You wouldn’t expect to find Marco Andretti, Justin Wilson, Scott Dixon and Oriol Servia in the last four positions on the starting grid. But immediately after qualifying concluded for the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, that was the case.
Dixon spun in Turn 1 and left Servia nowhere to go (above). The Panther DRR team appealed Servia’s penalty, and the penalty was rescinded. The Catalan was reinstated in 18th place on the 27-car grid, although that meant Dixon (below) would be relegated to the back of the field.
IndyCar explained the penalties issued to Andretti and Dixon in a news bulletin issued Saturday.
“If a Car interferes with qualifications as determined by the Race Director:
If the violation occurs during Segment One or Segment Two, the Car’s best two timed laps during the segment shall be disallowed, the Car shall not advance to the next segment (8.3.7).”
As for Dixon: “If a Car causes a Red Condition in any segment or otherwise interferes with qualifications as determined by the Race Director, the Car’s best two timed laps of the segment shall be disallowed (8.3.5).”
Andretti was mainly diplomatic in his taking the penalty in an interview with IMS Radio.
“Our car was way better than that,” he admitted. “There were four cars that held me up, too. But it’s what you expect on a 1.9 mile track. I’m definitely frustrated. They shortened the race so strategy’s off. We’re going to have to push like hell.”
Wilson’s team had not properly affixed stickers to the rear wing, and was unable to complete a timed lap.
“It seems like we have to have a sticker on the rear wing, so we had to put it on during qualifying,” he told IMS Radio. “We got the checkered on out lap. It’s unfortunate. We’ll need to see what we can do in the race. I’m not sure what’s meant to go on or why the breakdown in communication.”This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!