Alex Palou, Ganassi, Laguna Seca, 2024

Palou on pole as Penskes struggle at Laguna Seca


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Alex Palou claimed his second pole position of the season at Laguna Seca as none of the Penske drivers reached the Fast Six.

The reigning IndyCar champion couldn’t improve his time on his final lap but didn’t need to as the threat from his rivals faded. Kyle Kirkwood was one of few to better his time, despite the disadvantage of being first to start his final run, to claim second on the grid.

He beat Felix Rosenqvist and Colton Herta by seven-hundredths of a second, the second row occupants setting remarkably close times. Herta bounced back from a wild ride through the turn six gravel trap during the Fast 12 phase.

Alexander Rossi reached the final six for the first time this year and was the last driver to set a time, moving up to fifth ahead of Christian Lundgaard.

Two weeks on from sweeping the podium at Road America, none of the Penske drivers reached the Fast Six, and only Scott McLaughlin made it out of his first group. McLaughlin was on course to reach the final round but was left two-hundredths of a second shy when Rossi improved on his last effort.

Romain Grosjean had already fallen out of contention having been quickest of all in the first group. The Juncos Hollinger driver hit the top of the times when he began his final run in the Fast Six, but dropped behind his rivals as the track conditions improved.

While Rossi made his first appearance in the Fast Six, team mate Pato O’Ward failed to make the cut, as did their intended 2024 team mate David Malukas, making his belated start to the season this weekend with Meyer Shank. Ganassi duo Scott Dixon and Marcus Armstrong also dropped out in the Fast 12.

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Penske’s Will Power and Josef Newgarden were the big scalps of groups one and two respectively, the latter being knocked out by Kirkwood on his way to his front row start.

Agustin Canapino narrowly failed to progress beyond group one on his return after his absence from the Road America round, missing the cut by seven-hundredths of a second. Nolan Siegel, who stood in for him at Juncos Hollinger, took 23rd on the grid for McLaren.

Qualifying result

Times to follow.


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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Palou on pole as Penskes struggle at Laguna Seca”

  1. News flash. Palou is really, really good!

  2. Test to see if password reset worked

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