IndyCar Thermal Heat Races | Rosenqvist and Palou convert poles to wins, Dixon eliminates VeeKay and Grosjean in chaotic first start

Photo credit: Meyer Shank Racing
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Heat 1

The first of the two heat races started with the chaos that could be expected in a non-championship race. Right at the green flag Colton Herta tries to get a head start on Scott Dixon, and the six-time champion is so busy defending that he forgets to brake in time and punts the Juncos-car of Romain Grosjean. The green-black bowling ball then collects Rinus VeeKay and Christian Lundgaard.

The Dutchman and the Frenchman are both out,while the Dane has significant damage. At the restart polesitter Felix Rosenqvist gets away quickly for the Penske duo of Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden. Dixon get’s a drivethrough for his antics and is de facto eliminated for the main event.

In fifth place it is the sole Juncos-car of Augustín Canapino, who miraculously stayed out of trouble at the start. Another victim of the shenanigans at the start, Will Power, overtakes Sting Ray Robb for tenth, and a lap later he makes a similar overtake on Kyle Kirkwood, promoting him to ninth.

Because of the caution the race turned from a 10 lap event into a 20 minute timed event, leaving Power just four more minutes to overtake three more cars and get into the main event.

With two laps to go McLaughlin closes in a bit on Rosenqvist, while rookie Nolan Siegel closes in on Herta for sixth place, and the final spot in the main event, but he eventually has to defend from Santino Ferrucci. Neither are able to pass, and therefore Herta grabs the final spot.

First across the line was Rosenqvist, closely followed by McLaughlin. Newgarden is third for Lungaard. Canapino ends fifth at a significant distance from the top four, while the aforementioned Herta grabs the final spot for this heat race.

Heat 2

The second heat started a whole lot calmer than the first one, and despite a little tyre rubbing there were no incidents. Álex Palou and teammate Marcus Armstrong start with creating a gap, while the Arrow McLaren-drivers are fighting eachother.

Tom Blomqvist and Calum Ilott make a bit of contact on the back stretch, but other than that the field seems to settle in a train behind Graham Rahal. Ilott loses two spots to his teammates, who subsequently wrestle themselves past Blomqvist. The former IMSA-ace then shuts the door for Ilott to prevent losing more places.

In the backfield Kyffin Simpson battles with both Christian Rasmussen and Marcus Ericsson, but none of the parties make any change in position in the end. Up front Palou cruises away from Armstrong, who cruises away from Rahal.

The remainder of the second heat is processional, so Palou crosses the line first ahead of Armstrong and Rahal. Linus Lundqvist is the third Chip Ganassi-car in fourth place, followed by Pietro Fittipaldi in fifth and Rossi in sixth.


Pos.Heat 1Heat 2
1Felix Rosenqvist Álex Palou
2Scott McLaughlinMarcus Armstrong
3Josef NewgardenGraham Rahal
4Christian LundgaardLinus Lundqvist
5Agustín CanapinoPietro Fittipaldi
6Colton HertaAlexander Rossi
7Nolan SiegelPato O’Ward
8Santino FerrucciTom Blomqvist
9Will PowerCalum Ilott
10Kyle KirkwoodChristian Rasmussen
11Sting Ray RobbKyffin Simpson
12Scott DixonMarcus Ericsson
13Rinus VeeKayColin Braun
14Romain Grosjean