Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Rosenqvist Storms to First Pole

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Felix Rosenqvist added to the NTT IndyCar Series history book and his own resume by swiping the pole position for the annual contest on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Chip Ganassi Racing rookie’s trajectory through IndyCar’s knockout qualifying procession saw Rosenqvist’s NTT Data-branded Honda place third in its Round 1 group and second in Round 2 before ending the Firestone Fast Six atop the running order.

The 1:08.2785 lap Rosenqvist laid down is shy of the record around the 2.439-mile road course — and slower than Colton Herta’s Round 2-topping time — but was rapid enough to earn the Ganassi team its 90th pole in North America’s premier open-wheel championship.

Rosenqvist’s place for his first IndyCar start at the historic venue will offer his best look at Turn 1 since he started third in his series debut on the streets of St. Petersburg in March. The pole also offers the Swedish driver his best shot at a race win thus far in 2019 as the last four INDYCAR Grand Prix winners have started first.

Vastly improving upon his 18th-place starting position on the IMS road course a year ago, Scott Dixon lapped within 0.0194 seconds of the pole time and will take the green flag alongside his rookie teammate to begin the 85-lap race.

Surprise Fast Six participant Jack Harvey showed well for Meyer Shank Racing, securing a third-place start alongside Harding Steinbrenner Racing’s Herta who joined Rosenqvist and Dixon in surfacing the group’s four Honda-powered cars to the top.

Ed Jones and Will Power were Chevrolet’s lone representatives in the Fast Six and were 0.0866 and 0.3292 seconds back from the pole, respectively.

Just missing out on the Fast Six and filling positions seven through 12 were Graham Rahal, Simon Pagenaud, Marcus Ericsson, Sebastien Bourdais, Takuma Sato and Spencer Pigot.

Beyond Power qualifying to the outside of the third row, Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and Helio Castroneves placed eighth, 13th and 15th in the three other Team Penske entries. All four Hondas from Andretti Autosport, meanwhile, qualified 16th or worse, led by Ryan Hunter-Reay who is battling food poisoning.

Lasting 207.315 miles given its 85-lap length, the sixth IndyCar race on the IMS road course will go green at 3:50 p.m. EDT Saturday — 50 minutes after NBC’s telecast opens. A half-hour warm-up session will kick off race day at 11:15 a.m.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Duranthttp://aarondurant.com
Aaron brings a developing design and editorial vision to The Apex every day and co-hosts The Braking Point podcast every week. As editor-in-chief and an avid reader, Aaron enjoys aligning his relentless care for quality with an interest in counterintuitive approaches.

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