled
within 40 points of Dixon.

This was Newgarden's first win at the Brickyard since he
won here in Indy Lights in 2011.  
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Turn 1 Lap 1
Helio Castroneves filled in for injured
Oliver Askew at Arrow McLaren SP
Rinus VeeKay in front of Alex Rossi
Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt & Rick Mears
were present today.
In 1999, the IMS went through the biggest change in it's long history.  In addition to the construction of F1
garages, a road course and a new control tower, a big round podium was built that rose high into the air.
I expected there to be a platform that would rise up and take a winning car up to the top of the podium, but it
never materialized.  Roger Penske added this feature this year right after he purchased the speedway!
Harvest Grand Prix - Race 2

Oct 3 - Will Power converted pole into victory in today's
Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis.  He led every lap of
the race, the first time that has happened on the road
course by IndyCar.

Penske driver Power made a strong start to maintain the
lead as
Colton Herta locked up at Turn 1 - but maintained
second ahead of teammate
Alex Rossi.

With the race set at 75 laps, opposed to yesterday's
85-lap race, most drivers were planning on just two stops
and were therefore having to save fuel.

Power elected to manage the gap up front, holding a 1.6s
lead by the 14th lap as Herta began to fall into the clutches
of Rossi and
Pato O'Ward.  This allowed Power to
increase his lead by another four seconds before the pit
window for the two-stoppers opened up.

Power and Herta went a lap longer than Rossi and,
although Power comfortably retained his lead, Rossi was
able to use his warmer tires to surge past Herta and take

Eventually, Rossi began to close in on Power's lead in the
second stint before the pit window opened up once more -
and Power responded by pitting on lap 52 to force Rossi's

Rossi had opted for the hard, black-walled tire for the final
stint, whereas Power had gone for a scrubbed soft
compound like the majority of the field.

Power was then marginally held up by
Marco Andretti
while trying to nurse his tires and fuel, and that allowed
Rossi to close up to within 1.6s of the lead Penske, while
Rossi too was being caught by Herta.

With 12 laps to go, the trio were covered by just 1.8s, and
were 10s up the road from Newgarden in fourth.

Into Turn 1, Herta dived past Rossi to grab second before
setting his sights on Power, who was coming up to lap

Herta got Power's lead down to half a second by lap 70
and, although Castroneves let the duo pass, Herta's
progress was stymied by
Conor Daly who got himself into
a muddle attempting to let the leading cars through.

Despite Herta's best efforts he was unable to close the gap,
with Power using his push to pass very cannily and holding
on to win by 0.9s.

Rossi dropped to five seconds behind the leading duo, but
still beat Newgarden by 3.3s - who just about staved off
O'Ward by half a second.

Scott Dixon finished eighth and dropped further points to
Newgarden.  Now there is only 32 separating them as they
head to the final race in St. Petersburg.
Josef Newgarden
Alex Rossi
Rinus VeeKay
Colton Herta
Felix Rosenqvist
Rinus VeeKay had a bad day compared to
Scott Dixon Lost More of His Points Lead
Will Power Powered to his 2nd Win of 2020
Just Missing the Podium yesterday,
Colton Herta Succeeded Today!
Andretti teammates on the podium.
Colton Herta
Alex Rossi made the
podium for both
8 Hours of Indianapolis

Oct 4 - The SRO Motorsports Group brought various
classes and series of sports cars to compete at IMS this
weekend, culminating in a 8 hour race on Sunday.

Competing in the 8 hour race were cars from two series:
The Intercontinental GT Challenge, and the GT World
Challenge America.

The GT4 America Series held four races.  Their Sprint
Class (1 driver per car) held two races and their SprintX
(2 co-drivers per car) held two races.

The TC America Series held two races, consisting of three
classes: TCR, TCA and TC.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of
various 2020 IndyCar races, Indycar held two races over
the weekend to help pad their 2020 schedule.

All cars raced clockwise on the IMS road course.
The DXDT Racing team of George Kurtz and Colin
scored the Pro/Am win Sunday. The Squadra Corse
Ferrari team of
Martin Fuentes and Alessandro Balzan
finished second. With the second-place finish, Fuentes was
crowned the 2020 Pro/Am GT World Challenge America
Driver's Champion.

Mother Nature tested the abilities of the teams and drivers
as the contest was held under cool and wet 50-degree
weather conditions. Rain started to fall as the 22-car field
completed their formation laps and at the green to start the
contest at 10 a.m. windshield wipers were in full use.

From pole,
Trent Hindman, led the race and with heavy
rain beginning to fall the leader as well as Balzan and Kurtz
all stayed out on course on a dry tire setup.

By lap 7 with track conditions worsening, Hindman
remained out on track while Balzan and Kurtz came in to
switch to rain tires and the switches proved invaluable as
both Balzan and Kurtz moved up into first and second
shortly after as Hindman gingerly navigated poor track
conditions on his Pirelli slicks. Hindman would eventually
bring his NSX in for wets and near the mid-point of the
race moved back around Kurtz and into second overall in
the race.

With rain falling off and on and track conditions continuing
to worsen a yellow was called after contact between
competitors. Race officials then called to extend the yellow
as drivers reported pooling water in turn 14. Balzan would
come in to change over to Fuentes, Hindman and Kurtz
remained on track. Soon after Kurtz came down pit road to
change over to Braun.

With the race going back to green by Lap 31, Hindman
would pass Fuentes to take over the overall lead, with
Braun in third.  Hindman held the lead through lap 37.
But then drama ensued on lap 41 as Hindman's NSX
suffered a left rear puncture and he limped the machine
into the pits for repairs. Fuentes moved back up into the
lead with Braun pursuing in second. Drivers settled into a
rhythm and Fuentes maintained the lead through lap 60.

Fuentes soon came into the pits in the final third of the
race to change over to Balzan, Braun moved into the lead.
Then with minutes remaining in the contest, Balzan came
into the pits to changeover to his teammate allowing the
driver from Mexico to cross the line at the three-hour mark
as the newly crowned Pro/Am series champion.

"This is definitely the highlight of my career," said Fuentes.
"I've been racing for a while, and I think this will be the
biggest championship I could ever win. The circumstances
were the hardest I have ever driven in, it was pretty
Indianapolis 8 Hour Race
Connor De Phillippi, Nicky Catsburg, Augusto Farfus
Walkenhorst Motorsport
Oct 2 - TCR driver Tristen Herbert won a wild, action-
packed TC America race Friday morning at Indianapolis
Motor Speedway.
Mat Pombo won in TC, while Kevin
scored the victory in TCA and clinched the
division driver's championship.
Oct 3 - The final TC America race of the season got
underway under sunny and cool skies but it was
Gonzalez Jr
who was hot and took the overall and TCR
win, his first of the 2020 season. The TC class was once
again won by
Mat Pombo with Eric Powell claiming the
TCA victory.
Tristan Herbert Leading in TC America Race #1
Victor Gonzalez Jr Won in TC America Race #2
Oct 1 - Matt Travis and the #48 NOLASPORT Porsche 718
Cayman GT4 led the field to the green flag for Thursday’s
Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway, the penultimate round of the 2020 season.

As the grid came into turn 1,
Drew Staveley snuck his Ford
Mustang GT4 into the overall and pro lead. That would be all
Staveley would need as he would claim his second win of the
Drew Stavely Leads for the Win
Oct 1 - The race got off to a hectic start as the leading
Porsche 718 Caymen of
Matt Travis was hit by Jarrett
in his McLaren 570S at Turn 1. The race had
several cautions and lots of contact.  On the last restart,
with 10 minutes to go,
Jan Heylen took the lead in the
Porsche 718 Cayman.  In the final minutes, the top 6
overall all ran nose to tail with Heylen leading.  As the
checkered flag flew Heylen and the #37 RS1 entry would
hold off
Roman De Angelis’ Panoz by a mere .138
seconds and grab the overall and Pro-Am win while
De Angelis won the Silver class.  The Am class win would
go to
Russell Walker and the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche
718 Cayman.
Charlie Belluardo & Jan Heylen
RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman
Oct 2 - The final Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the
2020 season got underway under the early-morning sun with
Patrick Gallagher’s #33 NOTLAD Racing by RS1 bringing
the field to the green flag.

With 12 minutes off the clock,
Toby Grahovec and John
collided at turn 3, sending both cars into the sand trap
and bringing out the first safety car of the day. Gallagher
remained in the overall and Pro-Am lead,
Roman De
continued to lead in Silver, with Russell Walker,
leading in Am, sitting tenth overall.

The race went back to green with 38 minutes remaining in
the race, just before the pit window for required driver
changes opened.

As the pit window closed, the #33 Aston, now with
driving, continued to lead overall and in Pro-Am,
Jarrett Andretti, now behind the wheel of the #36 McLaren,
continued to lead in Silver,

With 22 minutes remaining, the leading #33 machine of
Dalton had a bobble at Turn 2, allowing
Michael Dinan in
the #21 Aston to slip through to grab the overall and Pro-Am

As the checkered flag flew, Dinan and the Flying Lizard
Motorsports entry took the overall and Pro-Am win
David Walker and the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche 718
Cayman GT4 would win in Am, their second straight of the
Michael Dinan & Rob Foley
Flying Lizard Motorsports
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Oct 2 - Race 1 winner Drew Staveley brought the field to
the green flag. As the field ripped into Turn 1, Pro
Michael Cooper shot his McLaren around Paul
’s Aston for second position overall. Staveley would
stay out front and never look back going on to take the win,
sweeping the weekend.

Terry would control the Am grid at the start, third overall,
with Am-class Champion
Michael Dinan settling into
second in class, fourth overall.

As the race reached the halfway point, Staveley controlled
the overall lead to 4 seconds over Cooper with Dinan
extending the Am lead to 3.8 seconds over Terry.

As the race went on, Am Dinan started to hunt down Pro
Cooper for second overall, pulling to within .195 seconds
with 10 minutes left on the clock. Staveley would keep his
4 second lead over the rest of the field.

On the white flag lap, Dinan kept pushing Cooper for
second overall and pulled to the outside of the McLaren as
the two went through Turn 13. The McLaren and Aston
Martin would drag race to the checkered flag with Dinan
getting the position by a mere .013 seconds.
Drew Stavely Led from Green to Checkered
Superbikes at the Brickyard

Oct 11 - Three things of note jump out after a three-
HONOS Superbike race weekend at Indianapolis Motor
Speedway: for starters, Italian
Lorenzo Zanetti ended a
winless drought for Ducati in AMA Superbike racing that
dated back to 2010. Then there was
Bobby Fong’s arrival
as a bonafide MotoAmerica Superbike star with a weekend
that saw him win two races and finish second in the only
one he didn’t win. And it all wrapped up with the bow on
top being the fact that
Cameron Beaubier emerged from a
somewhat difficult weekend with a fifth MotoAmerica
Superbike Championship in his back pocket.

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc., and Team Hammer
reaped the rewards of a season’s worth of hard work with
a highlight weekend of the 2020 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM
North American Road Racing season to date at Indian-
apolis Motor Speedway. By the time the final checkered
flag at the Brickyard had waved, the pairing had gained
two national championships, three race victories, four pole
positions, and six podiums.

The first Superbike race was on Saturday afternoon.
It featured two red flags and two Beaubier crashes, Fong
was in second place when Beaubier crashed on the fourth
lap of the third restart, but he was pressuring the Yamaha
man when the crash occurred. From there Fong was
chased by Zanetti, taking the lead at one point, before
running off the track. Zanetti managed to stay upright,
however Jake Gagne took over 2nd and began closing in
on Fong, the two Californians crossing the line with just
.228 of a second between them.  Zanetti was able to fight
his way back to third place by the end of the 15-lap race,
which translated to three different manufacturers on the

Zanetti started Sunday morning off with a victory on his
Ducati in the second of the three Superbike races foll-
owing his first podium a day earlier. Zanetti became the
first Italian to win an AMA Superbike race since
Alessandro Gramigni in 1996.

Zanetti was in a race-long battle with Saturday’s race-one
winner Fong and his Suzuki for the duration of race two
on a cloudy and cool Sunday morning, the Italian taking
over for the first time with three laps to go. On the final
lap, Zanetti was able to hold off Fong by just .196 of a
second. Beaubier was third, .323 of a second from the

The third race was all Fong. After a red flag came out
when his Suzuki teammate
Toni Elias crashed out of the
lead (and right in front of him), Fong simply dominated.
Chased by Gagne and Zanetti, Fong’s win got really
comfortable when Gagne crashed and Zanetti ran straight
at the end of the front straight, joining in fourth place.
Gagne was able to remount from his blunder to finish
seventh, but the miscues moved Beaubier to second and
he was able to hold off Zanetti’s charge to take the spot –
9.8 seconds behind the fleeing Fong.  Fong now has three
Superbike victories this season to go with the Supersport
crown he won last year while mounted on a Suzuki

The Indy weekend also saw Suzuki’s 15 y/o
and South African Cam Petersen wrap up their
respective Twins Cup and Stock 1000 championships a full
round early aboard their Team Hammer-built Suzuki
racebikes. Landers pulled another disappearing act in Twins
Cup action to register his seventh win in succession aboard
his Suzuki SV650, clinching his title campaign in style.
Petersen appeared to do the same aboard his Stock 1000-
spec GSX-R1000, however, his seventh win in a row was
later relegated to a runner-up finish when he was docked
0.4 of a second due to a sporting infraction.
Haas F1 Release Both Drivers

Oct 22 -  Haas F1 announced they will select new drivers
for 2021, releasing current pilots
Roman Grojean and
Kevin Magnussen.

Haas has yet to announce who their new drivers will be.

Gene Haas created the Formula One team in 2016.

Grosjean drove for the Lotus F1 team from 2012-2015
before joining Haas F1.  

Magnussen joined the team in 2017.

* Season still in progress
St. Petersburg Grand Prix

Oct 25 - Josef Newgarden won a wild, unpredictable
IndyCar season finale amid a head-to-head showdown with
Scott Dixon for the series championship.

Still, the winning performance wasn’t enough for

Newgarden. Dixon finished third to seal his sixth IndyCar
championship by 16 points over defending champion

Newgarden made an impressive charge from eighth on the
starting grid to the lead for the first time on a Lap 80 restart
in the 100-lap races.
Colton Herta led the field to green on
the restart, but he came under pressure from
Alex Palou in
St. Pete’s tricky Turn 1.

Palou briefly took the lead from Herta before Newgarden
made a daring move for the lead heading toward Turn 2,

Newgarden withstood one more restart and immense

pressure from Pato O’Ward over the final 20 laps on his
way to securing his fourth win of the season. O’Ward

ended up second.  His finish punctuated a strong first full
season and the Mexican driverended up fourth in the
championship standings behind Dixon, Newgarden and


Sebastien Bourdais crossed the line fourth in just his third
race with
the AJ Foyt Racing team.  Ryan Hunter-Reay
rounded out the top five.

The dramatic conclusion to the season marked the 15th
consecutive season that the I
ndyCar championship battle
came down to the final race.

Pole sitter
Will Power led the first five laps, but a
downshifting issue allowed
Alex Rossi to take the lead as
Power slowed on Lap 6.

On Lap 36, Power got loose exiting Turn 3 while running
fourth and hit the wall. Power pulled off the course in
Turn 4, ending his day and finishing 24th.

From there, Rossi dominated the race, leading all but five
laps by the time disaster struck on Lap 70.  After pitting
from the lead on Lap 66, Rossi was pushing as he waited
for green flag pit stops to cycle through. Then, exiting
Turn 4, Rossi lost control and hit the inside wall with the
front and rear of the car. Rossi finished 21st.

Trouble also struck Rossi’s Andretti Autosport teammates
late in the race. Herta, who ran second most of the race
and led as late as Lap 79, overshot corners twice in the
race, including once in the final run to the finish. Herta
finished 11th

James Hinchcliffe, who drove the final three
races in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, ran in the top five
all race long until losing control of his car in Turn 14 under
caution with just under 25 laps to go. Hinchcliffe damaged
his front wing after contact with
Jack Harvey and finished
a disappointing 14th.
Scott Dixon 2020 IndyCar Champion
Josef Newgarden won the race.
Santino Ferrucci wrecked on Lap 41 and Conor Daly
flattened his tire during the caution.

On the restart,
Scott McLaughlin, in his first IndyCar
race, ran into the back of
Marco Andretti, spun, and
made contact with
Rinus VeeKay, bring out a third

On Lap 54, Andretti passed four cars to move into 7th
place.  But on Lap 74,
Takuma Sato cut Andretti's tire
causing him to spin into the tire barrier and out of the
race, bringing out the 5th caution.

Then, in the midst of all this craziness, it began raining in
the sunshine!

On Lap 79,
Oliver Askew crashed into a tire barrier,
bringing out the 6th and final caution.  Strangely, the pace
car ran out of fuel out on the track!

Most of the drivers today were on a 2-stop strategy, but
Bourdais and
Marcus Ericsson used a 3-stop and both
managed to finish in the top 10.
Last Race of 2020