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Qualifying report
IndyCar Detroit

IndyCar Detroit: Herta beats Palou to pole by 0.152s

Andretti Global’s Colton Herta stormed to pole for Sunday’s Detroit Grand Prix after an IndyCar qualifying session that featured multiple red flags.

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Herta navigated the 1.645-mile, nine temporary street circuit to put down a quick lap of 1m00.547s to claim the 12th pole of his IndyCar career, rebounding after crashing from second in the Indianapolis 500 last weekend.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Palou made a strong run at pole, but the reigning champion fell short by 0.152s to claim the second spot alongside Herta on the front row.

The Team Penske duo Josef Newgarden and Scott McLaughlin were third and fourth respectively, while six-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon (CGR) and Andretti Global’s Kyle Kirkwood completed the top six.

Fast Six qualifying

McLaughlin set the benchmark at 1m01.304s, but Herta responded with a 1m01.116s lap to take the top spot with less than two minutes to go.

The provisional top spot began to rotate as Newgarden, then Palou went fastest, before Herta delivered his mighty 1m00.547s run.

A red flag came out after Kirkwood stalled his #27 Andretti Global entry following an off in Turn 1. He lost his two quickest laps as a result and dropped to sixth.

The break set up a one-lap shootout for pole between the remaining five competitors. However everyone appeared to struggle getting their tyres in the peak performance window, and the running order remained unchanged.

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

"A complete 180 and just super happy for the team," Herta said of his response to Indy. "You know, they worked their tails off in the month of May, and it was disappointing to say the least.

"So, to come back for some redemption, it feels good."

Palou said of his front row spot: "The car has been awesome since practice one yesterday and we're able to fight during all segments in qualifying. So yeah, starting on the front row and looking forward to tomorrow.

"It's gonna be a busy, busy race, but with a fast car I think it's a little bit easier."

Fast Six Results

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 6

1'00.5475

  97.808
2 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 6

+0.1520

1'00.6995

0.1520 97.563
3 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 5

+0.4132

1'00.9607

0.2612 97.145
4 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 5

+0.7869

1'01.3344

0.3737 96.553
5 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 6

+0.8430

1'01.3905

0.0561 96.464
6 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 4

+3.7451

1'04.2926

2.9021 92.110

Top 12 qualifying

A red flag came out with just under four minutes to go after Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward stopped off course in Turn 5. The Indy 500 runner-up tried to get out of the way of Kirkwood, before being accidentally dropping the clutch while approaching the corner. He lost his two fastest laps and was not allowed to advance, leaving him 12th.

Palou jumped to the top of the leaderboard when the session resumed, but was pushed down moments later as Herta hit a lap of 1m00.518s and then improved to 1m00.230s on the next lap.

Kirkwood was second, followed by Dixon in third. McLaughlin, Palou and Newgarden grabbed the remaining transfer spots.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Arrow McLaren rookie Theo Pourchaire was only 0.028s from making his first Fast Six appearance in seventh.

Team Penske’s Will Power was an anguished eighth, ahead of Andretti Global’s Marcus Ericsson in ninth. After an eventful second practice, Santino Ferrucci, who started once again on fresh alternates, ended up 10th.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard finished up in 11th.

Top 12 Qualifying Results

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 9

1'00.2304

  98.322
2 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 9

+0.1690

1'00.3994

0.1690 98.047
3 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 10

+0.3560

1'00.5864

0.1870 97.745
4 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 9

+0.3703

1'00.6007

0.0143 97.722
5 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 10

+0.4257

1'00.6561

0.0554 97.632
6 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 9

+0.4751

1'00.7055

0.0494 97.553
7 France T. Pourchaire Arrow McLaren 6 7

+0.5038

1'00.7342

0.0287 97.507
8 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 10

+0.5308

1'00.7612

0.0270 97.464
9 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 9

+0.6201

1'00.8505

0.0893 97.320
10 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 8

+0.8047

1'01.0351

0.1846 97.026
11 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 8

+0.9359

1'01.1663

0.1312 96.818
12 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 5

+2.8175

1'03.0479

1.8816 93.929

Group Stage qualifying

Pourchaire topped the first group with a quick lap of 1m00.700s on a set of alternates to go top in the final seconds. McLaughlin and Newgarden ended up second and third, ahead of Kirkwood in fourth. Power was fifth, with Ferrucci in the final transfer spot in sixth.

Ferrucci and Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay were the only drivers to start the group running on alternates, with everyone else swapping midway through.

Rookie Christian Rasmussen was the first driver on the outside in seventh, hitting a 1m01.393s, roughly a tenth of a second off from transferring.

Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Romain Grosjean, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Romain Grosjean was eighth, but claimed he was impeded by Ferrucci and stomped down to the pits of AJ Foyt Racing to talk with team president Larry Foyt and voice his displeasure.

Arrow McLaren’s Alexander Rossi and VeeKay finished ninth and 10th respectively. Chip Ganssi Racing rookies Linus Lundqvist and Kyffin Simpson ended up 11th and 12th, with Dale Coyne Racing’s returnee Tristan Vautier in 13th.

Group Stage Results Session 1

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 France T. Pourchaire Arrow McLaren 6 8

1'00.7000

  97.562
2 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 8

+0.0935

1'00.7935

0.0935 97.412
3 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 8

+0.1844

1'00.8844

0.0909 97.266
4 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 8

+0.1962

1'00.8962

0.0118 97.247
5 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 9

+0.2537

1'00.9537

0.0575 97.156
6 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 8

+0.5906

1'01.2906

0.3369 96.622
7
C. Rasmussen Ed Carpenter Racing
20 9

+0.6930

1'01.3930

0.1024 96.461
8 France R. Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 8

+0.7933

1'01.4933

0.1003 96.303
9 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 9

+0.8905

1'01.5905

0.0972 96.151
10 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 9

+0.9040

1'01.6040

0.0135 96.130
11 Sweden L. Lundqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 8 9

+0.9297

1'01.6297

0.0257 96.090
12 United States K. Simpson Chip Ganassi Racing 4 9

+1.0770

1'01.7770

0.1473 95.861
13 France T. Vautier Dale Coyne Racing 51 9

+1.5091

1'02.2091

0.4321 95.195

The second group was led by Palou, who hit a stout lap of 1m00.347s in the final minute and dethroned Lundgaard’s 1m00.414s run.

Herta and Ericsson were third and fourth, while O’Ward delivered late heroics to vault back into the transfer spot in fifth. Dixon powered to sixth.

Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) narrowly missed transferring by 0.061s in seventh. He was trailed by team-mate Pietro Fittipaldi, Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Agustin Canapino and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong in 10th.

Felix Rosenqvist’s Meyer Shank Racing entry missed the cut, but his misery was added with a penalty for causing a local yellow, relegating him down to 11th.

AJ Foyt Racing’s Sting Ray Robb was 12th, ahead of Tom Blomqvist's MSR stand-in Helio Castroneves 13th and Dale Coyne Racing’s Jack Harvey 14th.

Group Stage Results Session 2

   
1
 - 
3
   
Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 9

1'00.3478

  98.131
2 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 7

+0.0664

1'00.4142

0.0664 98.023
3 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 8

+0.2253

1'00.5731

0.1589 97.766
4 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 9

+0.4059

1'00.7537

0.1806 97.476
5 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 9

+0.6814

1'01.0292

0.2755 97.036
6 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 9

+0.7244

1'01.0722

0.0430 96.967
7 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 9

+0.7858

1'01.1336

0.0614 96.870
8 Brazil P. Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 8

+1.0206

1'01.3684

0.2348 96.499
9 Argentina A. Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 8

+1.2088

1'01.5566

0.1882 96.204
10 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 9

+1.3928

1'01.7406

0.1840 95.917
11 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 7

+1.3963

1'01.7441

0.0035 95.912
12
R. Robb A.J. Foyt Enterprises
41 8

+1.4976

1'01.8454

0.1013 95.755
13 Brazil H. Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 66 8

+1.6209

1'01.9687

0.1233 95.564
14 United Kingdom J. Harvey Dale Coyne Racing 18 9

+1.7707

1'02.1185

0.1498 95.334

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