French driver Simon Pagenaud took the lead with about six laps left and cruised to an easy victory as the IndyCar Series champion of the 2013 Grand Prix of Baltimore Sept. 1.
Pagenaud, who told reporters before the race that the temporary Pratt Street circuit was his favorite track to race, surpassed American driver Marco Andretti at about lap 69 of the 75-lap race and took a comfortable lead as no car was near him for the final five laps.
Josef Newgarden, a young driver from Hendersonville, Tenn., surprised the field by winning second place in the race, becoming the first American IndyCar Series driver to finish within the top-2 in the short three-year history of the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, who led the pack for many laps during the race, finished in third place; Andretti fell behind to finish in tenth place.
Switzerland driver Simona De Silvestro, the only woman that competed in this year’s IndyCar Series event of the Grand Prix of Baltimore, finished in fifth place. Today, Sept. 1-was her 25th birthday.
There were several spinouts during the race, which led to several lead changes throughout the contest. Australian driver Will Power, who won the first Grand Prix of Baltimore in 2011, led for the first 30 or so laps of the race, but he ended up falling out of the picture after a crash against the wall with New Zealand driver Scott Dixon. Dixon was knocked out of the race due to the wall crash.
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While there were no African-American drivers or any other drivers of minority descent in this year’s race, there were several Blacks in attendance, many of which were locals who volunteered as event staff. One volunteer staff member was Shena Brownell, a senior Psychology major at Coppin State University. Brownell, who graduated from Laurel High School in Prince George’s County, Md., is a sprinter for Coppin State’s track team.
“My track coach encouraged me and my teammates to volunteer here,” Brownell said. “It’s been a little hot, but fun so far.”