IndyCar’s resident Great Dane, Christian Lundgaard, scored the first pole of his career in style, holding off Arrow McLaren’s Felix Rosenqvist during Friday (May 12) qualifying at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing began the month of May in style. In addition to Lundgaard’s pole, the team also saw Jack Harvey qualify a strong fourth and Graham Rahal ended up a solid eighth on the grid.
Alex Palou qualified in third, to complete the first two rows of the starting lineup. Rain seemed like it could come at any moment in qualifying, but it never did throughout any of the sessions.
Firestone Fast Six
No incidents peppered the final session. In fact, the only incident in all of qualifying was a single-car spin in the first group at the start of qualifying. A big wiggle in turn eight on the final hot lap doomed Rosenqvist’s chances to get by Lundgaard on the grid.
There was a lot of action in the closing moments, as the track really started to pick up grip. Enough to where four of the top six felt unsafe enough to take another fast lap at the end of the session.
Palou was able to lead the way in this round with Lundgaard in second.
Eliminated from Round 2 were:
8. Graham Rahal
9. Scott Dixon
10. Alexander Rossi
11. Marcus Armstrong
12. Will Power
Round 1 Group 1
Lundgaard paced the group, beating teammate Rahal by almost a tenth of a second. Rosenqvist was third on the board.
Lundgaard was also the fastest of the first lap “banker” laps.
The Meyer Shank teammates of Simon Pagenaud and Benjamin Pedersen went out early in the second run, but were able to stay out of everybody’s way during the fast laps until the final seconds of the session.
Josef Newgarden had to slow from a spinning Pedersen in the last segment of his final lap and was unable to advance out of the group. Pedersen was able to re-fire and get back to pit road.
Eliminated from Round 1 in Group 1 were:
13. Josef Newgarden
17. Rinus Veekay
19. Simon Pagenaud
21. Conor Daly
23. Benjamin Pedersen
25. Agustin Canapino
Round 1 Group 2