Power qualifies on pole for Indianapolis GP, McLaughlin 11th

Will Power

Will Power has qualified on pole position for IndyCar’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis, his sixth on the Brickyard’s road course.

Power edged Chip Ganassi Racing’s Alex Palou and his Team Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden in the Fast Six, with the final lap of the session.

In the third Penske Chevrolet, Scott McLaughlin failed to get out of Round 2 of qualifying and is due to take up 11th on the grid, while his compatriot Scott Dixon will start 10 positions further back in the #9 CGR Honda.

When the Fast Six got underway, Newgarden waited in pit lane as four drivers went out on a first set of used alternate tyres and series leader Palou on primaries.

Pato O’Ward (McLaren SP) banked a 1:10.2349s which was best of the first runs, but matters were decided by each driver’s final lap.

Palou, with reds by then on Car #10, clocked a 1:09.8090s to go to the top before Newgarden took up second with a 1:09.8343s on his only push lap.

With the chequered flag out, Conor Daly wheeled the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet to a 1:09.9063s to take up third but Power was still going.

Extracting as much as he could from what were necessarily used reds again, the Queenslander set a 1:09.7664s to pip Palou by 0.0426s and move to 64 career pole positions.

Behind Power, Palou, Newgarden, and Daly, were O’Ward in fifth and Rosenqvist in sixth.

In the first two rounds of qualifying, virtually everyone rolled out on blacks and then switched to red tyres for their second run on each occasion.

Considering the reds were really only good enough for one hot lap, when everyone still had new sets at their disposal, a mistake which McLaughlin made in Round 2 proved pivotal.

The New Zealander was forced to go for a second flyer on reds and while he improved with it, the 1:09.7847s which he set was only good enough for 11th.

Palou was quickest in that segment on a 1:09.4114s despite the lap in question appearing to be an untidy one.

Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing) was bumped out of the top six by Power and is set to start from seventh, ahead of Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Jack Harvey (RLLR), Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport), McLaughlin, and Graham Rahal (RLLR).

Earlier, Power was quickest in Group 1 of Round 1 of qualifying, while Dixon was one of a number of notables who failed to make the cut.

The New Zealander was 0.3480s outside the top six after everyone had done their red tyre run, leaving him 11th in that segment and 21st on the starting grid.

In Group 2, Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian) was just over a tenth of a second too slow to advance, getting bumped out of the cut-off in the final moments by Rahal.

All told, Takuma Sato (Dale Coyne Racing w/ RWR) qualified 13th, ahead of Herta, Rinus VeeKay (ECR), and Alexander Rossi (Andretti).

Further back on the grid are the likes of Marcus Ericsson (CGR) in 18th, Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing) in 19th, Simon Pagenaud (MSR) in 20th, Dixon in 21st, and Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren SP) in 23rd.

Two sessions remain, both on Sunday morning (AEST), namely the Warmup at 00:30 and the Race at 05:45.

That 85-lapper will be streamed live and ad-free on Stan Sport, with coverage starting at 05:00 AEST.

Results: Qualifying

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Qual time Session
1 12 Will Power D/C/F 1:09.7664 Round 3 / Fast Six
2 10 Alex Palou D/H/F 1:09.8090 Round 3 / Fast Six
3 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 1:09.8343 Round 3 / Fast Six
4 20 Conor Daly D/C/F 1:09.9063 Round 3 / Fast Six
5 5 Pato O’Ward D/C/F 1:10.0546 Round 3 / Fast Six
6 7 Felix Rosenqvist D/C/F 1:10.0605 Round 3 / Fast Six
7 77 Callum Ilott D/C/F 1:09.6530 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
8 30 Christian Lundgaard D/H/F 1:09.6594 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
9 45 Jack Harvey D/H/F 1:09.6899 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
10 28 Romain Grosjean D/H/F 1:09.7100 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
11 3 Scott McLaughlin D/C/F 1:09.7847 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
12 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 1:10.2950 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
13 51 Takuma Sato D/H/F 1:09.8239 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
14 26 Colton Herta D/H/F 1:09.8527 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
15 21 Rinus VeeKay D/C/F 1:09.9550 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
16 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 1:09.9178 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
17 29 Devlin DeFrancesco D/H/F 1:10.1306 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
18 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F 1:09.9294 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
19 06 Helio Castroneves D/H/F 1:10.1417 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
20 60 Simon Pagenaud D/H/F 1:09.9717 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
21 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 1:10.1694 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
22 14 Kyle Kirkwood D/C/F 1:10.1954 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
23 6 Juan Pablo Montoya D/C/F 1:10.7610 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
24 18 David Malukas D/H/F 1:10.4755 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
25 11 Tatiana Calderon D/C/F 1:11.0020 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
26 4 Dalton Kellett D/C/F 1:10.7187 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
27 48 Jimmie Johnson D/H/F 1:11.4599 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

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