IndyCar gets its own Drive to Survive

100 days to Indy docuseries is launched in the build-up to this year’s Indy 500

Kyle Kirkwood Acura Grand Prix of Long-Beach

Kyle Kirkwood’s victory at Long Beach means IndyCar has had three different winners from three races.

Indycar/Joe Skibinski

While this year’s Formula 1 season continues to underwhelm, IndyCar is delivering drama in spades, and has begun building up to its showpiece event by launching a new docuseries titled 100 Days to Indy.

The new, unscripted, six-part series aims to tell the stories of several of IndyCar’s star drivers as they prepare for the 107th Indianapolis 500 on May 28, including those of young stars Pato O’Ward and Josef Newgarden, defending champion Marcus Ericsson and even the returning Hélio Castroneves, who will be making his final 500 start as he aims for a record fifth win before hanging up his helmet.

The launch has, of course, drawn some parallels with F1’s successful, Drive to Survive series on Netflix, which has also been accused of embellishing rivalries, something several IndyCar drivers picked up on.

“The competition is so good that there’s no need to fabricate anything – unlike some motor sports products,” said Newgarden. “The product, as is, is good enough that they don’t have to go and try and search for things or twist things around.”

Hélio Castroneves holds up 4 fingers

Hélio Castroneves hopes to add to his four wins at the Indy 500

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O’Ward added: “I think they [the TV series producers] did a phenomenal job. I really do. I mean, they showed everything as what it is. Nothing on there is fake. It’s legit and raw. Like, yeah, IndyCar racing: that’s what it is.”

Unfortunately, the show is exclusive to the American CW Network and there’s currently not a way to stream it in the UK, so we’ll have to take their word for it.

However, as the countdown to the 500 has begun, the race for supremacy on track has been kept tantalisingly close after Long Beach produced a third different winner in as many races this year.

Rising American star Kyle Kirkwood led home an Andretti 1-2 ahead of Romain Grosjean, while third place was enough to land Chip Ganassi’s Ericsson the championship lead, 15 points ahead of O’Ward. Newgarden’s weekend on the California coast was ruined by a failed extreme fuel-saving strategy that left him ninth at the flag, having led for 27 laps early on. So far three different drivers have taken pole positions (Grosjean, Felix Rosenqvist and Kirkwood) with Ericsson, Newgarden and Kirkwood sharing the wins.

On form like this, the bookies could have a field day on picking the favourite for Indy.