Friday , 14 June 2024

2015 Indianapolis 500 Preview

The main event has arrived; the Indianapolis 500 is upon us. Whilst practice and qualifying for the famous race which will be run for the 99th time has been nothing short of controversial and a touch on the dangerous side, the show appears to be continuing pretty much as planned – unlike the 2005 United States Grand Prix held at the same venue. However, no less than five nasty shunts and a fire to go with it across the last week and a bit, safety is quite clearly a concern for drivers, fans and everybody involved.

The Ganassis and the Penskes were the ones to really watch during practice, who run the Chevrolet engine and controversial aero kit to go with it. The Chevrolet speedway aero kit, which is being run in race trim for the first time here, has been a likely factor in three spectacular flips for the Penske of three-time winner Helio Castroneves, and for the CFH cars of two-time polesitter Ed Carpenter and Alabama race winner Josef Newgarden. Pippa Mann was also involved in a nasty accident, but her car did not flip over. Simona de Silvestro was the driver who had a car go up in flames, although she was not harmed in the accident. However, none of these came close in terms of consequences compared to the accident that SPM’s James Hinchcliffe had. The Canadian had a front-right suspension failure in the middle of a corner and went straight into the SAFER barrier, but his tub was penetrated by said suspension and this pierced both of his legs and his pelvis. This has therefore ruled him out of the race on Sunday.

Qualifying points were scrapped and cars were notably slowed down for qualifying. Double points for the race remain however, and this will have a big impact on the championship should a title contender exit proceedings early on.

The Circuit

The famous 2.5-mile oval appears quite simple but in reality it is not. It is very easy to get wrong in race conditions as has been seen in the past on many occasions, but it unsurprisingly boasts many overtaking opportunities. Into turn one and into turn three are the obvious hotspots as they are situated immediately after long straights. Passing into turns two and four is possible, but more difficult to pull off.

The 2015 Indianapolis 500 grid is as follows:

  1. Scott Dixon (NZL) – Chip Ganassi Racing No. 9 Chevrolet – 226.760mph – Winner
  2. Will Power (AUS) – Team Penske No. 1 Chevrolet – 226.350
  3. Simon Pagenaud (FRA) – Team Penske No. 22 Chevrolet – 226.145
  4. Tony Kanaan (BRA) – Chip Ganassi Racing No. 10 Chevrolet – 225.503 – Winner
  5. Helio Castroneves (BRA) – Team Penske No. 3 Chevrolet – 225.502 – Winner
  6. Justin Wilson (GBR) – Andretti Autosport No. 25 Honda – 225.279
  7. Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) – KV Racing Technology No. 11 Chevrolet – 225.193
  8. Marco Andretti (USA) – Andretti Autosport No. 27 Honda – 225.189
  9. Josef Newgarden (USA) – CFH Racing No. 21 Chevrolet – 225.187
  10. R. Hildebrand (USA) – CFH Racing No. 6 Chevrolet – 225.099
  11. Carlos Munoz (COL) – Andretti Autosport No. 26 Honda – 225.042
  12. Ed Carpenter (USA) – CFH Racing No. 20 Chevrolet – 224.883
  13. Oriol Servia (SPA) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing No. 32 Honda – 224.777
  14. Charlie Kimball (USA) – Chip Ganassi Racing No. 83 Chevrolet – 224.743
  15. Juan Pablo Montoya (USA) – Team Penske No. 2 Chevrolet – 224.657 – Winner
  16. Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA) – Andretti Autosport No. 28 Honda – 224.573 – Winner
  17. Graham Rahal (USA) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing No. 15 Honda – 224.290
  18. Carlos Huertas (COL) – Dale Coyne Racing No. 18 Honda – 224.233
  19. Simona de Silvestro (SUI) – Andretti Autosport No. 29 Honda – 223.838
  20. James Jakes (GBR) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 7 Honda – 223.790
  21. Alex Tagliani (CAN) – A. J. Foyt Enterprises No. 48 Honda – 223.722
  22. Sage Karam (USA) – Chip Ganassi Racing No. 8 Chevrolet – 223.595
  23. Conor Daly (USA) – Dale Coyne Racing No. 43 Honda – 223.482
  24. Townsend Bell (USA) – Dreyer and Reinbold Kingdom Racing No. 24 Chevrolet – 223.447
  25. Takuma Sato (JPN) – A. J. Foyt Enterprises No. 14 Honda – 223.226
  26. Pippa Mann (GBR) – Dale Coyne Racing No. 63 Honda – 223.104
  27. Gabby Chaves (COL) – Bryan Herta Autosport No. 98 Honda – 222.916 – Rookie
  28. Sebastian Saavedra (COL) – Chip Ganassi Racing No. 17 Chevrolet – 222.898
  29. Jack Hawksworth (GBR) – A.J. Foyt Enterprises No. 41 Honda – 222.787
  30. Stefano Coletti (MON) – KV Racing Technology No. 4 Chevrolet – 221.912 – Rookie
  31. Bryan Clauson (USA) – Jonathan Byrd’s Racing No. 88 Chevrolet – 220.523
  32. James Davison (AUS) – Dale Coyne Racing No. 19 Honda – 223.7471
  33. Ryan Briscoe (AUS) – Schmidt Peterson Motorsports No. 5 Honda – 223.5192

1 As Tristan Vautier qualified the No. 19 car which will be driven by James Davison in the race itself, Davison will start the race from the back as per regulations.
2 James Hinchcliffe qualified the No. 5 car but suffered a serious accident in practice on the day after qualification. The car was moved to the back as per regulations.


About Craig Woollard

Motorsport historian and journalist Craig Woollard has had an unusual path to a career in motorsport. After graduating from the University of Essex with a degree in mathematics in 2013, he changed his career path immediately after discovering a talent for writing. After occasional freelance work in 2015 and 2016, he joined the Autosport Academy for 2017. In the same year, he became an archive digitiser at Motorsport Images - which is his full-time job to this date.

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