Indianapolis, Indiana May 11, 2024

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES kicked off the Month of May this weekend with the Sonsio Grand Prix, the first of three back-to-back weekends held at the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the run up to the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. The fastest road course on the INDYCAR calendar, the 2.4 mile run corners 14 times within the infield of the famed oval course, pushing drivers to the limit as they navigate high-speed corners, numerous lead changes, and nearly 9 degree banking for 85 laps.

At a track that distinguishes the top 12 by .035 seconds, the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing entry of Romain Grosjean started 23rd on the grid for Sunday’s race.

An early traffic-jam after the green flag gave Grosjean fighting position to push his way up to 18th place before he was elbowed into the grass, landing in the back of the pack. He didn’t stay there for long, weaving his way back up to 16th within a handful of laps and cycling up to 5th during the first round of pit stops.

Grosjean chose his first stop to swap to the regulation-required sticker red Firestone Alternate tires, committing to the race-favored three-stop strategy.

The second-biggest mover of the day, Grosjean moved up 11 places throughout the race, finding himself as high as 2nd place before his third and final pit stop landed him halfway down the field. He crossed the checkered flag in 12th place to gain 18 championship points.

 

Romain Grosjean:

“I think it was quite eventful. We started fast. Had a bit of a mess in Turn 1. I went to the grass to avoid that. Made it back, then was making good progress until I met another driver that forced me off the track. Lost quite a bit there. From that point, it was a bit difficult to recover. I feel like if we had a very strong pace. We just didn’t have a strong pace when catching people. We left a bit of time, but all-in-all I think the pit stops were really good. The strategy, we probably were a little bit on the conservative side. Saw people got lucky with the late yellow. We didn’t play our luck. I think P12 on an afternoon where we started P23, and we didn’t really get a good weekend to that point, is a good race for us.”

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s No. 78 entry Agustin Canapino drove full-throttle into the weekend, snagging the second-fastest time in Friday’s first practice session before pulling off his best-ever qualifying pace during his time in the series, starting the race from 15th on the grid.

Canapino also chose to follow the preferred three-stop strategy, but a damaged front wing due to early contact brought Canapino back into pit lane on lap 37, falling to the back of the field.

Agustin Canapino:

“Unfortunately, I broke the front wing on the first lap. I could not do anything, honestly. The car was, of course, with this problem. I started to lose a lot of positions. We had to change during the green flag, so I lost a lap because of that. It is what it is. It’s part of the racing. We started really well in the weekend. We did P2 in practice, P8 in the second practice, but unfortunately, we were losing time during the sessions. The good thing is we’re showing some good pace at the beginning of the season. We’ll see what happened, and we’ll focus on the next.”

By the end of the race, the Argentinian driver had fought his way up the field to cross the checkered flag in 21st place. He gained 9 points, holding onto his championship standing.

Ricardo Juncos:

“Crazy race, a lot of action. Started P23 with Romain Grosjean then P12 so great job from him, I think he passed like 11 cars. It was a very good points day for him for starting from the back, but unfortunately we couldn’t put a qualifying lap together for him. Agustin Canapino had started from P15, had a contact at the start of the race, broke the front wing that took us so much time to change, and lost a lot of time. We were hoping for a yellow that didn’t come in time, so P21 for him. I think we missed both cars a good weekend. There was a lot of speed at the beginning on Friday but now we focus on the Indy500 two weeks from now. We start practice on Tuesday, so we’re going to move on and hope for a good Indy500 race.”

The Month of May is officially underway, as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course race leads into next weekend’s qualifying sessions starting at 11am ET May 18 and 3pm ET on May 19 for the Biggest Spectacle in Racing. Viewers can catch all the coverage leading up to the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge May 14-26 on NBC and Peacock.