For motorsport fans, and IndyCar in particular, May has always been the best month of the year.

For 100 years, the Indianapolis 500 has been the pinnacle of not only American motor racing but also a race any open wheel pilot wants on his or her CV.

Until 2014, May was dedicated to getting ready for the big one on the Memorial Day weekend. Now May kicks off with the IndyCar Grand Prix, which is two weeks out from the big one, the Indy 500 on May 26.

New Zealander and five-time IndyCar champion (also 2008 Indy 500 winner) Scott Dixon heads to his home race relatively happy with his season so far, having earned points in all four races this season and finished on the podium three times.


"The racing season is going pretty decent," Dixon told the Weekend Herald from Indianapolis. "There's been a couple of missed opportunities as always, but other than that, it's a smooth start to the year.

"I feel this time of year, we struggle a bit more with strategy and stuff. We sometimes find ourselves digging ourselves out of a bit of a hole. We're third in the points and could have finished on the podium in all four races if we hadn't been caught out by the yellow.

"The car speed-wise has been good and we're the only car to make the fast six at each race. It has been decent and been good."

Josef Newgarden leads the series on 166 points from Alexander Rossi on 138 and Dixon third on 133. Although it's early days in the championship, it's shaping up to be another close title race, with four different winners from four starts.

Unlike Formula One, and now Supercars to a certain extent, IndyCar is by no means a two-horse race, and any one of 12 drivers from at least four teams is capable of nabbing a win.

"Josef has been quick this year and they have been a bit lucky with caution and good strategy. Rossi has also been quick and was a little unlucky at COTA [Circuit Of The Americas].

"There have been different winners and Colin [Herta] has been good but a little unlucky. Three or four of us have now started to pull away a bit from the rest of the field, but there's not much in it.

"I don't know what's happening with F1, and Baku was a bit of a snorer, and that's normally their best race. After the first two corners, that's about it for the race. They are definitely struggling with the aero and passing.


"The V8 Supercars are not much better and their racing is a bit predictable," he said.

Just because this weekend's event is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it doesn't mean the teams will get any extra practice, or data, for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing".

This weekend's race is not held on the famous banked oval, rather the old-school traditional race track primarily set in the infield.

The track is a modified layout of the circuit previously used for the United States Formula One Grand Prix, and later, a round of the MotoGP championship.

"The road course only uses two small bits of the oval track — you hit it at Turn 11 and 14 only now. There's no help for the 500, as you run in a different direction, and the cars are so different for the two races.

"The Indy 500 car is a specially-built car as far as body kits are concerned, with low drag items and different gearboxes. Some of the smaller teams may use the same car for both events, but even then, probably not."

Teams take the Sunday off, get set up on Monday and then it's testing on Tuesday for the big one.