Rosenqvist puts McLaren SP in front at Texas with first pole for three years


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After a dismal qualifying performance for the McLaren Formula 1 team in Bahrain, Felix Rosenqvist brought them some cheer at Texas Motor Speedway.

Rosenqvist ended his three-year wait for an IndyCar pole position on the superspeedway, putting his McLaren SP Dallara-Chevrolet at the head of the field.

In the single car qualifying format, grid order was determined by the average speed across two flying laps. Rosenqvist, who was 11th in the queue of 27 cars to qualify based on current championship order, laid down a two lap average speed of 355.842kph (221.110mph).

From there, he waited as 16 other drivers made their qualifying runs as the track temperature began to rise. Despite competitive runs from the likes of Takuma Sato and Scott McLaughlin, Rosenqvist held on for his second career IndyCar Series pole position, his first on an oval.

McLaughlin, who won his first race three weeks ago on the streets of St Petersburg, Florida, qualified second with a two lap average of 355.820kph/221.096mph – making it an all-Chevrolet front row for Sunday’s 248-lap race.

Sato qualified third as the fastest Honda-powered driver, next to Will Power in fourth. Scott Dixon, who won the first race in a double header at Texas last year, will line up fifth, next to reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves in sixth.

Josef Newgarden was seventh-fastest, ahead of Rinus VeeKay in eighth, then Colton Herta in ninth, with Pato O’Ward – winner of the second race in last year’s double header at Texas – completing the top ten.

Romain Grosjean will start his first race on an IndyCar superspeedway from 13th place. Fellow sophomore driver Jimmie Johnson starts 18th. The fastest IndyCar rookie in the field was Devlin DeFrancesco, who qualified 17th ahead of Johnson.

Veterans Ed Carpenter and JR Hildebrand were 21st and 26th, respectively, in their first action of the season. Meanwhile, the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team struggled for grip in their qualifying runs – Jack Harvey was 24th, rookie Christian Lundgaard was 25th, and Graham Rahal was 27th and last in the order.

The green flag for Sunday’s Texas 375 is at 16:40 GMT.

Position Car Driver Team Engine
1 7 Felix Rosenqvist McLaren SP Chevrolet
2 3 Scott McLaughlin Penske Chevrolet
3 51 Takuma Sato Coyne/RWR Honda
4 12 Will Power Penske Chevrolet
5 9 Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda
6 6 Helio Castroneves Meyer Shank Honda
7 2 Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet
8 21 Rinus VeeKay Carpenter Chevrolet
9 26 Colton Herta Andretti Honda
10 5 Pato O’Ward McLaren SP Chevrolet
11 10 Alex Palou Ganassi Honda
12 27 Alexander Rossi Andretti Honda
13 28 Romain Grosjean Andretti Honda
14 8 Marcus Ericsson Ganassi Honda
15 60 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Honda
16 20 Conor Daly Carpenter Chevrolet
17 29 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Honda
18 48 Jimmie Johnson Ganassi Honda
19 18 David Malukas Coyne/HMD Honda
20 77 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet
21 33 Ed Carpenter Carpenter Chevrolet
22 4 Dalton Kellett Foyt Chevrolet
23 14 Kyle Kirkwood Foyt Chevrolet
24 45 Jack Harvey RLL Honda
25 30 Christian Lundgaard RLL Honda
26 11 JR Hildebrand Foyt Chevrolet
27 15 Graham Rahal RLL Honda


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RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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  • 3 comments on “Rosenqvist puts McLaren SP in front at Texas with first pole for three years”

    1. Totally different fortunes, between Indy and F1 for McLaren. BTW, that Indy livery is waaaaaaay better than F1’s.

    2. At one McLaren is fast

    3. At Least one Mclaren is fast, I had high hopes after first F1 test.

    Comments are closed.