March 30, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Grosjean clinches first place in qualifying

Romain Grosjean put in a great qualifying lap to beat Andretti Autosport teammate Colton Herta and claim the second pole of his career with Days Multi-Star.

The Firestone Fast Six quickly turned into the ‘Unbroken Four’, with Grosjean coming out on top over Hertha, Bateau Oward and Marcus Ericsson.

What happened in Q3

Kyle Kirkwood started the session at a disadvantage, having used two sets of new replacement firestones out of Q1, so he had no fresh replacements for the latter part of qualifying. This problem seemed small when he slid straight into the final turn, missing the tire barrier to smash the concrete hard. He returned the wreckage to the wreckage of the plane.

Once the procedure resumed, McLaughlin broke a right-rear linkage on the Turn 10 wall, sending him into a spin through the chicane, causing another red flag. Like Kirkwood, his time will be omitted. They will start fifth and sixth, respectively.

Despite also suffering from the same problem as Kirkwood in terms of a lack of new replacements, Ericsson briefly held the lead, but was soon deposed by O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren and Andretti Autosport’s Herta. However, Grosjean produced a stunning final sector to beat the Herta benchmark by 0.4155 seconds and take pole position in Andretti’s car.

O’Ward was only 0.0476 seconds behind Hertha and 0.42 seconds ahead of Ericsson.

What happened in Q2

Kirkwood was given a penalty for causing a local yellow after a trip through the Turn 4 escape road, but he was using substitutes so he was set to pit anyway.

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After everyone’s first run, Alexander Rossi sat in front with 1m 00.0040sec, while Scott McLaughlin was second but 0.28sec in arrears, chased by Scott Dixon, Will Bauer and Colton Herta.

Everyone dove into the new alternate ‘greens’ and Felix Rosenqvist put in another one minute effort, a 59.7971 second lap which was then overshadowed by Kyle Kirkwood’s 59.6357. Kirkwood’s teammate Romain Grosjean was just 0.09 seconds behind, while Colton Herta went into the shade faster with a 59.5442 to complete Andretti’s 1-2-3.

O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson and McLaughlin completed the top six, but their teammates were disappointed, with Palou and Dixon set to start seventh and ninth for Ganassi and Rosenqvist and Rossi eighth and 12th.y For Arrow McLaren, and St. Pete polesitter Power for only nine times 10yby Lundgaard of RLL.

What happened in Q1 Group 2

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly was one of the few in this group of 14 to immediately go out with replacement tyres, so it was no surprise to see him lead by more than a second at the start, with fellow replacement racers Devlin DiFrancesco and Callum Ilott also shining on the rubber. Softer to wear it. DeFrancesco, I handed over 1m00.3339 to go to the top.

They were then split up by Andretti Autosport’s tiring starting Romain Grosjean, before the big hitters headed for green substitutes.

Grosjean threw 59.8790 seconds, only to be shaded by teammate Colton Herta by 0.05 seconds, but then both were beaten by just 0.0007 seconds! – to claim the lead. Behind Hertha and Grosjean was Alex Ballou on another Ganassi entry and Alexander Rossi, which meant all three Arrow McLarens moved into the second quarter.

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Among those knocked out of the championship were two-time St. Pete winner Josef Newgarden for not having a really clear lap, and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus Fechai, who was inadvertently stopped on a flyer from Palou.

What happened in Q1 Group 1

Several drivers immediately went out on replacement tyres, like Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud descending into the 1m00 area on his banked lap, but was soon knocked out by Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood in 1m00.5185s and the Arrow McLarens of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. Rookie Marcus Armstrong showed well to jump into fourth place.

Defending race winner Scott McLaughlin sat sixth after the first round.

In heat two, Rosenqvist slid under the one-minute barrier with a lap of 59.9396 over teammate O’Ward, with McLaughlin jumping Penske into third ahead of Armstrong’s Ganassi machine with Meyer Shank’s Helio Castroneves fifth ahead of Christian Lundgaard.

Pagenaud then slid into the tires on his final attempt, as new IndyCar rules allow the remaining runners one lap and a flyer. On the new Firestone green sidewall tires, it was enough to see Lundgaard of Rahal-Letterman’s Lanegan and Kirkwood jump to second and third and Marcus Ericsson to bump into teammate Armstrong, just behind McLaughlin.

Although he didn’t make it, the Argentine touring car champion did a commendable job in his first ever open-wheel qualifying session to end up less than 1.2 seconds slower than Rosenqvist’s pointer.