Rosenqvist takes Indy GP pole, McLaughlin qualifies 15th

Felix Rosenqvist

McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist has taken pole position for the July Indianapolis Grand Prix, for which IndyCar series leader Marcus Ericsson qualified last due to a technical problem.

Rosenqvist topped the session by 0.2765s from Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi, who denied McLaren SP a front row lockout.

Team Penske’s title contenders Will Power and Josef Newgarden, the latter of whom was cleared to drive for the rest of the weekend after his Iowa scare, claimed fourth and fifth on the grid respectively at The Brickyard’s road course.

A number of their key rivals struggled, Ericsson shutting down the #8 Honda a minute into the Group 2 half of Round 1 of the session for precautionary reasons.

He was thus denied the chance to earn anything other than Row 13 of the grid and Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate Scott Dixon is only set to start 20th.

Dixon’s fellow New Zealander, Scott McLaughlin, also failed to advance from the first round and will line up 15th in Saturday afternoon’s (local time) 85-lapper.

When the Fast Six got underway, Rossi banked a 1:10.6775s to be fastest initially from Christian Lundgaard (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) and Newgarden, the other two drivers who started the segment on reds.

Rosenqvist, who did not bother to bank a time at all, clocked a 1:10.2265s once he completed a flying lap, and that would do the Swede in the #7 Chevrolet.

Team-mate Pato O’Ward moved to a provisional front row berth when he set a 1:10.6092s and Power took up third with a 1:10.6224s just seconds before the chequered flag flew.

The Queenslander opted to pit rather than try to move himself further up the grid, and he would be pushed back to fourth once Rossi improved to a 1:10.5030s to put the #27 Honda into second position.

Newgarden wound up fifth on a 1:10.6968s and, for Lundgaard, there was no improvement on his first-run 1:10.7280s.

Back in Round 2 of Qualifying, Power struggled on his initial, black tyre run, but then punched out a 1:10.0277s on his single flyer on reds to top the segment.

O’Ward had already pitted by the time the chequered flag came out, at which point he was only fifth, but it was Alex Palou (Ganassi) and Colton Herta (Andretti w/ Curb-Agajanian) who had work to do in seventh and ninth position respectively.

Palou was only 0.0269s outside the top six but neither improved on their final laps, meaning those positions are where they will take the green flag, split by Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Rounding out the top 12 were Conor Daly (ECR), David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing w/ HMD Motorsports), and Simon Pagenaud (Meyer Shank Racing).

Earlier, all three Penske cars ended up in Group 1 of Round 1 of qualifying, and only two made it through.

Daly topped those 10 minutes of running with a 1:10.3822s and Pagenaud rounded out the top six on a 1:10.7911s, but McLaughlin was 0.1156s slower in eighth and will hence start 15th.

The Group 2 stanza had barely begun when Ericsson crawled to a stop at Turn 5 and drew a red flag.

Rosenqvist would be quickest on a 1:10.1220s in the six minutes that the 12 surviving drivers got after the restart, but Dixon was only 10th-quickest in that bunch on a 1:10.8938s and Romain Grosjean (Andretti) 11th on a 1:11.0244s.

Next up is a Warm Up session late tonight (AEST), then the Race tomorrow at 02:30 AEST.

Stan Sport’s live and ad-free coverage resumes on Sunday morning at 02:00 AEST.

Results: Qualifying

Pos Num Driver C/E/T Qual time Session
1 7 Felix Rosenqvist D/C/F 1:10.2265 Round 3 / Fast Six
2 27 Alexander Rossi D/H/F 1:10.5030 Round 3 / Fast Six
3 5 Pato O’Ward D/C/F 1:10.6092 Round 3 / Fast Six
4 12 Will Power D/C/F 1:10.6224 Round 3 / Fast Six
5 2 Josef Newgarden D/C/F 1:10.6968 Round 3 / Fast Six
6 30 Christian Lundgaard D/H/F 1:10.7280 Round 3 / Fast Six
7 10 Alex Palou D/H/F 1:10.2074 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
8 21 Rinus VeeKay D/C/F 1:10.3100 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
9 26 Colton Herta D/H/F 1:10.3532 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
10 20 Conor Daly D/C/F 1:10.5135 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
11 18 David Malukas D/H/F 1:10.5636 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
12 60 Simon Pagenaud D/H/F 1:10.7624 Elimination Round 2 / Top 12
13 45 Jack Harvey D/H/F 1:10.8564 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
14 29 Devlin DeFrancesco D/H/F 1:10.7073 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
15 3 Scott McLaughlin D/C/F 1:10.9067 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
16 06 Helio Castroneves D/H/F 1:10.7560 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
17 15 Graham Rahal D/H/F 1:10.9093 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
18 51 Takuma Sato D/H/F 1:10.8276 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
19 77 Callum Ilott D/C/F 1:11.1195 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
20 9 Scott Dixon D/H/F 1:10.8938 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
21 14 Kyle Kirkwood D/C/F 1:11.2156 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
22 28 Romain Grosjean D/H/F 1:11.0244 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
23 48 Jimmie Johnson D/H/F 1:11.7710 Elimination Round 1 / Group 1
24 4 Dalton Kellett D/C/F 1:12.0060 Elimination Round 1 / Group 2
25 8 Marcus Ericsson D/H/F No Time Elimination Round 1 / Group 2

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