Firestone – Indy 500 competition winners
It was big smiles and uncontainable excitement for Nkiti Shumeni and Paresh Maken (and their partners) when they departed from the O.R Tambo International Airport last night to experience for the first time, the greatest spectacle in racing: the 2018 Indy 500. The treat is their prize as winners of the #FirestoneINDY500 once in a lifetime competition.
Nkiti from Vereeniging is a lucky draw winner after entering the competition by simply buying Firestone tyres at a SupaQuick out of about 20 000 entries and Paresh is a lucky draw winner who entered the DSTV INDY 500 competition. Their prizes include an all-expenses-paid five-night Firestone VIP trip to the Indy 500 including access to the Firestone Legends day concert.
“The Indy 500 is one of the most prestigious international motorsport races, so we are very grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity bearing in mind that it’s our first trip to the US. We are looking forward to getting up close and personal with the masterfully engineered beasts and their drivers. Hopefully, we will catch some selfies with them!” said Paresh.
The Indianapolis 500 is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world, including the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It occurs over the famous Memorial Day Weekend and attracts crowds of over 300 000.
“We wanted to give at least two South Africans and their partners a chance to experience one of the world’s largest sporting events – It’s one of those bucket list experiences. The race is undeniably respected and carries so much history with it, so we are delighted to enable customers like Nkiti and Paresh to feel, see and take in the entire experience of the 2018 Indy 500. The grandness that comes with the Indy 500 makes this an important event in their lives and we are so glad to offer that to them” said Thandeka Ngoma, Marketing Executive at Bridgestone.
Heavy rain suspends Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on 23rd lap
The ninth annual Indy car race on the 2.3-mile permanent road course began in rainy conditions that grew progressively worse and substantially limited driver visibility. A pair of full-course cautions – the first when Charlie Kimball’s car came to a stop on track on Lap 12, the second when Will Power spun and hit the Turn 1 barrier on Lap 17 – preceded the first of two red-flag stoppages for declining track conditions on Lap 19.
Following a 37-minute delay, engines were restarted and the field completed four laps under caution behind the pace car before they were ordered into the pit lane once more. After nearly 90 minutes waiting out the rain, INDYCAR deemed the track lost for the day and announced postponement of the completion until Monday.
The race is scheduled for 90 laps or two hours, whichever comes first. When lead-lap cars cross the start/finish line for Monday’s resumption, 23 laps will be complete and about 75 minutes will remain on the race clock.
Pole sitter Josef Newgarden, the defending race winner at Barber driving the No. 1 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet this weekend, led every lap until the race was halted and will pick up in first place on Monday. Barber Motorsports Park announced that it will open its gates and allow fans to attend the conclusion without a ticket.
“It’s tough because we have so many people that come out here to watch us,” said Newgarden, the reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion. “We want to put on a good race. We want to put on a show, so calling the race, it’s tough to do that.
“But I think it was the right thing in the end. When we started the race, the conditions were OK. You could run at that level of rain. Then it intensified right before that first caution. It got to a point where it was just too much. There was too much puddling and pooling of water.
“Look, we love racing in the rain. It’s got nothing to do with not wanting to run in the rain, not being able to do that. It’s this type of track with this water level was too much to race today.”
All cars will be permitted to continue in the race except Kimball’s No. 23 Tresiba Chevrolet, which had been retired from the race following contact with the Turn 17 barrier that preceded him stopping on track. Power’s No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet may return to the race, but has been impounded overnight by INDYCAR so that no additional repairs may be made. Once the race clock resumes on Monday, Power’s crew may continue working on it.
Teams may choose to restart on either the Firestone primary or alternate dry-condition tire compound unless INDYCAR declares a wet-weather restart, in which case the rain tires must be used. Teams may also choose whatever quantity of ethanol fuel that want in the car for the restart.
The last time a Verizon IndyCar Series event started on one day and resumed on another came in 2016, when the Texas Motor Speedway race completed 72 laps in June before being halted by rain. It was resumed two months later.
In August 2016, the ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway was rained out on its originally scheduled date and run in its entirety the following day.
Mazda Road to Indy race recap
Andretti Autosport’s Patricio O’Ward led every lap in wet and tricky conditions to complete a weekend sweep of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader. O’Ward won by 5.8325 seconds over Victor Franzoni (Juncos Racing).
In the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires, Harrison Scott (RP Motorsports Racing) drove to his first series victory. Scott inherited the lead on Lap 21 when Andres Gutierrez (Team Pelfrey) went off course. A full-course caution was ordered shortly after and Scott won the race under yellow.
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