Jack Hawksworth’s first season in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been off to a decent start, but unfortunately for the English rookie, he became the first driver to contact the wall at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval this month.
Hawksworth lost the rear through Turn 3 and hit the outside retaining wall. He emerged unscathed, and was checked, released and cleared to drive. But the No. 98 BHA/BBM with Curb-Agajanian Honda, now adorned in a new livery with new primary sponsor Integrity Energee Drink, was badly damaged.
That put the shortened two-hour practice under yellow. Simon Pagenaud led with the month’s first 226-plus mph lap, a 226.122 in the No. 77 Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports.
Once the track goes back to green – repairs needed to be made to the SAFER Barrier – look for KV Racing Technology’s fourth car, the No. 33 Always Evolving Racing Chevrolet, to make its first laps. Sebastien Bourdais will shake James Davison’s car down, per a KVRT team PR rep.
Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.
Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.
Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.
A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.
A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.
Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.