Christian Lundgaard snatches maiden Pole Position in an impressive qualifying for RLL

Spread the love
Photo Credits: Rahal Letterman Laningan

Christian Lundgaard starts his month of May on the right foot, putting his Rahal Letterman Lanigan car on pole. He was followed by fellow Scandinavian Felix Roswnqvist, who lost pole at the last couple of corners. It’s the maiden NTT IndyCar Series pole position for the Danish driver, a surprise after a difficult year so far for the RLL outfit.Championship leader Marcus Ericsson could not advance to the Firestone Fast Six, he will start on the fourth row tomorrow.Round 1, Group 1The Rahal cars are showing great pace at the IMS road course, their best setup of the season so far. On the banker laps, Christian Lundgaard topped the session with a 1:10:3263. Fellow ex-F2 driver Marcus Armstrong showed confidence throughout the practice sessions and slotted in behind, within the same tenth of a second.Throughout the session, weather radars showed that rain clouds were in the sky, but far enough from the Speedway. When the teams bolted on the alternate tyres, Lundgaard was able to continue on the top, with a 1:09:4639. Shockingly, his teammate Graham Rahal went all the way to second place after difficult practice sessions. Felix Rosenqvist showed great pace with the Arrow McLaren and slotted in third place. The drivers who also went through to the Fast 12 were Armstrong, Power and Ericsson.Surprisingly, Josef Newgarden was not able to get to the Fast 12. He was impeded by a yellow flag caused by Benjamin Pedersen spinning at turn 12. DeFrancesco, VeeKay, Pagenaud, Daly and rookies Pedersen and Canapino followed the two-time champion in departing.

Benjamin Pedersen was penalised by causing the yellow, losing his best lap.Round 1, Group 2From the get-go, Group 2 was, arguably, the hardest of the two. With a great number of fast cars trying to squeeze into the 6 slots for the Fast 12 session.Pato O’Ward lead the group on the banker laps, then the lasting Rahal of Jack Harvey was second. The alternate tyre laps showed a surprising result: Pato O’Ward was able to keep his lead, with a 1:09:2937. His teammate Alexander Rossi was just behind. They were followed by Alex Palou, Jack Harvey, seeing the three RLL packages get through to the following session, Kyle Kirkwood and Scott Dixon.Three big names for the win couldn’t get a spot on the Fast 12, last GMR GP winner Colton Herta, last race victor Scott McLaughlin and a frustrated Romain Grosjean. Malukas, Robb, Ilott, Castroneves, and Ferrucci also got booted.

Fast 12For the first time this season, the three RLLs were able to go to the Fast 12. Also, the four Ganassis and three Arrow McLarens were through. Only one Penske and one Andretti were able to slot into the session.Felix Rosenqvist topped the primary tyre laps, with Christian Lundgaard and Pato O’Ward completing the top-3.Jack Harvey locked up on his way to turn 1 and had to take the runoff.

On his fast lap on the alternates, Will Power locked up at turn 7 and had to abandon his lap on a day of struggles for Team Penske. He starts P12. Alex Palou was able to put his Ganassi on the top. He was followed by Christian Lundgaard, Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Jack Harvey, and Kyle Kirkwood.The drivers out of qualifying at this stage: Ericsson, Rahal, Dixon, Rossi, Armstrong, and Power.Fast 6The Rahals started the session on top, with Harvey ahead of Lundgaard. Kyle Kirkwood was the first to put on the alternate tyres. His only attempt got him temporarily to third place.When the chequered flag fell, Christian Lundgaard was able to hold off the pressure and got his maiden pole at the NTT IndyCar Series.

He was followed by Felix Rosenqvist, the Swede lost his chance to get pole position by 0.0027 seconds because of an oversteery moment in the last couple of corners. He had been green until that point by just under a tenth, but was able to put his car at the front row for the race. Alex Palou, Jack Harvey, on an impressive show for RLL, Pato O’Ward and Kyle Kirkwood rounded out the order.