IndyCar's race at the Raceway on Belle Isle has been red flagged at lap 45 after two incidents, first when James Hinchcliffe hit a part of the track at Turn 6, and the second when Takuma Sato launched after hitting the curbs at Turn 12. Scott Dixon has led all 45 laps thus far from pole, ahead of Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves.
The track broke up periodically throughout the day before Hinchcliffe hit a major part of it and went across into the Turn 6 barriers.
“I don't know what they can do, there's nothing I have seen like this," he said. "It was like Russian Roulette. A new chunk ripped up, and lifted the front of the car. There was ripping up under caution. I was in the safety car coming back, and the holes were enormous. They were about 2 inches deep, 6 inches wide, proper channels. I'd hit a piece that Graham (Rahal) had kicked up in Turn 9. It's a mess. I feel bad for the GoDaddy guys. We got back in the top 10, were working a three-stop strategy; we pulled the short straw. It was bad luck man.”
Sato's take: “The balance was quite difficult, not really to my liking. It's a tough track and very difficult to settle the car. And the track was coming up as well in Turns 6 and 11. In Turn 12, I clipped a very high curb and that made a huge kickback in the steering wheel and it slipped from my grip and that was the end of the race. It's not the way we wanted to finish.”
Crews were putting Set 45 down to fix the track. IndyCar president of competition Beaux Barfield explained the situation to TV shortly after the race went to red.
“It's not good at this point, we're getting an evaluation. We saw some delamination that was tar strips, but soft enough to leave them out of the way. Once we started getting some big chunks, we had to go down. I think it's all of the above. The material has a lifespan. It kind of lost its grip. Since we basically rained out Friday, we couldn't get fast, hot running.”