Romain Grosjean crashes Honda pace car at Laguna Seca while taping IndyCar video segment
Last weekend, he forgot for just a split-second that IndyCar brake boards run in feet, not meters. And that split-second was all it took to send him careening into James Hinchcliffe in Turn 1 of Lap 1 of the Grand Prix of Portland.
But at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Friday, Romain Grosjean's latest IndyCar weekend may have started even worse.
The IndyCar rookie crashed a blue Honda Type R pace car Friday into a pit-in tire barrier at Laguna Seca with Dale Coyne Racing teammate Ed Jones in the passenger seat while the two were taking a lap around the track and taping a video segment for IndyCar.
The contact set-off the airbags in the car, but both drivers were checked and released from IndyCar's medical center, according to an HPD official. Neither should have any issues hopping into the cockpit of their Indy cars for Friday's afternoon practice and the rest of the series' penultimate race weekend.
The two Coyne drivers were taping a segment similar to one HPD and IndyCar had done three times earlier this year at St. Pete (with Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe), Mid-Ohio (with Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato) and last weekend at Portland (with Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta). In the segments, the drivers try to turn a fast lap while sharing casual conversation about the track and the car to give fans additional insight into both.
"Everything went well until he came down to pit-in, and he said the pedal was hard, but the car wasn't slowing down," HPD media official Dan Layton told IndyStar. "The brake pads must have glazed over or something. It hit hard, hard enough to set the airbags off, but (the drivers) were fine.
HPD already had three models of its pace cars on-site, so they won't have to scramble to procure an emergency car for the weekend. They'll just have to swap over the emergency lights onto whichever white-and-red Type R that's now bumped into the starting role.
"It's the hood and the front grill (that were damaged)," Layton said. "It doesn't look like it got to the tires. It's all body work."
HPD was scheduled to tape a similar segment with two Honda-affiliated drivers at next weekend's Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, but Layton wasn't immediately certain if they would move forward and do so after Friday's fireworks.
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Romain Grosjean crashes Honda pace car at Laguna Seca while taping IndyCar video segment