Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Alexander Rossi Breaks Win-less Drought in Strong Drive at Gallagher GP

Alexander Rossi wins at IMS road course
Alexander Rossi ended a 49-race win-less streak on Saturday in the Gallagher Grand Prix. Image courtesy of Joe Skibinski / Penske Entertainment

It’s been a long wait, but Alexander Rossi finally ended a three-year win-less drought in the Gallagher Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The 30-year-old Californian led 44 of 85 lap in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport Honda en route to winning by 3.5441s over rookie Christian Lundgaard. The win snaps a 49-race drought for Rossi, marking the eighth of his NTT IndyCar Series career and first since June 23, 2019 at Road America.

For Lundgaard, the driver of the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, the runner-up result is his first-ever podium in North America’s premier open-wheel championship.

Team Penske’s Will Power claimed the third and final spot on the podium, and as a result now takes over the overall championship lead by nine points over Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Ericsson with only four rounds remaining.

The Team Penske train continued with Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden following Power by finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, at the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.

Rinus VeeKay finished sixth in the No. 21 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet, with Graham Rahal following behind in seventh.

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon took the checkered flag in eighth. Pole-sitter Felix Rosenqvist, who led the seven laps in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, finshed ninth.

Reigning IndyCar champions Alex Palou grabbed the final spot in the top 10, ahead of teammate Ericsson, who climbed from last (25th) to 11th.

Despite starting third, Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward endured a tough day and dropped to a 12th-place result.

The story of the race happened just prior to the halfway point after Colton Herta, who was a strong contender to grab the win after leading 17 laps early on, slowed from the lead moments after the Lap 40 restart following a aggressive hit at the curbing in Turn 8. At the time this allowed Rossi, who was running second, to inherit the lead and take control of the race.

For Herta, an issue with the gearing system was the suspect of the curb incident as he came to pit road and was left with an early retirement from the race. He finished 24th.

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