Rosenqvist puts McLaren SP in front at Texas with first pole for three years


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After a dismal qualifying performance for the McLaren Formula 1 team in Bahrain, Felix Rosenqvist brought them some cheer at Texas Motor Speedway.

Rosenqvist ended his three-year wait for an IndyCar pole position on the superspeedway, putting his McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet at the head of the field.

In the single car qualifying format, grid order was determined by the average speed across two flying laps. Rosenqvist, who was 11th in the queue of 27 cars to qualify based on current championship order, laid down a two lap average speed of 355.842kph (221.110mph).

From there, he waited as 16 other drivers made their qualifying runs as the track temperature began to rise. Despite competitive runs from the likes of Takuma Sato and Scott McLaughlin, Rosenqvist held on for his second career IndyCar Series pole position, his first on an oval.

McLaughlin, who won his first race three weeks ago on the streets of St Petersburg, Florida, qualified second with a two lap average of 355.820kph/221.096mph – making it an all-Chevrolet front row for Sunday’s 248-lap race.

Sato qualified third as the fastest Honda-powered driver, next to Will Power in fourth. Scott Dixon, who won the first race in a double header at Texas last year, will line up fifth, next to reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves in sixth.

Josef Newgarden was seventh-fastest, ahead of Rinus VeeKay in eighth, then Colton Herta in ninth, with Pato O’Ward – winner of the second race in last year’s double header at Texas – completing the top ten.

Romain Grosjean will start his first race on an IndyCar superspeedway from 13th place. Fellow sophomore driver Jimmie Johnson starts 18th. The fastest IndyCar rookie in the field was Devlin DeFrancesco, who qualified 17th ahead of Johnson.

Veterans Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand were 21st and 26th, respectively, in their first action of the season. Meanwhile, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team struggled for grip in their qualifying runs – Jack Harvey was 24th, rookie Christian Lundgaard was 25th, and Graham Rahal was 27th and last in the order.

The green flag for Sunday’s Texas 375 is at 16:40 GMT.

17Felix RosenqvistMcLaren SPChevrolet
23Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
351Takuma SatoCoyne/RWRHonda
412Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
59Scott DixonGanassiHonda
66Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
72Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
821Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
926Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
105Pato O’WardMcLaren SPChevrolet
1110Alex PalouGanassiHonda
1227Alexander RossiAndrettiHonda
1328Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
148Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
1560Simon PagenaudMeyer ShankHonda
1620Conor DalyCarpenterChevrolet
1729Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti SteinbrennerHonda
1848Jimmie JohnsonGanassiHonda
1918David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
2077Callum IlottJuncos HollingerChevrolet
2133Ed CarpenterCarpenterChevrolet
224Dalton KellettFoytChevrolet
2314Kyle KirkwoodFoytChevrolet
2445Jack HarveyRLLHonda
2530Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
2611JR HildebrandFoytChevrolet
2715Graham RahalRLLHonda


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RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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3 comments on “Rosenqvist puts McLaren SP in front at Texas with first pole for three years”

  1. Totally different fortunes, between Indy and F1 for McLaren. BTW, that Indy livery is waaaaaaay better than F1’s.

  2. At one McLaren is fast

  3. At Least one Mclaren is fast, I had high hopes after first F1 test.

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