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<< Sports >>

2013 CHEVROLET DETROIT BELLE ISLE GRAND PRIX :: IZOD IndyCar Series Race

 

THE STREETS OF BELLE ISLE

Saturday, June 1 - Sunday, June 2, 2013 on ABC

 

Simon Pagenaud wins his first IndyCar race at second Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Simon Pagenaud celebrates his victory at the second Chevrolet Dual in Detroit on June 2, 2013.

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

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DETROIT -- Simon Pagenaud took the checkered flag for the very first time in his career. It was an amazing finish today with a 5.6274-second lead over James Jakes. His previous-best finish was second at Long Beach in 2012.

There were eight lead changes in the second Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit, which lasted one hour and 56 minutes. The race was 70 laps--or 164.2 miles long--on the 13-turn, 2.35-mile street course.

Simon said the race was pretty eventful. "My job was to be first and not look behind. My reflexes are pretty shot right now. We gained one position in every lap. Once we were in the lead, we had to do the laps. The last two laps were difficult. I'm 29 and started racing at age eight. Twenty-one years of hard work and have my dad believe I could do it. Those last two laps were difficult and I had to stay focused to get across the finish line. You always have to 'believe' to make it happen."

There were 22 caution laps in the race. The first took place when No. 2 Allmendinger made contact with the wall with the right-side of his car at the exit in turn two. In lap nine, No. 78 DeSilvestro made contact with the wall in turn eight. "I'm alright. I went to turn a corner and it just wouldn't turn and I hit the wall straight ahead," says DeSilvestro.

In lap 14, No. 98 Tagliani went off course in turn three after contact on course but continued with front-wing damage. There was another caution during lap 20 when there was debris between turns two and three. During lap 28, there was a multi-car accident in turn one. Cars involved were: No. 4 Briscoe, No.5 Viso, No. 19 Wilson, No. 20 Carpenter, No. 3 Castroneves, No. 7 Bourdais, No. 12 Power, No. 27 Hinchcliffe, No. 98 Tagliani and No. 15 Rahal. Will Power and No. 7 Bourdais made contact, which caused Power to spin and then No. 27 Hinchcliffe made contact with No. 12 Power.

There were a lot of crashes today in the beginning of the race. Then on lap 69, Pagenaud led No. 16 Jakes by 5.6323 seconds. On lap 70, No. 77 Simon Pagenaud won the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit Number Two by 5.6274 seconds. The average speed was 84.906 mph with the fastest lap being on lap 58 at 109.250 mph.

Today's second place finish is a career best for James Jakes. His previous best finish was eighth at Toronto in 2012. "The game plan was to get them out of the way as soon as possible. Nobody ran on full tanks yesterday. Today we had to be more aggressive. I got hit from every angle. I actually bounced off the wall on turn six. We made some massive improvements compared to yesterday," Jakes explained.

Mike Conway finished third, his second podium finish this season. Conway scored the win in Dual Number One on Saturday. "There were a lot of crashes in the beginning but we all tried a little harder today as opposed to yesterday. This is one of the toughest tracks. One small mistake can create that domino effect. On turn five I kissed the wall but I didn't feel it while driving," says Conway.

At 10:30 a.m. Derrick Walker, President, Operations and Competition of IndyCar held a press conference in the Media Center. He talked about safety and the long term outlook in racing for the future.

"We didn't get here overnight. We evolved here. Where we go from here will also be a process of evolution. If we're going to go to a completely different place ultimately, we'll take time to do that. I don't care who comes in and takes this job and has the challenge of moving the sport one way or another. it's always going to take a lot of time. It always comes down to resources and time," Walker explained.

At 12 noon, the Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers was held. The Pirelli World Challenge Series GT and GTS classes of the Cadillac V-Series competed. Randy Pobst won the GT class and Dean Martin won the GTS class.

Randy Pobst of Gainesville, Ga. says cautions hindered a great risk. "The AWD Volvo has a real advantage. Volvo is great at the takeoff, although some of these other cars are quicker in the race. The yellows were kind of a sad thing. I got frustrated and yelled at all the drivers "be more careful," says Pobst.

Johnny O'Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga. won second place in the GT series. "We missed a little bit in qualifying. We're gonna be fast and being first is critical. It developed into a really fun battle. Your game plan is developing as you race," says O'Connell.

James Sofronas of Villa Park, Calif. won third place in the GT series. "Our cars are a little bit weaker with older tires. I was trying my best to get them scrubbed in. The green flag dropped, as I came through two, got a little sideways and Pilgrim had a head of steam and actually hit me from behind. We went way deeper than we would normally and were rubbing door handles and mirrors. I was at the threshold with him." says Sofronas. "He also said that he was studying both of them (Johnny and Randy) while driving. "I'm looking forward to Lime Rock. You can't rest in this series with Johnny and Randy. You've got to pick your battles and be smart about it."

Dean Martin of Westland, Mich. won the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Series. He scored his first victory in his second-career series start. "I noticed that certain areas of the track were better but i struggled with the grip on the track," Martin explained.

Mark Wilkins of Toronto won second place in the GTS Series. "Dean and I had a great battle. Alec (Udell) was up there the whole time. I just followed Dean and we had a great successful weekend," says Wilkins.

Alec Udell, a 17-year-old high school student from Woodlands, Texas, came in third. "Before the caution, I was the sitting duck in the middle of the race. I got lucky in the end and very excited for that," says Udell. The finish equaled his only other career top-three finish, a third in Round Nine at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2012.

At 2:00 p.m. the Plain White T's performed on the Motor City Sound Board stage.

The next IZOD IndyCar Series race will be the Firestone 550 on Saturday, June 8 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race will be telecast live at 8:30 p.m. (ET) by ABC.

Related Story: Chevrolet Indy Duel in Detroit - Race 2 Results

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Pagenaud received a Shinola Watch - Made in Detroit

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The top three finishers of the race: James Jakes #2, Simon Pagenaud #1, Mike Conway #3

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Pagenaud hoists the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit trophy.

 

PHOTO BY JEROME RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The race winner addresses the media at a post-race press conference.

 

[ Return to Our Coverage of the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix ]

 

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