Herta wins second pole of 2022 as IndyCar returns to streets of Toronto


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Days after his maiden two-day test in a McLaren Formula One car at Portimão, Colton Herta returned to North America and put his #26 Andretti Autosport Dallara/Honda on pole position for this weekend’s Indy Toronto at the Exhibition Place Street Circuit.

This weekend marks IndyCar’s return to Toronto after a two-year, covid-enforced hiatus, and the 2.8 kilometre street circuit delivered plenty of action across three stages of qualifying.

Herta went into qualifying with the fastest time in Saturday morning’s second practice and, at the end of Fast Six qualifying, he took pole position with a time of 59.270 seconds, the fastest time of the weekend.

The 22-year-old American driver becomes the first repeat pole winner of 2022, having previously taken pole honours at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. However, the Andretti driver will be looking to avoid a repeat of his race-ending accident at Long Beach when the green flag drops in Toronto tomorrow for 85 laps of racing.

Three-time Indy Toronto winner Scott Dixon will share the front row after qualifying second, ahead of Josef Newgarden, who was third. Alexander Rossi, coming off a tumultuous Mid-Ohio Grand Prix of his own making, was fourth, ahead of rookie David Malukas in fifth, and Scott McLaughlin in sixth.

Callum Ilott put in another strong showing in seventh, ahead of Felix Rosenqvist in eighth, championship leader Marcus Ericsson in ninth, and Christian Lundgaard – the third of three rookies inside the top ten – in tenth.

Toronto native Devlin DeFrancesco impressed with a career-best 12th place qualifying result in his home debut – despite having multiple incidents in the first and second rounds of qualifying; he went into the tyre barriers during the first phase but he was able to keep a time that allowed him to progress into the second stage, where he was then penalised again for impeding eventual pole winner Herta.

The other local driver, Dalton Kellett, did not run in the session due to a fuel pressure issue and will start 23rd.

After controversy erupted over reigning series champion Alex Palou’s future after both Chip Ganassi and McLaren announced he would be driving for them in 2023 earlier this week, Palou could manage only 22nd on the grid. Following a crash in Saturday practice, Palou’s qualifying was hampered by a mechanical failure that brought out a red flag in round one, group two qualifying.

That session was restarted with enough time for all drivers to attempt one more lap, but was then red-flagged once more when Kyle Kirkwood hit the wall at turn six, then spun and crashed two corners later, causing a second red flag.

After penalties were assessed, Palou will start 22nd, Kirkwood will start 24th, and Conor Daly, who impeded Herta in round one, group one qualifying, will start 25th.

The green flag for the 2022 Indy Toronto is scheduled for 20:30 BST.

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Indy Toronto qualifying results

126Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
29Scott DixonGanassiHonda
32Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
427Alexander RossiAndrettiHonda
518David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
63Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
777Callum IlottJuncos HollingerChevrolet
87Felix RosenqvistMcLaren SPChevrolet
98Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
1030Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
1128Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
1229Devlin DeFrancescoAndretti SteinbrennerHonda
1345Jack HarveyRLLHonda
1415Graham RahalRLLHonda
155Pato O’WardMcLaren SPChevrolet
1612Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
176Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
1860Simon PagenaudMeyer ShankHonda
1951Takuma SatoCoyne/RWRHonda
2021Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
2148Jimmie JohnsonGanassiHonda
2210Alex PalouGanassiHonda
234Dalton KellettFoytChevrolet
2414Kyle KirkwoodFoytChevrolet
2520Conor DalyCarpenterChevrolet


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Author information

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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7 comments on “Herta wins second pole of 2022 as IndyCar returns to streets of Toronto”

  1. Good job, colton Herta! Now, to keep it up in the race…

  2. This performance demonstrates the chatter around Herta going to F1 one day. Yes he makes some silly mistakes and shows some (worrying) lack of experience at times but his ultimate talent and speed that he can deliver when he gets it together are what people are banking on.

    Teams will be taking the gamble that it will be easier to coach the mistakes out of Herta and keep the speed than to try and coach more speed into a currently more consistent, less error-prone driver.

    Teams always say they would prefer to have a fast unreliable car rather than the other way round since it is often easier to fix the unreliability rather than add speed. Same philosophy here.

    1. Well said, cannot teach pure speed. The rest is at least open for fixing.

    2. Hopefully he can fend off other such F1 legends and Indy winners as Marcus Ericsson, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato and Romain Grosjean. We’re talking about the best of the best here.

      1. Like most of the vaunted Formula 2 fields? We can look at the incredible effort it took for Leclerc to beat runners up like hall of farmers Artem Markelov and Luca Ghiotto. How’s Callum Illot doing in Indy car? (runner up to a very average F2 champion) Luundgard? Racing against seasoned veterans is typically harder than “never has beens”

        1. lol, you’re comparing Indy to F2. Also, you only think they suck because they never made it into F1. Plenty of good F2 prospects never get a drive or a short one at the worst team on the grid. So, unless a driver spends Maldonado level time in F2 without success, hard to judge them.

  3. Herta’s ultra aggressive and occasional tail out driving style (and talent) seems well suited to multi surface IndyCar street tracks. He’d have no problem adjusting to the super smooth F1 tracks and cars with power steering, as he’s already shown.

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