Rosenqvist Rips Grand Tour to Win NTT P1 Award in Indianapolis

Rosenqvist Rips Grand Tour to Win NTT P1 Award in Indianapolis

Felix Rosenqvist won the NTT P1 Award for the Gallagher Grand Prix with a Friday afternoon lap of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course that impressed its rivals and continued its recent resurgence.

Rosenqvist took his second pole of the season with a fast lap of 1 minute 10.2265 seconds in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. His previous pole in 2022 came at Texas Motor Speedway. This was Rosenqvist’s third pole of his career, as his first came in 2019 on the IMS road course.

TO SEE: Qualifying Results

“I felt so calm in the car,” Rosenqvist said. “I think I knew when I did that round that it was the one. Big, big thanks to the team. A really good car.”

Live coverage of the 85-lap race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit begins Saturday at noon on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network will provide live coverage of the 8:15-8:45 AM warm-up over the Brickyard Weekend featuring the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The gap between Rosenqvist’s lap and the best lap of Alexander Rossi, the qualifier’s No. 2, was 0.2765 of a second, the second largest margin this season on a road or street course. Only Colton Herta’s 0.4455-second pole-winning margin at the Long Beach Acura Grand Prix was greater.

Rossi joins Rosenqvist on the front row after qualifying at 1:10.5030 in the No. 27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda. It was Rossi’s best career qualifying position on the IMS road course.

“That’s a huge effort from Felix,” Rossi said. “Good work for him. This is by far the best result we have achieved here as a team. We had a good test here last month and are very relieved that it has been translated.”

Pato O’Ward qualified third at 1:10.6092 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, with five-time IMS race winner Will Power fourth at 1:10.6224 in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet.

Josef Newgarden – cleared to drive for the weekend after practice on Friday morning – qualified fifth at 1:10.6968 in the No. 2 PPG Team Penske Chevrolet. Rookie Christian Lundgaard rounded out the Firestone Fast Six at 1:10.7280 in the No. 30 Shield Cleansers Honda.

Rosenqvist’s pole marked a new chapter in his summer wave. All six of his top-10 finishes this season have come since the GMR Grand Prix in early May. Rosenqvist re-signed with McLaren Racing at the end of June, but the team has not announced its 2023 race series.

The popular Swede has made no secret of his desire to stay in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES next season with Arrow McLaren SP, and team-mate O’Ward and other rivals congratulated him in the pit lane after qualifying.

“I appreciate everyone getting in touch,” Rosenqvist said. “It means a lot, and I think it helps to have these kinds of gigs.”

Rosenqvist and Arrow McLaren SP only completed one flying lap during the first qualifying group, saving wear and tear on their Firestone “red” alternative tyres. That paid off with fresher rubber during the Firestone Fast Six.

“Everything went perfectly,” Rosenqvist said. “I’m super excited, man.”

The three-lap qualifying session was almost as remarkable for the drivers who will start the race from deep in the field as those who qualified up front.

Markus Ericsson, series points leader, will start last in the field of 25 cars in the No. 8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. He stopped on track with a mechanical problem on his warm-up lap in the first session, never turning a flying round.

Six-time champion Scott Dixon, 34 points behind Ericsson in fourth, will start 20th in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. The IMS road track has been a bogey course in qualifying for Dixon lately as he has started 12th or below in his last five races here.

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