IndyCar: Stats of note and points through two races

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Here’s a few stats of note and Verizon IndyCar Series points through two races:

  • Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach winner Mike Conway is the only driver to have led laps in both races (1 at St. Petersburg, 3 at Long Beach). With 16 spots gained from start to finish, he was also the biggest mover on Sunday.
  • Already, 11 different drivers have made the Firestone Fast Six in two races. The only driver to make it twice is Ryan Hunter-Reay (qualified third at St. Petersburg, pole at Long Beach). The 11 that have made it are: Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Takuma Sato, Sebastien Bourdais, Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Will Power, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden and Jack Hawksworth.
  • Five drivers: Hunter-Reay, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Marco Andretti and Jack Hawksworth, have qualified in the top 10 in both races.
  • In two races, Juan Pablo Montoya, Charlie Kimball, Graham Rahal and Carlos Huertas have yet to crack the top 15 in qualifying.
  • Power and Pagenaud are the only two drivers with two top-five finishes in the first two races. Additionally, they’re the only two who have scored top-10s in both races.
  • Just one more point separates third (Simon Pagenaud, 60) from the tie for 18th (Marco Andretti and Carlos Huertas, 32) as does the gap from first to second. There’s a gap of 27 between first and second and a spread of 28 from third to 19th.
  • Poor Charlie Kimball has had mechanical issues in both races, and ranks last in the standings. He should improve going to Barber, where he has two past top-10 finishes in three starts.

INDYCAR POINTS

1. Will Power, 93
2. Mike Conway, 66
3. Simon Pagenaud, 60
4. Helio Castroneves, 55
5. Ryan Hunter-Reay, 54
6. Scott Dixon, 51
7. Carlos Munoz, 48
8. Juan Pablo Montoya, 47
9. Mikhail Aleshin, 46
10. Sebastian Saavedra, 42
11. Tony Kanaan, 40
12. Justin Wilson, 38
13. Takuma Sato, 36
14. Josef Newgarden, 34
15. Ryan Briscoe, 33
16. Sebastien Bourdais, 33
17. Graham Rahal, 33
18. Marco Andretti, 32
19. Carlos Huertas, 32
20. Oriol Servia, 26
21. Jack Hawksworth, 24
22. James Hinchcliffe, 20
23. Charlie Kimball, 17

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.