RACE RECAP: BATHURST 1000
Photographer: Walkinshaw Andretti United
(via NBC Sports [Motorsports] )
While NTT IndyCar Series team owner Roger Penske was able to celebrate his first victory in the famed Bathurst 1000, two of the star drivers of the series also competed in the race for Walkinshaw Andretti United.
Alexander Rossi, the 100th Indianapolis 500 winner in 2016 and a perennial contender for the IndyCar championship, and James Hinchcliffe shared a Holden Commodore in the famed endurance contest at Mount Panorama in New South Wales, Australia.
They finished 19th after starting on the last row of the 26-car grid. At one point in the race, they were running in the mid-teens before finishing just inside the top 20.
“I came here with a huge amount of respect for this place and this Series, and I’m for sure leaving with no less,” Rossi said afterward. “We knew this would be a big challenge. We didn’t come into this with an arrogance that it would be easy. By the same token, we didn’t really come here to finish 19th, either, so we are a bit bummed about that.
“Nonetheless, we finished, and we finished ahead of where we started so that’s a positive. I think that’s all we can ask for considering where we started the weekend.”
Rossi admitted it took time to get comfortable with the car, but once he was able to familiarize himself with the Commodore, they made consistent improvement in every session.
The gap between the “Wild Card” entry and the front had to do with overall familiarity with the cars, according to Rossi.
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