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Fittipaldi Completes First Indy 500

#51: Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi completed his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, driving his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda to a 25th place finish after a solid performance.

The result could have been much different had there been one more caution period in the 200-lap race but nonetheless, Fittipaldi picked up valuable experience as he raced around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval for the first time.

Fittipaldi lost a few positions from his 13th place on the grid at the start of the race but maintained 17th place for the majority of his first stint.

The Miami-born Brazilian headed to pit lane for his first stop on Lap 30 and while he exited the pits in 33rd, he had made his way back up to 30th by the time a full course caution came out a handful of laps later. Fittipaldi was then 22nd by the time the field took the restart on Lap 47. 

The fastest Indy 500 rookie qualifier continued to maintain his strong race pace and was running 18th by the halfway mark of the event.  He made his third pit stop on Lap 104 and the team then gambled with bringing him once again on Lap 119 during what was the final caution period in the hopes of only having to do one more stop.

While Fittipaldi made his way up as high as third by the time he made his fourth stop with just over 40 laps to go, he ended up having to visit pit lane one last time for a splash of fuel with five laps remaining.

“It wasn’t the finish we were looking for. We got caught out by the first yellow after our first stop,” explained Fittipaldi. “We were making our way back up on the restarts and the #51 Nurtec ODT car was really racy. Every restart we made up two or three spots. We were running in the teens when we made the call to pit under the last yellow to then try and save fuel to only have one more stop to do, but it didn’t go our way. Had a yellow come out, it would have been great, and we would be looking at a different result.  It just wasn’t our day. 

“Overall, I’m really happy with my first experience at the Indy 500. The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team has done a great job. I want to thank everyone for all their hard work.”

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action in two weeks as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returns to Belle Isle for the Detroit Grand Prix doubleheader weekend June 12 and 13, 2021. Romain Grosjean will be back behind the wheel of the #51 Nurtec ODT car for the event. 

Fittipaldi will be back with the team for the final oval race of the season at WorldWide Technology Raceway in August.

Fittipaldi – Indianapolis 500 Qualifying


#51: Pietro Fittipaldi, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi put in a spectacular four lap run to take home fastest rookie honors in Saturday’s qualifying session for the Indianapolis 500 by placing himself 13th on the starting grid for next week’s race.

After four days of practice in which the Indy 500 rookie improved with every session as he gained more and more experience around the 2.5-mile oval, Fittipaldi was the 15th driver to take to the track in Saturday’s qualifying session. 

The #51 Military Salutes Nurtec ODT driver immediately posted a lap over 231 mph and followed it up with three more laps in the 230mph range to guarantee himself a spot in his first Indianapolis 500. 

His four-lap average initially placed him fifth and he was 11th once all cars had made their first attempt. By the end of the 5 hour and 50 minute session, Fittipaldi was 13th. He will be starting on the inside of Row 5. 

Position: 13th
Lap 1: 231.542mph
Lap 2: 230.942mph
Lap 3: 230.598mph
Lap 4: 230.306mph
Four lap average: 230.846

Pietro Fittipaldi Quote:
“We knew we had a good car yesterday; the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda was very consistent but today is a new day. All the pressure and the hype, it’s four days of practice that are just building up to it. The nerves were there, it’s my first Indy 500 qualifying and it’s super intense. You have to go out and be committed and hold it wide open, flat out for four laps and we did that. The car was amazing, the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team has done a great job. I’m just very happy to be here and super excited. We were thinking of going back out at the end to try and get into the Fast 9, I think the car had it in it, but at the end of the day we’re happy with where we qualified, and we didn’t want to risk it.”

Fittipaldi will get a two-hour practice session on Sunday, May 23 at 5pm ET to work on his race setup as well as a final practice session on Carb Day (May 28, 2021) at 11am ET. All sessions will be streamed on Peacock.

The 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place on Sunday, May 30 and with be broadcast live on NBC starting at 11:00am ET.

Grosjean at Indy

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda Victory Lane

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.

Fittipaldi Set for NTT IndyCar Series Return in Texas

Fort Worth, Texas (May 1, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Pietro Fittipaldi will be making his return to the NTT IndyCar Series this weekend aboard the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda for Saturday’s Genesys 300 and Sunday’s XPEL 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Fittipaldi’s last official outing in the series came during the 2018 season, also with the Dale Coyne-led team.  The Brazilian has six career NTT IndyCar Starts, including three on an oval, but this will be his first time racing on the 1.5-mile oval at Texas Motor Speedway. 

The Haas F1 Team reserve driver did get the opportunity to test at the track earlier this year in what was his first test since returning to the team. 

Fittipaldi has a Series career best finish of ninth (Portland 2018) and a best starting position of 10th at Phoenix International Raceway. He registered his best oval result at Gateway (WorldWide Technology Raceway) with an 11th place finish.

“This weekend I’m doing my first NTT IndyCar Series Race of the season, with a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway,” shared Fittipaldi. “I’m super excited. I love oval racing so it’s great to have one race on Saturday and another one on Sunday. I’ve had one day of testing at Texas and then two days at IMS a few weeks ago to get me back up to speed. I got back in the groove quickly and the team did a great job to get me back comfortable with the car and driving on an oval. Texas is a place where you have to be patient, it’s a long race and you have to make sure you’re there at the end. I’m excited for it and I can’t wait to get on track!”

Fittipaldi will get a 75-minute practice session on Saturday morning from 11:45am local time ahead of the 3pm (local) qualifying session. Drivers will get two timed laps during qualifying with the first lap setting their place on the grid for the first race and their second lap counting towards Sunday’s starting grid. Practice and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock with qualifying also broadcast on NBCSN.

Race 1 of the weekend, the Genesys 300 will go green on Saturday, May 1 at 6:45pm local time and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 7pm ET.  The XPEL 375 takes place Sunday, May 2 and will be broadcast live on NBCSN from 5pm ET.

Grosjean in St. Petersburg

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 25, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean had another strong outing in his #51 Nurtec ODT machine in Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg gaining five positions on his way to finishing 13th.

Starting 18th, Grosjean moved up to 17th at the start and remained in that position until his team called him into the pits on Lap 16. The Frenchman continued to run in 17th for most of his next stint before making it up to sixth ahead of his next stop on Lap 37.

Despite showing great pace throughout the race, the Frenchman continued to run in 16th for his penultimate stint and had made it up to 13th before entering pit lane on Lap 67 for his final stop. 

Grosjean exited pit lane in 16th and had moved up to 14th by the time a full course caution came out seven laps later. 

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver was running 14th when the race resumed on Lap 77 and would gain one more position, moving into 13th before taking the checkered flag.

“The first race for me in St. Petersburg is done. We tried to play with the strategy today since we were starting further back in our Nurtec ODT Honda but we never really got lucky with the yellows,” said Grosjean. “I feel we did a good job this weekend. We’ve learned a lot in the race. It was very physical today, very hard but ultimately the team did a good job. We’re going to keep working, keep improving and the next one will be better.”

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action next weekend with Pietro Fittipaldi making his first official appearance of the season behind the wheel of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda for the doubleheader weekend at Texas Motor Speedway May 1 – 2, 2021.

Grosjean in St. Petersburg – Qualifying

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 24, 2021) – It was another day of learning for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean in his first NTT IndyCar Series street course qualifying on Saturday, with the driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda placing 18th on the starting grid for Sunday’s race.

After placing ninth in the morning practice session, Grosjean took to the track in Group 2 of Round 1 of qualifying for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Despite registering a fastest lap of 1:00.8127, only 0.16 seconds from making it to the Fast 12, Grosjean found himself ninth in his group and 18th in a very competitive NTT IndyCar Series field.

“It’s my first time in an Indy car on a street course and it’s been a really good experience,” shared Grosjean. “We’ve been quickly up to speed but qualifying didn’t quite go our way. We tried different set ups and it didn’t work. I guess that’s part of the learning curve. We are ready for tomorrow for the race, and I think we can do well. I think starting from further back that it opens it up a bit more for strategy, so we’ll look at our options there. It’s been a really cool experience, obviously a bit disappointed with qualifying but Sunday is when it counts.”

Grosjean and his team will get a final 30-minute warm-up tomorrow at 9:05am ET to fine tune his car. The 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg going green at 12:42pm ET. The race will be broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET on Sunday.

Grosjean to Make NTT IndyCar Series Street Circuit Debut in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, Florida (April 23, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean will be discovering a new circuit this weekend on board his #51 Nurtec ODT machine as the NTT IndyCar Series heads to the streets of St. Petersburg for Round 2 of the 2021 season.

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Grosjean is no stranger to street circuits, having raced at places like the famed Monaco track, amongst others, however this will be the first time he takes to a street course in his NTT IndyCar Series Honda powered car.

The Frenchman had a strong debut at Barber Motorsports Park last weekend, qualifying seventh and finishing in tenth in his first IndyCar race.

“After a very positive first race in Barber with my Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team, I’m very much looking forward to discovering a new track and different type of tires,” said Grosjean. “We’re going to keep the same attitude as last week and keep learning. There’s still a lot to learn, the championship as well as the circuit and the conditions and so on. I can’t wait to get on track and hopefully we can do well again this weekend in our Nurtec ODT car.”

Grosjean, who leads the rookie standings after Race 1, will get his first taste of the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit on Friday, April 23 at 4:15pm ET. Drivers will then get another 45-minute practice session on Saturday, April 24 at 9:45am ET ahead of that afternoon’s qualifying session at 1:45pm ET.

Teams will get a final 30-minute warm-up at 9:05am ET on Sunday, April 25 with the 100-lap Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg going green at 12:42pm ET. 

The race will be broadcast live on NBC from Noon ET on Sunday and all practice sessions and qualifying will be streamed live on Peacock. Qualifying will also be broadcast on tape delay on NBCSN on Saturday, April 24 at 10:00pm ET.

Top 10 Finish for Grosjean in NTT IndyCar Series Debut

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Leeds, Alabama (April 18, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean capped off his birthday weekend and return to racing, 140 days after his Formula 1 accident in Bahrain, with a solid 10th place finish in his first NTT IndyCar Series race on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Frenchman who qualified seventh for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama maintained his position in what was his first rolling start all while avoiding a multicar incident on the opening lap aboard his #51 Nurtec ODT machine.

Grosjean and his team opted to make two stops in what became a fuel strategy race early on. With cars pitting ahead of him, Grosjean moved up to fifth on Lap 18 and was running third when he entered pit lane for his first stop on Lap 33.

Following his stop, Grosjean found himself in 16th but he would quickly make his way back into the top 10 where he continued to run until his final stop on Lap 62. 

The driver of the #51 Nurtec ODT Honda would go on to place 10th in his debut NTT IndyCar Series race, as the top finishing rookie.

“It was my first race in the NTT IndyCar Series and my first top 10 finish, so we can be very happy with that,” shared Grosjean “We fought at the front for some time, and we did our best. We learned a lot today, and overall, we can be very proud of our weekend. (About his first rolling start) The rolling start wasn’t pretty! I got caught a little bit, but I just need to get used to it. It’s not easy. You have to get the right timing, but it was fun. Now we move on to St. Pete where we’ll try to do better.”

Grosjean and his Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team will be back in action next weekend (April 23 – 25) on the streets of St. Petersburg for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Grosjean Celebrates Birthday by Qualifying Seventh at Season Opener

#51: Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda
Leeds, Alabama (April 17, 2021) – Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver Romain Grosjean celebrated his birthday on Saturday by taking part in his first official on track activities in the NTT IndyCar Series and by qualifying an impressive seventh for his debut race in his #51 Nurtec ODT Honda.

The rookie entered his first qualifying session with the hopes of making it into the Fast 12. Grosjean easily accomplished that goal by placing second in Group 2 of Round 1 of qualifying and then exceeded his expectations by registering a fastest lap of 1:05.76 to place himself seventh on the starting grid. The Frenchman missed out on the Fast 6 by a mere six hundredths of a second.

“What a day, seventh in qualifying, that’s clearly above expectations!” expressed Grosjean. “But being so close to the Fast 6, obviously, I was really hoping we would get in but it’s still really great. The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR team really helped me to understand the qualifying tires. We’ve done really good work with the set up and I think we know where to look to go faster which is very positive. We’re going to enjoy this today but let’s focus on tomorrow. We have 90 laps of racing to do, I need to learn tire degradation, fuel saving, refueling, pit stops, how an IndyCar race goes. So, still a lot to learn tomorrow but I’m really happy with today.”

Drivers will also get a 30-minute warm up on Sunday, April 18 at 10:30am local time (11:30am ET) that will be streamed live on Peacock.

The 90-lap season opening round will go green at 2:42pm Local time (3:42pm ET) on Sunday, April 18 and will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 2:00pm local time (3:00pm ET).

Pietro Fittipaldi Returns to Dale Coyne Racing with RWR

Plainfield, IL (Thursday, March 4, 2021) – Pietro Fittipaldi is returning to the team with which he made his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut three years ago to pilot its No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with RWR entry at all 2021 oval events on the schedule.

Fittipaldi will share driving duties of the team’s #51 full season entry with his former Haas F1, and now current Dale Coyne Racing with RWR teammate, Romain Grosjean who is taking part in all the road and street course races on the schedule.

“I’m very happy to be racing the ovals this season in the No. 51 car for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR,” said Fittipaldi. “I’m especially excited for the Indianapolis 500. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a kid to race in the Indy 500. All of Dale’s cars were competitive there last year and the last few years, and we’re looking to do the same this year.

“I’m also very happy to be sharing the car with Romain (Grosjean). He’s a good friend of mine. Over the years at Haas F1 we’ve become friends and it’s great to be teammates with him again,” continued the grandson of two-time Formula 1 Champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. “Coincidentally the No. 51 is the same number I used in my Formula 1 debut last year so it’s a nice coincidence to have. I’ve worked with some of the guys at Dale Coyne Racing in the past so I’m happy to be working with them once again. I’m sure we’ll able to do great things. I’m really looking forward to it!”

The 2017 World Series Formula V8 3.5 Champion first joined Dale Coyne Racing in 2018 for a partial season where he ended up taking part in six races. The American-born Brazilian driver made his debut at Phoenix Raceway where he qualified an impressive 10th in his Series debut.

The 24-year-old was initially scheduled to attempt to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 but an accident during qualifying at a World Endurance Championship round overseas in early May 2018 sidelined him for a couple of months and ended his chance of turning his first laps at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that year.

Fittipaldi returned to the cockpit at the Mid-Ohio round later that season and picked up his best finish at the penultimate round of that season at Portland International Raceway with a ninth-place finish.

“We enjoyed working with Pietro in 2018, it’s unfortunate that his season was shorter than planned, so it’s great to be able to give him another chance to do some races in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and that he has another chance to participate in the Indy 500 and fulfill one of his childhood dreams. We look forward to seeing him share our #51 entry alongside his former Haas F1 teammate Romain Grosjean, it gives us a strong line up for our full-time entry,” said Team Owner Dale Coyne.

Following his first stint with Dale Coyne Racing in 2018, Fittipaldi became the official test and reserve driver for Haas F1, competed in the DTM series and the F3 Asian Championship. More recently, he made his Formula 1 debut last December with the Haas F1 team as a replacement for current teammate Romain Grosjean, taking part in the two final rounds of the season.

In addition to his four races with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Fittipaldi will continue as the Haas F1 reserve driver for the 2021 season.

Fittipaldi’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will kick off at the Texas Motor Speedway doubleheader May 1 and 2, 2021 before heading to Indianapolis to turn his first official practice laps on oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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