What: GMR Grand Prix / Race 5 of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series
Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Ind.
When: Saturday, May 13, 3:30pm ET
Kicking off the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the GMR Grand Prix, the NTT IndyCar Series puts on a Saturday afternoon shootout on the road course, before switching to oval mode and two weeks of buildup to the 107th Indianapolis 500.
The IMS road course includes portions of Turns 1 and 2 and the front straight of the oval, but running in reverse. The remainder of the circuit is within the infield, and because it was first conceived to host Formula 1, the smooth surface, wide racing line, and even the curbing give it something of a ‘European’ feel. Which is maybe why guys like Romain Grosjean and Christian Lundgaard can be so competitive, so quickly, on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn layout.
Watch out for Andretti Autosport’s Grosjean this weekend. He already owns a pole and two second-place finishes in just four IndyCar starts on the track, but look out, too, for the likes of Lundgaard in Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s No. 45 entry, Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Callum Ilott, and even Chip Ganassi Racing’s road course rookie, Marcus Armstrong, to be in the thick of it on Saturday.
That’s as well as at least a dozen other genuine contenders, including (deep breath, and apologies to anyone we don’t name…) all three Team Penske pilots, the rest of CGR’s four-car roster, every driver in an Arrow McLaren entry, the always-quick-at-Indy (as in, both the road course and the oval) ECR machines, and Grosjean’s AA teammates, Kyle Kirkwood and Colton Herta.
Herta won last year’s GMR Grand Prix with a tactical masterstroke in wet-dry-wet conditions, with Alexander Rossi recording a drought-breaking final victory for Andretti Autosport in July’s return fixture, before switching to Arrow McLaren. Both are looking for their first win of 2023 and, like everyone in the field, they’ll be keeping an eye on the weather. Rain’s in the forecast for Friday, with just a slight chance of showers for Saturday’s race day. But this is Indiana in early May, so ask us again in five minutes and we may tell you something different…
Meteorological curveballs or not, we should be in for a fascinating race as the NTT IndyCar Series is back home again in Indiana.
You can follow all the practice and qualifying action on Peacock on Friday, May 12, with NBC taking over for raceday on Saturday, May 13. And to get even closer to it all, grab the best seat in the house with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA and its 14 raceday live onboard cameras.
Friday, May 12 / 9:30am – 10:45am ET – Practice 1 – Peacock
Friday, May 12 / 1:00pm – 2:00pm ET – Practice 2 – Peacock
Friday, May 12 / 4:00pm – 5:15pm ET – Qualifying – Peacock
Saturday, May 13 / 11:15am – 11:45am ET – Warmup – Peacock
Saturday, May 13 / 3:30pm – 6:00pm ET – RACE – NBC, Peacock
* All sessions and the race are also available as audio commentary on SiriusXM and INDYCAR Radio. Tune in, too, to the pre-race show on SiriusXM and INDYCAR Radio, 3:00pm-3:30pm ET on Sunday, May 13.
Ride along with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA
Taking you inside the action, 14 drivers will be carrying in-car cameras. During the race, you can live-stream every one of them with the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA. You choose who you ride along with, and you can switch drivers at any time. The App’s free to download for fans worldwide and you can find out more HERE. If you’re not already onboard, take your viewing experience to a whole new level HERE.
Bringing you the onboard action from the MSR Grand Prix are…
Colton Herta / No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda
Herta’s bold early switch to slicks in last year’s dramatic, wet-dry-wet, time-limited GMR Grand Prix was the key move in a winning day (below). While it’s hard to believe the Andretti Autosport ace hasn’t taken a victory since, his 2023 form’s been way better than the numbers on the board suggest, and the IMS road course could be the place where results start to reflect that. Definitely one of the favorites this weekend.
Alexander Rossi / No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
Rossi won on the IndyCar Series’ second visit to the IMS road course last season, breaking a three-season victory drought. His switch from Andretti Autosport to Arrow McLaren is yet to deliver a defining weekend, but the return to Indy could change that. A surefire podium contender, but maybe more?
Pato O’Ward / No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
Just three markers behind NTT IndyCar Series points leader Marcus Ericsson, O’Ward’s strong start to the season is only lacking a first win of the campaign. He’s been on pole at the IMS road course, yet race days have been somewhat less rewarding, with a best finish of fifth in 2020’s Harvest GP double header. But with Arrow McLaren and O’Ward a factor everywhere now, look for the spectacular Mexican to be in the mix for his opening victory of 2023.
Rinus VeeKay / No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
The Dutchman heads back to the track where he earned his first, and so far only, NTT IndyCar Series win in 2021 (below). ECR has been on the back foot so far this season, with VeeKay failing to land a top-15 finish on a street track or road course so far, but Indy is a place that always seems to give the team a bump – not just in the super-fast cars it usually field for the “500,” but on the IMS road course, too. VeeKay needs a strong result and Saturday’s 85-lapper may very well supply it.
Josef Newgarden / No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet
He’s a 2023 winner at Texas Motor Speedway, but Newgarden has suffered frustrations on the street tracks and road courses. Last time out at Barber, Penske’s three-stop strategy came good for McLaughlin and Power, but left Newgarden struggling home in 15th place. The two-time champ is due a decent weekend and won on the IMS road course in 2020. Expect him to be a factor.
Kyle Kirkwood / No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach winner is looking to put some consistency into his campaign after following up that first IndyCar career victory with a finish outside of the top 10 in Barber. He won on the IMS road course in his record-resetting rise through the junior open-wheel ranks, but struggled there as an IndyCar rookie last year. Two-day events leave little time for catching up or changing the gameplan, so a fast start on Friday morning is essential.
Romain Grosjean / No. 28 Andretti Autosport Honda
Back to the scene of his breakout IndyCar moment in 2021, when he took the pole with Dale Coyne Racing, led a race-high 44 laps, but lost out on a first win to Rinus VeeKay. That first win is still to arrive for the now-Andretti Autosport driver, but he’s coming to IMS off the back of consecutive second-place finishes, and with two 2023 poles already in the bag (below). That first win is an inevitability, and we’ll take a punt and say it will be in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix.
Scott McLaughlin / No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet
Just when we were beginning to wonder if talk of McLaughlin as a title contender was a little premature, he puts on a three-stopping masterclass at Barber for his first win of the season. Fourth in last year’s second visit to the IMS road course, the Kiwi is set to be a real factor this time around.
Felix Rosenqvist / No. 6 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
Coming off of two solid top-10 finishes, the Arrow McLaren driver will be looking to keep up the momentum this weekend. He finished sixth and ninth on the IMS road course last year – can he move the marker to a top-five result on Saturday?
Simon Pagenaud / No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda
With a season-best finish of only 15th on the streets of Long Beach, can the Frenchman and his MSR team start to turn it around in Indiana? Pagenaud is a three-time winner on the IMS road course, including a curtain-raising victory before his 2019 Indy 500 win, and finished second in last year’s GMR Grand Prix. If it was just down to experience and muscle memory, he’d be a factor again, no question, but let’s see what the MSR brain trust can bring to the equation, too.
Graham Rahal / No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
As Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing continues its quest to turn a host of moving parts into a unidirectional entity, Rahal’s top-six finish in the St. Pete opener starts to feel a long time ago. But, as always, if the No. 15 can be lured onto the front half of the starting grid, the team and its driver have the collective strategic savvy to perhaps match, or even better, that season-starting result.
Agustin Canapino / No. 78 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet
With Juncos Hollinger Racing back up to full strength on the engineering side, rookie Canapino (below) can target a return to the impressive form that marked his first two races. The Argentinian tin-top ace has impressed on his open-wheel transition and it will be interesting to follow his progress through Indy’s Month of May. Is a top-10 finish in the GMR Grand Prix a possibility?
Jack Harvey / No. 30 Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
This time last year, we were beginning to wonder where Harvey’s first top-10 result of the season might come from. Fast forward, and we’re beginning to wonder all over again. Like Graham Rahal, he’s driving for a team that isn’t firing on all cylinders. But on the positive side, the IMS road course is where Harvey took his only IndyCar podium, driving for MSR in 2019, and has earned three other top 10s. Here’s hoping it’s a weekend when things start to come together for the Brit and RLL.
Christian Lundgaard / No. 45 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Coming off the back of the most complete weekend performance by an RLL driver in 2023 – sixth on the grid and sixth in the race at Barber – Lundgaard returns to the scene of some of his finest IndyCar moments – qualifying fourth for his one-off RLL debut in 2021, and finishing second in last year’s July race. It’s a track that suits the former Formula 2 racer, so watch out for the 21-year-old Dane to be vying for another top-six finish – or better.
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