Veteran Castroneves wins Indy 500, Rinus van Kalmthout eighth

Van Kalmthout had started third in the 200-lap race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where he took his first win on the ‘inner circuit’ two weeks earlier. Van Kalmthout, who was only twenty years old, also took the lead for some time in the initial phase oval, where Arie Luyendyk triumphed twice in the 1990s. The Hoofddorp driver, known in America as VeeKay, remained in the leading group until his fifth and final pit stop. After that, however, he lost a lot of time and therefore positions.

Deciding on those pit stops proved crucial during the Indy 500 as so often. In the closing phase it was a matter of switching between Castroneves and Alex Palou, while Patricio O’Ward and Simon Pagenaud were on the finches. With two laps to go, Castroneves started his decisive overtake. Palou finished second, ahead of Pagenaud.

The race was marred on lap 119 by a serious crash by Graham Rahal on the way out of the pit lane after a wheel appeared to be incorrectly fitted. The flying wheel ended up on top of the car of Van Kalmthout’s teammate Conor Daly, who was rescued by the protective aero screen.

In Indianapolis there was room for forty percent of the capacity, in terms of number of spectators. As a result, no fewer than 135,000 fans watched the 160-minute race on the spot. The limited number of incidents made it the fastest Indy 500 ever.

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