MADISON, Ill. – The Verizon IndyCar Series’ return to Gateway Motorsports Park for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline got off to a rough start with a pair of bizarre incidents, after what looked to be an exciting kickoff to the race.
Following a pre-race fireworks display and with a near capacity crowd in the frontstraight grandstands, the start of the race was delayed a couple laps, and then it was delayed further when Tony Kanaan spun on a slick track at Turn 2, and backed into the wall. He pitted for repairs to the rear wheel guard assembly. Sebastian Saavedra also pitted before the start.
Once the race actually did get going it got worse, quickly.
Pole sitter Will Power spun in Turn 2, having lost the lead to teammate Josef Newgarden, with then apparent contact between Takuma Sato and Ed Carpenter sending them spinning into the wall in the aftermath, with Carpenter also launching up in the air, backwards, over Power’s car after spinning into him.
Fortunately after the chaotic ride both Power and Carpenter were checked, cleared and released from the infield medical center. But for Power, who entered the weekend 42 points down to championship leader Josef Newgarden, it’s all but ended his title hopes.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”