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Qualifying report

IndyCar Toronto: Lundgaard takes pole, disasters for Palou and Herta

Christian Lundgaard will start from pole position for the IndyCar Series race in Toronto, as championship dominator Alex Palou suffered his worst qualifying of the season and starts 15th.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Lundgaard lapped the 11-turn, 1.786-mile Exhibition Place street course with a best lap of 1m04.1567s, and will start ahead of Scott McLaughlin (Team Penske) and Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren) after a thrilling Fast Six session that was only decided on the final laps.

Palou confessed he didn’t get a good enough lap in on the softer alternate tyres in the opening group session and will start mired in the middle of the pack on a track that’s renowned to be difficult to overtake around.

Fast Six qualifying

With the track drying fast, the Firestone Fast Six field began mostly on wets but O’Ward started on alternate slicks, a route that was followed by the Penske entries of Will Power and McLaughlin straight away, and the others soon switched.

O’Ward set the pace with 1m07.9483s, a second faster than Power, before McLaughlin spun at Turn 8. O’Ward kept pounding in the laps, over a second per lap faster with each tour, working down to 1m05.7235s.

McLaughlin rebounded from his spin to set 1m05.6532s to snatch P1, before Power produced 1m05.0703s and Felix Rosenqvist managed 1m04.9423s. Ericsson and McLaughlin took turns at the top before Lundgaard unleashed his 1m04.1567s.

McLaughlin was second, and kept the position due to the timing of his spin, ahead of O’Ward, Ericsson, Rosenqvist – remarkable given he’d holed the tub with his crash in practice in the morning and was forced to drive the back-up car – and Power.

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 5 1'04.1567     100.217
2 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 5 1'04.4790 0.3223 0.3223 99.716
3 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 6 1'04.5500 0.3933 0.0710 99.607
4 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 5 1'04.9091 0.7524 0.3591 99.055
5 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 5 1'04.9423 0.7856 0.0332 99.005
6 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 5 1'05.0703 0.9136 0.1280 98.810

Fast 12 qualifying

After a long hold while the action-packed Group 2 qualifying results were reviewed, the track dried out a little but the 12 runners all ran on wet tyres throughout.

In the second round of qualifying, O’Ward – who pitted for new wets – set the fastest time at 1m11.3448s on his final lap, ahead of Lundgaard, Rosenqvist, McLaughlin, Ericsson and Power – the latter duo both clipping the wall.

Failing to make it through were Scott Dixon (Ganassi), Andretti Autosport duo Kyle Kirkwood and Romain Grosjean, Marcus Armstrong (Ganassi), Josef Newgarden (Penske) and Rinus VeeKay (Ed Carpenter Racing).

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 8 1'11.3448     90.120
2 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 1'11.6498 0.3050 0.3050 89.736
3 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 7 1'11.7609 0.4161 0.1111 89.598
4 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 8 1'12.0354 0.6906 0.2745 89.256
5 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'12.1818 0.8370 0.1464 89.075
6 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 8 1'12.1995 0.8547 0.0177 89.053
7 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'12.3123 0.9675 0.1128 88.914
8 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 8 1'12.3316 0.9868 0.0193 88.891
9 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 8 1'12.5611 1.2163 0.2295 88.609
10 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'13.5600 2.2152 0.9989 87.406
11 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 8 1'13.6353 2.2905 0.0753 87.317
12 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 8 1'15.0226 3.6778 1.3873 85.702

Group stage qualifying

In Group 1, Kirkwood was fastest on a dry track with a time of 1m00.6453s, before rain began to fall with a minute left on the clock.

Missing out were Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing), who will start 13th on the odd-side of the grid, but most shockingly failing to progress was championship leader Palou (15th), who didn’t get a good enough first lap on alternate tyres before the rain fell.

Another quick driver from practice who fell at the first hurdle was David Malukas (Dale Coyne Racing), along with Jack Harvey (Rahal), Ryan Hunter-Reay (ECR), Sting Ray Robb (Coyne) and Benjamin Pedersen (AJ Foyt Racing).

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 7 1'00.6453     106.020
2 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 8 1'01.1978 0.5525 0.5525 105.063
3 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 1'01.2205 0.5752 0.0227 105.024
4 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 9 1'01.3766 0.7313 0.1561 104.757
5 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 9 1'01.4546 0.8093 0.0780 104.624
6 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 9 1'01.4651 0.8198 0.0105 104.606
7 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 8 1'01.5325 0.8872 0.0674 104.491
8 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 9 1'01.6340 0.9887 0.1015 104.319
9 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 8 1'02.0296 1.3843 0.3956 103.654
10 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 8 1'02.2035 1.5582 0.1739 103.364
11 United States Ryan Hunter-Reay United States Ed Carpenter Racing 8 1'02.2554 1.6101 0.0519 103.278
12 Ray Robb United States Dale Coyne Racing 7 1'02.3978 1.7525 0.1424 103.042
13 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 8 1'02.6538 2.0085 0.2560 102.621

In Group 2, the track was completely soaked with all 14 cars on wet-weather rubber. Grosjean set the quickest time at 1m14.0454s.

The session was incident-packed: Herta overshot Turn 8, costing him his fastest lap as he caused a local yellow flag, with Grosjean doing likewise at Turn 3. Grosjean had earlier set the fastest time with four minutes to go and spun as he crossed the timing line, but rejoined and went even faster.

Making no further progress were (again shockingly) practice pacesetter Herta (Andretti), who will start 14th, ahead of Callum Ilott (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Agustin Canapino (Juncos Hollinger Racing), debutant Tom Blomqvist (MSR), who smacked the tyres as he crossed the line for the final time, Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti) and Santino Ferrucci (Foyt).

Neither Alexander Rossi (McLaren) and Graham Rahal (Rahal) were running as the track conditions were best; Rahal spun exiting Turn 6, damaging his nose against the wall, while Rossi got stranded in the Turn 1 runoff route.

“The car just died, electrically,” rued Rossi. Rahal added: “We stiffened the car up quite a bit for qualifying and there was no time to go back, but I certainly spun in the wrong spot.”

Cla Driver Team Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 8 1'14.0454     86.833
2 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'14.0931 0.0477 0.0477 86.777
3 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 8 1'14.2781 0.2327 0.1850 86.561
4 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 8 1'14.4562 0.4108 0.1781 86.354
5 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 8 1'14.6156 0.5702 0.1594 86.170
6 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 8 1'14.8143 0.7689 0.1987 85.941
7 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 8 1'14.8356 0.7902 0.0213 85.916
8 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 8 1'14.8759 0.8305 0.0403 85.870
9 Argentina Agustin Canapino United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 7 1'15.4540 1.4086 0.5781 85.212
10 United Kingdom Tom Blomqvist United States Meyer Shank Racing 7 1'16.0415 1.9961 0.5875 84.554
11 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 8 1'16.0598 2.0144 0.0183 84.533
12 United States Santino Ferrucci United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 8 1'16.2870 2.2416 0.2272 84.282
13 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 4 1'18.9856 4.9402 2.6986 81.402
14 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 5 1'29.3774 15.3320 10.3918 71.938

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