By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – After three successful races thus far in the 2015 IndyCar series, the drivers will now move to Barber Motorsports Park for the 6th running of the Grand Prix of Alabama, this Sunday. The 90 lap, 207 mile race will be broadcast on tape delay starting at 3:00 pm by NBCSN.
Last year’s winner, Ryan Hunter-Reay will be looking to repeat on the podium in the No. 28 DHL Honda. In fact, Hunter-Reay has won the last two races at Barber.
“Alabama has certainly been a special event for me and the team,” said Hunter-Reay. “Bringing that No. 28 Honda to victory lane last year started the momentum we carried to Indy to win the 500. As back-to-back winners of the event, we’re looking to return with a strong result and continued progress on working with the new aero kit.”
Also with success at Barber has been Helio Castoneves, who won the inaugural race in 2010. He also took the pole in qualifying in 2012. Castroneves has two 2nd place finishes, at Long Beach and Avondale, this year.
“Man, we were so close last weekend at Long Beach. We had the speed in the car to win the race, but Scott (Dixon) was able to get around us on pit road and, unfortunately, that was the race,” Castroneves recounted. “Barber has been a very good track for me in the past. One of my favourite racing memories was winning the first race there in 2010. If we take care of business, like we have to start the season, we should be fine and have a real shot at winding up in Victory Lane again on Sunday.”
However, Will Power is also a force to be reckoned with. Power, who finished 2nd at Tampa Bay, has claimed the pole position at Barber on three occasions and, along with Hunter-Reay, has won the race from the pole position.
“After a weekend like we had at Long Beach, I want nothing more than to get back to the racetrack as quickly as possible,” said Power. “However, all that adversity makes me very motivated to make up for it over the next couple of weeks, starting with Barber this weekend. We know that we can run a quick pace and challenge for the win there because we have done that on multiple occasions in the past.”
Oakville’s James Hinchcliffe, who won at Avondale, had a rough outing in Long Beach. There’s nothing better he would like than to finish on the podium at Barber.
“I’m looking forward to getting to Barber Motorsports Park, for sure,” Hinchcliffe said. “I love that track; the flow, the speed, everything. And because we’ve tested there already, I think everyone feels a bit more prepared. Hopefully we can hit the ground running and really try to make a push in ultimate performance.”