Rosenqvist secures IndyCar pole at Long Beach

Rosenqvist secures IndyCar pole at Long Beach

Felix Rosenqvist secured pole position for the 2024 IndyCar Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach by the smallest of margins, marking a victorious moment for Meyer Shank Racing.

Felix Rosenqvist put Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 60 Honda on pole for the 49th running of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, achieving the team’s first-ever pole position in an IndyCar points-paying race as he edged Will Power by 0.0039s.

It was his first after switching from Arrow McLaren to Meyer Shank Racing post the 2023 season, and sixth since joining the IndyCar in 2019, with his last pole achieved at the 2023 season finale in September at Laguna Seca.

Crossing the line just 0.004 seconds slower was Will Power, who looked on course to take the top spot until he lost ground in the very final hairpin. The two-time champion was ever so close to extending his lead atop the record books as the all-time IndyCar pole winner, but was still satisfied with a spot outside the front row.

Power’s team-mate Josef Newgarden logged the third fastest time, continuing his own strong start to the 2024 season. Rounding out the top five were Andretti team-mates Colton Herta and Marcus Ericsson, with the latter completing just a single run on his softer green-walled tires.

Alex Palou rounded out the Fast Six with a performance that gives him a chance to build on his momentum carried over from his dominant championship run last season.

Just missing out on the Fast Six was Christian Lundgaard, who completed his lap 0.019 seconds below the cut line to advance to the final round and will start from the seventh position.

The most surprising driver that did not advance to the final round was Kyle Kirkwood. The California-native was on top of the timesheets in Saturday morning practice, but struggled to find clear track for his qualifying run.

The event also marked the IndyCar debut of Theo Pourchaire, who qualified 22nd in the No.6 Arrow McLaren, replacing the injured David Malukas. Pourchaire, the reigning Formula 2 champion, steps in as Malukas continues his recovery from wrist surgery due to a preseason mountain biking accident.

Alexander Rossi was thoroughly disappointed with his run, curtly saying after he climbed from the car that his Arrow McLaren Chevy simply lacked pace. He did not advance out of the first round, and will start from 13th.

Pato O’Ward was equally disappointed with his run, also missing out on advancing to the second round by a fine margin. The Mexican driver will start on the outside of row seven.

Neither Rinus VeeKay nor Christian Rasmussen got through to Q2, a disappointing result given the pace the Ed Carpenter Racing cars showed in practice.

Agustin Canapino caused a yellow with a spin in Q1 and lost his best lap, while his Juncos Hollinger Racing teammate Romain Grosjean was only hundredths faster but will start from the eighth row.

The qualifying rounds showcased intense competition, with close margins throughout on a partly cloudy day in Southern California.

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Qualifying times

1Felix Rosenqvist1’06.0172
2Will Power1’06.0211
3Josef Newgarden1’06.1059
4Colton Herta1’06.3784
5Marcus Ericsson1’06.4039
6Alex Palou1’06.5444
7Christian Lundgaard1’06.2107
8Scott Dixon1’06.2219
9Marcus Armstrong1’06.2404
10Kyle Kirkwood1’06.2672
11Scott McLaughlin1’06.3504
12Graham Rahal1’06.5757
13Alexander Rossi1’06.8349
14Pato O’Ward1’06.4572
15Tom Blomqvist1’07.0325
16Romain Grosjean1’06.4706
17Linus Lundqvist1’07.1022
18Rinus VeeKay1’06.7415
19Pietro Fittipaldi1’07.1284
20Agustin Canapino1’06.8481
21Christian Rasmussen1’07.3332
22Theo Pourchaire1’06.9722
23Jack Harvey1’07.6865
24Santino Ferrucci1’07.1851
25Sting Robb1’09.5850
26Kyffin Simpson1’07.3125
27Nolan Siegel1’07.5848

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