IndyCar: Simon Pagenaud Wins Grand Prix of Baltimore

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Midwest, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

BALTIMORE (Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013) – Simon Pagenaud outlasted Josef Newgarden and what was left of the 24-car field to win the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT.

It was the second IZOD IndyCar Series victory of the season for the driver of the No. 77 Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports car. Newgarden, 22, the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion who crossed the start-finish line 4.1 seconds back in the No. 67 Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing car, secured a career-best runner-up finish after starting a season-best fifth.

There were six full-course cautions, with almost every car sustaining some damage during the grueling 75 laps on the technically challenging 2.04-mile, 12-turn temporary street circuit in downtown Baltimore.

The win moved the 29-year-old native of France into third in the standings with three races left.

With Verizon P1 Award winner Scott Dixon, who entered the race 39 points behind championship front-runner Helio Castroneves, exiting on Lap 53 because of contact on a restart, Castroneves gained ground in the title chase with a ninth-place finish. He’s 49 points ahead after recording his 15th top-10 finish in the 16 races. Pagenaud has 431 points, followed by Andretti (430) and reigning series champion and 2012 Baltimore race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay (427).

Sebastien Bourdais, who started 22nd in the No. 7 Dragon Racing car and led 19 laps, finished third and Justin Wilson placed fourth for his fourth consecutive top 10. Simona De Silvestro marked her 25th birthday with a season-best fifth-place finish.

Also on Sept. 1, Sunoco Pole Award winner Jack Hawksworth led all 35 laps to win the Firestone Indy Lights Grand Prix of Baltimore.

The championship points chase tightened significantly with two races remaining as Carlos Munoz, the front-runner entered the race on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn street circuit made contact on Lap 6 and finished ninth.

Hawksworth, who entered the race 39 points behind, won his third street course race of the season in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson with Curb-Agajanian car and returned to title contention.

“It was the perfect weekend for us from start to finish,” he said. “We rolled off the truck, we were quick straight from the off. When it’s like that it makes your life a lot easier.”

Sage Karam recorded his seventh podium with the runner-up finish to seize the points lead with 373. Munoz, a three-time winner this season, is two points back and Gabby Chaves, who finished third, has 369 points. Hawksworth is fourth with 362 points and Peter Dempsey is still in contention with 338 points.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Bret Kelley

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