Monday, February 6, 2023

Felix Rosenqvist Storms to Pole for Gallagher GP at IMS Road Course

Felix Rosenqvist at the IMS road course
Felix Rosenqvist captured his second pole of the 2022 season after a strong qualifying performance for the Gallagher Grand Prix. Image courtesy of Matt Fraver / Penske Entertainment

Felix Rosenqvist captured pole for Saturday’s Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Piloting the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, the 30-year-old Swede threw down a flying lap at 1m10.2265s (125.030 mph) around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit in the Firestone Fast Six to claim the top spot. It marks Rosenqvist’s second pole of the 2022 season, and third of his NTT IndyCar Series career.

Alexander Rossi, who led practice earlier in the day, put the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda in second after falling 0.2765s off the top time.

Despite struggling in the early part of qualifying, Pato O’Ward managed to overcome any handling issues plaguing the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet to end up third. Team Penske’s Will Power, who won this event last year, qualified fourth.

Josef Newgarden continued his ascension since being medically cleared for the weekend’s activities and put the No. 2 Team Penske Chevrolet in fifth. Christian Lundgaard was the only rookie to make it into the Firestone Fast Six, putting his No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda in sixth.

Reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou has been at the center of controversy off the track, with legal situations involving current team Chip Ganassi Racing recently in motion. Regardless, the 25-year-old Spaniard has shut the visor and focused on the task at the track, and showcased that ability by qualifying seventh – the only driver in the CGR camp to advance into the Fast 12.

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay ended up eighth, followed by Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta in ninth.

Conor Daly, who was fastest at the end of Round 1 Group 1, put the No. 20 ECR Chevrolet in 10th.

Rookie David Malukas was 11th in the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsports Honda, followed by the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda of Simon Pagenaud.

There were a couple of stunners in qualifying, starting with six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon failing to advance out of Round 1. His No. 9 CGR Honda will roll off 20th in tomorrow’s 85-lap contest.

The biggest surprise that could have significant championship implications happened in Round 1 Group 2 after points leader Marcus Ericsson’s No. 8 CGR Honda stopped in Turn 6 with an apparent mechanical issue. The incident brought out the only red flag on the session, but more importantly Ericsson wasn’t able to continue. He ended up last (25th).

Up Next: Warm-up session on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. ET, with live coverage on Peacock, the IndyCar Radio Network and IndyCar Live!

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