INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean picked up his first NTT IndyCar Series podium finish with a second place in Saturday’s GMR Grand Prix thanks to a dominating run in only his third series start aboard his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda.
Grosjean, who was starting on pole, dominated the first part of the race, gradually growing his lead with each lap and had a six second lead by the time he headed to pit lane on Lap 25 for his first of three stops.
The Swiss-born Frenchman then returned to the track in second place and regained the lead a couple of laps later when the car in front of him made his first stop.
Grosjean continued to lead until Lap 43 when his team decided to bring him into the pits for his second stop, but also to cycle him out of lapped traffic that was costing him precious time.
Despite good work by his #51 Nurtec ODT pit crew, Grosjean came out in third and moved up to second a couple of laps later before making his way back to first on Lap 60 when eventual race winner Rinus Veekay pit from the lead.
The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver led another few laps, for a total of 44 laps led, before making his final stop on Lap 63.
Grosjean once again exited pit lane in third and made his way back to second with 20 laps remaining. Despite chasing down the leader as best he could, Grosjean had to ‘settle’ for second after dominating the first part of the 85-lap event.
“It’s not a bad day! I think we’re kind of disappointed to be second but also super happy. I was telling the team, guys, it’s a great day. You can’t be disappointed being second. It’s fantastic!” shared Grosjean. “We’ve had a strong car all weekend. We were leading the race quite easily in the first stint. We got a bit unlucky with traffic and back markers and I think that cost us a chance to go for the win, but also Rinus (Veekay) was quite fast on a different strategy. The right one, I guess.
“But we’ve done great work, and finishing second in my third race starting in INDYCAR, it’s pretty big. It is a tough championship. There’s super good talent here, super fast drivers.”
Pietro Fittipaldi will be returning behind the wheel of the #51 Nurtec ODT machine on Tuesday, May 18 as practice for the Indianapolis 500 gets underway at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Grosjean will be back in action with the team next month at the Detroit Grand Prix.