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Grosjean “super happy” with P7 for IndyCar Series debut

Romain Grosjean will start his first-ever IndyCar Series race from seventh on the grid after just failing to make it through to the Fast Six shootout for pole position at Barber Motorsports Park.

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda

Art Fleischmann

Although he was only 21st and 17th fastest in the practice sessions on Saturday, Grosjean progressed through the first round of qualifying. He looked set to make the Fast Six session, but was knocked out by Will Power in the closing seconds.

Grosjean, who scored 10 podiums in his nine-year F1 career, is making the transition to IndyCar this season with the Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda team. He had only completed three tests before the opening race weekend of 2021, at Barber, Laguna Seca and Sebring.

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The Barber season opener will be Grosjean’s first race since his horrendous fiery accident at Bahrain in 2020 that prematurely curtailed his F1 career.

His top-12 qualifying time of 1m05.7643s was just 0.069s away from making the pole shootout, and only two tenths away from the fastest time.

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“We tried everything, I had a bit of traffic, but it doesn’t really matter today,” Grosjean told NBC Peacock. “What we’ve shown is very good and I’m very proud of the boys of getting me to P7. I’m just ahead of Josef Newgarden, who’s one of the stars of the series and knows Barber very well.

“I think we can be super happy with that. Obviously it is race day when it counts, but I think today we’ve shown the work we did in testing worked well.”

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