GMR Grand Prix: Friday Recap

By: Spencer Neff
May 14, 2021

Friday marked the beginning of the month of May on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

As has become the norm since 2014, the Grand Prix kicked things off on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Speedway, Indiana. Here’s a look at some of the headlines from the day.

Grosjean takes first INDYCAR pole

Qualifying Results

During his first day on track at the famed speedway, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR’s Romain Grosjean turned in a best lap of 1m09.4396 (126.447 mph) seconds to win his first IndyCar pole.

Grosjean and the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team celebrate the NTT P1 Award (Chris Owens/INDYCAR)

In the Fast Six, the Geneva, Switzerland-native topped Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden by .1269 of a second. At the April 18 season opener, Grosjean started seventh, his previous best qualifying effort.

While this is Grosjean’s first pole, DCR earns their first since Sebastien Bourdais started up front at Phoenix in 2018. The only other pole for the organization came in 2013, when Mike Conway did so at Belle Isle Race 2.

Jack Harvey, Alex Palou, Scott McLaughlin and Conor Daly also made the Fast Six. In a session full of surprises, points leader and defending race winner Scott Dixon starts 16th.

Newgarden leads second practice

Practice 2 Results Combined Practice Results

With a best lap of 1m09.3323 (126.642 mph), Josef Newgarden led the final pre-qualifying session, as he looks to build upon his win in Race 1 of the Harvest Grand Prix doubleheader in October on the IMS Road Course.

Image By Joe Skibinski./INDYCAR

Rossi tops first practice

Practice 1 Results

After crashing out before the start of the second race at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader, Alexander Rossi and the Andretti looked to put their recent issues behind them.

During first practice, he led the way after posting a best lap of 1m09.8784 (125.653 mph). For a few drivers in the field, the first day on track did not offer a pleasant introduction.

Barber winner Alex Palou was unable to make it out on track after mechanical issues plagued the No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing entry. A.J. Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais was limited to just three laps with mechanical issues.

Ahead of opening practice, Carlin Racing announced they would not compete in this weekend’s event’s as driver Max Chilton is working through travel issues. The team now turns their focus to preparations for the Indianapolis 500, as practice begins on May 18.

Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Up Next

Here is the remaining schedule for this weekend’s on-track activity. Keep tabs on this weekend’s action with and our social media platforms, listed at the bottom of our webpage. All times listed are track local (Eastern). 

Saturday, May 15

10:45-11:15 a.m. NTT INDYCAR SERIES warmup, Peacock Premium

2 p.m.  NBC on air

2:39 p.m. “Drivers, start your engines”

2:45 p.m. GMR Grand Prix (85 laps/207.3 miles), NBC (Live)

Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR


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