IndyCar GP Indy: Romain Grosjean takes first pole since 2011

Romain Grosjean landed his maiden pole position in only his third IndyCar appearance at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, the ex-Formula 1 driver shading double champion Josef Newgarden by 0.126s.

IndyCar GP Indy: Romain Grosjean takes first pole since 2011

The Dale Coyne Racing with RWR driver, who moved across to IndyCar for a road and street course-only campaign after 179 grand prix appearances, scored his first pole since the first round of the 2011 GP2 season at Istanbul Park with a scintillating 1m09.439s lap.

It also marked the Coyne team's first pole since 2018, when Sebastien Bourdais topped qualifying at Phoenix.

Grosjean had been only third quickest in a frantic Q2 session that was interrupted when Will Power spun and was prevented from restarting by a clutch issue that caused a red flag. The 2014 IndyCar champion lost his two best times as a result and will start 12th.

Barber winner Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) came out on top in the frantic four-minute dash ahead of Jack Harvey’s Meyer Shank Racing machine, as FP2 pace-setter Newgarden snuck into the Fast Six to deny Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Grosjean was the first driver to lay down a flyer in the decisive top six shootout, snagging a 1m09.763s lap which Newgarden then beat with a 1m09.566s.

PLUS: Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

But Grosjean then bested the Team Penske driver by just over a tenth, to which Newgarden could not respond, and later described the feeling of claiming pole as "like being alive again". Harvey took third, just ahead of Palou.

Scott McLaughlin made it two rookies in the Fast Six and finished just 0.002s behind Palou in fifth, as Ed Carpenter Racing's Conor Daly completed the top six.

His team-mate VeeKay will start seventh, ahead of Colton Herta – the fastest Andretti Autosport-Honda driver – in eighth.

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Grosjean's team-mate Ed Jones made it two Coyne cars in the top 10, outpacing Simon Pagenaud (Penske) and Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing).

Alexander Rossi (Andretti) will start 14th after just missing the cut for Q2. The FP1 pace-setter placed seventh in his Q1 group ahead of reigning champion Scott Dixon (Ganassi), who starts two places further back in a disappointed 16th.

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson (Ganassi) was slowest in his qualifying group, but will start 23rd ahead of Dalton Kellett (AJ Foyt Racing) and IndyCar returnee Juan Pablo Montoya (Arrow McLaren SP), who was docked his two quickest laps for holding up Palou.

Indycar Grand Prix of Indianapolis - Qualifying result

Cla Driver Team Time Gap
1 France Romain Grosjean Dale Coyne Racing with RWR 1'09.439  
2 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'09.566 0.126
3 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'09.652 0.213
4 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'09.711 0.272
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1'09.714 0.274
6 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'09.866 0.426
7 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'09.818 0.378
8 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 1'09.822 0.382
9 United Arab Emirates Ed Jones Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan 1'09.854 0.415
10 France Simon Pagenaud United States Team Penske 1'09.872 0.432
11 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'09.906 0.466
12 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske    
13 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP 1'09.824 0.384
14 United States Alexander Rossi United States Andretti Autosport 1'09.901 0.461
15 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'09.838 0.398
16 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'09.951 0.511
17 Japan Takuma Sato United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'09.866 0.426
18 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP 1'10.072 0.633
19 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Andretti Autosport 1'09.875 0.436
20 France Sébastien Bourdais United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'10.183 0.743
21 United States Charlie Kimball United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'10.681 1.241
22 Canada James Hinchcliffe Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1'10.617 1.177
23 United States Jimmie Johnson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'11.045 1.605
24 Canada Dalton Kellett United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'10.931 1.491
25 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya Arrow McLaren SP 1'11.137 1.697
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