COTA does not disappoint!
***Spoiler Alert, do not continue if you haven't watched the race***
It seems that the Circuit of the Americas knows how to host an iconic race weekend! Last year's Formula One win from Kimi Raikkonen and the IndyCar race are shaping up the track’s legacy.
During the entire weekend everyone's predictions were that Will Power or Alexander Rossi would take the win at the inaugural IndyCar race at Circuit of the americas. With COTA offering $100k to any driver that got pole position in qualifying and win the race, everyone’s eyes were on the prize.
With the track limits lifted for the weekend, all the cars were taking full advantage of the turn 19 runoff area. This also caused issues to multiple drivers who would drive over the bumpy runoff, unsettled their cars and ended up crashing.
With the skies above starting to get dark, we witnessed all the race teams readying the wets for any possible situation. Thankfully for our camera gear, the clouds decided to stay away during qualifying.
Will Power ended up taking the pole position for Sunday’s race and the possible chance at the $100k COTA bonus. Rossi appeared to have had some tire temp issues to be able to beat out will and had to settle behind Power.
It was race day and the pre race celebrations were underway with the national anthem and a surprising flyover of a B2 Bomber. It was quite an experience.
The race was off to a start and the top three were Power, Rossi, and the rookie Colton Herta. For the majority of the race, it was looking as if Power was going to cash that big check. Rossi kept extremely close and challenge the leader but Power just seemed to have an invisible wall behind his wing. Rossi then seemed to have gone into conserve mode, which allowed Herta to take advantage and gain ground on him.
The winning order seemed to have be determined till turn 19 caused another incident. Felix Rosenqvist had taken the extremely wide line and to avoid going into the grass, he quickly tried coming onto the track making contact. The contact caused him to spin right into the wall of before the pit entrance.
To our surprise we saw the IndyCar safety team come out in a slow manner and park their truck in the middle of the race line. There were multiple cars having to drive around the truck till they decided to move it, except they timed it when others were coming around the corner. Thankfully there were no further accidents.
During the commotion, Power and Rossi decided to pit. Power came in first and that’s when the inevitable happened. Power’s car wouldn’t go into gear after their pit stopped. They attempted to try different settings on their wheel and had no luck with first gear engaging.
Rossi’s luck was no better. The safety car took a number of laps to gather the cars and then more laps for the safety crew to clear Rosenqvist’s car. He was literally seeing his lead slowly getting away from him.
The rookie was up to bat and he hit a home run! After the safety car pull into the pits, Herta was able to maintain the lead for the rest of the laps. He now holds the record for the youngest winner in IndyCar history.
COTA, hats off to you for hosting such an unbelievable event and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the IndyCar series returning for next year. We hope you enjoy our photo coverage!