IndyCar Grand Prix: The NTT IndyCar Series will open a grueling stretch of five races in two weeks with its first road course of the season Saturday with the seventh annual GMR Grand Prix (start time, noon ET on NBC and online via the NBC Sports app). The IndyCar Grand Prix start times and all the TV and live stream information you need to know also can be found below.
After nearly a three-month delay because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the season opened June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway. The season’s second race Saturday at Indy will be the first of 13 events (including the 104th Indianapolis 500) crammed into just more than three months.
“We’re basically starting (the season) in July, and October it’s going to be over,” said Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud, the defending winner of the GMR Grand Prix. “It’s just as many races in half a season. It’s going to be compact, intense.
“I think the big teams might have an advantage for sure because of the amount of people they have working with them. The smaller teams, on the other hand, it’s going to be hard for them because of all the work they have to do for all these weeks.”
Pagenaud (who also won the inaugural race on the IMS road course with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2014) and teammate Will Power have combined to give Team Penske five consecutive victories in the GMR Grand Prix.
The record for consecutive victories at a track is six, held by Andretti Autosport (which won at Iowa Speedway with four drivers from 2010-15) and Chip Ganassi Racing (which won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course from 2009-14 with three drivers).
This IMS race weekend already will be historic as IndyCar will share the track with NASCAR’s top two series for the first time (the Xfinity Series races the road course Saturday; the Cup Series will be on the 2.5-mile oval Sunday). But interaction will be limited as drivers from IndyCar and Cup won’t intermingle because of pandemic restrictions, and the races will be held without crowds.
“Realistically we wish we could see both fan bases interacting and everyone there together,” Conor Daly said. “We’ll still wait on that. But I think it’s an exciting sign hopefully for the future. If we can work together, that would be great. This is a team effort. For motorsports to be successful, hopefully, we can all help each other.”
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Here are the details and IndyCar Grand Prix start times for the second race of the season (all times are ET):
TV info, IndyCar Grand Prix start times
—IndyCar practice: 11:30 a.m., NBC Sports Gold
—IndyCar qualifying: 4:30 p.m., NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold
—IndyCar warmup: 9 a.m., NBC Sports Gold
—IndyCar GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis: Noon, NBC
GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis race information
RADIO: The race will air live on network affiliates, Sirius 211, XM 205, indycar.com and the IndyCar Mobile app powered by NTT DATA. All practices and qualifying are available on indycar.com and the IndyCar Mobile app, with qualifying also airing on Sirius 211 and XM 205.
DISTANCE: The race is 80 laps (195.12 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile, road course.
PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time, with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.
TIRE ALLOTMENT: Firestone will provide seven sets of primary tires; four sets of alternates (an eighth set of primary tires is available to rookies).
FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 89 degrees with a 21% chance of rain at the green flag.
DEFENDING RACE WINNER: Simon Pagenaud
DEFENDING POLE WINNER: Felix Rosenqvist, 1:08.2785, 128.597 mph
QUALIFYING RECORD: Will Power, 1:07.7044, 129.687 mph, May 12, 2017 (Set in Round 3 of knockout qualifying)
ENTRY LIST: Who will be racing in the GMR Grand Prix
SPOTTERS’ GUIDE: Click here to see the paint schemes for the 26 cars in Saturday’s race.
FAST FACTS: This will be the seventh NTT IndyCar Series race on the IMS road course. Simon Pagenaud and Will Power are the only drivers to win on the layout. Pagenaud won the inaugural race in 2014, ’16 and last season,; Power won in 2015, ’17 and ’18 — all from the pole position. … Scott Dixon won the Genesys 300 on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway and is third on the all-time victory list with 47 wins. Dixon has yet to win on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course but finished second in the GMR Grand Prix the past three seasons. … Twelve drivers — Marco Andretti, Sebastien Bourdais, Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato. — raced in the six previous runnings of the GMR Grand Prix. Bourdais, Castroneves and Kanaan aren’t entered this year. … Kanaan’s record streak of 318 consecutive race starts will end Saturday after beginning June 2001 at Portland. Scott Dixon will become the new active leader when he makes his 260th consecutive start Saturday. … Rookies Oliver Askew, Dalton Kellett, Alex Palou and Rinus VeeKay will be making their debuts on the IMS road course, as will Sage Karam.
NBCSPORTS.COM COVERAGE: Below are links to IndyCar stories this week on Motorsports Talk.
IndyCar Grand Prix: How to watch, start time, live stream info originally appeared on NBCSports.com