IndyCar – Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole
In a stunning display of skill and determination, Romain Grosjean made history in 2023 by becoming IndyCar’s first-ever back-to-back pole winner. Overcoming engine issues and fierce competition, Grosjean solidified his place among racing legends by clinching his third career pole and dethroning 2021 winner, Alex Palou.
In 2023, Romain Grosjean became IndyCar’s first back-to-back pole winner, securing his third career pole and surpassing the 2021 winner, Alex Palou. Grosjean had previously achieved pole positions at the Indy road course in 2021 and St Petersburg earlier in the year, where he was poised to win before being taken out by Scott McLaughlin.
Despite encountering engine issues that caused him to miss much of the initial practice session, Grosjean bounced back, becoming the leading Andretti car during the qualifying round. He executed two top laps during the Fast Six session, edging out Palou by a mere 0.0734 seconds.
This achievement also makes Grosjean the eighth consecutive distinct pole winner at the Alabama track.
Pato O’Ward, the previous year’s champion, secured third place for Arrow McLaren, while Scott McLaughlin, Penske’s top contender, finished in fourth place.
Scott Dixon pioneered the strategy of securing solid laps on worn soft tyres instead of the typical used hard tyres in IndyCar, landing him in fifth place, ahead of Christian Lundgaard.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan has experienced a difficult start to the season, but Lundgaard’s performance at the venue where he first tested and impressed the team provides hope. The top six contenders were separated by a mere 0.3205 seconds.
During the final lap of Q2, three-time race winner Josef Newgarden was edged out of the Fast Six by his teammate and YouTube series co-host Scott McLaughlin. Visibly frustrated, Newgarden attributed his shortfall of 0.0617 seconds to a different tyre warm-up procedure.
Felix Rosenqvist of Arrow McLaren secured eighth place, while last year’s pole-sitter Rinus VeeKay, who went off at Turn 2 during his final lap, ended up in ninth place. VeeKay admitted to disregarding an informal agreement regarding overtaking during the out-lap, which likely annoyed Will Power.
Rosenqvist’s teammate, Alexander Rossi, was unhappy with a change made to his car for the final run and finished in the top 10, ahead of Power, who went off at Turn 5 during his last attempt and expressed disappointment with his engine performance.
Kyle Kirkwood, the Long Beach winner, spun at Turn 1 on his out-lap during his last attempt, making a “dumb” mistake that damaged part of his car’s aero and placed him last in Q2 at 12th place.
A formidable group of drivers failed to advance from the first two qualifying groups, including Ganassi’s championship leader Marcus Ericsson, who will start in 13th place after being outpaced by Romain Grosjean at the last possible moment.
Rookie Marcus Armstrong would have been 14th, right behind his teammate Ericsson, but he lost his two fastest laps for impeding Lundgaard while on a warm-up lap, resulting in a costly penalty that pushed him back to 25th place.
Colton Herta, struggling to match his teammates’ performance, will start in 14th place.
Callum Ilott is set to start in 15th position as he aims to recover from a challenging Long Beach race. Last year, he qualified 11th at this track, which was his best IndyCar qualifying performance at the time.
The results of the qualifying session for the Alabama Indy Grand Prix.
Position Driver Team Engine 1 Romain Grosjean Andretti Honda 2 Alex Palou Ganassi Honda 3 Pato O’Ward McLaren Chevrolet 4 Scott McLaughlin Penske Chevrolet 5 Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda 6 Christian Lundgaard RLL Honda 7 Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet 8 Felix Rosenqvist McLaren Chevrolet 9 Rinus VeeKay Carpenter Chevrolet 10 Alexander Rossi McLaren Chevrolet 11 Will Power Penske Chevrolet 12 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Honda 13 Marcus Ericsson Ganassi Honda 14 Colton Herta Andretti Honda 15 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet 16 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Honda 17 David Malukas Coyne/HMD Honda 18 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Honda 19 Graham Rahal RLL Honda 20 Conor Daly Carpenter Chevrolet 21 Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Honda 22 Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet 23 Sting Ray Robb Coyne/RWR Honda 24 Jack Harvey RLL Honda 25 Benjamin Pedersen Foyt Chevrolet 26 Marcus Armstrong Ganassi Honda 27 Santino Ferrucci Foyt Chevrolet
IndyCar Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole 2023 Alabama IndyCar Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole 2023 Alabama IndyCar Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole 2023 Alabama IndyCar Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole 2023 Alabama IndyCar Grosjean Shatters Records with Third Career Pole 2023 Alabama
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