IndyCar update: Bourdais leads off-sequence in Baltimore

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Past lap 38 of 75 in the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT (LIVE on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), Sebastien Bourdais currently leads on an off-sequence strategy in the 16th IZOD IndyCar Series race of the season.

The race kicked off under hot and humid conditions, reported at 85 degrees ambient and 122 on track, per Firestone. Will Power took the lead on polesitter Scott Dixon at Turn 3 on the opening lap and led the first 31 laps before pitting on lap 32.

Dixon and Simon Pagenaud slotted in behind him. Josef Newgarden moved up to fourth with Graham Rahal also making a series of moves to get into the top five.

Other hard chargers were Oriol Servia and Simona de Silvestro, who each gained seven spots from their grid positions (15th to eighth and 17th to 10th, respectively) and also Dragon Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais, who advanced from 22nd to 13th.

Four different Honda drivers had mechanical issues in the opening laps. James Jakes, Takuma Sato and Luca Filippi all retired while Dario Franchitti, who needed to change engines twice this weekend, had reported brake and master cylinder issues per team owner Chip Ganassi to NBCSN’s Marty Snider. IndyCar series debutante Stefan Wilson made his first pit stop within the first five laps and had an issue with the left rear tire being attached, but resumed.

Ed Carpenter nosed into the Turn 5 wall at Lap 12 right when Filippi had an engine fire; the two combined incidents caused the first yellow flag of the race.

The race restarted on Lap 20 and Newgarden brushed the wall exiting Turn 12 a few laps later. That dropped him from fourth back to eighth, and he was the first of the leaders to pit on Lap 24.

Power banked a gap over the Hondas: Pagenaud, Dixon, Kimball and Rahal then in the top five behind the Sonoma winner in the Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

The leaders stopped for the first time from Laps 26 through 31. Power’s stop was costly, a 15.7 second stop after he overshot his marks. That moved Bourdais to the lead; the Dragon Racing driver was one of several who pitted off sequence on Lap 12 (also pitting then: Tristan Vautier, Justin Wilson, Sebastian Saavedra, Marco Andretti, Helio Castroneves and E.J. Viso).

Viso had an issue on Lap 36 to create a major stack-up of cars behind him.

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”