Power caught out by wind in St Petersburg IndyCar qualifying

Will Power St Petersburg IndyCar qualifying

Will Power

Will Power says he was caught out by the windy conditions are qualifying 10th for Race 1 of the IndyCar season in St Petersburg.

While others complained of traffic around the tight, 1.8mi (2.9km) street circuit or cited track evolution, the 2022 champion was left to lament push at the final corner.

That is of greater significance in qualifying, considering the alternate start-finish line is located just before the Turn 13/Turn 14 right-hander complex.

“Traffic wasn’t a problem at all,” said Power on the Peacock telecast carried by Stan Sport.

“It was just [that] I kept getting push, got that strong wind in the middle of the last corner there to start the lap, and I just understeered.

“[I] went down a tenth, tenth-and-a-half, and with this group, it’s so hard to try and grab that back.

“But still happy to make it in the top 10. Obviously very fierce competition out there and see if we can get the Verizon car on the podium, top five tomorrow.

“It’s a long race, a lot of good guys obviously out there, but pretty happy with all the people on my [timing] stand and crew.”

Team Penske locked out the front row at St Petersburg just over 12 months ago, when Scott McLaughlin qualified on pole position and Power was just over a tenth of a second slower.

This time around, Power was already struggling in practice while McLaughlin’s ragged weekend continued when he glanced a wall and spun out of contention for pole position in the opening minutes of the decisive segment of qualifying.

Still, the New Zealander is set to start sixth whereas Josef Newgarden, in the #2 Penske Chevrolet, could not even advance from Round 1 of qualifying and is due to take the green flag from 14th position.

Romain Grosjean claimed pole by a margin of 0.4155s with his Andretti Autosport team-mate Colton Herta also making it onto the front row.

Tomorrow, the Warmup takes place at 09:00 ET/ 01:00 AEDT, followed by the 100-lap Race at 12:20 ET/04:20 AEDT.

Both sessions are live and ad-free on Stan Sport, with coverage of the race beginning at 04:00 AEDT.

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