38th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach


grand prix of long beach, indy 
Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified P3, but would start the race in P13 after a 10 lap penalty that was imposed on the entire Chevrolet field. 


Now for the real drama of the weekend!  For those of you who do not follow Indy Car, Chevrolet is making their return to Indy this year with a new engine program and they are kicking ass and taking names!  The first two races of the season leading up to the Grand Prix of Long Beach have been dominated by Chevrolet in both poles and wins.  So why the drama?  Well, the Monday before the race James Hinchcliffe, of Andretti Autosport, developed some engine problems during testing at Sonoma.  The problem was severe enough to prompt an order from Chevrolet to have all of its teams replace their engines.  

This is a big NO-NO in Indy, because there are rules in Indy regulating when you can and cannot change the engines.  


Rule 15.5 – Approved Engine Change-outs

  • 15.5.1 = The minimum mileage threshhold (change-out mileage) is 1,850 miles
  • 15.5.2 = An engine that has reached its change-out mileage may be changed without penalty.

…and now comes the drama

Rule 15.6 – Unapproved engine change-outs

15.6.1 – Any unapproved engine change-out, except those caused by engine failure in a race, will result in a 10 place grid penalty.


That's right!  A 10 position penalty for the entire Chevrolet field which had captured 7 out of the 10 top qualifying positions.  Could the the Chevrolet squad bounce back?



grand prix of long beach, indy, simon Pagenaud 
After qualifying in P11, Rookie Simon Pagenaud started the race in P4 thanks to the penalty imposed on the Chevrolet cars.  The rookie drove an amazing race and almost took home the win.  


Tire strategy is key in Indy Car.  The reds are a softer compound that has a lot more grip, but they do not last as long.  The teams are also limited to a certain number of sets of tires per weekend, so some teams will try to save reds for race day. 


grand prix of long beach, indy


grand prix of long beach, indy 
James Hinchcliffe, who took over the most recognized ride in Indy when he replaced Danica Patrick, was once again the center of attention when his testing in Sonoma prompted the engine change for all the Chevrolet powered cars.



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