Conway survives carnage to win again in Long Beach

Conway survives carnage to win again in Long Beach

14 April 2014 – The 40th running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach proved to be a memorable one for the sport's premier road course event, seeing two leaders lose their chances at winning before Mike Conway emerged victorious. A carnage-filled 80 lap race included a large pileup with leader Ryan Hunter-Reay, and with just two laps to go, new leader Scott Dixon was forced to pit for fuel, handing a charging Conway his second Long Beach title.

One lap was essentially removed from the race distance when former Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk spun the Indy two-seater while leading the pace laps. The field circulated one more time before lining up for the first standing start of the 2014 season – something that has proved quite treacherous in the past.

Pole-sitter Ryan Hunter-Reay led the field when the lights went out, with Sebastien Bourdais getting by James Hinchcliffe. The Canadian bogged down on the start and promptly lost four spots, but he would go on to drive a steady race and eventually work his way back up to P3.

With Bourdais chasing Hunter-Reay, the American's lead ballooned out to 2.5s by lap 15.  Both of these men have won in Long Beach, as have five others in the field today. Behind them, rookies Jack Hawksworth and Carlos Munoz had continued their consistent runs in the top ten.

Bourdais was the first of the leaders to pit, followed by Hinchcliffe. Some quick work by the Andretti Autosport crew allowed Hinchcliffe to close right up to the Frenchman on pit exit. A few corners later while adjusting his brake bias, Bourdais understeered with cold tyres into the turn 8 wall, bringing out the first caution of the race.  He would be able to make it back to the pits and continue, though.

On the restart – now single-file for 2014 – Justin Wilson was punted from behind by Graham Rahal at the final hairpin, eventually stalling his engine and bringing out the race's second caution. Rahal would be penalised a few laps later for avoidable contact.

Almost simultaneously, Simon Pagenaud had turned into a corner only to find Will Power's nose already there.  The Frenchman bounced into the tyre wall but was able to continue, albeit with an advertising banner trailing from his left front suspension. With a new nose and black tyres back in the pits, his race would be far from over.
Bourdais was then handed a drive-through penalty for entering the pits under caution, seemingly ending his chances at a solid finish. He would put the period on it a few laps later when he again locked up and buried his car into the turn 11 tyre wall, bringing out the third caution of the race.

Moments later, Charlie Kimball's Chevrolet engine puffed a solid cloud of white smoke, ending a top ten run that saw the Ganassi driver pick up 13 spots.

The next single-file restart was much tidier with Hunter-Reay leading Hinchcliffe, Josef Newgarden, Power, Castroneves, Hawksworth, Conway and Munoz. Conway slipped by Hawksworth to take P6, but the final round of pit stops would nullify that in a few laps.  Power, Newgarden and several others pitted on lap 54, with the leaders following suit the next time around.

On the out-lap, though, the entire complexion of the race changed. Hunter-Reay found himself directly behind Newgarden, who had just come out of the pits on cold tyres. The 2012 series champion took an opportunistic look on the inside just as the leading driver turned into the corner. The two came together on the exit of the turn – directly in the path of the rest of the field. Hinchcliffe hit his team-mate, Sato hit Newgarden, and in an instant several cars sat in pieces on the track. Hunter-Reay's day would be done, as would Newgarden, Hinchcliffe and Sato's. Hawksworth limped back to the pits along with Castroneves, and just like that, Scott Dixon had inherited the race lead.

On the ensuing restart, Justin Wilson was sent into the T1 wall after a hip check from Dixon, but there were no penalties assessed (much to Wilson's dismay). The track stayed green for a few moments longer until Rahal was spun from behind by Aleshin. That meant there would be just ten laps to go on the final restart of the day.

Dixon had been told over the radio to save fuel, but the quiet march of Mike Conway (who started P17) had placed the Brit directly on the Ganassi driver's wheel guards. Also high up in the jumbled top ten were Montoya (P5), Pagenaud (P7) and three of the four rookies.

Another clean restart saw Dixon gain a few lengths on Conway, but his fuel saving efforts would not be enough.  The Kiwi pitted with just two laps to go, handing the victory to Conway and Ed Carpenter Racing. Conway won the Long Beach event with Andretti back in 2011 before winning for the second time in his career in Detroit last year. He now sits second in the standings after two events.

Coming in behind him were two-time Long Beach winner Power and rookie Munoz, who denied his childhood hero Montoya a podium spot.

The field now travels to Barber Motorsports Park in two weeks for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 1 November 2014

  2. Kobayashi hoping for future in F1 11:36

    Kobayashi hoping for future in F1

    Kamui Kobayashi says he is hoping to remain in Formula 1 next year, after Caterham entered into administration last...

    F1
  3. Tost: 'Nothing decided' on vacant Toro Rosso seat 11:23

    Tost: 'Nothing decided' on vacant Toro Rosso seat

    Toro Rosso Team Principal Franz Tost says that identity of Max Verstappen's team-mate in 2015 will not be confirmed until...

    F1
  4. Teams divided over solution to Formula 1 cost issues 09:05

    Teams divided over solution to Formula 1 cost issues

    Leading figures from Formula 1 say that there are no easy solutions to the sport's financial predicament, in the wake of...

    F1
  5. Video of the Day: Santander surprises Alonso 08:09

    Video of the Day: Santander surprises Alonso

    Fernando Alonso gets a surprise from Ferrari team partner Santander during a visit to New York.

    F1
  6. Friday 31 October 2014

  7. 23:25

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday in Austin

    F1
  8. Vettel sets sights on race-day recovery 23:16

    Vettel sets sights on race-day recovery

    Sebastian Vettel dedicated the opening day of practice at the Circuit of The Americas to race preparation, following...

    F1
  9. Räikkönen pleased with Friday progress 22:50

    Räikkönen pleased with Friday progress

    Kimi Räikkönen was encouraged by the progress he made between the first and second practice sessions at the Circuit of The A...

    F1
  10. Hamilton unconcerned by practice issues 22:04

    Hamilton unconcerned by practice issues

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has played down the issues he suffered on the opening day of practice for the United States...

    F1
  11. Caterham appeals to 'credible' parties 21:43

    Caterham appeals to 'credible' parties

    Caterham's administrators say they are holding discussions with several "credible" parties with regards to the potential...

    F1
  12. Ecclestone says grid could drop to 14 cars 21:07

    Ecclestone says grid could drop to 14 cars

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned that there could be only 14 cars on the 2015 grid as a result of the sport's...

    F1
  13. 20:41

    United States GP: Full Free Practice 2 results

    F1
  14. Hamilton stays on top in second practice 20:37

    Hamilton stays on top in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton remained at the top of the timesheets during second practice for the United States Grand Prix, although his...

    F1
  15. 18:51

    Follow FP2 for the United States GP!

    F1
  16. Horner: Vettel will take part in qualifying 17:30

    Horner: Vettel will take part in qualifying

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has made clear that Sebastian Vettel will partake in qualifying for the United States...

    F1
  17. 16:54

    United States GP: Full Free Practice 1 results

    F1
  18. Hamilton fastest in opening Austin practice 16:36

    Hamilton fastest in opening Austin practice

    Lewis Hamilton set the pace during Friday morning's opening free practice session for the United States Grand Prix, edging...

    F1
  19. Administrators: Caterham almost raced in Austin 16:21

    Administrators: Caterham almost raced in Austin

    The administrators attempting to save the Caterham Formula 1 team say the outfit came close to racing at this weekend's...

    F1
  20. 14:44

    Follow FP1 for the United States GP!

    F1
  21. Hernández gets 2015 Ducati support 12:11

    Hernández gets 2015 Ducati support

    Yonny Hernández will continue with Pramac Racing in 2015 after Ducati confirmed that the Colombian has taken on an enhanced...

    MotoGP
  22. FR3.5 exploring 18-inch tyres for 2016 10:43

    FR3.5 exploring 18-inch tyres for 2016

    Renault Sport has revealed that its principal junior championship – the Formula Renault 3.5 Series – is evaluating a switch t...

    FR 3.5
  23. Verstappen would prefer Vergne as team-mate 10:01

    Verstappen would prefer Vergne as team-mate

    Max Verstappen says he would like to have Jean-Éric Vergne as his team-mate when he makes his Formula 1 debut with Toro...

    F1
  24. Kaltenborn 'disturbed' by plight of F1 09:52

    Kaltenborn 'disturbed' by plight of F1

    Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn says she is "disturbed" that Formula 1 was unable to take measures to prevent two...

    F1
  25. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Austin track guide 09:03

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Austin track guide

    Join Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for a virtual lap of the Circuit of The Americas.

    F1
  26. Räikkönen sure Ferrari can make 'big leap' 08:55

    Räikkönen sure Ferrari can make 'big leap'

    Kimi Räikkönen says he is sure that Ferrari will make a "big leap" forward next year after enduring a troublesome 2014 c...

    F1
  27. Thursday 30 October 2014

  28. 21:32

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday in Austin

    F1
  29. Qualifying revised due to smaller field 21:31

    Qualifying revised due to smaller field

    Formula 1 will adopt a revised qualifying format for this weekend's United States Grand Prix, due to the absence of the...

    F1
  30. Alonso excited by 'very ambitious' plan 19:44

    Alonso excited by 'very ambitious' plan

    Fernando Alonso chose to remain coy over his future during the build up to the United States Grand Prix, explaining only...

    F1
  31. Button to take five-place gearbox penalty 17:58

    Button to take five-place gearbox penalty

    Jenson Button will take a gearbox penalty at this weekend's United States Grand Prix. Under Formula 1's current...

    F1
  32. Vergne says he is 'best option' for Toro Rosso 17:45

    Vergne says he is 'best option' for Toro Rosso

    Jean-Éric Vergne reckons he is the "best option" out of the drivers vying to race alongside Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso...

    F1
  33. Drivers open to three-car F1 teams 17:12

    Drivers open to three-car F1 teams

    Formula 1 drivers say they are open to being a part of three-car teams, as the debate over grid size continues. With...

    F1
  34. Domenicali to start work at Audi this week 15:28

    Domenicali to start work at Audi this week

    Stefano Domenicali will begin work at Audi on November 1, the German manufacturer has confirmed to...

    Misc
  35. IndyCar announces 2015 calendar 14:51

    IndyCar announces 2015 calendar

    IndyCar officials presented a 17-race calendar for the 2015 season on Thursday. As previously confirmed, the campaign...

    Indy
  36. Family: Bianchi remains critical but stable 14:23

    Family: Bianchi remains critical but stable

    Jules Bianchi remains in a critical but stable condition at the Mie General Medical Center in Yokkaichi following his...

    F1
  37. Vettel: Red Bull blocked early release 13:32

    Vettel: Red Bull blocked early release

    Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel has confirmed that Red Bull has prevented him from exiting his contract early...

    F1
  38. Video: Haas F1 factory build time-lapse 11:14

    Video: Haas F1 factory build time-lapse

    Relive the 339-day construction of Haas F1 Team's new facility in Kannapolis in this time-lapse video.

    F1
  39. 10:32

    MotoGP photos: Stoner in action at Motegi

    MotoGP
  40. Stoner describes 'very positive' Motegi test 10:31

    Stoner describes 'very positive' Motegi test

    Casey Stoner has described his two-day test with Honda's 2015 bike at Motegi as "very positive". The two-time MotoGP...

    MotoGP
  41. 09:56

    F1 photos: Ocon tests F10 at Fiorano

    F1
  42. Ferrari praises Ocon after F1 test 09:51

    Ferrari praises Ocon after F1 test

    Ferrari has heaped praise on Esteban Ocon after the French teenager's prize Formula 1 test at Fiorano on Wednesday. Ocon,...

    F1
  43. Warwick confirmed as Austin steward 08:59

    Warwick confirmed as Austin steward

    Derek Warwick has been confirmed as the FIA's driver representative steward for this weekend's United States Grand...

    F1
more news