Rosenqvist pips McLaughlin to Texas IndyCar pole

Felix Rosenqvist

Felix Rosenqvist has qualified on pole for Race 2 of the IndyCar season at Texas Motorsport Speedway, with Scott McLaughlin to join him on the front row.

The McLaren SP driver pipped the series leader by 0.014mph (0.023km/h) over the course of their respective two-lap runs around the Fort Worth circuit, despite being 16 cars apart in a qualifying order set on the basis of entrant points.

Takuma Sato ended up third for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, with Will Power making it two Team Penske cars on the first two rows, and Scott Dixon qualifying fifth in his Chip Ganassi Racing entry.

Rosenqvist was only 11th onto the track but first to crack a lap above 221mph when he set a 221.316mph on his first tour.

He had a nervous moment on his second lap when he touched the grass coming out of the final corner in the #7 Chevrolet, going around the track again in 220.905mph for a 221.110mph (355.842km/h) two-lap average.

It took another seven cars for a serious threat to come, Sato falling just shy with a 221.094mph average in the #51 Honda, before Dixon took up third when he completed a two-lap run of 221.011mph in the #9 Honda.

That was the top three with five cars still to come, at which time Romain Grosjean clocked an average of 220.412mph in the #28 Andretti Autosport entry to take up ninth.

That became 10th when team-mate Colton Herta followed the Frenchman and set a 220.602mph run which put Car #26 into seventh, with three drivers to go.

Will Power then went third-quickest with a 221.016mph average in the #12 Penske Chevrolet and when Chip Ganassi Racing’s 2021 champion Alex Palou set a 220.571mph, only McLaughlin could knock Rosenqvist off pole.

The St Petersburg race winner was fast on his first lap, a 221.166mph effort, but could not make up the time on a second lap of 221.027mph which left the #3 Penske Chevrolet with an average of 221.096mph (355.820km/h).

The top 10 for the start of Sunday’s (local time) 248-lapper is thus Rosenqvist, McLaughlin, Sato, Power, Dixon, Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing), Josef Newgarden (Penske), Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing), Herta, and Pato O’Ward (McLaren SP).

Palou ended up 11th, from Alexander Rossi (Andretti), Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson (CGR).

Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud set the pace in Practice 1 but ended up only 14th on the grid with a 220.338mph average.

Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing) was next-quickest, then Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport).

Jimmie Johnson, on his competitive oval debut in IndyCar, wheeled the #48 Chip Ganassi Racing entry to a 219.865mph average which had him faster than the four drivers who went before him, and 18th all told.

The rest of the grid will be David Malukas (DCR w/ HMD), Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Ed Carpenter (ECR), Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing), Kyle Kirkwood (AJ Foyt Racing), Jack Harvey (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Christian Lundgaard (RLLR), JR Hildebrand (AJ Foyt), and Graham Rahal (RLLR).

A special session has been added to the programme for the express purpose of rubbering in the top lane of the track, with final practice pushed back to 08:45 AEDT this Sunday morning.

Race start is scheduled for Monday at 03:45 AEDT, with live and ad-free streaming on Stan Sport from 03:30 AEDT.

Results: Qualifying

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Lap 1 Lap 2 Total time Avg speed (mph)
1 7 Felix Rosenqvist D/C/F 23.4235 23.4671 0:46.8906 221.110
2 3 Scott McLaughlin D/C/F 23.4394 23.4542 0:46.8936 221.096
3 51 Takuma Sato D/H/F 23.4341 23.4599 0:46.8940 221.094
4 12 Will Power D/C/F 23.4545 23.4561 0:46.9106 221.016
5 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 23.4470 23.4646 0:46.9116 221.011
6 06 Helio Castroneves D/H/F 23.4519 23.5114 0:46.9633 220.768
7 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 23.4787 23.4867 0:46.9654 220.758
8 21 Rinus VeeKay D/C/F 23.4540 23.5136 0:46.9676 220.748
9 26 Colton Herta D/H/F 23.4834 23.5152 0:46.9986 220.602
10 5 Pato O’Ward D/C/F 23.4668 23.5367 0:47.0035 220.579
11 10 Alex Palou D/H/F 23.4997 23.5055 0:47.0052 220.571
12 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 23.5141 23.5152 0:47.0293 220.458
13 28 Romain Grosjean D/H/F 23.4923 23.5469 0:47.0392 220.412
14 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F 23.5108 23.5386 0:47.0494 220.364
15 60 Simon Pagenaud D/H/F 23.5333 23.5217 0:47.0550 220.338
16 20 Conor Daly D/C/F 23.5525 23.5775 0:47.1300 219.987
17 29 Devlin DeFrancesco D/H/F 23.5979 23.5534 0:47.1513 219.888
18 48 Jimmie Johnson D/H/F 23.5630 23.5932 0:47.1562 219.865
19 18 David Malukas D/H/F 23.5715 23.5849 0:47.1564 219.864
20 77 Callum Ilott D/C/F 23.6026 23.6402 0:47.2428 219.462
21 33 Ed Carpenter D/C/F 23.6227 23.6739 0:47.2966 219.212
22 4 Dalton Kellett D/C/F 23.6415 23.6928 0:47.3343 219.038
23 14 Kyle Kirkwood D/C/F 23.6554 23.6842 0:47.3396 219.013
24 45 Jack Harvey D/H/F 23.6907 23.6992 0:47.3899 218.781
25 30 Christian Lundgaard D/H/F 23.7125 23.6978 0:47.4103 218.687
26 11 JR Hildebrand D/C/F 23.6994 23.7332 0:47.4326 218.584
27 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 23.7538 23.7165 0:47.4703 218.410

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