Alexander Rossi and the No. 27 team were forced to retire early from GMR Grand Prix due to fuel pressure issues.
Round 2 of NTT INDYCAR SERIES competition is complete after a historic racing weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing Saturday and NASCAR taking the track Sunday – the first time America’s top two racing series have shared a circuit for a race event.
The condensed GMR Grand Prix weekend saw just one practice session before qualifying Friday, followed by a brief warmup and 80-lap main event in Saturday’s Indiana heat. The race was run without fans in attendance due to repercussions surrounding the ongoing global health crisis.
Giving the iconic blue and yellow NAPA AUTO PARTS livery a break, Alexander Rossi’s No. 27 machine took on the pink and grey of AutoNation for his fifth Indy GP start. Fuel pressure issues first struck the NAPA Auto Care crew during Friday’s morning practice, causing a delayed start to the session for Rossi. The team went on to qualify the car 11th.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been super strong around here, so I think 11th is about par for the course for us, unfortunately,” said Rossi. “We’re trying some different things. We had a pretty disjointed practice this morning, so I think this is a pretty decent result considering some of the issues we had to overcome.”
The AutoNation / NAPA team recovered come race time, with Alexander climbing into the top five before the sole caution of the day came out at the race’s half-way point. The fuel pressure issue again arose on the restart, retiring the No. 27 team to the garages with just 41 laps complete.
“We just lost power on that restart,” added Rossi. “We thought we had [the fuel issue] resolved, but clearly, we didn’t. It was strange because it was fine until we went under yellow. I think the AutoNation / NAPA Honda was good – I think it was a top-five car. It’s just unfortunate that we’ve had this kind of weekend two races in a row. But we have four races in the next two weekends which will give us a chance to come back. We’re focusing on race wins.”
The Series now heads into back-to-back doubleheader race weekends at Road America and Iowa Speedway, respectively. Fans will return to INDYCAR at those events, though with limited access areas.
Start / Finish: 11 / 25
Points Earned: 5
Points Standing / Total: 23rd / 20 pts.
Next Race: REV Group Grand Prix at Road America (doubleheader)
How to Watch or Listen: Saturday, July 11, 5pm ET on NBCSN / Sunday, July 12, 12:30pm ET on NBC
Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the NTT IndyCar Series, including the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS / AutoNation Honda piloted by Alexander Rossi. The global racing enterprise boasts over 200 total race wins, four IndyCar Series championships, four Indy Lights championships, one Indy Pro 2000 and one USF2000 championship. The team has also captured victory five times at the famed Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, including the 100th Running with Alexander Rossi in 2016.