Josef Newgarden and rain knocked down a heroic Bourdais


Once a circuit in which Andretti Autosport seemed to be unbeatable, Barber has a new owner and lord from three seasons ago, in the edition in which Josef Newgarden achieved his first victory in IndyCar. Two years later, Barber would be also the scene of his first victory with Penske. This 2018, Newgarden came with the band of reigning champions, and have imposed their newly-purchased gallons by repeating a triumph in which, though less symbolic than the previous two, rests definitely to the american pilot as a candidate to repeat crown.

After the postponement of the previous day by the rain, the Grand Prix of Alabama resumed on lap 23 with an hour and a quarter race ahead in dry conditions, the entire time the previous day were consumed 45 minutes of the two hours that marked the limit of the duration of the test, which could prevent you from completing all the laps remaining-time. Newgarden did not stay to see them come to the jump test in the turn 27 and put land of by means of quickly. While Bourdais and the other pursuers opted to save gas and look to finish the race with a single pit stop, Newgarden was traveling between half a second and a second per lap faster, getting to have a margin of nearly 12 seconds before your stop, of 21 after the one of Bourdais, and of more than 26 seconds in the back 62.


The plan of Penske was to throw the maximum to get ahead of the pilot of Coyne in his second stop, but the weather had other plans. The sun gave way to clouds and a few radars that predicted disaster. The rain ended up making act of presence, gradually increasing, and around lap 67, the track began to lose grip dramatically. In a time when it was not known if rain more or not, Newgarden is played by stopping in the pit lane, just a quarter of an hour of the end, on lap 71, to mount tires on a wet, trusting in the fact that Bourdais, who had not to return to stop for gas, make it your own.

The French, however, smelled blood, and took some laps hesitant of Newgarden, in addition to a brave pilot with tires on a dry track increasingly wet, to try to get to the end. Unfortunately for the French, their advantage of a little more than 10 seconds it started to collapse dramatically, and had no choice but to stop in the pit lane, just seven minutes from the end. Her daring in pursuit of victory ended up costing expensive, as they returned to the track in fifth place. There ended the alternative to a Newgarden that, despite yielding 10 seconds in the turns end to have the tires broken (hint of spin included), had the other 10 in the sleeve to be made with the ninth victory of his career in IndyCar, and the second of the season.

With a driving solid and without errors, Ryan Hunter-Reay he retained his position of the podium throughout the afternoon, and took the bet failed Bourdais to finish in second place, their best position since the last race of 2015 in Sonoma. In the fight that ended up being the position of a podium finish, Alexander Rossi was overtaken by two riders of Schmidt, James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens, on lap 48. Rossi would regain a position after a bad stop, Wickens, but lost any option to make it his second arrest on lap 65, before it began to rain, which ended by condemning the leader of the championship at the eleventh place. So, Hinchcliffe took his first podium of the season, and the first in the path that saw him make his debut in 2011, overtaking in two seconds to a Wickens who fulfilled amply.

Seeking to recover from the loss of positions of the Sunday following the incident of Will Power, and a time exceeded Takuma Sato and Zach Veach with severe problems in aerodynamic Scott Dixon returned to pull its well-known ability to make courses longer and more imitated the strategy of Bourdais. Not served him to win more jobs as a result of the late rain, but finished the race stuck to the French and even tried to charged in ‘revenge’ for the double overtaking of Long Beach on the last lap. Both pilots rolled in parallel during the last two corners and the final straight, beating Bourdais by 87 thousandths.

After the new zealander, Graham Rahal rescued a good seventh position-based rhythm and good stops, having relaunched in thirteenth place, ahead of teammate Sato, in the best performance of the year for the pilot, nippon, as a Simon Pagenaud this fact was of little since the ninth place, finishing in addition visibly upset with a Gabby Chaves criticized by block, taking back lost. Completed the top 10 Marco Andretti, which seems to have recovered the line consistently for a decade.

Not everyone had such a good day: Max Chilton finished off a race to forget in Carlin, staying the shot before the relaunch, and the two cars of Carpenter lost their options top 10 due to various problems, among them a Spencer Pigot that was involved in a spectacular touch without consequences with a loosed, and bent, Zachary Claman De Melo. In addition, the Ed Jones followed in the wake of Dixon in the beginning until a recurring problem in the engine put an end to your options. With Newgarden as the new sheriff, a position that has not lasted more than one race this season, the IndyCar sets sail permanently to Indianapolis, with the test at the oval next week prior to the madness of the ‘Month of May’.

Results of the Grand Prix of Alabama (82 laps 90)

Pos Pilot Engine Time / Difference
1 Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet 2:01.14.448
Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Honda + 9.960
3rd James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Honda + 15.538
4th Robert Wickens (R) Schmidt Honda + 17.679
5th Sebastien Bourdais Coyne Honda + 26.889
6th Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda + 26.976
7th Graham Rahal Rahal Honda + 30.119
8th Takuma Sato Rahal Honda + 30.552
9th Simon Pagenaud Penske Chevrolet + 42.461
10th Marco Andretti Andretti Honda + 44.689
11th Alexander Rossi Andretti Honda + 45.233
12 Matheus Leist (R) Foyt Chevrolet + 57.929
13th Zach Veach (R) Andretti Honda + 1:05.929
14th Jordan King (R) Carpenter Chevrolet + 1:20.011
15 Spencer Pigot Carpenter Chevrolet + 1 return
16th René Binder (R) Reeds Chevrolet + 2 laps
17 Gabby Chaves Harding Chevrolet + 2 laps
18 Tony Kanaan Foyt Chevrolet + 2 laps
19th Zachary Claman De Melo (R) Coyne Honda + 2 laps
20th Ed Jones Ganassi Honda Engine (v64)
21 Will Power Penske Chevrolet Abandonment (v53)
22 Max Chilton Carlin Chevrolet Electric (v34)
23 Charlie Kimball Carlin Chevrolet Accident (v10)

the general Classification of the IndyCar 2018 in Barber

Pos Pilot Equipo Motor Puntos
Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet 158
Alexander Rossi Andretti Honda 145
Sébastien Bourdais Coyne Honda 119
Graham Rahal Rahal Honda 119
James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Honda 118
Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Honda 113
Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda 107
Robert Wickens (R) Schmidt Honda 97
Framework Andretti Andretti Honda 88
10º Will Power Penske Chevrolet 81
11º Ed Jones Ganassi Honda 79
12º Tony Kanaan Foyt Chevrolet 79
13º Zach Veach (R) Andretti Honda 77
14º Takuma Sato Rahal Honda 70
15º Simon Pagenaud Penske Chevrolet 66
16º Spencer Pigot Carpenter Chevrolet 61
17º Gabby Chaves Harding Chevrolet 55
18º Matheus Leist (R) Foyt Chevrolet 51
19º Charlie Kimball Carlin Chevrolet 50
20º Max Chilton Carlin Chevrolet 44
21º Jordan King (R) Carpenter Chevrolet 38*
22º Zachary Claman De Melo (R) Shank Honda 31*
26º René Binder (R) Juncos Chevrolet 22*

(R): Newbie
* Program partial