Rosenqvist booming in summer with AMSP

A fourth place finish in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Running third at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course when a mechanical issue bit him. A catwalk in Toronto. A second pole of the season last weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Yes, Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist has been racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES for the past few months, and he knows it.

“Of course I’ve been on my ‘A’ game the last seven or eight races,” he said, adding it was a group effort in the Chevrolet Arrow McLaren SP n 7. “I think the pit team has been on (their) ‘A’ game. I think the engineering team really understood (and) simplified our program a bit.

The gains have been huge year after year. Rosenqvist finished 21st in the 2021 standings due to missing two races following a mechanical failure that sent him hard into the tire barrier in Detroit; he is ninth this year with four races to go. His average starting and finishing positions are above his career standards in this series, and his confidence seems to increase every time in the car.

“I think the team really vibrates well,” he said. “We are still a young team. There are a lot of new things happening every day in McLaren and Arrow McLaren SP, and I feel like everything gels a little more every weekend, and the results follow that trend.

“It’s a good place to be right now.”

The good times continued to roll for Rosenqvist during Friday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix opening practice in Nashville. He finished second overall with a best lap of 1 minute, 16.2050 seconds. Rosenqvist qualified fourth and finished eighth at last year’s inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.

Going forward, Rosenqvist hopes the team will become more consistent, as mechanical issues have cost him better results at three of the last five races (Mid-Ohio, Race 1 at Iowa Speedway and the weekend’s Gallagher Grand Prix). end last on the IMS road circuit).

“I wouldn’t want to sit here and say we’re on a massive streak because we’re still not winning races,” said Rosenqvist, whose only series win came in a 2020 race at Road. America. “But yes, the performance is good, we are there at the pace every weekend (since mid-May). Oval, street course, road course (we’re good) so I think that’s obviously a huge step.

About last year’s inaugural race

If last year is any indication, Andretti Autosport drivers should be looking forward to Saturday’s qualifying session. Colton Herta won the NTT P1 prize with Alexander Rossi third and teammate Romain Grosjean fifth. Grosjean drove for Dale Coyne Racing with RWR last year.

Herta dominated last year’s weekend, securing the widest qualifying margin of the season between the two fastest riders. His advantage over Scott Dixon was 0.5492 seconds and then he led a record 39 laps in the 80-lap race before hitting the outside wall on the fast Turn 9 chasing Marcus Ericsson for the lead on lap 75.

Ericsson, who led 37 laps, took his second win of the season despite running into Sebastien Bourdais, his car going vertical on the restart on lap 5 and incurring a passing penalty. Chip Ganassi Racing won its teammates’ only one-two in all races last season in this event, with Dixon finishing second after running on fuel only in his final pit stop. He completed the last 48 laps on the same set of tires (19 of those laps were on bail).

With riders second, fourth and sixth in the standings, CGR is bidding for a third straight series championship, and if Ericsson wins the Astor Challenge Cup in the #8 Huski Chocolate Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, the Indianapolis-based organization will have won three consecutive titles with three different drivers, unheard of in this sport. Dixon won the title in 2019, Alex Palou in 2020.

Saturday schedule

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES will hold its second practice of the weekend in a 60-minute session beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET. Forty-five minutes of track time is guaranteed. Qualifying for the NTT P1 award will take place at 4:30 p.m. Both sessions will be broadcast live on Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR radio network.

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires will have two sessions on Saturday. Practice is at 11:15 a.m. (ET) with qualifying at 3:40 p.m.

Tips

  • The entrance to Turn 9, where Herta’s race ended last year, has been reduced from 85 feet wide to 60 feet wide to accommodate an additional suite. The southpaw is noticeably slower as a result, but should provide more passing opportunities. This modification, along with the restarting of races from the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, are the main changes to the 11-turn, 2.1-mile street course and race layout.
  • Alexander Rossi, the winner of the Gallagher Grand Prix last Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, completed only 12 laps in practice on Friday due to a mechanical problem. Peacock Premium reported that the Andretti Autosport team was forced to bleed the brakes on its #27 NAPA AUTO PARTS/AutoNation Honda.
  • Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 06 Honda AutoNation/SiriusXM for driver Helio Castroneves will start six positions further down the field than it qualifies due to an unapproved engine change after the weekend’s Gallagher Grand Prix last on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
  • The fourth annual Josef Newgarden Celebrity Ping-Pong Challenge held Thursday night in Nashville raised more than $65,000 for two charities – SeriousFun Children’s Network and Wags & Walks Nashville, the driver said.
  • NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Zach Veach is working as a driver coach this season with Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires rookie Ernie Francis Jr. and the Force Indy team. Veach said Friday he jumped into Francis’ car during a recent test at Sebring to do some laps and validate Francis’ comments. It was the first time Veach had spun a wheel in an Indy Lights car since winning the 2016 season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
  • Indy Lights driver Antonio Serravalle has decided to wrap up his season to focus on 2023. He drove for Abel Motorsports and HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. James Roe now drives HMD’s #11 car, leaving TJ Speed ​​Motorsports.
  • Benjamin Pedersen led the 50-minute Indy Lights practice by more than four-tenths of a second on Friday, setting a best lap of 1 minute, 21.8473 seconds in the World No. 24 race group with the HMD car. Danial Frost finished second in 1:22.2616.

Comments are closed.