INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The green flag officially dropped on month of May activities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday night with Rev.
Party-goers sampled food from Indianapolis’ top restaurants and mingled with IndyCar drivers, while helping raise money for IU Health’s trauma and critical care programs.
Graham Rahal served as this year’s honorary chairman.
“It’s great to help the IU Health Foundation,” Rahal said. “It’s also a lot of fun to try a lot of local restaurants. To be the chair this year has been a lot of fun. I’ve always wondered why others were asked and my name was never pulled out of the hat, but it’s fun to get the opportunity this year.”
For rookie Robert Wickens, all the traditions of May in Indianapolis are new.
“My first Rev. I had to call my ex-roommate, still best friend [James Hinchcliffe] to ask what to wear,” Wickens joked. “It’s such a cool event. I’m just trying to take in everything. I’m saying yes to every event just because I want to get the full month of May experience.”
For defending Indianapolis 500 champion, Takuma Sato the month of May experience will focus on becoming just the sixth driver to win back-to-back 500’s.
“We will try hard,” said Sato. “I know it’s incredibly difficult to win back-to-back, but Helio [Castroneves] did it. It’s possible. I love the challenge.”
Before the drivers turn to their attention to the famed 2.5 mile oval at IMS, they’ll hit the road course for the IndyCar Grand Prix next weekend.
“It’s kind of keeping yourself in the right mindset for the GP, because you’re already thinking the 500,” Hinchcliffe said. “We’re obviously here at the speedway. We just tested this week, so you have to remember we still have a GP to get through. It’s such a great way to kickoff the racing side of May. It’s very busy. It’s very strenuous, but at the same time it’s the best month of the year. We’re excited to get going.”
“Our mentality is to just go win,” said Rahal. “I know that sounds simple. We’ve been close before. Last year, things were looking really good until we got a flat tire. Every single day, every single race is a huge one for us.”
Grand Prix practice begins Friday at 9:15 a.m. with qualifying for Saturday’s race later in the afternoon.