Sweden’s Marcus Ericsson will attempt to become the first driver to claim back-to-back Indianapolis 500 wins since Helio Castroneves in 2001-02, while fan favourite Tony Kanaan gears up for his final race at the famed Brickyard on Sunday.
Ericsson, who will start from 10th position on the grid, will face the 500 mile race with a different feeling after last year’s dramatic victory gave Chip Ganassi Racing their fifth Borg Warner Trophy.
“It’s always so special to come here to the speedway, especially in May, but to come here as a defending champion, it’s just something different,” the 32-year-old Ericsson told IndyCar earlier this week.
“The confidence I come here with, the attention from the fans when you are a winner, it’s so different. I try to compete, but at the same time, embrace and enjoy that.”
Yet eyes will also be on 48-year-old Tony Kanaan, Indianapolis winner in 2013, who will bring the curtain down on his career at the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
“I’m going to leave it all out there, and if that’s good enough to win, fine,” the 2004 IndyCar Series champion told reporters after qualifying on Saturday.
“Probably for the first time, I won’t be sad, because I won’t be (thinking) ‘I have to do it next year’. I’ll try to enjoy it with all my friends, my family and my fans.”
Kanaan’s fellow Brazilian, Castroneves will again look for a fifth Indy 500 victory to become the outright most successful driver in the history of the race.
Castroneves has starred in IndyCar since winning the 500 on his first two attempts in 2001 and 2002. After a third title in 2009, the 48-year-old did not win again until 2021 but failed to successfully defend his title in a seventh-place finish last year.
However, it is 26-year-old Spaniard Alex Palou who will start first on the grid after producing the fastest four-lap average speed in history for an Indy 500 pole winner with 234.217 mph.
Palou will be aiming to convert pole position into victory, a feat achieved on 21 previous occasions.
In a starting field with nine former Indy 500 winners, Katherine Legge will be the only woman after two years without female drivers at the Brickyard.
The Briton, who was involved in an accident with compatriot Stefan Wilson earlier this week, had the fastest single qualifying lap (231.596 mph) and four-lap qualifying average (231.070) for a female driver in Indianapolis 500 history.
“Ten years ago most of the Indy fans were men. Now there are as many women as there are men and they come to me and say that I’m racing for every woman out there,” Legge, who is making her first 500 appearance since 2013, told American broadcaster ABC.
“I feel responsibility, but I also feel an immense amount of pride.”
more recommended stories
AMM Foundation Becomes BVB’s Official Youth Development Partner in India
KOCHI:AMM Foundation, the philanthropic arm of.
GT Have a Very Balanced Side Due to Match Winners: Aaron Finch
MUMBAI:Mumbai Indians’ charismatic captain Rohit Sharma.
Brighton Snap Champions Man City’s Winning Streak
BRIGHTON:Champions Manchester City’s 12-match winning streak.
Lautaro Martinez’s Brace Helps Inter Defend Coppa Italia Title
ROME:Inter Milan retained their Coppa Italia.
Dwayne Bravo is “100 Per Cent” Sure of Dhoni’s Return to CSK Next Year
CHENNAI:Dwayne Bravo, the bowling coach of.
Yashasvi Jaiswal And Shubham Gill Will Open for India in the Future: Harbhajan Singh
MUMBAI:In an exclusive interview on the.
Akash Madhwal Deserves All The Credit For Taking Mumbai Indians To The Qualifiers: Irfan Pathan
MUMBAI:Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians stormed into.
Piyush Chawla’s Wicket-Taking Software is Amazing: Harbhajan Singh
MUMBAI:TATA IPL 2023 gears up for.
Neeraj Rises to World No. 1 in Men’s Javelin Throw
MUMBAI:India’s Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj.
Vinicius Gains More Support as Spanish Football Embroiled in Racism Again
MADRID:Spanish football is again embroiled in.