Josef Newgarden is IndyCar Champion 2017
While Penske driver Simon Pagenaud wins the IndyCar season finale 2017 in Sonoma, team-mate Josef Newgarden wins the title with second place.
Josef Newgarden (Penske-Chevrolet) secured the IndyCar title 2017 on Sunday.At the season finale, Sonoma’s double-pointed GoPro Grand Prix at the Sonoma Raceway in California, Newgarden crossed the finish line behind his victorious Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud.This result was enough for Newgarden to claim the first title of his IndyCar career, while Pagenaud’s victory was not enough to successfully defend his 2016 title.
The 85 lap race on the Californian mountain and valley track Sonoma ran completely without yellow phases.The five most promising candidates for the title all finished the race in the top 5, with Penske team-mates Will Power and Helio Castroneves finishing third and fifth behind Pagenaud and Newgarden.This duo was framed by Scott Dixon (Ganassi-Honda) in fourth place.
Alexander Rossi (Herta/Andretti-Honda), who had entered the race as the sixth title candidate with extremely small chances of winning the title, had to visit the pits early in the race with technical problems.The winner from two weeks ago in Watkins Glen lost 25 laps and finally all chances for the sensation.
Newgarden fixes first title in 100.race
For the new champion Josef Newgarden, the first title win of his IndyCar career came just in time for his 100th birthday.This is just great.I don’t know what to say,”said the 26-year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee, who only joined Team Penske last winter.Newgarden has taken over Juan Pablo Montoya’s #2 Penske-Chevrolet and, unlike the Colombian, has managed to drive this car to the IndyCar title.
At the start of the race pole sitter and championship leader Josef Newgarden defended the lead ahead of his three Penske team-mates Will Power, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves, who also fought for the title.But Castroneves passed Pagenaud after a few bends.
In the midfield, James Hinchcliffe (Schmidt-Honda) took off.A few seconds later Tony Kanaan (Ganassi-Honda) caught a flat tire in a collision and had to go directly to the box.With this, Ganassi spearhead and title contender Scott Dixon, who was four points behind championship leader Newgarden, had the lead in the showdown Penske vs.Ganassi is no longer supported by his team mate.
Pagenaud stops in the lead
While Takuma Sato (Andretti-Honda) suffered a puncture early on, front runner Newgarden controlled the race in the early stages.His Penske team mate Pagenaud, who is in third place, opened the round of green flag stops in turn eleven.Newgarden’s front runner and the pursuers Power and Castroneves came to service in round 17.Pagenaud was the profiteer because of his early stop.
After the first round of the pit stops, the order in which the title candidates were placed was Pagenaud, Newgarden, Power, Castroneves and Dixon.Before them, Conor Daly (Foyt-Chevrolet) drove until lap 21, who hesitated his first pit stop for a long time and thus came to a few lead laps.
Double second of shock for Pagenaud
In round 30, front runner Pagenaud made his second pit stop.This time it took longer for the other rivals to follow suit.Castroneves and Dixon came to the pits in round 39.Newgarden and Power came a lap later in the 40th minute.Circulation.This made it clear that Pagenaud planned the 85 lap race with a four-stop strategy, while his three Penske team mates and Ganassi driver Dixon wanted to make three stops across the distance.
After the second round pit stops, Pagenaud, Newgarden, Power, Castroneves and Dixon were all in the same order.However, in turn 47, front runner Pagenaud had a frightening second when he left the piste in the chicane opposite the start/finish line.The Frenchman was lumbering through the mud with his #1 penske chevrolet.In the following lap, this mishap happened to him again.But this time, too, the lead was not lost.
Different strategies in the title fight
After the double ride Pagenaud turned off at the end of lap 48 to the third and penultimate pit stop.Unlike the previous stops, last year’s champion this time was again ahead of the pack.Even before Newgarden, the front runner, came to the pits for his third stop, Pagenaud had reached the rear.But he didn’t get past the track.
Dixon came to the pits in lap 61.Newgarden and Castroneves also stopped in lap 62.Power followed in lap 63.For all these riders it should be the last pit stop, while Pagenaud, who is now in the lead again, had to make a pit stop because of his four-stop strategy.This last stop was already in round 64 and this time Pagenaud was still the front runner after his stop.Newgarden, however, was sitting right on his neck.
Victory and runner-up for Pagenaud
While Pagenaud was still on his out lap and had a low tyre temperature, Newgarden tried the attack in turn 7.He drew in the narrow right inside next to Pagenaud.Side by side we headed towards Esses.But there Newgarden kept cool head and stuck back.He knew that a second place behind Pagenaud would be enough for him to win the title.The same thing happened after 85 laps.
Defending champion Pagenaud, who defended his title, won by one second ahead of the new champion Newgarden and thus secured his runner-up title at least in the last race of the season.Power, the 2014 champion, took his secure third place ahead of the four-time champion Dixon, who slipped to third place behind Pagenaud in the overall standings.
Castroneves finished fifth in the race and the championship in fourth place ahead of Power.Castroneves is still waiting for an IndyCar title and doesn’t know if he will get another chance.Reason: For 2018, the “Spiderman”, who has been driving in the IndyCar scene since 1998, will be associated with Penske’s new sports car programme in the IMSA, for which Juan Pablo Montoya has already been appointed.However, Castroneves’s stay in the IndyCar range has not yet completely disappeared.