Lundgaard storms to pole, points leader Palou 15th after wet qualifying


Posted on

| Written by

Christian Lundgaard secured the second pole position of his IndyCar career in Toronto after a challenging qualifying session in changeable conditions.

The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver posted the best time around a still-damp track on slick tyres to beat Scott McLaughlin to the top spot on the grid by three tenths of a second.

Championship leader Alex Palou was caught out by the rain in his group session and failed to progress through to the second phase of qualifying in eighth. He will start down in 15th for Sunday’s race.

Rain fell over the short Toronto street circuit at the end of the first group session, leading to challenging conditions for drivers over the rest of qualifying. The low grip levels caught out many, including Romain Grosjean, Colton Herta, Agustin Canapino, Graham Rahal and Marcus Armstrong, who all had spins or ran off track around the sodden circuit during the session.

Lundgaard was the only RLL driver to reach the Fast Six, along with Marcus Ericsson’s Ganassi, two McLarens in the form of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist and two Penskes in McLaughlin and Will Power, reaching the final phase of qualifying for the first time. As the track started to dry, the six drivers switched to slicks and battled to find grip, with Lundgaard doing the best of everyone to set the quickest time of a 1’04.156 on his final timed lap.

McLaughlin suffered an early spin in the Fast Six and appeared to have impeded both O’Ward and Ericsson while attempting to recover. However, he ultimately retained his position on the front row alongside Lundgaard. O’Ward took third place, ahead of Ericsson, with Rosenqvist in fifth ahead of Power in sixth.

Chip Ganassi just missed out on having Scott Dixon reach the Fast Six, lamenting the decision not to take a fresh set of wet tyres in the closing minutes of round two. Dixon will start from seventh, ahead of Kyle Kirkwood, Grosjean and Dixon’s team mate Marcus Armstrong in tenth. Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden will start from 11th, one place ahead of Rinus VeeKay.

Colton Herta, the pole winner for the last two rounds, will start from 14th, just one place ahead of Palou. It was a frustrating session for McLaren’s Alexander Rossi, who suffered an apparent electrical failure on his car in his first group session and was left stranded on the back row of the grid in 26th. Graham Rahal will start from the very rear of the field after he was eliminated when he spun and broke the front wing on his car, leaving him unable to improve on his earlier times.

Debutante Tom Blomqvist, stepping in for Simon Pagenaud who has not been medically cleared to compete after his accident at Mid-Ohio, qualified a respectable 20th in only his second day of driving an IndyCar.

The 85 lap race will start at 2pm local time on Sunday and will only be watchable on Peacock in the United States.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Indy Toronto qualifying results

Position Car Driver Team Engine
1 45 Christian Lundgaard RLL Honda
2 3 Scott McLaughlin Penske Chevrolet
3 5 Pato O’Ward McLaren Chevrolet
4 8 Marcus Ericsson Ganassi Honda
5 6 Felix Rosenqvist McLaren Chevrolet
6 12 Will Power Penske Chevrolet
7 9 Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda
8 27 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Honda
9 28 Romain Grosjean Andretti Honda
10 11 Marcus Armstrong Ganassi Honda
11 2 Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet
12 21 Rinus VeeKay Carpenter Chevrolet
13 106 Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Honda
14 26 Colton Herta Andretti Honda
15 10 Alex Palou Ganassi Honda
16 77 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet
17 18 David Malukas Coyne/HMD Honda
18 78 Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet
19 30 Jack Harvey RLL Honda
20 60 Tom Blomqvist Meyer Shank Honda
21 20 Ryan Hunter-Reay Carpenter Chevrolet
22 29 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Honda
23 51 Sting Ray Robb Coyne/RWR Honda
24 14 Santino Ferrucci Foyt Chevrolet
25 55 Benjamin Pedersen Foyt Chevrolet
26 7 Alexander Rossi McLaren Chevrolet
27 15 Graham Rahal RLL Honda


Browse all IndyCar articles

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

2 comments on “Lundgaard storms to pole, points leader Palou 15th after wet qualifying”

  1. Lundgaard did a great job in very tricky conditions. He’s really helping RLL turn their fortunes around.

  2. Prashanth Ramadas
    19th July 2023, 1:37

    Money Laundering is some of the words to fear so is News.

Comments are closed.