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


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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.

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Indy Toronto qualifying results

145Christian LundgaardRLLHonda
23Scott McLaughlinPenskeChevrolet
35Pato O’WardMcLarenChevrolet
48Marcus EricssonGanassiHonda
56Felix RosenqvistMcLarenChevrolet
612Will PowerPenskeChevrolet
79Scott DixonGanassiHonda
827Kyle KirkwoodAndrettiHonda
928Romain GrosjeanAndrettiHonda
1011Marcus ArmstrongGanassiHonda
112Josef NewgardenPenskeChevrolet
1221Rinus VeeKayCarpenterChevrolet
13106Helio CastronevesMeyer ShankHonda
1426Colton HertaAndrettiHonda
1510Alex PalouGanassiHonda
1677Callum IlottJuncos HollingerChevrolet
1718David MalukasCoyne/HMDHonda
1878Agustin CanapinoJuncos HollingerChevrolet
1930Jack HarveyRLLHonda
2060Tom BlomqvistMeyer ShankHonda
2120Ryan Hunter-ReayCarpenterChevrolet
2229Devlin DeFrancescoAndrettiHonda
2351Sting Ray RobbCoyne/RWRHonda
2414Santino FerrucciFoytChevrolet
2555Benjamin PedersenFoytChevrolet
267Alexander RossiMcLarenChevrolet
2715Graham RahalRLLHonda


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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...

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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.

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